I am writing to ask for your help getting the word out about my work.
I’m not asking for your help just so I can feel good about what I do (though you know that’s a part of it). I’m asking for your help because I would like to reach as many people as I can with a message of acceptance for gender-nonconforming kids. Of course this means that I want to find more allies—but I also want to reach out to people who have never thought about the ideas I talk about on my blog pages. The more people I speak to, the more I can do to make this world a place that’s safe for Sam and kids like him.
There are lots of ways you can help me, and I appreciate them all. Here are some ways to spread the word:
• Vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs and Picket Fence Blogs. These are easy, one-click votes, and, best of all, you can vote on these sites every day. Just go to my website and click the icons for these voting sites on the right-hand side of any page. People searching these voting sites stumble on blogs they wouldn’t otherwise look for, and this happens more often with the top-ranked blogs.
• Vote for me on Babble’s Top Mommy Bloggers (the link is also on the right-hand side of any page of my website). This is an annoying site when you’re looking for someone like me who does not appear in the top 50 blogs on the first page, but you can only vote on this site once. You’ll need to search alphabetically for Sarah Hoffman, Writer. Once there, click and you’re done. The more votes I get, the easier this will become—let’s get my blog into the Top 50! A Top 50 rank would provide great exposure for my work.
• Become my facebook friend.
• Suggest that your facebook friends become my facebook friend.
• Follow me on twitter.
• Recommend my blog to your friends. Post about my blog on facebook. Forward the link to my latest blog post to your community—your friends, family, teachers, neighbors, pastor, rabbi, pediatrician, and that dad you met at the park who said he wanted to wear a dress when he was three.
• When you read online essays and articles online by other authors about gender-nonconforming kids, GLBT issues, anti-bullying work, transgender rights, and other issues of accepting all kinds of differences in children, make a comment and include a link to my blog.
• And probably the best thing you can do is just to talk. Talk about your kids, talk about my kid, talk about all the different ways there are for kids (and adults) to express their gender. Talk to your kids. Talk to other kids on the playground (when Sam was little, I lost count of the number of times I said to other kids, “Didn’t you know that boys could wear pink shoes/wear a dress/have long hair?”). Talk to the parents at the park and in your child’s school. I believe in talking to as many people and types of people as I can. The more we talk about kids who are different, the more we make them less different, and the more we keep them safe.
Because my priority is safety—and I think it should be yours, too—I write and do public speaking under a pen name. Of course, when I’m talking to someone I know, or someone I meet on a playground or at school, I do that under my real name. It’s a balance—I feel strongly that the more I talk, the more hope I have of making the world a more accepting place. But the more I talk, the more I risk exposing Sam to the negativity in the world—negativity which those of you who read my writing know more about than most. So always remember: be safe. Be aware of context, and the tone of your audience. Make sure that you, your child, and your family are safe, first and foremost.
And then: talk. And tell people about what I do.
And know that you have my deepest gratitude.