I was a member of Pink Essence for a number of years and I recently decided to discontinue my membership as did Patty.
There were many benefits that I got from being a member and my decision to end my membership in this community ultimately has to do with a decision that Chloe Prince made to open up Pink Essence access to the World Wide Web.
I have known about this decision for quite a long time and at times worried about what the personal implications for my private life might be. Then again, I have this blog which would throw into question why I might be so concerned about my privacy. After all, I have given a great number of workshops around the eastern U.S. over the past 5 years and I have documented my transition here as well as on Pink Essence.
However, when I decided to write my own blog, I made the decision to be more public. When Ms. Prince made the decision to open Pink Essence up to the internet at large she made a decision that has the potential to harm many people who are not prepared to be potentially discovered by family or employers or by friends. It is a difficult path that we walk and for those who are not ready to deal with being outed at a time when they are just coming to terms with themselves, this is potentially disastrous. When one considers that we have a rate of over 40% of us who attempt suicide at some point in our lives due to the heavy price we pay for attempting to come to a place of peace with ourselves and the associated losses of families, friends and careers, among other things, perhaps Pink Essence is no longer a safe haven for those who are just coming to terms with themselves.
In my situation, family did discover my presence on Pink Essence and it did recently cost me and Patty some relationships that we held dear. I don't fault Pink Essence for my own losses, but I think someone not as far down the path as I am and who has not worked as hard at self acceptance as I have may not be as emotionally prepared to pay the price that Patty and I just paid by not ending my membership when I first became aware of the new policy opening up Pink Essence to the World Wide Web.
The value of Pink Essence is mostly for new people who are coming to terms with their gender identity. They are also the most vulnerable people on Pink Essence. Having made the decision to open up Pink Essence to the World Wide Web puts the most vulnerable of us at risk.
Unfortunately, I have seen a huge turnover in membership. This is most likely because many of us who have transitioned and accomplished what we set out to accomplish (a successful transition), have no need for what Pink Essence offers. Other people who have successfully transitioned stick around to offer advice on what worked and what didn't on our journey to becoming whole.
I believe that opening up Pink Essence is a huge disadvantage to those who have transitioned and want to live a private life, even if they wish to contribute in a positive way to the lives of others who feel lost and are trying to figure out how to be happy and live a fulfilled life.
It is also a huge disadvantage for those who need a safe and private place to discuss the often painful issues that we face on our way to finding peace and happiness.
I only wish Chloe Prince well, as well as future success. I hope that those who join Pink Essence find what they need on their journey, but I also hope people will be aware of the risks associated with membership on Pink Essence and make a wise decision if the benefits of membership will outweigh the risks involved.
To read an article I wrote about the benefits of belonging to social websites such as Pink Essence that I wrote earlier, please follow this link: