Originally this post was going to be about how much I loved your book. You and I have a lot in common. Another nerdy southern woman with anxiety and depression, sign me up. You chapters talking about your struggles with mental health or talking about gaming and what it meant to you or childhood loneliness are super relatable for me. I’ve been a big fan of yours since middle school. As a lonely 13 year old I would watch The Guild and daydream about us cosplaying together. Weird, I know, but like I said, I was lonely.
But, this post is an apology.
You see, back in 2013, I was apart of gamergate. And I am so ashamed of it. I don’t know if I’ve ever discussed about how I used to be an edgy anti-feminist back before it was called alt-right. I was super liberal back then, for the most part. I was just frustrated, as an LGBT woman with mental health issues and a (then undiagnosed) disability, with White Feminism ™ and with some jerks in high school who bullied men that just happened to be feminists.
So when I was 18, and wanting to fit in somewhere, I got swept up in the gamergate nonesense. I never actually sent hate to anyone. I actively spoke out against some of the hate and doxxing. I think I was a little brainwashed, I actually believed it was about ethics in journalism. I often posted about cool women in the industry, granted they were women who were not connected with the internet’s hatestorm. It was during this time that I unfollowed you on social media because gamergate told me to, but even then I felt bad about it. I didn’t know why.
Some of my friends I still have that were anti-feminists (and are not anymore) have discussed that gamergate and Mike Brown’s tragic death were the two events that many “anti-feminists” broke away from what became the alt-right movement. We realize that we were all liberals, that we were all feminists, but we didn’t know what to call our (mostly) legitimate issues with feminism. The movement at a whole still has issues, it’s not perfect, but what is? But it is a whole lot better to critique something while also building up the good things.
But I don’t want to talk anymore about how I was “one of the better ones”. Because that’s not good enough. I still contributed to the problem.
And for that, Felicia, I am so sorry. I am so sorry to every woman in gaming that had to deal with the bullshit that came with gamergate. I was a bystander. I felt uncomfortable with the disgusting behavior but I was also dealing with some pretty bad depression that made me angry and edgy. So I didn’t speak out. Because the anger was misplaced and misinformed.
I am sorry to every woman, LGBT person, person of color, disabled person, and person who cares about equality that I insulted, mocked, and bitched about. I am so sorry. I promise I’m not like that anymore.
Not long after gamergate, I stopped caring. It was a shitshow and too exhausting. In about 2015 or 2016, I changed a lot. It’s funny, a former sjw is now a professional one.
I went on to get a degree in cultural anthropology and I want to focus on social justice. Maybe that’s the best apology. I’m working to make things better now.
No matter what, Felicia, I’m sorry. I’ve refollowed you on anything and you’ve become “one of the coolest people on the internet again”.
P.S. I also read the end of mysteries first too sometimes.