2018: the year in review

I’ve been meaning to write this for the past couple of weeks now. It’s been harder than you would think to sit down and type out a list of things I made and accomplished in 2018. And it’s not like I didn’t have things to talk about. I do! I got an article in a mainstream publication. I branched out into new formats of art. I made some games. I joined a queer collective. I became a member of a podcast. I got a girlfriend! I quit drinking! A lot of really cool stuff!

But the problem with this is that in looking back, I ended up getting some bad memories of other things that happened. The subsequent triggering (and some real life issues popping up) fucking sucked. And so, I’ve spent the past couple of days rethinking how I want to do this. I figured it would be best if I were open and honest. So this will not be a list of accomplishments, it will be a declaration of where I’m going in the future. This will be me getting my remaining vestiges of anger and bitterness out.

The realization that you’ve been used; that you were considered to be nothing more than a pawn to be used in a proxy war between people you thought you knew, fucking sucks. To know that they’re respected the world over with great success and reverence, while your reputation is in the fucking toilet. You stand up for someone in need, not even expecting a thank you, because you shouldn’t expect a reward for doing the bare minimum of being a decent human being. And in the end, your address is on a child porn trading hub. You have a dedicated group of stalkers on all aspects of the political spectrum waiting for your mental health to break, so they can gawk at your subsequent meltdown. A new bullshit rumor is spread about you at least once a month, if not sooner. Everyone hates your guts, and they sure as shit don’t respect you. Your social media posts about depression and ideation get more “engagements” than any artwork you’ve made. And you’re on so many blacklists and blocklists that even if people did share your work, who the hell would see it? You go onto the internet to tell right-wing nerds to fuck off for harassing women in game development after half the team on a game you’re working on suddenly drops out, and all it does is fuck you up and aggravate your mental illnesses.

Let’s be real folks: standing up for Zoe Quinn back in 2014 ruined my fucking life. If it weren’t for the small group of friends and loved ones I’ve made, who have stuck by and supported me even when it wasn’t fashionable to do so, I would say that it wasn’t worth it. As it is, it was only 99% not worth it.

And on top of that, I have watched as the support for trans women from our alleged allies has plummeted, and gotten worse and worse. To see self-proclaimed leftists and DSA members/figureheads side with the alt-right and actual fucking rapists rather than us. And yes, I am talking about Chelsea Manning, and the way you all tossed her and her accomplishments to the side because you chose to believe a failed juice salesman living off his ex-wife’s alimony over, you know, an actual fucking hero who nearly died after she ended an unjust war of American exceptionalism. And there are people who follow me on various platforms, who claim to like me and my work: I saw the shit you said about her, and please understand that it’s been about 11 months now, and I still do not trust you to have my back if I’m up against the metaphorical wall. If I’m in a situation where I absolutely need the help of public perception, I know that I’ll be fucked. Hell, an outlet straight up accused me of being racist for supporting her! I’m saying this, pretending like the author of the piece (herself a trans women) doesn’t hate me for not letting her live down trying to drive her fellow trans women to suicide so she wouldn’t get blocked on Twitter by the head of HR at Riot Games.

But this isn’t just Manning. Let’s fast forward to April, when Matt Conn, the CEO of Midboss and the head of GaymerX, publicly admitted to allegations of abuse and attempted sexual assault brought up against him. Remember that? Of course you don’t, because the biggest, most controversial and heinous news story that weekend was a random, unemployed trans woman going onto her Medium page and saying that she didn’t think Night In The Woods was a good video game. Like, fuck dude, a trans woman’s negative opinion of a popular, award-winning game (for fucks sake, it was one step below Super Fucking Mario on the Nintendo eshop’s “featured” section for a time) is somehow more important and worthy of scrutiny than a cis man who runs a convention aimed at LGBT people, a vulnerable group, confessing to attempted rape? Then when I called the game’s creator an asshole for harassing this girl, how many of you suddenly decided I was no longer worth hanging around? That I had finally crossed the line? I was suddenly “too angry?” That I was a “Milkshake Duck” for telling a guy who was being a dickhead that he was being a dickhead?

And, again, more people yelled at the trans woman than they did the rapist. It’s a fucking pattern. You fuckers keep showing your ass. And even if it’s unintentional, you are telling every trans person one thing: we will respect and dignify and forgive the absolute scum of society before we even come close to doing the same for you.

I keep seeing these posts from angry trans women, talking about being the proverbial canary in the coal mine. How so many of them documented the rise of the alt-right, putting themselves in danger, whether through doxxing or even physical assault, in the process, and getting labeled as either “creepy white male allies looking for attention” or straight up “the real Nazis,” then being proven right in the end. We put in the work to help others, and we got demonized for it, and now it’s too fucking late. It doesn’t matter; because cis people do not give a fuck until it’s their ass on the line. Like, how many of you still follow people like Jesse Singal and Graham Linehan? How many of you yelled at Manning back in January? How many of you were willing to believe a professional liar like Milo Yiannopolous exactly one time, coincidentally the one time he attacked a transgender woman? How many of you share our callout posts, sourced from Kiwi Farms? How about that Medium post positing that my claims of transphobia in the indie games scene are bullshit that straight up starts calling me “James” mid-way through? I’ve been thinking about this. A lot. And simply put: I’m done. Fuck you! You assholes had your chance to listen. You had your chance to support us. But you didn’t. You might be reading this, shaking your head and thinking that I’m full of shit, but am I really?

ME GETTING TO THE POINT NOW

I’ve spent so many years living for other people that I haven’t had the chance to live for myself. Did you know that I used to be a lot more artistic and creative than I have been in the last couple of years? It’s high time I went back to that version of me, and not the “me” who got PTSD trying to help a bunch of ungrateful TERFs who couldn’t be bothered to not stab me in the back and throw me under the bus to be buddy-buddy with the people who doxxed me like a fucking wrestling villain. I’m going to live in my own bubble. Me, a warm blanket, my video games, and my art. I’m going to try and find myself again. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be there for the people in my life. But that’s it. I refuse to be your canary choking on the noxious gas of the world for your comfort. You might consider this selfish or privileged. I consider it survival. Let everyone kill each other, they’ve made their choice. I’m making mine.

Happy New Year! See you in 2019!

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