2021-11-13 ~ Kinky Talks 26: Kinky Activism


Hans Verhoeven gave us a really informative talk about his work as an activist and we had a long (long!) discussion afterwards.

He started with telling us about his activism that he often says: “it begins with a cup of coffee”
Meet people and find out what they are doing and see whether you can team up.

Rainbow Activism by Hans Verhoeven

2021-11-13 Kinky Talk #26 Kinky Activism

Hans teamed up with the Salvation Army in Amsterdam that had a history of feeling for the people in need because of HIV. Out of an honest experience of religion can grow the power to help people in need. Although people can be really close-minded and bigoted because of their religion, others find ways to be a more inclusive church. So they started working together on pride walks and later on finding ways to improve the more inclusive churches.

Look at the uncomfortable truths. Look at the people that have to wait for over 2 years on the waiting lists to have sex-change operations. Have a look at homosexual couples that can not adopt babies because there is legislation that says that only 2 people can take care of a child, not four (as a homosexual couple you’ll need more than two to create new life).

Have a look at the fact that there are still 71 countries in the world where men are not allowed to love other men and women are not allowed to love other women. And we took a hard look at the riots that were organised in Georgia by the politicians and by the church that summoned their followers to come to the Pride walk “and bring rocks, for we are without sin”.

The dangerous World Congress of Families
We had a look at the memes that the ‘oh-so-nice sounding’ “World Congress of Families” use in promoting the hetero couple as the “cornerstone of our society”… Harmless beliefs? But they are having hate speeches and are “building armies” and declaring war on everything that is different from their worldview. So don’t get fooled again.

Jon

Commonwealth Games
Our dear, really restrained, 😉 Mr Leather U.K. Jon Stockton talked to us about the “Commonwealth Games” in Birmingham next year and helped us remind that 34 out of the 53 countries from the Commonwealth still do not have equal rights for gays (and 4 to 5 even have death sentences on same-sex love) and that we should come to protest in Birmingham next year for their motto is “games for everyone”… Yeah right!
34 out of 53 countries have not changed the archaic laws that England has bestowed on them when they became part of the ‘common wealth‘… ages ago.

Hans told us about the “Flags of Shame” march. A march that should be named differently because people don’t want to cooperate. But these are 71 flags of countries that in my eyes should shame themselves for not being able to uphold equal rights for people that love ‘differently’

We should maybe remember that

  • Accepting is step 1
  • Acknowledging is step 2
  • What I do with my fetish/kink/love… who do I share it wih is step 3

There might be a “cycle of tolerance” as Matt said. And where fear gets greater, religion gets more hold on the thought of people, and their tolerance gets less.

Covid and 9/11 have instilled more fear in the hearts of people.
And fear leads people to seek safety in beliefs and churches.
And churches want to consolidate their power by instilling fear of ‘other’ lifestyles such as kink and men loving men.

Hans West

Activism is not something to be taken lightly. Hans talked about having to check in with psychiatrists for being in a war zone like Georgia where people died because of their activism. The local church summoned their followers to meet the pride-march with slogans such as “Bring stones! For we are without Sin!” Police did not help the men that were herded into the United Nations and then had to leave. One of the organisers called them in panic and called them names for not showing up… He is being prosecuted now… while the killers of the cameraman that are on video have not even been investigated yet…Things like this invoke at least strong emotions (at least in me it does) and you can imagine that PTSD-like symptoms as a result of activism like this should be taken seriously.
It also shows that activism is necessary and that we should not take the freedom to love in some parts of the world as being a given. It is not!


Fetishes and other fetishes

Karin talked about her work for the ABDL-fetish and how big it is. 26.000 people (and growing) are following her accounts.

“it’s not a niche. We are just hidden”

Emma
Karin

Karin was advocating visibility as an important tool to help fetishists and she did make the diaper-fetish visible in her one-person-crusade. She thought: “if I want to make this fetish visible… then I should use my energy to get diapers sold in different fetish shops, next to rubber, leather, puppyhoods and whips”. And Hans’s “Underground” and “Mr B” were the first to sell diapers amongst other fetishes.


Activism ‘tips’

I asked for tips for the new generation of activists and Hans V. and Emma talked about:

  • Be loyal to your cause but also be loyal to yourself: Trust the fact that you are able to make a difference!
  • Find your own energy (be angry but convert it into action… dare to love -and convert it into action-) and
  • find your own level where you operate best (activism occurs on different levels)… That may be being extraverted and seeking the media or being more introverted and helping other people.
  • Stay away from the individual stories for they might burden you emotionally in such a way that you couldn’t continue your work.
  • The need for finding your own style and approach. Do not focus on what others do but find your own energy. Be it your anger about what happens somewhere in the world or your love for the people in your community
  • Doing what you are good at and do not try to do everything (refer the people who ask for help to organisations in your network)
  • Get yourself a network! Teaming up with others and finding your network(s) to help people where you can not help them yourself (because that might be too much for one person)
  • Acknowledge your limits and refer people to other people, other networks.
  • Being threatened (online and in real life) is part of your ‘job’ and part of your limits. Take care of yourself: your sanity is important.
  • Make people feel good about themselves: your warmth and friendlyness may be the most important thing for the next generation in your scene.

And like it or not: activism is also about money. People go into shops for information, and those shops make it possible to create information services for the public and pay for trips by people like Hans V. into countries like Georgia that need our support.


The second coming out

Hans V also talked about “the second coming out” where we as kinksters and fetishists are banned from pride walks because we are too visible. Where the fetishists and prostitutes and Queers were the ones that started the Pride walks anyway. It is important to be visible. For if you are not visible and only try to be invisibly blended in, you tend to be forgotten soon.

Get angry and dare to love (#D2L)

Kinky Talks

We talked about the importance of the youngsters and Pup T told us about the importance of being able to be anonymous as a youngster, and about the importance of being welcomed and being not(!) dependent on the ‘right’ expensive gear.

It is not about the gear but about the confidence

Matt

It is important to have groups for youngsters where there is no risk of being prey for the old geezers. On the other hand, there is decent information and honest help from the next generation to be acquired as well. Both are important.

Matt had an interesting idea about viewing Puppyplay as a “metafetish” for it can be in leather, or in Rubber, or in neoprene.

So we talked a bit about the importance of Mr B’s Kink @ Pride that you might want to take a look at:

With conversations with Mr Leather U.K. Jon Stockton and Karin (Ms Fetish Eagle NL).

All in all an emotional and activating evening.
May we have the freedom in the future to talk about Kinks in our Kinky Talks (and remember that this freedom was fought for by activists)

Adalberto & Hans

Published by KinkindeRelatie

A Kink Aware and openminded (relationship) coach. That does not mean you have to talk about kink, but at least here you don't have to be silent about it.

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