Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Meaning behind my blog name

One of my blog buddies posted on this topic and it got me thinking about how and why I started this blog. Let me see here. It was the Fall of 2006...

One of my 3 jobs at the time was working for a non-profit (Christian) counseling center. I liked working there because it brought in a wide variety of clientele consisting of individuals who needed help, but were not finding objective professional help in the church environment. I had been working there about 6 months when the director called me into his office. Not unusual. But this time he had that foreboding look on his face. He stated that they had gotten an "anonymous tip" via email (how can an email be anonymous?). Bottom line? The email sender stated they were going to withdraw their financial support of that counseling center while they were "harboring a lesbian" (rolling my eyes). My boss then gave me the DADT line (you know, "you don't have to say anything"). But how could I keep working there and hiding who I was? So I did "tell"... and was released from my job. I couldn't believe it. This was a professional place of business who employed credentialed professionals to administer mental health services (this was not a church). And this company was actually in a city that had a well known non-discrimination ordinance. The catch? It was a non-profit company and therefore not held accountable by the law.

Sure, I still had 2 other jobs. But the experience was surprisingly disappointing. My partner noted that I should "write about it." I didn't really have a venue to write about it... until my son suggested starting a blog. Perfect. An "anonymous" outlet on the Internet to write about my experiences and feelings. Would anyone read it? Who knew. Who cared! I had a place to vent. And I did, even citing the city ordinance and discussing how ridiculous it is that the "separation of church and state" thing gives non-profit companies the right to ignore the laws of the land.

The name of my original blog at blogger? "Burning or Building Bridges in the Community." That name came directly from the motto of the company above that fired me solely due to my sexual orientation, which was "building bridges in the community." They were not building bridges in the community.

My blog was actually at blogger for about a year and a half, at which time I discovered that my blog had been unexpectedly “locked” and was viewable only by me (if I logged in). I looked into this in blogger’s help groups, and apparently, there were many other blogger authors in this limbo presently as well! Evidently, at the beginning of 2008 blogger began a crack down. (e.g.: flagging what they thought were “spam blogs”). The problem with their “crack down” is the sheer volume of blogs for blogger to scan left lots of room for error. In December ’08 I received the following from Blogger: “Since you’re an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not a spam blog. Automated spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and we sincerely apologize for this false positive.” Without remedy I just decided to move my blog.

I was very happy with my new blog home at WordPress from April 2008 until about January of 2010. Around that time, some trolls who "knew" me through knowing my partner, infested my blog. I discovered that my "anonymous" blog space to share and vent and write was no longer a safe space. I still wanted to be able to blog from time-to-time, and hoped that the trolls would have actually have moved on with their own sordid lives and were not still  hunting around the Internet to see what I may be writing about. (It's not like there is a First Amendment to the Constitution of America or anything that would protect my ability to freely write whatever I choose to about my life). ;)  I then chose to make the WordPress blog "private." Those who had access could still read it, but it was necessary to close the windows to the unwelcome.

So here I am back at Blogger. My blog name changed slightly with this move to "Bridge Travels on the Journey." The original reason behind the name of my blog no longer really applied to the content, and since my Bridges blog itself had so many travels and I still wanted to share some portions of my journey -- I opted for the name modification. 

That's pretty much the story right there. :-) Thank you to you kind and genuine souls who are still walking the bridge with me all these years later.