I’m not sure when I made a note on my phone’s calendar for TPG’s birthday, but today is it! Four years ago I started my Instagram and blog. I remember quite vividly the frustration I was feeling with the gay community at the time – particularly in my attempts to date within it – and needing an outlet to vent. The public component made it all the better, as I soon realized that many of you shared in my frustration. Suddenly, dealing with a loser on Grindr didn’t feel so bad when I had tens, hundreds, and later, thousands of you validating the fact that I was not alone (and hopefully I reciprocated that validation to all of you).
Both me and the page have grown up since then. Relationships came and went, topics evolved, my following grew. I took a risk and self-published two books about my dating experiences on Grindr, wanting to memorialize the mayhem and also provide a resource to others that I didn’t have myself. I was nervous and excited about the process, writing on weekends and after work while leaning on friends to help edit and create the artwork. I did want to get the books professionally published, but after some early rejection I said screw it, I’ll do it myself. One thing I’ve learned in life is sometimes you need to be the only cook in the kitchen if you know what the hell you’re cooking. Thanks to you all, the first book went to #1 in its LGBT Amazon category (in the presence of books written by actual authors and celebrities), and sequel wasn’t too far behind, hitting the top 5. You helped me achieve a dream I didn’t realize I had, and I hope the books did the topic justice.
As life and my career have become busier, I can admit that I have neglected TPG in recent months. Honestly, 80%+ of my IG posts are written on my 5 minute walk after work from the office to my car. If not there, they were written during awkwardly long breaks between sets at the gym while actually fit people judge me. I try to set time on weekends or mornings to get some new blog posts in, and have even snuck some in during breaks at work. It’s remarkable that the content still hits, because I wish I could give it so much more time. As the internet evolves, algorithms change, and my creativity wanes, I have to say it is more difficult to keep the page going. Not to say that I do it for the * likes * – but sometimes it feels like I’ve lost my touch or my perspectives aren’t connecting. Maybe it’s the algorithm, but maybe its Maybelline.
I often wonder if I’ve done my job with this and whether or not it’s time to close this chapter. But then when I actively immerse myself in gay media and try to connect to the culture, I still feel how I did the very first day that I started this page – unrepresented. I think gay media has done a commendable job of expanding coverage and inclusion, don’t get me wrong. But in a world where our own media (as well as straight media) still reduces us to our bodies, sex, what happened last week on Drag Race, or what famous straight woman we serve as an accessory to, I feel like somebody needs to raise their hand every so often with a “wtf.” We are so much more than what society continues to box us into. Our acceptance is increasing, so long as we mold ourselves to fit into that box. I guess I just can’t accept that reality. So even though I’m tired and maybe not the best person for the job anymore, I will continue to be the “raised hand” saying wtf, and I hope to continue to connect with those of you who feel the same.
Thank you for all of your support over the years. Without this page, I would undoubtedly feel almost no connection to our community. TPG has connected me with some amazing people who have shown me acceptance and connection I did not realize existed.