Holliday's ex-husband is suing to modify the custody agreement they settled on for their ten-year-old child. They'd been splitting custody half-and-half since their 2003 divorce. ..
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is a Baltimore-based group that advocates on behalf of alternative sexuality. The NCSF's Susan Wright says that the group advises people with alternative preferences when they run across legal challenges based on their identities. They've been aware of Holliday's case for some time now.
The group tracks instances of people seeking their help and advocacy. Over the past few years, Wright says, NCSF logs about 500 such incidents each year, about a third of those concerning divorce and custody issues.
In about half of those, she says, the kinky parent is able to retain custody. "As of about five years ago, it was 80/20," in favor of the non-kinky parent, Wright says. She touts the coalition's outreach, better research and efforts to take kinky sexual behaviors out of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the psychiatric bible that codifies what behaviors should be considered pathological -- and which shouldn't.
"Once you've had child custody challenged, the best way to respond is to gather materials to educate the family court about what the lifestyle is -- that it doesn't involve children, but involves consenting adults and negotiation," says Wright. "We try to take out the element of a person's sexual behavior."
The group also maintains a database of "kink-aware professionals:" lawyers, doctors, psychiatrists and others who are already familiar with BDSM practices and as such won't need to be educated on exactly what their clients are up to, or why. They can provide attorneys with findings in peer-reviewed journals that make clear that consenting adults being rough with one another in the bedroom make just as capable parents as adults who do it missionary-style with the lights off.
After revealing her identity in an RFT feature and on her blog, Kendra Holliday expected fallout. After all, the blog she'd maintained anonymously for years, www.thebeautifulkind.com, features an explicit peek into her sex-positive world filled with lovers, sex toys and BDSM.
Right away she found a great deal of support and criticism, both online and in real life -- commenters on our story called her everything from a hero to a whore. Some parents of her child's classmates shunned her. ...
Riverfront Times Kendra Holliday is a total slut. Go right ahead and say it — she does. She's not hiding from it anymore.
In some ways, she's always been honest about it. She's unflinchingly blogged every detail of her sex life for years — she's a bisexual, polyamorous, joyously partnered divorced mother, living and writing and fucking (and yeah, it's a lot of fucking) in St. Louis. Her blog, www.thebeautifulkind.com, details all of it. It has made her into a celebrity of sorts. It has cost her a job. She's called it her second partner.
But she's been hiding in plain sight, going to great pains to conceal her name, face and identity on the blog — even as she exhorts her readers to "be open and honest." The blog has become a safe space for sex-positive readers in St. Louis and all over the world to come together. It's created a virtual community, and Holliday and some of her kinky friends want to take that momentum and push the Midwest forward into greater sexual freedom and openness.
And it's hard to do that when you're hiding. So Holliday is coming out. ... The situation is definitely complicated. Susan Wright of the Baltimore-based National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, a nonprofit that helps protect the rights of people with alternative sexual interests, applauds Holliday's decision to out herself.
"When people knew people who were gay and were able to think of them as their friends and family, they could think of them outside the stereotype," she says. "We need to get the help of the bulk of Americans who really don't care about other peoples' sex lives, so we can fight against the people who want to legislate morality." But Wright, along with others, can see the point in staying hidden.
"I would use as a caveat: If you are a parent of a child under eighteen, don't come out," Wright says. "You could have a great relationship with your ex — once you go public, they could get blowback from people in their lives and try to get custody. I would discourage it, but I admire it and support her wholeheartedly."