Everybody needs a…

by Kathy on August 9, 2013 · 18 comments

in BlogHer, Communication, Conferences, Friends, Life, Relationships, Sensativity, Writing

Vikki & Me There was an awesome moment during the BlogHer’13 Anatomy of a Story panel on Saturday when Vikki said, “Everybody needs a gay… and so I always think about, when I write on my blog, that I’m the gay for people that don’t have one.”

People started laughing and tweeting what she said, because it was a great sound bite. But more importantly, Vikki spoke to the importance of the roles we serve as niche bloggers.

We put ourselves out here to represent populations that are so often misunderstood and portrayed inaccurately by the mainstream media and even amongst our family and friends.

We try to educate and advocate to pave the way for those who will follow in our footsteps. We share our personal experiences in effort to make ourselves seem more human and approachable to those who otherwise might not feel comfortable interacting with us.

We get that people often don’t know what to say to us and thus avoid us completely. It doesn’t have to be that way. Attempting to create dialogue and change perceptions fuels our passion to write and reach out on behalf of those in our niches who don’t have a voice or aren’t ready to use theirs.

Yes, everyone does need a gay. I feel blessed and lucky to count Vikki and Casey among mine.

I also believe that everyone needs an infertile, a bereaved parent, someone with mental illness, a parent of a child with special needsa friend who has cancer, you get the idea…

It is through sharing so openly about our experiences, whatever they may be, that we help to open minds and hearts to better understand and embrace what it means to walk in our shoes.

I am willing to be your secondary infertile and your bereaved mother/friend. So feel free to ask me anything and I will gladly answer. I might even write about it here.

What are you willing to be for me and others?

Who are you grateful for in your life that has helped you to better understand and appreciate underserved and disrespected segments of our population?

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine August 9, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Great post, great point. I’m everybody’s extended-breastfeeding friend, I suppose. Also everybody’s Irishwoman.
Christine recently posted..Ancient historyMy Profile

Reply

Kathy August 13, 2013 at 11:32 am

Thank you, Christine! I appreciate your feedback and knowing who you are. Having breastfed my son for 14 months and my daughter for 19 months, I am always fascinated by those who continue on. Thank you for being a voice for that population, as well as being Irish. I am so glad we got to room together and hang out so much at BlogHer’13!
Kathy recently posted..BlogHer`13: Suddenly I SeeMy Profile

Reply

Elisa Camahort Page August 9, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Love this. I’m happy to be everybody’s:

Childfree-by-choice
Vegan
Buffy the Vampire Slayer aficionado

:)

Reply

Kathy August 13, 2013 at 11:42 am

Thank you, Elisa!

So fun and interesting to see what you and others are happy to be for everybody. Though I know others who are Childfree-by-choice and Vegan, I didn’t know either of those things about you and appreciate you sharing that. You are also the first Buffy the Vampire Slayer aficionado I have met.
Kathy recently posted..BlogHer`13: You Can’t Boil the OceanMy Profile

Reply

April August 9, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Kathy, thanks so much for sharing this. It is a good thing to keep in mind who we are when writing. Thanks for being my friend.

I’m everybody’s infidelity survivor, depression survivor, and infertile stepmother–but now all I can picture is a pack of little bloggers running around the house, throwing toys and fighting over who gets to sleep in the school bus bed. At least it’s a merry fight!
April recently posted..Perfect Moment Monday: FansMy Profile

Reply

Kathy August 13, 2013 at 11:49 am

You are welcome, April. I appreciate your feedback and validation. Thank you for being my friend too.

Thank you also for all the things you are willing and able to be for others. What you share on your blog about being a survivor (of bother infidelity and depression) has really helped me to better understand both. I can only imagine how it feels to be an infertile stepmother and am grateful that you also give voice to that population.
Kathy recently posted..Time Warp Tuesday: PeaceMy Profile

Reply

Lesley Pyne August 9, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Great post, very thoughtful & will make me think when I write.
very happy to be everyone’s involuntary childless friend.
Also the friend from Yorkshire, England!

Reply

Kathy August 13, 2013 at 11:57 am

Thank you so much, Lesley! I am sorry you are involuntary childless, but appreciate your willingness to be that voice for others, as well representing those from Yorkshire. :)
Kathy recently posted..BlogHer`13 EveMy Profile

Reply

Deborah August 9, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I love how this idea goes beyond tokenism to actually getting to know people who are different from you! I can be your Jew, I guess, or your person in a multiracial family. (Usually I am people’s hippie liberal, but since I get to pick my own I’m choosing something else).
Deborah recently posted..Culture MattersMy Profile

Reply

Kathy August 13, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Thank you, Deborah! That is also what struck me about what Vikki said on that panel at BlogHer`13. I loved that she wasn’t just offering to be someone’s token gay friend, but that she is willing to be that voice for those who don’t know someone who is gay. It is expressly because of Vikki (and others like her), who are openly living their lives and writing about their experiences online, that I slowly changed my mind (over many years) about marriage equality. Fun to see what you pick to be for others here versus what you typically default to. Thanks for sharing!
Kathy recently posted..A New Heart for RayMy Profile

Reply

Justine August 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm

I hope this gets picked up by BlogHer. ;)

I’m everybody’s non-bra-burning feminist, Buddhist/Unitarian, locavore. I don’t think I’m everyone’s infertile, but I am a lot of people’s pregnancy loss survivor.

Reply

Kathy August 13, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Thank you, Justine! As you may know now, it did! :)

Here’s the link to the syndicated version that went live on BlogHer today: http://www.blogher.com/everybody-needs

It’s so interesting to see what each of you see yourselves as and are willing to be. To me you are also my go-to foodie/CSA expert, not to mention one of my all-around favorite writers. Off to Google “locavore” now… ;)
Kathy recently posted..Summer Shed: Week FiveMy Profile

Reply

Jjiraffe August 9, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Great post. Agreed with Deborah that this gets away from the idea of tokenism.

I guess I can be your Jew By Choice? I definitely try to represent the Diminished Ovarian Reserve niche :)
Jjiraffe recently posted..Cheryl Strayed, Toughness and What is Feminism Now?My Profile

Reply

Kathy August 13, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Thank you, J! Yes, you can by my Jew By Choice and you do a phenomenal job giving voice to the Diminished Ovarian Reserve niche, not to mention the Adoption/Loss/Infertility (ALI) community as a whole through your Faces of ALI series. Sharing the link here, for anyone who may not be familiar with it: http://jjiraffe.wordpress.com/faces-of-adoptionlossinfertility/
Kathy recently posted..Summer Shed: Week FourMy Profile

Reply

Em August 25, 2013 at 8:54 pm

This is so cool. And thanks for introducing me to this great new (to me) blog!

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 3 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: