Why are you here?

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Why are you here?

Unread postby homomorphism » 25 December 2019, 05:00

I've spent a lot of time recently reading old threads and old PMs here. By here I really mean GTF, but I think of them in the same ecosystem (the way I'm sure some of you likely think of GTFN as part of the same spiritual family of websites). I noticed a week or so ago I had a PM in my inbox over on GTF that I had meant to respond to but never did. It was 7 years old. I finally got around to sending the response. I don't think the recipient will ever see it (he hasn't logged on in over a year), but I wasn't really responding so he'd see it.

A lot of the posts I've made over the years here haven't really been about others reading them. They've been about being seen. I joined GTF in 2010. I was too scared to come out to anyone I knew, and I lived a pretty isolated life. At that time, math was my big hobby and what I formed a personal identity around. I have no doubt it was obnoxious, but a lot of people on GTF were willing to look past the obnoxiousness to acknowledge me. And the acknowledgement made me feel whole. The ability to be myself, honestly, with others and to be seen was the most validating thing I had ever experienced at that point in my life.

I didn't end up becoming a mathematician, the way I wanted to back then. Not finishing the PhD is almost certainly because my mom died which burnt me out, but I don't think I would have been able to continue that path as a career either way. Who knows? It's kind of hard to say where I'd be today if the last 7 years had been totally different for me. Either way, the realization that my identity as a mathematician would likely die syncs up with my diminished participation in GTF/GFO. And that's partially because of depression, and then later because the person I emerged as at the end of that didn't really need the validation through witnessing the way the person who first came here did. My life is fairly complete at this point -- stable career, semi-active social life, romantic life, etc. And that leads to me feeling pretty detached here.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss the activity of GTF from like 2010-2013. I think Rene and Brenden have done a fantastic job maintaining this place, and I can't imagine how frustrating dealing with teenage melodrama was (especially regarding the video chat), so I don't begrudge you guys a more peaceful moderation time. And, truthfully, I don't know that I'd really be able to participate in that era of GTF. So I don't exactly think I'm wishing that GFO becomes GTF again.

I don't really have much of a point to this other than wanting to type out some thoughts. I guess I'm still here because I made a lot of connections with people over the years. A lot of those people have left. I'm hopeful that they'll pop back in from time to time and let us know how they're doing. And for the ones who are still here, it's nice seeing how you're doing and how things are going. And for the new people, I'm hopeful to make those same kinds of relationships that keep this place moving along.

And I'm curious...for everyone else, new and old, why are you here?

Also happy holidays :)
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Re: Why are you here?

Unread postby Eryx » 25 December 2019, 07:18

I've had too much to drink at this point, my family has gone to bed after Christmas dinner, and I must sleep to enjoy tomorrow's lunch with the other side of my parents, so I won't type everything I want to right now, but I loved what you shared and I find this thread really interesting, so I'll edit something below as soon as I can, and so we can keep your reflection going! Happy Holidays and congrats on your growth, for now! You gave me a lot to think about.
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Re: Why are you here?

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 25 December 2019, 20:22

Well I’m glad you haven’t abandoned us (unlike some people :oface:).

I think the initial reason I joined GTFN was a mixture of boredom, a yearning for a sense of community, hot guys and acting like a fool for my own amusement. Along the way I met some pretty great people and I’d be kidding myself if I didn’t acknowledge the impact they had on me growing up, even if I was one of the older ones there (I think I joined when I was either 19 or 20). You’re probably not alone in feeling detached from the forum since most of the members have left, even the really active ones. I get the feeling that once they became comfortable in their skin and acquired gay friends and romantic partners they felt like they no longer needed the forums.

I stick around mainly because of the people I’ve met and who’ve I known for years. The person I’ve known the longest on here is René since 2006! It would be weird (for me at least) to just abruptly leave, but I guess people do that even in “real life”. And I guess I still hold out hope not only that some of the members who’ve left will come back to visit but that I’ll also get to eventually meet some of you in person like I’ve done in the past.
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Re: Why are you here?

Unread postby René » 27 December 2019, 18:06

homomorphism wrote:At that time, math was my big hobby and what I formed a personal identity around.

You'll always be e to me :heart:
(Which isn't to say that you're a −1.)

homomorphism wrote:I think Rene and Brenden have done a fantastic job maintaining this place, and I can't imagine how frustrating dealing with teenage melodrama was (especially regarding the video chat), so I don't begrudge you guys a more peaceful moderation time.

Thank you very much! And yes, it always struck me how extremely low-maintenance GFO was compared to GTF, especially once GTF moved beyond being basically people I'd spent years growing up with. All the politics, subterfuge, scheming, campaigning and ambitions of power alone took immense amounts of time to deal with, whereas the adults here always seemed to just tend to accept things the way they were and get on with it.

Anyway, the reason I joined GTF(N) back in August of 2006 was really because it seemed like a fun place to have conversations and make some friends, which almost as far back as I can remember I'd always done through internet forums (initially through dial-up internet) since meeting people offline didn't come naturally to me due to Asperger's and social anxiety. The first forum I was really active on was the one at Goku.nl (a Dutch Dragon Ball Z fan site). After that closed down, I found a home at OldOs.org, a site dedicated to fans of old, deprecated computer operating systems like MS-DOS and Windows 3.1 (arguably not an OS), which amazingly is still online (but obviously dead, and the forum is down). Eventually, OldOs.org's admin went a little crazy and did some kind of merger with another site and to make it fairer on the other site he pruned all existing posts that were more than some number of months old, which I'd predicted would end terribly, and it did: the forum died soon after. I also hated it on a personal level (years of history wiped out just like that for no good reason; for illustration, my post count dropped from I think 3000+ to like 214). I resolved to never do anything like that if I ever ran a forum myself. Anyway, it was during my time on that forum that I figured out I was gay (and actually, one of the friends I made on there introduced me to my first boyfriend :P), and GTFN was the next forum I joined. (Most of you know what happened next, but in case anyone doesn't, a summary can be found here.)

This community has now been the most constant thing in my life for the past 13+ years. I've interacted more with many of the people here (and many who are sadly no longer with us) than I ever have with many members of my family. I love you guys :heart:

poolerboy0077 wrote:And I guess I still hold out hope not only that some of the members who’ve left will come back to visit but that I’ll also get to eventually meet some of you in person like I’ve done in the past.

:werd:
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Re: Why are you here?

Unread postby Brenden » 27 December 2019, 19:41

René wrote:
homomorphism wrote:At that time, math was my big hobby and what I formed a personal identity around.

You'll always be e to me :heart:
(Which isn't to say that you're a −1.)

But he can occasionally be a negative one. :P

:heart:
Disclaimer: All views expressed in my posts are my own and do not reflect the views of this forum except when otherwise stated or this signature is not present.

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Re: Why are you here?

Unread postby Jzone » 27 December 2019, 21:21

Why am I here? I first joined another gay forum which went down in flames a few years ago. I joined that forum when my 20 year marriage with a woman ended and I found myself free to explore other interests. I live in a small community, so having access to broader perspectives was helpful. I made some friends on that first forum, so eventually looked for another after it collapsed.

My participation on GFO ebbs and flows, but I have made some friends here. I have also learned a few things, clarified some of my own opinions, and been thoroughly entertained by some threads. Kudos to René and Brenden for maintaining a high level of quality on the forum.
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Re: Why are you here?

Unread postby mxguy01 » 27 December 2019, 22:11

Because sometimes I feel like if I don't come here and post something it's like I don't exist.
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Re: Why are you here?

Unread postby lightnight » 28 December 2019, 21:03

Your story was nice to read. It's natural to feel self reflective at the end of the year. I'm glad you've come to the conclusion that you are okay with your life right now.

I don't have any gay friends IRL and I'm too busy to have a social life and seek some out, especially in my community. It's several decades behind the rest of the world.

Besides, the convos here can be funny to read and it's a little tucked away community, not a dating site, and it's not regular social media either.
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Re: Why are you here?

Unread postby Frigid » 29 December 2019, 13:09

Interesting to read other people’s motivations for joining.

I joined gtf to procrastinate from doing course work and I’m only here now because I’m laying in bed putting off getting up and showering etc.
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Connectedness

Unread postby ChristopherT525 » 6 January 2020, 17:50

It's nice to be able to speak to others with something in common. Being gay is the start but there are so many off-shoots and diverse interests that people can connect over it would be great to make some new friends. I do have a partner and he is absolutely fantastic but that is one person as a life-partner as distinct from friends as a group with all the shared experiences that come along with it. So, as I'm not a night club person, coming here makes sense for me to say hello and see what happens :english:
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Re: Why are you here?

Unread postby Tobias » 6 January 2020, 22:02

I was apart of a few forums that closed down over the years. A friend recommended this forum to me. I joined a few years ago but didn’t really post. I had bad experiences in past forums.

I started posting because I missed interacting with other people online. So far everyone has been great and I enjoy being apart of this community. I’ve been trying to post more. Life gets crazy and sometimes I forget to login and check the post lol
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Re: Why are you here?

Unread postby GearFetTwinkRomance » 7 January 2020, 03:03

I have had places and forums to communicate or try to, at least, find some connections to other gay people in a plenty of ways before, just not in RL where this didn't seem to happen just by chance. I've got some obstacles and personality type related (Aspergers) difficulties on the socialising abilities range, so making acquaintances is rather complicated - one can not blame people for it, it's the nature of all that.
When a lot of boards and forums I went to started to die down and everyone seemed to be sucked in to the cell phone and mobile app universe, internet correspondence became less. People who are into phone wise communication even seem to forget you're there.
I couldn't and didn't want to adapt to this SMS-style texting, I need more information, more input to find exchange of views practicable.

In the RL I have not managed to find gay people for correspondence, as I live in a heterosexual socialisation surrounding. Some of them have become mates over the years, and having lost my scarce social contacts several times, as people got close to, or found out about my orientation, now I just want to rather keep the contacts instead of being alone once again, should they dig into my privacy or something. There are quite some that are critical toward lgbt and the common folk seems to trend toward hostility again, since the right wing party is gaining. We call it "roll back", what they want in future.

So I strolled about looking for discussion boards on glbt topics, as I missed the old "Out NZ/ Out UK" boards and some more that kind of vanished over time. Chat rooms have become strange as people don't like to chat with everyone in the main rooms. I think I'm a communications dinosaur, too. Anachronism wise.

So on here I followed some conversations and I started to like the people. Although I don't follow everything closely ( the more complicated socio-cultural depths I simply can not fathom as I'm too stupid :lol: ) and I spend time here rather inconstantly, I like to take a peek into the world of other people and walk in their garden, so to say. So it's the insights and what I can find in the written life of other members, that keeps me coming back. Some even help me to readjust my own views on various topics, too, and I find this very valuable, to broaden horizons in that a way. Also knowing there are, indeed, places that don't mind someone strange or weird, as people often have taken to describe my ... well, personality that not very often comes after the likes of most living people.
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Too, wondering why some avid writers have gone away. They might have had their personal reasons, okay. One would wonder though, if there was more they shared with their friends on here, than might have possibly bothered them (?) --- very few reasons to think of, that would justify a final drop out. But then, I dunno their case, reasons there might be.
They could have been chosen to reign instead of Ctulhu while it remains asleep, or something, or, have tea with her Majesty and brush her dogs' teeth, who can know for certain? ;) They could have married in to the Sackville-Baggins' family lineage, that would explain their disappearance. Also, Altair 4 is where people may vanish to on occasion, and there still is said to be that old vanishing cabinet in... I forgot the name of the street. If one just would dial the wrong destination or something. You never know where you get out. Even, if one's last name was not Tuttle or Buttle... :noes:
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Re: Why are you here?

Unread postby Subra » 10 January 2020, 11:24

It's kinda like therapy.
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Re: Why are you here?

Unread postby rogonandi » 11 January 2020, 09:58

I’m here because I enjoy reading about the lives of other gay people, especially if they stick around. :)
Why are you?

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