First and foremost, if you are reading this, thank you. Thank you for sticking with us here at Queer Quality. Thank you for not unfollowing us during our hiatus. Thank You.
The last eight months have been rough, both for Queer Quality and for me personally. I wanted to take the time to explain what has been going on, where we are going, and some lessons I have learned.
Some of you may remember that back in October 2018, we tweeted for National Coming Out Day and got hacked. By a guy named “Satan,” believe it or not. Our website and social media platforms all took a hit. Thankfully, I happened to be on my phone at the time and immediately was notified about a weird log in from another country on our Twitter. I was able to slow down the damage that the hackers were in the middle of and ultimately ended up saving all of Queer Quality. Unfortunately though, my personal information was stolen and this led to complications for me.
It was because of this incident that I learned a really important lesson: some people still suck, plain and simple.
Despite the progress that society has made with LGBTQ+ acceptance, there are still so many hateful and spiteful people that will go out of their way to attack you for simply being you. Through the hashtag #NationalComingOutDay, Queer Quality was targeted and victimized, and instantly so was I.
As I worked at rebuilding and fortifying Queer Quality to prevent another hacking in the future, my personal life got ever more stressful.
In August 2016, my mother was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic breast cancer. At the time, I was working with the Democratic Party and had plans to go work on Hillary Clinton’s campaign. With a phone call from my mom’s doctor, my career was derailed and the life I had worked so hard for, put on hold. This pause ultimately led to the creation of Queer Quality, as I realized I could help people at home while being a full time caregiver to my mother and working at a part time job that was unfulfilling, but understanding of my new situation.
Shortly after the hacking event, my mom’s health began to decline more rapidly. With the holidays right around the corner, my focus shifted from revamping Queer Quality to making sure that my mother was able to enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as my brother’s wedding and his then wife-to-be’s bridal shower.
On March 1st, 2019, after two and a half years of battling cancer, and just three weeks after my brother’s wedding, my mother passed away at 63.
As of today, it’s been 112 days since my mom left this world. And I have struggled. I’ve struggled on and off, every single day in different ways. At first, I tried to jump right back to who I was on August 7th, 2016, before her diagnosis. I began to apply for political campaign or non-profit jobs, because that’s what I had always planned to do. I tried to organize her room on day one, going through things immediately instead of letting myself sit back and do nothing. I tried to get my old life back and control everything around me, but was failing miserably.
And then on other days, I couldn’t get out of my pajamas. I’d call out of work and sit on her spot on the couch and binge watch Gilmore Girls because it made me feel closer to her. When I finished Gilmore, I moved on to The Vampire Diaries, because my love for vampire folklore I got from my mother. I finished TVD two days ago.
Through all of this, I’ve learned a few more lessons in the last three months:
- It’s okay to not be who I use to be. It’s okay to not want to do the same things I once set out to do. I do not have to use my college degrees for what they were originally planned for.
- It is entirely okay to let myself get lost in a TV show about vampires because the lives these characters are living, even with all the blood, gore, death, and craziness, is still not as difficult or seemingly as bad as the one without my mother. Vampires can be handled. Living the next 30 years of my life without my mom, that seems impossible.
- It is okay to stay at the unfulfilling job if it brings stability to my life in an unstable time. Embrace normal wherever it remains, because my new normal is rocky and shifting every day. My friends are the cornerstone to my stable mind. Thank them.
- Be unapologetic about talking about mom. I talk about her a lot. To the point of me writing this here, on a website not necessarily designed to be a personal blog.
I am writing this letter to you, dear readers, for two reasons. First, to explain the absence Queer Quality has had in the last eight months. But more importantly, as a firsthand testament to the reality that we all turn to fiction in our darkest hours to help us get through things we aren’t sure we can survive.
Although the TV shows I have (so far) flocked to in months since my mother’s passing have not been queer based (or at times, queer friendly), I know that there are people who are currently turning to queer positive programs, movies, literature and podcasts for the same comfort I have been seeking. And it’s because of this simple fact that this platform I have created for quality queer entertainment, must make it’s comeback.
So this is a promise I make to you, dear readers, that Queer Quality will be back very soon with new posts, reviews, Q&A’s with your favorite LGBTQ+ entertainers, and so much more. In fact, we already have several things brewing here with our team of interns that we think you’re going to love!
We are absolutely looking for ideas, new artists you think we should know about, and new interns wanting to join our QQ team!
You can always find us on our social media or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you stick with us.
With love and gratitude to you all,
Queer Quality, Founder
One final thought: It’s okay to not have it all together. Because none of us do.