Mental Health, Public Shaming, and the Trashing of Lindsay Ellis

For the past few days, I’ve watched with fascination the trashing of prominent leftist cultural critic, author, and youtuber Lindsay Ellis. Several weeks ago, she tweeted something about Avatar: The Last Airbender which apparently sparked a controversy. (I’ve never seen any of the pieces of media she was referring to, so I can’t offer comment on them.) The ensuing controversy, trashing, and demonizing led her to delete her twitter account, and I witnessed some anonymous twitter users dancing on her digital grave. The whole episode seemed, in typical twitter fashion, bewilderingly excessive.

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Five Rules to Keep Social Media From Ruining Your Life

At this point, we all know that social media is making us unwell. We know it is jeopardizing mental health, democracy, social progress, and our collective ability to focus. I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time discussing these trends, but not as much time discussing solutions. So, what can we do about it?

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Practicing Antifragility as a Gay Person

Note: whenever I start to veer into the topics explored in this post, some people feel defensive or angry. Perhaps they feel like my words are a judgement of their own complicated lives, which is never my intention. Because of this, I want to premise this article with saying that this is about me, not about you. If you read my words and feel like they don’t map onto your own experience as an LGBT+ person, then chances are good that my words in this post don’t reflect your reality. They aren’t a judgment or an expectation. As with everything, my story fits within an intersectional lens, and it would probably be different if I were a person of color, trans, or of a different economic status. If, however, you do feel like my words in this article resonate, then I’m glad you are able to take something from my story and apply it to your life.

Back 2013, I rose to prominence as a gay Christian blogger fighting for the inclusion of LGBT people in the church (incidentally, my blog was called Sacred Tension, which is now the name of my podcast.) I was hell bent on creating a better world for LGBT Christians, and I’m still convinced that my writing from that time is some of the best I’ve ever done in my life. However, I was also incredibly fragile. I suffered regular breakdowns, and I do mean genuine, horrifically painful breakdowns, in which I would self-harm, plummet down suicidal abysses, and go on reckless, compulsive sexual benders.

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Social Media: Where Cruelty Is Easy and Kindness Is Hard

I struggle mightily with social media. It is the most fraught and challenging part of my job as a content creator. On the one hand, I truly enjoy connecting with readers and like-minded individuals. On the other hand, that one upside feels like a tiny oasis in a desert of desolation and destruction. I recently had yet another realization about why social media is hard for me, and why it makes me worried for the future of humanity.

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On Being Better On Social Media

I am the person I am today, in no small part, because of social media. When I was a newly-out gay man and needed the queer community, I found them on social media. That alone probably saved my life. Ever since those first days of finding my queer community online, I’ve made innumerable friends, connection, and community on social media. I also truly adore my Satanic family on twitter. I start with all this, because I’m going to spend the rest of this post articulating the dark side of social media, how it has reduced my quality of life, and what I intend to do about it.

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Terrible Things Evangelicals Say About Mental Illness

I recently moved to a new house, and as is often the case when big life changes arrive, my mental health collapsed. It doesn’t matter that it’s a good change – my deep reptile brain doesn’t understand the difference between positive and negative change, it just feels the disruption and responds with panic.

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Speaking the Truth In Love Can Break LGBT People

I hear it all the time: this protective need for some of my fellow Christians to “speak the truth in love” to their gay friends and family. In other words, while they say that they should “love and accept” those who are gay, they still feel a need to state that they think homosexuality is inherently sinful, and that gay people must commit themselves to chastity, denying homosexual sin.

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I Was Wrong About Trigger Warnings

Back in 2016, when I was (to my shame – I’m not proud of this fact) covertly flirting with alt-light ideas, I wrote an article called, “A Curmudgeon’s manifesto,” in which I established my personal rules for engagement and code of conduct. I still stand by much of what I wrote in that article, but you can hear my savagely wounded pride as an undercurrent in the piece. I’d recently been the victim of twitter hate from people I thought were my friends, and I’d never experienced such a thing before. I was wounded and disoriented, and the experience almost pushed me away from my fellow queer progressives and into the sweet, deadly embrace of the alt-right.

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How Depression has Made Me a Happier Person

When people ask me how I am, I usual say, “I’m alright,” or simply, “ok,” and some people respond with concern or condescension: “/just/ alright?” As if being manically exultant is not living a full life. I hate that response: “just ok?” To me, just ok is heaven. For me, just ok is hard earned fulfillment.

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