There was a terrible story in the paper today about a murder here in Southern California. And it seems to be perpetrated by people who practiced BDSM. (Seemingly straight–well, two girls and a guy, not sure how they worked it all out–it appears the guy “owned” the two women, one of which was his ex and the other his current girlfriend.) According to the article, the trio had possibly meet with the victim and
routinely engaged in sex play that included bondage, punishment, masks, whips, spanking, cutting, a “sex dungeon,” an unspecified “sex apparatus” and role-playing of slave, servant and master, according to one document.
I know, for most of us, sounds like a great night out, right? Only this one ended in a murder.
The murder is awful and inexcusable. But that’s not what I’m commenting on. I’m commenting on the perception of the BDSM community in the eyes of the news and local law enforcement. Read this quote from a local authority:
“Because of Perez and Maraglino’s unusual sex fetishes, I believe they may have accosted Killgore for these reasons,” one San Diego County Sheriff’s Department detective wrote in a sworn affidavit accompanying a search warrant.
Did I read that correctly? Because of their unusual sex fetishes? So is an actual, supposedly educated law enforcement official really saying that all people who practice kinky sex are just murderers waiting to happen? Or that kinky sex leads to murder and violence?
That’s right people. That’s what some people think of us. People in the law. God help us if something like this happened in our gay kink community… can you imagine how it’d be portrayed in the media? It’s a good reminder to all of us that outside of our world, people often don’t know what to think of us. Or just stereotype us.
Because as we’re seeing lately, even just being gay can still be a struggle with the recent news of the Boy Scouts upholding their ban on gays, and Chick-fil-A upholding their views on banning gay marriage (which is why I never eat at a Chick-fil-A). For every major leap forward, there’s still plenty of steps back that slap us in the face (and not in a good way) and remind us that it can be a scary world out there beyond our circle.
Sadly, it’d because of reasons like this I can’t really be completely about who I am. Because believe me, I have no personal shame about it. But should my identity be commonly known in the mainstream, I’d very likely be out of the job and viewed the same way those murderers were. No kidding.
But dammit, I am going to say and do all that I can from here. And I encourage all of you to do what you can. Share this post, write your own if you have a blog, tweet, or update statuses, and get the message out there that we’re not freaks. We are consenting adults engaging in mutual activities. We are a very positive, open, and welcoming community. And as with any community, there will sometimes be an unwelcome fringe that makes the rest look bad. But that they are a minority. The rest of us are perfectly normal, educated people from all walks of life. Who know what we enjoy, and are secure and proud of it. And that we aren’t just murderers waiting to happen.