It is with great sadness this month that I read the following words:
I’m back from my vacation, but… I don’t know if I’m coming back. At all. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and the recent events seem to be one more thing that tells me that perhaps it’s time for me to move on, after having dedicated the past 4.5 years to the community and my activism, and focus more on myself and my family. I need more time to think and reflect. For now you need to continue to find a new home for the chat and for the blogs assuming that I’m not coming back.
These words shattered my world. I shed the first tears I have shed in months. They were not easy to read, nor easy to hear. These words were uttered by a man I highly respect, even if I have never met him, even if I have disagreed with his methods, at times. These words were uttered by someone I have come to know, love, trust, and respect… which is not many people.
These words were written by Ender Wiggin, who has been one of the main public faces of the anti-contact non-offending pedophile movement for several years, particularly the last two years.
In one sense, I can hardly blame Mr. Wiggin. In the past year, he has faced more bullshit than most people put up with in a lifetime. Numerous times, he has been falsely confused with a sexual predator in Canada, despite numerous refutations to this confusion, such as:
I can also provide my own refutation. Ender is accused of being the man Justin-Georges Stephen Coulombe, which, if true, means that Ender could not have been active on Virtuous Pedophiles, as Coulombe was arrested in August, 2017:
In December of last year, he was suspended from Twitter (again) with no provocation at all. No warning, no notice of a rule violation. Then a month later in January, he received a notice from Twitter that his IP address had been handed over to the Greater Manchester Police Department, “investigating” the words of another pedophile in our community, Robert West, writing about his experience… perfectly ordinary… supervising a group of children alongside other parents: Robert’s words were taken as Ender’s words.
Following this, Ender made several attempts to create new Twitter accounts. While I have not always agreed with the manners Mr. Wiggin has displayed to his fellow Twits, I believe Mr. Wiggin created an important message: Pedophiles are people with an attraction, and may need professional or peer support to know that they do not have to molest children, they are not monsters, and they deserve just as much respect as anyone else.
Several months later, in the middle of July, the gamer chat Discord shut down a support community for pedophiles. This community is one I have poured my heart into over the last 10 months. I have acted as a staff member in multiple capacities to assist pedophiles in utilizing the available resources in seeking help and ensuring that they challenge the negative thoughts that can easily send any reasonable person into a spiral of hopelessness and depression.
Less than two months later, Discord shut us down again, and approximately one week before that, Medium, a publication that focuses on storytelling and blogging, chose to censor pedophiles, even those like me, TNF 13, who focus almost exclusively on preventing the sexual abuse of children. Their reasons, of course, were asinine. They had received death threats, and rather than choosing to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law, they decided to take them seriously and cower in fear from the trolls and haters, thought it is likely not the last time they will receive hatred in an attempt to shut down free speech.
All of this was too much for Mr. Wiggin, as it would be difficult on anyone. To have a supportive community, dedicated to keeping children safe and helping people find help and support, destroyed just because someone heard the word “pedophile” and had a knee-jerk reaction to it, would be enough to shock, appall, and upset almost anyone, let alone the person who was responsible for building that supportive community from the ground up.
In the years Ender has been with us, I have come to love and respect him as a brother. I have never seen his face, nor do I know his name. He knows mine. Only a handful in our community have ever seen my face, and none of them know my name, or where in Minnesota I call home. It is safe to say that I have trusted him with my life.
I have no idea if Mr. Wiggin will return to the pedophile world, or in what capacity if he does return. I do not know when he will break his silence to announce his final decision. I absolutely would not blame him for choosing to get on with his life, his wife and children, his job, and put the hate that he has received behind him. He has certainly put in enough effort to deserve a long rest.
What I do know is this: Hate or not, fake news or not, my advocacy will continue. That is not, of course, a criticism on Mr. Wiggin. It is my vow that keeping children safe from sexual abuse is important enough to me to make some small sacrifices. Sitting here, typing, while I would rather play video games and snuggle with my husband. Staring at Twitter while I would rather be working. Giving up money every year to run the new Pedophiles About Pedophilia and my website. I am determined to ride the waves of difficulty to ensure that people get the help they need, without the stigma.
I look forward to what the future holds. Mr. Wiggin may very well be too burned out to continue, but even with him gone, there are many people to take his place and ensure that pedophiles like me stop beating themselves up for their attractions and fantasies, and start viewing themselves without the stigma and shame that society builds into us.
It was Mr. Wiggin that first woke me up to the idea that I was stigmatizing myself in my very own thoughts, without reason. It was Mr. Wiggin that showed me what years of therapy could not: That the shame with which I saw my attractions was hypocritically applied, and not helping me at all. It was Mr. Wiggin that helped me accept, even embrace, the term “pedophile” as it applies to me and the attractions I have.
I firmly believe that the world, within my lifetime, will come to accept pedophiles as the human beings we are. I think that even without Mr. Wiggin, more players will step to the plate and ensure that supportive communities that are firmly against the sexual abuse of children grow and outnumber the haters and trolls. Mr. Wiggin may have created the first supportive chat-based environment for anti-contact, non-offending pedophiles, but he will not be the last.
Whether Mr. Wiggin chooses to continue being a part of pedophiles being seen as human beings or not, that is what we are: Human beings, who love, live, feel, bleed, and cry, whether it is for selfish or selfless reasons. We are human, and we will not stop until the world sees us that way. This is not about pride, bragging, or showing off. It is about making sure that future generations of pedophiles have access to peer/professional support and do not have to face the hardships such as those Mr. Wiggin and the rest of our community have faced.