Hoping words might help; a little bit Scheherazade, a little bit Harold and His Purple Crayon. A life-extending story told, a world of possibility drawn. Hoping that helping me may help others which (if value there be) will in turn feed into helping me, and so on. Positive feedback loop.
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]hanks the combo of parent + full-time employed person + I’m no longer crazy enough to go without sleep, my processing speed is like that of one of those old putty-colored, 128k Macintoshes, circa the mid-1980s. So! The notes below are what I finally compiled from last weekend, i.e. the post-inaugural one, as opposed from this past weekend, i.e. the most recent one following our first week of the bull-in-the-china-shop attempted coup d’état (and if you need any convincing on that score, read Yonatan Zunger in Medium, thank you Kelly Wickham Hurst).
I find multitasking and code-switching a tad challenging. For this reason, three years ago, when I launched into a non-communications/ non-social media-ish job, I found myself essentially hanging up my bloggy spurs.
I did not, however, melt them down and make lawn art out of them. Fortunately for my neighbors.
And yet! I now find myself, much to my delight, in the position of directing communications at this selfsame organization. This job is not only in the right ballpark (I was there already) but at the right position therein.
Hosana and not a moment too soon! Because in a scant few weeks we’re due for quite a political sea-change, something that – for me, and 65,844,953 others like me – looks to be more challenging than rivers being turned into blood, the dust of the land becoming lice, being strafed by swarms of flies, watching helplessly as livestock fall grievously ill, gaping in horror as festering boils break out on all of us everywhere, fruitlessly seeking shelter from thunderstorms of hail and fire, swatting back boatloads of locusts, enduring three days of darkness, or the tenth – which I can’t even speak of.
Year-old tie-dye hanging out to dry, Berkeley, CA.
As it turns out, tie-dye shirts which have yet to be “set” and rinsed can indeed sit in a crumpled ball for a year, intimidating and then later forgotten, and be resurrected the weekend before departing for the family camp whence they came the year before! Patience (and neglect) rewarded.
Heading up to Camp It Up! family camp for the week. I sang its praises at VillageQ last year upon return, and don’t mind saying that if you don’t currently squirrel away all your spare pennies for a queer family camp (you queer families), well, you should try. Because it’s worth every one of those pennies. (Here’s a regionally varied list of them I did back in April at VQ.)
Up at camp there is – ! – no cell phone reception & no cable/ wifi internet access. Schlubs who have internetty work to do make their way into the nearby town for the wifi-enabled cafe. I believe I’ll be among those schlubs, in which case I may also have the opportunity to share a photo or two. I share this tidbit because I’m working hard at the whole “please keep blogging” thing with which I ended my talk the other night. It’s almost as good for the mental health as a nice, long, family vacation.
Voices of the Year/ 10×10 audience at BlogHer ’14, San José, CA.
Don’t they/ you look fine?
The woman toward the right with the nice DSLR pointed at me is Danielle Tsi, BlogHer’s event photographer (and a brilliant one). I’d worked with her at about a half a dozen BlogHer events, and she was kind enough to take my new cutie mirrorless camera and take a few pictures with it for me, so’s I’d have a clue what I was looking’ like (et voilá). What’s not to love about a person whose generosity matches their talent?
On the occasion of its tenth annual conference, folks at BlogHer had asked ten longtime community denizens to take ten minutes to reflect on the past ten years online (and to imagine where we may be going in the next ten). I was honored to be among them.
I thought I might publish here what I read that night, for any of youse who were there and wanted to get a reminder, and for any of you who didn’t go, but might be curious. If I find out I have permission (nettiquette FTW!), I might embed the slides which I produced, but which were polished off by BlogHer’s designer & thus might be theirs. If I can’t, your imagination will have to fill in the blanks. Which people’s imaginations generally tend to do anyhow, so.
Herewith, my ten minutes’ of reflection, courtesy BlogHer’s YouTube channel. Below the embed is the text, complete with slide cues, because this is cinema verité here, people.
[SLIDE: note of gratitude]
First, thank you. Thank you Elisa, Lisa, and Jory. Thank you Stacy, and thanks also to the many very hard-working women behind you for this stage and what it has meant to so many of us over the years. I know first-hand what it takes to make this happen, and it is truly a labor of love.
Thank you also for the opportunity to reflect on the past ten years, from my point of view. I would sit in rapt attention listening to all sorts of people doing the same thing – in fact have, and will. It’s a great privilege to take a stab at it myself.
I can say in all honesty that two of the things most precious to me now, I owe to blogging: the clarity I have as a parent, and the opportunity I have to be doing the work I’m doing now in support of LGBT families in my community and online.
And it’s not an exaggeration to say that it all began on the BlogHer stage, 50 miles to the north of here and six years ago.
Six years ago, I stood backstage waiting to read a post at the first Voices of the Year. The ballroom was packed, but with about a third as many people. Backstage were a bunch of folks, none of whom I knew, even though I knew of them. We didn’t know what was about to happen. All we knew was that whatever it was, it seemed like a damned good idea.
I had spoken in the morning on a panel moderated by the inimitable Lindsay Ferrier.
[SLIDE: Lindsay’s pumps; riff; try really hard to not say anything untoward; resist the urge to speak randomly about muffins, as you are wont do]