My first steps down this path came from Howard Kurts' Media Matters in the Washington Post. I loved reading about how the different media were telling the story of the day. Yes the Post is liberal, the Times conervative, etc. But he looked across the spectrum, from the Wall Street Journal to the LA Times to even some foreign press. And I found it fascinating how the different media were representing "the facts" of a story. What parts they played up and which one's they didn't highlight. At the deli downstairs at work, I always make a point to see what stories make the front page of the Post as compared to what makes the front page of the Times. What news you get these days is so dependent on what news outlet you listen to/read. And once you find a particular news media that appeals to you, you kind of get sucked in and so the news kind of reinforces whatever belief system you have.
In one of Howard Kurtz's columns, he mentioned Andrew Sullivan and that was my first foray into blogs. I used to be a republican (old school, you know smaller government, fiscally conservative) so some of his writings resonated with me. And he's gay too. So that also made him very interesting. So I started reading his blog about the time of the Federal Marriage Ammendment fiasco. His writing was sharp, insightful, and just powerful. I still read Andrew. He's an amazing writer. I agree with him on a lot of issues, but disagree with him on others. But I like the fact that he tries to reflect a consistent, balanced approach to issues. Or atleast that's my opinion.
In one of Andrew's blogs, he mentioned something call a blogjam that was held at a club in DC last October. Since I had just moved to DC, I thought this was would make for a fun Sunday night and it was. One of the thing Andrew's blog didn't mention was the full title of the evening: "Homo Blog Jam." So it was a bunch of gay guys reading from their blogs and it was awesome!
There were about 8 or so different writers/speakers include some of my now favorites: Jimbo, Joe.My.God, and GeekSlut. Some we were funny and irreverent (Sonnet to my Dick, or a poem called, The Bear in the Sling.” Some were heart wrenching (suicide, lovers dying), some were political (Andrew Sullivan read from his blog about gay marriages), some were more social (the growing crystal meth problem in the gay community and the parallel rise in HIV infections).
But they were all so good. So many different perspective. And so I finally decided to take the plunge a couple of days later. And a year later this is where I am. More on that later I think.