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Even though we still experience criminalization and discrimination, the internet is a somewhat safe space for many of us, especially important if you are a full service sex worker.

In the wake of the FCC vote to repeal Net Neutrality, many of us are wondering where we go from here. Responses to this move range from a dismissive “it’s not that deep” tone to an Orwellian apocalyptic loss of everything that was once known, loved and free about the  internet. Surprisingly, though this has been framed by some as a Democrat vs. Republican debate, there are many Republicans in favor of Net Neutrality, including Senator Susan Collins, who was one of a few Republicans who asked that the vote be delayed and discussed properly. I am not going to recount the history or importance of Net Neutrality at length, because a quick Google search will grant you tons of information from either side of the argument. Instead I will be discussing my understanding of, not only Net Neutrality, but a couple other prohibitive measures that I have heard about through the internet grapevine, that directly/indirectly impact marginalized indie sex workers. I live in the hood in a big city. There are both advantages and disadvantages to this. One pro is that I have lower rent. Cons: boarded up foreclosed homes and storefronts pepper my neighborhood. There is trash everywhere. Underemployed or unemployed young men wander and circle certain areas. And for some reason mail carriers half-ass deliver my mail over here. My quality of life is highly impacted by all of these things. Access to the internet also impacts my quality of life. For those of you who didn’t know, I am an indie artist, aspiring cartoonist, indie internet sex worker, single mother of one, and writer. Everything I do to scratch out an income is done via the internet. My internet future is now precarious. In an age of district redlining, racist mortgage lenders, and internet prohibition, how will I manage without having to resort to hooking, moving back in with family, or working multiple jobs outside of the home to make ends meet? If the repeal of Net Neutrality is as dooming as it sounds, I have a hard road ahead of me as an indie worker. For instance, what if companies decided to slow down service in areas like mine, with lower incomes and earning potential? They might decide that we don’t need access as much as wealthier neighborhoods. They might decide to charge for the internet the same way they do for cable TV, in packages that include what you want — but only if you upgrade to such and such a bundle and pay more. They might say they are offering a certain amount of speed, then turn right around and hamper it, with us never the wiser. Since I stream videos and cam for a living, I worry about the latter the most. How frustrating it would be if access to my personal website or camming webpage were slowed down to a trickle. How many customers I could lose over internet speed and the quality of the picture.
Related: THE ATTACK ON NET NEUTRALITY IS AN ATTACK ON MARGINALIZED PEOPLE

Nerd cred and geek consumerism were created to fuel capitalism and make pop culture an exclusive club.

Since I was a kid, pop culture has always been a huge part of my life. Not only has it been a source of entertainment and escapism, but it has also influenced how I view myself and the world around me. Until this year, I thought I had to compromise my personal values for nerd cred and geek consumerism in order to be seen as a "real nerd". While nerd cred is your credibility as a nerd, geek consumerism is the pressure to constantly spend money on pop products. Both nerd cred and geek consumerism are related to each other in that the more money you spend, the better your nerd cred is perceived to be. In order to spend money on pop culture, you have to have the money to do so. Depending on your financial situation, your exposure to pop culture might vary from being up-to-date on everything to being exposed to movies and comics later than everyone else.  In article for The Mary Sue, writer Teresa Justino discusses what it was like to grow up Puerto Rican, female, and broke and how that impacted her exposure to geek culture. Justino writes, "Is it any wonder that many of the trappings of geek culture are only accessible to those who are predominantly white, male, and middle class? White women and people of color are often paid less, yet it feels like one has to constantly spend money in order to effectively participate in the geek community." Although one of my biggest fandoms is comic books, I can't afford to be as active in it as I would like. With comics, one of the few ways I own them is buying digitally with gift cards. I also use the site Humble Bundle and the digital library app Hoopla to either buy them cheap or borrow them. 
Related: COMICS COMPANIES NEED TO HIRE MORE BLACK WOMEN

Memes are a valid form of expression and they can help us articulate the difficult, and often stigmatized, effects of depression.

By Han Angus Memes in 2017 are a form of communication. We laugh with memes, we cry with memes and we express our annoyance with memes. I have over 500 of them saved on my phone for a variety of reasons and occasions. One day I may need a Tiffany Pollard meme to tell everyone that I am in fact THAT BITCH and the next I may want to use one of an animated character with seemingly randomized emoji hearts placed all over the place to indicate my love for someone. Memes are incredibly versatile not only in what they mean, but how they are used.  People can use memes to express emotions or facial expressions that are limited by the languages we are using. That’s why they’ve become a coping mechanism for many online suffering from depression. I’ve suffered from depression from the age of 12, I’m not quite sure what brought it on as there was both a family history of mental health issues and I experienced bullying throughout my teens, but it got worse with age. I have been a Twitter user since 2013, and witnessed the change of the platform as well as how our collective content started to lean more towards openness and the de-stigmatization of poor mental health. Jokes about being depressed have always existed but when I tried to make one in 2015, I was told I was making a mockery of those who actually suffer from the illness as if my experiences were not valid because I wanted to take a lighthearted approach to dealing with what was so deeply troubling me. In order to not upset people I refrained from doing it again. Looking back it is clear that it was one of few outlets I had to speak about my mental health. My twitter persona had somewhat shifted during after that, I was always been a stan account (an online account for fans of celebrities, shows or movies), however, I outgrew it when I became 16. I had tried to be friends with more liberal or leftist people, however, they had no regard for my mental health and bullied me off my account to the point I had started experience episodes of deeper depression which affected my sleeping and eating habits. I was barely going out, I gained weight and I stopped socializing with my friends unless I was forced to go out. As a psychology student I knew I was depressed but I was under the impression that I couldn’t name it for what it was without a doctor, which I eventually resolved to do this year.
Related: HOW MY KITTENS SAVED MY FAMILY’S MENTAL HEALTH

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