Sunday, 8 July 2007
No, this is not my gay confession. Though I have to admit, the words 'gay confession' do have a certain cachet, an avant-garde flair about them. My coming out is much more mundane than that.
I'm coming out of anony-land, after lurking and commenting on a number of blogs over the past year and a half. I have been attacked for commenting anonymously - especially on Miss Snark's blog, where I maintained - and still do - that the generalized animosity toward anonymice is utterly ridiculous. Here are my reasons for remaining anonymous in the past - not, mind you, that I felt I needed reasons for exercising what I considered a right, or at least a legal option.
* I did not have a Blogger account, and refused to get one simply to comment on other people's. Whenever a host turned off the option to comment anonymously, I simply stopped commenting. Interestingly, the host would usually turn the option back on very soon. I assumed that her/his action was affecting the number of hits on the site. I believe it is hypocritical to chastise people for their choice to remain anon on blogs run by people who are themselves anon. Coining a cute ID makes no difference; you're still anon. Likewise for most name IDs.
* The focus should be on the issues at hand, not the personalities involved. There was a certain in-group, frat boy [or sorority girl] atmosphere on some blogs that I had no desire to become a part of, even though I enjoyed the posts and comments immensely, and learned much from them.
* I share certain qualities in common with the jackass: the more you push, the more obstinate I become. Even if I had been inclined to take an ID, and I was sometimes tempted, the thought of giving in to unfair pressure, or any pressure, cured me of the impulse.
* Not least, I have an inordinate horror of loss of privacy. The Internet is a wonderful invention, but it takes some getting used to the idea that anyone on planet Earth with the machinery and Internet access has access, theoretically at least, to me. There are bad people out there. I know - I've been stalked and terrorized once already in this life. So I tend to err weightily on the side of caution.
* There was also the little matter of the writing. I had not been published, outside of editorials for a newspaper where I worked for awhile, and reviews and commentaries on other people's books. I've been loth, therefore, to call myself a writer; hanging out on writer's sites seemed so self-indulgent when I had not been pubbed that I preferred to do it in the closet. It was like having a delicious, secret vice.
So, what's different now? Well, I've started this blog, and I'm terribly excited about it. I'm not an 'outie' anymore. Also, I've had an offer for a book, so I feel a bit more assured, almost vindicated. I want to know the writers and readers out there, and I want them to know who I am. It's PR, yes, but it's also the sense that maybe now I've earned a place in the network.
Does that make sense to anyone?
And Kevin K, you were the inspiration for this post. You gave me my first feedback, and I love it.