Patreon is like Kickstarter, except instead of backing a single project, you support ongoing work – like podcasts, comics, or ahem, blogs – with a monthly contribution. It turns your pocket change into rewards and perks and awesomeness.
Read more about the campaign and my specific goals, or skip to the bottom for details.
But first, a personal back-story on how all this came about.
Why Am I Doing This?
Back in March I lost my job. It was a hit, but I’m doing fine for the most part. Circumstances aligned, so I decided to take a sabbatical – for the first time in my life, I gave myself time off.
Except most of my time “off” has been spent furthering all the trans advocacy work I kept putting off for years because of, y’know, a day job. I finally have the time and energy to turn projects into reality. And boy do I have a million ideas!
This is where the idea of a Patreon comes in.
Although I’ve flip-flopped back and forth a thousand times, the time has come to ask for your support.
What finally convinced me to do this?
Others Told Me To Do This.
Yeah, this wasn’t my idea in the first place. A few readers suggested it, then someone else seconded that suggestion, then my friends, and so on.
It was extremely validating to go to Gender Odyssey where a handful of people would come up to me every day saying, “I read your blog.” Since 99% of my advocacy work is spent in front of a computer screen, it’s deeply moving to see the other human at the end of the line. The drip-drip of motivation comes and goes, so I try to re-live these moments.
Knowing others support me in this endeavor would go a long way to fueling life into these projects.
People Give Money For Stuff, Some Of It Is Useless Stuff.
I’ve donated to friends’ Kickstarters before – everything from (A)sexual the documentary, to custom snowboards, or a book of illustrations – either because I thought the project was worth it, or the work was worth it, or my friend was worth it.
Another friend described most crowd-sourcing projects as “white dudes with podcasts.”
Work Deserves Recognition.
It is not considered rude to remunerate for music or comics. Does art have more value than information? Than research? Than writing? People get paid to write.
Everything I’ve done up to this point has been for free. In fact, I’ve put my own money into making it happen. I love the work, there’s passion behind it, but if I live to do this, I also need to make a living.
(Just don’t get me started on my existential rabbit hole of where money comes from and the cycle of the economy.)
I might not be a doctor, or social worker, or lawyer, but I present to doctors, social workers, lawyers, parents and teachers and partners. They ask me for advice. It’s a treat to watch them furiously take notes on what I have to say about non-binary identity and transition and gender.
A Small Expense Won’t Bankrupt You.
You have enough $5’s in your pocket, and that beer is totally worth it. Similarly, you could buy me a beer too, knowing you gave back to your community.
I’m not a clinician coldly analyzing a patient, deciding whether they are qualified for surgery or not, thinking of the yacht I’m going to buy with their hard-earned lifetime savings.
I’ve lived through this. I know what it’s like to feel bogged down by the indescribable, to feel so low there’s no possible way out. And I know it’s possible to find happiness on the other side.
I am a part of this community, my stake is personal.
If Not Now, When?
When else will someone this awesome get an opportunity to dedicate their full attention to non-binary education?
What are my plans?
It’s more than just a blog; there’s way more going on under the hood. Please remember I don’t get paid for any of this. None. Nada.
The Contribute page lists specific projects your donation will fund. Here’s a taste:
The blog is also where it all started. It’s the breeding ground for new ideas, exploring emotions, explaining new information, getting feedback for what resonates with my readers as well as what the community needs to know.
Until I go viral or get my own reality TV show, the distribution of these resources doesn’t happen by accident! I’ve carefully built a platform as a means for the community to connect with me, so others can find this information.
A lot of people may never find my blog, so I aim to publish relevant articles in media outlets to reach broader audiences. So far readers have seen my work in Everyday Feminism and The Advocate, hopefully HuffPo in the pipeline, with more up my sleeve. Trust me, I have a list.
However, it’s no longer viable to self-fund these trips. Registration fees, airfare, hotel, food: expenses add up quick. In the future: business cards, printed resources, colorful confetti!
Money earned would first go to cover any travel expenses for conferences.
Books #1, #2, #3
I’m already working on one non-binary anthology with a co-editor. It’s been in the making for nearly two years, with plans to publish it by next year.
There are two other book projects simmering in the backburner. One is tentatively titled The Gender Playbook: A Guide To Gender, Identity, and Transition. It would be an expanded version of my workshops, like the Transition Bible. Doesn’t that sound revolutionary?
It’s unfair that only those select few who are able to go to conferences get to experience the Magic of Micah, so I’m currently uploading my workshops online in several formats: full-length video, transcribed slides, 5-min shareable chunks. It’s time-consumingly tedious, but will be well worth the effort.
A lot of my readers say they share my site with their providers. Along with video, I’d like to compile my research into Fact Sheets. A part of my work is empowering people to advocate for their own needs, but designing “legit” looking information packets would go a long way to help! Take a look at the newly published printable Media Guidelines for Non-Binary Identities as an example.
I’d also love to summarize all the frequently asked questions I actually get asked, frequently. I’ve answered no less than 500 personalized emails. Clearly, answers are lacking.
The end goal is to set up an organization and recruit more people to help produce and spread this information far and wide, helping everyone who needs to discover gender. | Pipe dreams |
Translating books into Spanish. Crafting personalized lengthy responses to emails. Social media advice to filmmakers. Being in a film! Emotional support. Visiting schools as part of my local Speaker’s Bureau. Local trans events. I just got a request for a Skype call with a group in the Midwest!
I forget how many random things I end up helping out with. I have a problem saying No, because I can help, so I should. Little things add up though; my entire week might be spent fulfilling these miscellaneous requests.
By now you’re probably thinking, “this is a lot for one little awesome person to take on.” You’re probably right.
You can help fuel these wonderful projects by donating your spare change at patreon.com/neutrois.
But please, if you are struggling to get by, pay bills, buy food, do not give me money.
If you feel like your money is better spent elsewhere – another charity or your local support group – go donate, and do not give me money.
If you don’t like me… why are you reading my blog?
However, if you feel like I’ve touched you in any way; that my information or my presence was equivalent to, say, buying a book or going out to the movies; that it’d be worth taking me out to dinner just for the pleasantly snarky company; then please, consider a small monthly contribution. I promise to put it to good use.
Every Byte Counts
If 1/10th of my readers give $5 a month – just one cup of coffee, one beer, one kombucha – then I can live to be a trans advocate.
The magic adds up. Even $1 a month – only $12 a year – would be significant to me.
Think of it as a one-year journey we’re all in together. What marvelousness can I make happen in a year? How will other transgender people and their allies – all folks like you – benefit from my continued efforts?
What else can you do to help?
Share! In today’s world, eyeballs are currency; spreading the word is a direct form of support too.
I am also happy to answer any questions, in the comments or via email.
Thank you for sticking with me all these years, for reading this very long, very personal confession, and especially, thank you for showing your support in any way you can.