So one year has drawn to a close and another one has just begun. We have each celebrated in our way and many of us have made grandiose resolutions for the coming year. Originally I was going to ask the team here at NotSafe4Werk.com and some of our friends what their resolutions for 2015 were going to be for this article. Hack. Cliche. Tired. Plus we did something similar at Thanksgiving so we reached our hack quota for the year.Instead I realized that I wanted to be a bit reflective, a bit introspective. I decided I wanted to undertake the challenge of starting my own site this year, despite the fact that I really had very little idea of how to do it. I got some support and some encouragement from friends and when I hit on the name “Not Safe 4 Werk”, I asked several people what they thought. To a person, it was “YES!” (although admittedly, some of them said “YASSSSSSS!!!!”) and so I was off to the races. I bought my domain, purchased a WordPress theme, got an amazing artist to help me and through some small miracle, was able to get it all together and out there on the interwebs. NotSafe4Werk.com was an actual thing.
Next came the shocking part. People ACTUALLY joined me in this excursion. Some people volunteered. Some people I asked despite not expecting them to say yes but they did. All in all, I was truly more touched than an alter boy by the people who wanted to be a part of this. So in April of 2014, we finally went live. I wrote a manifesto for my vision of the site. We published interviews with my friends, NY comic duo, Mel and El, with musician Garek, I compared the Drag Race queens with pro wrestlers. We were off and running. Since that time, I’m quite proud to say that we have published at least one new article, story, post or podcast every single weekday since then. We’re not the biggest site out there but I am proud of what we do. I think there is a real quality to what we produce, even the goofy and silly stuff. I’m glad that we’ve been able to shine a spotlight on some younger and less known artists and drag queens. There are sites out there that swoon over everything that all the RuPaul’s Drag Race girls do and that’s great. It works for them and fans clearly eat it up. We’ve done things with some amazing ladies of Drag Race too: Pandora Boxx, Kelly Mantle, Laganja Estranja and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I love seeing the views skyrocket when we feature them. I just wanted to focus on more than just that though.
It’s been a trying year for me personally but working on this site has brought me joy each and every day. There were some things I wish I could do over and there are some days that were so damn good, I wish I could relieve them again. I haven’t been perfect, far from it, but I’m made some choices, I’ve made some moves and for better or worse, I am happy with how 2014 turned out when the clock struck midnight last night.
I’ve learned a lot this year. Much of what I have learned stems from this amazing, diverse group of people that have banded together to make this site what it is. From New York City, down to Florida, as far south as Key West, across the heartland and all the way out the west coast, I’m so fortunate to have a team of writers…..no, I don’t want to say writers because they’re more than that. I have a team of artists, creative and talented people, working with me. They all bring unique skills, perspectives and life experiences to what we do and they have have taught me something, reminded of something or sparked something in me this year.
Sister Indica and Kearstin both reminded me to live life unapologetically and on your own terms. Ultimately the only person you have to answer to in this life is yourself. Do what you want to do, live how you want to live, be who you want to be. Fuck yeah!
Luna, Spencer and Meagan have all taught me that there is hope for the next generation. It’s easy to fall into the trap of “Kids today don’t know how easy they have it” or whatever other tired old person complaint you want to use. The three youngest members of NS4W shatter that myth. They’re talented, intelligent, motivated and passionate. Plus Meagan is a straight up gangsta.
Alexis taught me that when your moment arrives, you seize it. You run with it. You pour your heart out. You give it everything you’ve got and then you give a little more. Whatever happens after that will take care of itself.
Tatiana and Faith taught me the value of challenging yourself, doing more, achieving more. They’re two incredibly talented and hard-working people who never cease to amaze me. Sure Faith works full time as a queen at Aqua Nightclub in Key West, but she’s also put out music, hosted a radio show, hosted a podcast, been on television. The list goes on and on. Meanwhile, Tatiana has built her Bling Divas Entertainment company into a powerhouse. I honestly don’t know if/when the woman sleeps! If I worked as hard and as often as she does, I’d have bags under my eyes like Abe Vigoda.
Shawn and Ron reminded me of the value of laughter. Like I mentioned earlier, its been a difficult year for me personally but each day I can look to Twitter or Vine or Facebook or even just an IM from one of my friends and find a smile. Sometimes laughter really is the best medicine.
Finally, without Sidney and Poppy, I’m not sure how far this site would have gone. They have both been invaluable to me in getting this site off the ground, both in terms of content and behind the scenes. What they have both taught me is that sometimes in life, people you haven’t even met in real life can feel like family.
I also want to say a heartfelt thank you to all the fans and readers of our site. For 2015, I ask that if you like what we’re doing, please tell your friends. We’re trying to earn your clicks each and every day. If you can help support us by spending your social currency and sharing what we do on your favorite social media platform, it would be greatly appreciated! Or if you’d rather spend some real currency and get some sweet NS4W gear in the process, use that money Grandma gave your for Christmas and head on over to ShopNS4W! That helps keep the team in vodka and Necco Wafers!
I would be remiss if I didn’t thank all the people that have been featured on our site in 2014. I won’t even attempt to list you all but know that your time spent talking with us so we could share your story, your art, your passions, are well appreciated!
Finally, I want to take a look forward into the new year. I want to grow the site and grow the team this year. I already have someone that will be joining the site soon as a style columnist and some soon time in 2015, I’m going to ask for submissions from other writers and creative types to join us. I really want to add a makeup and beauty writer as well as add contributors from Chicago, Las Vegas, and San Francisco. Alexis and myself will be sharing some of our favorite recipes and what not in a new regular feature called, “Queen Sized Portions”. Our twice stalled “Marvel Week” will be happening this month as we look at the best of Marvel Studios and their amazing run of film success, plus Sidney will be providing weekly recaps of the new “Agent Carter” series. Spencer and Luna will be providing in-depth recaps of the coming season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Sister Indica will continue to dispense advice, musical recommendations AND will be new features as well. That’s just a small fraction of what is to come here on NS4W in 2015. To steal a line from one of my favorite movies, adventure is out there!
From all of us here at NS4W, I wish you a happy, healthy and fulfilling 2015!