Tech + Web

October 20, 2011

When The Internet Is Awesome And Builds Queer Armies + We Love You Tanner #spiritday

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Written by: Erika
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Remember when we were super sad and depressed about bullies and suicides and how the whole world fucking sucks ass and nobody cares?!? aka. 5 minutes ago?

That was before my mind was blown. By love and unicorns and love and so many queer awesome people who are awesome! This is a true #SpiritDay Story:

Meet Tanner (

Tanner is maybe possibly the cutest kid I have ever seen first of all. He is 14. Gay. And “hates people”. Tanner, as many do, turned to tumblr to dump baggage, emotions, and rants that he quite possibly couldn’t share with others. Perhaps dramatically, as we do when we are 14. But did I mention how adorbs?




Tanner’s tumblr seems to have been only created about a week ago, and is full of self-portraits, and some depressing images and mentions of suicide. Then there are fun bits like this (#highschoolflashbacksanyone?):

"that awkward moment when u realize ur crush is a homopbhobic asshole"

And then there is this:


It appears as though others used Tanner’s tumblr to continue their abuse of him, evidence of which he continued to publish to his tumblr account. The little shitbag (I can only assume there is on major culprit here) had this little funny thing to say to Tanner:

In light of what comes next, this appears to be a pretty fucking brilliant statement. “Fight us with your internet army?” That is right, a fucking Queer Internet Army is what happened. Because I, and my helpers, are intenet ninjas, we know that an individual by the name of Seanothan made a plea for help on behalf of Tanner to the internet queers (because we ARE the internet), posting this on reddit:

In lieu of the recent suicide in Ottawa, sadly THIS has come to my attention as well. (Thankfully it’s been taken off Facebook now) He lives in Gatineau, which is part of the Ottawa-Gatineau city itself. All I know is his name is Tanner and this is his Tumblr, but I mean look at it. Right now the first post is someone saying “kill yourself” and he’s agreeing.

I’m doing my best to not make this seem stalkerish, but is there anything we can do for him, as a community? His Tumblr is full of a lot of bad stuff that mirrors what Jamie Hubley was going through. I live in Ottawa and I don’t want to wake up tomorrow with his face on the front of newspapers here.

edit: He turned off anonymous asks cause of the people writing bad things.

edit #3: I’ve been out of the house for 5 hours. It’s awesome that everyone is being so good with this. However we have to be careful. Going after his bullies will probably only make his life harder. In the end we have to be respectful of his privacy too. Last thing any of us want is for our good intentions to do any bad at all. Just keep telling him he’s great and make a video if you want. If you’ve contacted the authorities or whatever, make SURE they know he isn’t out. I didn’t think anyone would do that. I just fear this whole thing may out him and that’s the last thing he wants. Sorry for all the edits.

if people want to make a video for him, I think the best way would be to make one on your own and submit it to the Tumblr that got set up for him RIGHT HERE or throw it up on your own and make him aware of it.

Thus began We Love You Tanner; a love letter, an ode, a thank you, a call to arms. We Love You Tanner is an example of how the internet can be used to support individuals who are afraid, alienated, and alone. We can be better, we can do better, and we can effect positive change in the lives of youth that we don’t know. This should be an example of how we can build Queer Armies, including Queer Internet Armies, to fight, call out, and shed light on online bullying. It has gotten better for many of us, and we need to keep telling kids that.

To the millions of Tanners in the world, we love you.

Go. Share Love. Build (Love) Armies.


About the Author

|Executive Editor & Co-Founder| A mostly hippy and always hungry cultural critic, closeted pop-culture lover, and food know-it-all. Half cowgirl, half Ivy leaguer. You will find me writing on the crazy sh*t that happens on my teevee, feminism, philanthropy, religion and politics. I like singing shows, high-waisted skirts, scotch, two-stepping, and all forms of breakfast foods (sweet AND salty).



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