A few of you probably know that I'm wrapping up the Comet after a mere three years -- so the idea that Sue has been blogging for four and is still working with a full head of steam is just mind-blowing to me. Mind-blowing and impressive. One thing I can salute Sue for is that the quality here has stayed remarkably consistent -- consistently high and thoughtful.
The Burghosphere would get along okay without most any of the individual blogs, but I honestly don't think it could without this one. It just adds so much more in the way of meaning and purpose. I would not have had the courage to write about GLBT issues to the extent that I have without taking advantage of this blog as a reference, and for that I am grateful.
For example -- did you know that there are political subdivisions in our gay community? IT'S TRUE! I know that seems like a banal observation -- for how could it be otherwise -- but it's something I never would have fully appreciated without this window. In fact the political and socioeconomic divides perfectly mirror the ones in the broader community -- and without getting into too much detail, observing how they play out on these issues has been a very illuminating way to notice what's going on everywhere else.
I also subscribe to Sue's twitter feed, and we exchange e-mails and what have you. Once in a while I do feel like groaning ... "Jeez, Sue, not everything is a gay emergency!" Then before too long I step back and remember -- you all are not in possession of your full compliment of civil rights, are you? Not exactly fully and equally protected under the law? Then I am reminded -- yes, these are not boutique issues, this is not just another ornament on the tree of pet causes. This is my brothers' and sisters' very lives. This is the struggle we are due to see won in our lifetimes. This deserves all the energy and attention a talented volunteer can give it and more. I honestly feel sorry for cities and regions that don't have somebody like Sue.
I don't want to take up too much more space here, but one thing I want to add is that one of my favorite memories of blogging was Blog for Equality Day. That was Sue's idea, and it was the only time the Burghosphere got together around a cause and pulled off a little stunt. We should do more of it. Behind the scenes, Sue has always been a voice of organization in the wider blogging community and I'm grateful for her contributions and for her friendship. More than anything, I look forward to another four years of reading her, and to continued victories for freedom and love in Pittsburgh.
I honestly think Blog for Equality (2008) was Bram's idea, but it *was* fun and I'd love to see something like that happen again. Bram is author of The Pittsburgh Comet which came into existence a few weeks before the Burghosphere gave birth to our blog. He's an important ally and a voice that will be missed. I think his very humbling praise reflects the importance of local blogs, LGBTQ and otherwise --- we translate the national issues down to the local community and then project local issues onto the national radar. We aren't the only ones, but we do tend to be a big dogged. Along the way, we are fortunate enough to attract the attention of allies like Bram, Maria, and others who take the "gay emergency" ball and run back to the straight community with it.
Looks like we need to bring back Blog for Equality 2010. Trademark Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents (ha).
ps: Xena + Gabrielle + Holding Out For a Hero = best (and most likely to cause eye rolling) compliment evah