At the Dan Savage “It Gets Better” talk at Webster University the other night, a woman in the audience shared a tragic story about her bisexual teenage friend who took her own life after enduring weeks of bullying.
Shockingly, it wasn't the straight community that was torturing her – it was the lesbian community.
When I got fired last April, came out last October, and was sued for custody of my daughter last December because of my lifestyle, I was surprised to discover that my biggest detractors weren't vanilla prudes, but other sex bloggers.
Instead of supporting my effort to stand up for my sexual civil rights – and in kind, pave the way for others to do the same – I had bloggers cut me down and write lies about me, and when I tried to set the record straight, they refused to publish my comments.
Here in St. Louis, we had a Kinky Karaoke party scheduled for tonight (the last one was so much fun! Sexually creative people tend to be very artistic and talented!), but the event had to be canceled at the last minute. Why? The venue was reported to city officials.
Who reported them? A neighboring church? Conservative citizens?
Members of the BDSM “community” here in St. Louis.
People who have been “in the lifestyle” for years, and who have been associated with one of the longest standing organizations in the area, decided they didn't like new options for St. Louis, so they outed the venue to city officials and aldermen.
This prompted the investigation of EVERY alternative lifestyle organization in town. Now everyone has been outed or is at risk. This damning article about one of the area's recent events is evidence of the total lack of forethought these imbeciles have.
Just look at what got stirred up when they couldn't live and let live. An excerpt:
“The resident was concerned the city was selling itself to the devil for tax dollars,” [Sandy] Baldwin said.
Baldwin said the city could do without tax dollars from such events.
“I don't want to be known as the S and M capital,” Baldwin said. “It's not the image we want for Fairview Heights, IL. We are a family city, and we have Midwestern values.”
Karma's a bitch.
Not to mention the fact that this event is being referred to by the media as a “sex convention”. Yeah right. This was far from a sex convention, trust me. I attended this annual event a couple years ago, and I didn't leave there feeling sexy at all.
This is an unfortunate example of how sex-negative behavior from WITHIN the alternative lifestyle community causes major setbacks to promoting peace and tolerance for all.
More and more, I am discovering that my biggest challenge as a sex-positive activist is NOT the mainstream majority, but other marginalized subgroups! Instead of supporting each other and being allies in progress, small-minded, mean-spirited individuals are cutting off their noses to spite their face. And really, it's only a handful of rotten apples in each instance.
And everyone suffers as a result.
Businesses lose money, the community loses options, fear and suspicion flares, and the attacking subgroup looks bad, or, even worse, has blood on their hands.
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is a non-profit organization whose mission is to fight for sexual freedom and privacy rights for all adults who engage in safe, sane and consensual behavior.
They mean to protect alternative lifestyles from those who are ignorant and don't understand what it's all about – but what can be done about the people who know better and choose to sabotage their fellow kinky citizens?
It's not very safe, sane or consensual now, is it?
Do you practice BDSM or polyamory, or otherwise lead an alternative lifestyle? Have you ever been victimized by others within the community? Have you ever been bullied, harassed, maligned or persecuted by people more LIKE you than different?
Sex-negative behavior from those who should know better is inexcusable.
We must not give the bad guys power. We have to muster the courage to stand up and fight for our human rights. The best way to thwart them is to SUCCEED.
Sex-positive means accepting others for who they are, promoting freedom and pursuit of happiness for all, and most of all, respecting others.
This article originally appeared at TheBeautifulKind.com