One component of my queer leather family was a gay leather daddy and his boy, Michael. Michael was a very sexually adventurous guy. He was the first person who taught me that anal sex did not have to be painful, and that queer sex was about queer people of any gender enjoying their sexuality in ways that made them feel authentic.
Michael used to read my tarot cards on a regular basis, and every time, the nine of cups would appear. The card where none of the cups are spilled, a card that implies hospitality and welcome. Even in times of strife and and change in my life, the nine of cups would appear. When Michael died of AIDS in the 1990’s, his leather family gathered and chose cards from his deck to carry with us. The card that leapt to my hand was the nine of cups. I would lose it, and then find it again in the oddest places – my desk, my underwear drawer, and when I moved across the country to move in with (and later marry) the woman I love, the card dropped out of my suitcase. I keep it framed now in our living room, in memory of Michael, and in recognition that queer sex is magical, and can fill all of us with joy and potential.