Tonight while yinz watch the final Presidential debate and think about the role Pennsylvania plays in this election, remember one new fact – the first ever person named ‘Best Local Blogger’ in the Pgh City Paper Reader’s Poll results is a queer, fat, disabled lady blogger. Aka, me.
When I was first informed about the results, I was in disbelief. That’s not false modesty – I know this blog is good, but we aren’t among the larger blogs in the region. How on earth did we secure more votes than those guys? Yes, I even went so far as to Google the staffer who informed me just to make sure it wasn’t some sort of “Carrie-esque” prank. Chalk that up to anxiety. And living in a state of electoral politics terror. I don’t actually know how we came to win so many votes without us asking for them, but there you have it – someone thinks queer voices are important enough for this recognition. A lot of someones.
The second train of thought took me to my great-grandfather, Gilbert W. Remley. For 52 years, he was a journalist, mostly in sports. He died long before I was born, but I’ve come to learn quite a bit about him through my amateur geneaology hobby. In fact, it was 100 years ago – 1916 – when he went from copy boy to reporter. Copy boys ran the news from the reporters to the editors. 100 years ago, he was also living on the Northside of Pittsburgh in a rowhouse much like the one where I live now (minus closets, central heat and parking space disputes.) He was a very poor white cis German/Scots American kid with 3 younger siblings all scraping out a hard life in a harsh environment after their father died at a young age. His siblings and their spouses broke their backs in the coal mines, but he somehow parlayed his love of amateur baseball into the copy boy job and ended up with a solid middle class life. While several of his descendants became nuclear physicists, no one took up writing and no one moved back to the Northside. Until there was me. I’m probably not what he had in mind as a torch-bearer, but there you have it.
My final thought was ‘How can we use this to bring more attention to #AMPLIFY and the people who have contributed their stories?’
Then my other final thought was the above sentiment about a queer disabled woman earning these votes in Southwestern Pennsylvania in the midst of this specific Presidential election (and US Senate race, too) where our Commonwealth is very much in play.
Smash all of these thoughts together, add a little more anxiety and voila! A Wednesday in Pittsburgh!
It is such a fluke thing to be named the best of something that literally hundreds of other people do everyday right here in Pittsburgh. I don’t know what to say beyond thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for voting. Thank you for sharing our content. Thank you for supporting a blogosphere that values the voices of queer and fat and disabled female bloggers among many others.
Read all the blogs. You won’t regret it. (And read #AMPLIFY, too!)