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UncategorizedThe Gay Shame 3 are out -- and questioning...

The Gay Shame 3 are out — and questioning Kink.com’s version of events

Prisca Carpenter, who was arrested Saturday night, said she saw no protester violence
Prisca Carpenter, who was arrested Saturday night, said she saw no protester violence

By Tim Redmond

JULY 3, 2014 — The three queer activists who spent time in jail after a protest over a “prison fantasy” party have been released, with the charges in abeyance — for now.

And while Rebecca Luisa Ruiz-Lichter, Prisca Carpenter, and Sarai Robles-Mendez are not talking about the specifics of the charges against them, Carpenter was happy to tell me that the version of the story the cops and Kink.com are telling bears no resemblance to what she saw that night.

The Gay Shame 3 aren’t entirely in the clear yet — after three days behind bars, they were released pending further investigation, and charges could still be filed anytime in the next year.

But if the police and district attorney had any evidence at all to support the allegations that the three were involved in assault with a deadly weapon or resisting arrest, they would have filed already. The three were arrested based on the identification of a Kink.com security guard, who was able to give at best vague descriptions that would never hold up in court.

What’s interesting to me is the account that a Kink spokesman gave me, and the police repeated, that the demonstration Saturday night turned violent, with one protester using a slingshot to attack the Kink fortress and another punching a security guard in the stomach.

Rebecca Luisa Ruiz-Lichter was among those jailed and released
Rebecca Luisa Ruiz-Lichter was among those jailed and released

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Our reporter on the scene, Erin McElroy, saw none of that. And when I talked to Carpenter, she agreed:

“It was all nonviolent,” she told me. She said she never saw anyone with a slingshot, never saw anyone throwing vegetables, never saw anyone punch a security guard.

Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, but so far I have not heard from a single witness who was there that night who saw any violence.

I think most of us can agree with this sentiment
I think most of us can agree with this sentiment

At least, not any protester violence.

Carpenter, who apparently met the description given by a guard, was “tackled to the ground and handcuffed,” she told me. “The police never told me what the charges were, they had no idea.”

She was held at Mission Station until about 5am — still without being told what the charges were, she said — and then transferred to the County Jail, where she learned the next day that she was facing felonies.

At a press conference this evening, supporters of the three said that there was “nothing worth fetishizing about the events.”

In fact, Ruiz-Lichter told the crowd that when she finally got to call her support team, she said “this nothing like that party.”

Nobody there has anything against fetishes, or kinky sex, or whatever gets you through the night. But the irony is pretty clear: While some people were paying $175 to pretend they were in jail, three others were actually going through it. Without their consent. And, it now appears, without any solid evidence that they committed any crimes.



Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
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  1. I hate this KInk sicko empire and hope that building goes up in flames. Thanks for making stupid videos and mind fucking gays like me into seeing “gay pornstars” lowering their standards and having unprotected vaginal sex!

  2. I find prison fantasies to be very hot. What I don’t find hot or even right is you defining what I may find as sexy or not. Indulging in my fantasises in know promotes the goings on of the actual prison system.

  3. Uh-huh, sure. All of us white men with kinky prison fantasies are rich and racist. I make less than minimum wage and attend kink-oriented parties whenever I can and couldn’t care less what color the people I play with are. But what I see is some spoiled radicals trying to make a point by trying to control my sexuality and interests. What I don’t see is people actually protesting those who run the prison system.

  4. That’s the key thing here. They didn’t target the prison system to make their point, they targeted pornography producers. Tying to get attention by swinging at the wrong people.

  5. Gay shame are fascists who want to destroy gay culture. Kink.com’s “prison parties” are simply kinky themed nights of fun for consenting adults. Tying it to approve of the actual prison system is b.s. of the highest order.

  6. So peter acworth who has been on close watch by the cops can sic them on whoever , HA than I guess it’s a love hate relationship. Google peter acworth arrest and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

  7. There was a sex club SOMA called Folsom Prison for nearly a decade. I’d argue that fantasies of prison are hot. There’s much evidence, and it really can’t be disputed.

  8. So we should abolish prisons and let rapists and murderers run free… Sounds like a good plan to me. Oh and fuck Whitey

  9. How the fuck do you even how Acworth is? Have you ever met him? I could make the presumption that you’re a racist against white people.

    Why not grow balls and actually speak to Acworth in person instead of hiding behind your”queer” group. If you saw the video he invited you to go speak to him in in person in the armory.

  10. I have a question, where are the bruises you’re friends got from being oh so violently arrested.

  11. Well, of course black districts are more heavily policed. Because they create proportionately more crime. Cops go where the crime is, as you’d expect.

    Yeah, maybe the correlation is more to poverty than race. But there are poor blacks who do not commit crimes and rich whites who do, so clearly self-discipline and a strong sense of morality matters too.

    So yes, I’m not that focuses on so-called social systems. I think in the end we are all individuals. A true post-racial outlook comes about when you realize that race is far too vague a factor to explain much.

  12. No–karma put the protestors in jail after this fucked-up event. It wasn’t justice, but it was karma for what you did.

  13. “While if, say, there are proportionately more blacks in prison then that might be explained not by bias but simply because blacks commit more crimes. Given that criminal activity correlates quite highly to the size of the black population in many US cities, that seems reasonable.”

    Well, you lose me at that one, Sam. Yes, criminal activity quite strongly correlates with poverty, and Black Americans are disproportionately poor, but that’s only part of the explanation. Putting aside that that disproportionate poverty itself is the outcome of an inequitable system, it’s also the case that Black communities and Black individuals are considerably more heavily policed, and the targets of hostile policing. Laws that are wrongful and unfair to begin with, such as drug possession laws, loitering laws, etc, disproportionately target blacks and other minorities and put them in the criminal justice at disproportionate rates. And once one is caught in the “criminal justice” system, it’s all-too-easy to get stuck in it.

    (I’ll add that the above is an issue that is quite apart from violent protesters using “violence of The Man” rhetoric as a blanket excuse for their own bad behavior.)

    You seem to be looking at everything in terms of individual prejudices to the point of ignoring systemic social problems, which means you’re not exactly making the best argument for your position.

  14. Your words are meaningless, and you have duped yourself into thinking it is okay to attack people of color just for being gay. Insane, racist, and counterproductive.

    Karma put the protestors in jail this time, and karma may well have put you in jail last time. Karma always wins.

  15. Dpinvogue, some laws may be “biased” (depending of course on what your own personal bias is) but they are still laws. If you break them you know that you will go to prison and presumably accept that risk.

    While if, say, there are proportionately more blacks in prison then that might be explained not by bias but simply because blacks commit more crimes. Given that criminal activity correlates quite highly to the size of the black population in many US cities, that seems reasonable.

    As for racism, several posters in this thread have criticized the owners of kink.com, and the attendees at this party, for nothing more than being white. While Ralowe appears to have a further prejudice against Hispanics for whatever reason. If blacks are dishing out racism like that, then whites probably are not going to listen sympathetically to their complaints of racism against them.

    That said, yes, I agree that Ralowe has an issue with BDSM. The concept of a master/mistress and a slave may be a little close to home historically for blacks. But maybe it’s time that they move beyond that. There are a few black pro dommes in the Bay Area who offer opportunities for white male slaves to “atone” through paid play sessions. A healthier outlet for their guilt, shame, anger and other negative emotions, perhaps?

  16. Sam says:
    People go to prison because they break laws. Not because of their skin color.

    It is rather disingenuous to claim that laws are not dependent on the biases of people. They are meant to punish behaviours that people find repugnant, such as sex between two people of the same gender, or the theft of a loaf of bread. The enforcers of such laws are also biased. Why is it that people of colour receive longer sentences than Caucasian law breakers? It’s due to biases of the judges, police and prosecutors. It is that simple. It wasn’t so long ago, police could break down doors and arrest people whose sexuality still remains in the minority, that is, lgbt people. As a reference: https://www.law.upenn.edu/live/news/2170-new-study-by-prof-david-abrams-and-coauthors#.U7gc6qi0bs4

    That being said, BDSM isn’t ‘cookie cutter’, ‘nice’ and ‘Mr. and Mrs. middle class’ type of sexuality. Much of the BDSM culture and the actual sexual performance acts out the reality of social, racial, economic, etc. inequality, such as slavery, prison, shame. Participants in BDSM are highly protective of each other in most cases, and in the few cases that go awry, it is because one of the participants has forgotten to care about the other. I get the feeling Ralowe is highly uncomfortable with BDSM and dismisses it as something along the lines of ‘whatever floats your boat’. The protestors have a right to protest, but screaming at participants, who may well be HIV+, and for whom sexuality and shame are deeply intertwined since they attained their serostatus. To get yelled at by people who are supposedly part of their community when the event is supposed to offer them a modicum of release is wrong. Bravo, Ralowe, for pointing out that the party was sponsored by rich Spaniards. If black circuit party planners had paid for this, you would have been (s)creaming and moaning that civil rights history were being undone. Either way, admit you are squeamish about BDSM and your outrage stems from that, nothing more.

  17. The point clearly went over your head. It was an observation that you appear to prefer negative attention to no attention.

    I think you protest a little too much about BDSM themes. Perhaps it would be healthier to allow your inner masochist out now and then?

  18. True, themes like abduction, kidnapping, incarceration, interrogation, degradation and torture are an important category of BDSM play. The fundamental precept of BDSM play is that whatever adults together is cool as long as it is safe, sane and consensual.

  19. They didn’t get locked up for speaking, or even yelling. They got locked up for disturbing the peace, causing a disturbance and trying to interfere with the quiet enjoyment of others.

    Had they merely held up signs and chanted slogans at a discreet distance, they would not have been arrested and the protest would have been more effective.

  20. You go to prison in order to be taught that you are responsible for your own life and your own actions. Blaming whitey for everything you don’t like about your life isn’t going to catch you any relief or any respect.

    In an age where a black man can become the most powerful man on the planet, and when a black woman is the richest woman in the nation, your whiney, blamey excuses wear very thin indeed.

    Grow up and be a man.

  21. He’s like a seven year old, deliberately being outrageous and ridiculous just to get attention.

  22. No it absolutely did not. What you did is use played out 2nd wave feminisms to shame people at a BDSM event. That’s not OK, and doesn’t do shit for anyone in prison or anyone on the shit end of the criminal justice system. Fuck’n grow up.

  23. I’m kinky too, Rachel, and prison play is immensely hot to me. So what are you going to do about it, try to outlaw my sexual expression? Anyone who is kinky knows that there is a spectrum of kink interests out there and that one kinkster doesn’t try to block or shame another kinkster from their expression.

  24. “Fine, have whatever fetish you want privately…” Thanks so much for giving me permission to closet my fetishes lest I be protested. It sounds like you are advocating that I start closeting myself along with my other kinky friends who enjoy fetish play. Oh, the irony.

  25. All well and good, but ultimately, it shows just how much the “left” in the Bay Area is all about cultural politics, with very little substance. Is this protest part of a larger campaign against the “prison industrial complex”? Not really – there’s a lot of sites that represent institutions with the actual power to arrest people that could have been protested if that was their concern, starting with the Hall of Justice or City Hall.

    What’s really going on is that Gay Shame is always spoiling for a fight with the larger gay community, especially during Pride season, and Kink.com provided them with an opportunity to have something to vent at. This was latched onto by various interest groups, notably “queer porn” people like Courtney Trouble and Kitty Stryker, trying to raise their profile as some kind of oppositional outlaw sexual media standing up to mainstream/yuppie Kink.com. (Looked at more cynically, its more a case of one hip capitalist trying to upstage another by positioning themselves as more “radical”.)

    What’s interesting is that about a year ago, there was a report of a very real labor dispute between Kink.com and its cam models (details here http://www.multiurl.com/g/kBt ), but to the best of my knowledge, that issue played no role in the protest.

    BTW, even though I’m quite “pro-porn”, I wouldn’t say that there’s anything intrinsically antiporn or pro-censorship in protesting a porn company. Whether it’s a progressive or reactionary protest depends on the reasoning, and yes, there some genuine issues about gay community gentrification and with the high rates of imprisonment for more marginalized members of the queer community and sex workers that are raised here. This video ( http://youtu.be/wmRJhUQeJJo ) gets at it quite well – it’s unfortunate that most of the protesters and organizers aren’t nearly so articulate.

    Seeing as the protest wasn’t well-conceived or had a clear message (especially as it largely came out of “protest for protest sake” Bay Area black bloc culture), any such message got muddled. I notice at least a few people who were opposed to Kink’s presence in the Mission to begin with a few years back (remember that whole tempest? http://goo.gl/zSEbev ) resurfacing for this most recent controversy. Based on this, it’s easy to see where a lot of people are reading the protest as just more second-wave feminist anti-BDSM kink-shaming.

  26. to be clear, peter acworth told the police to attack queer people of color during pride, because he’s too stupid to know the role of folks of color in the gay movement at stonewall and compton’s cafeteria riot, too stupid to know that he becomes a passionate advocate for the prison industrial complex when he chooses to throw a circuit party with all the trappings of capture and terror, to choose to profess innocence of how we are all implicated in these relations of power and must absolutely take responsibility otherwise things will never change

  27. okay, asshole, look. gay shame’s banners said “pro-sex anti-prison queers for abolition,” so stop trying to say that anyone cares about your desire. it’s not at issue here. you can desire whatever you want. desire becomes an ethical question when it fetishizes the police state, and the horrible experiences of people living under it’s terror every day. when you broadcast the things you get off on, you have to think about how it sounds, because if your expression of desire is legitimate, and i totally agree that it is, it is just as legitimate as how people respond to your broadcast, with all the multiple interpretations and nuances that accompany it. if you don’t want your expression subject to interpretation and scrutiny then keep it to yourself, or find a better way to talk about it. people are going to say stuff, and that’s part of the vibrant unpredictability of social life. i mean c’mon. nobody is critiquing kink, the critique is of the abuse of kink to celebrate the daily terror of the PIC. this circuit party was not organized by and for formerly incarcerated people. it was organized by some idiots from ibiza. i do take issue with the gross libertarian sentiment that someone yucking your yum is as bad as genocide. of kink was so apolitical it would not have any purchase as a method to sort through a sexual psyche, it would be complete non-sequitur. this type of denial of power dynamics, that we’re all equal or whatever, is textbook bourgeois bullshit.

  28. Agree with Wagnerian. BDSM enthusiasts and kinky people are a sexual minority that already has to watch their back. They do not need shaming from yet another group.

    Some of the language I’ve heard gay shame use to defend their actions suggests that the problem was that the party was too out in the open and public. Really? So what do you suggest now, taking kink back in the closet where it belongs?

    Y’all are no better than white Christian republican dudes who stand around dictating the sexual behaviors of women. Eff that and Eff gay shame.

  29. you mean suffered the attacks that peter acworth’s police force sicked on us right? i didn’t know you wound up in jail that night? it’s really funny watching you persist in this although the photos from the press conference are full of queer people of color trying to tell you about yourself

  30. not at all what i was doing, plus you have zero right to trivialize all communities of color who are disproportionately impacted by the PIC even, and especially if, you are a person of color. shame on you. for some white dude’s circuit party? like for real?

  31. oh c’mon now: the entire charge of bdsm is a way of in being conversant with how power is mobilized in each and every social encounter. the enlightened social realm and its lines of power, and the critique of how it forms the subject, is precisely what is under analysis by sade in 120 days of sodom. he saw that the division of public from private only worked to obscure this power structure. it disturbs me that people project the fantasy onto the actual world, that’s exactly what fascism is, isn’t it? ensuring the real world conforms to the ideal by force, power fantasies? that queerness is resistance to this mastery, disorganizes the subject like sex, is anti-fascist revolt? isn’t that precisely what has played and will replay, this problem of the relation of desire to ethics?

  32. nothing about the prison industrial complex is colorblind, neither in its heartbreaking origin nor in its crushing present. even peter acworth’s publicist knew enough to get him on tape admitting to this. you really kind of need to be bill cosby to put forth that there is so clean a distinction between structure and agency, that black kids steal poundcake solely because of bad black parents, to viciously pretend that our families weren’t obliterated when we came to these shores with less than nothing, and even less than that. to say that every citizen can participate equally within a social system built on these actual events is to deny the difference of histories, of bodies. again this move to disembodiment is puzzling since a party about kink catalyzes and brings into relief the substance of our discussion right now. to know that from this history esp. after emancipation the shapings of what criteria “crime” would thereafter acquire, being arrested because your slavemaster no longer owes you shelter for your servitude, to wickedly claim against these events that the crime of vagrancy has no color? like for real? if our sexual politics means that all enfleshed pertinence dissolves when one exits the threshold of the bedchamber then we are truly fucked, pun intended

  33. People go to prison because they break laws. Not because of their skin color.

    I neither know nor care if you are black or not, because that is irrelevant. You are either a criminal or you are not.

  34. Yeah, 44, it seems that Ralowe is just a racist troll who comes here to be deliberately outrageous. I guess he figures negative attention is better than no attention.

    Maybe he would enjoy BDSM – as a masochist?

  35. Ralowe, Spaniards are Hispanic. Brazilians are not. You need to le.arn the difference between hispanics and latinos

  36. you know, if you click my name, you can see that i’m a black person. i live two blocks away from kink.com, and his stupid circuit party– which i kind of doubt you even actually attended if you’re so working class as it cost $75, unless your acworth’s personal token he gave a free ticket to so that he could diversify the prison-themed festivities– is accessible via a bart plaza that many have been trying to resist the increased police presence at, a police done in the name of a gentrification that has changed the mission for the worse, as in the case of alex nieto. to come on here in support of peter acworth is to do so in favor of these troubling developments, is actively working against those struggling with the police state in the mission. and like barack obama, willie brown, condoleeza rice or david chiu, even if you are a person of color standing in allegiance with the forces of genocide, you gotta go, whether it’s pride or the motherfucking fourth of july, you gotta go

  37. I am not sure what lessons you learned as a felon, if you bounce out and begin harassing innocent, everyday, LGBT people on the streets.

    What is clear is that you and your group are hateful racists who have no intention of standing up to power and no idea how to.

  38. Whatever rational you come up with to justify your sin is irrelevant.

    You have no justification for harassing innocent bystanders and attacking innocent LGBT people, including the Asian and Latino immigrants you targeted.

  39. When you attack my community–innocent good, working-class, LGBT immigrants of color–I will not be silent. You attack them because they are invisible to you. You harass them on dark streets at night because they are invisible to you. You physically intimidate them because they are invisible to you.

    Your disaster of a protest was racist and I hope you are able to self-reflect about the ethics of attacking innocent bystanders, but I doubt it. I am proud of the larger LGBT community for shunning you.

  40. and yet Peter Acworth didn’t suffer your attacks, innocent Latino and Asian LGBT immigrants did.

  41. you have no right to discuss what is Hispanic, after you chose to harass Latino people.

  42. you need to grow back the rest of your keyboard and lighten up on the cmd + v. your obsession with innocence is so fascinating to me. is innocence a synonym for dissociation? to float in a curious intact and ideal purity outside the whirl of human affairs? is it odd to deploy being outside of one’s body in the context of a discussion evolving from a party ostensibly about kink? clearly peter acworth’s definition of kink requires discorporation from history and flesh, and his wealth seemingly proves that sex cannot be bought, although people have been throwing money at it for an awful long time. this innocence reminds me of the dissociated cynical framework of “colorblindness,” where tolerance allegedly means that power is never confronted, bodies and the relations they create are neither evaluated nor knowable. the developments following our protest must prove a quandry in such an “innocent” perspective. you can choose to disbelieve that race is a thing all you want, it doesn’t really matter ultimately, because the PIC never fails to. this is the reason why abolition is such a matter of life and death

  43. well i’m a felon and i clearly care more about this state of affairs than you. martha stewart is a felon. prison abolition would require completely transforming the existing social order, it would require us actually taking responsibility for one another, to actually share stake in one another. that’s actually the exact opposite of gay male sexual culture as it currently is, although the type of queer kinship i’m describing has existed before and if people sincerely want it is possible, but not quite yet…

  44. to be clear you’re coming on here to defend a circuit party that trivializes the horrific impact the prison industrial complex has on communities of color, so that i guess would put you in the same situation. but i don’t have to speak for communities of color, you can go talk to my three friends who were just released from the cage your homeboy peter acworth put them in during pride.

  45. it’s no exaggeration. the thing we’re protesting, the prison industrial complex, is a name to describe relations of power that exceed a single discrete locale, say police car or surveillance camera. our protest sought to foreground those complicit and subtle relations, chiefly the value systems that normalize state violence (and then later on that night the bootheels and police batons and cages and overt denials of “rights”). one insight is that this whole horrible situation emerged in the wake of chattel slavery in the US south as things like debt bondage and vagrancy laws effectively re-enslaved those of african slave post-1865. antiestablishment consciousness recognizes these struggles as reinforcing and extending the holocaust of indigenous folks, who in some cases also were enslaved. this is the violent legacy of prisons, which along with aids, contributes to the disproportionate and systematic destruction of communities of color. if peter acworth cared in his heart about these genocidal realities, his first step would not have been to throw a party effectively trivializing and maintaining the normative surface that disappears our ongoing struggles against all your unending bullshit. you need to get your ass to a library or something

  46. to be clear ralowe, your attacking innocent Asian and Latino immigrant LGBTs is both racist and proof that you cannot speak for communities of color or any LGBT human beings.

  47. to be clear ralowe, your attacking innocent Asian and Latino immigrant LGBTs is both racist and proof that you cannot speak for communities of color or LGBT human beings.

  48. that’s actually almost pretty clever. it’s ironic perhaps that your attempts at wit are mobilized at the service of peter acworth’s cultural erasure, as everything he has, you know, the whole “kink” thing, is stolen and commodified from a hard-fought historical precedent entangled within anti-establishment moment of queer unrest he chooses to commemorate by fetishizing fascist violence. your inability to recognize that, or your militant choice to un-remember, is the force of cultural erasure itself. just to let you know there are many who will do everything possible to stop you from erasing us.

  49. I’m talking about the innocent Asian and Latino immigrant party goers who you attacked and harassed. I will not be silent, invisible, or complicit in the face of your racist attacks.

    Again, it was karma that led to the arrests of those attacking innocent Asian and Latino LGBT immigrants.

  50. you’re right, nothing’s a more sterling example of tolerance than when the police tackle queer activists to the ground for protesting fascism on the anniversary of the stonewall rebellion. it’s morons like you and scott wiener who like to close down recycling centers because they make the city unsafe for real estate speculation and mass condo construction.

  51. these things are all true and you should check it out. your arrogance and ignorance, just like peter acworth, is what keeps this horrific state of affairs in place. if all you can do is talk about your sexual expression as if it’s something disconnected from and far more pertinent than state violence then what exactly are you really doing?

  52. to be clear ralowe, your attacking innocent Asian and Latino immigrant LGBTs is both racist and proof that you cannot speak for communities of color.

  53. nothing you care about, for sure, which is why you think that making light of the PIC that’s actively destroying our lives is anything but a serious issue. you’re the reason the cops get away with murder and why the prisons stay holding more people in captivity than at the time of slavery.

  54. to be clear ralowe, your attacking innocent Asian and Latino immigrant LGBTs is both racist and proof that you cannot speak for communities of color.

  55. to my knowledge the spanish circuit party throwing corporation responsible for the prison party at kink.com is neither asian, latino nor immigrant, so why don’t you question them for making fun of your experience with incarceration? did they bail you out?

  56. what’s important is that my friends not be yelled at by assholes on the street when they are out.

    illegitimate tactics corrupted whatever message they were trying to get out. it’s actually a terrible job getting visibility because they attacked innocent people and alienated their own community.

  57. to be clear ralowe, your attacking innocent Asian and Latino immigrant LGBTs is both racist and proof that you cannot speak for communities of color.

  58. to be clear ralowe, your attacking innocent Asian and Latino immigrant LGBTs is both racist and proof that you cannot speak for communities of color.

  59. to be clear ralowe, your attacking innocent Asian and Latino immigrant LGBTs is both racist and proof that you cannot speak for communities of color.

  60. to be clear ralowe, your attacking innocent Asian and Latino immigrant LGBTs is both racist and proof that you cannot speak for communities of color.

  61. screw you for protesting innocent latino and Asian immigrants. You don’t speak for PoCs, and have no idea what you’re talking about.

  62. I think what he meant by “grow a pair” is “grow a pair of shift keys, you ranting loon”.

  63. Good God, man, do you ever listen to yourself? Do you ever shut up? Do you want to micro-manage everyone and everything?

    You don’t like a prison-themed sex party? Great. Don’t attend. You can even peacefully protest outside if you want, as long as you do not disturb the peace, public order to interfere with those attending.

    What you cannot do is try and ram your skewed and hopelessly biased card-overplaying ideology down the throats of those who disagree with you, which is almost everybody, it seems.

    If America it means anything it means the ability to disagree with others while respecting their right to think, speak and act differently. To disagree without being disagreeable, as MLK eloquently stated it.

    But in your case I sense you are so convinced that you are right and the rest of us are wrong, and so full of an inflated sense of the importance of all of that, that you think nothing of seeking to directly suppress the free speech and free will of others who do not share your value system. All out of some misguided need to inject race into everything.

    And that makes you a lot more dangerous than the harmless kinksters that you are whining about. Nobody at Kink seeks to restrict my freedom. You do, and for the most convoluted and contrived of reasons.

  64. Sexual liberty is important! The demonstration did nothing to help people in prisons or help people defend themselves from the cops.

  65. how are you not buckling under the weight of fiction here? let me debunk to lighten your load: 1)affluent white gays pretty much have all circuit parties on lock, 2)this prison theme proves a fairly total separation from directly-PIC-impacted communities of color living in the sf mission district such as alex nieto (rest in power) and others that peter acworth don’t give a fuck about, 3)formerly-incarcerated folks did not organize this event as “exposure therapy,” 4)the prison party was in fact thrown by an international corporation of europeans from spain located in europe where the european country of spain has been located for some time, 5)that because of this affluent demographic of disposal-income-spending morons sf pride whole-heartedly supported and publicized this event and its theme because it’s in firm and vibrant continuity with their general assimilationist power-hungry corporate conformist values, 6)peter acworth is the opposite of sex worker, i.e. a millionaire land-owning smug aloof pimp who lives in a fucking castle and has enough power to order the police to arrest people for challenging his jaw-dropping obnoxiousness, ignorance, arrogrance, non-bedroom sadism and commitment to cruelty. we are pro-sex, and yes that includes bdsm, or whatever the fuck else floats your boat, up until it crosses the line and implicates and hurts us; aren’t these the popularly understood tenets of kink as a philosophy, the tenets that peter explicitly failed on saturday night? what are you supposed to do when someone does that? your freedom has to stop where it restricts the freedom of others, otherwise you’re being something other than social, you’re having something other than sex, you’re doing something other than kink. but you don’t get that, or you pretend not to. you’re not interested in creating freedom for others, as evidenced in the misogyny, transphobia, homophobia of your “grow a pair” statement. you don’t know how power works if you don’t think being able to own land in san francisco, have millions at your disposal, convince those worst effected by your power to volunteer (if not paid) to run out to support your bullshit and have the police do your bidding is power. that is power and people will always come out to challenge it. expect it. it’s what people tend to do

  66. The problem was that the protest clearly got out of hand and went beyond merely peacefully assembling to express disagreement.

    You can protest an event you disagree with without trying to stop it. That’s when you cross the line and can reasonably expect pushback.

    Express, but do not seek to suppress.

  67. Your friend was not at the party. He was seeking to interrupt the party.

    It’s OK to hold up signs, chant and peaceful assemble as a protest.

    It is not OK to harass or abuse people, nor obstruct them, nor stop a party.

  68. That makes no sense unless you are determined to introduce race into every topic, which you seemingly are.

  69. We should focus on what’s important! The protestors did a good job getting some visibility on the topic. So let’s shut the hell up with the in-fighting and tear down the prison industrial complex and the drug war!

  70. I’m kinky and queer: prison is NOT hot. Kink isn’t just for white cisgender middle class people. It was irresponsible for kink.com to plan the party, and plenty of folks spoke out beforehand asking that they reconsider the theme. They ought to have done exactly that. Instead they called the cops on protesters and followed those who were leaving to point them out to the police. This whole incident was shameful. I’m just glad the folks who were arrested are out and safe.

  71. I read the New Jim Crow. Did you? Nowhere did Michelle Alexander identify hiv-positive immigrant queers as the problem that must be protested and attached. You made that one up.

    Again–if you care about changing power–grow a pair and protest power….not powerless and innocent lgbt human beings.

  72. At least he didn’t say “talking truth to power”.

    He merely speculated that all sex play should make a serious political statement.

  73. The fact that Tim Redmond is calling Erin McElroy a “reporter” is very telling. McElroy openly identifies herself as an activist. She’s been involved in multiple disruptive protests that have ended in vandalism and arrests. The SF City Attorney’s office should get a restraining order against her.

  74. “is sex without confronting power really sex?”

    Ok, now you’re just a parody of 2nd wave feminism. Enjoy continuing to effect zero change in the world with your self-indulgent garble.

  75. It’s the same argument that says that if you defend someone accused of being racist them you must be a racist yourself.

    It’s one of the left’s favorite debating gambits. I think they think it automatically wins them the argument.

  76. I have some news for you. The “violence” at a BDSM play party is safe, sane, consensual and fabricated.

    It’s called “play” for a reason. Lighten up a little, maybe?

  77. Good lord, you’re a piece of work. If you think dismissing Erin as a credible source makes someone a misogynist, then I guess by disagreeing with me, you’re a homophobe.

  78. If the protest has been merely a peaceful gathering outside, that would have been fine.

    But of course they went further than that, seeking to actively disrupt the party and, no doubt and if possible, cause it to stop.

    And therein lies the problem. They weren’t content to make their point. They wanted to interfere with the freedom of others. And when that line is crossed, they lose the moral high ground.

    Whatever happened to the idea that a protest was simply the peaceful expression of an ideal, rather than an aggressive attempt to seize by non-democratic, non-peaceful means what you cannot achieve in the market place of ideas and debate? Why can’t people accept that others sometimes in behave in ways they don’t personally approve if? And why the obsession with trying to control others?

    It’s called tolerance, and SF is supposed to be really really good at that, but not always evidently.

  79. well when you make something public you create the opportunity for others to engage. ethics comes up if you make decisions for yourself on the parameters of that engagement. it’s tricky to insist that something is nobody’s business once you’ve shared it, and to seriously expect only one correct way to engage with what’s been shared would require coercion of some kind, for those who you just shared with to be something other than people. nobody cares enough about your desire to pathologize it. kink.com sought to implicate others, the history of the PIC, experiences others have had in the PIC, and it’s obnoxious and self-contradictory to both share in such a public way and then demand that people keep their opinions to themselves, unless you think people are objects that you can do anything you want to. the assertion that another person is an object defines chattel slavery. read a boook.

  80. I disagree, Ralowe. Which isn’t to say that people can’t or don’t try to introduce race into any and every topic. They do, just like you just did there. Rather that it’s a cheap and usually disruptive and divisive tactic that singularly fails to resolve any issue or debate.

    I see no dimension to this topic that has a racial component and the allegation that the owners of kink.com are white is irrelevant and inflammatory. (And for all I know, they are not white, or at least not all of them). But the point is that it just doesn’t matter either way.

    Of course, if you’re just going to trot out trite cliches about prisons or slavery, then you’re not going to agree. Your card-playing comfort blanket is too enshrined and instinctive for a rational refutation to have any weight for you.

    But know this. At the point that you gratuitously introduce race, you have lost your audience, lost the debate and lost any credibility or objectivity that you might have otherwise hoped for. The rest of your message gets lost because you are seen as a PC opportunist.

    This squabble was essentially one bunch of white people whining about another bunch of white people. But had both groups been Asian, Hispanic or anything else, it would have mattered not an iota.

    This is probably one of the silliest topics that has been reported here.

  81. Sam, if you’re talking (anywhere in the west, but especially in the US context) you are talking about race, since the public you talk in is built by the patriarchal institutions of chattel slavery on top of indigenous conquest. all the cards are race cards, gender cards, class cards, etc. and yes we would be talking shit about a hypothetical acworth-of-color if they threw a party celebrating our deaths.

  82. “You are welcome to continue in your fetishes, but now you know others might disagree with you.”

    People are free to “disagree” with homosexuality as well; we call those people “hateful assholes”. And do you seriously think that gay men or BDSM practitioners don’t know that other people hate their sexual practices and are eager to shame them for it? Well, now they know that the LGBT community itself has taken up that task. Mission accomplished.

    Incidentally, the percentage of SF’s population who are white has been steadily decreasing, but feel free to keep making shit up. Freedom of expression, after all.

  83. this party was initially promoted and publicized by sf pride corp. until someone raised a fuss, and is paradigmatic of the conservative reversal that radical queers are tirelessly calling attention to, the event of stonewall and its riot against the police. such parties not only erase that history, it also obscures: the PIC’s origin in slavery, the many interventions that trans folks have been making to highlight the disproportionate impact on their communities, the current police violence that infests the blocks every damn day that surround kink.com, etc.

    in order for one to attend this idiotic circuit party (as if) many of us would not only have to have $75 to spare (or be one of the tokens mr acworth could pass a free ticket to (in-house diversity budget?)) but would have to somehow separate themselves from their body. is this dissociation what sex (with yourself or another person) or sexual agency is for you? disorganization, sure, but so much self-shattering? denial? the theme of the inane ibiza-style circuit party suggests the capacity to live far beyond the way desire and ethics are entangled and trouble one another in the body, a capacity only accessible through privilege. is sex without confronting power really sex? these are the sorts of questions i brought to the protest

  84. kink.com has a lot of resources and could be working to dismantle the PIC instead they’re eroticizing genocide and sicking the cops on protesters for questioning the real-world material implications of their fascist desires.

  85. Try again dude. If you have a problem with power…then have the courage to protest power.

    You’re just picking on innocent bystanders. That’s easy. You guys had no problem making hiv positive immigrants feel like shit. But what did you accomplish?


    You made good people feel unsafe and shitty. Whatever your other point was it was lost in the sin you committed against these innocent queers. If you can’t put together a coherent protest, don’t be surprised when the victims of your protest are upset.

  87. I don’t know the facts of this case nor do I even feel like taking sides philosophically, but want to mention from old experience that the fishiest allegations in conflicting accounts of demonstrations are very often official claims that demonstrators have thrown things — whether it happened, and if so, what was thrown. I don’t know why. You would think something like that would be highly visible and hence easy to prove one way or the other but it keeps being a disputed subject.

  88. Anti-police? I thought it was supposed to be anti-prison, not that I presume anyone there legitimately gave a shit what it was about. Anti-something, pro-“look at me, I’m radical”.

    And nothing to do with sex? Give me a fucking break — people were at the Armory to protest other people’s kink. If you want to protest police, there are these “stations” where you can find them.

  89. “I haven’t seen a good defense yet as to why this party was necessary.”

    “Necessary”? Do you not know what a party is?

  90. I have no idea whether there was excessive police response to this. If there was, shame on the police.

    I do know that, as one of the few out SM people in San Francisco politics for awhile, I at least need to say something about it in a place where Tim might read it.

    The essence of SM is to play at things, that in nonconsensual contexts and nonplay contexts would be bad. The argument against this party was that people shouldn’t use the names of things for play that are bad elsewhere. Prison is bad, therefore you shouldn’t have it in sex. Trivially, pretty much all the SM acts are violence, rape, war, prison, injustice, servitude, and the great evils of the world, if you believe that a metaphor or reference to a thing is the thing itself, and good if you believe that consent and play are core to what distinguishes good and evil.

    Second, pretty clearly, there are many places to protest the prison industrial complex. The criminal justice system has many buildings in San Francisco, including jails, police stations, and district attorneys. If you skip past them and their parade contingents and protest at an SM event, you’ve chosen to protest the sexuality itself. There’s a long and shameful history of attacking SM in just this precise way (the played thing is the same as the thing), and you’ve made clear that you ally with that history, good intentions or not.

    Third, the only reason that this event gets any support at all is the SM community’s inability to communicate traditional civil rights organizations. Imagine for a minute, the entire LGBT position was articulated by some gay men’s party organization, let’s say the guys who do the white party in Miami. You probably wouldn’t even get much of a response in the press, and if you did… well, do the white party guys make your organizations press announcements? Well, that’s our problem to fix, that’s where we are, and why progressives could support something like this without any consequence.

    But I can still personally get on BART and come counterprotest if this happens again. If you tolerate us because you think we play with fuzzy pink handcuffs, and not with things that in their original form were evil, you don’t really understand what we are, and you do oppose my existence as a sexual being. I look forward to the chance to defend my life, my loves, my family, and my nature, from some more or less chickenshit progressives.

    Greg Shaw
    former president of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, for identification purposes only, though representing past resolutions and positions of the club, certainly.

  91. Jackie, I’m not aware that playing a race card ever won a debate and it certainly isn’t here.

    This isn’t about race at all. That’s just a cheap shot that shows a lack of cogent argument on Rebecca’s part.

  92. Ralowe, he wasn’t trying to interfere with the quiet enjoyment of others. Erin was.

    Have a problem with tolerance?

  93. Hey, here’s an idea, why don’t you play the slavery card?

    That will also give you maximum credibility where it matters.

  94. If you think that snarkily dismissing the issue of race in a social justice discussion is “argument over,” you shouldn’t be in the argument anyway. Good fucking riddance.

  95. That’s one of the most ignorant things I’ve read in this thread. Are you aware of this organization at all?

  96. That’s idiotic. The assumption of separation is your own fantasy. And screw the theory-speak. BDSM practitioners have to be so careful, and are under constant scrutiny by the state, and uptight individuals. You should be supporting Kink and kinky people, and the idea of sexual liberty in general rather than slut shaming people, because you are so fucking desperate to find a reason to attack gay men.

    There are some really legitimate ways to be working for prison abolition… such as working against the new Jail that SF is trying to get built. But Gay Shame, true to form, just wants revel in theatrics, just wants to scowl at people and pose as being politically pure.

    I’ve been to jail. I’ve got family in prison. Fuck you all.

  97. What? THIS WAS NOT ABOUT SEX, I don’t know how else to say it, It was about the history of police brutality, especially against gender queers and people of color. It seemed a little insensitive to the memory of folks that have been beaten, jailed and sometimes murdered fighting for rights you now take for granted to hold a prison themed party. Especially since this shit, the police brutality, still go one for those who dont fit into LGB norms.

  98. what about that video is violent? i literally see no violence in this video…other than the existence of the police, and some rich white man talking about how he sympathizes with the protest yet is wearing a skin tight cop uniform at it.

  99. You don’t like the way these gays have sex so you protest them. Westboro is in Kansas if you ever want to protest together with them.

  100. Erin McElroy does not work. She has only attended expensive private schools and has never had a real job in her life. Her father is the founder of the biotech company, Jenrin Discovery.

    She’s just a spoiled brat.

  101. Have you ever been to San Francisco?

    The gay community here is probably-plurality Asian by now. Just lumping them in with the whites?

    And all my friends at that event were Latino. Do they not count either?

    Also fuck you for comparing my friends going to this party to wearing blackface. If you want to shit all over your own community go for it, but don’t be surprised when no one likes you for it. Hardly a way to affect political change.

  102. Freedom of expression cuts both ways. Live and let live.

    Are you OK with “Orange is the new black”? That presents a fairly cutesy version of prison life as well.

  103. Hello JJFIEBER

    The original ‘reporter’ on here was Erin McElroy, who works for the Tenants’ Union, which is funded by SEIU, for whom other protestors work.

    In other words, the ‘reporter’ covering the attacks on gay people is funded by the same people attacking the gay people. That’s messed-up.

    Any other questions?

  104. Kink is a legitimate, albeit imperfect, business. This protest was anti-BDSM, and was about nothing else.

  105. I would really love to know who this generous source that pays protesters is? What would be their purpose? You can’t just make stuff up about people without proof and hope it sticks. It makes your whole argument seem ridiculous.

  106. Gay Shame aside–this seemed like a pretty good cause for protest. I was tempted to go because of the prison abolition angle; and I am not part of Gay Shame. Like the sign says,”prison isn’t sexy”. There has been lame defense of this event from supporters that it’s just harmless fun…or that prison themes have a history in porn…or that fetishes somehow have nothing to do with real world ideologies. Fine, have whatever fetish you want privately…but if a very rich man throws an insensitive party with a prison theme, he’s going to get protested. The party-goers shouldn’t be surprised. I haven’t seen a good defense yet as to why this party was necessary.

    Given that SF’s gay community is becoming so white and affluent, it strikes me as particularly insensitive to have your fetish party themed on an issue that disproportionately affects people of color and transgendered folk. So there was a lot of prison porn in the 1970s? Wearing blackface also has a historical tradition which we have thankfully evolved away from; we now understand it is wrong. Perhaps we can also evolve on thinking prison is cute or funny?

    I say good for the protestors for raising the issue. You are welcome to continue in your fetishes, but now you know others might disagree with you. Freedom of expression after all.

  107. kink.com is a multi-million dollar corporation that concentrates its wealth amongst a handful of misogynistic white men in one of the most expensive cities in the world. i don’t understand why people are rushing in to defend use of our struggle for their profit

  108. Tim, I can’t believe you are editorializing on behalf of these people who protested everyday LGBT people who saved up money to go out on a holiday evening and enjoy themselves, be happy, and celebrate their community and their

    Tim, you’re editorializing on one side of a queers-vs-queers internal community dispute that you simply don’t understand enough about. Erin McElroy isn’t a reporter, and I hope she’s not your source; she’s a paid activist with ties to the protestors she is advocating for.

    Tim, if you’re going to wade into this, you need to interview some of the regular gays who went to this party. Interview the hiv positive immigrant from mexico who crawled his way up the ladder to get here. Interview the sex worker who had to run through a gauntlet of shame to get to the party he was working at. Your lack of knowledge of the situation is underlined by the fact that almost no one paid $175 for that party; most tickets were $60 and tons were given away free.

    The irony is that these humorless queers took their steamer-trunks of privilege and used them to attack other queers. That’s ironic…and to both the LGBT community and your commentators totally enraging.

    I for one await an apology from these self-righteous fools to both myself, my friends who were at the party, and my entire community. Until then, fuck ’em.

  109. Tim Redmond! After 20 years of reading you, you disappoint me! A BDSM party has nothing to do with The Prison Industrial Complex, and you should be defending sexual liberty in your writing, and in this blog!

    Don’t be a coward. You should be unafraid of being critical of Gay Shame in public. You must know that Gay Shame has a history of goading cops at their protests and putting their own people in danger. Remember the LGBT center protest when Matilda started violently ramming herself backwards into the line of cops, and people ended up getting thrashed?

    Fuck the police. Endlessly fuck the police. Tear down every prison. But there is no irony here to be had. Gay Shame basically got what they wanted, which was: high-profile conflict.

    The fact of the matter is that this was probably the stupidest, most inane, most intellectually bankrupt, most divisive and dividing demonstration that has been organized under the moniker of ‘Gay Shame’ since that one where they gave away anti-awards to people who supposedly had hurt the community, but in reality were -primarily- just people that organizers had personal beefs with.

    The people who run gay shame are desperate for ideas. They don’t have any, and they are high on the fashion of being vanguard-ist queer-radicals, and that is enough for them. They are desperate to attack gay people in way that mirrors heterosexist culture-at-large.

    I’ll say this again cause I want you to hear it: ‘GAY SHAME’ attacks queer people, especially gay men, in way that mirrors that heterosexist culture at large.

    And given what they proposing as an alternative, they make the circuit-party/marriage hordes look pretty inviting by comparison. THERE’S your irony for ya!

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