Back in the day, while I was working for Arizona State University’s student newspaper, the State Press, I loved the response I got. From the readers who wrote in to tell me I shouldn’t be allowed to vote, to those who sung my praises, the response from my readers was probably one of my favorite parts to the underpaid job.
Working on my blog is fun, don’t get me wrong. Despite the fact that not enough of you comment on what I am writing, I have a loyal following, and based on the statistics that I get everyday, that fan base is growing, somewhat rapidly. Plus, my blog is whatever I want it to me. I can post pictures, music, thoughtful editorials or just rants, and no one can really complain because it’s my blog, I am the boss, I answer to no one.
While I was working for the State Press, I wrote a column where I came out, titled “Fear Is So Gay.” It was the first time I wrote about being gay for a huge audience, and I was nervous about what the response would look like.
Well, the response was awesome. I received an award from my editor as “Staffer of the Week” for “writing a seriously meaningful column that showed such a personal side” And later that column, alongside two others focused on gay issues, won me first place for general column writing from the Society Of Professional Journalists. The second place winner was someone from Berkley, so my ego often reminds me of how talented I am.
Awards and praise aside however, there was one letter I got for thanking me for coming out. This responder to my blog was thankful I had the courage to basically be myself, that for the first time in his life, he came out to someone, me. I feel honored that my column spoke to him in such a profound way. That’s every writers dream. But the guy also scared me a bit, seeing as how he included a picture of himself (and not a very appropriate one at that). I mean, it’s great that he was finding himself
My aunt and uncle have expressed concern that my blog might get me in trouble. They have said that there are people, homophobic types, who would go out of their way to find me and kill me because of what’s said on here.
To them, I say “bring it.”
Just as I said in my 2007 column about Senator Larry Craig, fear is so gay. There is nothing anyone can do or say that will hurt me more than I have already been hurt. And if anyone is going to try to kill me, it likely will be one of my exes, and I have fought them off well enough in the past, as I wrote about in “Beneath My Lover’s Hands I Grabbed the Knife“
Just recently, some guy added me on Facebook. Now, I am a huge Facebook user. I am on that site probably twenty hours a day. I use it to not only advertise my blog, but as a news sorts, political sources, and to keep up with my friends and family, especially since most of them live more than two thousand miles away. I have more than 500 friends, many of whom I do not know very well. But I at least know them. Those who I don’t, I do not generally keep as Facebook friends for very long. This guy that added me is a great example of just that.
He said he found this lovely iREADray blog and then wanted to get to know me better, thus he found my Facebook page. That’s a first for me. Usually, it’s the other way around, people find me on Facebook, and I get them hooked by my persistent and shameless self-promotion.
Now, I am flattered. Anyone who reads my blog is my hero in my life.You, yes you, have given me a reason to get up in the morning, and actually create some sort of consistent, meaningful, well balanced life. But this guy was a little much. After I asked him who he was, he said he lived close, and was, and I quote “horny.”
He then went on to tell me he was a dominate guy, and told me to send him pictures of my hairy chest. Meanwhile, he sent me pictures of his.
Well, that was enough to creep me out, and remove him as a friend.
This stranger does have me thinking though. I mean, I have written about my image in this digital world. As I said before, in Facebook is Busting My Balls (But I Like It), as far as employment goes, it is critical for me to find an employer who allows me to be myself. Considering how I do think the world of myself, I also have a consistent, applauded employment record, I know any employer would benefit by letting me do what I do best, me.
That goes the same with my blog. This is my blog, my name is in the title for God’s sake, and I like to write about things relevant to me. Often, these very things are also relevant to others. But this recent situation, with this stranger wanting to do various things to me naked, does make me ponder how much danger I do put myself in with my blog.
I still believe that fear is so gay, but I am, in fact, gay.
(Oh, and for the record, I shave my chest these days. It makes me feel sexy.)