This is a difficult post to make, because it threatens to tear open wounds that have, I think, more or less healed. About three years ago I was at the heart of a fiasco that turned much of GC against me and caused a rift between me and many of my friends friends, and due to a fit of desperation and anger, caused me nearly to violate on of the most sacred rules at GC--the rule against outing our fellow posters. I am still deeply ashamed by my act; it was one of those spur of the moment things that I don't know why I did. All I can say is that I was under immense pressure at the time and I really thought I was going to be framed by the FBI. It was during the Bush years when human rights were edging towards dissolution, and I got a call from someone claiming to be FBI who demanded that I hand over money that was entrusted to me by GC or else he would frame me with child porn. I was terrified, and I felt I could not tell anyone because I was told he was a well-known poster a GC and so I couldn't trust anyone. It was my worst nightmare come true.
I will admit here before all and sundry that I am not always of the soundest mind; I've had emotional problems since very early in my life and it has led to some very bad decisions. I came close to touching a child at age 18; under slightly different circumstances I would've crossed the line. I meant no harm, but the temptation was just too great. I didn't have any MAP friends to pull me back from the edge, and I was lonely an miserable. I couldn't tell anyone about my orientation; no one would've understood. You all know how it is.
Anyway, to make a long story a bit shorter, I disappeared the money in a hurry. I know now the person who called me wasn't FBI, but I still can't be sure it wasn't someone on the board. I have my suspicions, but it is pointless to make accusations without proof. Anyway, the persons I narrowed it down to have either gone away or post very infrequently here, so I no longer worry about them. I also wouldn't put it past one of PJ's operatives to do something like that, and to tell the truth I'm not tech-savvy enough to protect myself against hackers. This is why I no longer have my computer hooked to the Net. That and I can't afford it. Anyway, I began paying the money back when I got a decent enough job to save money. Of course, I lost that job thanks to PJ's idiots. Now I barely make enough to survive, much less pay back the money I still owe. I will pay it when I'm able. That isn't now.
As a result of my offense against this poster whom I threatened to out, I was banned for a year from chat. That was fair and I didn't protest. It has been almost three years now, and I only at this time am asking to be readmitted into chat. I have asked the mods to allow me in, but they have decided not to allow me back in at this time. At first when I asked I wasn't much concerned about the chatroom so much as I was about being allowed back into the archives. There were some great posts I made that I would like to save and reread. This is about understanding myself. I want to write an autobiography; indeed, I have begun it, but there's some crucial pieces of evidence about my mindset when I first arrived at GC buried in those posts.
But tonight, as I was sitting here, I realized that I really need to talk to someone in real time. I need to be able to interact with people who understand me. I talk sometimes to Mike Melsheimer over the phone, but since I'm poor my phone access is limited. I am not in a happy place right now. I've been making jokes on the board, but I realize this is to cover my insecurity and sadness.
I didn't want to come to the board for this, because I respect the moderators, but I need to know. How many people here still feel like I don't deserve to have a privileged place in this community? If the general consensus is that I am still not trusted, then I will go away. For good. It'll be difficult, but I will abide by the community's wishes. I can't say how I'll feel about this community and it's activism two or three years from now, especially if I'm no longer a part of it. But I can promise you that I will never, under any circumstances, divulge any information given to me in private, and that includes the identities of the posters here. Nor will ever threaten it again. I had no plans to carry through with it even when I threatened it; I deeply regret making the threat and always will.
But please give me an opportunity to prove myself again. I hate being a second-class citizen even among my own MAPs. You all know what that's like. And as Dissident and others have often pointed out, this is the only place on the Net where we can gather and be treated fairly and on our own terms. DU, my Net home away from GC, is great but there are limitations. I cannot discuss issues dealing with my orientation there whenever I feel like it. I am largely accepted there, but I fear that I tax their patience with what I call my Markabian issues by bringing them up too often. I constantly struggle with my dread of offending someone or just overstepping good taste, and I need to talk with other GCers about my life, without having to worry about everything I say. So much has happened in the last couple of years, and I'm eager to share it with my old friends here, and perhaps some new ones. But I also do not want to step on any toes, and I want people to be honest with me: if you feel I'm a threat or a nuisance, please let me know. I have so few places to share this stuff; it's not like I'm able to discuss it with real-life friends and family, even though they all know about me.
The reason offered for the continued ban isn't about the original offense, which makes me think that there is still a high level of mistrust. I don't know how to quell your fears except by being able to prove myself again. I need to be able to do that. If I can't, then I will continue to see myself as the geek in the crowd of cool kids, the one no one really likes but keeps around for their amusement or to do stuff for them. I don't like to toot my own horn, but I have to point out that I have done a lot for GC. Probably more than many here will do in their lives. I say this only because I feel it's important that people have some degree of perspective. I'm not asking you to like me, but I would like to be respected. If I'm not, then I will leave. I admit that my ego can be fragile, and I just can't abide being disliked among my own ilk.
So that's it. Please let me know within a few days, and I'll decide what to do from there.