Encyclopedia > Soc.support.youth.gay-lesbian-bi

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Soc.support.youth.gay-lesbian-bi is a Usenet newsgroup created in 1994 to allow youths a safe place to gather on Usenet, so that they can discuss issues regarding their sexual identities. The newsgroup was created before the popularity of the World Wide Web exploded in the late 1990s, and it continues to be a gathering point for young people to discuss their problems, trials, and tribulations.

Because the newsgroup is a part of a major Usenet hierarchy (see Great Renaming), the proposal for the newsgroup had to go through an approval process before it could be created. At the time of its creation, the approval vote for soc.support.youth.gay-lesbian-bi had the largest turnout in Usenet's history for a single newsgroup. It was also the most positive vote, with a total of 98% of the 3,142 virtual ballots cast being "yes" votes.

From the newsgroup charter for soc.support.youth.gay-lesbian-bi (a public domain document):

"Soc.support.youth.gay-lesbian-bi exists to offer support, understanding, and friendship to young people who are coming to terms with their sexuality, which may differ from the heterosexual norm. These people often suffer from unimaginable shame and guilt because they feel attracted to members of the same sex, or to both sexes; should these feelings become publicly known, these young people may become outcasts in their communities. As a result, they feel that they must hide their true feelings from the rest of the world, even their own families and friends, and they feel alone and unloved. These feelings are reflected in studies that show the suicide rate among gay, lesbian and bisexual youths to be higher than in other groups of the same age.

"Thus, soc.support.youth.gay-lesbian-bi exists for these young people to express their feelings in an understanding, friendly forum. The intent of this newsgroup is to let these people know that they are not alone, and that there are people they can turn to for friendship and comfort."

See also: List of newsgroups

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