Hello, friends. And hello to those of you coming just from Mark Reads. I am so distraught that I couldn’t even deal with making two posts tailored for each site, hence the link.
I am so sorry to both be the bearer of this news and to have to do this, but I need to prioritize my time and mental health right now. If you have not seen the news on social media yet: this past Friday, my last partner and best friend, Baize White, passed away in his home. It was very, very sudden. We still don’t know what happened. I am basically his next of kin here in New York, so a great deal of admin stuff has fallen on me to take care of.
I am currently safe and surrounded by friends every day. Suffice to say that I am devastated beyond words; even typing all of this feels trite and artificial. I don’t think there’s a person in this community in the last five years who doesn’t know how intensely I loved him or how instrumental he was in my life, in my work, and in my happiness. 2019 has been truly one of the worst in my life, as I unfortunately separated from him in the beginning of the year, a choice I knew was necessary but yet still regret and have regretted for a long time. Love is fucking awful like that, and there is no person on this Earth I have ever loved so completely and painfully as Baize.
All this to say: I have spent most of 2019 grieving the loss of a romantic relationship, and now I have to start all over again in an even worse and more permanent way. I cannot work now. I don’t know when I will be stable enough to appear on camera for Mark Does Stuff. I have so many memories of him being in videos with me or walking behind me on camera that the thought of trying to make a video now sends me into a spiral. I just want him back more than anything else in the world.
This week’s reviews are going up as planned, but it will be a while–at least a month–before I can attempt to start working again. Please understand I do this only out of desperation–this community and this work here and on Mark Reads has been one of the only things holding me together in 2019. I cannot overstate the meaning of knowing I have still been able to do this weird project ten years after I started it. You all mean the absolute world to me. And I will be back. I have to. I love doing this, and Baize would want nothing more than for me to continue to shine and do what I love.
If you are reading this and are someone I’ve booked an event with or have questions about my schedule in 2020, my publicist at Tor Teen, Saraceia Fennell, has graciously volunteered to help field such questions and matters. Please reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org; please make sure this is for ONLY for stuff related to my writing and public appearances.
Two last things: Baize’s mother started a fundraiser to pay for the astronomical costs of not just the funeral, but sending his body back home to Los Angeles for the funeral. It is most important that if you decide to help out, you start here. If you are not able, a simple boost on social media is very much appreciated.
Secondly: right now, Mark Does Stuff videos and Patreon are my only regular source of income. (One day I’ll do a deep dive on how publishing pays because it’s bizarre.) I admit that one reason I did not want to do this hiatus was because of the potential loss of income. So, if and ONLY IF you have the means to contribute, I am letting you all know that I do welcome any financial assistance you are able to give until I can go back to work. There is a Donate button for PayPal in the right column; my Cash App name is $MarkDoesStuff; my Venmo is @MarkDoesStuff; my Patreon is located here; and you are welcome to buy stuff in the store. It is more important that Baize and his family is taken care of, but I am trying to do my best and tell people I need help during this time.
I am very thankful for all of you. If you met Baize at events over the years, I would love to read stories about him. If you have photos, even better. Any interaction you had: tell us about it. I love that he is immortalized in so many videos, especially the Sense8 and Steven Universe ones; I would love to see GIFs of us if possible.
I am in a terrible place and will be for a very long time, but I want you all know that idea of coming back home to the Mark Does Stuff community fills me with warmth.
I will get through this. I will see all of you on the other side of it.
Thank you for your love, your patience, your sympathy, your understanding, your time, your grace.
And because I need to keep saying it: I love you so much, Baize. I will miss you forever.