In 2004 I became increasingly frustrated at the right wing’s use of marriage equality as a wedge issue. What bothered me most was the number of closeted gay men (and with rare exception they are men) working behind the scenes to advance a hateful anti-gay electoral strategy.
I became so angered that I started to expose these hypocrites, first by telephone, then by emails & social networking and finally by this site, BlogActive.
And now, for a number of reasons, this post holds special significance for me:
It is the first official post at BlogActive 2.0. I’ll do a technical update in a separate post. The site is now run on WordPress, a platform far superior to Blogger.
It is the seven year anniversary of this work. The first phone call I made to expose these anti-gay hypocrites was on March 29, 2004, exactly seven years ago today.
This is the 1,600th post at BlogActive.com. In a town where 1600 means one thing, it’s fun to note the coincidence.
This is also the last blog post at BlogActive. Huh? Yes. Read on.
Before starting BlogActive, I worked behind the scenes as a fundraiser in the LGBT and progressive community. It was a great experience to be a part of places like the Harvey Milk School, Greenpeace and The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. I’ve always loved the idea of being a part of making change happen.
Of all the gigs I’ve had, however, BlogActive has, by far, been the most extraordinary experience of my life. It has led to a profile in G.Q. Magazine and two in the Washington Post. Without my online work I never would have become a partner in RawStory, been on a nine-day press trip to Turkey or attended a holiday party at the White House with President Obama. I would not have had the privilege of representing my community on television or working with an amazing bunch of activists and political leaders. To cap off my experience, there are no words to describe what it’s like being the inspiration for and a lead subject in a documentary made by an Oscar nominated director.
Those are pretty hard experiences to top (I hope it’s not all downhill from here).
The site has accomplished much in its seven years. Congressmen and Senators who were first reported on here are no longer in office. Political operatives who worked against us are now on our team. The mainstream media has been educated and it’s no longer considered off-limits to report on the hypocrisy of closeted, anti-gay politicians. (Outlets like the Philadelphia Inquirer and Superstaion WGN now take BlogActive reporting as a primary source — times sure have changed.)
What a wild ride it has been.
Now it’s time to close a chapter on the site and to move in a new direction. I will no longer be blogging at BlogActive.
The tip box will remain open and, as sure as the sun will rise and set, there will be tips about closeted, anti-gay politicians. The BlogActive Investigation Fund will manage tips among a network of researchers and I’ll continue to release stories to the mainstream media (who now “get” it). I won’t be blogging here on a regular basis, but I’ll put up the occasional audio or video clip when I hit radio or TV. If you would like to be kept up-to-date on the latest reports, subscribe to my twitter feed here, email here or RSS here. Over the next few months I am going to continue to make changes here and expand this site so it serves as an archive of the past seven years.
There are many people and groups to thank for the help with what’s been going on here for the past 2,557 days. So many so that it would be impossible to include them all here. I will mention four specifically:
BlogActive readers and supporters have been my strongest defenders and my harshest critics. No matter what people feel about this work, their feelings seem to run strong. Without your generosity 90% of the investigations would never have taken place. My friends Richard, David and Sara were there for me at crucial times and I’d like to give a special shout out to my strongest supporter, Thomas H., My friend Bill is a messaging genius – thanks for letting me steal all those lines. What is most rewarding to me is that my friends were there for me when the establishment was not.
If you ever have the chance to be a subject in a documentary, get ready for a wild ride. After more than two years of work, Kirby Dick was able to take the work of BlogActive and package it neatly into a wonderful film. When someone is not familiar with my work, I am filled with an incredible sense of pride when I can hand them an Emmy-nominated film made by an Oscar-nominated documentarian that clearly tells the story of what I do and why I do it. Thank you to Kirby, Tanner, Amy and the Outrage team.
I’m part of an amazing network of people who share an office with me, albeit in a city called Instantmessageland. The online community of bloggers, activists, journalists, communicators and colleagues (some of whom I have never met in person) make each day a new adventure in a virtual world that is changing with lightening speed. I continue to be inspired by the creativity and excitement I find on line and hope I never lose that feeling.
Finally, a special thank you to my friend John. There are no words that I could write here that would begin to be able to express my gratitude to him and what his friendship has meant to me. I’d get all emotional anyway. He knows it, enough said.
With BlogActive 2.0, the work of researching and reporting these cases will continue. I hope you’ll support the work.
The comments section is live and I welcome, as always, your thoughts.
I’ll sign off with the same line I opened a workshop with less than a week after Ed Schrock pulled out of his reelection race….
…With a computer and an internet connection you can change the world from your living room.