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Do, Reflect, Tweak, Do: From Thought/Day to Dear World

The new direction I'm taking this site, which is mostly just a new name for the same direction it's always been going.

When I first started this project several months ago, I was pretty clear about what my goal was with the writing here: in short, nothing.

I wanted a space to explore new ideas, to reflect, to write, to share, but without any particular “goal.” So much of the writing I do is extremely goal-oriented. I wanted to see what would happen if I created a space that was less structured. I wasn’t sure what I’d end up writing about, what shape this site would take, and was happy to follow my fingers on an adventure.

And it was fun. I wrote a lot of things I’d’ve never written otherwise, found that I have thoughts about seemingly random things that others find value in reading. I only got a few pieces of hatemail compared to a pile of encouragemail — this was new. I started with only one real rule, but I broke it after about 100 days. I was planning on writing once a day, and when I started traveling a lot at the beginning of this year, I missed one day. And that’s the funny thing about habits — one missed day is alarmingly similar to one missed month, then you’re only a hop & skip away from a never happening again ever.

After missing a few days, I experienced stress related to this project that I hadn’t experienced, and decided that it was time to take a break from it, reflect, and see if it still has a healthy place in my life. I’ve done that now, and I’m happy to say that it does. Kinda.

Gone is Sam Killermann’s Thought / Day. Welcome Dear World, a much more fitting title for what’s going to be happening here. Continue reading → “Do, Reflect, Tweak, Do: From Thought/Day to Dear World”

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I’m Sick With Career

Symptoms include shortness of breadth, loss of here-ing, and influinbox.

When I came to Austin a few years ago I had nothing, at least relative to what I “have” now. I’ve achieved much and gained a lot in a short amount of time, which are all good things. Well, mostly good. There’s one thing that’s grown from an afterthought that pops into my head before I fall asleep, to an elephant in the corner of the room, to a lead backpack inexorably attached to my back: my “career.”

I didn’t have one of those a few years ago. I knew I was supposed to. We’re all supposed to have one, like a government-issued ID or an anus. Butt I didn’t. And, in hindsight, I didn’t miss it. I spent most of my days creating, most of my nights creating, and the rest of the time living. I put so many creations out into the world that year I can’t even recall many of them now, nor did I document it particularly well. I didn’t spend any time thinking about the creations, or managing them, bolstering them, advertising them — those are all things a person with a career does; they’re some of the main side effects of catching career — I just created.

Then I came down with career.

Career is what gets in your way of trying to do work that is meaningful and enjoyable to you. It starts as an unplanned pitstop on your way to some project you’re excited to work on. Next you find yourself scheduling regular check-ups in advance. And before you know it you’re doing full tune-ups with a certified tuner-upper every time you try to get out of the garage. Career is “risk mitigation” and “goal setting” and “trajectory” and “email” — so much email.

It’s tough to create when you’ve been afflicted with career. Creation requires a lot of empty mind space, room that you can fill with new ideas, a place for them to bounce, to grow, to take shape. Creation requires a relaxed mind, a peaceful mind, a calm to set the stage for the forthcoming storm. Career is want to fill the mind and keep it agitated, ever turning, ever grinding, ever aware. Aware of the things you should be doing, the tasks that need completing, how you should be spending your time right now. Creation doesn’t well abide shoulds and needs and nows.

The past couple days, since writing about remembering what you do, I’ve been trying to turn career off, or at least down, just to see what would happen. Beyond the simple peace I allowed myself to experience (which was great), one huge thing happened. Around midnight I put my guitar down, put a kettle on, studied French for a while, then decided to have a workout. During my post-shower workout at about 2am (a time I never shower, because career is usually at high volume at 2am) I finally had a breakthrough on a human sexuality model that I’ve been working on for almost a year now. A model that I’ve sent a few dozen ideas directly to the trash, but kept forcing out new ideas because I know that I need to create this model for this book for this publication date for my career.

As Mickey Smith says in my favorite video (almost) ever, “I never set out to become anything in particular, only to live creatively and push the scope of my experience for adventure and for passion.” That’s how I feel most of the time about my career.

I love what I do. I really do. Genuinely, with all my heart, never want to give it up love. I just want to be able to do that more again, and worry about doing it less. So it’s clear I don’t like something, now I just have to figure out how I’m going to change it.

Better Humaning

Be Bored

"Boredom is the fear of self." - Marie Josephine de Suin

Be bored.

Stop. Whatever else you’re doing. Stop.

Turn off your music. Turn off the TV, Netflix Instant Streaming, Hulu+, Amazon Prime, all the things you use to fill your time. Not forever, not for long, but for right now, this moment, stop. Continue reading → “Be Bored”

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Protecting Good Habits

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.” - Mahatma Gandhi

We’ve heard it a million times: “old habits die hard.” But that’s not true. Truly, “bad habits die hard.” I can attest to this, using this Thought/Day project as an example.

Up until last week, I was 81 for 81 days in a row of writing and publishing a thought each day. There were a few that were nail biters, but 81 happened. In a row. And it became a good habit. I was writing every day, thinking about things a bit more critically than before, and having to do the magic that is taking a critical think and turning it into an intelligible thing. Like anything else, practice makes perfect.

Then I missed a day. I was on the road in Seattle and busy (away from my computer) from 6am ’til 4am the next day. By the time I got to the internet, I figured there was no point in rushing to throw something up, as I would be home later that day and might as well take my time to get the post up. I wrote a couple thoughts on the plane with that in mind. When I got home, I fell asleep almost immediately and didn’t wake up until the next day. Two days missed. Eff. My habit was shredded. The next couple days, I woke up knowing that I needed to post those previous thoughts as well as write a new one, but I was so slammed catching up with other things and trying to stave off Teen Flu that Thought/Day got backburnered, then forgotten. By Saturday, I was back on a plane again, and Thought/Day didn’t even cross my mind. What happened to me?! 

That’s the thing about good habits. If you’re not vigilant — if you don’t protect them — they’ll get gobbled up by bad habits right quick.

Bad habits like mindlessly surfing Netflix instead of doing something with intention, checking Facebook twelve times before reading one of the thousands of emails I need to read, etcetera. Your bad habits might be like mine, but they might not be. You know what they are, though. They’re the things you do when you truly want to be doing something else. They’re the short-term impulses you relent to at the expense of your long-term needs and wants. The things that enable you to fail comfortably at whatever you set out to accomplish.

“Ooo, I’m really attracted to that person. I should say hi.” *Opens Pinterest on phone and scrolls for 15 minutes until person leaves* “Dang. Guess I missed them. Next time.”

Good habits are the things that enable you do do what you actually want. They’re the long-term investments in your wellness, happiness, and warm fuzziness. Good habits are obvious to stop, but less obvious to adopt. Good habits lead us to say things like “I know I should do _____…” and bad habits allow us to continue “…but right now I’m _____.” Good habits don’t often have immediate, visceral gratification; it’s usually delayed, at least a few minutes, but the reward is far greater. Good habits are eating pears from the tree you planted in your back yard last season; bad habits are chopping the tree down for firewood because you feel like walking very far.

If you’re struggling with adopting and protecting some good habits in your life, here are some of the things I keep in my mind that help me. While maintaining good habits isn’t the same as quitting bad habits, and each could justify its own separate thought, I’m going to group them together here for now.

  • Give it a couple weeks. If you’re trying to add something to your life (or take something away), give it at least 15 days before you decide if it’s something you want or not. You’ve probably heard the “research” that it takes [blank] days to form a habit. While I’m skeptical on that “research” I am confident that the longer you do something, the more you’ll be prepared to assess if it’s contributing positively to your life.
  • Add habits one by one. The tough part of New Year’s resolutions is so many people try to completely reinvent their life all at once. “I’m going to eat better and exercise more and stop dogfighting and start taking painting classes.” Easy there, Tiger. It’s easier to manage one life change at a time, and you’ll likely be far more successful. Start with one. Nail it. Then adopt another. (Might I suggest the “stop dogfighting”?)
  • Create a system of accountability. If you can do this publicly, even better. Tell a friend, tell all your friends on Facebook, and give progress reports. It doesn’t have to be public, it just has to be something that works for you. This Thought/Day habit is a testament to the effectiveness of this step, because when I stopped publishing thoughts last week one of my friends texted me asking me if I was alive.
  • Establish a clear vision. What is the purpose of this habit in your life? Why are you doing it? You don’t need to have a “goal” (e.g., “lose 15 pounds by August”), but you need to know why you’re doing it. If you’re doing it solely because you “should” — because there is some ambiguously persuasive figure pointing a finger at you — it’s not going to work. This Why is your sword you will use to protect your new Good Habit against every nefarious, gobble-hungry Bad Habit that will spring up along the way. If you don’t want your Good Habit gobbled, you better have a sharp sward, and one that fits in your hands.

If you have any other tips, I’d love to hear them. This is a forever-struggle for me, so I’m always open to insight.

***

Now, I have some retcon-ing to do with this project for last week. Oddly, I wrote most of the thoughts that are missing, I just didn’t find the time to publish them here because Netflix.

Updates

I’m Not Going To Teach You Anything New

I'm just going to help you rearrange the knowledge you already have.

That’s something one of my professors in grad school would lead off with in the first class of the semester. The class was about the effect of environments on people’s ability to learn, develop, and grow. After sixteen weeks, hours of discussion, papers, and reading an entire textbook, he was right. Years later, it’s funny how much I find myself thinking the same thing as I approach my work.

So much of what I do — and what other folks who do work like mine do — is helping people rearrange the things they’ve already learned about themselves, their gender and sexuality, identity, and society. People have experienced the phenomena, they just don’t have names for them, or understand how they interlock or overlap.

It’s the difference between a personal shopper and a personal organizer. Instead of taking you to fancy stores to buy new fancy things, we spend a couple hours in your closet making sense of what you already have. Maybe you need a new pair of shoes, or a scarf to go with your favorite sweater, and I can help you with that, but for the most part I’m here to help you organize what you already have.

One of the challenges is finding ways to prevent people from recluttering everything as soon as you step away. While we’re chatting, the Platinum Rule might seem like a great idea, and everyone is all “heck yeah Imma do that.” Then two weeks later, they’re in some fight with some person and they think “that would have never pissed me off” and keep hammering away Golden-Rule style, mucking up their closet.

You can lead a fish to water, but you can’t make him eat a horse, ya know?

The other challenge is reassuring people that what they have in their closet is good enough. Gender, sexuality, identity, life — these are complicated ideas, and complicated ideas require complicated explanations utilizing complicated concepts, don’t they? Sometimes. But sometimes they don’t. And when someone already has all the tools to understand an idea but thinks they are missing something, it’s tough to convince them otherwise. And it’s tougher still to help them over the discomfort and fear of realizing how incompletely/incorrectly/disorganizedly they were viewing things their entire life up until that point. Sometimes it’s easier to to just say, “nope, not possible, don’t get it, let’s move on.”

Sometimes you bite off too much of a bitter pill to chew it, ya heard?

But the fun part of unteaching is seeing when it clicks. When a person, or group of people, realize something big, and realize that they’ve kinda known it all along. And knowing that it’s not going away. That part of their life is organized now.

Updates

Remembering What You Do

"A living cell requires energy not only for all its functions, but also for the maintenance of its structure." - Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

What do you do?

No matter your answer, if you’re anything like me you probably have an iceberg-esque situation on your hands, with 10% of your time spent doing what you do and 90% of your time doing maintenance to allow that 10% to happen.

I’m a “social justice comedian.” Tonight, I got to do that. I performed my show at St. Martin’s University in Olympia, Washington. It was a blast. During that hour, I remembered, for the first time in too long, what I do. Because the vast (vast!) majority of my time as a social justice comedian is spent not being a social justice comedian.

The 10%/90% split is ambitious. Last year, only roughly .006% of the time I spent working was me onstage. The other 99.994% of the time I was reading emails, writing, writing emails, meeting, reading emails, traveling, designing, coding, and writing email. Now, in my case, I don’t need to spend most of that time in those ways. In fact, most of the work I do actually gets in the way of me being able to do what I do. But even if I was just focusing completely on my show, I wouldn’t be spending the majority of my time on stage.

When I’ve gone a long time between performing my show, I get depressed, and find it harder and harder to do the 99.994%-type work I do. It’s easy to lose site of the forest for the trees, and to forget that every email I read and send, every article I write, every little promo thing I design — all of them are little steps that get me to my next time on stage. If I can find the joy on those things that I find in performing my show, my life will become the kind of dream that right now only ZzzQuil can induce.

I’m going to start trying to remember what I do while doing everything I do.

Updates

My Pre-Trip Insomnia

“The night is the hardest time to be alive and 4am knows all my secrets.” - Poppy Z. Brite

I’m flying to Seattle in a couple hours to speak at a conference for teen citizen lobbyists. Social justice advocate teen citizen lobbyists… pretty amazing, right?

As usual, I’m wide awake with no real hope of that changing. It’s been a few years now, and I haven’t outgrown this pre-trip insomnia. I really thought I would.

I’ve written before about how un-natural of a public speaker I am. When I started doing stand-up comedy, I would blackout from nervousness. While it sounds extreme, I’m not sure I would have ever kept going if I was cognizant of how terrible I was. Throughout the years, I’ve developed different pre-show practices that helped me cope with the anxiety. Until recently, I had to spend 5 – 10 minutes using the Kuji-In, or Kanji Mudra, hand meditation before hopping on stage, or there were no guarantees my head wouldn’t pop. Now I’m able to forego any pre-show rituals (though it’s not ideal) and I can actually pretend to not be super nervous and have a conversation with a human up until I take the stage. Unfortunately, I’ve developed this not so shiny pre-trip insomnia ritual.

The bigger the event, or the more meaningful it is to me, the more intense the insomnia. Before I keynoted the National Sex Ed Conference last month, I didn’t sleep for 3 nights in a row. I was up for 79 hours straight, spoke for one hour, socialized for four after, then slept hard enough that a gunshot wouldn’t’ve woken me up. And I don’t mean a gun randomly going off near me, I mean someone shooting me in the thigh.

Maybe in a year or two, or a few hundred more trips, I’ll shake this thing and be able to sleep the night before I hit the road. It’d be nice, but then when would I find time to rewatch seasons of Futurama?

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Social Justice in 2014: Three Things to Do LESS

"Thrown over a precipice, you fall or else you fly; you clutch at any hope, however unlikely; however – if I may use such an overworked word – miraculous. What we mean by that is, Against all odds." - Margaret Atwood

There are some wonderful things happening right now. All last year, I said it again and again, we’re on the cusp of something great. Sites trying to create positive change in the world dominate my social media feeds. I was getting my hair cut today and I said I do “social justice work” and the hairdresser actually [kinda] knew what that meant. We’re more aware than we have been in my lifetime, and we’d be okay with a revolution.

But we still have a long way to go (hard to believe, I know, what with a Black president and all). So what do we do in 2014 to capitalize on the momentum we built in 2013? There are a few things I would like to see happen. Or, rather, some things that happened a lot in 2013 that I’d like to see less of.

1. Spend Less Time Preaching to the Converted

If you’re doing social justice work you probably surround yourself with social justice people, whether it’s in person or online – that’s great. Everyone needs a network or family of support. SJ work is inherently stressful, depressing, and all-faith-in-humanity-depleting, so you could argue we need it more than most. I would argue that.

But there’s fine line between support system and echo chamber. We need the support system, but I’m hoping in 2014 we can spend less time in the echo chamber. I’m hoping we can step outside and start to engage in more conversations with the folks on the fringes and beyond. Helping these folks better understand SJ issues and, hopefully, jump aboard means change.

It’s far more difficult to talk to lay people than folks well-versed in SJ issues. You have to start at square one every time, go in without assumptions, allow them to ask questions and guide the conversation, and who got time for that? Well, hopefully, you. There are other questions for us to mull. Your blog post has 1,000 shares? Who is sharing it? Or, more importantly, who is reading it? Who is showing up for your SJ session at that conference? Who isn’t? Why not? How can we get them interested? How can we get through to them? Who let the dogs out?

I love talking SJ with SJ people. It’s like mutual verbal masturbation. But moreso, I love the idea of a socially just society, and that’s not going to happen if we spend all our time mutually verbal masturbating each other. Also, probably won’t help if that analogy catches on.

2. Spend Less Time Vilifying Ignorance

Here’s a [non-scientific and likely exaggerated to make this point] distribution of the links in my Facebook newsfeed:

  1. Blank Ways This Blanky Blank Blanked That Will Blow Your Mind (42%)
  2. This Asshole Who Doesn’t Understand Social Justice Said/Did Something Bigoty (32%)
  3. Adorable Animals (16%)
  4. Something Anti or Pro Gun Rights (7%)
  5. George Takei (3%)

Here are some things I would love to see more of:

  1. This Person Screwed Up, Which Is Understandable. Social Justice Issues are Complex.
  2. Here’s An Easy To Understand, Non-Vitriolic Explanation of This SJ Concept
  3. I Remember Back To When I Didn’t Understand this Issue, So I Can Empathize With Why You Can’t Wrap Your Mind Around It
  4. This Person Asked An Honest Question And We Gave Them A Compassionate, Patient Answer
  5. George Takei

I wrote about this the other day: ignorance isn’t a bad thing. We need to stop treating it like it is, and creating demons out of ignorance. Most of us are incredibly ignorant about most of the things in the world, and all of us started out completely ignorant to SJ issues. We all started at square one, we all learned, and now we have the opportunity to share that learnin’ with others. We can allow ourselves to hate the ignorant folks, or we can choose to love them and do what we can to make them feel safe outside of their echo chambers.

3. Spend Less Time Acquiescing to the Status Quo

The majority of Americans support the majority of the big issues American social justice people are working toward. I’m not sure exactly how things look elsewhere, but that’s a pretty shocking fact to experience here.

States opposing marriage equality are dropping like flies, but they are still in the majority, even though the populous has spoken. Why is that still being “debated”? Even in red states, the vast majority of people believe climate change is real and that the gov’t should step in. Mostmost (sorry, running out of synonyms) think capitalism is broken, or are at least displeased with wealth inequality in the US. I could go on, but I won’t. You get it.

It’s a weird time to be alive as a social justice advocate. We have the majority — we’re not some ruffian group of rabble-rousers — and we’re bowing out to the minority, a few old, outmoded, racist rocks standing against a surge of progress. But we’re still complicit in supporting huge systems of racial (and other identity-based) oppression. Aziz Ansari is comforted knowing racist people are dying off (FYI: I was doing that joke in 2006 — still have the notebook I wrote it in, but this isn’t about that… Aziz).

It’s like our cell phone reception was bad when heard that famous Maya Angelou quote, and internalized it wrong:

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”

Noooo! You must have been going through a tunnel. You missed the two most important parts. Change it! Change it. We can change it, y’all.

I was talking with this person on the bus the other day who was part of the civil rights marches in the 50s. He told me all these amazing stories, and I was completely enamored, and then I excitedly told him what I do. “I got a bone to pick with you,” he said. “You got the internet, and it seems like everyone’s talking about how things need to get better. Y’all got it so easy. We didn’t have none of that. So what the hell is wrong with your generation? We’d’ve fixed everything by now.”

People with privilege, start using your privilege to make change, instead of falling back so hard on the privilege of being able to ignore how broken things are.

#1 and #2 will help #3, but ultimately nothing will change unless we stop supporting and perpetuating the things we don’t believe in and start raising hell to see them changed.

Updates

Four Different Versions of Me

"A man is whole only when he takes into account his shadow." - Djuna Barnes

It’s weird, ya know, waking up to emails from four different people I don’t know, who don’t know me, but think they do. Depicting four vastly different mes:

1. A Me who hates families, Christians, and Christian families. Who is dedicated to “destroying Western Civilization” and will be promptly burning in Hell.

2. A Me who is saintlike in his love and compassion for others, who is “a glimpse of light in a world that’s gotten dark.” Whose work “literally saved my life.”

3. A Me who is motivated solely by ulterior motives, greed, and who would “best serve the LGBT community by killing yourself.” Continue reading → “Four Different Versions of Me”

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The National Organization for Marriage Attempted to Write a Hate Piece About Me

I was linked to NOM's unprovoked, confusing, hate-filled blog post about me. This is my open letter back.

Hey NOM,

Sam Killermann here. Or, as I’m being described on your Facebook Page, “Sin with Colored Pencils” here. I read the “blog post” you wrote about me and my “Genderbread Person.” To be “honest,” I couldn’t put together exactly what you were “trying” to say. But I know you, you “know” me, I know me, and we both know it was meant to be a “hate” piece.

(To others reading: sorry for all the confusing and unnecessary quotation marks. I’m trying to speak NOM’s language, because it’s important to me that this message gets through.)

Y’all, we need to talk. You’re a terrible organization and you stand for terrible things and I hate you. See how clear that is? Speaking of which, first on the block, let’s clear up just how inept your wholly-unprovoked attack on me was.

Gourmet Craziness: My Recipe for How To Effectively Talk Trash

Other than the title “Gourmet Craziness: The ‘Genderbread Person 2.0‘” (which was clearly offensive on multiple levels — congrats) your entire blog post is an irreconcilable mess, like the first time I tried to make cookies and swapped the measurements for baking powder and sugar (people almost died). Clearly, you need a new recipe for Trash Talking. Allow me to help.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Thesis statement, derived from Jibberish Root
  • 1 Introduction
  • 1 Body
  • 1 Conclusion
  • Grammar and Syntax Rules, applied regularly
  • One Measure of Hyperbole (be sure to separate out the small heaping of oxymoron)
  • A Garnish of Humor, only if organic and locally available

Procedure:

Grind Jibberish Root until Thesis is present in pure, unalterated form. Combine with Introduction and add to Essay. Add Body and Conclusion and bring to a chatter on low heat over Peer Feedback, constantly mixing in Grammar and Syntax Rules. Before Essay begins to solidify, fold in the measure of Hyperbole, and garnish with Humor (but only if organic — chemically synthesized Humor will taint the dish, and is best left out).

Serves one Punk. (But you do not, under any circumstances, utter “You got served, Punk!”)

I can imagine how desperate it must feel writing blog posts aboard a sinking ship.

You’re like that band in The Titanic, but instead of playing beautiful music while a bunch of people die meaninglessly, you’re meaninglessly screeching while drowning yourselves in 3-foot deep water. This is not a time of desperation. Your life doesn’t have to end. Just stand up on your own two feet, instead of constantly trying to support yourself upon imaginary platforms like “this is about families” and “civilization is going to end if…” Plant your feet on the ground with the honest and understandable “I’m afraid of what I don’t understand” and the rest of us will be happy to help.

You don’t have to drown, and your tantrum in the shore break isn’t going to slow the current from moving in the direction it’s always moved: forward.

BUT WHY IN THE HELL ARE YOU PICKING A FIGHT WITH ME? Are you that desperate? Actually, screw that. Say what you want about me, but don’t you dare insult the Genderbread Person. The Genderbread Person has done nothing to you, is bigger than me or you, has saved lives, and has existed longer in some form or fashion than either of us have as competing organizations (your goal of being a force for horribleness and ignorance; my goal of people not being assholes to each other); and it will exist long after your ship has sunk and (in response to the stress of this life I’ve chosen) I’ve developed a relationship with a Volleyball after stranding myself on a beach somewhere.

I read that you just updated your website? Seriously? That’s like putting rims and a spoiler on a Chevy Nova that’s on cinderblocks. Get it? Because “Nova” is spanish for “F*ck You.” (Now that’s how you talk trash). But in all seriousness, your new website is garbage. I hope you paid a lot for it. WWJD? Donate to the Trevor Project because their site has a salient mission and is actively promoting good in the world. (Trash. Talked).

But I can’t imagine being as desperate as you’ve become.

Guess what. I’m from Indiana. I went to high school and college there. Let me give you a bit of advice, one former Hoosier to an organization currently campaigning in the Hoosier State: if you’re struggling to get people in Indiana to oppose marriage equality, the war is over. Don’t think of Indiana as another battle in your War for Hate in 50 States™. It’s over. It’s done. Pack it up, y’all.

But I know you know that, or you wouldn’t’ve redirected your hate-spewing at a whole new vulnerable, oppressed group of people. And that’s where the Genderbread Person comes in, an innocent bystander in your misdirected campaign against the trans* population, yet another marginalized and misunderstood personhood you can vilify and manipulate to coerce Fear Dollars™ from ignorant, exploited Middle Americans.

Hell, your very first move, naming yourselves the “National Organization for Marriage” was an act of desperation, already smelling that “National Organization for Hate” or “National Organization for Putting Our Noses Into Other People’s Business” is too rotten. Knowing that the majority of Americans stand behind their loved ones, friends, and family, even if they happened to have been born into a gender or sexual minority. You were born (actually, I think “spawned” is a better term) in desperation — “Who would stand against marriage? We’re so clever. Now let’s get to the oppressing!”

You know who ruined marriage? Straight people. You know who keeps making gay people? Straight people. Maybe same-sex marriage is the inoculation marriage needs against an ever-spreading plague of divorce. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

NOM, if want to be in disbelief, disbelieve this.

The Genderbread Person is just the tip of the iceberg in my campaign to “indoctrinate” people in better understanding and relating to themselves and others. And it’s been gobbled up by hundreds of millions of people. And I’m not the only person baking them.

But more than that, I wrote an entire book about gender, and a lot of people are reading it. Like, a lot a lot. And people can get it for free (like a Bible in a hotel night table), which I bet freaks you out. It’s okay. Take a breath. You’re going to need it: I’ve been told by dozens of formerly anti “gender diversity” people that it opened their eyes to be more affirming and loving to people of all genders. Watch out.

And I gave a TEDx talk about gender that’s being watched right now and shared by people who’ve been infected by its message: that people deserve to be understood, and that a core value of humanity should be doing whatever is in your power to make the individuals in your life feel unashamed of who they are.

What’s worse: I’m not the only one doing this, or who has these “radical” beliefs. Pretty much everyone I know (and I live in Texas, y’all) has jumped on the “treat people with basic decency” radical bandwagon, and when I’m on the road I hear from people of all walks of life about how they are working, struggling, and grinding to unlearn the prejudice groups like yours have poisoned our waters with in order to be more loving, sincere, and compassionate to the people in their lives.

Really, I think you have two options:

1. You can keep drowning in 3-foot deep waters, scraping money out of the few blue pills left whose minds We haven’t freed; or

2. You can start living the Christian values you espouse by loving more, judging less, and living in a way that serves others (instead of your outmoded, stubborn, vile egos).

I meant it when I said the rest of us are here for you if you need our help. Just ask.

Yours in unconditional love and peace,

Sam “Sin with Colored Pencils” Killermann

P.S. I didn’t want this, but if you wanna keep this tĂŞte-Ă -tĂŞte going, I’m not going to back down. I’m a quick, passionate, socially-conscious comedian with no day job and an internet at my disposal. You’re a bully with a dead cause. I don’t see this ending well for you.

***

A Few Corrections From Your Article, NOM:

My name has two Ns. Killermann. It’s German, it’s not just the combination of the English words “Killer” and “Man.” That’d be terrifying. In German, it means “one who kills men.”

And my show doesn’t “implicitly paint Christians and ‘cisgender’ persons as oblivious bullies.” Ironically, it’s about snap judgments (i.e., what your blog post about me is laden with), identity, and oppression. It’s not anti-Christian at all, other than the fact that I do denounce the Golden Rule (in lieu of the much shinier Platinum Rule). I would argue that what I advocate in the show is incredibly Christian: love your neighbor, abstain from judgment, live a selfless life focused on helping others. Maybe you should see it sometime. I’d be happy to perform it free for you and yours.

Technolophizing

Let’s Be Honest: We’re Already Dating Our Phones

“Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.” - J.K. Rowling

Yo. I just saw Her. It’s cray. It’s powerfully well-written and brings up a lot of thoughts about how we might relate to technology and one another in the future. But it also made me think a lot about how we relate to technology and one another right now. If you have a smart phone and you’ve seen Her, you’ve likely had a lot of these thoughts already.

It’s hard to convince myself that we’re not already dating our phones. Continue reading → “Let’s Be Honest: We’re Already Dating Our Phones”

Updates

How To Work on the Internet (In 5 Easy Steps)

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” - Arthur C. Clarke

I work on the internet. Even now, in The Year Two-Thousand Fourteen, I have to describe what I do with those five words. A talk I heard recently by Heather Corinna, another person who works on the internet, who spoke about working on the internet, was a reminder of this for me, as I found myself relating to everything she said. Five words still when it should really be two:

I work.

“On the internet” means a ton of things to a ton of different people. “That’s so techy” or “my, how quickly things change!” often translates to me as “ARE YOU FROM THE FUTURE?”

For some people “on the internet” undoes the “I work” part: “Oh, neat, yeah, but what’s your real job?”

This is my real job.

We live in the future, people. There are no flying cars (soon! wanna go halfsies?), but there are shabbily-dressed people working on laptops in coffee shops. The future is here, and it’s unshaven. The only reason we’re still making the “on the internet” distinction is because of the [sometimes willful] ignorance about what the world looks like and how much things have changed in a short amount of time.

If you want to play catch up (please, do not think any of what I’m suggesting here is anywhere near the cutting edge), let me share with you a few starter steps for working on the internet. Continue reading → “How To Work on the Internet (In 5 Easy Steps)”