"The Pink Ghetto"

Visiting "The Pink Ghetto"

Several years ago - before I wrote my memoir "Shameless" I did something that I had never done before - I met a group of  "sex bloggers". I went to the launch party of a website called "Sex In The Public Square" founded by Elizabeth Wood and Chris Hall. They had this vision for a new out in the open blogging community - and I met people who I had known through the Internet ether for quite some time. I couldn't believe that I was there - and that these people were actually real and showing up at a public gathering as themselves! How incredibly brave and shameless.

I met many new people that night who were working in what was coined "The Pink Ghetto". I listened to Lux Nightmare read her writings about working in the Pink Ghetto and how she could not use her real name in her writings even though she was a sex educator by day. I listened to and heard for the first time. - Susie Bright.

There is this entire world out there in Pink Ghetto that I knew nothing about.....and I found sisters and brothers there in many ways - especially in the struggle for identity and acceptance.  For so many people there  is fear in being able to speak about their lives freely.  So few of us who tell our stories (if it involves sex in anyway)  use our real names because jobs, family and friendships could be threatened.

I remember sitting there - feeling that feeling again - that I needed to tell my story like some weird survivor of a war that has come back to retell their tale. I kept feeling my outrage bubbling over the surface - how I once too felt such shame - and so threatened.

I felt a jealousy....about how wonderful it must be to be able to stand up and be photographed as a whole person. To be able to read your writings out loud to a group and not to be hiding behind a stage name because you feared for your existence.  It made my blood flow and brought out the advocate in me.

It helped show me the possibilities for my life. What it might be like to live into the full  potential of me and that night it fed my desire to continue to move forward and create my life.

And here is another cool thing.....so many of these bloggers were "real" people.  What I mean by that - is that they certainly were not ordinary people.....but they were real in every sense of the word.

There was not an abundance of over exercised bodies, boob jobs or plastic faces. In fact those kinds of people were visibly absent.  This group of sex positive activists ran across all age lines, sex preferences, racial lines and  body weight ranges. I might as well have been at an art galley opening.  These folks were quite the every day looking NYC kind of people.  Yet - here they were - out in the open embracing their lives - and their sexuality.  They were not waiting  until "some day"when they had the perfect whatever to have a life. They were creating and re creating themselves now.....as is!

I think in many ways  that night inspired me to take the next steps towards writing and telling my story.  There would be no more waiting for my own "One Day".

Yep - that's me - holding the first galley of Shameless, in my hot little hands sitting in the offices of Rodale!