Anniversary Reflections on Blogging and Tweeting

13 Aug

Your host ponders a solipsistic year

As I celebrate the fist anniversary of The Solipsistic Me (TSM), I am reminded of why I started the blog and reflect how TSM has taken on a mission. First, I have to thank several key people.  TSM evolved into something far larger than I could have imagined and not without the amazing talents and support of my husband Robert, Lex Kahn, and other contributors like Brad Fairchild, Jonelle Thomas, and Angel Mason.

With Michele Bachmann and the other Teahadists stealing center stage, I feel more compelled to keep TSM going that I did a year ago. Again, I invoke the power of Sweet Honey in the Rock: We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest Until it Comes.

There are many things I am exceedingly proud of, not least of which are the many interviews I have conducted and the opportunities I have had to learn from some really wonderful people dedicated to social justice. As we celebrate this anniversary, I have reflected on the issues, challenges, and successes of TSM. Here is a sampling of the posts that best reflect these themes.

Gunning For A Good Search… (Feb. 20): One interesting aspect of blogging is a glimpse into the minds of people using search engines. I am often surprised by the search terms people use that get them to TSM. Some posts live on well past their date of publication through heavy search activity. For an extended period, variations on the word “guns” (pointing to posts responding to the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords) were a big source of referrals, which prompted this post.

Wanda Sykes: A Much Needed Tonic (June 11): Social media can lead people to quickly “say” things that they might not if they reflected on their thoughts and words. Chris Rock learned this the hard way with his Twitter response to the firestorm around Tracy Morgan’s anti-gay tirade. While following that story, I was delighted to see the ever-amazing Wanda Sykes chime in, inspiring this post.

Sunday Morning: The Conundrum of Catholicism (Apr. 24): Growing up Catholic and gay, I have a painful awareness of the power of religion to do harm. As a gay adult who subscribes to no religion, I am often nonplussed by the multitude of hypocrites who try to use their chosen faith to oppress my inherent humanity. This is my Easter reflection on the struggles of LGBT youth (and adults) attempting to balance their faith and their person.

Breakfast with Anita Hill (June 8 ): I have been a fan of Anita Hill since she was dragged through the mud by the Senate during the notorious Clarence “What Ethics?” Thomas hearings. The resurgence of her story when Ginni “Have some tea, baby” Thomas demanded an apology appalled me. I was lucky enough to attend a breakfast with Dr. Hill and reflect on her amazing strength.

Celebrities For Social Justice: My Interview with Suzanne Whang (March 11): Some, like Anita Hill, have celebrity forced on them, while others choose it. It is always a delight to find someone who chooses a celebrity lifestyle but uses her voice for social justice. I’ve showcased a number of these wonderful men and women, but I’m particularly fond of this, my first major interview for TSM.

Make Room For Marlo’s Message (June 5): Another wonderful celebrity do-gooder! I fell in love with Marlo Thomas as a little boy delighted with Free to Be…You and Me. I’ve used that theme in a number of posts and was saddened to see Marlo’s realistic pessimism about how it holds up in the 21st Century. I call on everyone to strive for a world where we truly are Free to Be.

Singing A Different Tune: Republican Candidates’ Hypocrisy (July 1): A major component of social justice (and thus a constant theme on TSM) is exposing and combatting hypocrisy. I use this word as a tag on many of my posts because of the tragic amount of hypocrisy in the modern conversation. This post is one of my favorites exposing Republican corporate whores abusing other people’s property rights.

The Sanctity of Marriage (March 2): TSM is also a regular forum for marriage equality. As I observed in a fairly early post, “Why Do You Get to Decide What I’m Allowed to Have?” This post was written on Robert’s and my 8th wedding anniversary and reflects both the depth of our love for each other and the absurd energy so much of our country pours into refusing to recognize that love and partnership.

Celebrating LGBTQ History Month: June 30, Albus Dumbledore: TSM likes to honor the months set aside to celebrate the history of marginalized and oppressed populations. June is LGBTQ History Month (also known as Pride Month). We celebrated 30 individuals who contributed significantly to the cause of sexual and gender minorities. This post was my favorite of the series, combining that rich history with my fondness for literature and strong, compassionate leadership figures.

Remembering Bayard Rustin on MLK Holiday (Jan. 17): Black History Month is in February, and TSM celebrated 30 individuals who have made contributions for the rights of racial minorities. This celebration started a bit early, recognizing Bayard Rusting on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. I am mesmerized by Rustin’s powerful story as an out gay African-American in the middle of the 20th Century; he was also recognized during LGBTQ History Month for his contributions to that cause.

Celebrating Women’s History Month: March 11, Gloria Steinem: As an ardent feminist and former board member of the National Women’s History Project, I was particularly interested in celebrating Women’s History Month. TSM frequently recognizes events in women’s history, so the entries for this month were people who have made particularly strong contributions. One of my all-time heroes is Gloria Steinem, so this post is particularly dear to me. I am also a huge fan of Helen Mirren (as my husband can attest) and took advantage of International Women’s Day to recognize her recent award for contributions to women’s rights.

More on the Gay Agenda (Caution for readers): One thing I find particularly irksome is the myth that there is some overarching “gay agenda” that all LGBTQ Americans are trying to foist on the rest of the country. Our only agenda is to be treated as equal citizens with equal rights – is that so hard to understand? TSM has hosted a number of posts on this theme; this one is my favorite, blending satire, absurdism, and a good dose of much-needed reality (as well as a glimpse into the dark secrets of our Agenda).

Publishing The Solipsistic Me has been an exciting, entertaining, sometimes frustrating, always educational experience. I’ve encountered many wonderful people from around the world, made some new virtual friends, exposed hypocrisy and bigotry, celebrated heroism, and championed social justice wherever I could. I look forward to the coming year and hope you will all join me on this journey toward a better world.

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