I left the online SF magazine Expanded Horizons in May 2013 due to irreconcilable personal differences with the editor Dash, resulting from eir behavior that I strongly felt was endangering my safety. (I do not wish to discuss this any further in public; it is a personal matter.) Still, I had meant to part from the magazine on amicable terms; I think this is apparent from the post I made back then.
Since then, I’ve noticed that mentions of me were removed from the site. I was not asked about my preference. The only mention that remains is a small note in the site footer. Coincidentally (?), this is the only mention of me that cannot be removed by editing the pages in the WordPress GUI, one needs to edit the source code. But for example, my bio is gone. No summary of my past work appears. This is very saddening to me, especially since when Jacie left the site for years (as far as I can tell, she is now working on EH again?), Dash was very firm that Jacie’s bio remain on the site.
I didn’t want to raise a fuss, since I no longer talk to Dash and I frankly thought the site was defunct (no updates since July). But a new issue just came out and on Twitter I saw that people still thought I was associated with the site. That made me extremely uncomfortable.
I was curious why people missed out on these developments, and people told me there had been no announcement on EH‘s behalf that I left the magazine. I can’t find any mentions of me leaving the site either on the site or the blog. This is especially puzzling given that at that time EH was a two-person project by Dash and me.
I worked for Expanded Horizons as a volunteer since 2009 when I made the current layout. In addition to website design and maintenance, I also uploaded the issues, chose art (and wrote the art guidelines which are currently up, without attribution) and read some of the material shortlisted for publication.
I am a Hungarian Jew – this means I belong to a currently persecuted ethnic minority in my country. I have personally been the target of violence in my country on multiple occasions. I choose very carefully what projects I invest my free time into, and who I prefer to interact with. Despite countless requests, Expanded Horizons was the only website I worked on as a volunteer in the past years.
I also thought (and still think) that Expanded Horizons was a worthwhile project. Which is why it is especially sad that I am retroactively erased from it in a manner that resembles Communist Party tactics. (Current events beg for a comparison too, but I am self-censoring myself…) All this by an American national with huge amounts of class privilege who is very much aware of my situation, and involving a project that is explicitly diversity-oriented and where I was sure my volunteer labor wouldn’t be exploited.
To make this especially clear: I am no longer associated with Expanded Horizons in any capacity. I am no longer on speaking terms with Dash, and as I am the injured party here, I am definitely not going to beg em for a mention.
But I would like you to know that Dash did this to me, because I think this should by all means affect your decision to support and promote the magazine, and to submit content to it as an author.
Signal boosting would be appreciated.
I am also very thankful to everyone who’s showed their support on Twitter – it was such a huge outpouring it briefly broke my mentions page! Thank you all, it helped me a lot in making this emotionally fraught post.