In the political culture of the U.S. today, many people promote their sexual identity in public and at their work. If you are biologically a male, but identify as a woman, you can wear makeup, dress in whatever clothing you feel comfortable with and demand to use the bathroom of your choosing. People participate in marches for the LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) community, being passionately proud of their sexual identity.
And they should. Humans are sexual beings. Our American society is literally based on the freedom of expression. In fact, our country is one of the few places on the planet where your sexual expression is a legally protected right.
However, if you identify as a white, CIS-Male who is dominant, that is frowned upon. Many members of the community that has demanded their identities be finally accepted by society also look at the Dom CIS-male as unacceptable. On more than one occasion I have been told, “check your privilege.” It was amusing. I would smile, nod and tell them I’d get right on it. Seeing their aggression was met so nonchalantly would even further trigger some. If appeared as if those who felt that I was not sufficiently intimidated or even, at the least, offended by their statement wanted to escalate the encounter. But I’m very much a “to each their own” type of person when it comes to the beliefs of others. Think and believe however you want. If you can’t offer me the same tolerance, that’s still on you and has nothing to do with me.
However, some people are not satisfied with insulting you for being a dominant hetero-man. Recently, an employee at the Drupal Association, an open-source software development group, lost his job because someone he worked with at Drupal discovered he, in his private life, was involved in a “hierarchical relationship”. This is another way of referring to a D/s relationship. Specifically, he lived by many of the philosophies found in the John Norman books on Gor. Again, this was something he never brought to work. It had zero impact on his professional life. Unlike other gender and lifestyle identities which can be openly promoted in the workplace today, openly being a Dom male in a D/s type relationship can adversely affect you. You can be verbally criticized, labelled a misogynist, and even have your company pressured to terminate your employment.
Drupal Association and their CWG (Community Work Group) investigated the employee when complaints were filed against him. Their investigation found no wrongdoing and no violations of the company’s CoC (Code of Conduct). However he was still terminated. One can only assume it was because of pressure from groups who oppose the CIS-male, dominant identity. And right now, those groups wield significant political influence.
I suppose there are some who will justify their intolerance by pointing out that members the LGBTQIA community have long suffered intolerance against their identity. I agree. I have never felt that discriminating against someone based on their sexual identity was just. But that doesn’t mean that Dom men should be discriminated against. We do not force our submissives into service to us.
Not only that, but our submissive women are treated like either 1. they are victims that need to be “freed” and rescued, or 2. They are weak-minded with low self-esteem and are simply incapable of being who they truly want to be. Who do they truly want to be? Anything but a submissive, in the eyes of the intolerant.
So the dilemma, as a Dom male, one who actively lives the lifestyle of a D/s relationship, you must either be independently wealthy, self-employed and not dependent on having a public clientele, or cautious about who knows about your identity and where you express it.
Consider this: two men or women can walk down a public street, holding hands, even kissing each other. They are in love and expressing their happiness publicly. Typically, nobody would bat an eye, and even the majority those that don’t agree with their actions would certainly keep it to themselves. Even fewer would actively speak to the couple and condemn their actions. Now suppose this is a man whose woman is obviously wearing a collar. Even further, imagine she has a small black leather leash attached to her collar and he is holding it as they walk side by side. I have not tested this, but my educated guess is that there would be a greater possibility of negative reactions than with the previous situations.
So in many ways, the identity we as Doms hold, as well as the sexual identities of our submissives, must be kept clandestine. A federal appeals court in Chicago recently ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects the sexual orientation of LGBT people from being used in job discrimination. This is great. I would go further and say I support the law being updated to make that right even more explicitly defined. However, as we have seen, there are still “taboo” identities. The freedom to openly express consensual lifestyles is still far from being secured by all.