Well, today is the goddamn day if you haven’t heard.
Today is the day we shutter The Establishment — can you hear its gates skittering across the floor as we tug and lug and throw our shoulders against it
and clasp it closed? The doors are so heavy! Its iron so intricate! Its contents so brilliant and precious and preposterous in their generosity.
Can you hear our hearts thrumming in our chests, our blood — hot and fevered and mad with love — coursing along our veins and carrying our song?
While we’ve tried just about everything — events, subscriptions, branded content, swag, gated content, and good ol’ fashioned donations and desperate pleas to the Internet Gods — the headwinds facing media are intense, and finding a sustainable revenue model is a Sisyphean feat.
I’d be lying if I said we didn’t feel a bit wretched — all my tiny glowing inboxes are a deluge of virtual smooches and embraces and beautifully bad GIFs and “I’m on the verge of tears stop writing me right the hell now!” It’s hard for me to focus because my mind is this beautifully saccharine collage with Sarah McLachlan warbling, I will remember youuuuu and waves upon waves of memories are crashing through my consciousness.
All that being said, I am also striding around like a powerbitch peacock, flashing my tail like BAM — avert your eyes our shit’s so bright! — because we’ve accomplished so goddamn much these past three and a half years. If I found another group of humans to work beside with the same integrity, wit, heart, intelligence and patience for my odd and trying being, I’d be more than lucky. I’d be cosmically cunnilingus-ed.
I’d be wary because it was probably a lucid dream and that leopard-monkey I’ve been slow-dancing with probably isn’t real either.
In addition to the literal magick of publishing more than 990 writers and 4500 stories — not to mention photo essays! and films! and humor and music and even the occasional poem or two — we built a towering paragon of community.
Together — every single one of you who waded through this wild and wooly world alongside us — we held up the voices of those who’ve been sidelined, silenced, stigmatized and side-eyed, and together we built a small, but shining kingdom where media is as diverse as the world we live in.
You are futurists and golden hearts. You are shit-kickers and good samaritans and slinking feral cats on the prowl for a good time. You are a fearsome force to be reckoned with. You are builders and makers and hell-no-we-won’t-goers.
You are part of this Thing that is so much bigger than
The Establishment. It’s about a shared vision for the world — for every human and beast, every stream and mound of slipping sand — that is bigger and better and brighter than so much of our brethren thinks or allows to be possible.
I don’t know what else to say except thank you. And that I promise to keep swinging my small but dogged fists, to keep writing and smelling and singing loud and taking up space.
From my mortal coil to yours, I give you the most stinging high five, the most ardent of nose nuzzles or the most hearty, lightly rib-crushing hug — depending on your love-vibes.
With joy and rage and gratitude forever and always,
co-founder // creative director
PS: All Establishment content will remain in the digital universe for perpetuity — we will be maintaining the site at theestablishment.co andmedium.com/the-establishment, just without publishing new content, so you can continue to read and discuss the brilliant words of our extraordinary writers.