I came out of my closet because of the Internet. I always knew internally that I wasn’t straight but was never comfortably able to share the details of my orientation with others. As a shy person, I didn’t exactly go up to people or speak to others with the intent of share my secret. I would go to the bars and clubs designed for gay clientele but even there, my shyness prevented me from making many contacts. It wasn’t until the mid 1990s and the rise of the Internet that I was able to freely share and come out of my closet.
The world has changed drastically in the past 15 years. Thinking back to when I first entered a chat room devoted to gays, it allowed me to make friendships and feel a connection to my peers for the first time in my life. Not only did it allow me to come out of the closet, but it also encouraged many others to do so as well. This new ability to find safe havens for like minded people without the fear of who would find out made the process much easier. It allowed us to join together, support one another and form a community.
As the Internet progressed, so did our method of creating a community. The chat rooms continue to thrive, but the most effective way to build a community today are via means of a social network. Writing a blog is one way of using this technology. People have created blogs for all types of specific needs. It has proven effective for bringing like-minded people together. I have attempted to start some blogs on my own so I do have first hand knowledge of how effective this can be for a specific movement. It has been my experience that I am a better participant rather than a leader in such environments. I have become involved with local causes that include bicycle rides to raise awareness for HIV prevention, gay marriage, and gay pride associations. All thanks to a blog. With the right person in the lead, these quickly become effective and powerful means of affecting change.
Not only do these means of communication with each other bring people together, but it also presents a common public message that opens a discussion. It allows people with varying viewpoints to express their opinions and allows a chance to provide a rebuttal. There are times when regardless of what you say some people will continue to vehemently disagree with this sexual orientation but it provides greater understanding for the human condition. It provide the community members with more self confidence and acts a role model for younger people The struggle of sexual identity is difficult for everyone, especially teenagers. By having this public sign of support, they have opportunities to become self aware and reach out when they are in times of trouble.
Blogs that are devoted to a gay community generally start out small with one or a few passionate people committed to a cause. They’re dedicated to producing a difference in the world. With a little bit of courage, a computer, and some general understanding, these ordinary people have been able to create extraordinary changes in our society. With much more support for gay rights, same-sex marriage and HIV awareness it today’s society, all it took was somebody having a single idea.