37. A Thank You

An All-Too-Rare Email

This may surprise you, or maybe it won't, but people rarely reach out to give feedback about this blog. I sometimes hear, eventually, that people really enjoy it, but they never directly tell me that they're enjoying it. I sometimes hear that it's really helping people, but, again, most people aren't going through the (albeit small) effort to let me know. So when someone sends me a direct email thanking me, it means a lot. I wanted to share with you (most of) a recent email that I received from another philosophy professor.

metamorphosis_thanks.pngHere's (most of) what she wrote:

Dear Philosochick,

I'm a follower of your blog, and I wanted to send you a quick note of thanks for the work you've been doing on the blog. I've been following since I first heard about your blog on Feminist Philosophers. You have been really helpful to me as I try to be a better trans*ally. Thank you for taking the time, thought, and emotional effort to write the blog.

I've seen your recent posts about how some people who consider themselves trans*allies are objecting to your sharing stories about how they have hurt you. I just wanted to say that those stories have been incredibly helpful to me as alerts to ways I could hurt someone, and as useful reminders that good intentions are not enough. So I thought now might be a good time to say thank you.

Also, I wanted to let you know that you've been helping my students too.

I worry that this email may sound a bit like bragging ("Hey, look at me! I read your blog, and I use it in my class! Aren't I so cool!"). That's not my intention at all. I know that being an ally is a process, and I'm sure that I make mistakes and need to continue to work at it. I was just reading your blog today, and I was feeling thankful to you. So I just wanted to let you know how you've helped me, so that I could say thanks.

Best wishes.

Believe me, this email came at a time when I really needed it. People often forget how far a little encouragement can go when one is out on a limb. And believe me, voicing some of the dirty laundry of my recent experiences in my old department is almost certainly pissing some people off. But airing it helps me, and it's helping others. So please keep those messages coming: they mean more than you know.

Yours truly,