Advice - Running Events

Conversations About Race and POC Only Kink Spaces

In an ideal world, we can all turn up to events and not face any racism, misogyny, homophobia or any form of bigotry and we all have a fabulously kinkilicious time. Most spaces are welcoming and event organisers typically do their best to make spaces as inclusive as possible. But sometimes that’s not enough.

POC need to tolerate the fetishising of their cultures and skin colour in kink spaces. We have to pick which battles to fight. We know keeping silent in mixed spaces is far less threatening than calling people out. Like everywhere else in life, daily racism is the status quo. Even as I write this, I’m mindful of what you might think. I can only say so much.

I am active in the POC community, online at least. I run a POC friendly event. As a POC myself, I know the importance of spaces to be explicitly welcoming to people of colour. Like any other minority group, we need to know we will be safe and any incidents of racism will be dealt with. Being anti-racist in your approach, not just against racism is the crucial difference here. Just how proactively willing are you to say We will not tolerate racism in any form and will remove you from the event if you do so in your rules?

Words are the least we can do. Following up and enforcing the rules is where credibility lies. You’ve got to walk your talk. Anyone in a D/s dynamic will know the importance of consistent rule keeping.

But, it’s not enough. When you and your ancestors have suffered persecution and the system you live under depends on the subjugation of your skin colour, you need a place to feel safe. I do. And only in safe spaces can some people feel free to express themselves without fear of being invalidated and our lived experience trivialised. And, for me, I have flourished so much under the guidance and support of POC and the POC only spaces they hold. Shout out to @WhiskyTangoFoxy @MrScott469 and @BitBit22 for your kind unwavering support.

I’ve had several conversations about this topic in recent times. Some POC do not feel the need for those safe spaces. Which is fair enough. Just like some LGBTQ people don’t feel the need for queer only spaces. Some people feel that excluding Eurocentric people from conversations about race or enjoying events run for POC creates a problem and segregation. We all need to have conversations about race. However, there are different conversations that need to happen in different contexts.

If a person of European heritage (white) is hurt by their need to be in a POC only space, then I consider that an act of privilege that is harmful. Boundaries matter. Don’t go where you are not welcome. Some people do not like to be called out on their racism. Navigating that when you just want to say your opinion stifles community and personal growth, even if that is not their intention. It is not for the privileged to decide how the oppressed should hold conversations. It is not for the privileged to extend their power by denying some POC of the space they need. To me, that is an act of psychological violence. We would never ask a survivor of abuse to allow their abuser in their group therapy sessions.

The solution?

These are the different conversations that need to happen:

  1. In mixed spaces, we talk about how to make spaces safe for POC and set clear rules around this. POC can share what they know from conversations with POC in their POC only safe spaces.
  2. In POC only spaces, we give each other the ability to take some of our burden off our chest and share our pain. This will help us feel validation and acceptance. We offer support where it is needed. We also share ideas of how to overcome the barriers we face, with practical steps. We can then go back to mixed spaces with knowledge and skills to engage in debates fruitfully.

That’s my perspective on this issue.

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