My local BDSM community, compared to other, smaller, more rural BDSM communities that have been a part of, has quite a lot of people of color it. Specifically, they're quite a lot of black people. Nowhere near as many as there are white people, but I honestly can't remember any event I recently went to that didn't have a few black folks.
The small leather conference that I went to this weekend had quite a few black gay leather men. I think they may have all been members of the same club. But there were quite a few of them. Several of them made mention, in one of the discussions I attended, of what it's like culturally to be gay black man, and then, on top of that, to be interested in leather as well.
It got me thinking, because I've definitely seen, both in traditional anti BDSM feminist literature, and in everyday life, the argument or thought that BDSM is for white people. The argument seems to be that we're used to having power over people, since we're white and privileged and in the U.S. there's a whole history of white people as masters of black slaves. It follows from this that white people doing BDSM comes from a sort of decadent interest in power, and few if any people of color--especially black folk--would be interested in such stuff. For them it would involve reliving that painful history, recreating something too much like it, and why would they ever want that?
I don't mean to say that that doesn't hold true generally. I honestly have no idea. And I'm sure that I know quite a few kinky people of color precisely because I tend to socialize in kink circles, so kinky people are who I know generally anyway. But I am sure that the reason all of those kinky people of color I know are black is because there are black groups are around here.
But I really start to wonder, knowing that there's a thriving (or so it appears to outsider me) black kink community in my area. I wonder how far those arguments go. I wonder how they make the people I know who are black and kinky feel. I wonder whether what's going on in other places really is the black people wouldn't be interested to history, or whether a specific leather or kink community for them would draw many people, as it seems to have done here.