The Dubious Nature of Anonymity

I’ve had an email or two that has asked what I think about bloggers getting outted and shit like that.

I got outted last year. My name is Steffani Cameron, all right? I really don’t give a fuck who knows, ‘cos anyone with a nickel and half a brain can run my handle through Google and tap into an interview I did last fall in which the bonehead ran my name and unwittingly destroyed any chance for anonymity that I might’ve had. Jesus, if you have half an iota of ingenuity you could probably even find a photo of me, ‘cos there’s at least three of them accessible. Besides, back to the “my name is known” thing — when I did Sex with Emily on FreeFM, I gave ’em permission to use my name. And the CBC used my name in promoing my blog on Zed in February.

I recently did a job search in which I know for a fact at least one of the employers knew of my blog and its content. I almost know for certain that one of those employers sent me a sexually explicit (and very creepy) email to an uber-private email that is NOT in any way associated with this blog, and which no one who has ever contacted me through this blog has ever had the privilege of knowing. That’s the only time I’ve ever been creeped out about my lack of anonymity.

Both my last employer and my present employer, and every parent of every student I’ve ever taught, has known that I write sexual content. My father, brother, and every friend, family member, and longtime acquaintance knows about this blog.

As far as being a public blogger of sex goes, I’m ALL that, baby.

And that ain’t about to change.

My phone number, however, is unlisted. I have caller ID blocking on my phone as well. And that ain’t gonna fuckin’ change either. Last thing I need is anyone deliberately reaching out and touching me.

What do I think of the recent spate of bloggers that I’ve heard about who have up and vanished in the night because someone leaked who they were? It’s too bad. It’s really a shame we live in a society where people can be judged on these bases, but the fact is, we do. I’m doing my part to fight the fuckin’ power, ‘cos I think it’s flat-out wrong. I’m doing my part to prove that a good person can like getting shagged senseless. Sex is a sin if you want it to be. Sex is a shame if you allow it to be. Sex is a stigma if you let it be.

Sometimes people are powerless about the bigotry and the judgmental POV that peppers our society. That’s reality, baby, and it’s the cold fuckin’ light o’ day.

I was having this discussion with my coworkers last week, since I work with highly political people who are well-connected and who have political aspirations that will build on their political histories, and I jokingly said, “Yeah, well, politics is likely out for me.” The web designer guy was commenting how he thought that might not necessarily be the case. He commented to the effect that we’re on the cusp of this era where everyone’s dirty little secret is about to stop being so secret. Just look at PostSecret.com and how hauntingly real all those unthinkable sentiments are. Suddenly we know people’s dirty little thoughts. Suddenly we understand that our own dark and cobwebby little corners aren’t as unspeakable as we might’ve thought, because they beat us to the punch and said it first.

The information age makes everyone Googleable, and the fact is, those skeletons YOU think are in YOUR closet might just be behind far more transparent doors than you suspect.

One day, and that day’s coming soon, we’re going to realize that everyone has moments of shame and degradation. Everyone’s done something they’d rather not have exposed. Everyone’s cozied up a little too close for comfort with shame. We’re all fallible, we’re all products of the same erroneous genetics, but a lot of folks just haven’t the a) balls or b) fortitude to admit their dubious pasts.

Me, I’m honest to a fault, always have been. Why hide my shit? I’ve fucked up, damn right I have, and yeah, I like my sex with a side of dirt, but so what? Who the fuck are YOU to judge me? No one perfect, that’s who you are, so let it go, man. Let it all go. I’ve never met a person I couldn’t find a fault in, so I’ve given up my quest for perfection. Good is good enough. Bad is good enough. I’ll take what I got, man. It is what it is.

So, to those beloved bloggers who’ve been outted and don’t feel they’re in a place where they can be honest and be who they are without retribution, well, I don’t feel their pain, but I understand their reservations. We’re on the cusp of a new era of honesty, but for now we’re still mired in lies, and I understand. Hopefully more people like me’ll come out of the woodwork and be what they gotta be to get this show on the road, but in the meantime…

You got me, baby. You got me.

It’s weird being honest about this shit. It’s odd meeting new people and having them be clued in, either by yours truly, or just because they just know. It’s a little surreal. I get fun grins out of people, but you know what? No one has ever recoiled. No one has ever judged me. Most of the people are impressed, actually, and they’re usually taken quite by surprise, something I really enjoy. They’re amused, they want to know more. It’s awesome. Honesty’s freeing. They may say it’s the best policy, but, dude, it’s one hell of a ride, too, y’know?