adding ginger to your sass

GingerSass - adding ginger to your sass

Happy first birthday, GingerSass.

365 days ago my life changed forever.

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I was feeling a bit down and I decided to go to the (now defunct) 2nd Annual Sex, Love, and Dating Conference at Rutgers. After all, it was 5 minutes away, and a lot of my friends were working the event.


I didn’t know what to expect, and my social anxiety prevented me from wanting to make new friends at the conference, so I decided to do what I had done when I was younger: pretend I was a news reporter and super important at an event.


I ended up creating GingerSass and live-blogging the conference. GingerSass had over 300 hits in its first 24 hours of existence. By the end of the week, GingerSass had a domain name, a Twitter account, and me solemnly swearing that I wouldn’t toss GingerSass to the side after a few weeks, like I have done with so many writing projects in the past.


One year later, GingerSass has grown into something I never could have dreamed of. A year ago, I thought GingerSass would just be something to make me feel like less of an awkward turtle at a conference. Now, GingerSass has over 745 Twitter followers, 170 fans on Facebook, and, on average, over 5,000 visitors per month. THAT’S CRAZY TALK.


GingerSass has given me a lot of opportunities this past year I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I attended the BlogHer conference in NYC. I met fellow bloggers and made some amazing friends. I became a National Runner Up to be the Verizon Ultimate Insider. I’ve booked a few appearances and made a bit of money as a poet (unheard of!). I’ve been mentioned on AfterEllen. I’ve interacted with celebrities whose alter-egos have questioned what a celesbian is and why I want to be one. (coughcoughCadyMcClaincough) I’ve also been sent fun things in the mail, including a book from Eden Riegel’s mom. (I’m still finishing it, Lenore! Sorry!) GingerSass is also found in the first few pages of “celesbian” search results on major search engines.


Besides the Z-list celesbianism I’ve managed to obtain, GingerSass has given me a lot personally. It’s helped me grow as both a person and a writer, and it’s helped me get through anxiety, stress, grieving, student teaching, excitement, a hurricane, love, and so much more. It’s helped me become more in tune with who I am, and who I want to be. GingerSass gave me the voice that I kept locked away for so long, and it has helped remind me that I am a strong, independent, incredibly awkward yet endearingly sassy ginger woman.


GingerSass has been one of the best things that has come into my life, and I am forever grateful for what it has evolved into. It wouldn’t be possible without all of you– THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.


I’ll be announcing a giveaway at some point this week to commemorate one year of GingerSass. Until then, be sure to like GingerSass on Facebook, follow @THEGingerSass on Twitter, or subscribe to GingerSass using the “Subscribe” button on the side of this page.


Stay tuned for an update– with cake– later tonight! Thanks again for making this past year possible. I really couldn’t have done it without all of you. <3

Oh, and here’s a Hillary Scott (of Lady Antebellum fame) song I found that perfectly sums up how much my life has changed in the year that GingerSass has been around. Blogging and running GingerSass truly has been life-changing for me.

Multiple Blogging Personalities Disorder

I’m just over a week away from the one year anniversary of GingerSass (can you believe it?!) and I realized the other night that I have a minor problem.


I still don’t know how to categorize my blog.


When people find out I’m a blogger, after giving me a look reminiscent of the one I got when I would tell people I was an English major, the inevitable question always comes up:


“What do you write about??”


Even though I’ve probably been asked this dozens, if not hundreds of times at this point,  I always get flustered about what to say. I usually end up catering my response to whoever is asking the question.


I don’t know you very well? I write about my life.


I know you in an educational or professional aspect? I write about the intersection of my various identities with my experiences in both the educational world and life.


I know you as my student? I write about how you should being your work right now instead of asking me questions about my personal life. If you’re done with your work, I’ll tell you I write about a hodge-podge of things and you’ll say, “Miss B, you’re so weird. Who says hodge-podge?”


I know you through the poetry world? I write about my writing process, my poetry, and my experiences introducing the love of poetry to others.


I know you as a fellow dog-lover? I write about my dog. A lot.


I know you as a fellow member of the lgbt spectrum/ queer world? I write lots of “gay” stuff, specifically regarding my identity as a “femme lesbian” and my interactions with the world, in both queer and non-queer situations.


I know you as one of my friends? Like, a friend I reeeeally like? I write about how gay I am, cheeseballs, my dog, my odd obsession with my stuffed unicorn Chaaaarlie, my zebra-print seat covers, celebrities that piss me off, and whatever I’m obsessed with at the moment. If you’re a friend I’m on more of the acquaintance or Facebook friend level with? See “I don’t know you very well,” keeping in mind that you probably see my Facebook posts of my blog anyways.


I know you as my family, other than my immediate family? Well, I’m not sure why I’m telling you I blog, but you’re probably going to be nosey and Google me anyways so I’ll just say “I write about my life and stuff.”


I know you as a fellow blogger? Well, you’re probably trying to find out if I’m A Mommy Blog, A Sex Blog, A Giveaway Blog, or A Super Gay Blog You Probably Won’t Read Unless You’re Gay. I’ll tell you I’m technically categorized as a “Lifestyle Blog” because I blog about cool events that happen in my life, my various identities, education, and, if you look gay-friendly, I’ll tell you “queer stuff.”


I know you as someone who is interested in booking me to speak? I write about whatever you want me to write about.


I’m one of the few. The rare. The proud. The flustered. I’m a “Miscellaneous Blogger.”


You know what? I’m fine with having multiple blogging personalities disorder. It just makes things a little more complicated.


And, if you know me, you know I love to make things complicated. 😉

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2012: A Year in Review

Tonight is the last Friday night of 2012, exactly one week after the world was supposed to end. A lot has happened in 2012, and I decided to highlight everything significant that happened to me this year, month by month.


It’s been one heck of a year at GingerSass.


Not much happened in January. I turned 22, which was actually a better birthday than my 21st. My friend convinced the bartender at a local bar that I should be given a free bottle of champagne because my 21st coincided with a blizzard and I didn’t get to celebrate. I received a stuffed unicorn and zebra print seat covers from my parents. I, once again, pleaded to Ellen as to why we should celebrate our birthday together and she ignored me. Ya know, the usual.


I made it onto PostSecret for the first time. Whitney Houston died and I was devastated so I wrote a poem. Ryan Murphy pissed me off so I wrote him an angry tumblr post turned into a letter, which he never responded to.


March was a very important month for me– I STARTED GINGERSASS! (All of the posts posted before March 25th were transferred from my tumblr site.) Fun fact– GingerSass was started because I was pretending to be an investigative reporter at the Sex, Love, and Dating Conference. Also, Adrienne Rich died, which devastated me. A lot.


April freaking rocked. Highlights of the month include:

volunteering with NOH8 and later being featured on their website
meeting Frank Warren at my first PostSecret event
saw an opera and a concert in one week
my Poefy (poetry-wifey) was fantabulous in The Vagina Monologues and I wrote about it


May was a good month for me. Obama came out in support of gay marriage. I won an award. I graduated college. Life was pretty awesome to me in May.


June was an interesting month. I started it out writing about suicide after finding out that the partner of my friend who had committed suicide also committed suicide. I wrote a bunch of 10 Minute Musings for a grad class and reconnected with myself. I came out to my family as a blogger, with the support of Cady McClain, aka Dixie from All My Children. I even inspired her alter-ego, Suzy F*cking Homemaker, to create an internet meme. Suzy also encouraged me to write a post on why I want to be a celesbian…so I did. I also  booked and performed my first paid poetry gig, which was pretty darn awesome.


July started off with a roadtrip to Massachusetts with Poefy to the wedding of Taylor and Mike. I basked in the glory of cheeseball goodness. (This post is still one of my most-visited posts, btw.) I fell in love with my job over the summer. I also figured out What Obama Taught Me. I indulged in Restaurant Week. Then I got serious about my blog, invested in an actually site host, got free magnets, and was overwhelmed by the idea of going to BlogHer. I also posted about teacher dress codes, which is also one of my most-visited posts of all time.


August started off with me going to BlogHer’12 and MY LIFE CHANGING FOREVER. I made so many blogging friends through BlogHer, and I’m going to (eventually) categorize them on her so you can so who I’m reading. I also won a happy hour party in August and celebrated with wings and food at a local bar with my friends. Woohoo! To top August off, I started my new job, got an apartment to go along with it, and ruminated on why Res Life will always be a part of me.


September was an emotional, crazy month. I had an awesome first week of September. I was a national runner up to be the next Verizon Ultimate Insider, mentioned on AfterEllen, and yogurt was on sale. I made it through the one year deathaversary of my friend’s suicide, and I participated in yet another walk for dead people. September was emotional, tough, and trying, but I got through it.


October started off with me reflecting on how much I love my car. I also met Jack Hanna, which was a childhood dream come true. I had a kickass lesson on bullying on National Coming Out Day and fell even more in love with teaching. I went to the Dodge Poetry Festival for the first time as an educator, and I helped my students fall in love with poetry. I met Geena Davis and she told me, “You’re changing the world to be a place I want to be in. Keep up the good work.” I saw Melissa Etheridge in concert. I survived Hurricane Sandy, was really upset that Sandy canceled Halloween, and was upset by the whole Sandy experience.


November feels like such a long time ago. I participated in NaBloPoMo for the first time and wrote about how I’m a Jersey girl, how Sandy domesticated me, and what Obama’s win meant to me. I also talked about bacon, ghosts, and just how important it was that I found my voice again by going to poetry open mics. I cut my hair, took silly webcam pics, and thought about my future. I ended my first NaBloPoMo experience by being grateful for stickers, and really having peace in knowing that I’m on the right track for what I want to do with my life.


December flew by. I think the biggest thing that happened to me this month, right before my student teaching internship ended, was that I realized why I want to teach. I arranged for an assembly for my Creative Writing students, and  it really changed my relationship with them forever. It taught one student to not be afraid to be who she is, and this, in return, encouraged me to come out to her. She then wrote me a note and made me cry. Then the Newtown, Connecticut shooting happened and it hit really close to home, as it was the first school shooting that has happened since I began student teaching. My students asked me if I would take a bullet for them, and I was able to respond honestly and say yes. Student teaching ended, and I managed to make it to the parking lot after school before crying. I got creeped out by the whole Elf on a Shelf phenomenon, but secretly loved my creepy little elf.

2012 was a year of growth. I rediscovered my writing identity, and GingerSass became a very large part of who I am. I’m grateful for the opportunities blogging has given me this past year, and I cannot wait to see what 2013 holds.

Happy New Year, folks! What are you looking forward to in 2013?

PS I’m not sure if I’ll be able to attend or not, but if you’ll be at home this NYE, consider joining in on #Tweetin13. There are prizes, fun people, and it’s hosted by two of my favorite ladies. Get on it!