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I Got Fired for Writing About Sex

I Got Fired for Writing About Sex
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  Starting Over

Even though I don’t have a new job yet, I’ve decided to make some changes to my website and put it back up. I figure it’s a known quantity, and I might as well start there and hope the right job for me falls into place. Besides, my blog is where my heart belongs and it means so much to so many people. I received hundreds of letters of support, including sentiments such as:

“The Internet seems a less welcoming place in the absence of your website.”

“I read you every day. You've been a big part of my sexual journey and I'll miss you.”

“You’re such an inspiration and I admire your courage. You've impacted my life in ways that have definitely improved it.”

“Your openness and honesty has done so much to help and encourage your readers. My hubby loves that I found your website.”

“As a girl growing up and learning what it means to be a woman, an individual, and a human being I have gained so much from your website.”

“I'm not surprised that your readers/fans/friends are supporting you. You give and give and give.”

“I got some awesome ideas about ways to improve my sex life and insight into the female perspective. I wouldn’t be exaggerating when I say that reading her blog for the last year has noticeably improved my knowledge of sex and relationships. TBK was a huge value for me, and I can only hope that TBK and her community rise again.”

The support and being in the spotlight has been overwhelming. I’m on a different playing field now. I always wished my website would reach a larger audience. However, this was not the way I hoped to make a breakthrough. Is this a case of “Be careful what you wish for” or “Make lemonade out of lemons”? Only time will tell.

My webmaster will be posting an article or two on my website, PSA-style, full of advice on how to protect yourself online and how to maintain a level of privacy in a very public domain. I wish I'd known these things before my scandalous shitstorm.

I’m networking hard and still trying to figure out how to make a living. It would be a dream come true to find a job that appreciated my talents and didn’t care about my sex life.

But just in case, I think I’ll legally change my name to Mary Smith.

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Comments

Great article! I was wondering how TBK herself has been feeling about all of the buzz online. Thank you so much for sharing!

05/12/2010

This had to have been such a crushing experience, and you're totally brave for speaking out about it! And, you're right - you've got to stay where your heart belongs. The haters will hate, but we all have to do what makes us happy.

05/12/2010
Tee's Quest  

I'm so thrilled to see you getting the recognition you deserve. I just know that this is going to work out in your favor.

05/12/2010
00  

I was so sad when I first found out what happened and even more so when TBK blog was down. It is a pathetically sad day when what you do in your off hours, the privacy of your own home and that does not involve or interfere with your employment causes you to be terminated. It is wrong! But that is the way things are I suppose. When you interact with anyone online, whether you twitter, facebook, blog or whatever, there are always gonna be risks of course. But losing your income due to something that truly does not reflect on the quality of your work is the utmost in unfair employment practices. I hope TBK continues to blog and hopefully an employment opportunity will present itself that will be an even better fit for her than the previous one. Hugs.

05/12/2010

Almost the same exact thing happened to me about nine months ago, so I completely understand how this feels. But now I have found an even better job where they don't care what I write about on my own time and I am much happier. Everything happens for a reason. In the meantime, keep your head up TBK

05/12/2010

TBK, here are your friends. Shoot me email and I'm sure we'll figure out "making a living" situation. You've got talent!

05/12/2010

On the other note: We can help with your website (no strings attached) and advice you on how to clean up the Google, if you think doing so. Looks like it is the right thing rather than changing name.
Zukerberg (Facebook's creator) said recently: "There is no privacy on the internet" - let's see if he's right.

05/12/2010

You not only reached a national audience, it went international. I heard about it on a Canadian sex toy store's website. Seriously, privacy leak issues sucks, I'm glad I did not give my real name on Twitter or Facebook when registering.

@Fred, you're an angel!

05/13/2010

I often fear this happening to me, however, I am anticipating a merge between my personal persona and my pen name. It feels almost inescapable. It feels organic.

As for being fired, that should be the equivalent of sexual harassment... I would fight it!

05/13/2010
CooperWest  

This whole situation reminds of being a child in the late 70s, when my mother was just getting active in the "gay rights" movement. The biggest, most terrible thing that could happen to any queer was to be outed. People lived in real fear of it, because they could lose their job, their families, their children, in short: they could lose everything. It led to the most arcane lifestyles for queers, because even kissing their own "spouse" on their own front porch could end in social and economic disaster.

You haven't lost everything, but you did lose your income and now have a very negative "black mark" in your career, and all because you were "outed" as sex-positive in your private life. I really don't see the difference at all; and unfortunately, it is something that will take years and many legal battles before we have a leg to stand on, legally and culturally, just as it has taken decades for the queer rights movement to get to the point it is at now.

For me, I see this not as something that might happen, but that WILL happen. This alias is my "pro" name as an erotica writer, but my real name is associated with a lot of sex-positive content online too, and anyone who googles me will find it. But I can't live in the closet; that would be a betrayal of everything my activist forebears fought for. The terms are different, but the same issues are on the plate: the right to live our private lives as we see fit.

I hope you find a new (bettter!) job soon!

05/16/2010
GeriGreene  

This is ridiculous at best and too Big Brother at best, but I have a story about an event that cost me a job - a very good job - the first week at Edward Jones. A new acquaintance invited me over to her computer to show me a news article. Her brother-in-law in CO had been arrested as a child molester. She was in shock, and wanted to show me the article while it was fresh, apparently.

Once I got back to a nearby computer and took a little break, I typed into the search engine:
porn in Colorado man arrested. Forgetting I was not at home - or having never done anything like that before, I was let go at the end of the week with no explanation. This is the only explanation I could find for my dismissal and it was costly!

05/17/2010

Wow.. I live in an "At will State". At will needs to stop.

such bull.

Anyway, great article.

09/27/2010

Interviews with The Beautiful Kind

  • For TBK, this interview is all about Coming Out as a Sex Positive Slut in the Midwest Bible Belt. What made Kendra decide to “come out”? What was it like being fired from her job for her personal blog? What are her plans now that she is fully embracing her identity?

    Kendra Holliday is The Beautiful Kind, a 38-year-old bisexual mother living in St. Louis, MO. She has been boldly and bravely exploring sex for over 20 years, and has spent the past four years documenting her wild adventures anonymously online as a Sex Writer, Consultant, and Editor of TheBeautifulKind.com. So, on Coming Out Day, and in keeping with her belief that sex should be discussed openly and honestly in the light of day instead of whispered secretively in the dark, she has made the difficult but vital decision to fully own all that she has done - the good, the bad, and the ugly. And now she is telling you her name, showing you her face, telling you her story (did you see the [http://www.edenfantasys.com/sexis/sex-and-society/coming-out-day-beautiful-kind-1011101/|video interview] on SexIs yet?!), and taking your questions here. You may recall that The Beautiful Kind made national news in April when she was dramatically fired from her full-time day job for writing about sex in her personal life under a pen name. In a random Google search, TBK's employer found her real name unknowingly linked to her personal website, and based her immediate termination on this sole instance. The employer has continually declined public comment. Countless blogs and media websites picked up the scandalous story, including Inc.com, Business Insider, Glamour, Huffington Post, digg, Jezebel, Fleshbot, and Mental_Floss. During that difficult time, TBK took her website down for a few weeks and focused on writing her empowering ebook The Book of Goddess: Elevating Your Desirability to Mythic Proportions. Kendra shares: “I'm grateful to my friends and family for supporting my decision. There's no telling what will come of this bold move, but I'm confident coming out will open up many new doors and be an inspiration to others. We all want to be accepted for who we are.” Kendra writes openly about her current life experiences on her own site, as well as her former days as a sex worker, in her column, [http://www.edenfantasys.com/sexis/columns/the-whore-journals/| The Whore Journals] on SexIs. Kendra is embracing her future by focusing on ways to give back to the community and to educate others. As a founding member of a new not-for-profit community organization, Sex Positive St. Louis (SEX+STL), she is excited about the potential of this online community resource for local sex positive events, partnerships with organizations, and information sharing. As Kendra plans workshops and speaking events, both independently and with SEX+STL, EdenFantasys will be sponsoring her efforts. We are very much looking forward to this new chapter in the beautiful life of Kendra Holliday, The Beautiful Kind, as she continues to elevate her sex positive mission!

     Read full interview

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