It’s been brought to my attention that yesterday’s apology was partly phrased in such a way that was blaming, evasive, or exclusionary.
The most glaring instance is that I mentioned that the women whom I’ve sent photos to were women I was in a sexual relationship with. However, I did not clarify that I believe I sent photos after that relationship had run its course.
Its become apparent that the more I try to explain, the more folks are getting upset, which I was warned about and chose to ignore such warnings. So I’m just going to say yes, I sent some unsolicited photos to two women which made them uncomfortable. That was incredibly wrong of me, and I’m deeply sorry for it.
Clearly I’ve been oblivious to how certain behaviors of mine are affecting other people (extending beyond the photo thing, just general behavior), and I’ve begun actively seeking help to try and pinpoint that behavior, the cause of it, and what I can do to remedy it. I’d like to take a brief moment to thank the few people who have privately contacted me and have been actively working with me to try and help figure all this stuff out.
What it boils down to is that I’ve made some horrible mistakes. I did not mean to make them, I did not know I was making them, but that does not lessen the severity of them. All I can ask from any of you is that you believe me when I say I’m truly sorry, and will do my absolute best to make sure this never happens again, in either public or private.
I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who has come out to support me today. It doesn’t change what I did, but it does mean a lot to know that people are willing to believe me when I say this whole thing was one big mistake, and that I’m truly remorseful.
However, and MOST importantly: I am the ONLY PARTY who should be receiving ANY blame in this matter. I am the one who sent pictures to women who didn’t wish to receive them. The only reason I’ve mentioned that it was a misunderstanding is because I certainly don’t want people to think this is something I would do had I known it would offend the involved parties. The fact that it was a misunderstanding DOES NOT belittle the severity of what I’ve done.
I’m seeing people arguing that “silence is consent,” or “they had it coming,” or something of this nature. While I appreciate that you’re trying to defend me/stand up for me, this is not the way to do it. Those are both very dangerous mentalities that a great deal of sexual harassment/assault stem from, so please refrain from making such statements.
As some of you may be aware, there have been some rumors circulating about my personal conduct with women in the comics industry. The accusation is that I’ve sent unsolicited intimate photos of myself to fans, colleagues, or possibly both.
Sexual harassment is incredibly serious business, and I believe anyone who has followed me for any period of time knows that I often speak against it. No one should be subject to such behavior. It’s invasive, disrespectful, and occasionally dangerous.
Have I sent intimate photos of myself to women before? Yes. I’ll absolutely admit to that. As a 26 year-old bachelor with a relatively healthy sex life in the internet age, these things happen. However, every photo sent was in direct response to either a photo received or a specific request.
Or so I thought.
Two years ago, I was engaged in two separate relationships with women whom I was sexually active with. Given the nature of these relationships, my experiences in past relationships, and various dialogues with these women, I thought it had been established within each relationship that intimate or explicit photos were acceptable, possibly even desired.
I GROSSLY misread the situation.
It has been brought to my attention that both of these women were uncomfortable with my behavior, and needless to say, I’m absolutely disgusted with myself. How I could so horribly misinterpret the situation confounds me, but that confusion pales in comparison to the shame of knowing that I did the very thing to these two women that I openly chastise people for on a regular basis. Also, beyond that, that these women felt this way for TWO YEARS without me knowing and attempting to make amends, which is wholly unacceptable in its own right.
I have reached out to both of these women and have made private apologies, but I felt it was my responsibility to make a public one as well. As stated earlier, I believe sexual harassment to be an incredibly serious issue, and while the harassment in question was a terrible and ignorant mistake, it does not change the fact that that’s what this was, and I accept full responsibility.
I strive to treat everyone with respect, as I feel those who know me personally or follow my comics work would attest, and as such I hope that helps frame how sorry I truly am that all of this happened. The best I can do is own up to it, acknowledge that I made an incredible error in judgement, and finally, make sure that I learn from this mistake and never repeat it moving forward.
In addition, if there’s anyone else out there who feels like I’ve made them uncomfortable, on any level, please let me know. Clearly I’ve misread situations before, and I don’t want to go years again thinking nothing’s wrong only to learn I’ve hurt someone.
Finally, I’ll be making a donation of $1000 to RAINN, as they’re an organization at the forefront of both preventing and aiding victims of sexual harassment and assault. Hopefully my small donation will in some way help them in educating even just one person, preventing another situation such as this.
Alright, folks. Today I’ll be at Boston Comic-Con, Table D517. I’ll also be on a Webcomics panel at 4pm, which you’re invited to come sit in on. I’ll have prints, buttons, postcards, and original art with me, prices ranging from $5-$25 on regular merch, art starting around $100+. Hope to see you guys there!