It bears repeating that allowing intolerance isn’t the same as showing tolerance to all voices. Allowing voices of hate to have their podium only allows intolerance to spread and create an environment not safe for all, but only a few. Having a safe community means having the stones to back it up and defend your values.
When Kinkly posted their Sexblogging Superheroes list this past week, there were a few names on the list that many were surprised to find among them. Bloggers who had, earlier this year, been called out for transphobic remarks in public view, and had even demerited a story entry on the basis of transphobia. While those people were called out, others defended their response calling it a matter of ‘personal taste’. And in the past week, there have been more cases of transphobic remarks, misgendering, and deadnaming within Kinkly’s own comment threads and was met with zero action. A week afterwards, Kinkly posted a Twitter thread issuing a non-apology for choosing to take no action on this issue.
Last week, when our Sex Blogging Superheroes was released, accusations came out against certain bloggers. After careful consideration and deliberation, we do not feel comfortable removing these bloggers from the Superheroes list. … Continued in thread 1/5— kinkly (@kinkly) November 12, 2020
I wish I could say I was surprised, or shocked by this news. I wish I could say that this was a new low for this company, but it’s become something more on par with what I often see from companies and communities just like this when an issue of inclusivity arises. I can’t understand if the issue is the backlash from creating controversy, or an unwilling inclination to become involved, or if they’re too afraid to actually take the stance they printed into their creed. There is a right way to go about this.
As I mentioned on Twitter, half of the information needed to do something actionable was already right there under their noses. It’s understandable to be unable to monitor all of social media, especially when you have a directory of hundreds, but the information was brought to them directly. They only had to look at their own comments for evidence. An interview with those involved could have provided a wealth of insight into recent events. I’ve known a few companies who made enough effort to launch a full investigation, took actions to fix grievances, reported back to their followers, and took steps to prevent further cases. It can be done.
A couple years ago, I was in a low place, as a writer. It was validating to have gotten some recognition, and it gave me some hope that I was doing something right. But this year, after witnessing the transphobic comments towards people who just want to fucking exist, as well as some of the language Kinky used to identify some of it’s contributors, that badge just doesn’t seem to hold that same value anymore. I’m sorry, but I can’t hold Kinkly in the same regard I did earlier. I have formally asked Kinkly to remove my blog from their directory, and I won’t be representing them again.
However, there are good people, and fantastic bloggers with some awesome content that deserve some promotion. Bloggers who were also with Kinkly, and have likewise left. I’ll need to put in some work to change to change my links and add some people who haven’t been featured yet. We need Trans voices. We need BIPOC voices. We need the voices of everyone who has been made to feel like their voice doesn’t matter. We need to hear them so we can acknowledge that everything is not ok, and certain behaviors and comments are not acceptable. We need to listen because we need to start making better decisions moving forward.
Finally, I want to say that this blog will always be inclusive and queer-friendly. If I, or anyone you see here, does or says anything that does not appear inclusive or correct, I invite you to let me know. I will get to the bottom of it, and I will improve. I want to be better
Banner image by Violet Fawkes.