According to the LGBT News site the Advocate.com, “word came down Friday afternoon that OurChart.com will be shutting off all content effective immediately. Editor Grace Moon notified the staff of contributors and bloggers via e-mail on Friday afternoon. Moon said in the e-mail that the entire staff had been let go and that Friday would be her last day.”
You gotta love it when personal messages become public. Yesterday, I did indeed send out a personal email to all of the contributors of OurChart to let them know of the abrupt termination of my employment and their contributions to OC. Since I did not have time to bid farewell to the OC community and deliver any transitional thoughts on my brief tenure there, I would like to take this opportunity to do so now. But first let me clarify I am NOT speaking in any official capacity for OurChart.com and its owners.
Almost a year ago I was hired by OurChart to be its managing editor. At the time the site, which had begun as a social networking space, was moving towards creating a more robust editorial component. I had previously worked for six years in the trenches of print, creating and managing Velvetpark Magazine. Moving from print to digital was totally illuminating. I realized that online content is actually a cacophony of live conversations that echo across the interwebs like yodelers on the Alps. You know, the LGBT community and especially the L and the T’s have often been ghettoized within our Acronym to varying degrees.
What I began to see as we churned out blog after blog on OC was that our little marginalized demographic was actually participating in the National dialogue; politically and culturally. Stories move across the web and either pick up steam or change directions depending on the readers and writers who commune on any given site in any given moment. To me, OC had become one such destination. And I think all of you who actively participated or lurked in the background would agree.
The other thing I learned is that if you stop talking, your presence disappears. Staceyann Chin, who became a regular blogger on OC, includes in the signature of her emails, “If we do not speak, who will?” Lesbian media came into being first in print under the might of Franco Stevens who almost two decades ago began the first