Consent > Confidentiality

Last night I had occasion to give my “consent is greater than confidentiality” lecture once again. Kevin Spacey is an extremely high profile example of why this is true. For three decades, Spacey took advantage of people’s moral positions about protecting closeted people’s identities to hide his sexual misconduct and abuse of minors.

A person who has been a victim of sexual abuse has the right to out their victimizer, period. The victimizer’s closeted status as a queer or a kinky person is NEVER greater than the victim’s rights.

Closeting has LONG been a construct that protects abusers in situations where they have more power than the people they abuse.These situations include: cismen dating transwomen in closet situations who commit domestic violence, economic abuse, and sexual violence; child molesters and statutory rapists, closeted bisexual people in down-low relationships with gay/lesbian partners who commit domestic violence, economic abuse, and sexual violence. Grown men who hire underage transgender prostitutes do not have a right to protection from “outing” when it is used to pressure said transgirls into silence and sweep the abuse of underage transwomen under the rug.

The kink community should follow the LGBTQ community’s example and begin to explicitly make the right to closeting / not be outed a right of considerably lesser magnitude than the right to protection from economic, sexual, and domestic abuse.

To refuse to do so is to allow passing privilege to continue to make the most marginalized and vulnerable people unsafe. Further, and this is very important: Transpeople and gay people and lesbians do not OWE IT to straight passing cis people to be available for clandestine hook-ups or down-low relationships and don’t have to “settle for” that kind of relationship, and are allowed to want the same respect and social clout as straight to straight passing people who are in socially condoned mainstream relationships. Queer people in closeted relationships are at a lot greater risk for psychological, physical, emotional, and economic abuse.

~ by Sumiko Saulson on November 23, 2020.

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