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Old 04-23-2013, 04:10 PM   #1
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Are You Out?

I'm interested in peoples' reactions (well, society's reactions, but society is, after all, made up of people) to the BDSM community and BDSM lifestyle.

So: Are you "out" as being involved in BDSM to anyone in the vanilla world? Or have you been outed? If so, what was the initial reaction of the people (or person) you came out to? Have those initial reactions changed over time? If you aren't out, what are the concerns or fears that keep you from revealing your sexual predilections?

Personally, I have, thus far, come out to only one person in my "real" (as opposed to online; I wish there was a better term for it as I consider my activities online to be quite real) life. Her reaction was ... interesting, to say the least. She was fascinated by my interests and even interested in engaging in some BDSM activity with her boyfriend (husband-in-all-but-name) after we had discussed it for a while. Not turned off by the idea at all, in fact.
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:16 PM   #2
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I think this thread may be of help
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:58 PM   #3
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Interesting. I never really thought it was something to be in or out about. I've never tried to hide it or advertise it. I've always believed that one's sex life isn't something you bring up in casual conversation, of course...whatever that sex life is...vanilla/bdsm, gay/straight...whatever. With people I consider friends I'm more or less open about being kinky if the topic of sex comes up and details are exchanged. I don't usually trade details though...any more than vanillas share the details of their sexual experiences.

Although I will say that some ex coworkers that knew about it recently made me re-examine this outlook a bit. They started making fun of it on my fb. Said some really stupid, disgusting things that they, I guess, thought were harmless jokes. It's interesting how the people that aren't into bdsm have a list of assumptions they make about us. They assume we're all into being beaten, tied up, etc...things they see in comedy B movies. Some of them...for god knows what reason assume the most sordid and gross things one can imagine. How they think making such indelicate remarks so publicly is ok is beyond me. Of course, I had to delete their posts. As much as censorship makes me feel all icky I can't have people saying such vile shit where my family can see it.

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Old 04-23-2013, 09:54 PM   #4
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Interesting. I never really thought it was something to be in or out about. I've never tried to hide it or advertise it. I've always believed that one's sex life isn't something you bring up in casual conversation, of course...whatever that sex life is...vanilla/bdsm, gay/straight...whatever. With people I consider friends I'm more or less open about being kinky if the topic of sex comes up and details are exchanged. I don't usually trade details though...any more than vanillas share the details of their sexual experiences.

Although I will say that some ex coworkers that knew about it recently made me re-examine this outlook a bit. They started making fun of it on my fb. Said some really stupid, disgusting things that they, I guess, thought were harmless jokes. It's interesting how the people that aren't into bdsm have a list of assumptions they make about us. They assume we're all into being beaten, tied up, etc...things they see in comedy B movies. Some of them...for god knows what reason assume the most sordid and gross things one can imagine. How they think making such indelicate remarks so publicly is ok is beyond me. Of course, I had to delete their posts. As much as censorship makes me feel all icky I can't have people saying such vile shit where my family can see it.
In today's social network interverse, with no real thought controlling what many people let run through their fingers onto the eternal virtual pages, one has to consider carefully what one wishes to share with "real-life" people over whom one has no control.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:15 PM   #5
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I'm out to my mother. She lost her shit and told me that I was stupid for not being the one to wear the pants in the family. I'm out to my husband, came out to him while we were dating. I guess he doesn't mind since he put a ring on it anyway.

My mother's reaction? Wel...This coming from a woman who has emotionally neglected and emasculated my father for the last 30 years. So I didn't really take her freakout seriously, since anything other than being in total control and taking advantage of everyone around her isn't good enough for her.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:25 PM   #6
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In today's social network interverse, with no real thought controlling what many people let run through their fingers onto the eternal virtual pages, one has to consider carefully what one wishes to share with "real-life" people over whom one has no control.
He has control, he exercised it; he deleted their remarks and possibly blocked the more egregious offenders.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:28 PM   #7
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I'm out ... ish. My siblings and my friends know I'm kinky. They kinda found out after my best friends daughter found my shackles, and locked herself in them, when the key was at the other house (we were in the middle of a move). They think I'm weird, but don't really care. I'm not out to my mom, and my dad is dead. I don't even intend to be out to my mom because, among other things, it's none of her business.

My sibs know because after I had to spend several hours debugging computers that had obviously been spending time at kinky sites and picking up spyware and the like, I took it upon myself to lecture them on safe places to look at porn.

ETA: My littlest sib doesn't know. She's 19, and looks at me like a mother. I think it would traumatize her. And, I kinda enjoy the giggle I get when she tries to tell me she's done stuff I've never even heard of.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:55 PM   #8
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People in my workplace are aware I like to play kinky, and aside from the stupid jokes that everyone makes about everything, they couldn't care less. Occasionally one of them might ask a genuinely curious question, but beyond that...nup, not an issue.

My close friends know a bit more, but again details aren't really discussed unless we're having open talks about our sex lives for support and advice.


My mum knows everything. I have talked to her about a whole range of BDSM topics in minute detail. I discovered my mum and dad play a little on the kinky side, and my mum has been coming to me for support and advice and a good giggle ever since. I can honestly say I've done more to help my parent's marriage in the last couple of years since mum came out to me. Not even her closest friends of 30 years know this about her, and I cherish the closeness it gives us.


Other casual acquaintances have no idea and I would never raise it in even the most oblique way.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:19 PM   #9
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and possibly blocked the more egregious offenders.
Yup...the one that insinuated that scat was one of my hobbies got defriended.


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My mum knows everything. I have talked to her about a whole range of BDSM topics in minute detail. I discovered my mum and dad play a little on the kinky side, and my mum has been coming to me for support and advice and a good giggle ever since. I can honestly say I've done more to help my parent's marriage in the last couple of years since mum came out to me. Not even her closest friends of 30 years know this about her, and I cherish the closeness it gives us.
Wow...yeah that's totally out of reach for me lol. I know it's probably hypocritical but I think if my mother talked to me about getting kinky with my father I'd probably faint.

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Old 04-24-2013, 03:49 AM   #10
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In today's social network interverse, with no real thought controlling what many people let run through their fingers onto the eternal virtual pages, one has to consider carefully what one wishes to share with "real-life" people over whom one has no control.
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He has control, he exercised it; he deleted their remarks and possibly blocked the more egregious offenders.
Sorry, Stella, I was unclear in my post. I meant that the posters who put the unwelcome comments on his FB page were the ones with no thought controlling what they posted, not Vlad.

It's kind of the verbal diarrhea/logorrhea comment we used to make about people who had no censor between their (what passed for a) brain and their tongues. Now I guess it's digital diarrhea (and appropriately so, since the unfriended person he mentioned had listed scat as one of his (Vlad's) hobbies).
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:00 AM   #11
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I have some friends in Germany with whom I interact regularly online but because of the distance, only meet occasionally in RL. I suspect they are in the lifestyle although we've never discussed it and I think they have their suspicions about me. The only thing is that, because my husband is a quiet contained man, they have assumed I am the Domme and have taken to calling me Mistress. I'm not quite sure what to do about it because to correct their mistake, I would have to come out and I'm not sure I'm ready to. I just pretend I don't understand the reference.

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Old 04-24-2013, 09:14 AM   #12
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My best friend knows, but she is just as kinky. My other half knows but I think he is in denial. He steers clear of the toy drawer.... My mother well, hmm I think she knows on a subconcious level, and I know she is, I saw the pictures....( it still tramatizes me) Its not that what she was doing was bad, I just didn't want to see that much of my mother.

People at work do not know, will not know either. I have a general public facebook, friends , family and co workers can see. I also have a private fb that a few select friends and other kinksters know about.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:46 PM   #13
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I also don't think this is something to be "out" about. I don't get it.
I think if my family, or most of my friends told me about their sex life (BDSM or otherwise) I wouldn't care to hear it. Some things should stay private. What? Are you bragging? Why the need to broadcast it?

My only exception is, my best friend who I tell when I go to a play party or fetish party for safety reasons. But I also tell him when I meet an internet date, for the same reasons.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:47 PM   #14
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I read a story on Fet about a guy who lost his job because someone found his Fet profile. So, yeah, be very careful.
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:22 PM   #15
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I also don't think this is something to be "out" about. I don't get it.
I think if my family, or most of my friends told me about their sex life (BDSM or otherwise) I wouldn't care to hear it. Some things should stay private. What? Are you bragging? Why the need to broadcast it?

My only exception is, my best friend who I tell when I go to a play party or fetish party for safety reasons. But I also tell him when I meet an internet date, for the same reasons.
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I read a story on Fet about a guy who lost his job because someone found his Fet profile. So, yeah, be very careful.
Hmmm. This is an interesting viewpoint, and one with which I can't completely disagree. I also, for one, am never, ever, ever going to discuss my sexuality with my parents or, most likely, with other family members.

The big concern I have here is that I keep seeing and hearing stories about people losing jobs or otherwise being discriminated against due to their proclivities coming out, either accidentally or due to somebody's maliciousness. Your second comment isn't the first of that sort that I've seen, and frankly, the attitudes behind that sort of story remind me strongly of the struggles a lot of gay people first had when they started coming out of the closet and demanding their rights regarding housing, job discrimination, etc., and still, to a great extent, suffer through to this day.

And the thing is, there's obviously a huge interest in BDSM, despite the acts of discrimination that often seem to follow people who are outed against their wills. Fifty Shades and its sequels, despite being fairly lousy depictions of the lifestyle, would not have been nearly so popular had people not been fascinated with the subject. The National Institutes of Health wouldn't have been able to report a recent study saying that 62% of women have had at least one rape fantasy in their lives, and 14% have one at least once a week, were there not huge interest in the BDSM lifestyle, even those parts of it that, if they were performed without all participants' willing cooperation, would be among the most heinous of crimes.

So I worry that, so long as we (as a community) keep saying "this isn't something to be 'out' about," we will continue to be discriminated against when and if our preferences are discovered. On the other hand, I worry about the consequences to me, personally, were my preferences to become public knowledge.

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Old 04-24-2013, 03:32 PM   #16
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I wonder if the question of how his profile was found came up...
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:24 PM   #17
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Hmmm. This is an interesting viewpoint, and one with which I can't completely disagree. I also, for one, am never, ever, ever going to discuss my sexuality with my parents or, most likely, with other family members.

The big concern I have here is that I keep seeing and hearing stories about people losing jobs or otherwise being discriminated against due to their proclivities coming out, either accidentally or due to somebody's maliciousness. Your second comment isn't the first of that sort that I've seen, and frankly, the attitudes behind that sort of story remind me strongly of the struggles a lot of gay people first had when they started coming out of the closet and demanding their rights regarding housing, job discrimination, etc., and still, to a great extent, suffer through to this day.

And the thing is, there's obviously a huge interest in BDSM, despite the acts of discrimination that often seem to follow people who are outed against their wills. Fifty Shades and its sequels, despite being fairly lousy depictions of the lifestyle, would not have been nearly so popular had people not been fascinated with the subject. The National Institutes of Health wouldn't have been able to report a recent study saying that 62% of women have had at least one rape fantasy in their lives, and 14% have one at least once a week, were there not huge interest in the BDSM lifestyle, even those parts of it that, if they were performed without all participants' willing cooperation, would be among the most heinous of crimes.

So I worry that, so long as we (as a community) keep saying "this isn't something to be 'out' about," we will continue to be discriminated against when and if our preferences are discovered. On the other hand, I worry about the consequences to me, personally, were my preferences to become public knowledge.

I agree with your last statement, however, I also believe some people share too much online. It's an easy thing to do. I've seen people's Fet pics and been surprised to see EVERYTHING..... More than everything. Some are young girls too, these actions could easily bite them in the ass later and for what? Some attention?
It's also easy to make a fake Fet without photos and see other's profiles.
People have been fired for posing in magazines or doing porn too, even though they needed the money.

I guess my opinion is, have some descretion. I think we need a bit more these days.
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:33 PM   #18
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I've been thinking about the guy who lost his job because of his Fetlife profile, and I'm wondering what grounds that gives for sacking someone?

I would have a hard time convincing an employment tribunal that I had any right to go searching online for information regarding the private lives of my employees, as it has no relevance to their work? I can understand employees being reprimanded if they post online that they were actually just hungover when they called in sick, because that impacts on their performance and may add additional work onto their colleagues, but their sex lives are irrelevant to my company, whatever flavour they prefer. I can only assume that whatever the guy did, it must have been of a nature that could be adversely affected by "scandal"
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:44 PM   #19
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I've been thinking about the guy who lost his job because of his Fetlife profile, and I'm wondering what grounds that gives for sacking someone?

I would have a hard time convincing an employment tribunal that I had any right to go searching online for information regarding the private lives of my employees, as it has no relevance to their work? I can understand employees being reprimanded if they post online that they were actually just hungover when they called in sick, because that impacts on their performance and may add additional work onto their colleagues, but their sex lives are irrelevant to my company, whatever flavour they prefer. I can only assume that whatever the guy did, it must have been of a nature that could be adversely affected by "scandal"
Are you kidding?
First of all, in many states, an employer can fire you for almost any reason (right to work) and they also have moral standards for employees. I know people who were fired for Facebook statuses (and nothing kinky either) I've seen many similar news stories too.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:02 PM   #20
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Are you kidding?
First of all, in many states, an employer can fire you for almost any reason (right to work) and they also have moral standards for employees. I know people who were fired for Facebook statuses (and nothing kinky either) I've seen many similar news stories too.
In the UK there are very strict laws protecting the rights of the employee. If they feel they have been unfairly dismissed, they appeal to an employment tribunal. If it is found that the employer did not follow correct procedure, even if the employee deserved to be sacked, then the damages awarded can be as much as £50000 plus the employee has the right to demand to be reinstated.

Unless the employer could justify the invasion of privacy to get the information in the first place (although online, the employer would probably have to go looking), together with proof of the harm that it could cause to the company (????), it wouldn't be worth the risk.

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Old 04-24-2013, 05:22 PM   #21
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In the UK there are very strict laws protecting the rights of the employee. If they feel they have been unfairly dismissed, they appeal to an employment tribunal. If it is found that the employer did not follow correct procedure, even if the employee deserved to be sacked, then the damages awarded can be as much as £50000 plus the employee has the right to demand to be reinstated.

I had an employee who I knew was stealing goods from my company. I was advised by my lawyer that I had to have irrefutable evidence that he had stolen on at least 3 separate occasions before I could be safe to sack him without risking a tribunal. A few years ago, there was a case where a security guard was caught on CCTV coming out of pub, roaring drunk, and falling asleep on a pool table in the company restroom. He took his employers to a tribunal because he claimed he was unwell, not drunk, and they had no right to sack him. Although he lost, the company still racked up £10k in legal fees.

I support the rights of employees against summary dismissal and I can see why the law is there. Unfortunately, it can go a little too far the other way at times.
I really don't know UK laws at all. I do know there are extremes over here in the US too. Teachers with years of documented abuse complaints able to keep their jobs, and waiters fired for a facebook status complaining about a tip.
I just know the world isn't a tolerant place in general. Think before you post. This Internet world is fairly new. We've probably all posted/sent TMI.
In fact I just saw a show about these new websites where guys upload ex girlfriend's nude photos. The women have no recourse. These sites are legal. One lawyer said, "the laws can't keep up with how fast the Internet is evolving" Meanwhile these women are dealing with people recognizing them... naked.
Sometimes I'm shocked at the photos here although I don't go to AmPics much.
Again, descretion.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:26 PM   #22
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I really don't know UK laws at all. I do know there are extremes over here in the US too. Teachers with years of documented abuse complaints able to keep their jobs, and waiters fired for a facebook status complaining about a tip.
I just know the world isn't a tolerant place in general. Think before you post. This Internet world is fairly new. We've probably all posted/sent TMI.
In fact I just saw a show about these new websites where guys upload ex girlfriend's nude photos. The women have no recourse. These sites are legal. One lawyer said, "the laws can't keep up with how fast the Internet is evolving" Meanwhile these women are dealing with people recognizing them... naked.
Sometimes I'm shocked at the photos here although I don't go to AmPics much.
Again, descretion.
Just from an employers perspective again, I don't really want to know about my employees sex lives, whatever the nature! That said, I think it would cause me problems from a respect point of view of they knew all there is to know about me. So yes, discretion is vital.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:28 PM   #23
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I also don't think this is something to be "out" about. I don't get it.
I think if my family, or most of my friends told me about their sex life (BDSM or otherwise) I wouldn't care to hear it. Some things should stay private. What? Are you bragging? Why the need to broadcast it?
I couldn't agree more. I surely don't want to know about my Father and Mother's sex life, nor do I want to hear about my Mother's sex life with her numerous male friends in the 13 years she's been divorced from my Father. It's hard enough knowing that my Father couldn't keep his goddamned dick in his pants for the 18 years he was married to my Mother.

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Originally Posted by grinner666 View Post
Your second comment isn't the first of that sort that I've seen, and frankly, the attitudes behind that sort of story remind me strongly of the struggles a lot of gay people first had when they started coming out of the closet and demanding their rights regarding housing, job discrimination, etc., and still, to a great extent, suffer through to this day.
Sexual orientation is not the same as sex, nor is it for most of us a choice. It is not at all the same as BDSM. I do believe in equal rights and I think no matter what anyone's life style is as long as it's legal and consensual it should never be a cause for discrimination regarding jobs, housing nor any other right. But BDSM is a private matter, where my being a lesbian is not, not any more so than you being a hetero. I suppose I could stay in the closet but being I'm married and we have 2 children who address us as mommy and mom it's impossible to hide, not that I would if I could.

The BDSM part of our life, which we are new to, is a choice, it's private. It's not necessary for us to reveal this to anyone, nor is not publically revealing it an issue of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness, whereas my sexual orientation is.

Yes I do resent the comparison, I resent that some in the BDSM community, like you, say it is the same issue, it's not!
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:20 PM   #24
VladHarkonnen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyslexicea View Post

The BDSM part of our life, which we are new to, is a choice, it's private. It's not necessary for us to reveal this to anyone, nor is not publically revealing it an issue of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness, whereas my sexual orientation is.

Yes I do resent the comparison, I resent that some in the BDSM community, like you, say it is the same issue, it's not!
The only instance I can see it being a choice is if you're into bdsm because you're doing it to please someone else. I can't help that power exchanges and ceremony intermingled in my sex is what truly fulfills me any more than a gay man is fulfilled by sex with another man. In this, at least, it very much is the same issue. Just like someone whose gay, I've always been this way. At age 4 I was rubbing myself against the floor dreaming about being dom'd by Natasha Fatale and it only snowballed from there.

Now, as to the root causes behind why I am the way I am...I concede that they might be based more in psychology than something genetic as it is with being gay or straight. I really don't know. Maybe it would make an interesting study...

I agree that bdsm is separate in that it is a way of having sex. Gays have to give their sexual orientations away because they show up at the company picnic with their same sex partners. If I show up with my "Mistress" she's not going to be wearing her leather corset and thigh high boots.
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:24 PM   #25
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I was "outted" by a former co-worker (as she was being fired). That was fun (awkward). The crazy thing is that now everyone assumes my private life is waaaaaaaaaay stranger than it is.

My ex used vague knowledge (I suspect from Internet stalking) to threaten me during extended divorce issues last year. Also fun.

And most recently, I was counseled to not refer to my partner[s] as "partner[s]", because A) people might assume I'm gay and B) equally acknowledging the people I love equally, isn't appropriate.

Sigh.

I try very hard to stay under the radar, while remaining true to myself, but ye gods. The last few years have taught me to stay as closed as possible.
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