Sexual Predators in the Queer Community
There has been an online outing of a prominent FTM artist as a rapist, followed up by criminal charges and the “alleged” rapist, Kael T. Block, fleeing the US for France, quite possibly in a white ford Bronco. I only know about this issue based on things I have seen online, tipped off by someone on Friendster, of which Kael is a member. I’m not going to talk about what he did, because the survivors have issued their own statement which you can read here.
What I do want to talk about is the appalling way these women who have come forward have been treated by the queer community. They have been accused of libel. They have been told he is innocent until proven guilty. Lynee Breedlove has said that what should happen is a grassroots mediation process between both parties so that they can discuss boundaries and have a chance for apologies (not unlike the recent case of a rapist whose sentence was to write a letter of apology to the victim). I can’t think of anything more traumatizing to a rape survivor than being forced by her “loving feminist sisters” to spend time talking to her fucking perpetrator so that he can “heal.” To see so many in the online queer community supporting this perpetrator and alienating these women so much that they feel they have to remain anonymous to protect their own reputations is sickening.
What also sickens me is the opinion by some in the BDSM community, and Kael’s own defense, that he’s a top who has trouble negotiating safewords. Dude, SAFEWORDS ARE THE FIRST THING PERVERTS LEARN ABOUT! Otherwise we wouldn’t fucking do BDSM. And having a woman you’ve just met and don’t know yelling no no no no and pushing you off her while you’re sticking your dick in her is pretty fucking clear. As a member of the BDSM community, I know that some people are attracted to it for the wrong reasons. Abuse is possible in a BDSM relationship. For example, if my girlfriend slapped me and I said she could, that would be okay. If my girlfriend slapped me and I didn’t want it, like in a fight, it would be physical abuse, and her telling people “well she’s a masochist” doesn’t make it okay. I have been in a BDSM relationship that got physically and emotionally abusive, and even after I told friends about it, some of them still remained friends with her. That all being said, this survivor isn’t even into BDSM.
Which brings me to another issue, back from my queer youth days. My sweet gay friend was raped by a prominent member of the Saskatoon queer community, who had won Gay Man Of The Year the year previously. At the court hearing, most of the queer youth members were there to give support. NONE of the adults in the queer community came out. In many ways what is happening currently is similar here. No support to the rape victims, wanting to turn a blind eye, and being complicit in sexual assault through calling the survivors liars and trying to orchestrate a cover up.
Most sexual assaults are never reported, and this is a clear and very sad example of why. We wonder how we can stop rape, how we can encourage women to file charges, and then something like this happens and we tell the victim to shut up, to stop causing trouble. The mere fact that these women felt they had to describe his assaults in vivid detail to the general queer public in order to be believed is very sad.
It makes me wonder about another prominent FTM artist here in Canada who has sexually assaulted men and women. People still support him, and the people who are his victims don’t feel safe or supported enough to name what has happened. I personally won’t name him here because it’s not my experience to tell, but if anyone does come forward I will support them. As a community we have historically not supported rape survivors, we have supported rapists.
When I first went to Vancouver, I met a woman in a gay bar with a black and blue face, she told a sad story about how she had finally left her lover and was trying to find a safe place again. Her lover was someone at the Centre, a gay and lesbian drop in. Where could she go? Who would believe her?