I started this website about six months ago because I recognized a serious problem, and I realized that I had the skills to start doing something about it.
I’m now at a point where I need help to get the work I’ve been doing to gain some traction. So I’m reaching out to you. What I need is something I can’t do for myself.
There are a variety of ways you can help me out that I’ll list out at the end of this article. Believe it or not, even just clicking through to my website to read this post is a big one (so thanks for doing that). More on that later.
The world is at a serious education deficit when it comes to identity. In this culture, we have a lot of false preconceived ideas that we impose on each other about who we are supposed to be—particularly in regards to gender. A lot of times, when a person comes out as transgender or nonbinary, not only do they face profound discrimination and bigotry, but they have nobody in their life who understands anything about what they’re going through. This leaves a huge burden of educating friends and family on that person in order for them to even begin to receive any kind of support.
People often tell friends and family, “Google it.” Which is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, because explaining yourself gets exhausting (especially when you’re already exhausted).
But so many of the articles that show up right at the top of search results when people type in identity-related search terms are:
- outdated (often written more than a decade ago before a lot of the terminology we now use was in circulation)
- full of impenetrable jargon (written with an audience in mind that is already extremely familiar with very esoteric concepts)
- not really answering the questions being asked (like tangential interviews or random articles that barely even mention the subject being Googled, because that’s the closest thing there is yet on the subject)
- too vague to be helpful at all (clearly written by someone who didn’t really have any context or experience with the subject, so there’s no substance—it’s just fluff)
- or worse than all of these: promoting bigotry and misinformation (articles by anti-LGBTQ organizations and religious bloggers who don’t have any real context for LGBTQ issues).
I don’t feel good about any kind of misinformation getting shared around, but the stakes are particularly high regarding this subject—especially during our current political climate.
We need people to find good information written by someone who actually cares about transgender people and has real context with the issues we deal with.
What I’m doing about it
I’m trying to add a voice of reason and compassion that cuts through the voices sharing confusion and bigotry.
My career is in content marketing (this is the company I co-founded, in case you’re curious). This means that I help organizations figure out what sort of questions are on the minds of the people they hope to connect with, and give strategic advice about what sort of content they need to create to answer those questions in the most helpful way possible—so they can really connect with those people in a meaningful way. Blah, blah, blah. Sounds technical and involved, and I guess it is.
That’s the exact type of thinking needed to work on this problem. So I’m working on it.
I’ve been researching the questions people are asking about gender and identity, assessing what answers they’re finding, and doing my best to create the kind of content that could do a better job spreading understanding and compassion.
This way, for instance, when a fresh-from-the-closet agender teen’s parent googles “what is agender?” they’re less likely to end up reading an article written by someone who doesn’t know a thing about trans people from Focus on the Family about the depraved absurdity of today’s culture. They end up with this article about what agender means, written by an actual agender person.
Or, when someone hears the word “truscum” for the first time and Googles “what is truscum?” they’re not as likely to end up reading a manifesto that’s denouncing nonbinary identities. Instead, they read this article breaking down what truscum means and why it’s important to believe trans people whose identities don’t match preconceived expectations.
I’ve written 41 articles on this site so far this year (all of which I’m regularly updating), and I have a huge list of articles yet to write.
It’s easy for me to get overwhelmed with the amount of misinformation there is to combat, but overall I’m excited that I get to do this work, and I don’t take it lightly. I’m in a constant process of learning, unlearning, revising, and expanding what I know. It’s humbling, it’s intense, and it’s interesting.
How you can help me
My website is coming out of nowhere, so it’s taking search engines a long time to start acknowledging its existence. A lot of my articles have been stuck on page two of search results for about the last three months.
If you’re interested in supporting what I’m doing so that my work starts getting found by more people, here are some things you can do to help me out:
- Explore my site. You might be surprised that something this small would help, but it does. The more time you spend on my site, and the more people who also spend time here, the more it signals to Google that there’s stuff here that people want to look at, and the more likely it will be to surface it for others to see.
- Let other friends know. Similarly, if you get a friend looking around my site, that expands the effect. So emailing, texting, or instant messaging an article link to someone you think would appreciate it can help in the same way.
- Post an article to social media. If there’s an article on my site that resonates with you and that you’d like other people to read, post it to your newsfeed on Facebook or Twitter. You can also share it to a group that talks about related subjects. Depending on how you use these platforms, it might even make sense to share one to Pinterest or LinkedIn. Engagement with my content signals to search engines that it’s more valid, and that can really help.
- Subscribe to my blog. There’s a little subscription form on the sidebar and in the footer of this site. If you subscribe, you’ll get notified by email every time I make a new post, which will remind everyone who gets it to read it, which will send a wave of traffic to my site, which will signal to Google that I’m legit. It’s a pretty cool chain reaction.
- Link to one of my articles from your blog/website. If you have your own blog or website, one of the biggest ways you can help me out is by linking to something on my site from yours. This is called a backlink, and it’s a big factor in search engine rankings. No need to make it a big part of your site—but let’s say, for instance, you write a blog post that talks about something related to one of the topics I’ve written about. Just throwing a link in that post to an article of mine can help me out a lot. You don’t need to ask my permission before doing this—you have it. 🙂
Any amount of those five things that you can do is much appreciated, and will have a cumulative effect on my site’s ability to show up in search engines when people are looking for answers.
I’m not asking for money at this point—I’m running this site on my own dime and I’m fine with that for the time being. But a Patreon profile may be coming in the future … we’ll see! If supporting me on Patreon is a thing you’d be interested in, let me know in the comments.
As I gain more traction, it’s important to me that I continue to expand my thinking to be as compassionate to others as I can. So I’m always open to hearing about additional context and resources that can make my articles more informative, and I love linking to other folks’ work that also promotes compassion and understanding. Feel free to Tweet at me about it. I want to know. You can also tag me in interesting Twitter conversations about gender—just try not to bring me into fights. Those can get tiring really fast (and so far I’ve been stumbling into enough of them on my own).
In addition to that, if there’s a topic you recognize I haven’t covered and want to see my take on, you can request an article from me here.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post, and for being such a source of encouragement to me. We’re making the world a better place. I’m stoked to get to do this work with you.