A Response to the Harassment and Defamatory Comments Made Against Me on Medium.
After seeking legal advice, I have been advised that the post is defamatory and actionable. I also wish to set the record straight and respond publicly to what can only be described as an unhinged rant and attempted character assassination.
Eric Griggs expressly names me and claims that I should “perform a proper mea culpa” because “Talking shit about those one has wronged gets around.” He goes on to say, “Fuck with my friends and incur my long-lived, inscrutable and effective wrath.”
Leaving aside the bizarrely Trumpian and Cohen-esque nature of Griggs’ threat, I have done nothing of the kind claimed by Griggs. Griggs didn’t bother to speak to me about what he says concerns him to find out the facts. Instead, he wrote his ad hominem and personally threatening attack.
There is no place on Medium (nor anywhere else for that matter) for such threatening, harassing and abusive behaviour.
WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED?
So let me tell you what actually happened on Th-Ink Queerly that led to this very personal attack on me. You can then judge for yourself who should be apologizing to whom.
I am the publisher of Th-ink Queerly.
Th-Ink Queerly’s mission statement, states in part,
Think Queerly is political, socially progressive, and critical of the status-quo. We publish articles that critique homophobia and heteronormative patriarchy. Our writers explore their personal struggles for positive sexual and gender identities. We tackle religious bigotry, social injustice, and political and physical violence against the LGBTQ+ communities. We are a community of writers working to make our queer voices heard.
I had a fiction editor at Th-Ink Queerly.
The day after I published a post from a 17-year old author on Israel’s Pink-washing of LGBTQ Palestinians, the editor responded to the author with a truly horrifying set of insults over a number of comments decrying his intellect, and saying things like, “You are a fucking asshole” and, “Fuck off you dirty piece of shit.”
Can you imagine being that 17-year old young person who received that horrific attack?
This was not the first issue that I had with this editor.
I did not report the editor to Medium for his attack. I did not publicly make any comment. I did, without making any announcement, remove him from his post as Th-Ink Queerly’s fiction editor. It is for my actions regarding this editor that Griggs has attacked me.
Once he was removed as Th-Ink Queerly’s fiction editor, the editor approached Th-Ink Queerly’s fiction contributors to delete their posts on Th-Ink Queerly and move with him to another publication on Medium, where he is currently an editor. I very much doubt that he told them why he had been removed as fiction editor.
I have a private Facebook group for Th-Ink Queerly contributors.
One of the contributors, in a post on the private group, asked what happened to the fiction editor, and why some of the fiction contributors were now on another publication. My reply, below, was only to the private group.
“I had to remove the former fiction editor from his position for his behaviour. His actions following that in moving many authors over to (name redacted) are a further example of his ethics.”
This is the only comment that I made about the situation, so Griggs must have heard about it from someone in the group and it must be why he accuses me of “talking shit”.
I tried to deal privately with the problem regarding this editor and friend of Griggs, and as respectfully as possible in the circumstances. Griggs, it is truly a shame that your conduct has required that this problem now be addressed very publicly.
I do, however, wish to perform one mea culpa, because I have come to the view that I probably should have handled the situation with the fiction editor very differently than I did.
I should have reported his actions to Medium.
By not reporting the fiction editor’s actions to Medium I condoned his actions. I protected his “character”, and in so doing, he felt emboldened to privately communicate with a number of published authors on Th-Ink Queerly and have them leave Th-Ink Queerly. You may have views on the ethicality of that conduct as well.
While I did consider reporting the editor at the time, I chose not to do so. I am not going to appear vindictive and change my mind now. For the same reason I do not think that it is appropriate that I now name him.
A SAFE PLACE
Before I conclude, I want to point out the huge irony in all of this. Griggs prefaces his attack on me by referring to a Medium Letter written by Dan Moore, publisher of P.S. I Love You. Moore writes,
“This weekend I published a story that I should not have published. In it, the author — who has been writing for P.S. for about a year — referenced and implicitly defended organizations whose values conflict directly with those I hold dear. Namely: tolerance, equality, respect for all.
The story has been removed, and I’ve been in touch with the writers involved. But the incident weighs on my mind.”
Moore goes on to say that,
“P.S. I Love You is unequivocally opposed to hate, ignorance, and discrimination in all its disparate forms.”
Moore is apologizing for posting an article that was at odds with the mission of his publication, which promotes “tolerance, equality, respect for all”. The irony is that Griggs uses Moore’s vehicle to mount an intentionally abusive, hateful, defamatory attack on me. Mr. Moore, I do wish to say to you that I applaud your publication and its values. I know that Griggs is not speaking for you.
You, reader, now have all the facts.
The real facts, and not just the defamatory rhetoric and innuendo of Griggs. Maybe he didn’t know what actually happened and let his friendship and loyalty cloud his judgment. He certainly didn’t take the time to talk to me and find out what happened before he attacked.
We do know that Griggs understands how to perform a proper mea culpa. Which my lawyer tells me is exactly what is called for.