Letter From The Editor: Goodbye, Hello

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Letter From The Editor: Goodbye, Hello

lesbian print magazine Curve. GO magazine and Velvetpark began the same year in 2002 in New York City. In pure dedication and commitment and despite the incredible costs of a fickle print industry, Amy Lesser has continued to deliver newsworthy content and the lesbi cultural road map across dykenation. And how about the forward minded Sarah Warn who in 2002 knew the future of lesbian community and culture was online. Afterellen.com grew quickly and remains the premier destination for lesbian media, celebrity and gossip. The rest of lesbian media has scurried to keep up with her, fumbling our way online in her wake.

Then there is Ilene Chaiken. It is with great respect and gratitude that I thank Ilene who gave me the opportunity to work on OurChart. My very limited experience of having worked as her editor is that she is woman of vision, insight and a million ideas. The L Word has so dramatically positively altered our visibility and self-image — I mean really, she made being lesbian an A-list experience. High profile TV show, Paparazzi, red carpets —what? Had we ever felt so special before? And like seriously I still think TiBette should not stay together.

Even as I contemplate the loss of OC’s contribution as we knew it, it’s instructive to remember that the site does not exist in a vacuum. Established media giants like Time Inc. and Conde Nast Publications have both shed hundreds of employees recently, while newer ventures like the fits-and-starts prone Radar magazine finally folded entirely last month. Okay now, I didn’t mean to scare you with the eminent recession or depression, but take heart — in the words of my dear friend and colleague Diana Cage “We are lesbians, we know how to survive.” And that, we shall do.

Now that I’ve come back to my dear little media company that could, I would like to first thank Tami “IT girl” Johnson, Elizabeth Koke and Anna Romer who kept the home fires on Velvetpark burning. Thank you to everyone who began at Velvetpark and followed me to OurChart as well as those of you whom I met through OC (there are so many of you, please for give me for not mentioning all of your names). A shout out to Kelly McCartney whom I have known for over 10 years and I seriously could not have accomplished anything without. She helped me found Velvetpark and became an absolute pillar of constancy on OC — editing, fact-checking and delivering consistent thoughtful informed posts ranging from green living to music to news and any number of topics we needed to cover in any given moment.

Thank you Diana Cage, my media girlfriend, the great illuminator of queer politics and culture. Cage, you’ve been one of my greatest allies and inspirations in keeping lesbian media alight. I look forward to setting up the lesbian commune (perhaps it can be right here on Vp), while we wait out this bastard economy.

And to you, OurChart readers who I really deeply felt became my online family; minniesota54, Tex, Lezbeth, Btfan2, my fellow dyslexic DeeDee, Rovermom, motaterz, peacekitty, Rusty, mysticsmb, CA_Medicine_Woman, and again the many others of you whose names escape me at the moment. I have thoroughly enjoyed our discussions even when we argued passionately. Nothing but love.

Lastly, I throw out a heartfelt thanks to Lisa Bang, who was really the lynchpin in keeping OC running behind the scenes. She helped me ease into my position at OC and showed me the ropes. Her organizational, marketing, and managerial skills — not to mention editing and creative talents — will be an asset to any company in the future.

Going forward you can continue to find me here at Vp, and I hope to be joined by a few other of my compatriots in short order. So come back soon. And please do comment and feel free to express your thoughts. And if you’d like to join our ranks, make sure you read the fine print: we put the “free” back into ‘freelance” and the ‘Dyke” back into “DIY”. Long live lesbian media.

In love and gratitude,
Grace Moon



Comments [88]

CA_Medicine_Woman's picture

You were the first blogger at

You were the first blogger at OC I came across. Despite some of the resistance by others, some of it hostile early on, you always made me feel welcome and encouraged my participation. You allowed me to address issues very personal to me, to challenge others to look at my world through my eyes. Diana encouraged me also, especially when it came to debates on sexuality. Kelly was always gracious, allowing me to sort of piggy-back onto her blog my "and in other news" stories, mainly highlighting the dangers faced by the transgender community. Eventually, I gained a certain level of acceptance at OC primarily because of you three and the support of many members.

I'm not sure how I feel right now about the way OC handled the whole shut-down of the editorial and news content, except to say that I was disappointed by the way it was done. It took until tonight for them to give any explanation, which still leaves many questions unanswered about OC's future. For certain, the content set it apart from other social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, and had provided a forum for many voices that would have otherwise gone unheard. The eventual explanation given tonight at OC leaves me guessing about OC's future, especially if they plan to compete against MySpace and Facebook by becoming a niche version of them.

But, I am very happy to see that you three landed on your feet, and look forward to seeing more of what you have to say. And, I still want to take one of your intro art classes, I just haven't worked out how to get a 85' long 40 ton rig into NYC without triggering a panic yet, lol.

ElizKoke's picture

Thank you for your commitment

Thank you for your commitment to queer-ass, kick-butt media,and for letting me be a part of it. Viva la VP!

xoxo,
elizabeth

Not2Taem's picture

Grace, I'm sorry that time

Grace,

I'm sorry that time factors (influenced, I'm sure, by some dastardly suit somewhere) did not allow you to leave the OC with your usual caring GraceFul aplomb. Its nice to see that you have bounced back into the welcoming embrace of your old geighyborhood. I'm sure many here will be heartened by your increased attention. In the spirit of the upcoming holiday, we formerly of the OC support group will borrow chairs from the geighbors and join you here. I'll bring mounds of sweet potatoes and the cleavage gals can play Let's Pretend.

Much love,
Taem?

bronniepickle's picture

Grace: Thank you so much for

Grace: Thank you so much for your tireless work. I have been "out" for 28 years (since 17) and I have never had the opportunity to unconditionally express thoughts in a safe community on such a wide range of subjects (my compatriots may be sorry I found the site!!). Your management, your compassion and your tireless efforts as a pioneer in providing a voice to the lesbian community is deeply appreciated by lesbians who have felt marginalized for too long. Bronwyn.

P.S. Lisa: "Businesss" is not "business". As a writing snob, I have always thought that typographical and spelling errors impugn one's credibility due to sloppiness. It appears these errors also may be a sign of callousness in your case.

keondra.'s picture

say it ain't so!

say it ain't so!

LongBeachDogLover's picture

Grace........ Our Chart will

Grace........ Our Chart will not be the same without your wit and brilliance. I have just discovered Velvet Park.......Thank You, I already feel at home. I've always loved your approach to even the 'touchiest' subjects. I will miss you there, but will visit you here.............

Cheers to a new beginning Ms. Moon !!

Love Ya...... Wink

LongBeachDogLover

Oz's picture

Grace! You are a true

Grace!

You are a true inspiration and I feel it an honour to call you a friend.
Thanks go out to you for all your tireless efforts in spreading the Queer love.

This will not be the last you hear of Grace nor of VelvetPark...

Long live lesbian media indeed!

Oz

Joanne-1974's picture

I'm sad about the changes

I'm sad about the changes going on over at OurChart. The writers and contributors of OC were really the reason we bonded and got to know each other's personalities - through the words of the lovely Grace Moon and others. I guess time will tell if it can survive without those words (that made us think) and broke the ice between members.

I'll be forever grateful to OC and The L Word for expanding my horizons.

and HELLO Velvetpark!!

Lenelle Moïse's picture

Keep your head up. You are,

Keep your head up. You are, after all, a Moon.

Stay Shining, Lenelle

peacekitty's picture

Like everyone said, I love

Like everyone said, I love you Grace! And wherever you go I'll follow. xoxo Peacekitty

"Fight Prime Time. Read a Book"

Fastgurrrl's picture

I still think that "whoever"

I still think that "whoever" could have handled the whole thing about a million times better. This is a cool site. I'll be stopping by here daily now. Grace, you did a good job on OC and I wish you the best for the future. Peace, Fastgurrrl

anna's picture

thanks for the love,

thanks for the love, Grace.

welcome back chief!

Alix K's picture

Grace: Whither thou

Grace:
Whither thou goest, chances are good that Tex, Minnie, Rusty, Rover Mom, Lake, Lezbeth, and this old broad won't be very far behind.
Keep on truckin
In sisterhood,
Alix K
NYC

Tex's picture

To Kent: It's going to be a

To Kent:

It's going to be a pleasure moving my blog/article reading to Velvetpark - you are a breath of fresh air! In a time when our mere queer existence is in jeopardy, our first order of business should be to circle the wagons around those that work for us unconditionally and tirelessly. Great comment - thanks.

Twitter Time @kdhales

Top of the Mountain's picture

Grace, and nothing but her.

Grace, and nothing but her. Or would that be dignified, dynamic and determined...

Now that's what I call dyke culture infinitely at bloom.

Thank you for your service.

Kent  Martin's picture

Home, again... First one

Home, again...

First one moment while I crawl up a few posts and say to 'Lisa' -from who knows where- back off of Grace with your childish, vitriolic scrawl! Take time out from spray painting pointless hate on walls to drop a pellet here did you? You have no place here. Who are you? What have you done to facilitate queer community and dialogue in the world? I have seen first-hand the tireless commitment, years of sacrifice and dogged determination Grace has given to provide these forums for all of us, whether through OurChart or VelvetPark. VelvetPark was born from and lives on the efforts of talented women (and even a few men) who have worked for little or nothing in their own time in order to provide another beacon out there in the sparse landscape of queer DIY media. We can only be grateful for people like Grace, Tami, Diana, Anna and tons of others who contribute every day. Disagree and bring on the criticism indeed, that's what happens in a community, but your post is foul and worthless.

Grace, I congratulate you on your fine work with OurChart. I've seen your hard work and loyalty spark the creation of such dynamic communities. I've seen you stick your neck out to provide a starting point for young artists, writers and photographers and how these relationships have continued through the years, through ups and downs. I've seen your writing grow in monumental ways. What I appreciate and find so refreshing is the personal and multi-dimensional viewpoints you bring to your endeavors, how you often take a cultural headline, or your own personal development, and spin it through layers of art, humor, sisterhood, sexuality and spirituality. You are unique, you are funny, you have a point of view, and you listen.

Thanks for everything you do. Thanks for being my friend. And welcome home!

xK

Lake's picture

Thanks Grace! Awesome site!

Thanks Grace! Awesome site! Can't wait to see what's ahead!

Lake

Tex's picture

Oh yeah, nice pic, but OMG,

Oh yeah, nice pic, but OMG, are those Sarah Palin glasses?

Twitter Time @kdhales

lucia_2008's picture

Grace, Thanks! Will visit

Grace,

Thanks! Will visit VP and read up on lesbian issues. Good luck!

Lucia_2008

Smile...life is good!!!

Tex's picture

Oh, Sweetheart, you know I

Oh, Sweetheart, you know I can't live without you! I will be a regular on Vp - I have to flirt with you every now and again or world will not be complete. xoxo

I need a place to vent my bursts of womanhood and equal rights! Are you ready for me?!?!

Much love and admiration, Grace! ....... and I like Velvetpark better anyway......something about "velvet" and "park" - lord have mercy!

Twitter Time @kdhales

deedee's picture

Grace, You are a great person

Grace,
You are a great person ,I am very sad about it but so glad I got to know you.
you stay cool.

Pugs's picture

Hi Grace and thanks for

Hi Grace and thanks for inviting us all in. I have saved Velvetpark to my favorites.

I initially visited OC for the blogs and making friends there was just a bonus. While I'm sure I'll keep in touch with the friends I made there, I will miss the blogs. You bloggers taught me so much. I didn't always agree but you always made me think and for that I thank you.

NCSha25's picture

Thank you Grace for your

Thank you Grace for your contributions to OC and this beautiful letter. I will definitely be checking you out (and hopefully many of the other bloggers)here as well.

Lezbeth's picture

Grace, thanks for the blog

Grace, thanks for the blog and the shout out. You and the other bloggers as well as everyone who contributed to those sometimes heated threads have continually informed me creating a true sense of belonging to a great big lezzie world. I'll be watching and reading on Velvetpark. OC gave us a chance to get to know each other. You all stirred up the good stuff and I'm willing to move into whatever changes within our bigger dyke community and the world at large. Thank you, thank you.

rovermom's picture

I love you, too,

I love you, too, Grace.

We're family and we will survive! Smile I do have a hard time keeping up with one then one website, but I will make every attempt in keeping up with my family. I will miss all of you who have blogged.

minniesota's picture

Hola Grace! Gracias for all

Hola Grace! Gracias for all you did at OC. This has been a strange month.

The first week, I was elated about getting a new president, but can't completely celebrate due to the votes in California, Arkansas & Florida. Last weekend, I attended the closing night of our newest lesbian bar in the Twin Cities. Their financing didn't work out. Yesterday I go to ourchart and hear the news about the site's content.

I count my blessings though, which include you, Diana, Julia, Kelly, (even though we fight about eating meat), all the other OC bloggers, and the wonderful buddies I made there.

~Minnie XO

One thing the world can count on, though. Minniesota never stops talking. Hah.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

Staceyann Chin's picture

I love you Grace Moon. Big

I love you Grace Moon.

Big Love, From The Jamaican.

Staceyann

SnarkyMe's picture

Hi Grace, Here we are, your

Hi Grace,

Here we are, your loyal readers, following you and the rest of OC bloggers. Of course we will keep in touch here. All my best wishes for you and the team. And thanks, THANKS for all you have given us at OC.

lisa's picture

i hate your post and i'm

i hate your post and i'm happy you are out of OC.....

your threads were poor,never read until today....

and i'm sure you are a businness woman but who cares and this website is a pity...

Route 66's picture

You ROCK, Grace!! xoxo

You ROCK, Grace!! xoxo

StormyOne's picture

I hate when IC does things

I hate when IC does things like this..
No explanations, Nada, just gone...
Good Luck, Just bookmarked this site.

Grace Moon's picture

Again guys really, thanks a

Again guys really, thanks a ton for your thoughts.
We are actually not that far away from each other, i hope we keep in touch here!!!

tweet tweet @gracemoon

Angie's picture

Thank you for posting this,

Thank you for posting this, Grace. I joined OC a couple of weeks ago and was sorry to hear that the editorial blogs would be scaled back/eliminated.

Dornac's picture

Hello Grace, Thanks for this

Hello Grace,

Thanks for this message.
Will other ex-blogger of Ourchart join you ?

friendly,
dornac

Tesser's picture

Grace, You have given us all

Grace,
You have given us all a gift. I am grateful for all that you did for all us on the OC....you will be greatly missed, but I shall tune in here regulary....after all....I need as much dykey instuction as I can get. Like Cage....I am thinkin communes....!

Tesser

Grace Moon's picture

hey Rusty, You were

hey Rusty, You were definitely not the person I was thinking of when I mentioned that! Wink Yeah what was created in terms of dialogue was fantasitic.

Thansk!!!!

XOXOXO

GM

tweet tweet @gracemoon

Rusty's picture

Grace, thanks and I wish

Grace, thanks and I wish you'd been given the chance to post that on OC. We butted heads more than once, but I have the utmost respect for what you did for us on OC.

Your friend,
Rusty

"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will." ~ Pollyanna

-yams's picture

sorry to hear that the oc

sorry to hear that the oc will be inactive going forward - I learned a lot from the people that blogged, created, commented, discussed, laughed, cried, smiled, thought… i’ll miss all of it…