Oh, for fuck’s sake….

Once again, Yvonne Arburrow decides to appropriate GBLTs to make herself feel special and “share some feels” or whatever the kids are calling it these days. Remember the last time? As I’ve said about the latest Christian Day bullshit, it’s one thing to apologise, but if you keep doing the thing you supposedly apologised for, then it’s meaningless.

Endless research studies have shown how damaging it is for LGBT people to remain closeted – surely the same applies to kinksters?

That would be an apt comparison EXCEPT…

…what gets some people into kinky sex is debatable, BUT most psychologists seem to believe it’s got to do with developmental wires getting crossed with some sort of environmental incident by the earliest days of puberty. All research into GBLs and the TS/TG community says that we’re literally born this way –sure, you can make the argument that TVs/CDs are TG under the “broadest net” definitions of “transgender”, but if you’ve spent at least as much time on FetLife as I have (which I don’t recommend, for a LOT of reasons)most TVs and CDs are pretty up-front about 1) being male-identified (though sometimes in addition to being TV/CD-identified), and 2) dressing up in women’s clothes because it “feels sexy” or “kinky” or similar.

I’m in a bizarre position, myself, being not only gay but both trans male and identifying as a femme and yeah, if I were cis male I’d probably be somewhere in the TV/CD spectrum of the kink community. Regardless of WHY my junk gets all a-tingly in high-femme garb, the fact remains that most people don’t need to know that about me –so it’s NOT AT ALL like being born in an apparently “female” body and feeling it’s wrong for me, and feeling like people aren’t interacting with the real me. It’s not like having to dance around pronouns of my partner so people won’t know for certain that I’m a fag. Cos while I’m very open about the sex that I have, and while I really have noting to lose by being open about some of the weirder aspects of my sexuality, there are some things that most people don’t need to know, at least not on the same level that people may need to be informed of my real gender or my sexual orientation. And guess what? Not telling everyone about my kinky sex is IN NO WAY COMPARABLE to the years I literally SUFFERED pre-transition.

…and she doesn’t really know her queer history:

This is in spite of the fact that kinksters have been part of the queer liberation movement from the outset.

Yes and no. The kink/fetish contingent of the GBLT community were certainly present in the late 1960s and early ’70s (after all, it was the overlap of the two that kind of bore Rocky Horror, which first debuted on the London stage in 1969), but by the ’80s, the kink contingent had been intentionally kept out of public activism with any amount of publicity, for the basic sake of appearances: It was a PR move to distance kink from Gays, Lesbians, and Bisexuals for over two decades; a friend of mine who was involved in ACT UP whilst in uni in the early 1990s clearly remembers great animosity that had been over a decade old at that point, between the kink and queer communities. In some places, there is STILL great animosity between the two communities, and most queer activism clearly discourages kink associations in its ranks.

and she continues:

I would argue that kink, polyamory, and monogamy are sexual orientations in the same way as homosexuality, heterosexuality, bisexuality, and pansexuality. That means that for a kinky person to try not to be kinky is just as painful and impossible as for a gay person to try to be straight.

No, it’s not. Cos very few people, in comparison to the dozens, if not hundreds, you may interact with any given month, have any reason to know you’re into kinky sex.

Furthermore, I’ve been in this kind of conversation with a lot of polyamorous people before, and while no-one seems to be in consensus on whether or not it’s a “sexual orientation” or “romantic orientation” or an “ideology”, the agreement is that it’s a sexual minority BUT it’s only kinda-sorta comparable to being GBLQ, etc…, and more-comparable to being in the “kinky” sexual minorities. Why? Won’t people figure out that you’re talking about two different partners, eventually? Well, sure, but there are 100% heterosexual “polyamourists”, who have households and everything.

Additionally, as people repeatedly pointed out: Being into kink, or polyamoury, does not supplant any “other” sexual orientation in the way that being heterosexual means that one is not also simultaneously bisexual (even by Kiney’s studies, orientation may fluctuate with age –one may be happily heterosexual for decades, and then hit fifty and be homosexual [sometimes observed in women as the “late-in-life lesbian phenomenon”]; this does not mean that those people were lying for the previous years –Kate Pierson of The B-52s identifies specifically as a late-in-life lesbian because, come the fuck on, she’s in The B-52s, if she was gay or bi before then, it would have been damned silly to be in the closet) –but one may be simultaneously polyamorous and/or into kinky sex.

Not all sexual minorities are equal, and cannot be easily compared. That would be like saying “being gay is just like being Black!” –when no-one in history has ever had to tell their mother that they were black. Is there some overlap of experience? Well, most leading studies on the Internet say “at least a little”, but being black doesn’t cancel out being gay the way it cancels out being Asian (though one can certainly be biracial and have a parent of each racial group –which is going to have its own unique experience from having a racial identity that is exclusively one or the other). Being gay doesn’t cancel out being black in the way it cancels out being het (though one may be *bisexual*, which would, again, be its own unique experience).


One thought on “Oh, for fuck’s sake….

  1. I usually enjoy Yvonne’s writing, but that post was very sloppy and insensitive. Totally different issues. People do not commit suicide because they can’t openly practice BDSM.
    It’s what you do, not who you are. She’s also missing part of the appeal of kink for a lot of people- they like that it’s secret & taboo- that it feels forbidden makes it fun for them. They can enjoy that feeling without BDSM or other stuff being criminaIized or assumed to be abusive. Most of them don’t want to be activists, they just want to pursue their pasttimes in private. Kinky people do lose jobs/custody of kids, and so forth when “outed”, but for the most part esp. if heterosexual they are not “oppressed”.

    I don’t really care about the whole “born that way vs. development vs. choice” thing, whether it’s for orientation, interest in sexual activities or gender identity. I find it interesting as a social scientist, but bad political strategy to whine “accept me cuz I can’t help it, I was born that way!” Doesn’t work so well for racial minorities, or folks with congenital disabilities.


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