A decade ago on the morning of November 28th, I arrived at my desk at New Ways Ministry, sat down at my computer, and typed these five words into Google: “how to start a blog.” I had just returned from a Catholic conference where I had attended a workshop on computer technology, and I thought it would be fun to put to use some of the information and skills I had acquired. Little did I know that silly exercise would alter the focus of my work at New Ways Ministry. I ended up spending most of the day learning the basics of blog technology, and by the end of the day, Bondings 2.0 was born. Go look at the first blog post. You might want to take a peek at the second, third, fourth, and fifth blog posts, too. You will see that I had no idea what I was doing!
But then the views began to multiply and the list of subscribers began to expand. And even though I thought the content was not very good, people started telling me that they really enjoyed reading the blog. So, I kept going.
From the first day, I had set myself a goal: I would try to put up blog posts three times a week. I didn’t think I would have enough content to post more than that. But then something happened. Because of my ministry, I have always been a follower of Catholic LGBTQ news. I started to realize that every single day there was something to write about–sometimes more than one thing. So I started posting every day. Every single day. And since November 28, 2011, Bondings 2.0 has never missed a day without posting. That is over 3,650 posts. (Actually, we recently went over 4,000 posts, to be more exact.) Of course, I would never have been able to keep up that pace, so the arrival of Bob Shine 2012 has been invaluable to the blog’s success. And, through the years, we have attracted a number of contributing bloggers whose talents and efforts have helped the blog to thrive.
In addition to providing timely news, opinion, and spirituality posts to our readers, the blog has inadvertently become an archive of the Catholic LGBTQ movement. We did not intend it as such, but journalists, scholars, advocates, and other researchers have told us that they use the blog to learn more about specific topics, people, and events. In fact, Bondings 2.0 is being digitally archived by two major U.S. Catholic research universities: Marquette University, Wisconsin, and University of Dayton, Ohio.
What have some of those major moments been in the past 10 years? Since 2011, at the end of each year, Bondings 2.0 lists the Best and Worst Catholic LGBTQ news events of the previous 12 months. You, our readers, make the selection by voting from a list of nominees. So, if you want to review the highlights and the low lights of the past decade, just click on the appropriate link below
(And, of course, stay tuned for the nominees for 2021, which will be posted on December 27th!)
Last, but certainly not least, this blog would be nowhere without you, the readers. Your interest, passion, support, and encouragement have kept the blog a vital source of information over the past decade. And who are you? You are LGBTQ people, family members, friends, pastoral workers, theologians, diocesan officials, journalists, scholars, government leaders, teachers and educators, bishops and archbishops, LGBTQ political advocates, students, Catholic Church reform leaders, and so many more. While primarily from the USA and other English-speaking countries, our readership is truly international, reaching people in dozens of nations. Our software analytics tell us each day how many people from each nation have read the blog. We are always pleased when we look at these statistics to find several readers from Vatican City! There truly is not “typical” Bondings 2.0 reader. You are all unique and you comprise an amazing rainbow of diversity!
So, let’s all celebrate today! On that morning ten years ago, when I was playing on the computer and hoping to have something that would distract me from work a bit each day, I never expected that Bondings 2.0 would become an online resource and community!
—Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry, November 28, 2021