Yin Q is a former dominatrix and an educator and practitioner of bondage, discipline, dominance, submission and sadomasochism. For Q, BDSM has long been a part of their understanding of and experience with their sexuality.

Q, who uses they/them pronouns, discovered something compelling about the push-and-pull dynamics of BDSM during their sexual awakening. Their curiosity about it, and their identification with the practice and the community, only evolved and intensified as they got older.

Q initially explored kink as a cabaret performer in college. They wrote their college thesis on BDSM and eventually moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to apprentice and learn more about the leather community.

Today, Q ― now based in Brooklyn, New York ― uses their expertise and platform as an active, visible, queer Asian American person in the BDSM community to elevate the experiences of marginalized people, perform BDSM rituals with clients as a form of therapy and host workshops for members of the LGBTQ community. They are also the creator of the web series “Mercy Mistress,” which is co-produced by Margaret Cho and is based on Q’s time as a dominatrix.

Q, 44, chatted with HuffPost about how they use their work to highlight underserved communities, how they understand BDSM’s role in exploring and furthering queer pride and how they envision the future of the LGBTQ movement.

June 5, 2019