Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Bilerico Project Is Ending

For over five years - actually almost six years - I have had the privilege of being a contributor to The Bilerico Project, an LGBT blog that the Washington Post once described as an LGBT version of the Huffington Post.   Now, as Bilerico founder and my friend Bil Browning explains, The Bilerico Project is shutting down.  In many ways this makes me very, very sad.  At the same time, I completely understand the burn out that comes from writing and or overseeing a blog.   My friend Pam Spaulding- whose writing skills I continually seek to emulate - closed down Pam's House Blend a few years ago.  Similarly, Andrew Sullivan closed down the Daily Dish more recently.   Seemingly, nothing has sprung up to replace these amazing blogs.  Truthfully, I wonder at times how much longer this blog (which dates back to April, 2007) will continue given the hours everyday that are consumed to keep it going.  Labors of love can be exhausting.  Meanwhile, the upside of gays being increasingly "mainstream" is that our own unique news outlets and cultural icons are steadily fading away.  Here in Hampton Roads gay clubs increasingly struggle as the younger generations go to all inclusive venues.   But I digress.  Here is Bil's final post:
Almost 11 years ago, I turned my personal homepage into a blog covering Indiana politics and LGBT issues. A few years later as more and more folks signed up to join me here, we turned our focus national and Bilerico Project was born.

We wanted to cover what was lacking on the big blogs at the time - real political and cultural analysis provided by LGBT movement leaders and everyday activists. We wanted diversity not only in our writers, but also their views. "What's the worst that could happen?" we thought. "No one likes the new format so we go back to our roots?" Thankfully, readers loved the expanded coverage and we were off to a roaring start.

Together we've covered a multitude of important stories. From George W Bush's election to the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality, we've brought the best news and analysis we could. We've made a change in the Salvation Army's anti-LGBT policies and ensured an innocent HIV+ immigrant was released from prison to die surrounded by loved ones. Together, our writers and readers have made a difference.

Projects are meant to be temporary and so was Bilerico Project. After more than a decade, it's time to wrap up our experiment. The media landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade and so have our lives and the LGBT movement itself. It's time to turn the page and start something fresh in this new environment.

My first post in 2004 was a quote from Margaret Meade. "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." I think we've done our part to make the world a better place.

This will be my last post on Bilerico Project. The site will be archived at bilericoproject.com so that all 31,000+ posts will still be available for readers. It's been a long strange journey and I've loved every single moment of it, but the time has come to end the project and call it a success. 

Personally, I'm going to take two weeks off to relax, look for a job, and work on my upcoming book. I will use bilerico.com as my personal blog again when I come back and I have a few ideas for starting something new and different. The spirit of Bilerico Project will live on and I plan on tapping into it as I move forward. I want to go back to my roots.

You'll be able to find essays and longform writing here and, of course, you can find my biweekly column in several LGBT newspapers, a daily news piece at advocate.com, and freelance writing all over the web. You can also like my Facebook fan page for updates on what I'm up to, what I'm writing, and how my ideas for bilerico.com are progressing.

It's been a long and amazing journey to get to this place, but I wouldn't change a thing about the past decade. It's been an honor to share it with all of you. I hope you feel the same.
I want to thank Bil for the honor and privilege he afforded me to be a Bilerico contributor.  I like to think that collectively, we helped to make a difference. Bilerico certainly assembled an amazing group of LGBT bloggers, many of whom I continue to count as friends (many of uds met in person at the LGBGT blogger summit in December, 2008, sponsored by Microsoft and Progressive Insurance). I hope as time goes by we can remain connected via Facebook and other means.  These people hold a special place in my heart.  Bil, thank you so much!

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