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NCSF Newsletter: 4th Quarter 2010

Winter: January 2010

In this issue

 

  • NCSF Publishes Two Important Mental Health Guides
  • NCSF Protests Raid on Atlanta Eagle
  • Consent Counts- Get Involved!
  • Coalition Partner Stewardship


NCSF Publishes Two Important Mental Health Guides
by: Susan Wright

NCSF and the Foundation are thrilled to announce two new and valuable additions to its line of publications.

The first is A Guide to Choosing a Kink-Aware Therapist , created by Keely Kolmes Psy.D. and Geri Weitzman Ph.D.

People who engage in BDSM need to be able to find a therapist who can accept them   without judgment or prejudice. Some therapists cause more harm than good when they slap a label of mental illness on a client simply because they enjoy kinky sex. Fortunately, there are some  therapists who have acquired the education   necessary to work with people who practice BDSM, and who are accepting of their clients' BDSM lifestyles.

A Guide to Choosing a Kink-Aware Therapist will teach you how to locate such  therapists, and how to choose from among the different kink-aware therapists that are available. NCSF is dedicated to ensuring that everyone can find a mental health professional who is understanding and supportive of your lifestyle, and believes this guide is an important addition to the Kink Aware Professionals list and the DSM Revision Project. You deserve a therapist who understands about the diversity and range of sexual expression, and this guide will help you find them.

The second publication has been five years in the making: Therapists Guide to   Polyamory is edited by NCSF Foundation Chairman, James R. Fleckenstein, B.A., and Carol Morotti-Meeker, M.S., M.L.S.P.  NCSF is dedicated to ensuring that therapists are educated about the varieties of sexual expression and relationship structures that our communities enjoy. Polyamory is   gaining more visibility as more adults engage in consensual relationships with more than one person. But how does a therapist gain the understanding they need to deal with the many issues that arise when polyamory is involved?

Therapists Guide to Polyamory     answers all of a therapist's questions about the purpose and practice of    polyamory. Everything from the motivations and benefits of polyamory, to  emotional and social concerns such as discrimination and family disapproval are covered. And of course, the        relationship issues that arise from navigating more than one intimate   relationship are explored, from safe sex to attaining parity and negotiating  agreements. This guide is for polyamorists who need to explain their lifestyle to their therapist, and for   therapists who understand that personal value systems may sabotage their goal of enabling their clients to explore   options and life experience in a neutral or supportive way.  

NCSF Protests Raid on Atlanta Eagle
by: Leigha Fleming & Susan Wright

Lawless cops are a threat to everyone in America 

The Atlanta community was stunned when the Eagle was raided on September 10th: the local police illegally detained 62 patrons and 8 employees, searching them without a warrant, reasonable suspicion, or probable cause. Some were forced to lie face-down on the floor for over two hours. The strong use of force included the presence of the "Red Dog unit" which typically deals with crimes such as gang violence.

The police arrested eight employees for dancing in their underwear along with patrons during "Underwear Night", a weekly fetish event. The APD alleges that behavior violates a local ordinance that requires the bar to obtain a license for adult entertainment. According to the patrons, police officers shoved people to the ground, threatened to hit them in the head with barstools, handcuffed people, made racist and anti-gay comments, and forced patrons to  remain flat on the ground, with their faces against a floor covered in some areas with spilled beer and broken glass, even long after they had been searched and found to be unarmed.

A Federal lawsuit alleging multiple civil rights violations was filed on November 24th on behalf of the patrons and the employees of the Atlanta Eagle by Lambda Legal, Southern Center for Human Rights, and Dan Grossman as representation for the plaintiffs. NCSF is actively involved in supporting the Atlanta Eagle and the plaintiffs in this suit.  In speaking with Leigha Fleming NCSF Board Chair, Wednesday afternoon, attorney Dan Grossman said, "NCSF's publicity and support s very welcome and needed in this effort. The police believed that they could violate the rights of these men precisely because they were in a gay _leather_ bar."  "We need everyone in the Alanta community getting involved in this," says Fleming. "There's a mayoral    election coming up. Ask your candidates their opinions of the police action at the Eagle and whether or not they support  the kind of bigotry and discrimination exhibited. Blog about it. Talk about it. All the various Eagle's around the country should link to this. Support this lawsuit and support NCSF."

NCSF joins state and local representatives in urging everyone to file a complaint if they were present at the Eagle on September 10th. You can file a complaint with the Atlanta Police Department and the Atlanta Citizen     Review Board who are investigating the raid: 

http://atlantaeagleraid.com/how-to-file-complaints If you need to maintain anonymity, then please contact Mr. Grossman, who represents the Eagle and many of the   patrons in connection with the raid, at (404) 654-0326, or at a special email   address established for this matter: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

CONFIDENTIALITY IS GUARAN-TEED UNDER ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE.  If you ask a lawyer for legal advice, the lawyer can't reveal anything you tell him, including your name: the police can't require it, your name can't be subpoenaed, and the court can't demand it. If a lawyer breaks attorney-client privilege, he or she will be disbarred.

"It's so important that our patrons come forward," says Richard Ramey, co-owner of the Eagle. "Everyone needs to hear how badly our civil rights were violated."

"Please call today!" urges Susan Wright, spokesperson for NCSF. "This is a clear human rights violation. If we don't  speak up, they won't stop persecuting us. We are the only ones who can fight for our rights."

Shortly after the raid, NCSF sent a letter to Atlanta Police Chief Richard    Pennington, Major Khirus Williams (Zone 5), Mayor Shirley Franklin and the City of Atlanta Human Relations Commission demanding an apology for this illegal behavior by the local police. Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington held a press  conference September 14th, stating that the gay leather bar was raided because of anonymous complaints that came through the mayor's office.

"There was no need to show up with three paddy wagons and over 20 police officers. No drugs or weapons were found," says Fleming. "Doesn't the Atlanta Police Department have better things to do with taxpayer money than conduct witch hunts against men who may have been dancing in their underwear?"

For the month of June 2009, the last month criminal statistics citywide for the City of Atlanta were available (see the Uniform Crime Reports on the Atlanta  Police Department website at http://www.atlantapd.org/index.asp?nav=Stats: 10 murders, 6 rapes, over 2,000 robberies and  larcenies and over 500 auto thefts were committed. In Zone 5 where the Atlanta Eagle is located, more than 35 crimes against persons including murder and aggravated assault and more than 700 crimes against property including auto theft, robbery and burglary were committed.   

The Atlanta community spoke out against the violent police raid on September 19th, calling it a blatant "disregard for civil rights and common sense". The rally was   organized by GLBTATL and   mem-bers of Atlanta's LGBT community and supporters in front of Atlanta City Hall. According to GLBTATL's press release about the rally:

"To concerned citizens, such as GLBTATL, it seems that this police raid was not meant to investigate or deter crime. Rather, it sent a message that the LGBT community, comprising as much as one-eighth of Atlanta's residents, is second-class and not deserving of the same basic human respect as others. With only a paltry apology issued via the A.P.D. media office, this message of disrespect, a message that can easily turn into hate, has begun to echo throughout the gay community, and Atlanta as a whole." 

To read more about what happened at the Atlanta Eagle, visit http://AtlantaEagleRaid.com 

Consent Counts, Get Involved!
by: Judy Guerin

Now is your opportunity to become involved in our community's most important long-term project, a nationwide sexual freedom effort that-if we work together-will rank with the Civil Rights Movement, the Women's Movement and the LGBT movement.  The Consent Counts   project, dedicated to decriminalization of BDSM-leather-fetish activities, is in the early stages of organizing under the leadership direction of NCSF.  Leather leaders launched this community-wide project in 2006 and NCSF recently took a leadership role. 

We need volunteers in many    areas:  strategic planning, marketing and public relations, legal,  fundraising, organizational, political, Internet, policy, legislative, grass roots organizing and administrative.  And, we will need a lot of money to achieve this goal.  We need and want your support and involvement.  If you can volunteer or help us raise funds, it would be a big help.

To  volunteer, send an email to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Coalition Partnership Stewardship
by: Ron Zimmerman

NCSF Appreciates Our Coalition Partners (CPs)

Everyone likes to be appreciated and the NCSF Board of Directors has come up with a concept that we hope will demonstrate the organization's appreciation and commitment to our Coalition Partners.  At the last NCSF Board Meeting in Dallas, Texas, considerable conversation was devoted to what NCSF can do to continually improve our overall communication strategies.  The concept of developing a "Coalition Partner Stewardship" program was one of the key concepts that came out of those discussions.  One board member, was tasked with designing the plan.

The NCSF board is eager to announce the CP Stewardship initiative being named, the "Reach Out" program.  The concept is to divide the CP list into Regions and to have a Board Member(s) specifically assigned to each CP.  The forward plan is to have the assigned Board Member make it a priority to "reach out" and make contact with their assigned CPs during the 1st month of each quarter.  These contact(s) will be tracked to ensure that each CP has been contacted. Additionally any issues/ideas that might result from the "Reach Out" 

We hope that the CP Stewardship Program is viewed as valuable by our Coalition Partners and contributes to NCSF's overall strategy to continually improve our organizational communication. 

Coalition Partners as of December 2009

Adventures in Sexuality   * APEX * Albany Power Exchange  *  Baltimore Erotic Arts Festival   *    Boise BDSM Society   *   Black BEAT   *  Black Rose    *    Black Swingers United   *   Club X    *     DFW Power Exchange  *   DLH Productions    *  Eau Claire Munch   *   Evergreen Leather Events *    Fox Valley Coalition *    FIST   *   Friends of Bubba K    *   GShots TV  *  House of Decorum *   IMsL  *    Kasidie    *   Knights of Leather   *    LADs    *   Leather Scouts   *   Leather SINS   *  Leigha Fleming   *   Lesbian Sex Mafia    * Lifestyle Alternatives Centre  *   The Mark by CPI   *   MasterZChicago.com  *    Midwest Alternatives   *    Milwaukee Eastside Munch Group   *   Minnesota Kinky Youth   *   MN Rope   * MSDB   *   MOB   *    *  NLA-OKC   *    New England Dungeon Society   *   New England Leather  Alliance   *  New Mexico Leather League   *   OhioSMART    * Riverbound  * Satyricon *   SINZ Social Networking    *    smOdyssey   *   The Society of Janus   *   South Florida Munch  *   Southern Cross Munch *   Swingers Date Club * TABU Social Club   * T3WD * TIED * Threshold   * Touch of Leather  *   Triangle Munch Group   *  Triple S Group  *  Tulsa Dungeon Society   *  The Eulenspiegel Society   *The Wetspot   *   The Windy City Boys Troop  *  Wood Stocks

Download the pdf

DSM-V in the News

DSM-V in the News

  • The DSM-5 Says Kink is OK!

    The DSM-5 Says Kink is OK!   The American Psychiatric Association has depathologized kinky sex – including cross-dressing, fetishes, and BDSM – in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Now the paraphilias are considered to be “unusual sexual interests,” while those who have sex with children or people who haven’t consented, or who deliberately cause harm to themselves or others, may be diagnosed with a…






    Tags: DSM
  • Press Release - DSM Update 2/16/10

    The APA Paraphilias Subworkgroup Agrees: Kinky is NOT a Diagnosis!






    Tags: DSM
  • Press Release - Kinky is NOT a Diagnosis 02-02-10

    Press Release - Kinky is NOT a Diagnosis






    Tags: DSM Kinky
  • Action Alert - DSM Petition 10/15/09

    Kinky is NOT a Diagnosis Help make history by signing the DSM Revision Petition now! The diagnoses in the DSM-IV-TR still subject people who practice BDSM, fetishes and cross-dressing to bias, discrimination and social sanctions without any scientific basis. We need 3,000 signatures, but we only have 2,200 now. If you don't speak up and call on the American Psychiatric Association to adhere to empirical research when revising the diagnoses…






    Tags: DSM Leather Fetish
  • Press Release - Sweeden Takes Sexual Behaviors Off Their Disease List

    Sweden takes sexual behaviors off their disease list November 25, 2008 - The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare is declassifying sexual behaviors as mental illnesses to avoid strengthening prejudice against the behaviors, the Swedish news service Tidningarnas Telegrambyra reported last week. The diagnoses which will soon disappear from the disease registry include sadomasochism, fetishism, fetishistic transvestitism, transvestitism, gender identity disorder in youth, and multiple disorders of sexual preferences. NCSF…






    Tags: DSM Sexual Behaviors
  • Press Release - NCSF Marching Forward

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE National Coalition for Sexual Freedom     Marching Forward: NCSF proactively advocates for sexual freedom   November 19, 2008 - NCSF is proud to be the only group in the country with a national mission committed to changing the political, legal and social environment for those involved with the BDSM, swing and polyamory communities. The new board of NCSF was voted in at the annual Coalition Partner…






    Tags: DSM Incident Response KAP Media Outreach EOP
  • Action Alert - Religious political extremists attack The Task Force for "Leather Leadership Award"

    February 13, 2008 - The American Family News Network posted an inflammatory article condemning the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force for honoring Guy Baldwin with  their Leather Leadership Award at the 20th National Conference on LGBT Equality:  Creating Change, on February 6-10, 2008 (www.thetaskforce.org). According to the February 7th article: Peter LaBarbera, executive director of Americans for Truth commented that he is  not sure if he is more surprised…






    Tags: DSM Creating Change Conference Task Force Award Leather LGBT
Resources
Learn More about DSM-V
ACT Now - Request a workshop about the DSM Revision project
Request a workshop from our Education Outreach Program on this issue.

DSM-V: We're Making a Difference

  • Over 3000 signatures on DSM-V Revision Petition submitted APA
  • NCSF Letter to the Editor published in Archives of Sexual Behavior
  • NCSF has helped successfully lobby for the new proposed changes to the DSM-V which depathologizes BDSM

About DSM-V Revision Project

The DSM Revision project is attempting to depathologize BDSM in the APA Diagnostic and Statistic Manual.

Goal:
The goal of the DSM-V Revision Project is to keep people from being discriminated against and persecuted because the current APA guidelines say BDSM is indicative of mental illness.

Contact:
Susan Wright
,
NCSF Board Member
Director of the DSM-V Revision Project.
susan@ncsfreedom.org

GIVE Now - Support NCSF DSM Revision work
Help fund education efforts to the APA and therapeutic professionals
JOIN Now - Become a member of the NCSF
Join NCSF and help support our work to depatholigize BDSM