I announced yesterday afternoon that Jerame has taken a job with the National Stonewall Democrats and that means there will be some big changes in our lives. The biggest change for both of us is that we'll be moving out of state. We're leaving Indiana.
Dozens of you have e-mailed since that post went live asking what the big move will mean for Bilerico Project. One of our selling points has always been that we're not a blog from the East Coast or West Coast. We're based out of Indiana and, while we have contributors from all over the world, the site has kept its Midwestern common sense and pragmatism.
While there will obviously be some changes soon - including our about-to-launch redesign - put together all of the transformations will result in a much better site. Thankfully, my job can go anywhere and being able to be where the action is will be a big plus. It'll help with some of the more personal connections that only happen at conventions or by flying around the country currently.
One thing that won't change though is my criticism of the Democratic Party. More on that after the jump...
It's always funny to me that depending on whom you're talking to, I'm either a Democratic apologist or a raving liberal determined to punish our best political friends. As the old saying goes, I'm not doing my job unless I'm pissing someone off so I guess that the dichotomy suits me.
With Friends Like These...
Especially in Indiana, I'm no darling of the state party. The party establishment has never been effectual in harnessing the power of bloggers since most of us are more liberal than the entrenched leadership. While I'm the only Hoosier blogger on the Huffington Post - and therefore able to get candidates national attention - the state party is always reluctant to engage me because those candidates usually aren't good on LGBT issues.
Instead, they can't figure out why I'd be upset when our Senator makes AIDS jokes, state LGBT-positive legislation never goes anywhere, the leadership uses dirty tricks to handpick a conservative politician with a poor record on LGBT issues to run for Senate, or the state party pays for anti-gay mailers during the election cycle. These things seem like no-brainers to me, but the state party has always wanted blind allegiance from its members instead of constructive criticism.
Worship is for the religious and faith is for those who have to believe because they can't see for themselves. I don't have faith in the Democrats as they currently operate.
The Democrats are the type of friend who comes over for dinner, eats all the food while complaining about the cooking, seduces your partner while you're doing dishes, takes a big crap in the middle of the living room floor, and then asks you not to tell anyone about it as they steal $100 from your wallet. At the end of the dinner, they feel very pleased with themselves while you feel stupid for inviting them over again in the first place. Still, they seem like a nice enough person, so maybe you'll give them another chance next week.
The Republicans, however, don't even seem like nice people. To use the same analogy, the Republicans are the type of person who shows up for dinner, knocks you out and stabs all the other guests to death, steals all your stuff, rapes you, and then props you up naked in the middle of the floor with the bloody knife in one hand and a crack pipe in the other while they call 911 to report that "some perverted homo on drugs" has killed a bunch of people and encourages them to send the SWAT team before you strike again.
You get the point.
Some Things Are More Important Than Politics
Neither of our political parties are fantastic on LGBT issues; that's my gig and the focus of Bilerico Project - LGBT issues. Indiana's democratic leadership had to get used to the idea that I'm not a loyal Democrat; I'm dedicated to LGBT equality and I'd like to see the Democrats show some commitment to us.
I have the luxury of being an independent writer who's not beholden to any corporate or political overlords. Our readers pay the bills and while it's not lavish, it's enough to keep the lights on. It gives me the ability to say exactly what I think without worrying about who I'm pissing off.
Thankfully, with so many contributors now, I'm not the only blogger on TBP; I'm just one of many who post throughout the day. We focus on LGBT issues on the site. We're not cheerleaders for any political party. In fact, we're often critical of our own movement and organizations and I don't see that changing one whit.
While the site's voice is generally slightly schizophrenic in the diversity of main page opinion posts, I've noticed that the site retains it's air of political pragmatism balanced with progressive ideals. Our contributors may be from all over the world now, but a certain earnest Midwestern yearning for a progressive chimera tempered with a huge streak of practicality imbues the community at Bilerico.
The entire Bilerico editorial team has worked hard to build Bilerico Project into an authoritative source for modern LGBT political thought, entertainment, and movement building and we've succeeded far beyond our original dreams. Combine the move to DC with the new design re-launch and it all seems to perfectly flow together.
I'll continue to hold our political allies and enemies accountable to the community. I'm sure I'll irritate National Stonewall Democrats eventually, but thankfully Jerame and I already have a structure in place about my blogging and his work with the local Stonewall chapter and the state party. We plan on using the same formula in DC.
So will our move to DC change the tone of the blog? Probably a little bit, but I think the true strength of Bilerico is that's it grown to be a lot more than my blog. It's taken on a life of its own.
Change is a part of life. The diversity of voices at Bilerico Project will only continue to increase as we move into the next phase of the site. New contributors will join us and current writers will continue to share their evolving thoughts with us.
Your voice, of course, is always welcome too.