2. to sustain or withstand (weight, pressure, strain, etc.) without giving way; serve as a prop for.
4. to sustain (a person, the mind, spirits, courage, etc.) under trial or affliction: They supported him throughout his ordeal.
5. to maintain (a person, family, establishment, institution, etc.) by supplying with things necessary to existence; provide for: to support a family.
5. to encourage the sales, acceptance, etc., of (a product), especially through advertising or other publicity.
So after being irritated by yet another flame war on yet another list serve of a minority group I'm part attacking another minority group I'm part of, I wanted to go to a dictionary and look up the words support and promote. As you can see at the top, that is how dictionary.com defines the words. Now without breaking the confidentiality of anyone in this newest listserve flame war, I want to focus in on those two words because one of the most tired (in my less than humble opinion) arguments that get trotted out is the idea that someone doesn't want to promote BDSM (or whatever sexual identity/activity/identity in general) that they don't like/agree with/sympathize with. These two words' definitions aren't as far apart as might be good, but that doesn't mean (in my understanding) that supporting and promoting BDSM and BDSM practitioners are the same things. I feel that my right to identify as a lifestyle submissive is every much as valid as is a gay man's right to identify as gay; sadly however, it seems that "people into BDSM" are the current group that gets very little support, sympathy, or respect. If you've read anything I've written before, you probably have seen my identity phrase- "I'm a queer, poly, kinky woman." I live on multiple "margins." So when I see the fight happen again and again in "polyamorous circles" about kink identity, that hurts me deeply. I feel like one part of my identity is telling the other that it has no right to exist.
Back to support, promote- why does saying something like "I support a person's right to engage in and/or identify as a kinkster [ie BDSM practitioner]" equal promoting BDSM? When I say that I support lesbians, I'm not saying that all women should be lesbians- I am not promoting lesbianism. I am saying that lesbians has a right to exist and be happy. Neither am I saying how to be a lesbian, how a lesbian should behave or that I agree with all things lesbians do. I actually don't- I have a specific problem with lesbians separatists, with the idea of choosing to be a lesbian because any romantic/sexual interaction with a man doesn't support women's liberation. There are types of BDSM that I don't like, don't agree, choose not to participate in- as long as everyone is consenting, I don't quibble about the right to engage in BDSM. Of course there's always exceptions, things to be discussed. Around the idea of "consent," there is a lot of disagreement. I do not agree with the people who will say that my use of my Master's title in front of non-BDSM people is violating their consent; a man calls his wife "my wife" in front of me- just because he is in the mainstream and I am not does not make him right and me wrong.
I support a person's right to engage in a modern monogamous, vanilla heterosexual relationship- read my vent about such relationships yesterday before you think I'm promoting such a relationship.