A couple months ago, a short guide to blogging about BDSM “safely” was published by an anonymous blogger. The main point she made was that, “With all the myths about BDSM out there, being involved in this lifestyle could get you fired or disinherited or make you lose custody of your children,” and so BDSM bloggers need to protect their identity.

The blogger cited Clarisse Thorn’s post about outness, a topic inspired by the uncompromising and principled transparency offered at KinkForAll. In the comment thread, Clarisse cited me as the only blogger she knew who ever writes about BDSM without fear of linking my legal name to my nickname or pseudonym:

Yeah … it’s a sad conundrum. I only know one kink blogger who doesn’t write under a pseudonym—[…] maymay, who blogs at maybemaimed.com—and he’s been personally attacked for it. He’s lucky because he has an easily freelanceable job in a highly kink-tolerant field (programming). I’d like to collapse my pseudonym someday, but I don’t know if I’ll ever feel safe enough.

It’s an interesting post. It also inspired me to write this comment, which I think is valuable enough to share here, too:

For what it’s worth, I’m not out just for me, I’m also out for you. That is, choosing to desegregate my legal name from my nickname/pseudonym with regards to my BDSM and other sexuality writings is a political act. Only when enough of us come out of the closet will we gain the political power necessary to effect the social change that brings acceptance from the hegemony to the undercultures we thrive in.

Until then, you will never be safe, not out of the closet, and certainly not in the closet, despite how much more comfortable it may feel to you to be pseudonymous for now. Being out of the closet makes me safer.

Also, it should perhaps be noted that I’m not simply “lucky,” although I certainly am fortunate. I worked damn hard to create a situation for myself that allowed me to be out about who I am authentically, to live the way I want to live (economically, socially, and otherwise), and that this was not an easy or an uncomplicated path, nor a task that can genuinely be called “done” at any given moment. My goal in doing this is singularly directed: to make it easier for the next person who wants to live an authentic life out of the closet to do so.

Anyway, in the mean time, you may find my blog post about online reputation management for sex bloggers worthwhile reading.

It’s vital that you understand this, not for my sake, but for your own. Living as though you already have the freedom you want to create is the single most powerful way to bring that freedom to fruition for yourself, for your friends, and for our collective future. Postpone this reality at your own peril.

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