The owner of a BDSM club in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn is feuding with her neighbor.
The Taillor Group, owned by Charlotte Taillor, is a feminist kink and fetish space that also offers free self-defense classes. They opened in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood back in January. However, due to pressure from religious neighbors, The Taillor Group is currently raising money to move to a new location.
‘We are being terribly harassed and kink shamed by a (very religious) neighbor at our newest space and we need to run away and relocate as soon as possible,’ a pop-up on their website reads.
News of The Taillor Group’s opening was first reported when flyers distributed misidentified the space as a ‘gentlemen’s club’ and urged residents to complain to the community board as well as the local police department.
‘No, we’re a kink space, we’re a feminist collective,’ Charlotte Taillor told Gothamist. ‘We don’t even call men gentlemen here… they’re on their knees.’
According to Gothamist, the Department of Buildings has received several complaints about the space since it opened.
On 9 February, Tallior attended the local block association meeting in an attempt to make amends and seek compromise. However, the religious neighbor didn’t want to hear it.
‘We tried so hard to respect her block, be nice to her block,’ Taillor explained to Gothamist. ‘[The neighbor] just wants us to leave, which I want to. I have no interest in being at a place where we’re not cherished, you know?’
Taillor has since set up a fundraising page to help with moving costs. But things quickly escalated after Taillor put a note on her neighbor’s door informing her of the upcoming move.
‘We have no intentions of remaining on the block if our stay is creating problems for you or anyone else,’ the note, attained by Gothamist, reads. ‘We are going to move.’
‘Please stop harassing us – we are currently arranging the move and any time we spend handling harassment only slows that process down.’
‘In order to work on the move, we need you to stop engaging in the activities you have been doing, including: please stop harassing people as they enter and exit our apartment and other on the street. Please stop recording us or taking our picture. Please stop filing complaints. Please stop going through our garbage. Please stop circulating flyers.’
‘We feel attacked and unsafe,’ Taillor stated, before including the number to her attorney.
The neighbor replied with her own note, telling Taillor to ‘never come on [their] property again.’
The neighbor refuted each claim in Taillor’s letter, claiming they wanted ‘nothing to do’ with Taillor or her clients.
‘It’s been terrifying,’ Taillor told Patch. ‘Everyone has cried over this.’ She mentioned that many of her employees have been scared away by the harassment and threats.
On 6 March, members of a block association at Quincy Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant met in the basement of Macedonia Church of Christ to voice their concerns. Taillor, accompanied by her lawyer, attended the meeting and pleaded with the group to stop their complaints. She mentioned that it cost her $100,000 [€88,972] to move to the block in January and as a ‘mom and pop’ business, they don’t have the funds to relocate immediately.
The main concern many residents voiced was the fact Taillor was operating a business on a residential block.
Laurie Miller, the religious neighbor living next door to Taillor, called the meeting.
‘If it was a meth lab I’d be just as upset,’ Miller told Gothamist. ‘Because bringing these transient, nefarious-looking guys into the community that aren’t part of the community but coming in to do whatever they want to do and then bounce? They have no vested interest in the quality of life in this community.’
‘She’s against everything we are, from queer to kink to sex-positive and body-positive,’ Taillor said of Miller. ‘And the whole sexual liberation movement? She is not down with it.’
Author: Rafaella Gunz
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