How you have sex does not grant you access to queer spaces.
by Heidi French
With June being Pride Month, there have been a lot of LGBTQ+ related articles, images, and videos being shared on social media. Within a handful of these items being shared are mentions of kink that reference BDSM, S & M, exhibitionism, and other various forms of kink. It has always deeply confused me to see kink thrown in with the LGBTQ+ community because it isn’t a sexual orientation nor a gender identity. If a straight cisgender person is into BDSM, they suddenly gain access to queer communities when they know nothing of the experiences that LGBTQ+ people face. Kink does not belong in LGBTQ+ community.
One major problem I have with including kink in the LGBTQ+ community is it makes LGBTQ+ spaces inappropriate for minors. LGBTQ+ youth need safe spaces to express themselves and any struggles they may be facing as a result of their identity. The queer community is already incredibly sexualized. All it takes is a look at the fact that gay clubs and bars are the most popular LGBTQ+ spaces to recognize that queer spaces and identities are too often defined by sex. As a minor, LGBTQ+ spaces and events such as pride need to be appropriate for them to attend. They are the most vulnerable members of the community and need to be comfortable within queer spaces.
Kink is not a sexual orientation. It is simply how someone enjoys having sex, not about who they participate in it with. Comparing kink to being gay minimizes being gay down to only having sex when it is so much more than that. People have not been fighting over the past few decades to only have sex with whatever gender they want. There is no need to fight about that because that could be done in secret. It is about love. It is about being able to express that love in public without criticism: holding hands, going on dates, marriage, just the simplest forms of loving one another. It is not about how a couple has sex.
Also, people in the kink community do not experience the same struggles as LGBTQ+ individuals. While they do face the taboo of being into BDSM or whatever kink they have, there is no discrimination nor fight for equality or proving their identity valid. If someone does face discrimination, such as getting fired from a job, then it is likely due to inappropriate behavior because there is no reason to talk about sex, let alone the details of one’s sex, in the workplace. …