content warning: this post discusses transphobia.
All screenshots are linked to the original source, both in the description and through the image.
I should also like to note that the only screenshots or links I’m including are Kinkly’s official Twitter and my own, because 1. I don’t really want to trigger anyone by making them look at individuals choosing to misgender others and 2. I don’t want to provide super easy Twitter links for transphobes to run and harass trans and nonbinary bloggers who are already sick of this shit.
I was initially delighted to be voted into Kinkly’s Top 100 Sex Blogging Superheroes for a second time. My blog doesn’t have a huge following, and anything helps, both in terms of garnering more traffic and just for the pleasure of having my work acknowledged. I also used to appreciate Kinkly as a resource, especially in my pre-blogging days, when I was learning a lot of kink terms and so on. I still have a few links throughout my blog using Kinkly for definitions, which I will be changing when I’m able.
Because unfortunately, this delight has since turned to…well, something very different.
Almost immediately, bloggers pointed out to Kinkly that there were (and are) transphobic bloggers included on this list. Considering Kinkly’s claims to be, and I quote, “an inclusive and safe space,” this seemed like an oversight of sorts. They claimed to be “looking into it” on November 6th, which looks alarmingly like “not believing trans voices who claim this is a problem,” but one could generously say they’re attempting to ensure that everything is honest and so on.
For some background, a lot of the transphobic occurrences happened earlier this year, though it’s part of a pattern of behavior, which is better outlined in this post by Quenby Writes. The short version is that the illustrious Mx Nillin wrote a post calling out transphobic behavior and several other bloggers, unfortunately, decided that the appropriate response was to harass and misgender them, to the point where Mx Nillin eventually chose to delete their Twitter. (For the record, if someone accuses you of transphobia? Being rude and deliberately misgendering that person is not going to demonstrate otherwise.)
When trans bloggers pointed out the problems with Kinkly’s list, the bloggers in question and their supporters chose to double-down on transphobic behavior, including deliberately misgendering trans bloggers. These threads often happened within Kinkly’s posts or in response to them, and at no point did Kinkly step in.
But the problem was with the Kinkly lists, and there, Kinkly had to make a ruling. And so they did. On November 12, Kinkly declared that they would not be removing the transphobic writers from their lists, despite the proof of transphobic behavior brought to their attention both privately and publicly.
Kinkly’s decision not to remove aggressively transphobic writers from their list makes it clear that they do not care about trans and nonbinary voices in the sex blogging community. They may be trying to “play it safe” and “not take sides,” but when you deliberately choose to include oppressive voices, you have chosen a side. Just because you haven’t eliminated trans voices as well does not mean that they now feel welcome and included. By putting them side-by-side with people who express hatred, it makes it clear that bigotry against them is on equal footing in your eyes.
Furthermore, when your algorithm for listing blogs in your directory is based on their social media numbers, you cannot claim that their social media behavior is not part of their work. Blogging is not limited to what’s in the documents you post every week. By choosing to be transphobic in their social media, these bloggers are making that part of their brand, showing what audience they want and whom they would prefer to exclude.
BUT WE AREN’T DONE.
I am a cis woman [UPDATE 2021: No I’m not], but a) I really don’t like bigotry and b) my spouse is trans. I expressed my frustration to Kinkly on Twitter, and also changed my blogger profile on their directory, removing most of my information and leaving only the required link and name of blog, and changing my blog summary to mention that I write about myself and my trans partner and therefore cannot condone Kinkly’s behavior. I did not request to have my profile removed, largely because I’m scatterbrained and didn’t think about it.
Fortunately for me, Kinkly decided that I requested this, presumably through the shameful, shameful act of expressing dissent. Today while driving to the vet’s office with my spouse and their other partner, I checked my email and found this.
As I mentioned on Twitter, I’m not angry for being removed because, again, had I remembered, I might have made the request. However, this behavior is…gross, and according to the link above, I am not the only dissenting blogger whose anger is taken as a “request” to be removed.
So, to summarize:
1. Kinkly won’t remove transphobic bloggers because their transphobia was not on their blog, but on their social media.
2. Kinkly will remove bloggers who expressed displeasure with this decision…on their social media.
Sure sounds like “an inclusive and safe space,” there, doesn’t it?
Look, I realize this probably just sounds like a call-out post and/or a rant, and maybe to an extent it is. I’m extremely upset with Kinkly’s decision and subsequent behavior. Bigotry should not be acceptable in sex-positive spaces, and doubling down on defending bigots isn’t a good look for anyone. But I also wanted to record what’s going on, and to just…express my frustration with all of this.
What makes this so much worse is that Kinkly’s directory was the source of a lot of my traffic, and I have no doubt this is the case for many other bloggers, especially smaller ones, including trans voices. Having a good, solid resource snatched away sucks for everybody.
So, what do we do now?
I don’t really know. Maybe Kinkly will come back and say “Oops, sorry, we’ll fix that for all y’all” in the face of all the backlash. But other bloggers have pointed out that this is not the first time Kinkly has behaved in a way that’s offensive or gross or bigoted, so a) I doubt it and b) I don’t think that would really be enough.
For me, all I can do is keep blogging and trying to promote my stuff on social media (you know, which is not part of my blogging, clearly) and hoping that readers will also promote my work. And the other thing I can do—especially as one of the many, many cis white bloggers in our community—is to promote the work of other trans and trans-inclusive bloggers. Please make sure to check out the blogs on my blogroll (to your right if you’re viewing this on desktop)! I’m always adding new blogs as well as I find them.
To the trans bloggers who have been dealing with the bulk of the backlash on this: I’m sorry that you’ve been dealing with this. I’m proud of you for standing up for yourselves and for others, and I know it isn’t easy, and I wish I could make it easier. I hope you’re able to find time to recharge and get away from the toxicity so many people are spewing at you. I respect you and appreciate what you bring to the community.
To the transphobic sex bloggers: shut the fuck up.
This post was not sponsored and all opinions are my own.