Email from a reader
Remember that sudden ambush of hate mail and those people like this suddenly accusing me of being everything wrong with the gay community? And instead of ignoring it I made a survey for the haters to articulate what was wrong…except nobody could come up with anything?
I’ve received literally hundreds of positive, supportive comments, messages, and several public posts by friends and folks I don’t know. I’m surrounded by so much positive energy and love, the timing of which has made for an incredible birthday.
Thank you, everyone.
I received this incredibly thoughtful email that possibly explains the motivation behind these cowardly attacks. TL:DR, they’re just jealous…but, this is the first time someone has been able to give me a solution to dealing with jealousy: compassion.
Highly recommended read:
hey Dylan -
You don’t know me but I’ve been reading your blog for a while and saw you had posted a survey the other day asking for feedback from the trolls. It looks like I’ve missed the window for that? And I’m not a troll but was walking the dog this morning and thinking about how I’d respond, and here it is. Feel free to not read further if you’re done with this issue.
I agree it seems like the hateful comments from your trolls are juvenile and baseless. But I also know that there’s a sentiment in them that I sometimes sort of agree with? and other guys I know who have come across you online have had a vaguely similar response.
So let’s say that you’re relatively confident, self-assured, with enough sense of personal boundaries that you can display your body and make fun of yourself publicly, and not wracked with shame about your body or sexuality which enables you to share parts of your life and personality openly. You’re articulate and smart. Those are all solid, laudable qualities.
But to someone who is maybe: insecure, painfully self-conscious, or holding onto shame….those same qualities might allow them to read you as vain, annoyingly over-confident, and narcissistic. The honesty of your struggles with your bdd and panic attacks - which to some of us help humanize you - could to others read in the context of your exhibitionist photos and fabulous SF corporate job/life as fishing for validation and sympathy.
It seems like you have some sense of this from the response to your vacation pics where people are like: how the hell do you afford this lifestyle? Which you’ve answered honestly and publicly (and I’ve started using your strategy to plan and save more consistently for big trips - thanks btw) but you can see the jealousy? covetousness? it elicits in people. I suspect the hate mail is from a similar source.
And so I guess: don’t let it eat away at you, but also try to maintain a sense of compassion for them.
One of the things that I’ve grown to like about reading you is that you just put yourself out there. You don’t know where things are going or what’s happening next. You’re in the process and your readers are along for the ride. I’ve enjoyed watching you get/lose boyfriends and figure yourself out better and grow up a bit into the man you’re becoming.
that’s all I’ve got - hope it’s helped - good luck with the pups
Thank you for the wonderful email. It should be noted that I left my “fabulous SF corporate job” to work for a non-profit. I’m hoping my creative direction will help with immigration reform in this country…its much more fulfilling than optimizing a web app for profit.
I will take your advice to heart, thank you.