Photo: Taystee, a flufffy orange and white cat, peeks out from a carpeted "cat cave." Kit O'Connell, 2019.
Hi everyone, especially to my patrons that stuck with me through 2019.
It was a strange year and not the best one for my writing output. While I've continued to tweet, write, share and organize, my work was a little less visible during the past year, especially if you don't follow me on Twitter.
I've put some thought into what I'd like to accomplish this year over the last couple of weeks. I'll shy away from using the term "resolutions" here and just say these are my goals for my writing, and my activism as it's reflected in my words.
I'm also going to keep this simple, and achievable. Hopefully, a year from now, I'll be able to look back and see that I did even more than this. I hope I can at least say I've accomplished the following:
- Create a zine
I really want to get back to zine creation this year. I've had a lot of ideas and not followed through on most of them. I'll be challenging myself to adapt my work to this medium, with advice but a little less direct collaboration than I've had in the past.
One of my closest collaborators on previous zines for Oh Shit! What Now? recently moved to Maine. While I'm sure we'll keep collaborating, it's a good opportunity to push myself to do more on my own.
Of course, my zine will be available for download for free, and $10+ patrons will get a signed, paper copy in the mail. More information to follow, but the topic will be political ...
- Defend LGBTQIA rights from fascism
There's so much happening in the world right now. Parts of our planet are literally on fire, and the rest seems to be burning with unrest and change, much of it for the worse. I think it's important to find a focus to my attentions, at least for the next portion of 2020.
There's so many issues that interest me, and of course I'll continue to report on hemp, cannabis and the war on drugs, as part of my "day job." Right now, though, I'm really concerned with ongoing and increasingly organized attacks on queer culture and LGBTQIA people. Amid rising fascism, there are concerted efforts to roll back all we've gained.
I don't want to share too much information, but I have some targets in mind to start with here. If they're reading this, I hope they're worried.:)
- Return to reporting on street activism
Over the past couple of years, I've faced repeated threats to my physical safety. These threats make it more difficult for me to report from street activism, even though this was my passion for a long time.
I've been put on multiple "lists" for harm by nazis and fascists. I've also faced threats from the Red Guards, a toxic political cult that claims to be on the left, but functionally acts more like fascists in their repeated attacks on the left (and even collaboration with the far right).
To be clear, these threats haven't stopped my involvement in Austin organizing, but they've made it harder for me to show up in person. While it's smart for me to take extra precautions (and I do, every day now), I won't let them keep me away entirely. I'll take extra steps this year to make sure I can safely attend, and safely share, street protest and direct action.
- Be more accountable here
It's useful for me to give progress reports on my projects here from time to time. I appreciate your feedback, encouragement and suggestions!
Again, thank you so much for continuing to support my work. I've lost a few patrons in the last few months, mostly due to changing financial situations. It means a lot that I still have the support of so many people during these difficult times.
If you can, please share a favorite piece of my writing with a friend, and encourage them to follow me on social media.
Happy New Year to all my patrons, readers, fans and comrades,