I've been thinking about covers a lot over the last few months. Even more so now that they've been buzzing about as both a topic and in a material sense in my local scene. First a few basics so you know what I'm talking about when I get to my actual thoughts.
A cover, in Leather, refers to a head covering, usually a cap. In some circles cover seems synonymous with a Muir cap, but it can really be any type of cap or hat I imagine. I can't see why not.
Muir caps are the type used as Master covers, or Master caps. What this means is that when a Master is granted the right to use that title by their community, a muir cap is usually the style presented.
So about that - cover ceremonies. It doesn't appear to be that common anymore (that I can see, at least around here) for Masters to have cover ceremonies, or even for Masters to not take on that title until their community gives it to them.
In theory, "Master" is a title that either a) your slave calls you and no one else does, or b) you are given the right to use by your community, for great service to the community and for being a good example (and are presented with a Master's cap, at a cover ceremony... you see how this all fits together?). In practise, it seems to be a lot more loosely wound than that - and that's probably a good thing.
Anyway, I know that's a little disjointed, but honestly I don't feel I'm any authority on the subject so I don't want to get into details because I don't really know any.
As I was saying, I've been thinking about covers a lot over the past few months. I've been thinking about them and thinking about my vest. I bought my vest myself, as a symbol of who I am and who I can become. It was deliberately something I wanted to come into my care to me from me, an act of autonomy and responsibility towards what it represents.
I do not feel the same about covers. I doubt I will ever buy my own Muir cap.
Call me a little old fashioned perhaps, but there's something about what a Master's cover can mean when it is gifted by one's peers, that is lacking should one buy it oneself. There is some connection to the rich history of Leather in that idea, and while I am generally against meritocracies for the overall population, in subcultures like Leather I think they can be valuable things.
I want to know, deep in my soul, that if I ever wear a Master's cap, it is because I am worthy, and am accepted as such.
It is very connected to the reasons why I felt I needed to design myself a coming of age rite in my adult years. I want to know that I have what it takes. I want to know that I can be the best I can be. I want to know that I deserve every moment of my various enlightenments and achievements.
A little wanky? Sure. But why shouldn't Leather be a little wanky, if it gets us hot? That's why we're here, isn't it? And I find deep, great joy in being a little wanky and taking some things just that little bit too seriously.
I do hope to one day be worthy of a cover ceremony - but I am not in any hurry. I have plenty of time to work slowly and carefully at who I am, to slowly grow into the person who may be given such a gift.