Bil Browning

We Need Your Support

Filed By Bil Browning | June 27, 2011 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Site News
Tags: fundraising appeal

If you've been following along lately, you'll have noticed that with the new site design came two big changes.

  1. We put up a donate to Bilerico banner.
  2. Alex had to leave the Ed Team because we couldn't afford to pay him the substandard wages he was getting.

piggy-bank.jpgWould you consider donating to Bilerico Project?

Running this site is a full-time job for more than one person. It's stressful, it's hard work, and if I didn't love what I do, I'd have quit long ago to get a real paying job. Since Bilerico is my responsibility, I need to earn a living from it. When I lived in Indiana, the cost of living was so much lower that I could stretch to make things work. In DC? Not so much.

I've been incredibly lucky to get a grant that paid me a salary for the past two years so I could concentrate on growing the site. It worked. We're one of the top LGBT sites on the web and our contributors put out some of the most thoughtful and intelligent blog posts on the queer web.

This year there is no grant to save us. We've let Alex go to save costs. Everyone else on the Ed Team is working for free currently. But I have to have the money to pay the rent or it all goes away and we'll lose Bilerico Project as a community resource. Quite frankly, money is extremely tight right now so >I'm counting on you to keep us afloat.

We're going to be starting a fundraising drive on Bilerico during the month of July, but for right now I need the money to pay the bills. I'm counting on the generosity of our readers to carry us through until we find a more stable source of income.

We need to raise $2500 by the end of the month. Can I count on your help?


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I will gladly make a donation. Thank you for bringing us an alternative source of media.

Thanks for the donations, everyone. So far we've had 7 donations for a total of $195!

Have you considered donation subscriptions? I've never really used Paypal for donations, so I don't know the specifics. But I listen to a very popular podcast called "This Week in Tech" and I noticed that they have a few subscription donation links on their site. Users can use Paypal to donate 2, 5, or 10 dollars per month, depending on what they're comfortable with. So regardless of economic status, there's a one-time or a monthly donation option for most people. I'm not sure what your average readership numbers are, but if there are enough people donating with even the $2-a-month plan (which is pretty affordable for almost anyone out there), maybe it'll help a bit.

Oh! I would also suggest putting the donation link somewhere more prominent. At present, it's one of the smallest images on the page and it's down there at bottom of the page, mixed in with other images that sort of drown it out. Maybe you can put the donation button/link in the menu bar somewhere? If I wasn't looking for it, I honestly never would have noticed it. Just a thought. Best of luck.

Right now you can subscribe to us via Kindle, but that's about it. Thanks for the idea of the recurring donation, Justin. That's a really good idea.

We also have the big banner with the kitten on it that displays often in the left column. It's not just the small button in the middle column.

Sounds like you need to suck it up and get a day job as many of us LGBT bloggers have and do the blog as a vocation and love of the work rather than trying to unrealistically make a living off it unless you charge for advertising.

Of course you could join "show me the money" Dan Choi and hire Gotham Artists Agency to get some paying gigs to support your financial needs to blog.

Bil blogs, but he is not just a blogger. He manages this blog. He edits posts. He communicates with dozens of contributors. He makes sure that almost every hour during the day a new post is up. His being able to devote (more than) full time to this blog makes it what it is. We could all have our separate blogs that we worked on in the evenings after work, but they would never have the exposure and influence that this one group blog does. Bil devoting himself to this blog is what keeps original LGBT content fresh and gives it wide exposure.

Just to clarify, I do consulting work and speaking gigs too to help make ends meet. But running Bilerico consumes over 60 hours a week for me. As Emily points out above, it's also full of marketing, editing, publicity, contributor and reader contacts, finding new contributors, social media, etc etc. If I was just writing, I'd agree with you.

If you apologize for your "Cue the outraged trans women" comment, I'll donate a nickel.

I have this sinking feeling that isn't going to happen.

My apologies as I would love to donate to support a site like this, but unfortunately extended unemployment kind of means money is tight.

One suggestion though, you could always release a letter endorsing the upcoming AT&T merger. They seem more then willing to make sell outs of everyone else, why should you not be joining that bandwagon? ;)
-Jeremy

Ha! That should be worth a good $50-$100k, right, Red?

We're up to 15 donations for a total raised of $410 so far! Thanks to everyone who's donated so far!

Jaime Dunaway Jaime Dunaway | June 28, 2011 9:48 AM

I would love to donate as I read this blog regularly. But it won't be this month, flood insurance, car insuance, poopee dog shots and power bill gets first dibs on the money currently in my checking account.

Completely understood, Jaime. It's a tough time for most of us right now.

Donated. Bil, I like the idea of a monthly recurring payment. It's something I would do. Also, throw up one of these posts a few times a year. Y'all need the money and we need reminders.

Thanks so much, Hannah. I like that idea too.

Bil- cash poor right now, but hope you received the small donation a couple of weeks ago.

Living off credit cards is a terrible way to live. Maybe that's a post!

I did, Piggy! I went over to get the info to write this post and noticed folks had already donated about $300 without me even asking for it! Now I've got to get those thank you notes sent out. I feel like a heel for not even acknowledging those donations!!

So let me say thank you first here. You'll get another one shortly. :)

Stuart Wilber | June 28, 2011 10:17 AM

Done Keep at it Bil!

Gracias, Stuart. I appreciate it.

Bil,

E-mail me and let me know where to send a check.

22 donations for a total of $692 so far! We're getting to the goal quickly. :)

I donated despite Bil's a*hole remark. :)

No chance I'll be donating after that "angry trans woman" remark you made. Maybe if there's an apology I'll consider it.

I'm retired, so can only donate a small amount — but small donation made, nonetheless!

I just made a small donation, Bil. I wish I could give more, but a pastor's salary combined with the expenses associated with covering the vote in Albany last week won't allow it. By the way, for folks who don't know, the Bilerico bloggers are not paid for their work and pay out of their own pockets when they cover stories. No one, Bil included, is getting rich on this site. We do it because we love what this blog does.

Thanks Emily. You've already done so much for us last week that I would have more than considered that your donation.

Bil, did I miss your apology for the distasteful "Cue the outraged trans women! 3... 2... 1..." comment you posted to the Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand article written by Bilerico Project contributor Adam Polaski? No. That's one thing I've noticed about you - you never apologize. So... no... I'm not going to cover your and Jerame's higher Washington rent that you have whined about. Think before you type (or move to DC).

As a young activist friend wrote to me upon hearing of your comment: "Thank you for sharing this. I will never so much as click on a link to TBP, or anything run by that transphobic twit, so long as I live - he doesn't deserve my hits."

Perhaps the no-apology is to finally rid this place of women of transsexual histories? Thanks for your support.

I actually laughed out loud at your comment, capitalistpiggy haha.

Yea, it was a real hoot, huh.

Jaime Dunaway Jaime Dunaway | June 29, 2011 10:05 AM

So that comment makes him transphobic? I don't see how what he said was hateful or anything. It was even somewhat accurate considering the recent trend in comments.

And speaking as a bunny rabbit, I didn't find it offensive in the least.

Jay Kallio | June 29, 2011 5:10 PM

Will people really be so arbitrary as to allow a single comment to stop them from supporting a resource that brings such a rich variety of perspectives and news to the LGBTQ community? All for free? I don't agree with much of what is posted here, but frankly, so what??? Bilerico gives us all a chance to respond, as well. Add your voice and relish the opportunity to debate.

Jay, are you one of the angry transwomen?

Jay Kallio | June 30, 2011 4:50 AM

No, I am a transman, but that doesn't preclude feeling offended by a number of comments made here, or feeling dissed. Nevertheless, if you feel there is still something of value here, and your objections are mainly to Bil, does that mean the rest of the site is not worth supporting? I have never once found any one or any group who I totally supported without reservation, and many times people offend each other.

But you understand exactly what I am saying, and clearly you have thought long and hard about this with plenty of self examination for good measure. I respect that there is more than one comment that is fueling the objections you hold, from your explanation it sounds like it is a pattern of comments that you are objecting to. That's valid, and if I felt that way I might well withhold contribution also. If there is real cause for objection here over time, then others will decide the same. Accountability does have a way of filtering down, whether we like it or not. But it does boil down to the baby/bathwater problem, as someone else pointed out elsewhere. It really does take a great deal of work to build any institution, so I try never to discard them without a great deal of consideration. It's very easy to destroy things, not so easy to replace them.

And I would like to add. I WANT to let this rest! Bil is being a fucking asswipe about this. He made a blanket statement and has not apologized for it. And is continuing to be an asswipe.

Think back a decade or two and tell me where anger was at? We are there now. We are where you gay folks were almost 2 decades ago AND it was Gay, Inc. who PUT US HERE!

That's the thing though. This isn't a single random throwaway comment from just anyone. It's not even a single comment. There's a history, that's readily available for anyone who looks for it, of Bil saying pretty fucked up things to and about trans women, then having no accountability for his statements. He has on many occasions chosen to openly demean, attack, and insult trans women and when he gets called on it, he just ignores it. He never steps up and admits that he did something careless, thoughtless, or just wrong.

I'd never commented here, at all, before Bil's most recent comment. After this one, I most likely never will again. I certainly won't donate because, in the end, I have limited financial resources and when I can spare a little cash, I'm certainly not going give what little cash I have to any site that is ultimately run by a man who has frequently shown some degree of disdain and contempt for people like me. Especially when that same man chooses to ignore all criticism of his statements and continues to further demean others.

This comment, just like all of the others, will be completely ignored by Bil because that's just what he does. And that doesn't even really make me angry. That makes me sad. It makes me sad because Bilerico in many ways is a great resource for a lot of people and it's sad that the guy running the damn show can't find the time to stop being so dismissive of and showing show much contempt for trans women.

38 donations for a total of $1,222. Thanks so much to everyone who gave. I'm honored and humbled.