Effective 2 September, I will no longer be writing for the site AniTAY. This comes as a result of an incident that was not a first time offense. During the evening of 1 September, one of our writers made a statement that didn’t settle well with me (the metaphor about “tying (your) own noose”), and I had very respectfully asked the individual to stop. What followed was several users making suicide jokes in repetition in response. Holding in my feelings on the matter, I tried to distance myself from the situation for the evening. When I returned the next day, not only had the jokes continued, people were actively ignoring the few individuals who asked them to stop doing this. Of these individuals, one of them was one of our administrators for our Discord chat, which really didn’t set well with me. After a lot of thought, I just laid it out and said that I was sick of being treated like an exception to how to treat people.
This was not the first time people actively fought against me politely asking for such a matter to be avoided- when an individual had their work shared to the front page of AniTAY featuring a man hanging from a noose in the thumbnail, several of our writers took it upon themselves to write harshly written responses to me asking our administrators to take down the post. After one of our administrators convinced me to stick around, I kept it as a one time strike that I wouldn’t forget, but still go on writing.
When May came around, I posted a photo of myself running in my marathon I did for charity to the AniTAY Discord and one of our writers made several comments about my weight, and offered no apology for this matter. The overall lack of intervention by anyone else made me re-evaluate what I was doing and that is why I stopped writing over the summer.
So then that brings us back to this past weekend, where, after voicing my frustrations in an open matter I really didn’t think it would ever have to come to, a few of our writers I had issues with above offered their apologies. What really didn’t set well with me, however, is that the administrator who had given doubling down on their jokes a whole new definition (with a message that was five suicide jokes in one sentence, and later after I voiced my frustration he put song lyrics about “hanging around”) decided the appropriate response to someone voicing they felt that they weren’t justly treated for rationally asking things would be to say and I quote “Go fuck yourself.” with a follow up of a justification for his action being that his life was too stressful and that he wouldn’t filter himself.
Life is incredibly challenging for people of all walks of life, but it doesn’t justify being a jerk. People struggle every day and they don’t actively seek out hurtful jokes. I have made it clear from the start and anyone who has read any of my articles this year knows that I am a veteran of the United States armed forces and my passion and career I am working towards is that of mental health. I cannot stand idly by as people make light of things I see and work with to prevent every day. The men and women I look to help have had to make sacrifices and struggle through their days, so I refuse to just let things go bby. If that means other writers, my readers, or the Twitter audience I have disapprove of me, then so be it. I am happy with the decisions I have made in life and I won’t let something on the Internet be as much of a source of stress as this has been.
Furthermore, this incident has made me reevaluate my decisions to continue writing for AniTAY. While I had a few of our writers reach out to talk to me (and important to note one of our administrators did as well), it feels like it is time to move on as I no longer feel safe in an environment I have to share with individuals who can’t show basic decency. I have plenty of work I have been grappling with what to do with, but none of that work will show its way back to AniTAY- I refuse to have my name be on the same team as any number of people who can’t show that respect (no matter how few of them it is). If I can’t find somewhere to put my work that will still get reading, I will quit from writing anime related content. I enjoy writing, and I enjoy the good people I come across, but I also want to be happy while I’m doing this.
I want to thank the people from AniTAY who continue to support me through this decision, my family and friends, and everyone who has read my stuff over the years. Some of you might be rolling your eyes at this, but it is something important to me, so I had to get it out there.