TMI About me

Submitted by Larry on 22 March 2017 - 3:49pm

Recently, I've become aware of a whisper campaign going around the Drupal world, discussing details about my personal life. I do not know where it started or who all has been part of it. However, it's become apparent that it's not going to settle down, and has now had a major, direct impact on me and my professional career. Only a few people have bothered to speak to me directly, but there's been enough back-chatter that I feel I have no choice but to clarify some private details about me, in public, and address the actions of some fellow members of the Drupal community.

Yep, this is one of those "self-outing" posts. I'm sorry that they still need to exist.

About Drupal

One of the things I've always liked about the Drupal community is its openness to diversity. The tech world in general has a well-documented problem with diversity and Drupal is by no means immune to that, but the Drupal community at least makes a strong effort to buck that trend, very much to its credit and benefit.

There are gays and lesbians in Drupal, many of whom are open and out about it. There are transgender people involved in Drupal. If event attendance is a guide the community is about 20% women, far lower than most would like but far higher than is typical for Open Source projects. There are people who are polyamorous and people who are asexual. There are Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Atheists, Agnostics, and probably a few others I've not met personally yet. While the community as a whole definitely skews liberal, I know there are plenty of people far to the right of me politically on various topics, as well as far to the left.

That eclectic background of our community is an asset. Every study shows that teams of mixed backgrounds, along many axes, do better. Even if that mixed environment makes people a bit uncomfortable at times, that's a benefit. There's even a session on the topic at DrupalCon Baltimore (that you should all go to).

In short, "ignorance", "prejudice", and "bigotry" are words I never thought I would apply to Drupal.

What I don't bring to work

While western culture has grown dramatically more tolerant of diverse practices and lifestyles in the past few decades, there is still much work to be done. In particular, there is still an enormous stigma around those who practice alternative sexuality lifestyles, such as the BDSM community, Leather community, and so on. Why there is still so much bigotry about what consenting adults do in their private lives I don't know (and speculating on that would be off topic at this time), but it's definitely prevalent. Even the mention of practicing a Dominant/submissive relationship, despite being consensual and healthy, can be enough for over-active courts to take children away from their parents. The mere mention of an unequal power dynamic, or finding enjoyment in mixing pain and pleasure, makes people assume it must be abusive, despite there being no scientific evidence to back that up at all, and at least some interest in unconventional sexuality is extremely prevalent. That's why I generally avoid talking about my personal life with people I know professionally, and until now none of my employers have been aware of any of this.

Yes, I am one of those people.

There are as many variations on "hierarchical relationships" (the generic, academic name) as there are people in them, and there are tens of thousands of people in them. The level of in-relationship inequality varies, as does the terminology used. Sometimes they're limited to certain times or places, while other relationship dynamics are all-encompassing and part and parcel of someone's life and relationship. Some people like being in control in a relationship, while others like someone else having control.

The broadest terms are Dominant and submissive (or Dom/sub, or D/s), but other terms used include Daddy and little (for those who enjoy roleplaying with age), Goddess and servant, Sir and sub, or Master and slave (or M/s), depending on the couple and their emotional approach. Despite the terminology being similar to the (rightly) illegal practice of treating people as legal property, that is not even remotely how people and communities involved in such relationship choices act. First and foremost, such relationships must always be based on informed, active consent.

I am involved in two such communities, specifically the BDSM community and the Gorean (Gor) community. The former is by far the larger of the two and more varied, although I spend more of my time and activity in the Gorean community. It's a small community, and sadly much of what is found online about it is utter crap, just as most in the BDSM community find the "50 Shades" representation of BDSM to be harmfully misleading. The Gorean subculture is inspired by a science-fiction book series written from the 1960s onward to today, and predicated on a strong sense of personal honor, integrity, and community. It also practices consensual Master/slave relationships, and has a strong gender bias toward male-Dom/female-sub relationships, but that is not the cornerstone of Gorean culture. There are other groups that are biased the other way, or have no gender bias. There are even groups in Chicago (where I live) that have regular "fem-dom" parties. To each their own.

The idea of consenting to give your significant other outsized control over your life may seem strange or uncomfortable to some. That's fine; it's not for everyone, nor does anyone claim it is, nor should anyone ever be forced into such a relationship. It may seem like it flies in the face of the progress that has been made in recent decades in allowing women to choose their own path in life rather than being forced into a box, a change that is still a struggle and a work-in-progress. But that's the whole point: Everyone, men and women, should be able to choose the life, role, and relationships they prefer and that they find fulfilling. If someone finds a life, role, or relationship fulfilling that you do not, who are we to tell them they're wrong, whatever it is? If being submissive (or dominant) in a relationship is what makes someone happy, then as long as it's consensual what right does anyone else have to tell them no?

Yes, I have been involved in several consensual Master/slave relationships with women. I will continue to do so, but only with those who are also interested in such relationships. I discuss the social and personal dynamics of such relationships on private forums set up for people with similar interests. I know many people who are happily coupled in such relationships (Male/female, Female/male, Male/male, Female/female, and other combinations), many of them married with kids who are perfectly well-adjusted.

I also have adopted a few minor "cultural quirks" derived from the Gorean novels, as have many (but by no means all) Goreans. For instance, I often applaud single-handed, which is a cultural quirk from the book series, or say "be well" or "I wish you well" to end a conversation. These are aspects of a culture, albeit a small one, that harm no one. They're about as significant as showing a Vulcan salute and saying "Live long and prosper".

Do such D/s relationships offer a potential for abuse? Certainly, yes. But potential is not actual. Unfortunately, any intimate relationship can be abused by malicious people. It's disgraceful and abhorrent that so many women are forced to flee abusive relationships in this day and age, and I’m speaking entirely outside the context the D/s or Gorean communities. If anything, the D/s and Gorean community in general places a heavy emphasis on explicit, active, informed consent and constant communication precisely to help avoid abusive situations. The few studies that have been done have found that people involved in BDSM or D/s are not any more likely to have been in abusive situations than the general public; they're just more honest about it with themselves and each other, which is something I appreciate as someone who has been a victim of an abusive relationship.

Yes, that's right. My very first romantic relationship was, in hindsight, emotionally abusive, with me on the receiving end. I am acutely aware of what that's like. It took me years to recover. I would not wish that on anyone, which is why I frequently work to help those I am intimate with to be stronger and more self-aware people so that they can recognize and avoid such situations. I've even worked to pull friends out of abusive relationships when they needed someone to have their back.

Recent events

Despite the total lack of evidence that alternative lifestyle cultures offer any harm to anyone, there is still a great deal of prejudice and bigotry regarding it. It is for that reason that I rarely discuss my personal life, and am generally not "out" in the Drupal community, although there are a handful of people I have opened up to over the past decade when I felt safe. I even know a handful of people in Drupal who are also interested in unconventional relationships or sexuality, who are also not "out" about it (for, seemingly, very good reasons).

Nonetheless, in recent months knowledge of my personal life has "leaked", and turned into a FUD campaign against me that has now reached Drupal's leadership. Therefore, I feel I have no alternative but to lay out who and what I am, and express my utter disgust with the way many in this community have behaved toward me .

From what I've been able to piece together, it seems that last October someone, I do not know who, stumbled across my profile on a private, registration-required website for alternative-lifestyle people, with some 5 million members, on which they apparently had an account as well. They were Offended(tm) and took screenshots of a post I'd made 7 years ago at a D/s friends' wedding I attended, to pass around and show what a terrible person I am. It should be noted that such behavior is a direct violation of that site's Terms of Service (duh).

Eventually that information made it to the Community Working Group (CWG), who concluded "there was no code of conduct violation present for [them] to take any action on". While it should have stopped there, the gossip campaign continued (apparently with even more excerpts of stuff I'd written) and the CWG informed me of the situation, in broad strokes. I made it clear that if anyone wanted to speak to me privately to better understand my personal life I was open to doing so.

The only person who did so was Klaus Purer, who seems to have set himself up as the primary antagonist. Klaus pulled me aside to talk at Drupal Iron Camp in Prague, although by "talk" he apparently meant berate me and stumble over declarations of how terrible a person I am without any details or any apparent desire to ask me questions or hear me say anything. He ended the conversation by stating that he was going to "distance himself from me", and I ended it with an offer of a handshake.

It didn't end there, though. Apparently, Klaus took it upon himself to sign up for the site for the express purpose of going spelunking through my posting history to find the worst-sounding things he could, out of context. (Once again, a gross violation of that site's Terms of Service, not to mention my privacy.) Apparently he also had someone forward him excerpts from my profile on a dating site, too. Since the CWG still held that I had never violated the Code of Conduct they recommended that he contact me to "work it out between yourselves", which he did.

Klaus and I had a single Google Hangout conversation in January, although again "conversation" is a generous word. It's hard to call an exchange a conversation when it begins with one party berating the other for their private life, calling them an abuser (of whom? No one), and demanding that they resign from all positions within Drupal and excommunicate themselves. He strongly implied that he was speaking on behalf of other, anonymous individuals as well. It's also not a "conversation" when Klaus informed me that I need to do so or he will bring in more "others" to help pressure Drupal's leadership to throw me out. I informed him that his statements constituted blackmail, with which he partially agreed.

I do not suffer threats and bullying lightly. I immediately referred the matter back to the CWG, who tried to set up a mediation that consisted of a single conversation with each of Klaus and I and concluded once again that I had in no way violated the Code of Conduct.

Apparently, during this time, Klaus continued to "monitor" my posting on the private forum and share further excerpts from there with the CWG, at least, in a continued effort to get them to kickban me. (See previous statement about their Terms of Service.)

Then on 24 February I got a phone call from Drupal project lead Dries Buytaert. Apparently Klaus was insisting that I be removed from DrupalCon (where I have been a track chair for many years, and was selected as a speaker) before speakers were announced the following Monday (the 27th). It seems Dries and Drupal Association Executive Director Megan Sanicki had been informed of the situation weeks earlier, but neither had reached out to me once about it. Now, in my first contact with Dries, he asked me "to step down from Drupal", including as a Drupal advocate for the PHP community, "in the best interest of the project".

I informed him how impossible that was, given that Drupal has been the cornerstone of my career for the past nearly 12 years. (My work to grow the community in that time, and to build bridges with other communities, and to mentor newcomers in Drupal, and the utter lack of any indication that I had treated anyone with less than dignity and respect didn't seem to be relevant.) Simply abandoning Drupal would be direct material harm to me and my career, not to mention Drupal. (Telling the PHP world "Sorry, I can't say nice things about Drupal anymore, they don't like me" would reflect very poorly on the project and community.) It would also be giving in to bullying and blackmail from another Drupal member.

We talked further, but Dries wouldn't budge on me leaving, including making it clear that it wasn't an option, but an instruction. The conversation ended with Dries saying "think about it, let's talk again, maybe soon", and indicating that he needed "time to process".

I should note that the Drupal Code of Conduct says:

We expect individuals to first try to resolve conflicts between themselves in a constructive manner

Bullying, blackmail, and ultimatums do not constitute a "constructive manner", yet is exactly what I was receiving.

The next communication I received from the Association was an email from Megan on Monday 27 February, informing me that I'd been summarily dismissed from my position as track chair and as a speaker at DrupalCon, "per [my] conversation with Dries".

I do not know if "per my conversation with Dries" means I'm unwelcome in Drupal because of my sex life, I'm unwelcome in Drupal because Dries was afraid Klaus would go public and embarrass the project otherwise, or something else. I have been given no further information than that and still have not been.

I never expected to be subject to prejudice and discrimination in Drupal, least of all from Drupal's leadership. I therefore referred the matter to the Board of Directors, as I didn't think they would approve of discrimination within the community. The Board's only available time to meet was while I was presenting at a conference and thus was unable to attend, instead submitting my case in writing, at length, detailing the same information as I've presented here and then some. They sent me no questions in advance of the meeting. I know nothing of the Board's internal deliberations. I only know that their response came back "The board has voted to affirm Megan’s decision to revoke the session for DrupalCon Baltimore and end the track chair term."

To say I am disappointed in Drupal's leadership is a gross understatement.

Wait, what?

In summary, then, a group of people decided that they didn't like my personal life. They don't approve of Gor, and so feel it appropriate to talk about me behind my back, violate my privacy, threaten me, bully me, and run me out of the project. And they may have succeeded.

Now take that paragraph, replace the word "Gor" with "being gay", and go back in time 15 years. Maybe even 10. Imagine being told that you need to leave Drupal before people find out that you're gay and it embarasses the project.

Now try replacing "Gor" with "Muslims", and think about it today.

Bigotry and prejudice are directly against Drupal's stated values. Against anyone. From the Drupal Code of Conduct:

We expect members of the Drupal community to be respectful when dealing with other contributors as well as with people outside the Drupal project and with users of Drupal.

And the DrupalCon Code of Conduct:

Sponsors, volunteers, speakers, attendees, and other participants should strive to treat all people with dignity and respect, regardless of their culture, religion, physical appearance, disability, race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.

Gor is a culture. D/s is a sexual orientation. No one in this matter has even claimed, much less shown, that I have treated anyone in Drupal or elsewhere with anything less than "dignity and respect".

We will not tolerate bullying or harassment of any member of the Drupal community.

And yet here I am, being bullied, harassed, and excluded because of my personal activities, which I don't even publicize much less advocate for in tech circles.

Does Gorean culture have things to say about sex and gender? Yes it does. You know what else has things to say about sex and gender? All abrahamic religions.

Yet no one would even think to exclude someone from Drupal because they were Jewish, Christian, or Muslim. Some (although certainly not all) practitioners of those religions have cultural traditions and practices that others find distasteful, but no one would tolerate a "religious test" for Drupal participation or Drupal leadership. If someone suggested that certain "religious symbols" from Judaism or Islam were unwelcome at Drupal events there would justifiably be a riot. Hell, I'd join it.

Are we not now already engaged in a cultural and social battle against excluding people because of their religion or culture? Just what side of that fight are you on? (I'm on the "refugees welcome, #NoWallNoBan" side myself.)

And yet here I am, being bullied, harassed, and excluded because of my personal activities, which I don't even publicize much less advocate for in tech circles.

This is not the Drupal I know. The Drupal I know wouldn't excommunicate people because of the books they read or what they do in their private lives. The Drupal I know doesn't force people to bare their personal lives to the world as their only recourse to a gossip and bullying campaign.

The "charges"

So what have I said or done to drive people in Drupal, up to and including the project lead, to try and ostracize me? Putting aside the "he must have deserved it" implications of that way of thinking, here's what's filtered back to me (which is apparently not everything, since not everything the gossip chain has access to has been shared with me).

Larry gave a speech at a wedding saying all women are slaves

False. Seven years ago, friends of mine in the BDSM community were already in a consensual M/s relationship and were getting married, and asked me to officiate a small informal after-event the next day for the power dynamic side of their relationship. Who am I to say no? I worked with them to design a brief ceremony that was meaningful for them, including a speech by me (because this is me; I give great speeches). In it, I referred to the voluntary act of submission they were showing (remember, they just got married the day before) as an act of love.

Several of the other attendees really liked my speech and asked me to post it on my profile, which I did. When posting it on my profile's journal I noted "I do believe that", in reference to the ceremony being an act of love, not of debasement. Which... is true. A healthy D/s relationship (yep, that's a thing) can and should be very loving, caring, and supportive. I have no interest in demeaning or debasing anyone, regardless of the relationship dynamic, and no one else should, either.

It was apparently a screenshot of this post that started all the hullabaloo. Why a private ceremony for two loving people that talks about love and community is offensive to people I cannot fathom. Why a private ceremony posted on a private forum is anyone else's business I do not know. Is some of the language in it rather flowery? Of course. It's a wedding speech! I've also been part of the wedding party for Catholic friends, which had overly flowery language about submission to God, too.

Larry run a Meetup group for Goreans in the Chicago area

... Yes. I run a book club, which meets at a public library that knows the sci-fi book series we're talking about. I also have friends over for dinner from time to time. Why anyone should give a damn is beyond me.

Larry promotes Gorean symbols at Drupal events

If by "promote" you mean "has a few cultural quirks that are meaningful to him derived from the books that inspire his culture", then yes. Try telling a Jew they're not allowed to say "Shalom" at a Drupal event. Imagine what would happen if a Muslim woman was berated for wearing a hijab at DrupalCon (or for not wearing one). You'd get sued even faster than you were fired (and rightly so).

I've been advised that I need to stop... applauding, or telling people to "be well", because somehow that is offensive. True story. What's offensive is the cultural intolerance that even cares, and yes, I do find that statement offensive and discriminatory.

Larry is going to abuse his positions in Drupal to force women to be his slaves

... Because any man with any kind of position is of course going to use it to abuse any woman he's around. Yes, there are people who have abused their positions like that. This line of thinking implies that any man with any power will somehow use it to abuse any woman he's around. That is nonsense. As far as I'm aware there have been no actual complaints about my behavior toward anyone, woman or otherwise, or of any abuse of any kind. Judge me by my actions, not by what some fear without cause that I might do.

In the nine years that I've been a core subsystem maintainer, I have never once been accused of using that position to pressure anyone into, well, anything. That's because I haven't. Frankly the idea that I could leverage my role in Drupal into pressuring people for sexual favors is laughable, even if I wanted to (I don't).

If we let Larry speak at DrupalCon, he could influence others to become Gorean!

I've been speaking at DrupalCon for a decade without that happening, so yeah...

That aside, "if we let a homosexual present at DrupalCon, other people there might catch the gay!"

Really? Are we as a community still at the level of ignorance of "catch gay"? Is that really the discussion we're having? I hope your stomach is turning at that thought, because mine is. The only thing anyone "catches" at DrupalCon is... Drupal. Which is the point.

(And possibly Drupal Flu, but that doesn't discriminate at all.)

Larry is a proponent for the enslavement of women!

Patently absurd and absolutely false. I have never, ever advocated for treating women, as a class, with anything other than dignity and respect. I am a proponent of honorable behavior, strength of character, community building, teaching, explicit clarity and honesty in relationships of all kinds, and of allowing people to practice whatever sort of personal, cultural, romantic, and sexual relationships they like as long as it's consensual. That anyone in Drupal would disagree with that position is disturbing.

The kind you like may not be the kind I like, and vice versa. S'ok. That's the whole diversity thing. I don't judge you or force you into anything you don't want and you return the favor. That's kind of what diversity and tolerance means.

I spent ten years working at one of the most women- and family-friendly companies you can imagine (although again, I never discussed my private life with my employer). Some of the best projects I have worked on, I was the only guy on the team.

I have actively encouraged places I've worked to hire more diversely.

I've been a DrupalCon track chair since 2011. For most of that time I was the global chair for the Core Conversations track, and I'm happy to say that it generally beat-the-average in terms of getting women up on stage. The conference selection team, though, always felt unbalanced, and I pushed hard to get the Drupal Association content lead (Steph El-hajj and after her Amanda Gonser) to select women to be the co-chair on my tracks. (I don't recall if I ever outright threatened to step down if they didn't, but I know I implied it.)

Later on I switched to chairing the PHP track, which has had a challenge getting session submissions from women. My co-chairs and I have debated how to improve that, and have tried to reach out to more women in the community. This is an area we're still working on, or rather were until I was summarily dismissed.

I've informally mentored a number of people in Drupal and elsewhere, but on balance I think I've spent more time mentoring women. That includes actively pushing some to take more risks, be more outspoken, get up on stage and speak, helping them with ideas for presentations when asked, and otherwise doing my best to encourage everyone to take steps to succeed.

These are not the actions of someone who wants to "put women down".

So here we are

I've been working in Drupal for more than a decade, personally and professionally, working to teach, educate, and build bridges. I have treated everyone I've worked with, men and women, with respect as peers and equals. But now because a few people are squeamish about my private sex life and what I say on private forums I am being attacked as an abuser, excluded from the project, and my career actively undermined. These actions have already caused me direct, material, professional harm.

When prejudice, bigotry, and bullying became accepted behavior in Drupal, I don't know. Maybe they aren't, except for a few people. I would like to think so. Unfortunately it takes only a few people to cause massive personal damage.

The only way to combat this sort of coercion and behind-the-scenes abuse is to short-circuit it with transparency; I am left with no alternative but to share my personal life with the world, for I will not slink away into the night just because some bully decides to feed the rumor mill.

So, here I am. This is me. I will not deny or hide who I am or what I do, though I will protect and respect the privacy of those with whom I associate even as mine was not. I am not ashamed of the relationship-styles I prefer, and I reject the idea that there should be any stigma associated with anything consenting adults freely choose to do. I will not back down from my beliefs or my nature because of a few bigots. I am the exact same person I was yesterday, and will continue to be the same person tomorrow, despite what a few bullies may want.

I will continue to do what I do: Write good code; teach others to do so; try to inspire people to do good in the world (technically or otherwise), regardless of their background; and encourage everyone to do the same for others. I will continue to build bridges, help, and teach. Because that is simply who I am.

If all this is far more information than you ever wanted to know about Larry's personal life, well, I agree, and I am sorry that the situation called for this. If you still have questions, then as I have stated since the beginning of this matter I am willing to talk to people one-on-one if they want to better understand where I'm coming from.

But I will not be bullied.

(Comments on this post are allowed but for obvious reasons will be moderated.)

Scott Arciszewski (not verified)

22 March 2017 - 5:52pm

To be honest, I find this behavior totally unethical, abhorrent and unacceptable. Shame.

No, not yours, Larry. I'm talking about the bullies' behavior.

There's no good reason to witch-hunt someone for having an "alternative" lifestyle (which is a loaded term in and of itself, but whatever). Most technologists are not experts in psychology or, in particular, human sexuality.

It's a damn shame that you had to do this.

Not telling (a… (not verified)

22 March 2017 - 6:01pm

I have a story to tell. Unfortunately, in light of the above, I don't feel like I can share my identity. This action by the DA will have the effect of alienating anyone who has non-traditional relationships or fetishes. If we are willing to bully, harass and exclude the venerable Crell, what would happen if they found out about me?

All I will share is that I'm a member of the Drupal community. I've spoken at DrupalCons, contributed to core, and consider many people in the community my friends. If I were to include my name, you might recognize it. I can't wait to participate in the speculation at DrupalCon about who wrote this...

Some time ago, I asked Larry out on a date, and he agreed. We went to a museum, saw a movie, ate Thai food and talked. He told me about what he's looking for in a relationship including the controversial bits in question. I told him what I am looking for. We asked each other questions and explored options. There were no games or manipulation. No pressure or anything untoward.

Was it awkward? Sure. So are most first dates. The refreshing difference here was that everything was on the table. We did not dance around the ultimate power dynamic which happens in EVERY relationship. We talked openly about it and what it means.

We went out casually a couple more times. We had a few intimate moments, but he drew the line at sex. Ultimately we decided our relationship expectations were incompatible. I'm pretty sure he knew all along that was where we would end up, but he was kind and patient enough to take the time and let me explore the possibilities.

The reason I want to tell this story is because I want the people who will vilify Larry without really understanding the things they disapprove of to know what it really means in real life. At no point did Larry impose himself on me without my consent. When we were intimate, had I had asked him to stop, I am confident he would have obliged. If we had decided to pursue a relationship, the terms of it would have been understood by both of us going in, and frankly, utterly outside of the concern of the DA.

These ignorant actions will not only cost us a valuable member of the community and impact his livelihood, but also alienate other people who perceive their relationships or sexual inclinations to be outside the accepted norm.

Further, they take this action without any kind of public statement. If Larry had not had the balls to make this post, he would have simply disappeared from DrupalCon and contribution. No one would know the horrible things which have been done to him here. As members of the community, we would have no ability to express our disappointment in the actions being taken.

I am outraged and horrified by this whole situation.

What is a real shame, is that you state emphatically a fear-like expectation of reprisal - This is the Drupal community that has come to pass, one that needs to see Dries, Klaus, and Megan go, and go now.

Dries needs to turn the Trademark over to the association, resign himself from the community and leave - After all, his progeny will continue to thrive without him, and he has Acquia. But Drupal? Drupal will die on the vine for his transgressions and his subornation of the vile bigotry, blackmail, and threatening behavior levied by others for whom Larry's private life was (and is) of no concern to anyone EXCEPT for those he chooses to share that aspect of his life with.

Thank you for coming forward, even if you didn't come and put yourself out there - Many others have already, and as a fellow lifestyle participant in the BSDM community myself for the past few decades (No, I'm not a Gorean, lolz), often engaged in a f/t M/s relationship with my subs, I gotta say, Nilla's better step back - There's way more of us than you folks even realize.

I think that perhaps a case in point was when Anita Bryant (Oh, is that before your time people?) came out against the Gay community in a vitriolic series of despicable rants and... well, Galvanized that community to action for pretty much the first time in modern Western Civilization, ending her career.

The acts, omissions, transgressions, blackmail and threats levied against Larry by Dries, Megan, Klaus and others are despicable - and those people need to leave the community in shame.

ParisLiakos (not verified)

22 March 2017 - 6:09pm

Wow i am speechless.. didn't expect such behavior from Drupal community.

What people do or say in their private life should be irrelevant. Especially when public actions dictate otherwise..

You have my support, hang in there.

Lorna Mitchell (not verified)

22 March 2017 - 6:16pm

Thanks for everything. For Drupal itself, for DrupalCon, for the wider communities and all the small words of encouragement to such a large number of people. I am gutted to hear this story, particularly from a usually inclusive community and aimed at someone who is such a key part of it. Hugs and huge respect to you, for all that you do but also for sharing this. Hard to read, much harder to write, but in allowing us to have facts and discuss perhaps you have given us the biggest gift of all.

Stelian (not verified)

22 March 2017 - 6:28pm

Thank you for everything you do for drupal and the community as a whole. What you do within your private life is your own choice and nobody should give one single damn about it.

Stand tall, you deserve it.

For the time b… (not verified)

22 March 2017 - 6:28pm

I'm a D myself (although I don't particularly demand a D/s relationship, at least not at this point of my life) and I just wanted to say that it's a pleasure to see someone openly (and knowingly) talking about it. I hope the bullying stops and your post receives the much needed attention so we can all move on and be happy with our lives to a point where I can put my name proudly on a comment like this one.

Stay strong, my friend, and know that you're not alone.

Half of a D/s (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 8:44am

In reply to by For the time b… (not verified)

Same here. And my s would back me up that that this is a really crappy way to treat someone.

john venable (not verified)

22 March 2017 - 7:02pm

This is so maddening I don't know what to say, other than thank you for all you've contributed. It's a blemish on my opinion of the Drupal Association I can tell you that. Good luck in whatever you choose to do.

Damien McKenna (not verified)

22 March 2017 - 7:28pm

I just wanted to say that I'm pretty horrified this has happened and I'm really sorry for how it has worked out, I expected better from those involved :-(

Anonymous Drupaler (not verified)

22 March 2017 - 7:30pm

This must have been extremely hard to write. I can't imagine the stress that you felt leading up to this.

The story. as you told it, seems horrible. It does seem like Klaus bullied you, and that Dries had no real reason to kick you out except to "save face" for Drupal (whatever that means).

I feel like there must be another side to the story. It seems cruel to remove you from being a track-chair. I really hope we can hear their responses soon.

This story does not reflect well on Drupal as a whole (Dries, Megan, and Klaus).

No (not verified)

22 March 2017 - 7:37pm

Have you contacted a lawyer?

Brian Gilbert (not verified)

22 March 2017 - 7:44pm

Larry, I'm quite upset to read this, it does not feel at all in line with what I'd expect the DA to be doing.

I've witnessed many of your interactions with people at drupal events around the world and never seen anything of concern, in fact I've only witnessed things in line with what you have written. As someone who has asked advice from you after making a presentation of my own, I found your feedback extremely supportive and heartfelt.

The Drupal Association is dedicated to fostering and supporting the Drupal software project, the community and its growth. We help the Drupal community with funding, infrastructure, education, promotion, distribution and online collaboration at

That's got nothing to do with telling ppl what they can and can't do in their own time, especially in the case of consenting relationships that affect no-one else..

Is a removal of funding what is stoping you from coming to DrupalGov? If that is all it is then please touch base with me.

Gordon (not verified)

22 March 2017 - 8:12pm

Larry I have known you for a long time and consider you a friend. Most of my friends are from the Drupal community. All of my judgments/opinions of you is that you are a great coder, a great advocate for Drupal, and easy to talk to. Finding out this other part of your life, hasn't changed my opinion of you.

However the actions by the Drupal Association has changed my opinion of our leaders and the representatives of Drupal. I do hope that they revisit their decision and see that they are in the wrong because of the actions of a few small minded people which do not represent the core values of our community.

I think what you are being asked by the Drupal Association is right, and I do not what to see anyone with your commitment and passion for Drupal to leave.

Thank you for all your great contributions to Drupal, and keep doing it.


jhodgdon (not verified)

22 March 2017 - 8:24pm

Larry, I just want you to know that I have found you to be one of the strongest supporters of diversity, and the Women of Drupal, for as long as I've been involved in the project (nearly 10 years). I have seen numerous times that when an issue of abuse, tolerance, etc. has come up in the Drupal community, you have listened respectfully to the issues, learned how others are feeling, and then championed whomever was being wronged.

Thanks for writing this. I hope that the DA will reconsider their decision, and I will be very interested to see if they can find a way to justify what they've done.

Jody Hamilton (not verified)

22 March 2017 - 9:32pm

I support your right to do whatever you want with consenting adults in your private life and it bothers me that Drupal is a 'community' that's really a dictatorship from which any of us can be expelled.

None of the above is anyone's business but yours (and those you're in adult consensual relationships with). Let's all repeat that for the folks in the cheap seats: WHAT TWO OR MORE CONSENTING ADULTS DO IN PRIVACY IS NOBODY'S BUSINESS BUT THEIRS.

To suggest otherwise at any time is anti-freedom and anti-woman. Yes, it's anti-woman to try to sanction you, a man, for being involved in a relationship predicated on CONSENSUAL dominance over women. Because that word, Consent, is incredibly important. It means that each person in that kind of relationship is getting something out of it that they want. For an outsider to insist otherwise, to insist that women in such relationships lack the agency to decide how they practice their own sexuality. That's anti-woman.

I've known you for many years, and your feminist cred is not remotely in question in my book. You've never brought your kink into any professional circle where we've overlapped, and you've shown only respect for your female peers, championed them in several avenues. But again, my opinion of you DOESN'T MATTER EITHER.

If there were evidence of you treating women poorly without their consent, this would be another conversation. If there were evidence of you making unwanted advances (or advances of any kind) in professional situations, be they kink-oriented or vanilla, this might be another conversation. But there isn't. All we have is a whisper campaign about your private life, and as a queer person I find that deeply, inexcusably offensive. I've seen this kind of thing before. I grew up with this kind of thing. But those who inject themselves into other people's sex lives and cast judgement are never on the right side of history.

You do you.

Sarah nails it right on the head! I'm completely at a loss for words at this whole witch hunt. In my past, I actively LARPed, playing Vampire, and (as you could imagine) there is an active contingent of BDSM lifestylers that played. I was never compelled to join, and I never "caught BDSM" :/ —to imply that an adult, that has a long history of inclusiveness and caring in the PHP community, is going to come along and "DOMINATE YOUR WOMEN" is preposterous! What you do in your off time is your business! BDSM and Gor (from what I've read) is for consenting adults. CONSENTING adults! It's like banning someone for cosplaying at a sci-if convention.

REALLY! Catch up to 2017? I think more like 1975!

enzo - Eduardo… (not verified)

22 March 2017 - 10:10pm

Hi Larry

All my respects to you. What you do in your private life only matters to you.

You are a brave person to expose your life in that way.

I admire all your contributions to Drupal and other communities, please don't give up.

I hope in the near feature this situation will be remembered as a bitter chapter that you overcome.

Remain strong.

phenaproxima (not verified)

22 March 2017 - 10:32pm

I'm going to use some forceful language here. I can't help it. The sheer injustice of this boggles my fucking mind.

Although I am not a member of the community, I fully understand that BDSM can be a perfectly healthy, happy, and loving lifestyle between consenting adults. If you're harming no-one, your personal life is nobody's fucking business but yours. That the Drupal community would go to such lengths to exclude you strikes right at the core (no pun intended) of what I thought I knew about Drupal. It makes me question my professional choices. As if the kazillion WTFs in core weren't enough, it gives me even stronger justification to divorce Drupal for Laravel.

We haven't had much contact, Larry, but in our professional dealings you have always most definitely treated me with respect and courtesy. Your contributions to Drupal and insight into its architecture have been and continue to be incredibly valuable. It is a tremendous loss to not have your influence.

And I'm shocked that this went all the way up to Dries, yet this is the outcome. Our benevolent dictator for life needs to dictate in favor of what you have demonstrated over the past decade (enormous intelligence, commitment to Drupal, and respect for all), not in favor of placating reactionaries. The whole thing makes me sick.

Alberto Rojas (not verified)

22 March 2017 - 11:01pm

I truly am saddened. I was always surprised of the fact that the Drupal Community has above average inclusiveness over other Open Source Communities, and that made proud. Very Proud. It has motivated people that are close to me like my partner in life and business partner @lusanvar (in being more outspoken about the role of women in tech), inside our team, people in our local Drupal Costa Rica Community, and has permeated the organization of Drupal Camp Costa Rica. We have had some wins in recruiting women keynoting, but there is still a lot of work to do.

That is why I feel so troubled about this: even when we feel that there are a lot of wins, there is a loss that comes along that hits like a brick in the face. Larry, thank you for being brave enough to let the community know about this, so we can make people accountable and ask for explanations. I tweeted this earlier but it feels more right to say it here: I'm certainly anxious to read that Megan, Dries and the Assoc have to say about this.

There is a clear fight that is not over. And as community members we need to encourage diversity in our organizations & events. I don't know why the decision, I don't understand how this makes us better nor how this decision moves us ahead, because right now just feels like it doesn't. It just doesn't help the cause and I have no idea how to defend such a thing. Those are the explanations things I'm waiting to hear.

Suchi Garg (not verified)

22 March 2017 - 11:02pm

Larry, I am with you.
This is not the Drupal world I know, and I am utterly disappointed. stay strong is all I can say as of now!

Michelle Sanver (not verified)

22 March 2017 - 11:50pm

As someone who has fairly recently become a part of the Drupal community, it is the least place I expected people to behave like kids, even though kids don't always know what they are doing, these people do. I remember the whispering and rumors about me when I was bullied as a kid.

That stopped as an adult, to the best of my knowledge.

Thank you a ton for writing this post, I know it can't be easy. We need posts like this to work towards real incisiveness in the community, which as you know, is something I'm really trying to improve.

I hope that with opening up, you have started a conversation I naively thought Drupal would already be one step ahead with, I am beyond upset by the fact that I was wrong.

There will always be bullies in this world, and then there are people like you. Caring and wonderful. Let's stand together against the bullies, I'm always on your side.

Thank you for being you, for all the amazing work you have done, you have made the community a better place for me. I hope that one day the bullies and close minded people realize this too.

I hope to see you soon. Always ready for a million hugs! *hugs* <3

Sad for you and also for the Drupal community who, despite all of that, is losing a great asset.

Also very sad to read such private things online, your privacy should not be exposed like that.

Good luck for the future.

jpoesen (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 3:34am

How you're treated is not ok. By far.

Though I may fundamentally disagree with your view on relationships and power dynamics, what you do outside the community should not be relevant within the DrupaI community as long as your external actions don't cause clear and demonstrable negative effect upon the Drupal community.

Be well.

Peter (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 3:36am

I'm not even involved in Drupal but have worked on some other open-source projects. Just wanted to show you some support. You have laid out a very eloquent statement of your humanity in this post and while I'm sorry it had to come to this, I hope this leads to the establishment of more tolerance in the community that you have given so much to. I'm sure there are others in your group that have similar, or identical, personal preferences as you that are watching silently, afraid that they might be the next to be "outed." This is incredibly unfortunate. Thankfully in your case, you have the ability to present such a well-articulated statement of self and hopefully head-off a similar experience for the next person.

Best of luck, and if I ever meet you in person, first round of beers is on me.

You are an amazing person; what a horrible experience for you. I'm so sorry that this is happening.

As someone outside the Drupal community, you have been instrumental in raising my awareness of Drupal and, by your example, signalled the inclusive and generous nature of the community you represented. I'm absolutely gutted that it didn't have your back when you needed it to.

Thank you for continuing to be the person I admire and respect.

A fellow membe… (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 4:14am

I know exactly how you are feeling.
I am not a part of the Drupal eco system but rather from other Open Source projects, yet again I also practice BDSM life style (24/7, not GORean) with my gf.

I have experienced this bullying only in real life and lost a buch of so called "friends" due to this.
However, we can not tolerate any bullying anywhere, in any community.
That the Drupal board appears to have made such decisions makes me especially sad as they are practically violating their very own code of conduct.

I wish you all the best and that your customers will stand above all of this shitstorm and judge you by your actions and not by bigots flame wars.

I'm so glad to see supportive comments here. My heart goes out to you, this must be deeply painful. Drupal is so much part of your identity, as you are part of Drupal.

I am so sorry - I don't understand why this has happened, and why someone would pursue this. You kept your private life private. Your public actions and behaviour should be celebrated. As you said, "I have actively encouraged places I've worked to hire more diversely."

You were one of the very first people I met in the Drupal community. You were welcoming and made me feel comfortable as a newbie. I loved that at my first DrupalCon, we danced all together. That kind of social bonding is important, as important as collaborating on code.

As much as the social bonding is important, and we need to be able to be ourselves- we also need our privacy. I'm shocked.

I feel like Drupal is being robbed of one of its greatest advocates and leaders. I can't understand why.

I wish I was there in person to give you a Drupal Hug. Thinking of you!

Erik Huijs (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 4:17am

Wow... here is something I did not expect...

...from the DA and the community / the people involved. To me this seems like an enormous violation of your privacy.

To quote Enzo: All my respects to you. What you do in your private life only matters to you.

Nicholas Ruunu (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 4:42am

Wow, so sorry to hear this... had no idea you were being treated so unfairly.
Hope this can get resolved quickly and that people can grow up and mind their own business.

I dont even know what to say when i first heard about this i thought wtf Drupal didnt you learned anything from 2 years ago, where the witch hunt was on last time

Reach out anytime i you wanna talk im right here - Fuck witch hunters.

me (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 5:00am

to get it together, apologize for being wrong, misinformed and slow in mind but fast in action. This shall not stand.

Sam (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 5:01am

Pleased that you're able to stand up so proudly in the face of this whispering, well done, stay strong.

I do have significant questions now raised on how "one handed applause" works though...

Valery "valthe… (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 5:10am

This is so...shockingly sad :(
Thanks for being you, Larry. Witch hunts is not this century

Tommy Lynge Jo… (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 5:46am


Slave lover (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 6:02am

Would you agree that you, as a white male, wanting to keep a black slave would be problematic, even if it was consensual and just for sex? Female slavery is an actual modern day problem.

I also think it's hard to be welcoming both to women and to men who publically fantasize about keeping women as slaves. Try discretion and use a pseudonym if you're going to join a fringe group with truly abhorant beliefs (yes, the desire for male domination in this vein is distgusting, though coming from someone who has obviously been bullied by other men for their entire life it is understandable, and still disgusting).

I've often wished that we in the BDSM world could have a different word for what is usually referred to as "slavery". It's actually very different from the "real-life" slavery that affects both male and female people all around the world in such terrible ways.

The biggest difference is that in BDSM the "slave" consents, agrees, *wants* to be treated this way, and that consent is *continuously* affirmed and can be withdrawn at any time - the "slave" can walk away.

There's no problem with a male or female submissive having dark skin, by the way.

The next time you eat shrimps, remember that many of them are caught by enslaved male fishermen, although there's been a lot of work to try and end that practice recently. But they are not enslaved based on skin colour any more than the indentured workers in parts of Africa or the Middle East.

Slavery in BDSM is something entirely different that unfortunately happens to use the same word.

And although this is the first time I've said it in public, I'm submissive in that regard myself. I'm sorry that other people's sexual orientations disgust you, and hope that you can work through those feelings. I've often been told that being gay (as I am) is disgusting, and I can say it doesn't help one's self esteem and it doesn't change my orientation, over which I don't have a whole lot of control. No-one does, of course.

John_B (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 6:10am

Very sorry to hear that. It does sound terribly unfair. Besides, as much as anyone, you have made Drupal 8 what it is (for better or for worse!), so unless this issue is corrected it damages Drupal technically as well as socially.

In so many ways Dries is a wonderful, generous and capable person. On this one he seems to have dropped the ball badly. We can perhaps hope that he comes to see that, if only for reasons of appearance, that it is not good for the project fr one person, whoever they are, to combine roles as leader of Acquia and of the DA.

To the extent that there is some arbitration or fair process available, so that a decision of of this kind can be reviewed fairly, impartially and independently, as no doubt there is in a community noted for its understanding that quality flows from openness--an understanding which, to be fair, Dries has fostered--I do hope you find the patience and courage to engage in it and have your case heard, with a view to the correction of any error which Dries or others who exercise power or influence may turn out to have made.

Barrett (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 7:08am

What you believe in your own head and do in your private life is none of Drupal community's damn business. I'm appalled by their exclusion of you under the flag of inclusiveness.

For every DrupalCon I've attended I've made sure to attend anything with your name on it. You really do give great talks. :) I was really saddened to see you become the target of a which-hunt. And even more shocked to see the DA turn their back on someone because of sexual preferences and living out a subculture. :(

Edna (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 7:39am

Larry, I am so sorry - the DA's actions are awful and completely change the way I view it and the Drupal community in general - your behaviour and choices are absolutely none of my or anybody else's concerns. I have been to a couple of your talks and have nothing but praise for them, that and your professional conduct and contributions to the community is all that should concern the DA and other Drupalers and I am speechless at the way they behaved. I sincerely hope they and Dries will come to their senses, revert their decisions and apologize. And I hope that then you will find it in you to accept and move on and continue being a pillar of the community. Am I naive?

anonymous (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 8:19am

You know what's sad? The fact that you even had to explain something so personal in a professional environment. Something consenting between adults and completely legal. I'm a little shocked. I've only been to a few Drupalcon's, not really known in the community... but, have been around enough to know that the community is diverse and mainly open. That was an inspiration. This is sad.

Out of curiosity, isn't this considered discriminatory? At the very least harassment? One thing it is; completely invasive, not to mention grossly unprofessional.

Disappointed, Drupal.

pwolanin (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 8:54am


It seems like the CWG and DA utterly failed you and failed to do the right thing. That's tremendously disheartening, and I'm sorry. Perhaps some of those people should not continue in those roles.

I don't begrudge any consenting relationships you want to have, but instead I appreciate the contributions you've made to Drupal.

Mikke Schirén (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 9:21am

What you have done for Drupal is fantastic, all the effort you put in, all the code you have written, all the mentoring you have done etc. I totally support your right to do whatever you want with other consenting adult in your private life. To have your own sexuality hanged out for other to judge yours moral after, is not what I want from the members of the Drupal community.
The problem here is also people having difficult to see what is (sexual) fantasies and ordinary life. And that is is just strange. I wrote horror stories about people getting cut to pieces. Female and Men (and some random monsters). Should I bu judged by that? Do not think that.

NoC1 (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 9:26am

Unless you committed a felony or something along those lines, why do we care what you do in your personal life? If you committed a felony then DA or Dris should report to police not ban you from Drupal.

I have always enjoyed your talks, sometimes code.

A Non Y-Mouse (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 9:32am

Larry - whatever you do in your private life is up to you, if you break DCS though then we'll have words!

Seriously though - if we are discriminating on the basis of beliefs in a 50 year old science fiction book then should any scientologists not step down too?

Jami (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 9:35am

It took a lot of courage to write this and I applaud you for that. As a member of the LGBT community, I can relate to your experience but as a feminist, I struggle to support Gor behavior. It's in no way comparable to someone that is LGBT (or Muslim. Christians, Jews, etc).

Is it wrong that you're being professionally punished because of your lifestyle choices? Most definitely. But I don't agree with your comparisons and I would be surprised if many that weren't cis white male would.

Thank you for your support.  However, I can say that many gay and lesbian people have contacted me both before and after this post to express their support, including the analogy to the LGBT movement.  I've even have multiple people "come out" to me in private to say they can relate to my situation.

I'm by no means an expert on the subject but being born LGBTQ is not the same as living a Gorean lifestyle. One is a choice, the other isn't. Again, I don't think it's right to be punished or harassed for a *chosen*, consensual lifestyle but I think it's an inaccurate comparison. You're blurring sexuality with fetish and frankly, that minimizes what the LGBTQ community has fought (and continues to fight) for.

You can add me to your list of gay/lesbian people that have expressed concern for your treatment but I thoroughly disagree with Gorean philosophy (I wonder how many of these people showing support actually know what it is, btw?) and just wanted to point out that the comparison is inaccurate.

Being born LGBQ2A+ or whatever is indeed not a choice. Neither is being dominant or submissive, although one can learn to hide one's nature to some extent, just as one can be "straight-acting".

Gor offers one particular way for people to express and realize their orientation.

The books themselves (from what I've seen over the years) appear very heteronormative, but the actual community seems (from the outside at least) more open than that. If you're not an expert on it, how can you say you thoroughly disagree with it?

I don't know the Drupal people at all. I've run a gay/trans/queer online support group for the better part of twenty years and know all too well what the effects of hounding and bullying can be. I know how easy it can be for someone to leave me myself in a crumpled heap of tears, even when I devote time to helping others. Larry's description and the responses have moved me enough to out myself, because the more people see others whom they might respect being voluntary male "slaves" or being involved in other alternate lifestyles, the more easily we can move towards wider acceptance. It's not about mistreating people. Please, take the time to learn before expressing disgust. My grandmother was disgusted by black people (she thought they were dirty). Instead, help us all celebrate our differences, which, after all, is what we in the LGBTQ2+ world fight for.

In hardcore Islamic societies, the women have no choice. In BDSM, the choice is continuously and actively affirmed.

So yes, it is fair to make such a comparison.

I'm an openly bi/pansexual, man, and I can confirm this ABSOLUTELY echoes my bad experiences.

People make assumptions. "You like men because you're a narcissist." "We don't trust you in this position because your bisexuality means you can't commit to anything." One co-worker vandalized a bathroom at work with obscene graffiti to get me fired. Of course it worked, because my orientation made me the sex maniac.

In fairness, these people judged me on what they *believed* to be evidence. But in both Larry and my cases, it ain't. The proof is in the pudding.

(On the other hand, the dudebro who stalked Larry goes out of his way to prove how woman-friendly he is. I find his blog and Twitter feed creepy as hell.)

David Snopek (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 9:44am

It's unfortunate that you were forced to bring your private life out in to the public, when it shouldn't be necessary. But given the alternative (just disappearing without explanation), I'm glad that you did it! Writing this post was unbelievably courageous.

At this point, I'm still hoping this can be a learning experience for the community and that the professional damage done to you can be reversed. While you've been fighting this battle for a while, it's just the beginning for your "allies" :-) Hang in there!

Dave Myburgh (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 10:04am

Larry, this is by no means how the Drupal community is - it's only some individuals. The rest of us stand by you. What you do in your private life is yours to do. Even if we may not necessarily agree with it (or understand it), it's consensual.

We see this sort of overreaction time and time again. And more often than not, it's from the supposedly progressively-minded people. So much for free speech and expression. Sad state of affairs.

The hypocrisy on display from the bullies is stunning.

Let this be a lesson to all watching: codes of conduct do not exist to promote tolerance, diversity, respect, or to avoid unconstructive resolution of conflict. They exist to create a gray zone that allows for political pressure to be exerted, and to excuse backchanneling and bullying under the guise of morality. Some are more equal than others, and some behavior will absolutely be excused in order to justify a witch hunt.

Dries claims "Larry has entwined his private and professional online identities in such a way that it blurs the lines with the Drupal project." but that was done by the people who stalked and leaked parts of your personal life. He's presenting it as if it was an Act of God and that now he has no choice but to pick up the pieces. This is nonsense. He's explicitly choosing to align his interpretation and policy with that of the bullies. Either he's the project lead and his voice has weight, or he's a figurehead to be used for political aims.

To quote Orwell: the object of power is power. "Diversity" has become a protection racket, aiming for goals that can never be achieved by design, because there is always something new to be outraged about. How many are applauding the speeches, simply afraid of what will happen if they don't?

To be clear, I believe Codes of Conduct can be used for good or ill, just like any tool.  On the whole I support them, and believe we are better off with good Codes of Conduct.  Drupal has a fairly good one, and I supported the call a year ago to add one to PHP.

Tools can be used for good or bad, this is true, but some tools have fatal security flaws built into them that makes it irresponsible to use them in an unsecured environment. In the case of CoCs, that exploit appears to be that it grants automatic validation to anyone who couches their attack in the right shibboleths. It is, pun wholly intended, a privilege escalation.

Denial and reversal is a common feature in many abusive relationships. I think there is a large body of accumulated evidence that this exploit is used time and time again to justify actions that go against both the spirit and the letter of the average CoC. In the case of the DCOC, the wording is explicitly apolitical and it does not adhere to any particular agenda beyond collaboration and respect... yet this current debacle has revolved explicitly around gender dynamics, sexuality, diversity quotas, and so on, which proves that that doesn't matter. It is impossible not to notice that the CoC is used as a symbolic weapon to justify a hidden reading, understood by all present, relying on the fact that what is "derogatory" and "offensive" is entirely in the eye of the beholder, subject to immense prejudice and groupthink.

The exploit analogy really is quite apt, it's very much like a buffer overflow: all you need to do is flood the system with enough misrepresented noise to cause it to explode, and what happens after has very little to do with what triggered it in the first place.

There is a reason that the justice system throws out tainted evidence and sometimes lets offenders get off scot free due to an abuse of procedure. It is a necessary evil to avoid greater abuse of the innocent. It is a readily observable fact that those who enforce the law are no less likely to break it than a common citizen. For a CoC to be viable long term, it has to be explicitly constructed to be resilient to malicious actors, to immediately shut down attempts to subvert it, and to very clearly limit its scope. There are a handful of documents (like FCOP) that acknowledge and attempt this, and it is abundantly clear that the activists pushing for CoCs do not like them. Their adopters get slandered and berated for sticking to universal principles, as we saw with LambdaConf.

Better to not have them at all and be honest with ourselves about which game is really being played here.

The Community Working Group has stated, multiple times, that I have not violated the Code of Conduct.  Dries' actions, as he's stated, were not about my "conduct" but what he perceives to be my "beliefs".  The CoC is not at fault for this situation, IMO.  People are.

I don't know much about the BDSM and your community and nobody should take any business from your personal life. Commenting on someone personal life is nobody business and It should not happen. Stay strong. Hugs.

We have met in person with you at DrupalCon Asia and also mine experience with you over interaction over the community. I have never felt something that you're influencing someone towards your personal life.

Kevin Stevens (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 11:35am

...that actions taken against you would be reversed in the light of enlightened thinking and appropriately applied public pressure. However, my realistic expectation is that the inability to admit error will force a digging in against you. I'm sorry for the bullshit you are going through.

William O'Connor (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 12:07pm

I don't know Larry well, but I've been in the community for a decade and talked with him many times. I've always respected his technical acumen and his ability to communicate his vision for the Drupal project. He is a unique and gifted engineer and we will all be worse off if this travesty continues.

I've never cared nor asked about what Larry did behind closed doors and I am absolutely saddened that he had to write this post in an effort to fight back against the unfair behavior of the Drupal leadership. I pray that there can be some resolution to this wherein the leadership of Drupal recognizes their faults and apologizes for the harm they have done Larry and the community.

Keep up the good fight. You deserve better and any way that I - or we in the community - can advocate for you, we will.

FamiComplex (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 12:09pm

I've only been working with the Drupal community for about a year, but one thing I've loved is the sense of inclusion, the fact that we're a huge community, diverse and welcoming.

I admit, this is a hell of a shock to the system.

While I'm not terribly familiar with Gor, specifically, I'm quite familiar with BDSM lifestyle. I never thought there was even a remote possibility that my personal preferences could impact my livelihood, but here we are, I guess.

Fact is, there are more "freak" developers than you'd think. And we'll stand with you, even if if that means banding together and collaborating on a new CMS that'll be a bit more inclusive.

Spud KcKeen (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 1:05pm

I suggest all we that support Larry, add him as mentor on our profile. I'm going to do this right now.
Let's make him #1 mentor in, to prove that we respect him and his good work.

A witch trial. Being tied to the bed, being "taken," being a sex slave — these are all variations of the primary sexual archetype, which is that one being exerts force over another. This is consensual, it's wanted, but it's force. How many perfectly respectable couples enact rape fantasies? How many women in their 40s will put on school girl uniforms so their husband can feel he's fucking a barely-or-not legal adult? What we do in the bedroom is irrational, and much of what we simulate would be illegal in real life. The basic archetype of sex is that one more powerful person forces themselves over another. Anything that's not this is bland and not sex. But in real life we've learned that cooperation works much better than force. Sex ≠ real life. Sex is the opposite of real life; it's the irrational pouring out of pent up instincts. And having the other person be ok with that, being able to be completely vulnerable with another, completely transparent, fully seen, is the foundation of love.
Consent is everything. Which is why the BDSM community, and I'm not a part of it, there are strict rules about consent. But so it is in any sexual relationship. Consent can be withdrawn at any second. And how you react to the withdrawal of consent makes you either a rapist, if you don't comply, or a great lover, if you do. I mean, Cosmo magazine will tell you that much, for goodness sake. Among the several meaningless arguments of the DA, there is no proof Larry has ever forced himself on anyone — outside the workplace or at the workplace, or that he lacks self-control emotionally or professionally. Since clearly he is great at consent and mutual satisfaction — why is a mindful guy being let go? If anything, the supreme self-control required for BDSM must have had a positive influence on his self-discipline and work performance.
There are thousands of people with a diaper fetish. There are millions with a foot fetish. What actions like DA's accomplish is to keep their employees’ productivity down by policing parts of their lives that are nobody's business. Would you rather people felt shame around their fetishes? Let them find people who are into the same thing they’re into. Let them feel accepted and loved. Let them be in fulfilling relationships. You want happy, productive employees? Get the fuck out of the BDSM sites. Unless you're there looking for a lover yourself.

Mark Brown (not verified)

23 March 2017 - 1:30pm

Larry, I am saddened you have had to endure this and disappointed the leadership declined to act upon their own self-professed principles. If I were in a position of leadership and chose to act that way, I would be disgusted with my own lack of courage.

Stay strong my friend!!!