Debbie Jones, a Virginia resident, gives seemingly tirelessly. I’ve seen this person at more events than I can count in many, many capacities. The work I see her do the most is as an American Sign Language interpreter, helping provide accessibility for deaf individuals for all kinds of events, including classes and contests. She dances on stage and brings an energy that fills the room. Sometimes my eyes sneak away from the performers to check out what she’s doing. Inevitably many an MC will make her sign dirty words and do everything in their power to make her blush. It’s a show all its own and it’s glorious. She also puts in many hours during 101s and other classes, teaching and making sure people are well taken care of and learning many kinds of kink from a patient, welcoming instructor. She’s a true inspiration and asset to our communities.

Alex “Bear” Conley: Where did you grow up?

Debbie Jones: A bit of several places. I’m an Army brat, so I was born overseas, and have lived in several states.

How did you discover the leather community and how long have you been involved?

I found the leather community through an interpreter I met at a spiritual retreat. That was around 2002.

What is your favorite flag to fly?

Hmmm… favorite hanky is houndstooth, on the right.

Christmas music – awesome or awful?

After Thanksgiving, until New Years, awesome! Any other time, awful!

What was your favorite school subject?

Theater / drama or English.

What is your favorite kind of juice?

Apple cider.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Chocolate and peanut butter.

Who is your least favorite celebrity?

The current president.

What is the accomplishment that has made you the proudest in the leather community? What about outside leather?

Inside? Being pinned into Mama’s Family. Outside? Passing the written exam for national interpreter certification. (Now if only I could work up the courage to take the performance exam!)

What is your favorite restaurant?

Oh, that’s a tough one … it changes. Currently, I’d have to say Cuba de Ayer.

West Coast or East Coast?

East Coast.

What’s the best gift you have ever received?

I can’t choose one best!

What is your favorite thing about the leather community?

How supportive we can be of each other. When this community comes together, it’s a powerful and amazing thing!

Gumbo, chili, or stew?

Mmmm… chili.

Who has been an inspiration for you?

My mother.

If you could wave a magic wand and change something about the leather community right now, what would it be?

It would be the passive-aggressive communication that seems to happen from time to time.

They say the best things in life are free. What is a free thing that brings you great joy?

Libraries. So many books!

Are you a gambling type?


What is the guiltiest pleasure that you will admit publicly?

I love Country-Western music.