DC: Relocation imminent

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at...@atrus.org

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Oct 15, 2009, 5:26:38 PM10/15/09
to kinkforall
Hi,
I just got off the phone with Stephen Beach from the CUPF. He also sent me an e-mail (included below), but that's less informative. Basically, the school board is prepared to make a big deal about KinkForAll being at the school.

One part of their argument is that there's an increased chance of sex offenders being present on school grounds; I explained that I'd immediately updated our materials to include the language from my contract. If that were the only issue, it might be possible to deal with it.

They are also invoking the school's responsiblity to shield children from material they deem inappropriate. Again, this is debatable, but the CUPF's attorney agrees with it.

Lastly, they are upset about the press release that Maymay posted to the website last night[1]. They feel that it suggests that they are sponsoring the event. If nothing else, it is lacking the disclaimer 'This activity is not sponsored by, associated with, or endorsed by Montgomery County Public Schools or Montgomery County Government.'
(I'd seen the press release last night and was going to talk to Maymay about making some changes, but have been busy today. AFAIK, it hasn't actually gone anywhere besides people monitoring kinkforall.org's RSS feed or google alert or somesuch. Anyway...)

Considering that this is now both a legal and political battle, and the divide within the KinkForAll community about minors, I gave Mr. Beach two alternate, non-school locations: Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center and the Executive Office Building. Both are about as close to metro as the schools I'd selected before, but don't have as nice an arrangement of rooms. They seem adequate, though.

Mr Beach said that he'd get back to me later today or early tomorrow.

In good news, I don't think any paper advertising has gone out, and the various event pages should be easily adjustable. We're also over a month out from the original date, which is good.

Cheers,
-Nikolas

[1] http://kinkforall.org/?p=75

On Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 2:20 PM, Beach, Stephen <Stephe...@montgomerycountymd.gov> wrote:
> Mr. Coukouma,
>
> It’s unfortunate that you didn’t get back to us before advertising your
> event. As you anticipated, fall-out has ensued as a result of your
> publicity. The school system is concerned with the nature of the event and
> is also concerned about your press release, which we have not seen, but
> which they feel implies they are somehow sponsoring this event.
>
> We suggested in our earlier email that you consider a non-school, government
> facility as the venue for the event. We need to speak with you about that
> possibility and about the school system’s concerns.
>
> Please contact our office as soon as is possible at 240-777-2723.
>
>
>
> Regards
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maymay

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Oct 15, 2009, 6:20:35 PM10/15/09
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On Oct 15, 2009, at 2:26 PM, at...@atrus.org wrote:

> Hi,
> I just got off the phone with Stephen Beach from the CUPF. He also
> sent me an e-mail (included below), but that's less informative.
> Basically, the school board is prepared to make a big deal about
> KinkForAll being at the school.
>
> One part of their argument is that there's an increased chance of
> sex offenders being present on school grounds; I explained that I'd
> immediately updated our materials to include the language from my
> contract. If that were the only issue, it might be possible to deal
> with it.
>
> They are also invoking the school's responsiblity to shield children
> from material they deem inappropriate. Again, this is debatable, but
> the CUPF's attorney agrees with it.
>
> Lastly, they are upset about the press release that Maymay posted to
> the website last night[1]. They feel that it suggests that they are
> sponsoring the event. If nothing else, it is lacking the disclaimer
> 'This activity is not sponsored by, associated with, or endorsed by
> Montgomery County Public Schools or Montgomery County Government.'
> (I'd seen the press release last night and was going to talk to
> Maymay about making some changes, but have been busy today. AFAIK,
> it hasn't actually gone anywhere besides people monitoring kinkforall.org
> 's RSS feed or google alert or somesuch. Anyway...)

Damn. Caught on a technicality that I overlooked. A valid, but
frustrating one. At the very minimum, I've updated the press release
to include that disclaimer, but I doubt it makes much of a difference
now.

I was also just preparing an email to this list that was going to make
people aware of my doing that. In the better late than never mindset,
I'm going to send that email next in its original thread.[0]

> Considering that this is now both a legal and political battle, and
> the divide within the KinkForAll community about minors, I gave Mr.
> Beach two alternate, non-school locations: Bethesda-Chevy Chase
> Regional Services Center and the Executive Office Building. Both are
> about as close to metro as the schools I'd selected before, but
> don't have as nice an arrangement of rooms. They seem adequate,
> though.
>
> Mr Beach said that he'd get back to me later today or early tomorrow.
>
> In good news, I don't think any paper advertising has gone out, and
> the various event pages should be easily adjustable. We're also over
> a month out from the original date, which is good.
>
> Cheers,
> -Nikolas
>
> [1] http://kinkforall.org/?p=75

Hoping for the best,
-maymay
Blog: http://maybemaimed.com
Talk show: http://KinkOnTap.com
Community: http://KinkForAll.org
Volunteering: http://ConversioVirium.org/author/maymay

EXTERNAL REFERENCES:

[0] http://groups.google.com/group/kinkforall/browse_thread/thread/f1477c76b54a4ba1

maymay

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Oct 15, 2009, 6:29:52 PM10/15/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Oct 15, 2009, at 2:26 PM, at...@atrus.org wrote:

> Lastly, they are upset about the press release that Maymay posted to
> the website last night[1]. They feel that it suggests that they are
> sponsoring the event. If nothing else, it is lacking the disclaimer
> 'This activity is not sponsored by, associated with, or endorsed by
> Montgomery County Public Schools or Montgomery County Government.'
> (I'd seen the press release last night and was going to talk to
> Maymay about making some changes, but have been busy today. AFAIK,
> it hasn't actually gone anywhere besides people monitoring kinkforall.org
> 's RSS feed or google alert or somesuch. Anyway...)

I should also probably mention I showed the release to a number of
other people yesterday, including Sara, and that we all failed to
catch the technicality of the disclaimer. Unfortunate, indeed. :(

Cheers,

Heliotrope

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Oct 15, 2009, 6:44:52 PM10/15/09
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Hey,
I just wanted to say thank you, Nikolas. I'm sorry that the school
seems to have fallen through, although I'm not overwhelmingly
surprised. I'm hopeful that we may still be in public, government-
owned facilities - still a very good step in the right direction. But
mostly, just, thank you. Thank for your promptness, for your
thoroughness, for your unflagging effort. Thank you for remaining
cheerful and tactful and honestly kind through everything from schisms
on the list to the worries of a school board. Thank you for taking
such a strong lead on KFADC, and for being a fantastic part of the KFA
community generally. In my hopes to put together a KFA Providence, I
will look to you for inspiration in how best to go about it. I doubt
I'll ever be as tech-savvy or wiki-versed, or as good at researching
and responding to possible problems, but I will try. Thank you for
informing us, and for weathering with grace this most recent blow to
the work you've put in to this event.
It will happen, I have no doubt, and I will be there to thank you
personally,
All the best,
Emma

maymay

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Oct 15, 2009, 6:49:16 PM10/15/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com

On Oct 15, 2009, at 3:44 PM, Heliotrope wrote:

> Hey,
> I just wanted to say thank you, Nikolas. I'm sorry that the school
> seems to have fallen through, although I'm not overwhelmingly
> surprised. I'm hopeful that we may still be in public, government-
> owned facilities - still a very good step in the right direction.

Yes, my understanding is that there is good news. The CUPF folks have
been very wonderful to us and as Nikolas mentioned, they are likely to
provide an alternative venue for KFADC. Regardless of the change in
venue, our legal agreement with them, particularly with regard to
"open to the public" events and the impermissible discrimination
against anyone based on religion, race, age, or sexual orientation,
etc. is still in full effect.

> But
> mostly, just, thank you. Thank for your promptness, for your
> thoroughness, for your unflagging effort. Thank you for remaining
> cheerful and tactful and honestly kind through everything from schisms
> on the list to the worries of a school board. Thank you for taking
> such a strong lead on KFADC, and for being a fantastic part of the KFA
> community generally.

Seconded. I am learning *so much* from Nikolas and how thorough, on-
point, and productive he has been. My hat (had I been wearing one) is
off to you, Sir.

> In my hopes to put together a KFA Providence, I
> will look to you for inspiration in how best to go about it. I doubt
> I'll ever be as tech-savvy or wiki-versed, or as good at researching
> and responding to possible problems, but I will try. Thank you for
> informing us, and for weathering with grace this most recent blow to
> the work you've put in to this event.
> It will happen, I have no doubt, and I will be there to thank you
> personally,
> All the best,
> Emma

Indeed, KFADC is still a go. We are not being shut down, merely moved.
And we are being moved from one public venue to another, that is all.
This is not a dire situation, just a frustrating set back.

Sarah Taub

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Oct 15, 2009, 9:08:28 PM10/15/09
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Ditto to everything Emma said (except the parts about organizing in Providence).  Thank you, Nikolas!!
--Sarah

maymay

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Oct 16, 2009, 5:03:16 PM10/16/09
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Hi all,

I just got off the phone with Maxwell Ciardullo, Information
Coordinator for the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the
United States (SIECUS). We had a brief conversation that gave me some
good information along with much-needed context to the events of the
past two days with regards to KinkForAll Washington DC.

Mr. Ciardullo spoke to me about recent controversies in the Montgomery
County school district. For those who don't already know, a 5 year
long campaign against changes to the school's sex education
curriculums that would introduce discussions of homosexuality to 10th
graders and show students how to put on a condom recently ended in the
decision to cancel the new curriculum in favor of a different, less
controversial curriculum. Details about the controversy are available
from SIECUS's web site.[0]

Having finally put this 5-year controversy behind them, the Montgomery
County school district was understandably quick to try to prevent
KinkForAll Washington DC from being held in Bethesda Chevy-Chase High
School. I told Mr. Ciardullo that I understand the school board's
concern and reiterated to him that our interest is not expressly in a
school building but rather in having a public space venue (that we can
afford) which is easily accessible by public transit. He seemed to
understand the importance that KFADC is kept open to the public and
relieved when I informed him of our willingness to move to a location
that is similarly public, like the school, but not on school grounds.

I also asked Mr. Ciardullo for advice and resources for both general
KinkForAll community concerns as well as KinkForAll Washington DC-
specific resources. He gave me the following information:

* In order to seek additional legal advice in case we need or want it,
he said we should contact Ricci Levy, executive director of the
Woodhull Foundation. I have contacts at the Woodhull Foundation so I
will be emailing them later today or tomorrow.
* In response to my question about any organizations who might be able
to help us create a safe and comfortable environment for young people,
Mr. Ciardullo told me to seek information from the National Youth
Advocacy Coalition.[1] Again, I will be sending them an email tonight
or tomorrow.
* In response to my question about what to do should we find ourselves
the target of sex-negative attacks on any scale, Mr. Ciardullo told me
that we are already on the right track by doing things like
researching Montgomery County laws, remaining transparent and
completely honest with what we are doing (a public email list, e.g.,
really helps), and inviting people who are concerned to come to the
event itself. I.e., As KinkForAll is a public event, any 20-minute
presentation is welcome, including ones that may be unpopular with
people on this list.

I also asked Mr. Ciardullo if he had any advice, suggestions, or
recommendations in how we can create an appropriately educational and
non-eroticized environment in an ad-hoc and public space environment
such as KinkForAll Washington DC. He said this was a good question and
referred me elsewhere. :)

Nikolas, has there been any word from Mr. Beach and the CUPF with
regard to our alternative venue options?

EXTERNAL REFERENCES:

[0] http://www.siecus.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Feature.showFeature&featureid=1274&pageid=483&parentid=478
[1] http://nyacyouth.org/

at...@atrus.org

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Oct 16, 2009, 6:13:58 PM10/16/09
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On Fri, Oct 16, 2009 at 5:03 PM, maymay <bitethea...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I just got off the phone with Maxwell Ciardullo, Information
> Coordinator for the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the
> United States (SIECUS). We had a brief conversation that gave me some
> good information along with much-needed context to the events of the
> past two days with regards to KinkForAll Washington DC.
...
Interesting. Thanks for posting this and handling contacting the Woodhull Foundation and National Youth Advocacy Coalition.

> Nikolas, has there been any word from Mr. Beach and the CUPF with
> regard to our alternative venue options?

I got an e-mail earlier today from him. It looks like we'll probably be in the county's Executive Office Building, which is located at 101 Monroe St., Rockville, MD 20850; it's about 0.2 miles from the Rockville Metrorail station.

Cheers,
-Nikolas
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at...@atrus.org

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Oct 16, 2009, 6:15:13 PM10/16/09
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Er, I forgot to mention that the ETA for confirmation is Monday.
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maymay

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Oct 21, 2009, 8:29:26 PM10/21/09
to KinkForAll
Hi everyone,

A brief update. Since last I posted in this thread, I've contacted the
Woodhull Foundation, as well as several additional people from the
National Youth Advocacy Coalition. Unfortunately, everyone's time is
at a premium and I've not been able to connect meaningfully with them
yet (although Riccy Levy did send me a very positive email with lots
of questions about KinkForAll, which I answered and which is redundant
for this list).

As far as I know, we are still waiting on the CUPF to confirm an
alternative venue for KinkForAll Washington DC, so I have stepped up
my efforts to contact as many other organizations as possible in order
to ensure that we are not unnoticed. Once again, if you have any
contacts at any such organizations, sharing them with me (off list, if
that's more appropriate), would be helpful. Also helpful would be
reaching out to your personal networks and inviting any interested
people to sign up on the KinkForAll Washington DC wiki page.

http://wiki.kinkforall.org/KinkForAllWashingtonDC

Nikolas Coukouma

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Oct 22, 2009, 1:13:37 AM10/22/09
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On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 8:29 PM, maymay <bitethea...@gmail.com> wrote:
...

> As far as I know, we are still waiting on the CUPF to confirm an
> alternative venue for KinkForAll Washington DC, ...

I called earlier today (Wednesday), to try to check the status of our
reservation. Unfortunately, I didn't get to speak to anyone that could
comment on that, but I did leave my contact information with the
assistant for Ms. Ginny Gong (the director of CUPF). Ms. Gong called
back later today, and left a voicemail.

She indicated that they're currently holding space for us at the
Executive Office Building for us and that Mr. Beach would call me
tomorrow (Thursday) to discuss things further. I'm not sure of the
size and number of the rooms and so forth, but hopefully I'll have
more information, well, tomorrow.

I've also wanted to thank the CUPF for working with us, and respond to
the school board's complaints. So, I sent the message below just now.

Cheers,
-Nikolas

On Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 1:00 AM, Nikolas Coukouma <at...@atrus.org> wrote:
> Mr. Beach and Ms. Gong,
>
> First, I want to make sure I thank you for working with me on the
> difficulties of using public facilities for KinkForAll. You've been
> prompt, helpful, and patient; I greatly appreciate it.
>
> In regards to the venue discussion, thank your for returning my call
> this afternoon, Ms. Gong. Unfortunately, I don't have a desk phone or
> reception for my cell phone at my current workplace. So, e-mail is
> preferable for me right now. I understand that sometimes it's helpful
> to be able to talk on the phone and am happy to make myself available
> if you give me a rough time via e-mail a few hours in advance (e.g.
> asking, at 9:30am, if about 12:30pm is okay).
>
> Although it is no longer entirely relevant, I've been meaning to
> briefly respond to the points made by the school board (as relayed to
> me over the phone by Mr. Beach). I think the following has some value
> despite the relocation of the event.
>
> I am not aware of any data that indicates that sex offenders are more
> likely to attend KinkForAll. In the spirit of protecting children from
> them, I expect they'd be at less risk at an event predominantly
> attended by adults. Nevertheless, I've made a point of including the
> following statement in all of my promotional materials and web pages
> relating to KinkForAll DC: "As part of our agreement to use the
> facilities, we can not allow people to attend who have been convicted
> of or pleaded (1) guilty, (2) “no contest” or (3) nolo contendere to a
> misdemeanor involving sexual misconduct or a felony (whether or not
> resulting in a conviction)." The language is taken directly from our
> contract and is, I think, very clear.
>
> With respect to controlling the content that minors are exposed to, I
> must emphasize that KinkForAll does not have a program planned in
> advance. I understand that the themes of sexuality, gender, sexual
> freedom, and sexual diversity are likely to inspire discussions that
> may not be suitable for minors. Indeed, past events have had
> discussions and presentations that I feel would, with minors present,
> violate Maryland state law. However, I also believe that the
> overwhelming majority of the material frm past KinkForAll events would
> be legal. I've done my best to review the relevant portions of the
> annotated Maryland Code and consulted the scant, informal resources
> that I have available to me.
>
> I have been trying to think of ways to address, at least partially,
> concerns about minors attending (e.g. signs on the day of the event
> simply having the logo and an arrow, encouraging speakers and
> facilitators to warn if the title is unclear, etc.). We (primarily
> Metiar "Maymay" Moscovitz and I) have been seeking the opinions of
> relevant organizations (e.g. Sexuality Information and Education
> Council of the United States, Woodhull Foundation, National Youth
> Advocacy Coalition) with regards to legal issues, creating a safe and
> comfortable space, and so on.
>
> Lastly, the "press release" that the school board became aware of was
> not, to my knowledge, sent to any sort of media outlets or groups.
> When Mr. Beach called me, it had, I believe, been available online for
> less than 24 hours and wasn't even linked to from the KinkForAll site
> or announced to the mailing list. My understanding is that it was
> being sent to individuals for review and comment. I was among them and
> had intended to point out, among other things, the potential confusion
> about the relation to the county and school board.
>
> I hope the above makes it clear that we understand the school board's
> concerns. We are making a serious and ongoing effort to comply with
> all applicable laws and regulations as well as addressing the issues
> raised by the various groups and individuals that are involved.
>
> Sometime in the future, I would be very interested in working with the
> ICB and school board to make this sort of late-stage less likely to be
> necessary. For example, clear guidelines for groups to comply with
> with regards to felons and sex offenders. My hope is that any
> resulting policies would benefit both the schools and users of their
> facilities.
>
> Thank you very much for your time and effort,
> -Nikolas Coukouma

Nikolas Coukouma

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Oct 23, 2009, 10:14:28 AM10/23/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 1:13 AM, Nikolas Coukouma <at...@atrus.org> wrote:
> I called earlier today (Wednesday), to try to check the status of our
> reservation. Unfortunately, I didn't get to speak to anyone that could
> comment on that, but I did leave my contact information with the
> assistant for Ms. Ginny Gong (the director of CUPF). Ms. Gong called
> back later today, and left a voicemail.
>
> She indicated that they're currently holding space for us at the
> Executive Office Building for us and that Mr. Beach would call me
> tomorrow (Thursday) to discuss things further. I'm not sure of the
> size and number of the rooms and so forth, but hopefully I'll have
> more information, well, tomorrow.

I just received a permit via Kathy Crabtree (the scheduler who handled
our original request) for the Executive Office Building. It only
mentions the cafeteria and seems to include two security guards for
the duration of the event. Although the cafeteria has been described
as large (capacity for 300 people), I'm uncertain if we'll be able to
have multiple talks/presentations going on simultaneously.

I replied to the e-mail with the permit thanking them and inquiring
about those points and whether Mr. Beach still plans to call me.

Cheers,
-Nikolas

Percival du Chat Gris

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Oct 24, 2009, 12:09:15 AM10/24/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
Greetings,


On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 8:29 PM, maymay <bitethea...@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi everyone,

A brief update. Since last I posted in this thread, I've contacted the
Woodhull Foundation, as well as several additional people from the
National Youth Advocacy Coalition. Unfortunately, everyone's time is
at a premium and I've not been able to connect meaningfully with them
yet (although Riccy Levy did send me a very positive email with lots
of questions about KinkForAll, which I answered and which is redundant
for this list).

I, for one, am fairly curious about what his questions, and your answers are, because I'm fairly certain that, in at least one case, your answers are not universal answers and not necessarily redundant to this case, since, as far as I can tell, you are still gung-ho with causing pornography to be exposed to children, and getting everyone on this list liable as a sex-offender, and possibly a mandatory reporter for life (due to Megan's Law) in any neighborhood we should choose to live in.

Especially since the very mature, and adult way of dealing with the issue, seems to be ignoring my valid and legally provable statements.

Thank you very much.

Lord Percival, not a child molester.

maymay

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Oct 24, 2009, 2:06:18 AM10/24/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com

As it has been requested, a copy of my email to the Executive Director
of the Woodhull Foundation is appended to the end of this email.

Further, please take note: making criminal accusations or personally
targeted legal threats is not acceptable behavior on this email list.
This is the first and last warning that such behavior is not tolerated
and, if it occurs in any form again, action to prevent it from
recurring will be taken.

Thank you very much.

Subject: Re: Free public sexuality education conference comes to
Washington, D.C. area
From: maymay <bitethea...@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2009 17:00:12 -0700
To: Ricci Levy <rl...@woodhullfoundation.org>

Hi Ricci,

Thank you so much for your prompt reply! Thank you also for directing
me to Greg Varnum. Thankfully, I have already sent an email to the
NYAC but if I don't get a response I will send another specifically to
Greg and will mention you "sent" me. :) Thank you again!

I'm going to do my best to address each of your questions in my
response, inline, below. However, I would very greatly appreciate the
opportunity to speak with you on the phone to further clarify or
expand upon the these answers to the questions you have, as well as
simply to make a verbal connection. My phone number is (323) 963-4827
and can make myself available at your earliest convenience for a
conversation. Just let me know when you will have a free moment or
two. :)

> What are the hours of the event…?

The hours of KinkForAll Washington DC depend somewhat on our venue.
When we were planning to be at Bethesda Chevy-Chase High School, our
event was planned from 10:30 AM (10:00 AM set up time) through to 6 PM.

> Are you willing to pay a fee for the use of a venue and, if so, do
> you have a budget amount?

Yes, we are willing to pay a fee for the use of a venue, however our
budget is limited and we have already spent the bulk of our budget on
attempts to secure a venue through the Community Use of Public
Facilities program that had secured Bethesda Chevy-Chase High School
as our first venue. We are still working with the CUPF to try and
obtain another venue; they have been very good in dealing with us so
we hope that we won't need to work with another organization to secure
a venue.

We currently have an available budget of $38 after spending $757 after
attempting to secure Bethesda Chevy-Chase High School as a venue.

Our budget is made up entirely of donations. Like the spirit of our
unconference, our financial position is 100% transparent. You can get
details on all of our finances, including our budget and our expenses,
at the following URI:

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=tJOK0jm5gbcSUWXkH2ziV7A&output=html

> What were your experiences in the other cities? Did you attempt to
> hold the event in a public school (high school or lower grades) in
> those cities? Where were the events held…?

Our experience in other cities has been largely positive, however we
never attempted to hold the event in a federally mandated public space
before. The first two unconferences were both in New York City and
were held at the LGBT Center there. The third was in Boston and it was
held in Boston University. Interestingly, in Boston, we originally had
UMass Boston as a venue but they decided to cancel our event 8 days
before the unconference, leaving us scrambling to find another venue.
We succeeded in time, but not without gargantuan effort on behalf of
myself and several other key individuals.

> [W]hat was the attendance?

All told, our attendance has been several hundred over all three
conferences, however, it's incredibly difficult to have a specific
number because we do not have any registration requirements. The event
is truly public: you may walk in or walk out at any time, with no
entry barrier.

At the first unconference, we estimate a total of anywhere between 100
and 200 people at peak attendance, with foot traffic probably much
higher. At the second unconference, attendance was similar but
slightly lower, with maybe only 150 people at peak capacity. At the
third conference, because it was a new city and we have major venue
problems, as noted above, our peak attendance was estimated at 70
people, with walk-through foot traffic anywhere between an additional
50 to 100 people throughout the course of the day.

However, again, these are all estimated numbers because we never
require registration, there is no door or entry cost, and people may
leave and arrive at any time during the day. This is one way in which
our unconference is radically different from most events, and why it
is so helpful for us to be in a public-space venue that is highly
trafficked, like a University, a community center, or other public
facility.

> Was a fee charged?

No. There are never any monetary fees associated with participating in
KinkForAll unconferences, ever.

> Were there any "demos" that involved physical contact, nudity or
> penetration?

The short answer is no. The format of our unconference expressly
discourages demos of any kind, focusing instead on conversation and
presentations that support the exchange of ideas on a cerebral, rather
than a physical or sensational, level. Our rules also also expressly
forbid sexualized activity of any kind. Nudity was not permitted at
any prior event due to venue contracts; i.e., nudity is not permitted
in the LGBT Center in NYC or in Boston University, and so to comply we
also expressly disallowed nudity at those events. That said, however,
there is nothing inherent to the unconference model that would forbid
nudity. The same can be said of penetration; i.e., we expressly
disallowed it to comply with venue contracts.

> Photographs?

Photography at the unconference events is both encouraged and happens.
We have Flickr group where there are plenty of photographs from all of
our events so far:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/kinkforall/

We also encourage the recording of audio and video. Many video sharing
sites now have a KinkForAll group or set of videos from the events.
You can search these sites and the Internet at large for the
individual unconference tags or the generic tag 'kinkforall' to see a
list of all the media that exist. Here is an example:

http://vimeo.com/tag:kinkforall

> Did you try, by the way, the Crowne Plaza in Silver Spring? That's
> where Sex 2.0 held their event[…].

The Crowne Plaza was indeed suggested and we looked into it, however
we ended up choosing to work with the CUPF for two main reasons.
First, the CUPF provides more facilities at a much lower cost and
anything we can do to lower our costs is extremely valuable because we
are a group of passionate individuals, not a formal organization.
Second, presumably for liability reasons, the Crowne Plaza asserts the
right to restrict access to certain individuals to certain events if
they deem their presence risky to their business. This could directly
hinder the ability of the unconference to remain available to, for
example, young people and as a result we strongly prefer to work with
public and community organizations over private businesses.

By the way, I was at Sex 2.0 and attended your discussion with David
Philips about "Internet Advocacy for Sexual Freedom." I found it
inspiring. I was also a Sex 2.0 2009 session leader. There is a video
of my 50-minute "Gender and Technology" presentation at Sex 2.0 online
at

http://blip.tv/file/2107646

I hope this email gives you a clearer idea of what KinkForAll
unconferences are about and how we work; many people have described us
"an open source social movement." There is also additional information
available on our wiki. For example:

* Frequently Asked Questions (including some additional answers to
questions you've asked in this email) can be found at
http://wiki.kinkforall.org/FrequentlyAskedQuestions

** Our position on photography:
http://kinkforall.pbworks.com/FrequentlyAskedQuestions#Whyisthepresenceofcamerasandrecordingdevicesencouraged

** Our position on why sexualized behavior is not appropriate at our
unconference:
http://kinkforall.pbworks.com/FrequentlyAskedQuestions#WillsexbeallowedatKinkForAllevents

* Ideal venue requirements and additional information regarding how
we choose appropriate venues can be found at
http://wiki.kinkforall.org/Venue

* Our core principles:
http://wiki.kinkforall.org/ThePrinciplesOfKinkForAll

Thank you so much, again, for your quick and thoughtful reply. I look
forward to your additional suggestions for further outreach. I
sincerely hope I can in attendance at KinkForAll Washington DC, which
is still planned for November 21st. (I already booked airline tickets!
D'oh!)

I would be extremely happy to see you and your network of
inspirational people participate as well. :)

Nikolas Coukouma

unread,
Oct 25, 2009, 10:58:36 PM10/25/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 10:14 AM, Nikolas Coukouma <at...@atrus.org> wrote:
> I just received a permit via Kathy Crabtree (the scheduler who handled
> our original request) for the Executive Office Building. It only
> mentions the cafeteria and seems to include two security guards for
> the duration of the event. Although the cafeteria has been described
> as large (capacity for 300 people), I'm uncertain if we'll be able to
> have multiple talks/presentations going on simultaneously.
>
> I replied to the e-mail with the permit thanking them and inquiring
> about those points and whether Mr. Beach still plans to call me.

This was Mr. Beach's message to me late Friday afternoon.

On Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 5:14 PM, Beach, Stephen
<Stephe...@montgomerycountymd.gov> wrote:
> Hi Mr. Coucouma,
>
> Kathy Crabtree sent out your revised permit this morning, for use of the Executive Office Building.
>
> Both Ms. Gong and I understand your frustrations with limitations associated with use of schools and other public facilities, but unfortunately, to some extent, that is the nature of the beast. The reality is that any event using public space must be open to the public and so we understand and concur with concerns about limiting access to minors, but also share concerns that certain material is not appropriate for consumption by minors. The only way to potentially get around that proviso is to consider private venues for future conferences that will be along these lines. While we understand that costs will likely be greater, it is only by using a privately managed facility that you could potentially determine your target audience.
>
> While we realize the challenges associated with managing attendance and the nature of content at your event, we do want to remind you of material covered at the user training that you attended, as well as to highlight that the County anticipates that any activities ensuing as part of your event be within the bounds of what is legal.
>
> We are certainly willing to hear from you any suggestions you have with regard to procedures that might simplify the process in the future.
>
> Best wishes for your event.
>
> Regards,
>
> Stephen Beach

maymay

unread,
Oct 26, 2009, 3:24:33 AM10/26/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Oct 25, 2009, at 7:58 PM, Nikolas Coukouma wrote:

> This was Mr. Beach's message to me late Friday afternoon.

> […]

Huh. That's remarkably and frustratingly uninformative. I recall that
there was an earlier effort made to visit the Bethesda Chevy-Chasy
High School personally to make sure it would be a useful venue. Mr.
Beach's reply says nothing about the number of rooms available and the
permit is only for the "cafeteria."

Can you manage to organize an in-person visit to make sure we have
space for at least 2 simultaneous sessions/presentations?

Nikolas Coukouma

unread,
Oct 26, 2009, 3:39:33 PM10/26/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 10:14 AM, Nikolas Coukouma <at...@atrus.org> wrote:
> I just received a permit via Kathy Crabtree (the scheduler who handled
> our original request) for the Executive Office Building. It only
> mentions the cafeteria and seems to include two security guards for
> the duration of the event. Although the cafeteria has been described
> as large (capacity for 300 people), I'm uncertain if we'll be able to
> have multiple talks/presentations going on simultaneously.

I called and spoke to Mr. Beach briefly on the phone this afternoon.
Apparently the security guards come along with using the Executive
Office Building. The cafeteria apparently nearly all of the floor of
the building that it's on and he was very confident about our ability
to have multiple sessions, despite the lack of dividers. I checked if
there's any particularly good or bad times to visit; his only thought
was that he's not sure when it's open, beyond normal business hours.

I hope to make a brief visit tomorrow to see the space myself.

Cheers,
-Nikolas

Sarah Taub

unread,
Oct 26, 2009, 4:18:45 PM10/26/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
Nikolas, you rock!  Thanks for your tireless support of this event.
--Sarah
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, October 26, 2009 3:39 PM
Subject: [KinkForAll] Re: DC: Relocation imminent


David Phillips

unread,
Oct 26, 2009, 5:22:02 PM10/26/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
I second that!  DIY dividers shouldn't be a major hassle

maymay

unread,
Oct 26, 2009, 5:29:55 PM10/26/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Oct 26, 2009, at 2:22 PM, David Phillips wrote:

> I second that!

I third Nikolas's rockstar-dom. :)

> DIY dividers shouldn't be a major hassle

The larger problem is sound isolation, which DIY dividers don't always
do a good job of. Especially for audio, getting separate rooms
significantly improves the likelihood and ease with which we can get
clean recordings of presentations. I'm going to put some of my
thoughts about that into a new thread, as I think it might be useful
documentation.

That said, Nikolas will surely tell us more after he has seen the
cafeteria, and in any case we are a very resourceful bunch. :)

The Distinguished ...

unread,
Oct 27, 2009, 11:28:25 AM10/27/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
Good afternoon,
Thank you. Most useful, not at all what I thought, or expected, so I
apologize for that, and I suggest you add sections of it to our FAQ,
with his permission, since if he has these questions, others might, as
well.

> Further, please take note: making criminal accusations or personally
> targeted legal threats is not acceptable behavior on this email list.
> This is the first and last warning that such behavior is not tolerated
> and, if it occurs in any form again, action to prevent it from
> recurring will be taken.

They are observations, not accusations, unless and until you actually
break the law, which I am very strongly trying to prevent. But,
perhaps, it is a lost cause, because you seem to have taken the bit in
your teeth, and are completely ignoring the consequences of your
actions. Unfortunately, in my book that taints this whole kit and
kaboodle as non-consensual, because you have to be adult enough to
understand and accept the consequences of your actions to be able to
give informed consent.

Alas, I believe that, once again, Philip was most right in his judgment
to sever himself from this group, before he was tarred with the legal
consequences of your unfortunate crusade. Perhaps, you can ask the
folks over at www.nambla.org what hurdles they have had to cross to
advance their agenda.

But, I do think it is time for me to stop trying, and vote with my feet.

I wish you all well. All of those of you who know me personally, I
don't hold it against you, and I'll be happy send you baked goods,
should this end up in the worst-case scenario that I see all too
vividly.

Were I to have the power, tenacity, or willing to accept such
exceptional risk or be able to force the change I see, but that is so
far against the philosophy of the unconference idea, that I for one am
unwilling to break it.

Maymay, you might get your wish of driving away the BDSM crowd.

I will apologize in advance for any hurt feelings, but I will, of
course, holding true to my ideals, be happy to speak at length and
breath as to why I found myself at odds with those of you running this
KinkForAll conference, in whatever venue it comes up. It is not a
favorable opinion at this time, nor do I expect it to improve, with age.

Good luck in avoiding entanglements with the law.

Remember, one of the top 25 apps on the iPhone/iPod Touch is a registry
of pictures/addresses of those who are sex offenders. Your neighbors
might become very aware of your presence.

One more ignored post from,
Lord Percival, actively not a child molester
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