A Message from Tara Indiana
I WAS BANNED FROM MAILCHIMP ON 8.26 MY BIRTHDAY.
This is me presenting @TedXSanFrancisco by invitation in 2017 before SESTA / FOSTA. Now I can't even send an email. BDSM, Sex Education & Political activism are IMPORTANT!!!
I HAVE PREPARED THIS WRITTEN STATEMENT - PLEASE SHARE & RT EVERYWHERE YOU CAN!
...and, if at all possible, copy and paste the email at the bottom to send to MailChimp. If I am not reinstated, it will do serious damage to my lively hood and the BDSM community as a whole. THANK YOU in advance!
Here it is:
My name is Tara Indiana, and I’ve been a BDSM educator since 1993. For many of those years, I made my living as a professional Dominatrix, but in 2016 I decided to give it up to pursue my dream of being a political activist and full time educator.
I gave up doing sex work, not because I wanted to, didn’t like it, or felt exploited. I gave up sex work because I knew my political activism would draw unwanted attention to me, and the people I cared about. I was making enough money as an educator that I could.
When I closed my adult business, I remember feeling sad that I would no longer be doing something I loved, but breathing a sigh of relief that I didn’t have to worry about law enforcement. It liberated me in ways I could’t have imagined; I could now speak freely to my students in a way I never could have as an active sex worker.
I could teach them how to negotiate a play scene; how to do complex BDSM activities safely, and most importantly, I could share my 30 years experience in how to screen play partners and clients to stay safe as a sex worker or as a member of the BDSM community.
I now make my living entirely from educating marginalized communities. My students are almost entirely women; sex workers, BDSM practitioners, divorced women, single mothers, older women, college students, POC and members of the trans community. I use that money to fund my political activism in support of sex worker rights.
But that is all threatened now. In 2018, a bill called SESTA / FOSTA was passed. It was presented to the public as a “anti-sex trafficking” bill, but what is really is, is quite different. Before SESTA / FOSTA, internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, GoDaddy, and Mailchimp, etc., were not responsible for “user generated content”. Now, they are.
This means If I post a class about how to do Female Domination as a facebook event, facebook can be prosecuted for human trafficking. That’s not rhetoric. That is how this law works. So these sites have reacted by deleting profiles enmasse; not just sex workers, but anyone even suspected of doing sex work. This includes educators, activists and artist of all different stripes, and most sadly, sex abuse survivors, because deletion is done based solely on keywords and anonymous complaints.
When this law was passed, I marketed my classes on 38 sites. I am down to 5. In 2017, my class, "The Science of S&M: Neurology of the Kinky Brain” got me invited to do a Q &A at TedXSanfrancisco. In 2019, it got me kicked off Mailchimp.
Since SESTA /FOSTA, I’ve been telling my students, please stay subscribed to my email list, as there may come a point where it is the only way I can communicate with you. On August 26th, my birthday by coincidence, I got a notice from Mailchimp that my account was suspended. I have over 5500 students nationwide that I can no longer reach. I can not even reach them, to tell them this. Ironically, this last loss may force me back into the sex work that SESTA / FOSTA is supposed to save me from.
There in no more important a form of free speech than political activism and education. If I am silenced, who will speak? And who will be next? If you'd like to support me in having my account re-instated so I can continue my work as an educator and activist, here's an email you can copy and paste to send to mailchimp. Feel free modify if needed, or share your own personal story, especially if it contains examples of how BDSM classes (mine or others) have helped or empowered you!
SEND EMAIL TO (cc to all)
firstname.lastname@example.org Aattention: Benjamin or Jim email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
The Rocket Science Group, LLC 675 Ponce de Leon Ave NE Suite 5000 Atlanta, GA 30308 USA
To Whom it May Concern,
I have been a student of Tara Indiana’s since_______________. I have found her classes extremely helpful in getting a better understanding of both myself and my partners in a way that has kept me both safe and engaged.
Finding BDSM educators with her level of experience that are willing to share their knowledge is rare. Safety and consent or extremely important, not just to the BDSM community but society as a whole. Keeping us safe, keeps everyone safe and lessens the burden on other vital services and resources.
Silencing the voices Sex Educators not only has a chilling effect on an already marginalized community, but endangers public safety as well. BDSM / Kink is sexual orientation. Cutting off our access to education will not stop people from engaging in kink. It will only make it more dangerous and push us farther underground where predators can exploit us. It’s the moral equivalent of teaching abstinence only instead of condom use with equally dire consequences.
We ask that you please reinstate her MailChimp account, (case# 6166582) so that she can communicate with her students and continue her political activism work, or, at minimum, please describe the specific TOS violation to better educate our community. We cannot comply with the rules if we don’t know what they are.
Thank in advance to your attention to this matter!