Tattoo Stories

January 14, 2014

I’m a little bit of everything: punk, rockabilly, roller derby girl, MUAH, military brat, military widow, and most importantly a mother and wife.

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My name is Kathleen McComsey. Many people know me by by skate name/ tattoo model name Devotchka Delarge. I’m a little bit of everything: punk, rockabilly, roller derby girl, MUAH, military brat, military widow, and most importantly a mother and wife. I was born in Albany, New York, moved to Arizona, and raised by my father, a naval nuclear engineer, and my mother, a domestic engineer. My Mom had multiple sclerosis and was diagnosed with cancer Easter Sunday of my senior year of high school. In Sept 2003, six months after being diagnosed my mom passed away. My first tattoo was for her. Two months after she died I got a peach carnation; it was her favorite flower. On the ten year anniversary of her death, three of my sisters and I got part of a letter she wrote tattooed on us. It says “I am proud of you always, Love Mom”. My Dad and My mom are both the most amazing people I have ever met in my life, and if I am half as good a parents as they are, I will be an great mother to my daughter.

When I was 18 years old, I joined roller derby, and it changed my life. Roller Derby has helped me through so many experiences of my life that I know I wouldn’t have been able to handle on my own. I have met so many amazing people and been to some really cool places. I have played in several different leagues, in several different states. I have played it for the Arizona Derby Dames, for the last three years as a blocker/pivot on the four-time champion team, the Coffin Draggers.

When I’m not being a mom, or playing roller derby, I’m doing hair and make up. MUAH is something I’ve been passionate about for years. I’ve been licensed since I was 17 years old. I am grateful that in this profession, I have only experienced prejudiced because of my tattoos a few times. Most of my clients find them fascinating, and asked me what they mean or represent.

I was a military wife. Despite the misconception that tattoos are common in the military, being a military wife was where I experienced the most prejudiced for my Tattoos. I would get stares and dirty looks from people while I was on base and even had my ability to parent was questioned by another military wife (due to the fact that I had tattoos). Obviously tattoos in NO WAY affect my ability to raise my child. I joined the ranks of Gold star families when my daughter was five months old. I was caught between military life and civilian life… It was one of the hardest things I had to go through in my life.

After becoming a military widow, I moved back to Arizona from San Diego. I began the process of rebuilding and adjusting to my life as a single mother. Unable to join the Navy myself ( due to my widow status) but bursting with pride of being an American, I began collecting tattoos in the American traditional style. I found my forever in my best friend, a former sailor who served four years aboard the USS constellation as an avionics technician. His name is Joshua Gargalione, and he has been a tattoo artist specializing in an American traditional and black and gray for the last 13 years. He has known in the tattoo community as Uncle Josh and works at Lady Luck Tattoo Gallery in Tempe Arizona. He is an amazing father, husband and artist. I can’t imagine my life without him or my daughter. they are my world.

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