For those who grew up in the age of the PC and internet...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 11, 2007 6:00 AM GMT
    I was thru HS, college, and grad school before PCs came on the scene. And the internet wasnt until long after that. I had little access to informaiton about being gay and didnt know anyone who was gay until grad school.

    But I am wondering about younger guys now. How much did you learn about gay, being gay, gays in the world, etc. from the internet? Did it show you that you werent alone in the world...the only gay person?

    I would like to hear about that sort of thing from the younger members.

    Older guys can chime in about how they learned about gays in the world, too.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 11, 2007 6:20 AM GMT
    You know, actually... I figured it out in the Library looking for books. We didn't have a computer at home until 1999 (or was it 98?), and I couldn't look things up at school.

    It was interesting, reading about things in books. My friend and I came out to each other before I started looking, so I never had too much of that 'alone' feeling.
  • MarkX

    Posts: 101

    Nov 11, 2007 6:36 AM GMT
    I hit it backward, which is typical of me. I learned a bit about the gays of the world before I figured it out about myself.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Nov 11, 2007 11:58 AM GMT
    I've kind of seen the brave new world through the eyes of my younger brother....he's str8 but him and the people that I've seen who are his age are much more accepting of different lifestyles
    when I came out he was the one person I knew who wasn't going to have a problem with it
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    Nov 11, 2007 2:26 PM GMT
    I am trying to think back...and I cant remember how I learned about homosexuality. I know that I was from the time the scales fell from my eyes. And I knew to keep it a secret. But I never felt ashamed of being gay and I always had the view that the world was wrong and I was right. I didnt know anyother gays. Kids picked up on my gayness tho.

    I think with the internet, kids nowadays should be able to find, see, and understand anything about being gay ...and it should make life much easier for them.

    It is interesting to hear how your younger brother is accepting of different lifestyles, GQjock. I am sure the exposure that kids can get to the world today is a big part of it.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Nov 11, 2007 3:44 PM GMT
    The internet played a major role in coming out and aided in the "comfort zone" with all that is gay.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 11, 2007 4:04 PM GMT
    I came out online, on gay BBSs, before I ever set foot in a gay bar.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 11, 2007 4:27 PM GMT
    Hansmkansan, what role did it play for you?

    Paradox, what did you get from the internet before coming out?
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    Nov 11, 2007 4:47 PM GMT
    I graduated from a typical middle-class high school in suburbia USA in 1984, with a class of about 475 or so. I 'felt like' I was the only gay guy in the entire class during graduation ceremonies. I remember now how clearly I felt so alone. I secretly wanted to tell everyone I was gay as I was handed my scrap of paper, a fake diploma, from the principal as the photographer took our picture in my cap and gown and the audience cheered on. But I couldn't do that, as it was intended to be a dignified, formal setting, so I sat quietly. I'm not sure where I read it, but a little later on, I was shocked and surprised to learn that on average there was about 1 in 10 additional gay guys in my class alone. That would put about 25 - more or less - additional gay guys in there also! So where the fuck were they? I had no clue who they were, everyone seemed so 'normal'. To this day, I still don't know who they are. But, nevertheless, I grew up, older and wiser, at least a little bit, I think. I still do feel lonely and alone though. Always have, in a way.

    Flash forward to ten years ago when I got my first computer and the internet. I was amazed to learn how much closer we ALL are, despite out differences and distances. I've seen a million websites and probably at least as many site users too. Yes the net can be a really cool thing as it turned out. Personally, I'm relatively new here but I feel very comfortable here and I've met a lot of new friends here. RJ is cool.

    Now, about a year ago, I met a very nice, kind, good looking young man, now just 18, through the internet. I'm in Michigan, him in California. He's always known he's gay from a very early age. He's been very openly out for a number of years. He's always had a computer and the internet and to him, he's never not known about it. To him, he always used it and and it's always been there. He knows about websites and everything else. He knows other gay guys from school, as well as a lot of curious or questioning ones too. He played football for three years in high school. He has a lot of great friends, straight, gay, questioning, whatever. He thinks he's completely normal, except that he's also gay. I think he's a very brave and courageous guy.

    I believe the internet had a HUGE impact on life today versus life 20 years ago. And this is a classic example.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 11, 2007 5:21 PM GMT
    Great response, lonewolf. Thanks!!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 11, 2007 5:23 PM GMT
    I was 10 or 11 when i realized i liked looking at guys naked. I know I was 13 when my brother caught me looking at gay porn online. we got our first computer when I was about 10 so say 1994. Well actually we got out first computer when I was about 5 but that was a dinky commodor 64, we got a pentium 90 when I was 10 and thats when we got aol.

    I learnt a lot about homosexuality on the internet. thought I also learnt alot about it in books. Iwas a curious little kid so i got information any where I could. I remember being in my teens and going on xy.com.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 11, 2007 6:08 PM GMT
    The internet definitely served as my main access point to learning about being gay and the gay world that was out there when I was 13 or so. I wasn’t too involved with chat rooms, but I liked reading posts in early forums and being exposed to ideas I hadn’t thought of on my own, but found made a lot of sense to me. It was also a way to find entertainment in what was otherwise a very prudent up-bringing. I'd say it significantly advanced my ability to understand myself and appreciate who I am at an early age if only internally, making it easier to step out down the road. I'm still a prude pretty much though, lol.
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    Nov 11, 2007 6:29 PM GMT
    You are damn lucky to have had the internet as a resource, Original714. Thanks for the info.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 11, 2007 6:52 PM GMT
    "Paradox, what did you get from the internet before coming out?"

    I was on BBSs before I hit the Internet. What I got out of it was interaction on message boards with other gay men and lots of pictures.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 11, 2007 8:00 PM GMT
    I learned almost everything about being gay from the internet; it was my saving grace.

    I grew up in a very small town of under 2000, out in rural Idaho and I had no access to any sort of information on gays until the internet came along. There was the occasional, short entry on homosexuality in an encyclopedia, but that wasn't much information at all. I really started to understand sexuality when I was able to do searches for it online.

    I must have been 12 or 13 when I really started to get access to the internet from school. Those were the days when there still weren't really content filters in any big way, so websites about gays and lesbians weren't blocked (which they often are today, because they get erroneously tagged as pornographic since they have to do with sexuality). I remember when I came upon the PFLAG website; I was floored. To see that there were so many people who had friends and relatives that were accepting of their sexuality was a revolution for me, when the only other influences I had in high school were Will and Grace, the occasional mo on Real World, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (the first season started my senior year).

    Hell, even now the internet serves as an important outlet for me. There aren't a lot of gays in Idaho, but I've been able to meet some of them through the internet since I don't live in Boise. The internet, she's been a good mistress to me.
  • EverettNYC

    Posts: 27

    Nov 11, 2007 8:55 PM GMT
    I grew up in Western NY, where it isn't exactly a wonderfully safe place to come out. I remember when our household got internet in the late 90's, a 14.4kbps connection. I used to stay up really late after my parents had gone to bed and look up "gay" on search engines to see what came back.

    The internet helped me realize I was gay (especially by reading porn stories and downloading a short 3 minute porn clip per week from smaq.com, haha), and helped me connect with others later on through gay.com chat rooms.

    I never met anyone who was gay until I went to college at NYU, and that's when I came out and was much more comfortable with myself. Of course, living in Greenwich Village probably helped, and the fact that one of NYU's mottos for the straight girls was that "every guy at nyu is gay, straight or taken." :-D

    I also met my first serious boyfriend from gay.com, and he remains to this day one of my best and closest friends of all.

    Go internet!