Warning:This is a stream-of-consciousness post. I have deliberately not gone back to tweak and massage it to include a happy ending full of rainbows and kittens. I'm angry. There's a lot of cursing in it. Don't like that? Don't read it.
So, here's the thing. This has been bothering me for a while... I just don't like a lot of our commenters. No, not you. Well, okay. Maybe it is you.
You see, I started Bilerico Project so people could talk together. With so many voices in our community that were being overlooked - folks from flyover country, trans folk, people of color, etc - why should a small group set our agenda and what the community talks about? From our first day as an Indiana-only blog, the goal has been to get people to talk to each other and grow from the experience.
Unfortunately, some commenters have abused the site's purpose to suit their own needs. I talked to another large blog owner this weekend about our respective comments sections and they nailed it succinctly. "Many of your commenters," he said, "aren't really interested in the conversation. They're interested in an argument. That's all they do - they rip into the writers and other readers constantly. They're snobby, know-it-all jackasses intent on proving they're more personally oppressed than anyone else."
Well, I agree. That about sums up the situation. It's a nightmare to deal with and the entire Ed Team has burnt out from dealing with the daily nastiness and bitterness. Take, for example, this comment from earlier in the week; the person who left it is getting banned.
What about the rights of anyone that is included in the Transgender umbrella living or murdered? You know those who don't wish to be labeled Transgender or that might take offense to gay politics? I suppose their rights don't matter as long as those who are happy being labeled Transgender and the LGBT gets from free press from their loss of life.I will be openly protesting the Transgender Day of Remembrance on their behalf and to point to the injustice of forced transgender inclusion. As for the Obama administration shame on them for bowing to queer politics and Mara Kiesling.
I'll be damned if I give any space to someone who apparently wants to wrap themselves in the Fred Phelps flag and piss on someone's grave. If that's the type of person you are, you don't belong here.
If you regularly write complaints about how much you hate being lumped in with the gays and lesbians and the "transgenders," feel free to haul your ass right out of here.* Seriously. If it bothers you that much that people refer to themselves as they wish, go somewhere other than our comments section where they're free to do so.
If you're trans of any flavor and the only thing you can think of to comment about on a daily basis is some complaint or another about how oppressed you are and how gay and lesbian people are fucking you over by [insert reason here], don't let the screen door slam behind you. Offer a way to solve the problem instead of blaming blog readers for the systemic issues of an entire community.
If you're gay and regularly complain about the trans folk being added to the alphabet soup, same message. Are you a radical feminist set on "educating" everyone about the dangers of transwomen using the bathroom? Au revoir. Constantly feel the need to tell us that bisexuals have it worst and intent on disparaging anyone who disagrees? Sayonara.
Have a criticism? Perfectly fine. I have lots too and I air them regularly. I've become rather the Larry Kramer of the blogosphere according to some. I'm grumpy, but I try to offer solutions too.
I've poured my life and savings into this site and I'll be damned if I'm going to let a bunch of whiney fuckers take over. If you've got nothing constructive to say, then let someone else talk while you listen. If you're not adding to a discussion - which includes being constructive along with critical - you're only taking up space. I'd rather do without the $.00000001 the bad apples bring me in ad revenue if I don't have to spend my time moderating unceasing hateful diatribes.
I spend over 12 hours a day working on the site and I do it mostly alone. I wrote 137 posts in October and 130 in September. If I'm putting that much work into something I love, why should I bother putting up with a cartful of jackasses who are only interested in tearing it down?
We started as my personal site. I said what I wanted and people responded. As time progressed I grew more and more worried about what the readers would think or how people would react. I'm sick of doing it and it's gotten me nowhere. I've seen my name plastered all over the internet as the most misogynistic/transphobic/racist/ablest/anti-gay/you-name-it motherfucker on the Earth so many times by now that I've become immune to it. I don't care anymore. I'm not changing to satisfy a group of people who will never be satisfied.
So this is going to bring about a change in Bilerico Project that I've long been considering. The site became popular originally because of our style. We welcomed everyone and allowed a diversity of voices to flourish that wasn't happening anywhere else online. Lately, that style has faded somewhat as contributors have moderated their thoughts in an attempt to stem the rising tide of nastiness that some of you call "responses."
Since it's up to me to moderate the comments now on top of everything else I do daily, I'm not going to put much time and effort into it. If you start causing trouble, I'm just going to ban you from commenting. You'll still be able to read the site, but there's no need for us to see what your thoughts are - obviously, they're not deep. If I want to smell shit, I'll visit a farm - not my online living room.
Many of our commenters seem to have forgotten that they're guests. There is no freedom of speech here - we're not owned by the government. So if you're making my job harder, you're toast. I'm the last man standing and I don't have time for some crazy person with a 20 year blood feud with some aspect of the movement. As a guest, I expect you to act like one. You can't shit on the rug, break all the mirrors, and then demand that I feed you off my own plate too.
To conclude, if you read the first paragraph of this post and thought, "I wonder if he means me?!", the answer is probably yes. Most folks won't need to wonder. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.
*Personally, I could give a shit less what you want to call yourself, but some folks seem to be worked up over this whole transsexual vs transgender thing. Let me put it into perspective for those who seem intent on continuing this ongoing charade about who's terminology is more important: No one gives a shit but you. At the end of the day when some asshole is bashing you upside the head or stabbing you to death, he's gonna call you a queer - just the same as he'd call me, a lesbian, a transgender person or a transsexual. Those labels are absolutely meaningless when you're laying in the gutter bleeding. And I can guaran-damn-tee you that he wouldn't attend our funeral - or protest it.