By Ross von Metzke
Originally published on Advocate.com January 06 2009 12:00 AM ET
a black sheep of the gay community -- whoever heard of a
gay, sports-loving Republican -- for five years, Scott
Schmidt took to his blog BoiFromTroy.com to offer a different
take on the gay rights movement. But Monday morning
the blogger, activist and University of Southern
California grad-football nut announced he was pulling
the plug on his labor of love (his once multiple-times-a-day
posts tapered off this summer while Schmidt sunk a fair
amount of his time into working with Republicans Against 8). Advocate.com caught up with Schmidt just
after he bid his loyal fan base farewell.
Advocate.com:In five years on the Web, you managed to amass a
pretty loyal following. Why stop now?Scott Schmidt: For me, blogging was not as much
about my readers as much as it was a venue for me to share
my thoughts and passions. I always believed I should
blog for myself, not for my readers. So when blogging
was more a chore than a hobby, I realized it was time
to hang up the cleats and retire.
When someone told
me that the BoiFromTroy blog was my greatest
accomplishment in life, I knew it was probably time to move
on and make a real accomplishment or two.
One of your big projects this year was Republicans Against 8, and I
know that took up a lot of your time. Did that
play a role in your deciding to walk away? The decision to retire as BoiFromTroy actually
came last summer -- around the same time as I started
working on Republicans Against 8, but the two are
unrelated. When people stop recognizing you as a person and
instead look at you as a caricature of your blog's
persona, then it is time to go back to being a person.
Looking back over your five years at BoiFromTroy,
what's been the most rewarding experience? The most rewarding experience is to hear from
those people who say that reading the blog let them
realize that it is OK be be different -- to be gay and
Republicans, to be Republicans who support gays.
On the other
hand, I realized that there is power in what gets put
online, and people can get hurt. There's a football player
in South Carolina whose professional career may have
been put in jeopardy because of something said about
him online years ago, and I don't know that I want to
bear the burden on my conscience of inadvertently changing
people's lives like that.
Your opinions don't always walk the same line as
the majority of the gay community. Have your opinions on
any major issues facing the community evolved in
your time writing the blog? One thing I have learned while blogging is that
none of us fit nicely into compartmentalized boxes --
even into those boxes we define ourselves with. As a
gay, Republican USC football fan, my readers would get crazy
when I talked about other passions I had, like Georgetown
basketball, some boy, or obsessively racking up
frequent flier miles. We are all individuals, and we
should not hold it against folks who don't fit the
predefined community molds.
Million dollar question -- what comes next? Freedom! Although I hadn't been blogging as
regularly lately, once I declared that I was no longer
"Boi From Troy" it was very liberating. This doesn't
mean I will give up writing, and I won't be leaving
the Internet. I still have my column at Spot-on.com and
still consider myself as a blogger -- I just won't be
Boi From Troy.