2 min

Got Kink?

TV series has lasting repercussions

Credit: Xtra West files

I’m not only a pervert; I’ve played one on TV. A few years ago, I and quite a few other Vancouverites volunteered to allow some documentary filmmakers into our lives to create KINK: The Series. For a month or so, I became used to wearing a cheerful guy with a boom mike as a shadow.

I agreed to be taped because I have a fetish for education and because I have the freedom to be out about who I am. I have no children. Being entirely self-employed, I’d be surprised if I encountered any workplace harassment for being a leatherdyke. Since I have nothing to lose by being out, I choose to speak up whenever possible. It’s how I honour those who’ve lost everything by coming out.

Season one of the Kink series has been re-running steadily since its launch a few years ago, and an obvious side-effect is that I’m readily recognized on the street by the kinky and non-kinky alike, even though I’m a fairly minor character. We who have been in the series refer to it as getting kinked, as in: “I was kinked twice at the supermarket yesterday.”

I have been kinked in many ways-cheerily, whisperingly, slyly, and extravagantly, an example of the latter being a young woman who leapt off a moving float in a small city’s Pride Parade, shouting, “Kink! Elaine! I love you!”

I hear from others in the series that being kinked is not always that good, and has included threat of physical harm, but I’d never had anything very unpleasant-until recently.

My fiancé needed abdominal surgery last week. We made it through the gruelling pre-operative and hospital admitting processes, and we sat anxiously hand-in-hand in the pre-op care room. My lover looked glum in the ubiquitous backless gown, her arms festooned with tubes and needles.

Moments before the gurney came to take her to the operating room, a large gentleman leaned past the curtain of the cubicle beside ours, and said to me in a booming voice, “Hey, you the one from the television? That kinky show?”

I wondered if he’d thought I’d actually sprouted from inside his widescreen TV, to appear miraculously in the hospital, sans cosmetics or leather and complete with worry lines. For a moment I was quite annoyed, thinking his interruption tacky in the extreme. Couldn’t he tell that now was not the time; that I didn’t want to play unelected public-relations spokesqueer today? Then my annoyance vanished. I knew why he’d wanted to strike up a conversation about kink right here, right now.

He must have thought I was doing a BDSM-related medical scene.

* Elaine Miller owns her own stethscope.