The more things change, the more they stay the same: on the relaunch of Go Make Me a Sandwich

Well, it turns out I don’t know how to quit, because I’ve tried it twice and here I am, getting back on this horse again. But just to make it official, sound the trumpets or throw confetti or whatever, because I’m relaunching Go Make Me A Sandwich.

What the hell happened to change my mind?

When I shut down my blog in 2016, I was not in a good place. I was tired from years of beating my head against a wall and feeling like I wasn’t making a difference.

I was broken down from years of trying to juggle too many commitments.

I was isolated from the fallout of men who decided it was easier to exile me from communities than it was to confront the reality of their own toxicity.

I was traumatized by years of harassment and being terrorized for committing the crime of being a woman-appearing-person who had opinions on the internet.

I was unsupported by a community that thought it was more important to have “good art” than it was to listen to marginalized people and finally do something about known abusers, and that told me I was the villain for not being “nice” in talking about my abusers.

I was unheard by people in power who knew what was happening but did nothing because action would have required personal inconvenience.

I was burned out. Because. Damn. That’s a lot.

I was also newly diagnosed with PTSD, and wow did I not have a handle on how to deal with that.

It also turns out I was extremely gay. Yeah, shocker. Turns out when you spend years loudly and frequently proclaiming how cisgender and hetero you are, that maybe you are in denial. Straights, you’d be surprised how many spoons pretending to yourself that you aren’t extremely gay can eat up.

So what’s changed? Well. I’ve put in a hell of a lot of work since then.

I’ve done so much fucking therapy, y’all. All of the therapy. And I’m definitely not done. (Sidebar: EMDR is fucking revelatory and changed my goddamn life. If you have PTSD, go get you some sweet sweet EMDR if you have access to it.)

I’m (slowly) recovering from burnout by learning to say no. And I’m learning not to use activism as a form of self-harm, because I feel like everyone else’s needs must be seen to before I can see to my own. I’ve spent time rebuilding relationships damaged by illness and neglect. But I’ve spent even more time removing toxic people from my life who were compounding my trauma. It was hard, messy, painful work and I cried. Like wow. So much.

I learned to vocalize what I need and prioritize the people in my life who won’t use that against me. (Yay therapy!)

I’ve done a fuckton of emotional labor behind the scenes to make the communities I am part of more equitable. I’ve had hard conversations with people about how to build better and more just communities, how to work toward equity and justice for everyone, not just the people with the most privilege.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the largest obstacle to me blogging is. Well. No longer an obstacle that I have to worry about.

But. You know. So what? The absence of obstacles isn’t a reason to write. Just because I can do something doesn’t mean that I should. So why do it? Why come back to a thing that has harmed me? Well. My asshole mental illness has a sense of irony, because my anxiety and PTSD – which once drove me away from blogging – is now driving me back to it. It turns out that writing is how I put my thoughts in order, and very often when I am dealing with anxiety about trauma or sexism or other patriarchal bullshit, the only way I can get my brain to leave me alone is to vomit my thoughts onto a page and rearrange them until they make sense. Quite often, this is the only way I can get my brain to goddamn leave me alone. And once a thing is written, what’s the point of sitting on it?

I’ve spent a lot of time the past two years composing epic tweet rants, but using Twitter to write about nuanced social justice topics is like trying to draw the Mona Lisa on a beach – the nature of the format causes your words to erase themselves. The impermanence of the format started to bother me. I wanted to blog again, but fear kept me silent. Or at least it did until Mandy and the other women spoke out.

So here I am. In a place where all the reasons I had not to blog have been removed, and where I have these words that have to escape me, that need to be voiced. And I want them to be heard.

I’ve been thinking about this for several months, but life has been busy. I have a job and a partner (who has been amazing and supportive about how extremely gay I am) and a six year old and I do theater. It’s a lot. But preparing for GenCon seems like as good a time as any to begin.

What does this mean?

1. New content

I’ve got a lot of old content that has previously been screamed at Twitter and Google+. So for the next while, I’ll be converting and posting the old stuff. I’ll be writing new stuff, but I’m honestly not sure what form that new stuff will take yet. Right now I feel pretty certain I won’t be doing the sort of deep dives and research that I used to do, but who the fuck knows? Three years ago I thought for sure I would never want to blog again, and four years ago I was convinced that I was a cisgender straight woman, and look where that got me.

2. No comments

Many of you are lovely, and I thank you for the support I’ve received. However, I simply can’t deal with the people who aren’t. So. No comments.

3. Patreon?

It probably won’t happen until after GenCon, but I’ll be re-branding my Patreon. Again. It’s going to stay monthly, though. I can’t commit to a consistent level of output, but even when I’m not writing, I’ve got lots of meatspace activism on the boil, and sometimes that has a way of eating up dollars. If you want to support my blog, you’re welcome to pledge, or not. Just as last time, everything I post to my blog will be public and freely available to all.

Something worth acknowledging.

I’m a very different person than the person who shut down this blog in 2016. (Obviously) I’m an even more different person than the person who started this blog in 2010. That person said some seriously ignorant stuff, which I’ve left up because accountability is important, but also as an acknowledgement that people learn and evolve. I’m going to think about how best to flag the content that I no longer agree with or stand by. But. You know. Please don’t be a jerk about shit that I said when I wasn’t the me I am now.