In February, it’ll be three years since I put this blog in play. I never had a grand design for it. I wasn’t about to change the face of gay journalism; I have a paying job doing exactly that, so I sure as hell don’t want to do more of it in my off hours. My site started as a place for me to braindump, nothing more. Get some of the crap that goes through my head daily out into cyberspace in a collective. It’ll get read, it might not get read and all will be well. I was scattered all over between Facebook, LiveJournal and a few other places and it was getting too hard to control so one spot it was.
Truth be told, I didn’t follow gay journalism at all. I did have a clue what all was out there, had no fucking clue what a Joe My God was (other than an amazingly pretentious name for a site) The more I hung out, I saw this site, that site, and the other site. I couldn’t help but notice one big thing: they all sound the same. ”We’re oppressed. ” , “We’re discriminated against”, “Being gay is noting but pushing the stone up hill day after day after day.” Not one of them brings anything at all unique to the table. If you see it on one site, you see it on ALL the others. Copy/pasted to death with a few words framed around it. There’s nothing wrong with some copy/pasting, after all I do it plenty. But I also try to bring my own perspectives, stories and content in.
To me, that perspective is entirely bullshit, and it drove me that much harder to keep my site going. I was going to be one spot that didn’t buy into the constant oppression/gay marriage is the entire world droning. I also, apparently, was going to be the one site that actually remembers that HIV is still a global epidemic that’s not been cured.
I don’t know any of the big box bloggers personally, and based on their perspectives of the world, I don’t know that I’d ever want to. They apparently have their clique, their meetings and elbow rubbings and send each other well wishes on Christmas. They can all happy-slap themselves on the back and try to call themselves citizen journalists all they like. That cliche is far from dead and gone, and covering your ears while singing “la, la, la” isn’t going to make it fade any more quickly. I don’t paint myself up as something I’m not.
I don’t need anyone’s permission to be out here, and I am not after anyone’s blessing. Sticking to my mission for this site has paid off. 2,122 articles, 991 comments, 133,605 unique visitors (70,570 from the US), and 2,398,895 page views later I’m still around.
I get a nice chunk of change from advertising, but it’s not the sole reason I do it. I’m not trying to make a living off this site, and I haven’t the brass balls to call myself a media mogul like John Aravosis has. I’m not selling out for a buck, but the money is nice. And yes, I will be taking the plunge and putting out a donate button in a while. It’s not because I have to pay the rent or I even expect TO be paid. It’s more emotional gratification than anything at all. Someone sends me five bucks and I throw it down for a cup of coffee and a bagel, I’ll know that one of my readers bought me breakfast. I’ll smile and keep on going. Whether there’s money in the tip jar or not I’ll keep going.
“I read your site because I’m not told what I have to be, believe, or believe in. I don’t feel like I’ve gotten a written reprimand for the way I believe my life should be, and it’s not in lockstep with everyone else.”
—-emailed to me from one of my readers.
“I come by daily because I want to see what gay life is like without all the complaining”
—A reader in Iran
“When I became positive, your site turned up in the search results and you were the only person who had information there I could understand. You were also the only one I’d written to out of all the others who actually replied”
–A 17 year old reader in Pittsburgh
These are the reasons (among many more) that I’ll keep it just the way I have it. And I’ll keep going.