Pam Spaulding was recently described by Michael Rogers, editor and publisher of gay blog PageOneQ.com as “certainly the most important lesbian blogger in America.”
For a woman who describes herself as “American, female, lesbian, ethnically diverse and opinionated,” this role may have come as a bit of a shock.
First launched in July 2004 because Spaulding was frustrated at the “out of control vitriol of the religious right working with the White House and influencing Congress,” she initially had no intention of developing a loyal readership. But scarcely more than two years later, Pam's House Blend averages 85,000 readers each month and won the 2005 Weblog Award for Best LGBT Blog.
“That particular Weblog award was very nice to receive,” Spaulding says. But although the award brought with it a sense of achievement, it also showed her that mixing politics and awards can lead to backstabbing and jealousy.
“During the voting period … several of the co-nominees wrote some pretty nasty things about me,” Spaulding recalls. “I was the only lesbian nominated. I didn't know where the hostility came from, because I never personally attacked any of them — heck, I didn't even know who most of them were. A few were gay conservative blogs, so it may have been because of political disagreement, but there was no need to personally go after me. Kind of sad.”
One of the core areas of Spaulding's blog deals with conservative family values and the right-wing politics in U.S. society and government today. She blogs daily on events throughout the world that affect lesbians and gays, as well as racial injustices and other issues.
In her site's Conservative Values Monitor, she outlines the law-breaking and moral downfall of conservative public figures. Spaulding has received some negative responses to this area, but “most of them fall into two categories: unhinged, typo-laden, ignorant diatribes, and the religious fundies, who want me to save myself from the hellfire.”
Spaulding believes that eventually the political climate in the United States may swing away from the right. A recent conference in Pittsburgh for the Focus on the Family group, led by head honcho James Dobson, promised to fill a 17,000-seat venue. But as Spaulding gleefully notes, “only 3,000 showed up.”
She believes this is because “most straight people don't have gay rights on their radar. The fundamentalists are now going after women — contraception, Plan B — and privacy issues that affect everyone. They've gone too far, and a backlash is occurring. The ‘mighty middle' is starting to wake up.”
She continues: “The problem exists, of course, that as long as organizations such as [Focus on the Family], Traditional Values Coalition [and] Family Research Council continue to be well-funded and have influence on the Hill, it would be hard to counter them. They have the ear of the White House. The U.S. is one Supreme Court justice away from serious legal changes, and the right and left know it — rather serious changes that will fundamentally affect rights of women, minorities and privacy of everyone. We are already seeing it being chipped away.”
Spaulding is quick to point out that she isn't ashamed of being an American, but is simply embarrassed at the “clowns in charge.”
The problem, she believes, appears to be that a huge majority of people choose not to vote and if they do, they are unsure whether their votes will even count. “Diebold's electronic touch-voting machines are a disaster of corruption waiting to happen,” Spaulding says. “In North Carolina, in one county in 2004, 4,000 votes were ‘lost' when a machine malfunctioned. They had to have a revote in one contested race.”