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Life update

As April draws to a close, the tornado of activity that encompassed the last two weeks seems finally to be clearing.  After the three conferences, I immediately started packing all of my belongings, and over the weekend managed to move completely into the new apartment.  The couple of days after that have been filled with work during the day and helping my housemates move in during the evenings.  I love my new home, I love the new neighborhood, and I love my new housemates.

April has been the month of hectic but good changes.

Barely unpacked and having just installed a new bed in my room, I have to start packing once more, this time for a long weekend in Seattle.  The buildup of anticipation over the course of this week has been fairly deliriously heady, intertwined with flashes of memory of my last visit to Max.

Also, a couple weeks ago, a friend from college contacted me out of the blue and told me he was moving to San Francisco, having gotten a job here.  Said friend has now flown in and moved into a sublet in all of three days, and we got together for lunch yesterday.  And all of a sudden, I am struck by how few non-kinky friends I really have left, and I realized that I have to navigate with a little more thought and foresight around this one friend now.

The first flag came when he talked about where he was moving to – the Castro district – and he commented on “how many gays there were.”  I have a feeling he will be dealing with even greater a culture shock than I did when I moved here.  And as happy as I am to reconnect with a good friend from school, I have become so used to being open about my sexuality and kink that it’s going to be hard to censor myself around him.

Truthfully I have become rather spoiled – firstly by nature of being in San Francisco at all, secondly having both my employers be completely aware that I’m kinky, and thirdly now living in a very sexually open and kinky household.  It is easy in this environment to take that openness for granted, but my friend moving here is a good reminder that not everyone in my social circle will know and understand what the rope marks on my arms mean.

Perhaps this will be a good exercise in caution and awareness, because I cannot assume he will want to know about that part of my life, anyway.

In thinking of all of this, I cannot help but be reminded of my friend maymay and the recent attacks made against him by Citizens Against Human Trafficking.  Maymay, a strong sex-education advocate and organizer of the first KinkForAll, was labelled a “child molester” by Donna Hughes and Margaret Brooks for his belief that people of all ages should have access to sexual health and education.

Besides being blatant defamation, the newsletter (as well as subsequent ones, including one open letter to the president of Brown University) is specifically worded to incite rage and disgust and to sensationalize topics such as consensual BDSM and sexual health.  They take the concept of frank, open, and intelligent discussion on sexuality and its relationship to technology, culture, and society and twist it into an event open to sex offenders and children.

That this is happening back in New England, my childhood turf, is a sharp reminder of the conservative upbringing and society in which I was raised.  I am reminded of my high school, where safe spaces for LGBT students seemed like a radical new idea, though as far as I was aware no one was openly out.

Once again, I look at my current situation, living in a kinky queer apartment with amazing people, and it already seems like a foreign lifetime ago that I felt the need to hide my kinky interests, to myself and to others, out of feelings of guilt, fear, and shame.

I have never felt more relieved to have left the East Coast.

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Categories: life lessons, links, reflection, sex
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