In The Blog Herald First weekly Bloggerview we have interviewed noted and sometimes contriversal queer blogger Bradford Shellhammer, better knowing in the blogosphere as “YoungBradford”
Born June 3rd 1976 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA in an inner city, lower-middle class environment, with 2 sisters, Bradford knew from a young age he was destined to be gay.
Having spent time in NYC, Bradford now resides in San Francisco were, as well as making many friends both in his local area, bloggs his thoughts and happening on the Youngbradford.com blog.
However the roots of youngbradford lie in the heart of the dot com boom;
Youngbradford: “It was 2000 and the dot.com thing was still booming. I lived in New York City and my boyfriend (www.gotommy.com) was a web designer. He had a site with a portfolio of work on it and I wanted my own site. Then I just knew I wanted to play in the medium and have a place to display writings and news. It has turned into something more: therapy, definitely. I work things out online and it has given me the discipline to keep a journal. I am most excited to look back in ten years and read my words. I am keeping my own history. It has also given me the chance to show what I am capable and in doing that it has landed jobs: professional and freelance. So in a sense I blog for money too and for opportunities. I’m shocked at how popular it has gotten.”
Blogherald: You are a high profile blogger in the queer community, do you see yourself as a role model, and would you advocate others following in your steps?
Youngbradford: “Role Model? Hmmm. I want to say yes and I know my words have helped a few people. But I live a wild life sometimes, so role model, no. But I can say that I am wise for my years, I know what is important in life and I am at peace. But I write for me. I am thrilled it entertains some people out there. I would urge everyone to document their lives via blog, pen and paper, whatever.”
Youngbradford also drew attention in the Blogsphere this year with a blog flame war between sites such as jhames.com, The Yankee Blogger (since deceased), and Subway Subversive. The Blogherald asked him for his take on events;
Youngbradford: “My take on it is this: I call people on their shit. When I first started writing online two years ago I would find these awesome sites: Jockohomo, Jonno, and AKAFrankGreen. People who said something and were not taking themselves too seriously. Then I ran into so many boring, uninspired blogs of people desperate for friendship and I was like….so much of this stuff is crap. And I wrote that. And people took offence. And they emailed me and I made a splash in the gay weblog community. They either love me or they hate me, and I love that I evoke such a response from people. The fact is all bloggers are self important snits who think their life is interesting enough to share with the world. I am one of those dorks. And I remind myself and my readers of this fact. Others think they are above that, but when it comes down to it, we are all a bunch of dorks making love to our egos.”
As a result of the flame way youngbradford.com was nominated for the biggest jerk award at the anti-bloggies;
Youngbradford: “I should have won!!!! Who knows. Those awards are phoney. There is no need for the awards because all our sites are so different. Though I do think my blog is gayer than most. I am sticking by that statement too. ”
With more and more bloggers joining the blogosphere each day we asked Youngbradford for his tips’
Youngbradford: “Stay honest. Write about sex and drugs and rock and roll. Do it for yourself and only that. Don’t go in it as a way to make friends. I have made friends, but the bloggers desperate for friendship are easy to spot and they are creepy. Just have something to say and if you are hot the more pictures the better.”
Duncan Riley & Brad Shellhammer
(c) The Blog Herald 2003
Available for publication under creative comments license located at www.blogherald.com
Brad Shellhammer (Youngbradford) can be found at www.youngbradford.com