Reports have surfaced that the City of Pittsburgh was forced to block my website, Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents, as a desperate measure to keep the City functioning.
"We had no choice," sighs City Computer Guy, Ken. "We have a computer usage policy - somewhere 'round here - hey yinz seen that folded up tablet paper with the doodle of Sophie on it?"
City employees have been flocking to the region's longest running LGBTQ blog for information to such an extent that productivity dropped noticeably. Some offices reported raucous laughter, a sudden increase in the use of "LGBT" as opposed to "the gays" and a concurrent spike in visits to General Hospital website.
Now - City employees who attempt to visit Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents encounter the dreaded screen shaming message "THIS IS PORN. A SCREEN CAPTURE HAS BEEN GENERATED AND AUTOMATICALLY SENT TO YOUR PARISH PRIEST!"
"I was stunned to read that the City Firefighters don't offer domestic partnership benefits and that gay employees have to pay extra taxes on their family health insurance," confessed one anonymous employee. "We are the 5th gayest City in America, right? Most liveable? It is like the Great Recession actually hurt gay families, too! Where else am I going to learn that information?"
"If I want someone to label me a pervert, I can go to Bob Evans and use my iPhone," states Sarah. "Or pose for a photo with Steely McBeam. I need access to LGBT information for my job, so my manager gave me a laptop and sent me to Dunkin Donuts to work."
Attempts to locate the computer usage policy were unsuccessful. Ken was unsure if it was on the folded up paper or perhaps the backside of the 1996 football pool - reuse is a core component of the city's sustainability efforts - but he sadly informed me that the actual policy manual had been wedged into a crevice of the City-County Building to literally shore up the building.
"Listen up, we ain't CMU down here," says Ken. "We don't have time to go around to every single city office and fine tune their web filters so they can 'do their job' ...you don't see Pittsburgh Dad moaning about not being able to look at a dy, I mean, lesbian website."
So this is satire that might only resonate with Pittsburghers (yinzers), but I urge you to visit the original blog post to see why this matters and how it ties into the larger issues around marginalizing and suppressing LGBTQ voices.
For what its worth - Bilerico is blocked on some federal servers. Pam's House Blend. Americablog. Towleroad. Some are actually categorized by content, others (like mine) are punted into the "porn" pile because of laziness that still has an impact on the work environment.
Let's hope this makes it onto the radar of the HRC Corporate Equality Index and Municipal Index as an indicator of equality.
(Crossposted at Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents. Access denied graphic via Bigstock.)