When I first considered blogging, before I had even heard of GayPatriot (indeed before this blog even existed), I ran through countless potential blogging monikers for myself from AmericanCamus to something from a favorite flick.
As I was pondering the perfect name for a website, I discovered a fledging blog called GayPatriot, wrote the eponymous solo blogger to congratulate him on a post taking Log Cabin to task for failing to endorse W’s reelection. We exchanged e-mails, instant messages and the next thing I knew, he invited me to join him here. I still agonized over my own moniker, so finally just settled on GayPatriotWest.
I’d always wanted something a little more descriptive, saying something about my passions. In the intervening years, other ideas came to me, many involving the topic of my dissertation. No one name really called out to me. Nothing really worked.
So, I decided to go with my own name.
I realized that when I was first searching for a moniker, I wanted to describe myself without revealing myself. I had intended to maintain my anonymity because my public political identification could compromise (if not destroy) any chance I had of breaking into the entertainment industry. (And it’s hard enough breaking into the industry as it is.) Still, barely two months after I started blogging, when interviewed by a reporter from a Boston gay paper, I agreed to let him use my name in the article.
I had crossed a personal Rubicon. If this would make it more difficult for me to succeed in Hollywood, then so be it. And anyway, I was getting tired of remaining silent when friends and acquaintances discussed politics.
From then on, having the moniker GayPatriotWest served primarily as a means to identify myself as the blogger at GayPatriot who lives on the West Coast.
I had thought I might have something particularly profound to say about the importance of blogging under your own name and not hiding behind a fabricated moniker.
I suppose the most profound thing I can say in this. Both Bruce and I have been subject to mean-spirited personal attacks on left-wing blogs, in our very comments section and oftentimes in our e-mail by those who hide behind a cloak of anonymity.
While we don’t engage in such vituperative attacks, we do take issue with a great number of people, including leaders in the gay community. It didn’t seem right to criticize them while not disclosing our own identities. I’m not ashamed of who I am, an American, a Republican, a gay man, a lover of myth, legend and history, a film buff and a Tolkien geek who loves Beowulf who is devoted to his nephews and nieces. And so many other things.
One simple moniker couldn’t describe all that without leaving something out. Perhaps my name contains multitudes.