An Open Letter to the Guy Who Thinks He Can Fix My Life in Five Minutes

Thank you so much. When you asked if you could talk to me privately for a few minutes at that party, I totally didn’t know that you wanted to lecture me about my health. That was so unexpected and appreciated. It’s certainly not as though there’s been some version of you ever-present in my life. Uncles, friends’ dads, total strangers who “used to be [my] size.” So thank you; thank you so much.

As you know, part of your duty as a fit and healthy person is to remind unfit people that they are unhealthy and in need of your help. When you do this, don’t forget to say something patronizing about how you “want to keep them around for a long time.” It’ll really make them feel good about themselves, showing how much you care by insinuating that you’re going to outlive them. Be sure to mention how easy it is, how it’s just a simple combination of diet and exercise. That’s probably not something they’ve ever tried before, so there’s no need to consider whether it’s insulting to assume they don’t already know it. What’s that? No soda? Shouldn’t eat carbs? No kidding.

I’m not sure what the world would do without the Guy Who Thinks He Can Fix Our Lives in Five Minutes. Overweight people would simply go about their day, blissfully unaware that they are disgusting and probably going to die soon. Women might walk down the street without realizing that they are dressed like sluts. Coworkers might have to do their jobs normally, without a helpful mansplainer nearby to constantly watch over their shoulder. Wherever you go, you’re just making sure that the people around you can benefit from your expertise. And for that, on behalf of all of us, I salute you.


A few years ago I wrote about my experience in, and rejection of, the “ex-gay movement.” I mentioned John and Anne Paulk’s book, Love Won Out, part of the materials that my youth minister gave me when I came out to him in 1999. I mentioned in that post that John Paulk was recognized while chatting in a Washington, D.C. gay bar less than a year later.

I hadn’t kept up with the Paulks much after that. I knew that they’d continued to peddle the ex-gay bullshit, though. It turns out someone was paying much closer attention, though. Last week Truth Wins Out published in great detail what the Paulks have been up to since moving to Portland, Oregon.

Instead of publicly exposing Paulk, as I had the first time in DC, I wanted to give him an opportunity to come out with dignity. It was my hope that he was now on a journey to self-acceptance and would gladly renounce his “ex-gay” past and demand that materials with his story were taken out of circulation. I called John on the telephone and he angrily yelled: “get out of my life. I never want to hear from you again.”

There’s a part of me that feels guilty for reading it; it’s exactly the kind of story that I usually feel like is no one’s business. But I don’t find it interesting because of the drama; it’s not entertainment for me. It’s a sad, cautionary tale of a man and woman who bought the lie that was sold to me, and seem unable to come to terms with reality even decades later. People should read about the Paulks so that they can stop this nonsense if it’s foisted upon a gay or questioning youth that they know. No kid should ever again be given a copy of a book like this when what they really need is support.

New Orleans

Automattic’s Team Social came to visit New Orleans for a team meetup, and I had the pleasure of crashing it over the weekend.

Making Sense of HiDPI Media Queries

Update 2, July 2015: Windows 10 has just been released, along with the new Microsoft Edge browser. It replaces Internet Explorer, which was the last browser that supported min-resolution, but not the dppx unit. That means that if you don’t care about supporting IE11, you can switch to the dppx unit in your media queries.

Update, November 2013: Opera 15 was released in July, and the current stable version is 17. With its new rendering engine Opera’s media query support now mirrors that of Chrome on every platform. As such, I’ve retired -o-min-device-pixel-ratio from the suggested syntax below.

There are a number of methods of deploying high resolution assets to HiDPI (or “Retina”) aware browsers. Some are overly simplistic, and don’t cover every browser with HiDPI support. Others are overly complex. In the interest of laziness, I sought to find the smallest number of media queries that would cover everyone.

My test is pretty straightforward — five paragraphs, five media queries. A simple CSS rule turns the text blue if the media query works.

I’ve detailed the results here. For browsers that support multiple queries, I’ve highlighted the most common one. I’ve tested every current version of default OS browsers as well as Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Beta/alpha versions of those with no support in the current version are also included.

We combine the two rules that cover every browser, along with print to enable the high resolution assets for all browsers, regardless of display pixel density, when printing.

@media print,
	(-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 1.25),
	(min-resolution: 1.25dppx) {
	  /* Styles go here */

This is the technique we’re using now on, and it just made its way into WordPress core for version 3.5, thanks to Dave Martin and Andrew Nacin.

Branding Fun


If there are any small business owners in Colorado or Washington looking for a brand identity for their new recreational drug company, the one I created for my senior project in college is available for a very fair price.

(Yes, I was the original designer of every Web 2.0 leaf logo.)