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“Are you a Friend of Dorothy?”

May 6th, 2009 · 1 Comment

I love that phrase. I’d only heard about it recently, when a gay friend of mine was telling a story, wherein someone had said to her and her gf - “Oh its ok, I’m a friend of Dorothy too!”

Its a nice subtle way of saying “Are you gay?” or “Hey, I’m gay!” when you don’t want to say it. At least, back in the day, when it wasn’t always prudent to say it. I was thinking about it today, while talking to a friend at school.  Said friend is also kinky. In fact we met through a kinky thing, and it was a random chance that put us in the same school in the same time slots.

Now, we were talking today with another girl about the recent Kate Bornstein lecture we had gone to that she had missed. However, I wasn’t sure if she was kinky, queer, or what. Not that I *need* to know, or its my business, but its nice to know when you don’t have to censer yourself as much, or when it won’t be bad if you let something slip accidentally.

So when the girl was gone, I leaned into my friend and asked “Oh, is she one of ours?”, for lack of a better way of saying it, especially in a bustling hallway.

It got the point across, but I don’t like the phrasing. ‘One of ours’ sounds too exclusionary, too military, and screams ‘us against them!’, which I don’t think are very good things.

It would be nice if kinksters had some sort of subtle phrase to identify each other like “Are you a friend of Dorothy”. Yes, there are other subtle ways we try to get things across.

Jewelry - there are the story of ‘O’ slave rings, which I see rarely these days. The triskelion? Not strictly BDSM. Pagans have reclaimed it, and its the symbol of Brittany, the Isle of Man and Sicily. Not helpful.

Flagging? I flag quite a bit - a red hankie in my left back pocket. Quick! Do you know what that means? Exactly. Flagging is fun, and I love that its also very much a gay leather type thing, but flagging only works if other people know what it means. Its great for events and cruising, when you can go “ok, I want someone who likes x, y, or z.” Then you know what colours to look for.  But lots of people use hankies as an accessory, or a variety of other things. Plus, it seems to have fallen out of favour. Though I see (or at least notice) other people flagging now more since I started.

(BTW, a red hankie in my left back pocket means I’m a fisting top.)

Leather pride colours? Maybe - but red, black and blue go together pretty well. That would be like me trying to identify other pagans by looking for people who wear red, black and white, or have jewelry themed in those colours. (Which was a popular colour theme in the Sleepover Friends books, as well as in fashion, and in books for babies.)

The flag works pretty well, especially as a patch or pin, since it can be subtle, though I wish the flag were less dark. The colours black, blue and red are reminiscent of bruises and blood, but I’m sure that’s intentional - that’s a tale for another day.

The problem with identifying accessories is that people don’t always notice them. I have a Leather Pride Night key chain, and two Leather Pride Night volunteer pins - all three have been worn/used around my mother and other kinksters, and people don’t usually notice.

Plus, some people don’t like accessories in general. Keychains, pins, patches, bobble hats, jewelry, whatever, it isn’t always someone’s thing.

So, a phrase somewhere between ‘are you in the scene/into kink?’ which can seem a little vague, as well as ominous, at least to me, something between that, and flat out asking would be awesome. Of course, this first means people would have to come up with a refference that would a) be recognizeable to other pervs and b) be some what innocuous. THEN we’d have to start using it and spreading it around. Put it in the urban dictionary, or write to Dan Savage or something.

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Tags: Kink · geekery · possible rambling of no interest to anyone but myself · thoughts

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Adriana // May 14, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    I’d never heard of that phrase. I like it except it has the same faults all of these things do - it only works if people recognize it.

    I think the BDSM emblem is still strong because it is a variation of the triskellion (the holes are important).


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