- To be able to say "I'm part of the reason IPM is able to provide goodness to over a million people a year"
- Access to community (me! one another! you!)
- And some exclusive smallies, like "behind-the-scenes" notes, stickers, & doodles
If you've never used Patreon before, I wrote this explanation to introduce you.
If you're wondering why I created this Patreon, or what I'm hoping to accomplish with it, here's the "Too Long; Didn't Read" Version (and below is the novel):
IPM keeps crashing and browning out because it's getting too many visitors. We need to move to hosting that will cost about $400/month. Because the site operates at a negative budget (everything is free and uncopyrighted), this Patreon is, initially, to cover the new hosting costs (starting in January 2018).
Some background on IPM, and this Patreon's PurposeHi, y'all. Sam here. For over five years I've been writing articles, doodling edugraphics, and creating other free resources to advance understanding of gender, sexuality, and social justice for millions of people.
Like with my toilet doodle. First, it started as a snarky blog post criticizing both people's fear around "gender neutral" restrooms and the current signage folks were using. Then it became a guerrilla activism campaign where tens of thousands of you played along. Then it became an actual, legitimate bathroom sign. Then it became the standard in hundreds of communities around the US and world, and was eventually used in the White House! (and has since, if we're being honest, prolly been removed from the White House)
Like with my versions of the genderbread person. You may have seen one of the versions I've produced. It's a model that has existed in a lot of different forms, over many decades, and my improvements wouldn't have been possible without thousands upon thousands of you reaching out and criticizing the first version I published, after I asked for people to criticize it (constructively). Thanks to that feedback, and a conversation with a wonderful colleague, I was able to produce the "-ness" way of thinking about gender. Since then, I've release several improved "-ness" versions and translations, other people have released models building on this idea, and it's been downloaded over a billion times. (only half of which, at most, have been by my mom)
Like how, in 2013, I announced that I was releasing my copyright on all my work (a decision I reflected on a year later with happy thoughts, and I'm still 👍 👍 about). I did that to remove the barrier of intellectual property, and the implied barrier of cost, from standing in the way of you repurposing my writing and doodles (e.g., in print in textbooks, magazines, and on other sites), or improving upon things I've published.
In order to remove one final, huge, significant barrier, IPM needs new hosting. Throughout the years, IPM has been hacked, brought down by floods of traffic, and more recently experienced frequent slowdowns and brownouts (all December, people have been writing me about 45-60 second load times on the site).
This Patreon is for dedicated, managed hosting, and security improvements, that can sustain this online resource that reaches millions of you every year. Anything beyond what's needed to sustain and improve the online resource will support IPM's mission as part of the the hues global justice collective. It will not, however, go to me directly (if you wish to support my living wage, we'll be creating a Patreon specifically for that).
That will cost at least $400/month, and will help prevent against cyber attacks, traffic influxes, and make the site faster and more reliable. I'll be working with WPEngine, who are local to me in Austin, have expressed values that align with IPM's mission, and are excited to take this off my hands.
For the past several years, IPM hosting has been donated by a very kind person who wanted to support IPM and [now on hiatus] GAB. But I feel like I've long since overstayed my welcome, a guest who moved into a friend's couch. And whenever the site gets slammed, I feel a "beggars can't be choosers" type of guilt asking my host for help, knowing that I cannot afford the level of hosting this site needs.
Because the online resource itself doesn't generate any revenue (I give everything away for free, and operate the site in the spirit of the gift), it's dependent upon other things to survive (e.g., people paying me dollars to perform shows, speak, and royalties from my books).
It's also reliant upon me beyond income (my technical skills [low], my time [stretched thin]) to survive. If I go (e.g., if one of the 10,000 death threats I get a year is followed through), so does the site. That would be a bummer on two accounts.
Thank you to all of you who have contributed over the years, whether by sharing articles, giving me feedback, donating time/money, or just being present and supportive.
Thank you to all of you who become patrons of the IPM Online Resource, and who support other hues initiatives.
Thank you for being you, and for helping me be me.
In gratitude, love, and exhaustion,