March 15, 2012
Last month I wrote that because we reached our monthly donor fundraising goal, with 39 new monthly donors committed to sustaining Prop 8 Trial Tracker through the end of the trial, we are able to bring on a new contributor to write on the front page at Prop 8 Trial Tracker and help bring even more coverage to you of the Prop 8 trial, DOMA repeal and DOMA cases, marriage equality and other topics important to you. We received some wonderful applications.
Today, I’m pleased to announce that Scottie Thomaston will join us as a new Contributor to the site. Scottie has been blogging for six years on DailyKos (under the username “indiemcemopants”, up until last month), Huffington Post Gay Voices and Firedoglake.com, covering LGBT legal issues and many other topics of interest to the LGBT community. I’ve joined tens of thousands of others who have read Scottie’s work for some time, particularly on the “Recommended” diaries list at DailyKos, to which his diaries have been promoted a remarkable 103 times. He also has been a reader of Prop 8 Trial Tracker from day one in January 2010, and ever since. He’ll be joining Jacob Combs and I to cover the topics in which you’re interested every day here on the site.
Please see below for an introduction from Scottie, and take a moment to welcome him in the comments!
Director of Online Programs
Hi! I’m Scottie Thomaston, and I’m excited to be a new Contributor here at Prop 8 Trial Tracker. I’ve been a follower of this site and its work from its inception. At the time the Perry trial began at the district court, I was writing regularly at Daily Kos, a community I’d been a member of since 2005. Most of the LGBT community there was interested in following the trial and seeing the live-stream, and when the final decision came down blocking any live video, everyone scrambled to find new ways to access the information that would be presented at trial. When Rick Jacobs started the live blogging, it was an enormous relief. I was virtually glued to my computer, refreshing P8TT’s site every couple minutes for new portions of the trial transcripts.
I’ve been interested in law, particularly civil rights, since I was a teenager. When I wasn’t writing about it – from as far back as 2002 when I was posting less coherent discussions on places like LiveJournal – I was arguing with anyone I could find. This led to a lot of interesting conversations especially because of where I live.
I grew up in south Alabama and I’m currently living in a rural town down here. Since I’m nowhere near where most of the major changes have been happening in the country, I’ve felt pretty cut off from civilization. Growing up in this environment as a disabled (I’m paralyzed from the waist down) and gay person can sort of skew someone’s perception of life in interesting ways, and I always considered most things pretty hopeless until I started writing and became an activist.
Having found Daily Kos sometime around 2004, I joined in 2005. I started writing there under the username “indiemcemopants”, first comments and then actual posts a while later. (I recently transitioned to using my own name at the site.) As a writer who posts frequently there, I have written a lot about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the Department of Defense directives related to the policy, and I participated in the campaign to allow open service. I have also written about the Defense of Marriage Act and the cases that are currently working their way through the courts. The community at Daily Kos is amazing and they’ve treated me well over the years. I have made a lot of lifetime friendships. For a time, I was co-manager of ‘KosAbility‘, a series dedicated to discussions of disability rights and activism, as well as personal stories. In 2010, I won a a scholarship from Democracy For America to attend Netroots Nation, mostly thanks to community members at Daily Kos who voted for me. Then in 2011, members of the community raised the money for me to attend Netroots Nation in Minneapolis (and I’d love your quick vote for this year’s contest to go to the conference in Providence!).
I write everywhere, seemingly all the time, and I’m extremely thankful for all the opportunities I’ve been given to reach a wider audience. I started writing at Fire Dog Lake in 2010, and contributed a series on LGBT rights leading into the 2010 elections that November. One of the most exciting days of my life was when one of my posts there was quoted by the New York Times. I was invited to contribute to The Huffington Post’s “Gay Voices” in December of last year and have spent a lot of time over there. I feel like I did my part to help kill an anti-transgender bill that was submitted to Tennessee’s General Assembly, when my piece at Gay Voices about that legislation was front-paged and widely cited. Just recently, after contributing regularly to the Criminal Injustice series at Critical Mass Progress, I was invited on as a front-pager at CMP. Earlier this year, I founded a new blog called burn after writing.
I’ve always taken writing and activism extremely seriously, and I’m deeply committed to progressive, anti-racist, and LGBT causes. I love discussions and debates and I’m looking forward to having many of those with everyone here. I feel very privileged for the opportunity to write here and hope I can help and watch Prop 8 Trial Tracker grow, as it has continued to do over the years. Onward!