I can’t even believe it, but it’s true. This is my 200th published article at WERRRK.com. Instead of using my 200th article to discuss a television show about zombies, or review another cheeseburger restaurant, I felt it would be the right time to just take a moment to reflect on my experience so far working with this amazing site. If you prefer not to read the ramblings of a emotional, dedicated editor, I completely understand. Just know that I am thankful for you.
I was 19 when I joined the WERRRK.com team. Before moving to WERRRK, I had been a contributor for another pop culture site alongside our fearless leader Chiffon Dior. Chiffon eventually moved on to create WERRRK.com. I am so blessed to have been given that opportunity to join the team. At the time, we really had no idea where this site would take us. What we did know is that we were so passionate about the art of drag, pop culture, and fashion, etc. that we needed to create a space where others could share in that same love alongside one another.
As the site took off, I realized what we had created was so much more. This was more than just a news outlet or a fashion blog. We had birthed a beautiful, safe space that became a leader in highlighting amazing, inspirational stories of LGBTQ+ people around the world.
To live in this modern, political climate, I feel it would be completely immoral to turn our backs on the current state of the world. To pretend that the current administration is doing anything other than sowing further hatred and divide into the seams of our country is just willful blindness.
Racism. Anti-Semitism. Sexism. Homophobia. Transphobia. Hate crimes are on the rise. Since 2016, there has been an “86% increase in single hate-crime incident reports from 2016. In 2017, there was the equivalent of one homicide of an LGBTQ person in the U.S. each week. ” according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. These numbers are only getting worse as the years go on. Every other week, it feels like we are hearing about another mass shooting. It was only just 2016 where 49 people were killed and 53 others were wounded in a mass shooting inside Pulse, a LGBTQ+ nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
At times, the world feels so dark and so far gone. Is there any possible way to actually bring our world to place where everyone is seen as equal? Will love ever truly conquer hate? Contributing to WERRRK has helped me see the way forward. We must rise above and continue to tell our stories, despite the heavy weights of prejudice and abhorrence. That has always been the goal of WERRRK, and always will. Even when others may try to erase the incredible contributions of LGBT+ individuals, our site will never shy away from speaking our truths and honoring the courage of individuals who speak out against division. So much so, that our site was selected for inclusion in the historic collection of Internet materials related to the LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive by The United States Library of Congress
Being at WERRRK.com for the past five years has led me to meet some amazing people along the way, who continue to teach me invaluable life lessons. A favorite quote that I hold very close to my heart is “find out who you are and do it on purpose”, once said by Dolly Parton. The beauty of WERRRK is that I have had the privilege of meeting and interacting with so many beautiful LGBTQ+ artists who have adopted that very mantra. These artists live and love unapologetically in a world that tells them they are wrong for being different, when really – they are perfect. These are my heroes.
So now that I have rambled on forever with likely no sense on the word, I would just like to take this moment to thank Chiffon Dior and WERRRK.com, for creating this incredible platform for myself and so many others to share our love and passion for the things in life we find so special. Whether it be an interview with a local drag queen or a Game of Thrones recap, there is something here for everyone that we can find some sort of affinity for.
To the incredible people I have met and interviewed along the way who have shown me the beauty of life and the incredible satisfaction of loving oneself for who they are – Poppy Fields, Yaz Mirgoli, Deven Green, Crunk Panda, Tranna Wintour, Haley Van Horn, Alexis Michelle, Paige Lauren, Sister Indica, Nick Verreos, Thorgy Thor, Mariah Balenciaga, Tatianna, and the list could go on forever.
Sidney Joel Stokes, my partner in crime at WERRRK who has always been a joy to work with. I constantly look forward to the next opportunity I get to work with his incredible energy. Even if it means locking ourselves within a fall-out shelter for the sake of a American Horror Story column.
Most of all, I would like to thank the millions of viewers who have taken the time to read one of our articles and opened themselves up to the stories we work so hard to tell.
So yeah, 200 published articles is quite the achievement. But honestly, I am just getting started and I hope you will all come along on the ride. Thank you so much WERRRK.com for this incredible opportunity and I am excited to see where else this thing takes us!