Why the Queer Struggle Matters to Kinksters

“When it comes down to it, it’s about solidarity in our stand for sexual freedom, and it’s about knowing what it feels like to be hurt because of whom and how you love.”

From Top to Bottom

So yesterday was National Coming Out Day in the States, and today I’d like write a bit about why the queer struggle for equality is absolutely necessary to the health and vitality of the BDSM community.  The “duh” explanation of this is that any legal and social vindication of sexual rights also supports sexual freedoms in other arenas.  From a common sense perspective, it’s difficult to imagine that a subculture that fully supports cross-dressing for humiliation purposes as well as gender play, the subversion of gender roles of submission/dominance, etc., would turn its face from same-sex partnerships.  For the BDSM community and gay rights, however, the symbiosis goes much deeper than superficial commonalities.

First and foremost, it’s important to remember how much the BDSM scene owes to our gay brothers and sisters.  According to Bienvenu’s 1998 dissertation on kinkster culture, the beginnings of the organized modern scene began in…

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