[M/s 365] Our story on StoryCorps and more about being out

Last week, slave Angie and I interviewed each other about our M/s dynamic and story for the StoryCorps project, a effort by folks to get stories of Americans into the Library of Congress for historical documentation and purposes. They describe themselves as “one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on our Listen pages.”

storycorp

It was a wonderful interview, ranging from our first interests to how we came into the scene, to how we discovered M/s and to how we live our M/s on a daily basis. What a wonderful thing to be able to send into the future.

The only real issue came up when it was time to release our story, the question of the possibility of having our real names made available on NPR and the Internet made us really evaluate what we wanted.

You see, the process of being “out” for us has become a complex one, especially in light of what we’ve seen now in two recent public negative reactions to the concept of a consensual, erotic Master/slave relationship. We’ve always been on the practice of “not hiding, but not forcing our way into the conversation.” In other words, if people want to seek us out, if they find us, we are who we are and that is what they will see. At the same time, we understand the risks and therefore we take a light step. We don’t want to force ourselves into a conversation. And having a snippet of our story end up on NPR’s “Morning Edition” with our real names wasn’t something we wanted.

Unfortunately, StoryCorps doesn’t (yet) have a release system that would allow me to use my authentic, but scene-only name of “Master Michael” if the story made it onto NPR/Internet, and yet have my real name as part of the recording kept at the Library of Congress. I had to make a choice of one or the other – use my scene name for both media and historical purposes, or use my ID name, or limit the release. Ultimately, we chose to use our ID names, but limit the release.

I don’t want to give StoryCorp bad press here, because the recording was amazing and the experience was wonderful. We’re thinking about editing it and releasing it here on our blog. I think that we should be able to record our stories and share our experiences. And they were willing to listen and talk about it, but ultimately it wasn’t the choice we wanted to make. I think that might be something they want to consider in this age of Facebook-name-antiLGBT-activism, LGBT people still being bullied and murdered, consenting kinky adults being forced from their jobs and losing their children. We all have stories to tell and share and put forward into the future.

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Master Michael S

International Master 2014. Member of: Chicago Leather Club, Chicago Leathermen Group, MAsT: Greater Chicago. Longtime leatherman. One of the Four Horsemen.

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