Have you thought that this BLOG may be more than just about the news? That some BLOGS are as important in their advocacy as any organization representing LGBT rights out there? O-Blog-Dee-O-Blog-da™ is blogging drenched in advocacy™ and while you do not need a paid subscription to visit and read, it does help to support our important work. Read on…
By Melanie Nathan, February 03, 2013.
Many may not realize that this BLOG serves as much more than just a news BLOG. In 2009 I had successfully assisted and led the advocacy efforts on behalf of Shirley Tan, the lesbian mother who was saved at the last moment from deportation by Congresswoman Jackie Speier and Senator Diane Feinstein, resulting in the rare introduction of a private bill on Shirley’s behalf. It was then that O-Blog-Dee-O-Blog-da™ was born, as a platform to record my behind the scenes advocacy work.
Since that time my work has mushroomed to include advocacy for other binational same-sex couples as well as for LGBTI people needing refuge or facing deportation, in Africa and worldwide. Over the years, this BLOG has developed to include much more, and it serves as a platform for writing the marginalized stories that mainstream media ignores or is afraid to tell, as well as the behind the scenes advocacy and equality activism. Now we are asking for support and your help to continue to bring first class independent news and advocacy.
Recently the work started to get a lot of attention in circles that I could not have imagined when I first started out, to include government, academic institutions and also mainstream media outlets. I have received hundreds of e-mails from many corners of the globe thanking me for the information and also for the help that has resulted from the work. All has always been and will continue to be pro bono.
The amount of work involved for the site and the related advocacy is enormous; we are relentless and fearless and not beholden to any corporate interest, nor advocacy group, nor movement, nor organization, and so we are not afraid to take anyone to task, we are fiercely independent. Whereas some may fear failure, we do not and hence have taken risks, where others dare not tread – and those risks have paid off. We are not a non-profit and do not want to spend our time fundraising.
Much work that goes on behind the scenes, has included activism for LGBTI equality in the U.S. and worldwide, direct advocacy for detained LGBTI immigrants, advocacy for lesbians in South Africa who are victims of so called “corrective rape,” advocacy against the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill, for asylum seekers, helping prevent people from deportation, assisting gay people to leave countries where they are being persecuted, fighting for full LGBTI equality in the USA and abroad, advocacy and innovation for homeless LGBTQI youth and I could go on….. some of the work speaks for itself through the writing.
O-blog-dee is taking on new writers and will be bringing many more important issues to the fore, through the eyes of the activists on the ground, from Sweden to Japan to the UK to South Africa to Russia to MA to CA. We are one of the few LGBTI BLOGS that is not U.S. centric, honoring our brothers and sisters and human rights defenders from around the world. The work has also included engaging and conversing to expose the enemies, those who have called for our death by execution, such as David Bahati, Giles Muhame, Scott Lively, and others.
Some of our reporting, which is syndicated from O-Blog-dee or involves exclusive writing, can be found on other sites such as GAY U.S.A. the Movie, which I am co-producing and where I report most of the U.S.A. equality related work, as well as my contributions to The Advocate, LGBTQ Nation, Gay Star News, SDGLN, Gay Marriage Watch and others, none of which is paid.
To sustain this work we are for the first time asking our readers to help support us through an inexpensive voluntary membership. No it is not a donation – well maybe it is. However we like to call it a membership because as time goes by and if we are successful there will be perks and fun advantages to this membership. Membership will be on an annual basis and the amount will be $18.63 USD per annum. That amounts to .05c per day.
Notwithstanding its usual news-worthiness, our work is picked up by other media professionals and has a vast and profound readership both in the U.S., U.K., Africa and around the world . It is read and used by university students, lecturers and professors, alike, as well as politicians and government officials and activists. We have even noticed on our STAT counter that the “Office of the President of the United States,” – has visited on a few occasions, not to mention the offices of Congress, the U.S. Senate, and other worldwide officials.
However all said and done it is the readers of the BLOG to whom we will be accountable, as we try to provide material that you find important. We hope you show us that we are indeed valued and that you care. Many who read this work are from poverty stricken parts of the world and cannot afford to pay a subscription. The good news is that everyone will have equal access, whether you subscribe or not. We hope that those who are privileged will see the value for all.
NOTE: You do not need a paid subscription to visit and read all our content. However it does help to support our work. Both the independent writing and the behind the scenes advocacy.
A few of the very many comments and e-mails about our work (maintained authentic spelling errors):
- “Thanks Melanie and by the way let me use this chance to personallz say thank you for all that you have done for ugandan LGBT community,i no longer live there, but I have followed your work,we better give u a Ugandan passport…joking,but really thank you got no words for what u have done so far.”
- “Miss malein, first & foremost i really appreciate your continuous struggle & support about the LGBTI community.please thank you & continue with that sipirite dear until the LGBTI community is totally liberated out of this bondage. im yearning to hear from you again thank you!”
- Award winning Ugandan activist: “thanks u so much i know you have even more important things to stand by us always. its makes us stronger indeed. M glad to know u and hope one day we shall meet..”
- “Melanie, I am so impressed with the articles and support of homeless LGBTI youth. I so appreciate the way you shout from the mountain tops!!! Your calls for evolution of the mind is the change the world needs.”
- “Thank-you for all the great work you are doing and for making me aware of the situation in Uganda. “
- “I honor you and your work, I think it’s beautiful that you call these ‘people pretending to be leaders’ out. I wanted to say was that I respect your individuality and no matter who tries to knock you down you just keep bringing it on. Thank You for inspiring me and count yourself on my very short role models list.”
- “Melanie! Thanks for all you do for all of us…”
- “Congratulations to you in bringing honor to those who share your passion and dedication for preserving and protecting human rights in all its dimensions. You’ve been a stalwart champion in that regard and role model of courage, tenacity and persistence!”
- “It is such a sad ending for any one who is fighting to be recognised for being true to himself. Many of us have not shown that we have the determinations to walk that lonely but heroic path. Melanie, thank you for taking those strides for us. I am certain, that i want to be counted.”
- “Great sleuthing and advocacy work, Melanie! Thanks for bringing this unsavory connection out into the sunlight.”
- ” Hello Melanie:) – Today i have good news Polish Government have granted me alsyum iam really so happy. I would like to thank people who have been behind this matter especialy (names)………………,and you Melanie you as well….. ‘m so so proud to be a gay and now my life is back”
- “Mel, THANKS goes to you. You are my inspiration to be a better person. I say that with a tear in my eye because it’s baffling to me the injustices in the world. And so few like you standing up against them. As always hugs and love to you..”
- “Thank you for spreading the story worldwide, Melanie, I know you can imagine how much support you gave us by writing this article”
- ” Thank you for being such an inspiration to me for as a Gay person living in S. Africa. I have decided on organising the 1st Gay and Lesbian Parade in my town. This parade will fight the stigma against Gays and Lesbians that is still out there in my sub-district and surrounding areas! Reading Your articles u have given me more reason to go forward with this project in making it a hige success and I just want 2 thank u for that!”
- “Interesting indeed. You are legendary! Its time that douchebag gets exposed! Well done Mel, you know, ……… does he think he is? Its time someone dethrones him, lol, excuse my candor……..Thanks for being a true hero and revealing this pest and menace to society. True colours are priceless…. Well done!
- ” I am the president of The Daily Journalist We would like to republish some of your articles in our section “World” and “Thinker.”
Please note that sponsorships are also most welcome and can be pursued by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org