Should We, Like, Even Have Pride 2020?

Content note: This post discusses the coronavirus pandemic as well as the cancellation of Pride 2020 and other events, and, more importantly, racism and the protests currently unfolding in the US following the death of yet another Black man at the hands of a police officer. Obviously, that’s kinda heavy, so please take care of yourselves first – you can’t pour from an empty (or debilitatingly traumatised) cup.


I’ve been lucky enough to go to a number of brilliant pride events. Even when they’ve been overwhelming, and a little lacking in the accessibility department, and thoroughly rained upon, I’ve been warmed through by a sense of community and safety that I rarely find outside of kink spaces and small pockets of the internet. Like a lot of people, I was really looking forward to Pride 2020.

Except, well, it’s 2020.

There’s a pandemic going on, just in case you had somehow not heard (and I’m so fucking jealous of you if you hadn’t). That, obviously, means that physical pride events are going to be difficult to organise in a safe and responsible way. I’ve been grieving the loss of a lot of opportunities and things I was excited about and any sense of normality, so pride events being cancelled is something I’m kinda already emotionally prepared for. Besides, it’s not physical events that I’m the most invested in (again, overwhelming and inaccessible) – it’s pride month.

Pride month is usually a lot of fun. It’s the month before my birthday, and everything in the shops is dipped in rainbows and other pride flags. The memes are usually impeccable. There are fruitful discussions about the LGBT+ rights movement, and less fruitful “discussions” with trolls (I can’t help it! They’re so easy to wind up!). Most pride months, there’s a hum in the air, like every LGBT+ person is vibrating with excitement at the prospect of painting flags onto their faces and getting wasted. Generally, the vibe is a positive, uplifting one.

I don’t know how or if we could achieve that vibe this year without the coronavirus involved, though, because there’s another reason that I’m writing this blog post: the protests in the United States.

I’m not equipped to talk about what’s going on. I’m not well-informed enough, in my own opinion, but more importantly than that: I’m white. As far as I’m concerned, that means my job is to boost the voices of Black people and other people of colour, but not to come to any grand conclusions on my own and then spout them from my white-person soapbox. I want to be helpful, but in this case, I’m pretty sure the most helpful thing to do would be to listen to Black people, spread the protest bail funds and other helpful information, and tell other white people to bloody well behave themselves.

A while ago, I wrote a blog post called Chicken Wings: A Clumsy Metaphor About Race. That post paradoxically discouraged white fragility and catered to it, by reminding white people that the people who call them out for racist behaviours are trying to help them be less racist. Even at the time, I didn’t love framing it in a way that fed the white egos reading it, but I was trying to be patient and gentle with y’all because I have enough privilege to take a softly-softly approach to anti-racism discussions.

I do not, however, have enough patience for said approach. I’m sick of watching my fellow white people defending cops, criticising the actions of protesters, sharing shit without double-checking its legitimacy or helpfulness… the list goes on. I’m sick of watching white people just… not… care about other human beings. I cannot begin to imagine how much more sick of it most POC are.

So, even though we could do a virtual Pride 2020 – should we? Should we be celebrating while other people are fighting for their rights and getting teargassed in response? Should we all have rainbow-y icons and hang out in group chats and listen to absolutely banging tunes while drinking on Zoom with some mates?

The answer is, of course, that I can’t answer that. Neither can people of colour, because (surprise surprise), they aren’t a monolith. They don’t have meetings about their official stances on various issues. Instead, they’re all individuals – but some of them are community organisers and activists, and I plan to find a few of those people to listen to as June unfolds. I honestly won’t mind if Pride 2020 sort of falls on its face, gets postponed or is entirely written off, because human rights are more important to me than getting to draw flags on my face. You know, obviously.

I don’t want to include just one masterpost of helpful resources in case I miss out something vital, so I implore you (especially if you’re white) to go and do some research about how best to help both the protesters currently operating in the US and the Black Lives Matter movement more broadly. Donate to things, physically turn up and help protesters where you safely can, and remember: wash your hands, don’t touch your face, get a burner phone and never, ever trust a cop.

Pride: A Complicated Experience

Stock photo of glitter laid out in stripes to form a rainbow. Glitter is present at a lot of Pride events, in case you didn't know ;)

I haven’t been to a tonne of Pride events.

I came out to myself as bi when I was about 13, and as nonbinary when I was about 17. Unusually, I think, I didn’t feel any internalised shame about my queer identity in the traditional sense. When I realised I was bisexual, I was excited about it: excited about my newfound connection to the LGBTQ+ community, excited about the possibility of kissing girls and excited that I’d found a label that fit me, after a year or two of worrying that I was simply a lesbian who was very bad at lesbianing.

When I came out to myself as nonbinary, I felt a degree of anxiety that I wasn’t not-cis enough (I didn’t experience all the dysphoria that mainstream media promised me, and I’d only put the pieces together as a young adult), but mostly I was, again, excited to find a word that fit my experience of gender. I understood, in theory, that a lot of people needed the Pride movement to allay their feelings of internalised shame, fear and grossness about being anything other than cishet, but whether it was the autism or my mum’s accepting and loving influence, I never felt bad about being queer.

This didn’t mean that I was uninterested in Pride events, but I didn’t feel any desperate pull towards them. I could experience the joy of being part of the LGBTQ+ community online, in the comfort of my own home, and that felt like enough for me. The first time I went to Pride, it was for an unconventional reason: I was deeply, deeply depressed, and it was a reason to leave the house.

My hometown’s Pride event was, and still is, mercifully grassroots in nature, held in a spacious park and never too crowded. But this didn’t stop me from feeling overwhelmed, especially when I found that there was nowhere for me to sit down and rest my disabled little legs, and nothing was signposted, leading to me getting turned around and confused at least twice an hour. I loved spotting other people’s flags, starting conversations with people about their dogs or their outfits, and talking to the people who ran stalls relevant to my interests, but I left the event exhausted and overstimulated and had to spend at least a couple of days in bed or otherwise in my pajamas, recharging my limited energy.

Bigger Pride events, as you can imagine, intimidate me. I went to one in my university city and found it so challenging that I slipped away on more than one occasion to the outskirts of the event, taking deep breaths and chewing on free sweets obtained from various stalls and booths. I know lots of other people find Pride inaccessible, and this year, I stuck to my hometown’s event – but still needed to be babysat by my girlfriends and metamour, reminded to eat, and encouraged to leave earlier than most people might because I was ready to lie down on the grass and give up.

This is why I feel conflicted about Pride. I already felt like it might not be for me, since I didn’t experience the internalised shame that so many LGBTQ+ people talked about, and after having found so many Pride events to be lacking in the accessibility department, I felt that even more strongly. Couple that with a police presence which makes my autistic nerves run higher than the volume on the main stage’s speakers and the ongoing online discussions about who “belongs” at Pride, I’ve often wondered what Pride does have to offer me.

The thing is, Pride as a concept is great. I enjoy rainbow paraphernalia and I even enjoy watching corporations desperately try to cater to me (only to drop the facade on the 1st of July) and then watching other LGBTQ+ people mock them for it. Pride month is fun, it reminds me of the importance of community and visibility, and it gives me an excuse to respond melodramatically to every minor inconvenience (“It’s raining? During this, Pride Month?”). But I’m starting to acknowledge that I pressure myself into attending events that I don’t really need to be at. I already know my community exists, I have created safe spaces of my own to be queer in, and I don’t feel gross or ashamed or anything other than pleased about my queer identity.

I know Pride does a lot for a lot of people. I love seeing people at Pride events blossoming with confidence they might not feel anywhere else, and I appreciate that there exists a space where everyone can just… be their authentic selves, without fear of repercussion. But with gatekeeping, corporate involvement, inaccessibility and the rest of it, it’s a movement and a series of events that I feel somewhat disconnected from.

I will continue to defend my LGBTQ+ siblings’ right to attend Pride events, obviously. I want to speak up in defense of asexual and aromantic people’s place at Pride and about the ways that a police presence can make POC and neurodivergent people feel deeply uncomfortable, but I might not need to push myself into events to achieve that. I suppose it’s a result of internalised ableism, something I do experience a lot of, that I feel like I need to do what my abled friends are doing whether I actually want to or not. And I suppose it’s important for me as an activist to confront my internalised ableism, and that might mean staying home from crowded, noisy, police-infested Pride events when I need to.

I’m still going to buy shit with rainbows on it, though. I’m always going to buy shit with rainbows on.

Smut Saturdays #5 – Phone Sex

Every fourth Saturday, I’ll be posting erotica I’ve written, based loosely on my own real life experiences or fantasies, for your wanking enjoyment. If you’ve got any feedback or requests, put ’em in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @KinkyAutistic!
This one is particularly special because I wrote it years ago to accompany a fanfiction I was writing. I’ve changed the names and some details but I will be thoroughly impressed if you can name the source fandom!


Ben

He was actually… this was actually happening… fucking hell…

I took another deep, steadying breath. I had been taking a lot of those in the past few minutes, but I couldn’t really help it. I was shaking hard, my entire crotch was pulsing like it just wanted to get free… “Are you going to be a good boy for me, Ryan?”

I heard him moan again through the phone. Oh, god, that was hot… “Y-yeah…”

“Good,” I purred, pressing the phone between my cheek and shoulder and reaching down to just squeeze my crotch just a little, biting hard into my lip. I wanted to last as long as possible for Ryan, but I didn’t fancy my chances with him making noises like that, clearly enjoying himself a whole lot… and just to think about what he was actually doing… “Now, what are you wearing?”

“Jeans… and boxers… why?” He was already shirtless. Mmmm. That would come in handy.

I squeezed a little harder, the other hand absently brushing over one nipple. I usually just stroke my dick until it stops bothering me, but tonight was a very special occasion that I wanted to make the most of. “Could you take them off for me?” I asked softly, listening to his gorgeous little grunts and the shuffling of fabric. “There’s a good boy…”

He moaned again. “I… I like when you…”

“When I call you a good boy?” I heard a noise that was clearly an agreement, and more soft panting. I was going to explode soon, but I was determined to be selfless. “When I call you my good little boy, doing as you’re told for me…” He moaned again, higher in pitch and volume… “Would you mind if I did what you’re doing?”

“N-no… go ahead… ah, ahhh…” Ryan managed to force out. I think he was having some issues with words, and I didn’t blame him. I could hear his hand on his cock now, and he was getting faster and faster. “Just… tell me about it?”

“Of course,” I said smoothly, shimmying off my jeans and underwear, not even bothering with my shirt – washable, or replaceable, anyway – and settling back comfortably against my pillows, phone still in hand. “Can you slow down for me a little? Wouldn’t want you getting carried away, at least not yet…”

Ryan’s breathing slowed a little and the almost-squeaky moans subsided a bit. I tried not to mind too horribly; after all, they would be back in full very shortly. “S-say things…”

“Say things? Does my good boy want me to say dirty things in my sexy voice?” I teased, starting to stroke my cock slowly, inhaling sharply when my hand first closed around it. “You want me to tell you what I’m doing?”

“Mhmm, please,” he almost whined, and I bit my lip. Keeping myself from coming was going to be something of a challenge, but I could do challenges. For Ryan, I could do anything.

“I’m stroking my throbbing cock to the thought of you,” I murmured, squeezing a little more, “and listening to you touching yourself for me like the good boy you are…”

“C-can I… I wanna… finish…” He sounded so cutely embarrassed that I had to bite back a chuckle. “I-I mean…”

“Go ahead, Ryan, come for me,” I whispered, tilting my head back against my wall as I listened to him moan and then gasp, his breathing deliciously heavy. “Does that feel good?”

“Y-yeah… Ben…” Moan my name like that again, fuuuck… “Ben, I want you to fuck me.” Or that… fuck, fuck… “Do you want to fuck me?”

I nodded frantically before remembering why I was clutching a phone in my free hand. “Yeah, yes, I do…”

“I’m not such a good boy really,” he said slowly. “If I were, I wouldn’t have started touching myself for you, would I?”

“Y-you’re trying to show me up…” I ground out, thinking that maybe I should stop touching myself, and touching myself anyway. “You want me to come faster than y-you did…”

“Shhh,” he said, and I shhhed, biting my lip and continuing to stroke as slowly as I could bear. “It’s a shame you aren’t here, I’ve got cum all over my stomach and no way of getting rid of it…”

“Lick it up yourself?” I suggested. I’d done it from time to time. It was all right, nothing special, but I was pretty convinced that Ryan’s cum would taste like the nectar of the gods themselves, only significantly less holy. “If you want, I mean…”

“It’s not bad,” he cut me off thoughtfully, in a voice that sounded like he had approximately two fingers in his mouth. Oh fuck, that was hot… “I think yours would taste better though. Now, lie back, and get ready to take orders.” I found myself dazedly thinking Yes, Master as I lay back, heart and dick throbbing in sync. “You’re going to do everything I tell you to do, understand?”

Oh, I like this…


Ryan

I had absolutely no fucking clue what I was doing, and I was thoroughly enjoying it. “Faster,” I said for about the five hundredth time, still lazily running fingers up and down my own shaft. “Still having fun?”

A series of incomprehensible moans and gasps followed that I took to mean yes. This phone sex this was a lot more fun than I had ever thought it could be. Ben clearly agreed, managing to murmur a faint “Ryan” as he kept going, listening to my voice and probably paying no attention to the actual words.

“You know what I want, Ben?” I asked, not expecting an answer. “I want you to fuck me until I can’t even walk. I want it slow and agonising at first, then fast and rough until I’m screaming so loud that the whole street knows what you’re doing to your good little boy.” I couldn’t even begin to describe how hot it was when he called me that. “You want that?”

“So… so bad,” he hissed. “Ry, I’m gonna cum –”

“Go on. Everywhere, like you would on me. You want to see me covered in your cum?” I asked, stroking myself a little faster. I wanted me covered in his cum. I had realised in the past thirty seconds or so that I really liked the idea of rough, messy sex, and it seemed that Ben enjoyed that idea too. I heard him cum, heard it splat on his stomach, and bit my lip. Oh, that was hot…

He chuckled. “Know what, Ryan? I think it’s your turn to take orders.” Gladly, I think I was kind of shit at giving them so maybe this will suit me better anyway. “Are you touching yourself right now?”

“Mhmm…” I admitted, looking down at my twitching erection and blushing a little. “Why?”

“Stop.” His commanding voice is unfairly sexy, I thought, taking both hands away from my dick in spite of the desperate need to get it down. “Now kneel up on your bed.” Somewhat puzzled, I did as told, phone between my shoulder and ear. “Suck on your middle finger.” Now I was beginning to get it… I followed the order, noticing just how much I liked following orders when a little bit of precum dripped onto my sheets. “Can you guess what I want you to do?”

“You want me to f-finger myself,” I muttered, already reaching behind myself. I’d never done this before, and I was terrified, but excited, as my dick was all too keen to remind me.

“That’s right,” his voice, fuck, “I want you to finger your tight little ass for me. Do you want to?”

I nodded slowly. “Mhmmm.”

“You want to fuck yourself for me, don’t you?” I moaned, pushing my finger in slowly… “Close your eyes, Ryan. It’s my finger. My finger in your ass, getting you ready for something bigger…”

“Ben,” I whined, “fuck me…”

“I will, Ryan. Where do you wanna be fucked?” he inquired almost casually. I wondered briefly whether he was still touching himself, but I was kind of distracted by my finger in my ass. “And how?”

I had been thinking about this for long enough to provide an answer instantly. “Your huge bed,” I breathed, “and hard, rough… I want you to punish me…”

“You’re a kinky little thing, aren’t you?” I loved that voice he did, like he was purring… mm… “Would you let me tie you up?”

“Y-yeah…” I moved my finger a little faster, moaning a little louder, shaking a little harder… “And… bite me… pull my hair… fuck…”

“Swear a little more for me, Ryan, it really turns me on.” I could barely even think, let alone form words. “Come on. Say, “Fuck me, Ben.””

“F-fuck me, A-ahhh… Ben…”

He chuckled again. “Beg,” he said shortly, and the command in his voice was enough to make me want to fall apart.

“Please… please, Ben, please fuck me, I need it so bad, I’ll do anything…” I shoved my finger in harder, gasping, and wrapped my other hand around my cock again. “B-Ben…”

“Good boy,” he murmured. “Keep going…”

I would keep going, all right. All night, all day, for week…