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December 9, 2000
12:29 PM   Subscribe

NYtimes cover story this week: Gay, 15, and Out [in cyberspace] Lonely Gay Teen Seeking Same The Internet was supposed to change everything. For gay kids, it really has.
"for homosexual teenagers with computer access, the Internet has, quite simply, revolutionized the experience of growing up gay. Isolation and shame persist among gay teenagers, of course, but now, along with the inhospitable families and towns in which many find themselves marooned, there exists a parallel online community -- real people like them in cyberspace with whom they can chat, exchange messages and even engage in (online) sex."
also: Online Panel: Author Jennifer Egan and Web Experts Discuss What It Takes to Create a Space for Gay Teens
posted by palegirl (9 comments total)

 
i love this article because it's written for an audience that has never instant messaged. like, who ARE these people?!
posted by palegirl at 1:13 PM on December 9, 2000


you know, some of us who are more cynical dismiss the internet as a bloated, chaotic, overhyped mess. personally, i think this is a good example of the kind of greatness that we can achieve, via technology.

this sort of thing really creates opportunities for gay teens to feel like they have a supportive community. how many of us know someone gay that took their own life because they felt alone and shunned by society? or killing hurting themselves with alcohol and drugs? all because they were told they had no worth, and believed it...

if the internet can save one life, to me, it's a big success.
posted by will at 1:23 PM on December 9, 2000


hmm. it's easy to look at internet communities as negative. i mean, look at usenet: people bicker on everything, from politics to ukelele tuning. but people cut off from their physical communites can sometimes find each other through the internet. and that can make all the difference.
posted by dagnyscott at 5:11 PM on December 9, 2000


In a sense this is old news though. I knew I'd seen this article in Wired. It's from 2.11.
posted by davidgentle at 7:42 PM on December 9, 2000


I've never "instant messaged." What's your point?
posted by rodii at 9:14 PM on December 9, 2000


It's nice to see all this publicity about how the Internet can help gay teens find community, but it's important to remember they're not the only teens who can find themselves cast out from school social circles. It can happen when you're different for just about any reason. It's also easy to get branded as gay even when you're not: all you have to do is be too shy to talk to girls and lousy at sports. I was in college by the time I got a modem and discovered local BBSs and the GEnie service, but I knew within a week or two that I had found my salvation. I can only imagine how much more tolerable life might have been had I had a full Internet connection five years earlier.
posted by kindall at 10:07 PM on December 9, 2000


rodii, I think I can speak for Rebekah when I say it was a tongue-in-cheek comment meant to e delivered in a valgal accent.
posted by dhartung at 10:04 AM on December 10, 2000


>whew<
posted by rodii at 12:12 PM on December 10, 2000


As usual, the Times is way behind the times. This story was covered in excruciating detail by some magazine almost a year ago, Newsweek I think.
posted by aaron at 1:06 PM on December 10, 2000


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