A Little background
I'm a 27 year old gay computer geek. I've been a computer geek for 21 years, since I was six years old.
I started using one of the precursors to the Internet, BBSs, around the age of 11 and I first got on the Internet when I was 13 or 14, around the same time that I realized I was attracted to boys and not girls.
I did come out to a few of my female friends, and they were supportive, but I personally knew of no one like me; I had no gay friends in real life. So, like any good computer geek I turned to the Internet. I did find several friends around the same age, but more importantly I ran across a forum posting where a faciliator was answering the questions of another gay teen like myself. I quickly emailed the facilitator and discussed my thoughts and feelings with him. He was a mentor for me at an important time. We never met in person and his name and email address are lost in the digital ether, but I am forever indebted to this stranger.
I got through high school mostly intact and I was out at school by the end of my senior year, 1999. I wandered a bit and ended up at Wright State University for better or worse. (a good deal of better but just too much worse.) I got involved with WSU's GLBTQA organization Lambda Union. I served at various times as the webmaster and the secretary. Despite my sometimes busy schedule (okay always busy schedule) I always made time to listen and mentor those around me, either in person or online.
I've moved on in life. I'm no longer in a community where I get to sit down and listen and mentor. Quite frankly I miss mentoring and giving back to the community. I also know there are those who, like me, are lurking on the Internet for someone to talk to who can understand where they're coming from and the kind of struggles they're going through.
Before getting started
Just before we get started I want to address a few likely questions.
Will you tell me if I'm gay or lesbian?
No. I don't believe anyone should assign a label to someone else. I might say that you're feelings are similar to other gay men's feelings, but I will not tell you that you're gay.
Are you recruiting?
I believe people are innately oriented to be attracted to one or both genders, and that nothing can be done to change this. Reparative therapy does not work. You cannot change if a person is attracted to the same, opposite or both genders.
I do not believe you can "recruit" someone to be homo or hetro attracted.
Are you qualified?
I am not a psychologist or licensed counselor. But I have a significant amount of experience mentoring in peer-to-peer situations. I will not accept any compensation for the mentoring that I provide.
I'm thinking about killing myself can you help me?
I will of course do everything I can but I highly urge you to pick up the phone right now and call 1-866-4-U-TREVOR or 1-800-SUICIDE. If you're not in the mood to use the phone please visit suicide... read this first. You're not alone, I've been there.
I suck at email can I IM or call you?
While I'm open to IMing, I work strange hours that don't work quite well with the rest of the world for IMing. Unfortunately, I'm really not prepared to provide telephone mentoring.
How can I keep my parents from finding out about this?
First use a private email address that your parents can't access. I recommend getting a free web based one like Yahoo!, Lycos, or Hotmail. Also you might consider clearing your browser's history and cache when you're done.
I've tried to make as easy as possible by creating a form that'll let me get a quick idea of who you are. I will do my best to get back to you via email in one or two days. Get started by sending me an email.
If you have any other questions you can email me or use the getting started form.