I was having a good long think about what I should write about this time as I’ve been making moderate progress but nothing astounding due to several weekends away with families and lots of work stuff going on. What I have been doing in the meantime, though, has been a real positive help for me, so I thought I’d talk about that.
Never before such a loaded pair of words (not literally, obviously). A force for good? For evil? For making Lord Zuk the god-king-emperor of all humanity?
I’ve never been hugely into social media. I’m usually at the cutting edge of whatever technology I can get my hands on, but I’ve found social media annoying. To set the hipster scene the social media site I most enjoyed and engaged with was Google+ because it was full of like-minded professional people posting interesting stuff. My personal Facebook on the other hand is full of turds posting rubbish. Worse still I love some of those turds and it’s too much effort sometimes to explain why that post is rubbish.
So I’ve had a Fac-e-book account for years, G+ (before it was done in), and that was about it. I didn’t have a Skype account, didn’t ever really get into Twitter (beyond a “business account” made for a domain I set up), and least of all was Reddit.
Ah Reddit. The most wretched hive of scum and villainy this side of 4Chan. I may not have had social media but I did follow a lot of news sources I followed using Feedly, and I kept constantly seeing the dreadful things that came out of Reddit.
A fully unmoderated decentralised model of “freedom of speech at any cost”, packed with racists, sexists, bigots, and the sewage of human kind. Whole boards created specifically for attacking anyone coloured, women, overweight people, anyone who someone didn’t like. Completely without consequences. Literally illegal in many places, but impossible to control. Not a stretch to say it was not my thing.
When I started coming to a realisation I Was reaching out for help, guidance, anything that could answer some of my questions. It was at that point I found a couple of the most helpful places to date, three subreddits full of awesome people:
- AskTransGender; where my biggest questions was answered: am I valid?
- Traaans; just a bunch of nice people in the same boat as me
- Egg-IRL; Just dumb memes highlighting things people say to convince themselves they’re not trans
All of these were places I could find stuff I wanted to know the answers to, get tips, advice, and best of all somewhere I could ask questions freely, and of people who had been through this before.
I created an account and pulled through my username from here, Blogging_Sammy. That was a fun time, I now had an account I could really let out the bits of me I couldn’t let out with anyone other than my wife. The people there were genuinely lovely too, helpful and informative, but most of all supportive.
I saw so many topics of people asking questions that must have been posted a thousand times before; “am I trans?”, “what do I do now?”, “how do I tell people?”…. And I’ve been on forums before, I’ve been part of some of the nicest and most upstanding forums I’ve ever seen, but with all of them these questions get “old” and people start responding with at best dismissal. Not here. There were always answers, they were always kind, they were always helpful. It was really positive to see.
Looking at my WordPress engine and the things it can do I discovered twitter integration. I wasn’t super keen on it but I figured I might as well set it up and start using it, and so I created another new account under the Blogging Sammy brand. Having set that up I went and added a few people, starting with the creator of HardCoded, as mentioned in a previous post, and the Critical Role folk, as mentioned last time.
I then went and found a number of twitter feeds cater specifically to trans news and things like that, and again found myself in a positive place where I had an account that I could really represent myself on freely.
So where am I now? I’ve got these two accounts, a google account to run emails and stuff from, and an amazon/pintrest account to collect pretty things (maybe I’ll add some links to my sidebar later!). I wasn’t keen on massive social media previously, but seeing it now I like having a place that is separate from the worry about coming out, about how I’ll look and sound and feel, and I can just be Sammy for my own sake.
I highly recommend it.