As announced a few weeks ago by Pam Spaulding, her House Blend closed today. Spaulding has a wonderful wrap-up of her blog, reflecting on past, present and future, with her unique blend of the political and the personal. She’s been upfront with readers for years about her serious health problems, the significant reason she made the decision to “end the Blend.” Today she begins:
The Blend has been a virtual coffeehouse where vigorous (but polite) political expression was encouraged on myriad topics including LGBT issues, race relations, the religious right, and gender issues. This outlet for commentary and original reporting has had a great run that has been gratifying to produce and hopefully enlightening for readers. As we close the doors today, thanks for the love, the barbs, the critics, the good (and energizing, but tiring) times.
Before she continues with her “farewell” message, though, she turns to some of the thoughts and analysis I’m going to miss. (emphasis added throughout)
Just imagine how I feel right now after the last week “” SCOTUS left me in a helluva lurch, let me tell you. The landmark rulings on DOMA and Prop 8 and the Voting Rights Act show just how much more activism and work is left to do.
That this court could essentially say that race isn’t … much of an issue in the states covered by the VRA in this day and age is preposterous. …
And on LGBT rights, while people rightfully celebrate the strikedown of a portion of DOMA covering federal benefits and the return of marriage rights for same-sex couples in California, the high court issued the most restrictive ruling possible for the win “” it dodged the issue of the constitutional right of gay and lesbian couples to marry.That means those of us in states with marriage amendments will have to deal with denial of many critical rights and legal uncertainties until a boatload of challenges inevitably bounce it back to SCOTUS to resolve.
Today also happens to be my ninth wedding anniversary. Kate and I were married in Vancouver, B.C. Canada in 2004. So we sit here in a state without employment discrimination protections, in a marriage unrecognized by the state.
Gee, what a time to stop blogging, you say? There is so much more left to say and do. But it’s time … .
A new channel debuts on FDL, Justice For All, that will take on many of the same issues covered by PHB. My current co-bloggers Laurel Ramseyer, Alvin McEwen and Autumn Sandeen will helm that blog.
Pam takes us through some of the “PHB history,” which began in July 2004, when this African American, lesbian, living in “the South,” started her blog,
… as a forum for me to shout into the digital void in frustration of the state of politics under President George W. Bush in a year that would see “˜marriage protection’ amendments pass en masse in the fall election … .
Her reflections include this, and I’m bolding something I think still needs to be said. And said. And said.
The LGBT community is obviously not monolithic. Issues of concern to one element may not resonate with another, be it race, gender, gender expression or position on the political spectrum. What unites us all is that the hearty portion of the larger society continues to demonize us. At this time, some of it is just laughable, but you have to remind yourselves “” these professional bigots earn a paycheck every day doing this.
That the House Blend was run by a lesbian, not gay man; that this lesbian is African American; that she opened her blog to strongly include the transgender communities … Spaulding caught flak for all of that. Saying you know the LGBT communities aren’t “monolithic,” and acting on that knowledge ““ consistently, relentlessly ““ aren’t the same thing. Pam acted. From her look back:
Pam’s House Blend was ranked in the top 50 progressive political blogs. Michael Rogers, editor and publisher of gay blog PageOneQ.com (now Raw Story Media) noted:
“˜Pam is certainly the most important lesbian blogger in America. She’s a lesbian in a gay blogging world that is overwhelmingly gay men. She’s a … woman in an overwhelmingly male-dominated world and she’s of color and the internet is so skewed to the privileged.’
Among the “milestones and awards”:
Landed exclusive interviews with the first openly gay man to run for the U.S. Senate, Jim Neal, as well as the only out lesbian serving in Congress, Tammy Baldwin.
In 2006 received Distinguished Achievement Award from The Monette-Horwitz Trust for making significant contributions toward the eradication of homophobia.
Named one of Huffington Post’s Ultimate Game Changers in Politics in 2009
Provided commentary on CNN during the 2008 presidential election cycle
Honored with the 2009 Women’s Media Center Award for Online Journalism …
Received the 2009 Courage Award from the New York City Anti-Violence Project … .
In 2009 selected as one of the OUT 100 for the year.
2010, named one of TheGrio’s 15 LGBT leaders of tomorrow …
2011: GLAAD Media Awards: Nominated for the inaugural Best Blog prize
Honored in 2012 by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network for Black History Month: Black Heroes of the LGBT Movement
In 2012 honored with the Bob Page Equality Champion Award by the Equality NC Foundation … .
There’s lots more in her look back. Read the whole thing, if at all possible.
I’m going to close with the video below. Over the years, Pam shared her love of Journey. What could possibly be more appropriate, then, than that band’s “Be Good to Yourself.”
Thank you, Pam. And as you close your post today, back at you: “Peace out.”
(Pam Spaulding Screen Capture Via MSNBC, at the House Blend)