Been a long time listener to your podcasts. And have always loved your advice. Being an amazing advocate for the community, and being Pride Month (albeit the tail end), I thought you could speak about this. This Pride Month there has been a LOT of discussion about the place of kink and fetish wear at Pride. I'm personally a cis mostly hetero white male. I am also a part of a Leather family and active in the kink scene.

I have TWO questions. First, where does your opinion fall on the topic of kink and kink outfits at Pride? And secondly, there have been discussions and arguments around whether we should add K for Kink to the LGBTQI+ acronym. I disagree with this. But does the BDSM Lifestyle come under the "Queer" umbrella term, even if most kinky people are straight or mostly straight? This is causing a HUGE fuss in my local community.

Kink is Not Killing You

Second question first...

No, I don't think we should add a "K" to the ever-metastasizing LGBTTQQIAAP2S acronym. (Or, more accurately, I don't think we should add more letters to an already unwieldy initialism.) Straight and queer people can be kinky, just as straight and queer people can be poly, so being kinky—in and of itself—doesn't make a person queer in the "not straight" sense of the term. (There was some noise about adding a second "P" to LGBTTQQIAAP2S a few years back for poly folks, most of whom are straight, and that didn't take off for the same reason.)

That said... there are straight-identified trans people out there who are certainly members of the queer community as well as straight-identified asexuals and and straight-identified intersex people and on rare occasions one of the "questioning" (that's one of the two Qs) discover the answer was "straight" all along. If these straight people get to be included in the neverending acronym, why shouldn't kinky straight people? And it's not like there's some controlling legal authority out there—there's no LGBTTQQIAAP2S SCOTUS—which means there's nothing to stop someone from slapping a "K" on that end of that thing. So if some members of your local kink community want to start using LGBTTQQIAAP2SK, no one can stop them. And at this point I don't think anyone would even notice. Really, what's one more letter?

But you know... if we decide that anyone who isn't straight and vanilla and married and monogamous isn't really straight, what are we saying about straightness? If a gay person can be vanilla and married and monogamous and still be gay (even if some will argue they're not gay enough to be president), why can't a straight person be kinky and unmarried and non-monogamous while still being straight? Personally, KINKY, I'd rather live in a world where boring queers complicate our notions of queerness and crazy straights complicate our notions of straightness because that world—and the people in it—is going to be far more interesting. (Weird how everyone assumes Pete and Chasten are vanilla. How would anyone other than Pete and Chasten know that? Also weird: if you made a Venn diagram of people who insist you should never make an assumption about someone's gender based on how they present and people making assumptions about Peter and Chasten's sex life based on how they present... that thing would be a circle.)

As for kink and kink outfits at Pride—as for kinky people at Pride—of course I believe kink, kink outfits, and kinky people belong at Pride. And while I've seen a few people suggest recent calls to ban kink and kink from Pride is a consequence of the push for marriage equality and the demons of homonormativity it supposedly unleashed (because married gay people are never kinky), stupid assholes have been calling for kinky people to be banned from Pride for decades. (Hell, I got a letter almost a decade ago from someone who wanted to ban kinky people from kinky events!) And every year these assholes are told that kinky queer people have just as much right to take part in Pride celebrations as any other kind of queer person and kinky people keep showing up for Pride just the same.)

I wanna close by seconding what Amanda Kerri had to say about this bullshit annual n non-controversy at The Advocate...

I’m frankly too worn out from this stuff at this point to be nice about it anymore. Saying that kink has no place at Pride is a bad opinion and you should feel bad. First of all, kink was at Pride long before upper middle-class queers decided to take their kids to Pride.... As for those of you arguing about how a bunch of queers running around in collars, harnesses, and body tape over their nipples makes us look bad in front of the straights and supports their arguments that we’re all perverts, well you might want to sit down for this: the ones who think we’re perverts don’t care how we’re dressed.

...and by seconding—and embedding—the entirety of Pup Amp's recent tweet storm on this subject of kinksters at Pride:


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