I Am Who I Am
I have to say that although I started this blog being anonymous, that status has slowly changed over the years. The more people started to read my writing, and the more this blog started getting recognized and winning awards, the more nervous I would get that someone would eventually connect-the-dots and find out my identity. At first, I was nervous because I wasn’t ready to be open about my sexuality completely. I mean, I was more than comfortable in my own skin and being a sexual woman, I just wasn’t sure I was ready for my friends and family to learn about what happened in the privacy of my bedroom. More importantly, however, I have always been “hush-hush” to protect my career. Working in a field where talking about sex or sexual behavior is extremely taboo, I have to be conscience of consequences. Being a single woman who supports myself, being fired from my job because I want people to learn how to be more sex positive is not anything I could afford to have happen.
Over time, I started to open up to a few people who I trusted and I was in complete shock at how accepting they were of me. That isn’t to say that everyone welcomed the notion with fanfare and open arms. Many people told me they thought I should stop blogging because of the risk of losing my job. But surprisingly, most thought it was great and supported me. My sister’s ex-boyfriend accidentally made the connection and even told me, “I have such a bigger respect for you now that I know. I am so proud of you.” Of course, when I eventually confessed to my mother, she wasn’t as happy. She has come around a little more, as she knows how much writing means to me and she is happy that others enjoy reading and learning, even if she doesn’t share all of my views.
As I told more people, I started to realize that stopping was the exact opposite of what I should do. The fact that I could talk about it and try to open the conversation about sex and sexuality would hopefully someday make things easier for other people to do the same. Eventually, even some people who followed both SexInBmore and my vanilla account figured out the connection and told me so. However, because they respected me, they also promised to keep the connection to themselves. Even at the bar after the Mobbies last year, hanging out with a lot of the people from The Baltimore Sun team, people joked that I was possibly the worst kept “secret” at that point. But, even though I wasn’t a “secret” anymore, everyone was respectful and supportive to not broadcast my identity to protect my job. Plus, it was funnier to see Dennis or Andrew get on stage when SexInBmore was mentioned. As one person who figured it out on his own told me, “It’s not my story to tell. If you choose to tell who you are, that’s up to you.”
I started to become more comfortable with this newer “confidential” status. I felt so much more free with so many of my friends. They even were more open and started asking me more questions. I could joke more on Twitter with people and talk about hanging out with them. Sometimes (and I apologize) this would cause them more hassle than me. More than a few of my friends who I talked about hanging out with would receive DMs and questions from people begging them to give up my identity. But, no one did. And I began to feel even more confident in my decision to be more open and less guarded with my “true” identity.
My mistake. In late summer of 2014, a friend who I had trusted and hung out with and who knows me through Twitter and I had a disagreement. WIthout going into details, through text messaging, he got very cruel and threatened to out me (among other threats). I begged him not to and he asked me to go away and leave him alone, so I did. I kept to myself, he blocked me, I blocked him, and I thought that was it for me. He continued, unfortunately, every now and then to connect my SIB and vanilla account. Each time he did, we would go back and forth and he would eventually take it down. This went on and on, but I kept quiet. I thought the less attention I brought to it, the less angry he would be and the less attention people would pay to it. But, for months, I was also worried constantly and I couldn’t understand how someone could have so much hatred at me that they would want to hurt me so extensively. Being the person, I just kept stuffing my feelings and continuing on like nothing was really wrong.
If you follow me on Twitter, you know that my worst fears in this situation finally came true at the beginning of February. Someone who was a friend and I trusted and confided in outed my vanilla account on Twitter. I finally unlocked my account from having to months earlier when this all started. Within about 24 hours of my account being visible, he was back at it. But apparently, just talking about me wasn’t enough this time, so he decided to create a fake account for me; a parody, in his words. Although, this was no joke.
I hesitated time and again recently to write about this topic. As much as I want to forget that it happened and not talk about it, I have decided to take the chance. I want to talk about it because a) I want people to know they are not alone in being harrassed b) I think that this will help me heal and deal with the betrayal I have been holding in and c) I want to reassure my readers that I am here to stay if, that is, you will still have me. I still will refuse to tell you who this person was, but some of you already know due to other things that have happened. But who it is is not important. What is important is that people understand that putting out private information about people online out of revenge or anger is extremely dangerous. We live and exist in real life with real consequences. Think Before You Tweet.
More on this topic to come!