We are Family.
I’ve been “out” as someone a bit bent pretty much since I realized it was a reality for me. My friends all had similar reactions: eye-rolling and “Yeah…and?” Â The only raised eyebrows I ever got were in reaction to my follow-up revelation that I was submissive. Everyone assumed I would be the one throwing the whips, not the one kneeling in obedient submission.
Hey, not everyone understands, right off the bat, how hardcore ya gotta be to be submissive or engage in consensual slavery!
I came out to my Mother around…I dunno…2002? It was in the course of a discussion where we talked about a lot of buried history, some old stories, some long-buried issues that rolled to the surface and we put to rest some old bitterness that I had only shortly before figured out how to untangle and let float away.
Mom asked me, specifically, a question thatÂ wouldÂ lead to my outing myself about being involved in kink. Before delving into the deep-end, I let her know that my response to her queryÂ wouldÂ open up some areas of my personal life she might find to be more info than she wanted. She verified sh was in it to win it, and so out of the bag came the cats.
I never had a fear about being “out” online. Â I have no kids, my life-path leads me in such a direction that I can make a point of being out, to represent those of us who lead alternative lifestyles and cannot be as free as I am able to be. Â Social media, as powerful a tool as it is, has also lead to some moments of disappointment. Â I’ve had some friends and family who have declined toÂ maintainÂ public friendship with me, because they don’t want to have the guilt by association of being my “friend.” Â Most disappointing was when several kinky friends removed me from their friend’s list because they weren’t out to their family and “didn’t want to explain to my parents how I know someone like you.”
That, byÂ theÂ way, is an almost verbatim quote fromÂ someoneÂ I once called a friend, who is married to someone also involved in the BDSM community. To say I have issues with that type of attitude barelyÂ coversÂ my feelings.
All this is to say I was scanning my Facebook page and realized I now have two people listed as “Family” there. That number has been higher. And that column has been empty before.
All this is to say, thank you.
I cannot take for granted that it is a unique honor to be fully myself across the board. I don’t have to “change gears.” Â I don’t wring my hands worrying about what my “vanilla friends” would think of me. Â My friends are lawyers, doctors, ministers, rabbis and priests, social workers and sex workers, writers, actors, singers dancers, bankers and geeks and nerds and everything in between, and I trust them to love and care for me, regardless.
On Christmas Day, I wound up having a good long chat with my Mother. It started off as a catch-up thing. Â I wound up sharing with her some tough stuffI’ve been processing of late. And she listened with sympathy, and helped me ground myself again. In the course of our talk I had a realization that I our relationship has had many switchbacks, but that I now chose to be in her life. I though it might seem weird to say so, but I’m trying out this honesty thing. Â I shared with her that, despite the ups andÂ downÂ and out0and-out-outs our relationship has had, I was very happy that now? We choose to be in one another’s lives. Not because of the obligation of blood, but because we see past that to genuine love bolstered by choice. Â I was a bit surprised to hear that sentiment echoed back. “There sure are times I’ve said ‘I don’t get that kid!’ but I am glad we can chose to be in each other’s lives.”
I have to say “thank you” to all of the people who stand by me, regardless of who I am. Â My friends and my family, the one into which I was born, and the family I have chosen, set the bar pretty fucking high. You all inspire me. You set an example for those who have people in their lives who walk narrow, thorny paths. Â You challenge those who reject others based on their lifestyles or who they are. You challenge them by loving unconditionally.
So thanks again, to my sister and my cousin, and to my friends who ARE willing to say “Yeah, my friend is kinky. And I love her.” Â I love you, each and every day.
Facebook is a VERY touchy place to be whether you’re kinky or a blogger. Especially a blogger, like me. I have two FB profiles – a blog me and the offline me. I try extremely hard not to let the two mix. If there are FB friends who are also blogger friends and they do not have separate profiles it gets a bit hairy for me personally. My concern is solely based on the off chance that family member would click over to the blogger friend’s profile and then to their blog and then somehow find me. It’s a long shot…. I know. But it’s enough of a long shot that forces me to draw lines that those who are out don’t understand or like.
I understand that people have varying levels of need and desire for privacy. Which is why I consider myself in a very fortunate position! I appreciate that there are people who choose to keep their sexuality out of the public eye. My hope is that those who CAN live lives where they don’t hide themselves do so, with pride. I have the feeling that, in the same way it is critical for people who are gay to live pridefully, persecution and shame around a Leather )or kink or poly or …or…or etc) won’t abate until we drop our shame and reluctance to be who we are. I was afraid to come out to my Mom, but I am not willing to live what I consider to be an inauthentic life, so I made the choice. I have friends who have endured repercussions that were painful to them by coming out. But because they did it on their own terms? It became empowering.
This is so hard, Mo. I’m gonna be staring at this for awhile. I’ve got separate Facebook profiles with zero friends in common to keep those worlds apart and I’ve specifically asked my mom NOT to read my Twitter. She said something recently about me being a cool chick and wanting to be my friend that hurt so bad and made me want to open up, but I guess the bottom line is that I still don’t trust those people, any of them.
I dunno. I guess once you’ve had the shit beaten out of you for trying to be yourself it gets kind of hard to trust after that. I don’t know what to do. But thanks for sharing that it can work out. I need to meditate on that, I think. I already don’t care to talk to several members of my family – I’m not sure what would really change other than the level of gossip (and prayers) would increase (hopefully behind my back).
I’m also conflicted about having my stage name be in any kind of way linked to my legal identity. My phone sex clients have proved themselves to be scary ass stalker fucks in the past and I’d rather limit that ammunition.
Complicated shit is complicated, yo. But I *did* manage to re-come out to my mom as poly again now I’ve got a new partner, and that went well, so… maybe there’s hope for a totally out and integrated identity after all. Who knows. Thanks for the brain food. Take care.
Thanks for sharing this. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have that type of energy coming at you! And therein likes my determination to be out: because my hope is that I can rep the folks who cannot. Its quite awesome that you were able to share about your life with your Mom…and that she gets your coolness and wants to be a part of that :-)