Why Nudist Pen Names Has Some Naturists All Hot and Bothered
Why can’t nudists use pen names?
In a recent blog I addressed six practical things that naturists can do to be more proactive in promoting naturism. The first suggestion was to ‘come out of the closet’ as a naturist to trusted people – family, friends and colleagues. It is interesting that this suggestion is often met with a fair amount of lively discussion. It is after all a sensitive issue. It takes time to get to the point of taking your clothes off in public, and it takes even more time getting to the point of telling others about one’s experience and choice to practice social nudity.
One of the interesting responses we received (about the recommendation to come out as a naturist) was criticism of our YNA organization’s leaders for their use of pen names. The criticism, which was posted as public comment, was cynical and judgmental (strange indeed coming from fellow naturists), implying that YNA leaders are hypocritical to suggest that naturists ‘come out’, while they themselves use pen names. The criticism was so far off balance that it deserves some attention, so that new nudies, who may encounter such extremist attitudes, do not shy away from naturism and the joy of sharing our nude culture with others.
Let us begin by noting that the recommendation to come out as a naturist was balanced with adequate advice. We urged that the coming out be exercised with caution – aimed at trusted people in your life and with the understanding that there are some people you may never tell your nudie adventures to. This is because, for some people, it can have serious consequences – in the work place for example. Use of pen names in national media is one form of caution that some people choose for all kinds of legitimate reasons. In fact it’s a common practice in many settings other than just nudism.
The idea of coming out is in no way hypocritical with respect to the use of pen names on the internet or in the world media at large. There is an obvious and huge common sense difference between coming out to trusted people within your real life family, close social circles and professional network vs. coming out willy-nilly to the whole world through online social media, film, television, etc. Graduating from the use of a pen name to the use of one’s real name can be a very big decision with far reaching consequences, which for some people involves many complex considerations. Needless to say, many actors and writers use pen names their whole lives. They even use their nom de plume when advocating for certain causes. Yet it seems like only in the nudie world do we have a handful of tyrannical nudists who vehemently and vocally argue that all their hard work does not mean much because they do not attach their birth name. Some reasons that nudie leaders who choose to come out to family and friends, but not to the world at large, include things like: stalkers, bullying, public slander, job related sensitivities, social or extended family complications and the list goes on.
The kind of immature, one-size-fits-all philosophy, that accuses naturist leaders of hypocrisy for the use of pen names is thoughtless indeed. It smacks of radical fanaticism and certainly that is nothing that our nudie movement needs in the hyper body-phobic culture we live in. Truly caring, loving attitudes toward fellow naturists about when and how a naturist comes out, the use of pen names (or NOT) etc., means respecting other’s basic right for privacy. Arrogantly chiding some people for not measuring up to an artificially contrived and fanatically imposed set of rules makes absolutely no sense. That is the surest way to set the wrong example to new nudies and may (understandably) scare them away.
I mean after all, what these critics of YNA are really implying by their thoughtless remarks is that anyone who wants to get involved in naturism and desires to blog or advocate for it within the media, is a hypocrite if they aren’t willing or able to disclose to the whole world all their personal information?
At YNA we do not strive to set such callous expectations of others. The use of pen names by some YNA leaders and not by others is the YNA way of saying ‘it’s all about the love!’ – We do not expect people to give up their privacy or personal freedom in order to become a nudie if they do not freely choose to do so. In addition, the YNA leaders cannot be accused of hiding as they are physically present at public events, tell people their real names, make no true effort to hide their identity and they use the names consistently so that people know who is accountable for what. Therefore, the use of a pen name, or not, by YNA leaders is highly consistent with our most important core values and in no way hypocritical in my view.
In conclusion, let’s hope that most nudies respect each other (nudist leader or not) enough to allow one another the common courtesy to be as open or discreet as they choose about their choice to practice naturism. They should be allowed to thrive in an environment that allows them to progress to whatever extent of ‘coming out’ that they are comfortable with in their own time and own way without being judged for their choices.