Saturday, January 8, 2011

Assimilation for Rights

Every once in a while, I end up in the gayborhood of Philadelphia and decide to go out to the vanilla/standard gay bars. I ended up at Tavern on Camac in the piano bar with one of my friends and his crew. Somehow, invariably when I'm out with the vanilla gay, someone makes a fisting joke and then someone says "Ow" and then I feel like a teaching moment can occur. So I continue talking about fisting and typically I get one of three responses: "Yeah but still seems like it would hurt," or "Yeah but I pride myself on having a tight hole," or "Yeah but I don't know." All of them include my least favorite coupling of words when it comes to an argument "Yeah but" as it's clear that the teaching moment is going ignored. This is something that I've noticed about a lot of vanilla guys and their reactions about kink. They seem to want to justify why they don't want to do it, but really "I get you. It doesn't really get me hard though" would be fine. Someone being kinkier than you is not an affront to your character. Just like I don't take someone it scat as better or worse of a person than me, just another person that has a kink that's more taboo than the majority than mine.

At any rate, then the conversation came onto the topic of monogamy. I said that I was not monogamous, feeling that, for me, it just leads to me feeling trapped in a relationship. A couple of guys and I were in this conversation and they claimed "Oh you mean like playing together, yeah that happens and it's cool." I clarified, "No, I mean where each person can just play with who they want, and just be honest with one another." This was kind of a shock to both of them and one of them piped up and said, "Well, I don't really see how that would work, and that's kind of what is an issue with what's going on with gay marriage and such you should really figure out what you really want."

I was kind of shocked at what I was hearing. This is something that bothers me to no end, that somehow a kink relationship or a non-standard or, dare I say it, DEVIANT relationship is somehow less serious or less valuable then another form of relationship. We're now apparently pressuring one another to live a more standard life in order to gain acceptance from the straight community so we can get rights? I'm not down for this.

I want to get rights for our community, but I don't think that we should ever try to become something we aren't in order to get the rights we rightfully deserve in the first place. That would just make us have more work to do when we get the rights. There needs to be acceptance of us as a community. I have heard arguments that "The leather community kind of hurts us from an activist's perspective." This regarding to people thinking that venues like IML show the gay community as a sexual community, and representative of all gays. Well, first off, we are not representatives of the gay collective body, but we are members, and we should have the sexual agency to do what heart feels is appropriate. Second of all, we are fighting for activism just as hard. With leathermen like Mark Leno in the CA Senate working for LGBT rights, it's kind of absurd for people to think we are selfish for doing what our sexual agency allows.

CA Sen. Mark Leno (center)

Also, on another note, queer open relationships have worked. I woke up today to seeing two of my kink friends with an open relationship having a new facebook album, entitled "Marriage" (they got married in Ottawa). I don't know how many open relationships I see working in the community as people are honest and find rules that work for them. Well, congrats to them not compromising themselves for the sake of some ignorant assimilationist that wants to push their internalized homophobia on them. :-)

Rant over.

Until next time.

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