Pam Spaulding, a longtime fixture of the LGBT blogosphere, announced last night that she will be retiring and closing her site, Pam's House Blend, on July 1. She will continue to be active in social media like Facebook and Google+.
All good things must come to an end, even after numerous awards and accolades, it's time to acknowledge that I cannot continue to run on fumes alone. The Blend could continue limping along, but my health and well-being come first; over the last few years burning the candle at both ends with a full-time offline job and PHB. It has taken a severe toll -- most readers have learned that I am dealing with chronic pain conditions -- fibromylagia, and in the last couple of years, aggressive rheumatoid arthritis.
My decision to close the blog is just as reality-based as its content has been. If I cannot produce material at the frequency or with the same level of quality, enthusiasm and effectiveness, it's really time to close the doors to this coffeehouse -- and work to ensure it continues to have a life as an archive, a snapshot in our digital political history. Pamshouseblend.com will redirect to archives.
I was introduced to Pam's writing by fellow Hoosier Melissa McEwan's regular links from Shakespeare's Sister. We started corresponding occasionally and met for the first time in 2007 at an LGBT blogger gathering hosted by Mike Rogers in Washington DC. Our paths have continued to cross at award ceremonies and conferences and I've walked away each time in awe of her wit, grace, and humility.
Pam's House Blend's mission was admirable: to lift up voices that were often unheard, to provide analysis of current events, and to do good solid reporting on LGBT issues from the South. When we decided to turn Bilerico into a national group blogger site, Pam was the first person I contacted. I wanted her to know we didn't want to compete with her; while Bilerico's contributors were exclusive, her site was more democratic since anyone could create an account. She truly didn't want anyone to feel left out.
I'll miss Pam's regular reporting, but I understand how large of a burden running a large blog can be. I'll admit that if I'd faced all of the health problems that she has, I'd likely have retired years ago. She has the fortitude of an elephant; Pam just keeps pushing on. That's only one of the many things I admire about her, but her determination has always been a source of inspiration.
Pam's views, filtered though a black lesbian lens, have been incredibly valuable as a way of challenging my own opinions as a white gay man. While she may be retiring her own site, I know that I can continue to count on getting glimpses of her thoughts via social media. She's not going anywhere; she's just changing mediums.