Has it only been two years, or has it really been two years already?
I’m really proud of the way this little blog of mine has grown and matured (and I along with it). I’ll have mixed feelings when I look back on 2010, as it was the (hopefully only) full calendar year I spent unemployed. Still, it was a proud sophomore year for ZFb, so I thought I’d mark today’s blogiversary with some highlights and reflections from the past year.
Certainly, the year started off quite busy with the Prop 8 trial. I was entranced; by the second or third day, I felt compelled to provide some comprehensive coverage. After all, it was the passage of Prop 8 that in many ways spurred the creation of this blog. Plus, the kinds of discussions that were held in that courtroom a year ago were historically groundbreaking and deserved as much attention as they could get.
Knowing I had many non-LGBT readers from the atheism community, I wanted them to see how fundamental religion was to the debate. Highlighting all of the rhetoric coming from Protect Marriage was a “dirty job,” but I think it helped illustrate that those opposed to marriage equality were clearly motivated by animus, continuing to say hurtful (and untrue) things in a public forum even as the trial was underway. Judge Walker’s decision brilliantly reduced their rhetoric to the phony bigotry it truly is.
My passion for covering Prop 8 has since subsided a bit, but only because it’s not as content-heavy. Despite praise for some of my legal analysis, I am not a legal scholar (at least not at this point in my life). While I do think of myself as a journalist, I don’t feel compelled to write about everything that happens. My voice on the blog has certainly evolved, and I write now more because I want to, not just out of a need to process. I hold myself to a higher standard of what I think will be meaningful and interesting to readers.
Certainly, the content has evolved too. The introduction of the Queer and Queerer podcast has been most rewarding, as has my friendship with Peterson Toscano that has accompanied it. Despite being a delight to record, it also is a fresh venue and context for discussing the issues of the day. I look forward to it continuing, and hopefully more people join our discussions and find it a valuable and entertaining resource.
I’m also still really excited that there are now some additional contributors to the site! It’s a small start, but I think Andy Szekeres and Shannon Cuttle have brought some important voices to the blog. I don’t think enough can ever be said about the importance of creating safe schools for our young people, and Shannon doesn’t disappoint. Andy’s political savvy provides opportunities for us to think about issues in fresh ways. Every time they submit new posts, I am just delighted by their fresh perspectives and honored to host them here.
Content has been LGBT-heavy here the past year, but I don’t apologize for that. With the Prop 8 trial, growing frustration with Gay, Inc., GetEQUAL, my first foray to Netroots Nation with the LGBT caucus (thanks again to Freedom to Marry and all who voted), the spate of bullying-induced suicides, and the lead-up to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell “repeal,” it has been an important year for LGBT issues! Atheism is still an important part of this blog, and throughout the year, I’ve tried to get people within the LGBT community thinking about it (with contexts such as Creating Change, a Catholic preschool, atheists as allies, and the ex-gay movement). Next month, at Creating Change, I will also be hosting a caucus for LGBT nonbelievers to continue trying to create visibility for this “double” invisibility.
Higher education has been harder to focus on because I’ve become somewhat disconnected from it. Still, I was honored to have four pieces published in The Cronk of Higher Education. Once the job search gets me back on a campus, I’m sure I’ll be reoriented toward thinking about it more. Having stepped away from it, I’ve realized how insular it can be, and so my hope for the future is to better connect the happenings on university campuses to the “outside” world. It’s amazing how little we currently learn from our institutions of higher learning if we’re not physically there or actively seeking them out.
And so the 401 posts from 2010 get archived and year three begins. Who knows what will be in store? I am not sure, but I’m excited about it! 2010 ended with an important milestone: I earned my first $100 from the blog. It’s not a lot of money given that it took 15 months to accumulate, but it’s still extremely validating. There are at least a few people out there who find what I write here to be interesting and worthwhile. That alone is motivation to continue!
Thank you to all my readers and supporters who have made this little experiment into something profound and meaningful! I hope it’s a very happy new year!
(By the way, the traditional gift for a 2nd anniversary is cotton, and I love snarky/nerdy t-shirts. Just an FYI.)