I remember being a young teenager exploring the internet(likely it was dial-up AOL actually), looking for information on body modification. Not that I knew what to call it at the time but, I knew I liked people who looked different. People who had coloured hair, jewelry in places other than their ears, and tattoos all over their bodies. I came across BME while searching for photos and stories of exactly that. I joined the site and absorbed every last bit of information I could. BME is a resource of photos, experiences, forums, blogs and countless other avenues of information about the body mod scene worldwide. Wanting a little more I joined the social networking side of the site called IAM. I created m own page and started looking for people in Ottawa. To my surprise I found some, right around my age and was FLOORED that there were others so close that shared my interests. I made numerous friends over IAM and met a large portion of them I met in person as well.
My longest friend from IAM is Taryn Dams. We grew through and out of our teenage years together through IAM, msn messenger, hand written letters and many road trips to see each other. In fact, I saw her a week ago and what a fantastically well rounded woman she has grown up to be. The very last person I met off of IAM was Dante Penman . I was cruising through the pages of people who had recently visited my page and he looked so cute I had to say “hi”. That was August 2010 and now we are married. Imagine that. Two of the most important people in my life I never would have met had it not been for BME and IAM. There are lots of people I have lost touch with, or don’t speak to anymore but, I will always respect what I have learned from them and I’ll cherish those memories. To add to that, I would not have had the opportunity to do a suspension at the All Grrl Suscon in 2005 with Taryn without the loving family that BME is.
BME and IAM helped shape me as a person. Had Shannon Larratt not created a community that is so open and accepting I would not be who I am today. I found guidance there. I chose to leave IAM after 10 years when Shannon’s ex-wife, Rachel, took over. She had changed too much and I didn’t like her version of the site. Luckily I found what I needed there, even if I took that long. I still follow MODblog religiously to keep in the loop of the body mod world.
So heavily hearted I have to say that Shannon Larratt passed away yesterday. He suffered from an extremely painful disease that progressed relatively quickly over the last few years. Even if you know nothing of BME and nothing of the world of body modification please read his last blog post on Zentastic, it is truly moving. Below is cache from google because the post was removed.