The following is a statement of solidarity for the victims of the poet Gregory Sherl.
As discussed on both HTMLGiant and Luna Luna Magazine, several women have come forward with information regarding Gregory Sherl’s repeated abuse of women. These details have come to light in the process of Sherl’s attempt to use his public persona as a popular young poet to crowd source money to cover the treatment of his personal problems with OCD, and a range of other mental illnesses.
Allow me to be clear: I take no issue with people who seek treatment for their illnesses, whether they be mental or physical. However, asking a (relatively small, tight knit) community to pay for this while remaining unapologetic for his abuse of women both inside and outside that community means that his actions need to be brought to light. It needs to be made clear that men like Sherl can not expect to keep their abusive acts hidden while publicising other parts of their lives for personal gain.
I recognise and openly acknowledge that Quaint Magazine is closely involved with Kia Groom, one of Gregory Sherl’s victims. She is our founder and poetry editor. We owe a great debt of gratitude to her for this platform for women’s literary dialogue to even exist, let alone thrive, but the voice of the staff at Quaint is not the voice of Kia Groom. For the sake of clarity, this statement is written by Alicia Thompson, Quaint Magazine’s Art Director.
I have known Kia Groom for eleven years. As a close friend, I saw first hand the relationship she had with Sherl, it’s effect on her health, and most importantly, the personal and psychological aftermath of that relationship, which, in my eyes, was clearly abusive.
When I see Gregory Sherl baring his hands online as proof of his OCD to garner the sympathy of his backers, I clearly see the ill mind that caused those cracks, blisters, and scales. However, the unspoken truth is that I see the mind that continually uses those hands to hurt innocent women. That harm of other people is the thing that needs to be exposed, if not for the safety of the women he has hurt, then for their own health, and that is not something that will be addressed with the $10,000 he asks of the literary community.
On behalf of the staff of Quaint Magazine, we stand in solidarity with the victims of Gregory Sherl. While Kat Dixon, Kia Groom, and Dorona Hillard have been brave enough to write about and publish their experiences of abuse, we recognise that it is likely that there are others who have been victims of his physical, sexual, emotional and psychological torment. Whether they choose to bring their experiences to light or not, we stand with them.
You have our support, spoken or unspoken, written or unwritten.