Like what I’ve got going on here? Want to be part of it? Woohoo! I couldn’t be more excited to have you on this page. Pick your pleasure:
Read on for more context about what you might be supporting, and the support avenues I’ve created.
Hi, y’all. Sam here. For over five years I’ve been writing articles, doodling edugraphics, and creating other free resources to advance understanding of gender, sexuality, and social justice for millions of people.
I’ve had some fun with it.
Like with my toilet doodle. First, it started as a snarky blog post criticizing both people’s fear around “gender neutral” restrooms and the current signage folks were using. Then it became a guerrilla activism campaign where tens of thousands of you played along. Then it became an actual, legitimate bathroom sign. Then it became the standard in hundreds of communities around the US and world, and was eventually used in the White House! (and has since, if we’re being honest, prolly been removed from the White House)
I’ve also learned a lot from you, & been intentional about reciprocating that knowledge.
Like with my versions of the genderbread person. You may have seen one of the versions I’ve produced. It’s a model that has existed in a lot of different forms, over many decades, and my improvements wouldn’t have been possible without thousands upon thousands of you reaching out and criticizing the first version I published, after I asked for people to criticize it (constructively). Thanks to that feedback, and a conversation with a wonderful colleague, I was able to produce the “-ness” way of thinking about gender. Since then, I’ve release several improved “-ness” versions and translations, other people have released models building on this idea, and it’s been downloaded over a billion times. (only half of which, at most, have been by my mom)
And I’ve done everything I can to remove barriers preventing you from using my work, or doing good.
Like how, in 2013, I announced that I was releasing my copyright on all my work (a decision I reflected on a year later with happy thoughts, and I’m still ? ? about). I did that to remove the barrier of intellectual property, and the implied barrier of cost, from standing in the way of you repurposing my writing and doodles (e.g., in print in textbooks, magazines, and on other sites), or improving upon things I’ve published.
Which brings us to this call for support, & the help I need from you now.
In order to remove one final, huge, significant barrier, IPM needs new hosting. Throughout the years, IPM has been hacked, brought down by floods of traffic, and more recently experienced frequent slowdowns and brownouts (all December, people have been writing me about 45-60 second load times on the site).
The Patreon page I created is for dedicated, managed hosting, and security improvements, that can sustain this online resource that reaches millions of you every year. Anything beyond what’s needed to sustain and improve the online resource will support IPM’s mission as part of the the hues global justice collective. It will not, however, go to me directly (if you wish to support my living wage, we’ll be creating a Patreon specifically for that).
That will cost at least $400/month, and will help prevent against cyber attacks, traffic influxes, and make the site faster and more reliable. I’ll be working with WPEngine, who are local to me in Austin, have expressed values that align with IPM’s mission, and are excited to take this off my hands.
This is long overdue, and will help sustain the site in more ways than one.
For several years, IPM hosting was donated by a very kind person who wanted to support the cause. But I felt like I had long since overstayed my welcome, a guest who moved into a friend’s couch. And whenever the site got slammed, I felt a “beggars can’t be choosers” type of guilt asking my host for help, knowing that I could not afford the level of hosting this site needs.
Because the online resource itself doesn’t generate any revenue (I give everything away for free, and operate the site in the spirit of the gift), it’s dependent upon other things to survive (e.g., people paying me dollars to perform shows, speak, and royalties from my books).
It’s also reliant upon me beyond income (my technical skills [low], my time [stretched thin]) to survive. If I go (e.g., if one of the 10,000 death threats I’ve received is followed through), so does the site. That would be a bummer on two accounts.
From the very cockles of my heart: Thank you.
Thank you to all of you who have contributed over the years, whether by sharing articles, giving me feedback, donating time/money, or just being present and supportive.
Thank you to all of you who become patrons of the IPM Online Resource, and who support other hues initiatives.
Thank you for being you, and for helping me be me.
In gratitude, love, and exhaustion,
What is Patreon? And other As to your Qs.
Let’s start with Patreon. This video explains it pretty well:
The short version in case you don’t want to watch a video: Patreon is a platform that allows people to support creators they appreciate, building on the age-old idea of “patronage.”