"Is this a news outlet or a child’s indulgence?”

That’s an interesting question FOR ME from Mercury reader S. Miller, in response to reporter Blair Stenvick’s recent article about trans high school student Nikki Kuhnhausen who was murdered in 2019. In the very first paragraph Blair wrote about how Nikki defended other trans students from being bullied for their choice of restrooms, aaaaaand... that’s all it took for Miller to lose his mind and write the following letter.

“WTF?” Miller writes loudly. “Who’s providing these bathrooms? Adults! And they’re supposed to provide them without any expectations? Why don’t we have the children run the schools instead? They can fund, build, and run them all on their own! Maybe we should have children be president and run the country?”

At this point Miller goes on another gibberish-filled rant about racism (the “reverse” kind), misandry (the imagined hatred of men), and affirmative action (I don’t think he approves), but he ends his email with another question—also presumably directed at ME.

“Have you thought any of this through? Who the fuck is running this outlet?

Hi, everybody! I’m Wm. Steven Humphrey: the fuck who is running this outlet.

Like every other publication, we occasionally receive negative reactions to our articles. Sometimes readers make very good points, and other times it’s just a bag of ranty nonsense overflowing with racist, misogynist, and homo/transphobic bullshit. These ranters seem to believe that threats and thinly veiled intimidations will slowly chip away at our resolve, eventually convincing us to stop publishing articles that offend them. But you see, here’s what these people don’t understand about me.

I’m in the market to FUCK SOME SHIT UP.

Now I wasn’t always in the market to fuck some shit up. In the early days of the Mercury, I was mostly interested in making sure you and I were having fun—and that’s still a major concern! However, since that time I have EVOLVED—and now, while I still want us to have a lot of fun... it’s 2020, y’all. And that means I’ve lost my patience with the homophobic bullshit dished out by emboldened Trump cult members, which is why I now also make it part of my mission to fuck their shit up in a very public way.

And with that, let’s get to Miller’s letter! If I’m reading this correctly (and I might not be, since it sounds like it was written by a monkey hopped up on cough syrup), he thinks children shouldn’t be allowed to choose restrooms... because adults provided the restroom? Wow. This is just the sort of extreme mental gymnastics that right-wing dum-dums go through on a regular basis just to avoid admitting they’re transphobic.

But hey! Just like me, people need to be educated, right? So for those who are still confused, tattoo this on the back of your hand for the next time you lose your goddamn mind over something that’s really none of your business: “Gender is what’s between your ears, not between your legs.” That’s just one of the great quotes from someone I interviewed for our Gender Empowerment issue—which you can read right here! And if that simple idea makes you furious as well, by all means, write me here at steve@portlandmercury.com, where I will happily fuck your shit up... because (hurrah!) that’s something I do now.

Oh, and in answer to Miller’s question about if the Mercury is a “news outlet or a child’s indulgence”... why can’t it be both?

Yer pal (who’s currently in the market),
Wm. Steven Humphrey
Portland Mercury