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12 December 2006


Chelsea, If I were you, I'd check out the "Girl With a One Track Mind." She was published anonymously and then outed, which she protested, but eventually went with it. Of course , the book was already out and I suspect you know all about her. You still are my heroine, even if you protest too much. Good luck!


I'm a lurker on your blog (well, lurker's a creepy word...let's say non-commenting reader), but I thought I'd come out of the woodwork to at least tell you that I think you have nothing to be afraid of if you do release your name. You have amassed a fantastic collection of writing with your blog, and I think you fear taking ownership of it. I mean, taking ownership completely, not relegating the fact to the knowledge of those you already trust, but making it public property. But I think that's a dangerous step every writer takes, to throw their words and their name to the wind. Even if this journalist frames your life and your views in the wrong way, his piece will still draw people to your blog, where they can read your words unfiltered and make their own decision. If your name came out any other way -- say, if you did get a book deal and publish your own book -- you'd have to face the same reality. Do or die. Stand by your words...not as an alias, but as yourself. Just a thought from a big fan.

Tony Comstock

A little more than a year ago my wife and I were approached by HBO. Between their first overtures and The Meeting I did a lot of fretting about whether or not this was The Big Break, and if it was, what we were and weren't willing to do or give up in order to get it.

In the end, HBO wanted things we weren't willing to give and we did not get our Big Break. A year later, nearly everything I might have dreamed could happen as a result of being profiled on HBO has happened anyway.

Stick to your guns. In the end, it's all you really have to begin with.

Tony Comstock

And by the way, that with without bit of his is total bullshit. If it's a page one article it's a page one article, with or without your name.



Tony's right.

The question should not be 'should I agree to use my real name so I can be on the front page', but 'should I let them use my real name because I'm ready for all that entails.'

Trust me, CG - your writing is strong enough to stand on its own. It doesn't need the vapid titillation of an 'outing' to make it newspaper or book worthy.

Do it if it is what you want. If it's not, wait. Your life, your words, your decision.

juliett rowe


I've been reading your blog for quite a while now, and I do have to say that I honestly look forward to it, and get excited when you have posted something new. I have no problems not knowing who you are. Your privacy is yours to keep. I think the fact that you are fretting over the decision to reveal your true identity is your answer right there. Obviously your gut instincts told you no, and well, sometimes we just have to go with our gut. Besides, once you put it out there, you can never get it back.

Rock on.


sweet darling girl, in my book you have nothing to blush about. if your parents and your number one lover already know about your blog, then just go ahead and own it. you've given so many girls the incentive to try anal, for which we are so so grateful to you, that you deserve to reap the rewards of fame. we're with you, sweetie. and again, thank you.


Don't do it, chelsea! You don't sound ready. You can have success on your own terms, not at the end of a double-edged sword.


If you're going to barter your name, barter it on your terms. Right now you're considering bartering it on his.


Kittenfish, you know how I feel about this. I also think Tony is right--it's a page one with or without the name.


This guy already knew he was going to try to pressure you into using your real name. The tact is, "Get the story, then put on the squeeze". Sure, there's a chance you could be outed, and that's always something to consider, but you need to do what's comfortable for you. If it don't feel good, don't do it.


I agree with tony...there is no need to give it all away. Follow your instincts that make you wary of doing this. The story will only be around for so long, but you will forever have been outed. You decide when that happens, dont let external pressures decide for you if possible.


I think you're wonderful. Yes, you are a teacher, but those you teach are adults, not children.

I want you to be happy. I want you to be a writer. A famous writer.

I can only imagine how scary this is for you. In the end, you'll make the right decision for you.


George seems a bit slimy, almost like he's looking to be the one to reveal your hidden identity, with this revelation comprising the additional number of words. A question worth considering is what would Donny think? Seems like revealing your real name lets the world know who he is, too, and all of the things about him that you have written (ditto many other people who's identities are sheilded only by virtue of your continued anonymity). Being the cool dude that you portray, I imagine he will encourage you to go with your gut, but it sure wouldn't hurt to ask the guy (duh).



a thought experiment: do you have reasons for remaining publically annonymous (as opposed to privately) in addition to not wanting your students (read: those for whom to do not share a certain kind of intimacy) to know be able to place the details of your sexthoughts squarely on your bodily person? are your students the only reason?

i mean, we all know that you are on the verge of a fabulous career in writing, so taking that as a given, what, as political being, interested in how discourse about sex(uality) circulates might be the benefit, if any, of remaning unnamed?

ps i second tony. dude is an asshole.

xo, i.m. butch


I'll support you and read you and think you are wonderful no matter what you do.



CG..don'tdo it...

Tony Comstock

I came back to today to re-read and maybe reconsider my advice. In fact, upon re-reading I'm even angrier than before.

When we were at HBO for our "discussion" out of the blue the producer turns on a handicam and asks if it's okay to videotape us. "Well no it's not," we tell her, especially not if you're going to spring it on us.

"Well okay, but if we can't videotape you right now, our bosses aren't going to be as interested in putting you on the TV."

"Yeah, maybe. Still not interested."

This guys tactics are bush-league, used car-lot, "What's the price? Lemme go check with my manager," bullshit, and if that's how George Gurley and The Observer operates, then he's a hack working for a worthless rag.


Wait, scratch that. Don't even bother


Don't do it. Its very hard to identify what is gained by providing your real identify, but very very easy to see what could be lost. There's no reason. You writing is not a call to arms, you're not hiding your real identify to increase your power but because of the attitude of a broader society toward a woman who writes "i love to suck cock". Just Say No.

Nobody special

There is no advantage to your giving away your identity now.

Why do I say this?

Your goals:

--Revealing your name won't make you any more or less likely to get a book deal.

--You can always reveal your name later, but you can't take it back if you do it too soon.

--If you wanted to reveal your name, and thus change yor writing and parts of your life, you would have done so already.

His goals:

--His advice is self-interested, and he makes a living gaining the trust of interview subjects (and more than occasionally betraying that trust). The people he profiles are some of the most successful-- and wary, and defended--people in New York, so you know he’s good at it.

--Now that you've given him an interview, he's after the only one thing you have left to offer him: your name.

--If you want to get an idea how he treats interview subjects, go back and re-google him. See if there's a difference between the people he treats well in articles and those he doesn't. It's likely that people who can do him continued good--sources, socialites, etc.-- get better treatment than those who don't.

==He will likely imply that the article will be more favorable toward you if you let him reveal your name. That's a subtle form of extortion—and tells you what you need to know about him.

If you want to know whether he has your best interests at heart, ask for approval over his article. He’ll tell you no—and it’s because his reputation is more important to him than yours.


To my mind, there are too many potential negatives about an "outing"... It would be one thing if you were an established (read: rich, established, and famous, but mostly independently rich) personality, but based upon what we dedicated readers know of your overall career and financial situation, there are untold number of prudes in the working-world woodwork whose sex-negative attitudes would result in a blunt "no thank you" in many future career situations... with direct effect on your personal finances. I vote for Stay Anonymous.


I agree with those who say you should not do it.

They're plenty of articles on Chronicle.com how internet fame might spell academic doom (Juan Cole, Daniel Drezner, Jacob Levy).


CG, I echo all the sentiments here that say you should do this on your terms, not theirs. Don't be squeezed. It's too easy to put this off, and too hard to take it back if you change your mind. If it doesn't feel right, don't go for it.

The Bastard

O and Tony are correct. This goes beyond trusting a journalist. Stick to your guns and stand tall.

You're getting published no matter what. Don't trip on your first step out the door.


A wise person once told me, "We only learn that which we almost know already." My corollary to that is, "We only do that which we were almost going to do anyway."

If you weren't ready initially to have your real name used, then the reasons perhaps not yet fully understood (perhaps never fully understood) that you haven't already done so in another context still hold true.

When it is your idea to use your real name, then you'll be ready to use it.


I read your blog since October 2005. I've read all your strip memoirs and other advices or life related posts.

Even if showing your name might help you become a writer sooner, I'd vote for not giving it right now. Stick with your pseudonym, as other suggested. After all, what he cares about is your story, not to make you a star.


Tony Comstock

Also, no one who enjoys a mainstream media reputation will ever risk it by taking someone like you (or me) seriously. Especially considering your reports on the focus of the interview, dollars to donuts you look at least as foolish/pathetic as you do sexy/smart in the final article. Another reason not to give Mr Fuckwit your name.


hey, he offered you page one versus page whatever, he did not offer you a book deal neither the possibility to write for the Observer henceforth. You don´t give him your real name, do you? The disadvantages of the real name version outweigh the possible advantages of the Chelsea Girl version by far. The deal is not good enough.

Middle Browser

I fear that even if you remain anonymous in the story, Gawker and Gawker clones will make it their business to discover who you really are. So long as your just a blog that's not controversial, the snarkerati will let you be, but get a story in the Observer and show any signs of perhaps hitting the big time, and I'm pretty certain, they'll make it their mission to expose you. Hopefully, none of those friends of yours will drop the dime, but what about friends of friends or ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends of friends. Anyhow, I hope you remain anonymous, but you may want to prepare yourself just in case.

I agree with the majority, share your identity on your terms, not his ... don't do it


There is a lady in one of the alternative sexualities (nice soft words) that was recently on television and some articles talking about her fetish. One of the things she pointed out is that they insisted on using her real name (and where she lived, I believe), in describing a fetish that... people may not be comfortable with. I just remember her talking about it, when everyone else in the article was allowed to use their usenames. I just remember reading the regret in her words, but she really wanted to tell people about it.

So, I'm glad you kept your real name out of it. Of course, its pretty obvious, I do the same thing, so I'm doubly glad you did because it helps with the rest of us doing the same.


At the risk of sounding melodramatic: don't do it; you know how students are--and, worse, how endlessly moralizing parents and administrators can be--and while you'd like to further your writing career (and, perhaps, transform teaching from a survival skill into a pleasurable activity), this will not make or break the deal, but it could end your teaching career. If that's something you value, then wait and let your private life stay that way because, given the opportunity, they (all of the above) will not.

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