Crossing the Streams

I don’t always mix my personal blog and my pro-blog together. I know that my rambunctious political fews aren’t always received in proper context by possible clients and prospects. I did however email a link to my newsletter today for supporting my nomination for the Gay Bloggies. I thought before I sent it out, too. I have no problem with being ‘out at work’ yet still cringe at the word gay from my midwestern upbringing where gay meant not taken seriously or not living happily or not having a family. I’m probably the least ‘fabulous’ of all of those blogs nominated – when I first came out my friend Alan said: Are you gonna write gay plays now? And I said Jesus I hope not they are all so boring and always about AIDS. What I didn’t take into account was the other categories and nominees for the awards – including Best Exhibitionist or Porn Star. I didn’t really take that into account when I sent out the email. I was in the first group of nominees which seemed unlacivious and didn’t really think twice that folks would read the rest of the categories and just scroll down and click vote.
I got this email:

I am somewhat taken aback by your request. Certain ideas of professionalism will always vary. However certain takes are just a bad idea.
As an example I am very political and blog about it under a pen name. Why? Because if mixing my professionalism with my politics can filter the view that people take on my REAL blog. I feel that I have every right in the world to believe what I believe. But what I believe is not relevant in the eyes of a self serving marketplace.
I found your headline request shocking as I didn’t know you are gay. Whatever, so I clicked it as my curiosity got the best of me. I am not prude I assure you but I do find your lifestyle offensive for the reasons of the page. To say you are gay I can care less about. I think it a bad idea unless you audience is all gay, but thats another story. The page you sent me to was like going to a teenage – myspace survey. It not only was sophomoric because of its sexual overtones, it also is just not where I think I would send my visitors. Remember who you send people to, reflects on your judgement.
I only write you as I find your stuff pretty good. And I find the message below in bad judgement. How disappointing.

I wrestle back and forth. Probably not the most appropriate thing for an ezine. At the same time, I cultivate a rowdy ‘brand’ and that is part of being a blogger to a degree. Also, I think I consider my personal blog my real blog – the one I feel is more of a testament. On second thought I probably would not have made it the first thing in the ezine. Ah well. If people don’t like my lifestyle they can jump in a lake. Calling it a lifestyle is really just a linguistic trick to reinforce it’s a choice, you can choose different for all those fundamentalists out there to keep their ex-gay therapy programs going.
ANYWAY – unfortunate if people are offended – probably clumsy on my part.
At least I didn’t start writing about impeachment in my newsletter – now that would be really inappropriate.

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About Andy Wibbels

Andy is an award-winning blogger and author of the book Blogwild! A Guide for Small Business Blogging. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Wired, Business Week, Forbes, and other national and international media. He was worked at several San Francisco startups including Get Satisfaction, SAY Media, InMobi, Keas, and Mindjet. Currently, Andy is Director of Marketing at Lucidworks. Tw · Fb · G+ · Li

14 thoughts on “Crossing the Streams

  1. Jen Koretsky

    Please! You asked for a vote. It was at the top of the page – no need to scroll down to explore the best of gay porn bloggers if he wasn’t somehow intrigued.
    If he feels the need to hide behind a pen name, then that sucks for him.
    I don’t like or agree with every single lesbian or Democrat in the world, but it won’t keep me from owning those titles.
    I appreciate that you blog about being gay as just simply one more thing about you. And, like you said, if someone doesn’t like then they can go jump in a lake.

    Reply
  2. Paul Chaney

    I appreciate the fact you are open on your blog. Even this “confession” glimmers with the authenticity and transparency that are the chief cornerstones of blogging. That’s what they’re there for, as a lens through which people can get to know us. So, Andy, blog about whatever the hell you want. It’s your blog.

    Reply
  3. Jaya

    I clicked through to the Gay Bloggie site. The first thing I noticed was that yours was the only one didn’t seem to be *about* being gay. So I just figured it meant that you are somehow vocal or influential in your community, which is admirable to me. Just because your blog was on the same page with gay porn blogs doesn’t make me think your blog is less professional. (wink) Now if you had directed us to a link with photos of YOU shaking it in your tighty-whiteys, I’d say that might shock a few folks. Not me though. Of course, I’m from the SF Bay Area, so that’s normal around here.

    Reply
  4. Lyle Lachmuth - The Unsticking Coach

    Cher Andy!
    I was surprized at the other categories.
    What the hey.. .I voted for ’em anyway!!! I was ‘fun’ to imagine the content…Some titles were ‘interesting’ to say the least.
    Takes a lot to shock me. But, I can see others going WHOA!
    Whatever.
    There’s a great post over at http://www.Coaching4Lesbians.com on “Coming Out”.
    Personally, I think many of US have ‘coming out’ issues — for me it is coming out of the history of abuse and a lifetime in a fundamentalist cult.
    Luv ya man, LL

    Reply
  5. Andy Wibbels

    The first thing I noticed was that yours was the only one didn’t seem to be *about* being gay.
    Yeah, some guys think it is their entire identity – I consider them ‘professional homosexuals’. I’ve always said that I think being raised by two public school teachers in the midwest during the 1980s was much more influential than thinking ‘guys are neat.’

    Reply
  6. Paul Gibler

    I was happy to see your announcement of having been nominated for the Gay Bloggies for your other blog. My only concern would be that I don’t read that blog, so would find it hard to vote on it being the best in that category.
    The challenge for gay professionals has always been at what point to come out, how to come out, to whom to come out and probably the biggest fear of all – how will this public awarenenss impact your career and or self employment income. With fairly high levels of bigotry still present around the country as evidenced by the recent election results, this decision is one that is difficult for any of us facing this conundrum. In my own 2 blogs, (the Web Chef’s e-Bytes and PPT – Powerful Presentation Techniques), I occasionally refer to my partner when it fits with the story or analysis I’m conducting.
    I’ve found your book and this blog to both be valuable components of my ongoing education, so wish you continued success with your endeavours. I hope your blog wins in your category.

    Reply
  7. Sharon Sarmiento

    Andy–
    I didn’t find your request to vote for you on the Gay Bloggies offensive at all. I clicked the link, saw that the “Best Personality” category was the first one, took a look at the sites of the other nominees (you know, I have to be fair and check out the competition :-)) got some good chuckles, and placed my vote (of course it goes to you!).
    When I looked at the other categories, and saw “Best Exhibitionist” and “Porn Star”, I laughed a bit more and resolved to check those out when I had more time (just out of curiousity!).
    Yours was the only blog on the list that I read, and I don’t think of Andymatic as being a “gay blog”–it’s just “Andy’s blog”, a place where you get to show a different side of your personality.
    I think your amazing success, both professionaly and personally, is because of WHO YOU ARE as a person. People are drawn to you, not because they like “professional business Andy” or because they like “rambunctious private Andy”, but simply because they like the whole package that is “Andy”.
    It’s okay to be exactly who you are on your both of your blogs. What’s appropriate and inappropriate to put on your blog or ezine is entirely up to you, not anyone else.
    And another thing–You didn’t do anything wrong or offensive. You gave us a link to the Gay Bloggies website–big deal!
    It’s not as if you said you enjoy murdering puppies and kittens. Now that would be shocking!
    Oh, and BTW–Congratulations on being nominated! You don’t have to be gay to enjoy reading Andymatic. I read it almost everyday, and I love it!
    Sharon

    Reply
  8. Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero

    I’m sorry your reader made you feel bad (temporarily) and question your decision to ask us (your fans) to support you. But the truth is, like you said yourself, your brand is a little rowdy.
    You keep raising hell! I’m sick of the plain vanilla. You’re an inspiration to us all to say what you think.

    Reply
  9. Des Walsh

    I thought lifestyle was what was advertised to sell places in gated communities with onsite medical facilities for senior citizens.
    There are surely plenty of us who like Andy being Andy, as I do – and also respecting Andy as an outstandingly businesslike businessperson and coach, just not the same old same old bizoid type, thankfully.

    Reply
  10. eSoup

    Can art and business intersect (on a blog)?…

    .flickr-photo { border: solid 2px #000000; }.flickr-yourcomment { }.flickr-frame { text-align: left; padding: 3px; }.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; } Notes on Moleskine, originally uploaded by (Rimbaudian). Let me just say–blog po…

    Reply

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