13 Influencers on This Blog From the Past 13 Years

As I wrap up 13 years of blogging and head into year 14, I think it is a good time to thank some of the amazing folks who have helped me and this blog flourish. This is not in any particular order or ranking.

Nina Gibbs, Jason Sauer and Most Wanted Fine Art – in 2014, Nina invited me to join their cohort of ‘Artists in Residence’ to exlore the Art of Blogging, a relationship that last for 2 years and gave rise to The AMPLIFY project. Nina and Jason are wonderful human beings with a great kid and a terrific cadre of supportive folx in their circle. They taught me so much about public and community art. They created a space for me to explore entirely new facets of blogging. And they believe in me and this blog – so hard. I will never be able to thank them enough. The experience was great and left me longing for other opportunities to engage people as colleagues.

Tony Norman and Chris Potter – these two local journalists got to know me mainly through my blog and eventually in real life. They are go-to guys for my questions, ideas, propositions, thoughts, and resources. They hear me out and give me useful feedback. They don’t coddle or enable me. I trust both of them, even when we disagree, to take a story near to my heart and run with it in a way that is respectful, accurate, and fair. And over the years, they have given this blog a lot of shout-outs, especially Potter when he was at the City Paper.

Maria Lupinacci – when she first read my blog in 2005, she emailed me and asked me to call her. She is my mentor and role model. She has edited countless posts for me, especially when I need some emotional support around a topic. She doesn’t pull punches. You should take a deep dive into her work at 2 Political Junkies. She was a groundbreaking female political blogger when that was almost not a thing in Pittsburgh. We have been often conflated in people’s minds, a mistake I take as a great compliment.

David DeAngelo and Bram Reichbaum – I often feel like these and Maria and me are a little cohort of mid-2000’s political bloggers in Pittsburgh. There were others, but not many who used their names and continued the work to this very day. David and Bram have been allies, provocateurs, role models, champions, and the two people who have engaged me the very most since the beginning. I can’t imagine a Burghosphere without them.

Jodi Hirsh, Lindsay Patross, and Jen England – a group of women who have been engaging me again for many years, both online and in real life. They have their own projects and we’ve collaborated on many occasions. I don’t see them often (enough), but I know that they value this work and value me with that understanding that comes only from being in the trenches.

Trish Mifflin – When Trish accepted my offer to contribute to this blog, I was ecstatic and her posts have not let me down. Trish is a reliable resource when I have questions, need a quick set of eyes on a post, or need to navigate Pittsburgh’s media world. Trish is an actual professional writer so when our work is conflated, I am quite honored. She’s a smart, badass, take no prisoners woman who embraces her vulnerability and honors her commitment to stand with others. She’s a classy dame and I”m grateful to call her my friend. Also, I’d like her to blog more often …

Anna, John, and Joe – with blogging, comes blog and website maintenance needs. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have lots of people offer me their talents whether it is fixing a widget or redesigning my entire site. Their work has given me a deep appreciation for the engineering side of things and the fusion of the creative with the technical.

Kevin Acklin – Kevin gave me an interview that changed my mind about a lot of things I had previously thought were true. And there was a time when I was struggling with so, so much and he helped me resolve a legal business matter simply to give me some peace of mind. It was a generous action on his part. A few years later, he resolved a City issue with the domestic partner registry. I don’t always agree with Kevin, but I have experienced his munificence in moments when no one was looking or taking notes. He’s very much on my list of people I’d like to spend some time with over a cup of coffee …

Joy KMT – from the moment I met, I had the feeling we’ve known each other in another life. She inspires me to do better. She is a teacher, mage, and a respected colleague. She’s the first person I’ve ever patronned with a monthly investment because her blogging and creativity matter. A lot. Investing in her is good for everyone.

The Queer Bloggers – Pam, Ian, Alvin, Monica, Tom, Derek, Allie, Sarah, Michael, Mark and many more. You are my community, agree or not. I am grateful for you.

The niblings – Ava, Ethan, Josiah, Jack, Jessie, and Elijah. You embody all of my hopes and wishes for the future. This blog was born when the eldest of you came into my life. It is entwined with building a better world for yinz.

Andy – a friend who values the blogger and the blog, but understands the difference. An investor in Pittsburgh and lesbians and corresponding. The priceless expression when his salad arrived with fries and cheese. My connection to the queer cosmos.

And my Ledcat. She deserves hymns of praise, but will have to settle for knowing this blog is always inspired by her. I love you, Laura.

There are many other people to thank and acknowledge, but I’ve pushed the limits of 13 already.

Thank you for sticking with me through it all. Let’s see what the next year brings, shall we?

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