Featured image by Benjamin Brage
I am blogging with a group of other bloggers in a group attempt at being better bloggers.
I have a lot of experience with blogging, but a lot of you do not, so I decided that I might want to talk about your “sphere of influence,” because a lot of you are unaware of what you can and can’t do. Also, consider this my introductory post, because a lot of you have also posted introductory posts and I haven’t really done that yet.
I have been what I will fondly refer to as a “virtual shitstirrer” since I was four, and managed to successfully figure out how to beat Solitaire on Windows 98 and confuse the loving hell out of my parents, who couldn’t figure out why the game kept beating itself while I was in the room. I liked watching the cards bounce. Those were simpler times.
I never got into coding until my tweens, and I learned basic HTML and CSS so I could make fancy pages for my Neopets. I discovered online forums several years later, and got heavily involved in the James Randi Educational Society, which is a forum for militant atheists. Arguing with people online there gave me the practice to become the semi-professional shitstirrer that I have become today.
I had the constant sort of mentality that my contribution didn’t really matter. I volunteered and did Things, but they didn’t feel like World Changing Things, so they didn’t matter too much.
Sometime in 2013 I figured out that I was most likely trans, and wanting to find out more about it, approached my campus’ LGBT center, only to be almost immediately disappointed. I was really the only trans guy there. There were a couple hovering on the fringe, but not enough that I gained a dialogue with them. I was surrounded by ignorant – and sometimes outrightly offensive – voices. I poured myself into my research. I realized there was a Need. I made a blog.
Several years later, I have received hundreds of letter thanking me for what I’ve done. I’m not saying this as a way to brag. I think anyone could do it. I’m saying this because I didn’t think what I said mattered. But it did, enough that I have a toolbox worth of papers from people who were thankful for what I’ve said, and that I’ve inspired them.
This sounds supremely arrogant. I know it does. But I don’t think I’m special. I was just pissed off enough that I decided to raise my voice. My voice was amplified by other people – people who agreed with it, people who were influenced by it, and people who supported me. I’m sitting comfortably at several thousand followers spread across several social media websites.
You can do that, too.
There is something interesting about everyone. You may not think that way, but the best way I can describe it is like this – if you sat down at a date, and you had to describe the thing you are most passionate about, you could probably talk about it enough to fill up a half hour.
Did you ever dig deeper into that?
Because you should.