Safe, Insane, and Consensual
I have the fortune of having friends who are the best conversationalists. This morning over poached eggs on toast we debated the term Safe, Sane, and Consensual, and whether it excludes people diagnosed with mental illnesses from leather communities.
I think I was thinking about it because I had been reading an article by Pat Califia in my old copy of the Second Coming. The topic was abuse within the leather community, which was pretty challenging in itself. People don’t want to admit it, but there’s some fucked up shit that goes down in our community. Abusers are in every community, and in a minority community why not use our small networks to protect people from them? Anyway, la di da, skip along, reading this article, when I come across this sentence talking about dangerous people and how “there are some women with mental illnesses,” implying they shouldn’t be in the leather community.
I was tired and didn’t think about the book until the next day over the eggs.
“Does Sane mean you can’t play if you’re mentally ill? Are bipolars banned from the play party?”
“I think Sane has been used to mean you’re not drunk or stoned, but maybe you’re right. That’s awful.”
I doubt very much this means I have to bring a note from my doctor saying I’m sane enough to play, but I do wonder about this linguistic exclusion of Crazy folk. It’s just another way to demonize us. And I wonder if there are people getting booted out of the leather community for being out as Crazy.
I wonder if I will get booted out.