It’s the 2009 LD Reader Survey, now with added SWAG RAFFLE OPTION!
Spend five minutes telling me a little about yourself and more about what you think about this here blog, then give me your email address at the end of it (it’s disaggregated from your survey responses; not to worry), and I’ll pick an email address randomly out of a hat on National Coming Out Day (October 11, 2010)! You — yes, YOU! — may win THE LD SWAG ITEM OF YOUR CHOOSING! Meaning any t-shirt, coffee cup, tote bag, or whatever you want, sent to your home, once you give me your address. Hell, if there’s a caption you WANT on any of the above, I’ll do it up in the inimitable LD font and slap it on a Cafe Press item, special for you.
Last year I conducted a survey around the blog’s anniversary, and learned a TON. More folks check in here simply for the photography than I had imagined. What with me being a spirited amateur and all. Many were totally fine with the chef’s surprise variety of content. Those that don’t come for the newsy updates just overlook that stuff and come back again for the essays. Most of you resemble me a great deal: white, lesbian, fairly educated. Parked, for better and for worse, in the U.S.A. But a lot more than I would have expected (yay!) differ from me, too. Every single moment of communication across some element of difference is of great value to me, and I was especially appreciative to learn what got you Other folks to start and continue reading this blog.
I almost titled this post “Lurker’s Deelite,” since that’s another one of the things I got from last year’s survey. Oodles of you read, but are not chatting, for any one of a host of good reasons. Don’t have the time. Don’t have the inclination. So hate the whole WordPress registration rigamarole that it’s enough to keep you just reading in the old-fashioned, non-dialogy kind of way. Would chat, but are shy (! yes! some folks are shy!). Would comment, but want to say things that just don’t feel suited to the fairly public space of a blog comment. And so on. What you had to say was of great value, too, since otherwise I’d have NO IDEA WHAT YOU THOUGHT OF ALL THIS.
I heard from around 200 readers which, evidently in survey terms, was a great turnout. Even if it was an infinitessimal-to-negligible percentage of total readers in any given month. (Current numbers hover at around 7,000- some-odd “unique” visitors a month, who stop in at a rate of around 1-2,000 a day.) I would love it if as many of you filled this survey out this year, and am enticing you to do it with the whopping LD Swag Raffle option you’ll find at the end.
This year’s survey is much like the previous one, with a specific question addressing my existential malaise about the blog’s direction, post-Prop 8.
Existential malaise, in five paragraphs:
1. LGBT families’ rights and recognitions have been squarely in the center of political crosshairs since before the California Supreme Court declared Prop 22 unconstitutional, recognized same-sex marriage as constitutional, and set off the nasty, months-long, multi-million-dollar brawl that was the Prop 8 fight. But it got palpably hairier from then on, I’ll say. What we stand to gain is greater, but as many, many will say, so long as these battles are currently waged on the front burner, as it were, it’s very hard on our families. Which is to say, homophobia is on the rise in schools, our kids feel the fallout of the hate- and lie-filled anti-gay marriage rhetoric. (Here’s the Marriage Equality USA report, “Prop 8 Hurt My Family: Ask Me How.”)
2. This political urgency bothfatigues and motivates me, and as a result it has both rattled and stoked my blog posting. On the one hand, when I’ve been embittered and burned out, I’ve lost the umph and the motivation to say a thing in public about our lesbian family or anything at all, for that matter. That’s a problem for any autobiographically-driven, narrative nonfiction writing with a regular publishing schedule.
3. On the other hand, when I have written directly to this, I’ve wondered whether the essence of what I began this thing to do — to tell the story of our evolving family and my evolving parenthood, and invite other kindred spirits into a dialog about what their experiences are — has gotten drowned out.
4. On yet another (third!) hand, of course our family’s well-being feels very directly tied to the outcomes of these political battles, even if the waging of them leaves tire tracks on us all. Ours is not the only such family, and many other parents are going through whatever tribulations we do and far, far worse (my own immediate family is insulated by our class and race, after all).
5. And finally, I think: simplify, simplify, simplify. Pick something and stick to it. Direct folks to other conversations if need be (that’s why the goddess invented the sidebar), but just quiet the noise and tell a story. I’m hoping some other opinions — like yours — will help.
So there you have it. I would like to know what you think generally, and what you think specifically. And I’ll lure the survey-taker fence-sitters among you with the possibility of your winning up to like $20 in free guff. Thank you in advance for the time you spend.