De-Monotized

*sigh*

Over the weekend I noticed this message pop-up on my YouTube channel:

Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 1.34.07 PM

I had heard originally that YouTube was making this plan but figured that I would be/had been grandfathered in, which is why I was both getting ads on my videos and making money from ads on my videos for the past five months. It isn’t so much the money that frustrates me about this situation as much as it is that because of an error on Google’s part, I’m suddenly not going to be making anything on videos until I hit some random arbitrary lifetime view count (which spoiler I’m 7,449 views away from) before I’m allowed to even potentially earn money for the videos I make. It’s worth noting that YouTube won’t even send a check for anything less than $100 anyway, so I now have to make considerably more content (without hope of payment for the foreseeable future) before I can even attempt to start to get money back.

I know that YouTube and Google don’t owe me anything, they don’t have to pay people at all, but it’s odd to me that as the company has gotten larger and more popular rather than doing more for its creators it’s somehow managed to screw them over more instead. I love doing YouTube, and I would do it money or not, but I have to wonder, why should I no longer make money because I haven’t hit enough viewers to ‘earn it?’

 

Focusing on the Important Things

I have a habit of obsessively focusing on the analytics of my YouTube channel. I made the mistake of downloading the Studio app for my phone, with the intent of using it to respond to comments throughout the day, only to find myself trying to make sense of something that to this day I don’t fully understand, and I realize, maybe isn’t meant for me to understand. Because I’m not creating content with the hopes of getting views or likes or subscribers. I’m creating content because it’s fun for me. Because I’ve come to enjoy it and it’s something that I want to continue doing. The videos of mine that are successful are to my mind inexplicably so and it makes me realize that trying to make sense of why this video is underperforming and another video out performed any of my non-existent expectations is both a waste of my time and frankly boring.

I love vlogging. I love that it has become something that is a huge part of my life now. I love that it’s become something that I’m constantly thinking about how to make it better, more fun, different things that would make my filming area more interesting, different ways I can improve upon things and make them more entertaining. I love that I’m always thinking of new things to talk about and new topics on my mind. I love that it’s become something that I’m so incredibly passionate about and that I’m now almost 100 vlogs in.

But analytics is a rabbit hole with no end that I could fall down for days and still never make sense of it. If 10 years of blogging never helped me figure out how analytics worked (and why was I never obsessed with it in this?) then why would obsessing about it now even matter? I get where it could be beneficial to someone, but I’m not going to change what I talk about or how I vlog just to potentially get views because YouTube doesn’t even work that way. I would rather focus on content than analytics, even if that isn’t quite how this works.

Check out my other social media platforms:

YouTube Channel | Twitter @narcissadeville | Facebook.com/narcissadeville | narcissadeville.tumblr.com | Instagram @narcissadeville | Email: askcissa@narcissadeville.com | Podcast

The Pressure to Create

Increasingly I have seen the advice that one ought to write every day, in order to be a serious writer. In which case, not only have I never been a serious writer, any hope of that as of late is completely out the window. Only, that isn’t exactly true. Anyone who has followed this blog for any length of time can attest to the fact that I have been writing at least since I was 10 years old, and even then I took it very seriously. Yet here again I find myself, not writing. For a rather prolonged period of time now, I have written nothing new, save for a few blog posts and some script notes for vlogs, and honestly, it’s maddening. Somewhere in my head, I know that I’ve been here before, and I’m trying to be patient with myself. To take it easy, and trust that when it is time for me to write again, I will. But of course, my lack of writing has driven me into an all too familiar existential crisis. What am I, who am I, if not a writer?
 
Of course, that’s a silly question. You’re never not a writer. The urge to write never truly goes away. Even if the muse does disappear for a moment. It always returns. Even now I am writing something, it’s just not the something I feel I ought to be writing. Which of course, isn’t how any of this works, yet still I try to bend the Universe to my will, hoping, praying, that somehow it will give me what I want. As if overthinking, overanalyzing, and overstressing about not writing has ever produced more work from anyone.
I’ve always put pressure on myself to work harder, do more, write more, be better, and though to some these are signs of a ‘good work ethic’ it leads to the problems I now find myself in. Burnout. You become so exhausted from doing so much and never giving yourself time to rest and recharge that you find yourself doing not much of anything at all.
Except that I am doing something, and that scares me a little bit. Because if I’m vlogging, more than I am writing, what happens to my life as a writer? Can I ever go back, or am I simply now, someone who does YouTube, no longer a writer, barely a person who can find themselves creating a proper sentence anymore. It’s hard to complain. This was my decision after all, and if I honestly believed YouTube is the reason I’m not writing, shouldn’t I stop? Wouldn’t I stop?
The trouble is, I’ve been here before. Each time feels more and more like the end, and yet, I can’t help but hold out a sliver of hope, that each time, as before, I will eventually get back to work.

Seriously?! Here’s the Thing- Outing People

popcultureOne of my goals for 2017 was initially to try not to let little things get to me, which needless to say has been largely unsuccessful thus far.

Not for nothing though, this particular story really stuck in my craw and pissed me off so much that I decided I wanted to talk about it here.

Back in the early-2000’s Perez Hilton made a name for himself outing celebrities, talking shit about celebrities, and just generally being really toxic. Somewhere in the last few years however, we’ve come to realize that actually outing people is super gross, and thankfully it’s something that a lot of people look at for what it is, really fucking gross and shady. Unless you’re like some website that shoots pictures of Caitlyn mid-transition then it’s totally fair game, because obviously while it’s totally gross to out gay people trans people are fair game. Which brings me to the crux of this story.

This past week on a (game-show?) called Survivor (I didn’t even know this shit was still running), a contestant decided to go for broke and out a fellow contestant as a trans man. Because… nothing says I’m desperate to stay in the competition than throwing someone under the bus for their gender identity.

Luckily (if you can call it that) the show’s host made it a point to basically tell the guy hey that’s not fucking cool, but now this person who spoiler alert didn’t want his business all over the universe now has to talk about this because… why would anyone ever let this go?

Some people, (shitty people) would likely suggest that if he didn’t want his business all over the world then he shouldn’t have gone on reality tv. To those people I say… shut up and have a seat.

And I wish I had a megaphone to say this:

TRANS PEOPLE DO NOT OWE YOU THEIR HISTORY!

This is really really important.

Just because you’re going on reality television, does not mean every cavity or pap-smear is suddenly up for public consumption. A person’s transition is a personal and private decision (occasionally a medical one) and spoiler alert no one is required to give you their complete medical history in order to be a contestant on a game show/ reality competition.

And really, WHO FUCKING CARES IF HE’S TRANS?!

How does that impede his ability to be on tv?

It wasn’t just that he outed this guy either, it’s that he did so, claiming that he was lying and hiding by not disclosing his trans-ness.

Nuh-uh!

Don’t play that asinine you’re lying if your trans trope.

STOP IT!

Newsflash, you don’t get to decide for people what their gender is. Just because you don’t agree with who a person is doesn’t give you the right to tell the world.

I don’t care if you are bffs with a trans person, that doesn’t inherently give you the right to out them to everyone you know. If they give you permission that’s one thing, but it’s nobodies damn business for you to just share with the world.

We Have a Problem

mon
I_transpn the beginning of this nonsensical, asinine debate over bathrooms I was kind of thinking, okay, this is stupid, but it can’t last right? To my dismay however, and frankly, indignation, not only has this not gone away, it’s gotten impossibly worse! From a cis-woman being stared down while using the restroom by another cis-woman ‘you know in case she was secretly a man’, to the burning of Dr. Pierre Brassard’s Clinic in Montreal, we have a REAL goddamn problem here. And to be quite honest, enough is enough.

This has never been about protecting anyone and as much as we would like to pretend otherwise, it’s just simply not the case. Facts and figures haven’t been enough to reason with people, and frankly neither have personal stories from actual trans people or seeing how these bullshit bills actually AFFECT real lives rather than the ‘theoretical effect’ not having them would pose on cis people.

Apparently not even losing MILLIONS for North Carolina was enough to get them to see, HEY THIS IS STUPID! This is not an argument to be having in 2016, this isn’t an argument to be having in 1916!

Look I grant you change is scary, but the thing of it is, this isn’t some new thing. You may be just hearing about trans people in your restroom for the first time, but that doesn’t make it NEW! Like the rest of the LGBT community we’ve been around, using restrooms since the beginning of time.

We need to take a very hard look at ourselves and our priorities at the current moment, because this is not our biggest problem by far, we have a man who is very likely to become the nominee for a party that has always been out of touch but who has crossed into entirely new territory with this one, and that could mean A LOT bigger problems down the road. This is not just a scare tactic used by bigots, it’s also a diversionary tactic against much larger issues, and somehow a lot of people have fallen for it. But as a trans person, I’m not here to be the GOP scapegoat, while members of their own party are actually out there doing shit in bathrooms, or have we just forgotten about Senator Larry Craig? Or Congressman John Hinson? Or Representative Bob Allen?

The list goes on.

And this is not to say Democrats don’t have sex scandals, but they’re not the ones trying to keep trans people out of the bathroom over an unfounded fear mongering campaign, that is unacceptable and out of control.

And for those cisgender people who have stood by our side, and stood with us, I say thank you. Thank you for your support. But we need more. That people signed on to boycott Target for their inclusive bathroom policy is simply unacceptable. We need to do better, and our cis-LGB brothers and sisters need to stand with us more, because we’re all in this together. Just remember, Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, both trans women, stood up for you during the Stonewall Riots, now it’s time to repay the favor, and stand up for their children and grandchildren.