Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Fact & Fiction in the Grove

A member of a local LGBT media outlet posted on his Facebook page that I made fun of people for being HIV positive in my personal blog post, which he conveniently didn't link to. As soon as a few people who read my posts disputed that claim, calling it 100% false, he promptly removed it without further comment.

The beautiful thing about the truth is that it makes sense when you hear it, and it can withstand a storm. There's a sizeable group in the Grove angry about my coverage of domestic violence, identity theft, and bullying in our community, but I think what upsets them most of all is that I tell the truth and am able to back up everything I say, normally with public records. People can and do run to the outlets I write for demanding retractions and my termination, but to no avail.

Just last week my friend John McKinnon, "the Thurston Howell of San Francisco", pleaded with me to return to the city by the bay, at least for a while, concerned about what covering the seedy underbelly of this city is doing to my spirit and personality.

Life wasn't all peace and tranquility in San Francisco either, where I covered the city's jarring gentrification and mass displacement, facing backlash from local politicians and organizations. But it was decidedly more high brow than what I've been dealing with lately.

But I have a sense of purpose, standing up to horrible people, and I like telling the story of the underdog.

And the more blowback I get in the attempt to shut me down, the more I see how necessary this work is, and why nobody else wants to do it.

Today's erroneous Facebook post served to damage the reputation of the man who posted it, and the organization he represents. Just last month I broke bread with a founder of that organization, and hope he will address and appropriately rectify the situation.

When you've lost your credibility, you've lost everything.

* * *

"I'm the one they come to see because they all believe me" - Drake

UPDATED with my open letter.

Still in Facebook Jail


  1. Thanks Zachary. I might not be out there but my name sure is!

  2. Chris,
    So glad that you do what you do with a touch of humor and a lot of humanity.

    Need a bunkmate?? =D

  3. I was going to say, " the truth will set you free", but in your case, it seems to often land you in facebook jail. I will always defend you, my friend!

    1. If I required love from people who were out 5 or more nights a week on Manchester St in St. Louis I'd be left wanting right now, but fortunately I'm not. The world is a big and beautiful place.