NCSF's Coalition Partners Meet in Cambridge
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom held its annual Coalition Partner meeting in Cambridge, MA from March 26-27, 2011. The CP meeting was well attended by 23 Coalition Partner Representatives, the entire Board of NCSF and the senior staff. The Coalition Partners voted in the new Board of Directors for NCSF, approved the 2012 budget, and brainstormed on NCSF's projects and goals for the coming year.
The CP meeting was preceded by a training-the-trainers day for NCSF's Education Outreach Project on March 25th. The EOP training was attended by 15 EOP presenters who were updated on the 20+ workshops that teach you how to protect yourself, your groups and events or your businesses.
NCSF's board consists of 9 members elected by our Coalition Partners to 2 year rotating terms. 4 additional seats are appointed to 1 year terms by the board. The board has 2 remaining seats to fill by appointment and we expect the board will appoint the seats at the next board meeting on May, 12th. The Board of NCSF currently consists of:
Leigha Fleming - Chair - Denver, CO
Vivienne Kramer - Treasurer - Boston, MA
Laura Carlson - Secretary - Boise, ID
Jim Fleckenstein - Hearndon, VA
John Baku - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Julian Wolf - Albuquerque, NM
Kevin Carlson - Boise, ID
Mark Richards - NYC, NY
Mercury - Nashville, TN
Steven Johnson - Dallas, TX
Susan Wright - NYC, NY
Kevin Carlson, NCSF Board Member, received the Volunteer of the Year Award for his tireless and countless hours on the brand-new, 21st century NCSF Web site. Check it out: www.ncsfreedom.org
The CP Reps were also excited to view three new NCSF commercials that were debuted at the meeting. Produced by Kink Academy, the on-demand kink education and sex-ed institution, these infomercials take NCSF's message into a brand new realm. You can view all three at: http://www.kinkacademy.com/home/category/free/
NCSF gratefully acknowledges the hard work of Opn, Coalition Partner Representative for Mob and NELA, who acted as the weekend community organizer and arranged complimentary meeting space, found volunteer Mobster shuttle drivers for attendee travel to the meeting venue from the hotel, solicited meal sponsorships from local groups, and co-hosted the Saturday night play party with another Mobster and her Queer PlayCon (www.queerplaycon.com) co-producer.
NCSF would like to thank:
- Kink Academy (www.kinkacademy.com; on-demand kink education and sex-ed site and NCSF Supporting Member) for their free Open House (games, demos, raffles, and vendors) held Friday night for local and visiting kinksters;
- New England Dungeon Society/NEDS (www.ne-ds.org; pansexual BDSM education, support, and social group, and NCSF Coalition Partner) donated $400 to provide Friday dinner and supplement other meals. NEDS also "donated" the services of Lydwina who helped keep the food tables running smoothly;
- Mob New England (www.mobnewengland.org; social and educational kink group for women and transfolk, and NCSF Coalition Partner), fund-raised $600 to provide Sunday lunch and supplement other meals;
- Bay State Marauders (www.baystatemarauders.org; leather social group for gay men in the Boston area) home cooked and delivered Saturday lunch and provided pleasing eye candy;
- Knights Templar, O.T.O. (www.kto.org; local sex-positive church) provided baked goods -- and a toaster oven! -- for Sunday's breakfast;
- Vivienne Kramer, Boston-based NCSF Board Member, negotiated for reasonably-priced and public transit-accessible hotel accommodations, and provided all meeting reports, notebooks, and binders, and put together the volunteer award.
Letter From the Chair
Annual Meeting 2011
Hello and welcome to NCSF's 2011 annual meeting!
I am so glad to welcome all of you to Boston. It's our first time here and we've been veryfortunate to have the hard advance work and efforts of the Boston community - particularly Opn, Kali and Vivienne Kramer.
As chair, I started my term in with several goals.
- Improve NCSF communications both internally among board and among volunteers, to our Coalition Partners, toour communities in general and to the public as a whole.
I believe we've hit our stride and are now doing things much better than we have in the past. In all years prior to September 2008, we published exactly 3 quarterly newsletters- two in 2003 and one in 2006. We've published a newsletter ever quarter since I became chair. We've published our minutes to the CP list every single month. I've written notices/letters to the membership every month. We've kicked up our press and media alerts and switched to using Constant Contact to make our mail outs more professional.
- Improve the structural integrity of the organization and set up processes and procedures for our most important functions/programs
With the implementation of SalesForce now have a solid foundation under which we can build our donors, members, conduct campaigns, etc. NCSF has been incredibly fortunate to get strong volunteer talent on the board and in key organizational positions. This is extremely important given that we only have part time administrative help. As we've broadened our SalesForce integration into our organization, we've connected it to our website and we've created customer service portals for both IR and KAP administration. In addition, we hope to have a fully functional customer service portal for our CPs by mid-year.
- Develop new literature and programs as part of NCSF's "Value Proposition"
Last year we created NCSF's "Value Proposition." We've created it as a guide to keep NCSF focused on what our core programs and values are. We have new handouts on child custody, child protective services, event insurance, how to find event location and a template for anevent briefing book. We've also developed new formal handouts - one for therapists about Polyamory and one for how to find a Kink Aware Therapist. In addition we have new brochures on the DSM, and solid educational pieces for Consent Counts and our ever-growing Education Outreach Program.
- Be the leader. The DSM and Consent Counts projects, continued espansion of Incident Response and Kink Aware Professionals
NCSF is the leader and the only organization in the countryworking on these issues. Susan Wright, particularly with her work on the DSM, has led the way for some major successes for NCSF this year. Judy Guerin has become involved again with NCSF and is taking the lead in our Consent Counts project. Both of these projects will be on the front burner for us for the next 3-5 years.
We're making terrific strides and have had some major "wins" this year. You'll see our new website has gone live- finally! Its been a huge project for us but we like our finished product and hope you do too. We're Twittering and blogging now. We have a strong marketing plan in place.
In short, I'm excited about the progress we're making and hope you are too!
Hosting the Annual Meeting
Interview with Opn, CP Mob New England & North East Leather Alliance
By Julian Wolf
Opn is the Coalition Partner for both Mob New England and the North East Leather Alliance (NELA) and is one of the organizers for this years Coalition Partner meeting. In the midst of all the planning, she agreed to sit down and answer some questions for us.
What inspired you to host and organize the Coalition Partner meeting for NCSF?
When Vivienne told me that Boston was being looked at for the '11 Annual Meeting, I was thrilled and terrified all at once. I wanted my communities to get to share in the come-together activism, creative dedication, and enthusiastic get-involved-ness of NCSF, but I was so worried about Massachusetts, with its more underground and private scene, being able to show NCSF a good time. Happily, so many different pieces of the communities have stepped (hell, some have LEAPED) forward to contribute to the weekend and all these folks are eager to meet and talk with NCSF.
What sort of work goes into a Annual Meeting?
We -- Vivienne and I -- tackled the venue first. When I attend NCSF Annual Meetings in other states, I'm doing so on a tight budget. I don't have a rental car or a ton of spare cash for taxis or pricey hotel restaurants. And I'm a *fortunate* NCSF CP Rep, since NELA ( www.neleatheralliance.org ) pays for my airfare and hotel room; I know that a lot of NCSFers pay out-of-pocket or work hard to fundraise in order to afford to show up at the meetings. I also wanted my fellow NCSFers to be able to enjoy the city's historic and fun sights if they could squeeze that extra time into their meeting weekend, so we scouted beyond the inexpensive but isolated airport hotels until Vivienne was able to arrange a great deal in town. ("In town" = Boston is just a breezy walk away over a bridge from Cambridge, where the Annual Meeting is actually taking place.) We were able to secure free meeting space in a nearby office building through community connections. All of our venues are VERY accessible via our subway system (the "T") so folks can opt for super-cheap and easy direct transportation from airport to hotel to events to airport again! We also selected the hotel based on the abundance of food choices around it, a mall just up the street, and, again, Boston just a bridge away. I have a Google map that I'm still tweaking that will highlight all of this so that the NCSFers can explore easily.
Once we knew where we were going to meet, I started approaching local groups -- groups that were already Coalition Partners and groups that I hoped might want to contribute to the meeting and maybe get more involved with NCSF -- to see if they could help with meals. Again, with budgets in mind, my goal was to provide the meeting attendees with food without overtaxing their or NCSF's wallets. I had already begun fundraising with my Queer PlayCon co-producer on behalf of Mob (www.mobnewengland.org) and after two hot play parties, we'd raised nearly $600 earmarked for food for the meeting. The New England Dungeon Society (a CP), a sex-positive church, NELA and the Bay State Marauders have also stepped up to cover meals -- YAY!
With lodging, meeting space, and food being planned, I turned to fun and community. Having felt at loose ends myself on Friday nights at past Annual Meetings, I wanted to give traveling NCSFers the option of flying in to fall directly into downy hotel beds *or* come out for some infomercial-educational kinky demo-community-mingling fun. Kink Academy (www.kinkacademy.com) already had an Open House event in the works and Princess Kali and I teamed up for some hot calendar-on-calendar action. Princess Kali's KA team has donated time to create brand-new NCSF "infomercials" which will be premiered at the (free!) Open House the Friday night of the meeting weekend.
Of course, Vivienne and I also wanted to offer NCSF a party. The Saturday night parties other hosting cities have opened up to NCSF meeting attendees have allowed me to check out some spectaucular dungeons across the country and play with new and fun people. MA's underground kink scene has limited play spaces, so I was ecstatic when my Queer PlayCon co-producer offered to co-host a party.
I want NCSF to feel like we are rolling out the red carpet for them. I'm sure when the weekend hits I'll think, "Darn it, totally should've done fill-in-the-blank, my bad!" but keeping in mind what I've wished for or enjoyed at past Annual Meetings, I'm continuing to try to cover as many bases as possible to have the weekend run smoothly so that the attendees can focus on the business at-hand, be well-fed and entertained, and meet as much of my communities as possible!
How long have you been the CP Rep for Mob New England & The New England Leather Alliance?
I've been NELA's CP Rep for several years. Vivienne is very persuasive and convinced me to direct some of my time NCSF's way. Up until then, I knew about NCSF mostly from seeing Lolita (Wolf) wear NCSF t-shirts. I floundered a lot that first year and struggled with how to help and where I fit in. At my first Annual Meeting, I remember hearing other CP Reps talk about their own learning curves and how some of their groups changed who filled the CP Rep position/s each year so that once footing was established, it was whisked away. I'm grateful that NELA weathered my own rocky start and pitiful first attempts at tabling and getting the word out. As I learned more about NCSF and how important it was for more voices to be heard, I approached the kink group I'm most active in -- Mob -- about joining as a Coalition Partner. Now, I table and vote and outreach on behalf of both groups -- my voice is big enough for both groups! -- and distribute literature whenever I can, encourage folks to hit up the KAP list, chat about how the Incident Response program helps regular folks, and do a lot of NCSF cheerleading within and outside of my groups.
Your email signature is "Community-building is HOT! Organizing kinky stuff is SEXY!" how did you come to this sentiment?
My current e-signature serves to remind me of a couple things. It is really easy to have positive energies diverted by difficult people and all the challenging stuff that they can bring; it is up to me (with the help of my network of supportive kinky friends!) to keep myself moving forward toward goals I believe in, like strengthening my communities. The e-tagline is also a tip of my hat to recognizing that it takes lots of different skill sets to help any group or community. Some folks are whizzes at money, some have kick-ass people skills, some have muscles to lend, some can open up their homes, some can donate items -- we need *all* of these folks with *all* of these skills, and if my strengths include organizing, well, then, I better be bringing that to the table! Finally, I'm a player. The wild rush of a good scene leaves me happily buzzed. It took a while, but now I see that the "highs" I can get from a one-on-one scene, from orchestrating a multi-player scene, from running a kinky icebreaker at a party, and from organizing a wicked-fun outreach table/fundraiser/fill-in-the-blank event are all pretty much the same. Yeah, that's right, I get off on organizing, and watch out, because HERE I COME!
You can find Opn on FetLife, and you are welcome to email her via opnheartd at hotmail dot com. Her newest project, Queer PlayCon is happening this May in Hartford, CT.
FetFest, a large scale international festival event for the FetLife Community planned for Labor Day Weekend in Maryland, is donating $10 to NCSF for every ticket purchased using fetfest.com/ncsf.
Organizer British Lucky Paul, who helped raise over $10,000 last year for NCSF, is aiming to make FetFest the biggest NCSF fundraising event of 2011. "In addition to the ticket donations, we plan on using our website traffic to encourage attendees to join NCSF before they even arrive by promoting NCSF on our homepage." Auctions, raffles and a membership drive at the event itself are also planned.
So if you plan on going, please use the link above to register, it won't cost you a dime and every penny counts in our ongoing fight for our sexual freedom.
Note: FetFest is not an official Fetlife event. It is independently organized by Born Lucky Productions, Inc. The name and logo for Fetlife are trademarks of Protose Inc.
Creating Change at Creating Change
Thank you to everyone who helped make this a highly successful event for the BDSM/Leather/Fetish community and our organizations. Min-KY (Minnesota Kinky Youth), an NCSF Coalition Partner, did a yeoman job of coordinating volunteers to help man the booths during the event. The BDSM/Leather/Fetish community was highly visible and well represented-we created change at Creating Change!
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, the Leather Archives and Museum and the Leather Leadership Conference teamed up to make a big impact at the Creating Change Conference in Minneapolis, held February 2-6, 2011. The Creating Change conference, hosted by The Task Force, is the largest and oldest GLBT political activist conference in the U.S. and was attended by over 2,500 activists this year.
It was a great year for us to team up organizationally and create a large presence, particularly since Chuck Renslow received The Leather Leadership Award from The Task Force. Matt Foreman, former Executive Director of The Task Force, came out in his leathers on stage for the first time at a Creating Change Conference to present the award, along with IML 2010, Tyler McCormick. Highlighted in Matt's speech was the fact that the LA&M is now the largest GLBT museum collection in the world (Yes, the world!) The Leather Archives and Museum was heavily featured in the award presentation, as well as Chuck's long time record of GLBT and leather activism and the fact that he was never afraid to be out and proud as a gay man and a leather man. The Minneapolis community, under the guidance of Steve Lenius, did an impressive color guard presentation at the award presentation.
NCSF also did a well-attended and highly productive Leather Leadership Roundtable on Consent Counts, its project to decriminalize BDSM. At a Leather Leadership Roundtable hosted by NCSF at the 2006 Creating Change Conference, decriminalization of BDSM was determined to be the number one priority of the BDSM/Leather/Fetish community.
Why KAP (Kink Aware Professionals)
BY: Keely Kolmes, Psy.D.
As a practitioner who has both used the KAP resource to help people locate services in other cities and as someone who also maintains my own listing on the site, I'm very happy to see the debut of the brand new KAP Directory. The new site is attractive and intuitive to use. I am proud to be listed on this site. I hope that the appealing new interface helps those looking for support and resources to feel more invited to make use of the directory. Being able to select different levels of kink awareness and expertise allows consumers to make more informed choices when choosing providers. Some people may be happy to choose someone who is a non-judgmental ally, whereas others may prefer to find someone who has more expertise. Great job, NCSF! --Keely Kolmes, San Francisco Psychologist