Hey there! Yup, posting on a Wednesday night. Kinda odd, but it’s book club day, so I figured I’d do a Wednesday night instead of a Thursday post (and I just wasted like 18 words on something that you probably didn’t notice nor care about. But I digress…)
This month, I signed up to read Raising My Rainbow by Lori Duran. Lori is a blogger who started a blog about raising her son, C.J. While C.J. is aware that he is a boy and loves that fact, he prefers to play almost exclusively with ‘girl toys’ and dress in girl clothes whenever possible. C.J. is gender-creative; floating on the gender spectrum between masculine and feminine.
Reading this book, I identified with Lori as a blogger dealing with issues of anonymity, privacy and negative comments.
When Lori decides to start a blog about raising C.J., she is incredible careful about her and her family’s anonymity. She refused to post identifying names or photos, and talks about how afraid she was that someone would recognize her as the voice behind it. In the book, she mentions how she felt about the negative comments and the people that attacked her for allowing her son to take the lead in choosing his own clothes and style.
Considering that Duron has now published a book and has appeared on the Today Show within the last couple of days with a segment including C.J., it’s pretty obvious that her thoughts on keeping her family as anonymous as possible have changed, or she’s given up trying to maintain anonymity.
When people decide to start sharing their lives on the internet, I think that their privacy becomes pretty compromised. I know some bloggers do their best to keep their last names off the blog, their hometowns, and pictures of children or friends and family, but is privacy when you share your life online really possible? Is it naive to think that we can prevent others that we know ‘in real life’ from finding out about our blogs?
I think some people want to guard themselves against negativity and judgement from people we know in our real life. It just seems easier to accept and ignore judgement when it comes from a random person of the internet, rather than someone that we know. When I started blogging, I kept it a pretty big secret. My family and Eric knew, but that was pretty much it. Now, it’s not something I declare openly to everyone I meet, but I have no problems talking about it if it fits naturally conversation (or if a new friend is wondering why the hell I’m whipping out my camera at dinner). I think I’ve accepted that total privacy and a distinction between online and ‘real’ life is too difficult to maintain.
Basically, I think that losing some aspects of your privacy comes with the territory when it comes to blogging. There’s a pretty good chance that people in your ‘real life’ will find out, regardless of whether you tell them or not.
Oh, and just to wrap up – I really, really liked this book. I think Lori and Matt’s approach to raising C.J. is ideal, even though it’s clearly not easy.
Have a good one!
<— How much privacy do you try to maintain as a blogger? Do you try to keep identifiers off the blog? I have no problem posting pictures, first names and what part of town I live in, but I try to minimize last names, and things like addresses and exterior shots of my building are a no-go.
<— Do you tell people in your real life about your blog? In my experience, most people find it really interesting when they find out.
<— Is it possible to be anonymous as a blogger?
This post was inspired by the memoir Raising My Rainbow by Lori Duron as she shares her journey in raising a gender-creative son. As a member of From Left to Write, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.