The Usenet Gay Youth Forum

Of the various online activities the First Online Church of "Bob" has been involved with, perhaps the most successful has been the creation of This is a moderated Usenet newsgroup where gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and other sexual minority youths are coming together from all over the world to talk about the hardships of growing up in a world dominated by the Conspiracy. All too often, these people feel lost and alone, without a single person in the world to open up to and reveal their true feelings. This sad state of affairs has led to an alarmingly high number of suicides among GLBT (gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgendered) youths.

This was what led to the foundation of Because the Internet has given a voice to a large number of bigots, jerks, mediocretins, and Conspiracy dupes, this newsgroup is a moderated forum for young people to speak out in peace. The flame wars and the gay-bashers are kept out, and as a result the newsgroup has become a friendly, caring place where you can go for advice and help. The true-life stories posted to this newsgroup have made me cry - sometimes with sadness, and sometimes with joy. Many of the people reading this newsgroup have felt sad and alone...but they've quickly found that there are many, many people just like them, all over the world. Post a message to this newsgroup, and you'll be practically guaranteed to receive a response saying, "You sound just like me...I'm going through the exact same situation you are, and I know how it feels. Email me."

Because the group is moderated, the most direct way to send a message to it is by emailing it to This address will direct your message to the moderators. Posting a message directly to the group will also send it to them. If you want to ask a question directly to the moderators, send your email to

Information on the newsgroup can be found on the home page. This page contains links to many queer resources on the Net, for gay youths and gay adults as well.

Search engine for

Alternative methods also exist to allow you to read the newsgroup through the World Wide Web, even if you don't have access to it on your news server.

Here is a search tool designed to make it easier for you to search for information posted to the newsgroup since 1995. This form will search the Google Usenet archives for key words such as "FAQ" or "best friend" or any other term you wish to search for. The search is keyed directly to, so that it will search primarily for articles that have been posted to that newsgroup.

It's also possible to use Google to browse the newsgroup in general.

Click here to read through Google.

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Notable media events involving the newsgroup

July 2, 1995: The New York Times prints a story about the newsgroup on Page 1 of its Sunday edition! The actual name of the newsgroup is not stated, but stories from the group are quoted. moderator Michael Handler is quoted, and the piece includes a picture of him.

The August 1995 issue of Wired magazine contains a short piece, written by me, praising the newsgroup. This link to Hotwired will take you to the article.

December 29, 1995: The online service CompuServe blocks access to over two hundred newsgroups for its 4 million users. is one of the newsgroups banned. CompuServe claims to have taken these actions at the behest of the government of Germany, but a German official denies the charge. This scandal receives coverage in the December 29 editions of the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, and other newspapers. is mentioned as a specific example of "non-sexual" newsgroups banned by CompuServe in this attempt to "protect the children" from sexually explicit material on the Internet. Here is a copy of the official CompuServe press release, and here is a copy of a press release from the gay community in response to the restrictions. CompuServe spent the next month working with Microsystems Inc. to include the Cyber Patrol package into its software; this allows parents to filter out objectionable material and keep their children away from the more lurid areas of the Internet. On February 14, 1996, it was announced that CompuServe had restored all but five of the newsgroups, though they still refused to accept any blame for their actions.

January, 1997: Someone creates an unmoderated newsgroup called This newsgroup may have been started by someone who didn't follow the "customary" procedure of discussing the newsgroup on alt.config first. Thus, the newsgroup cannot be found on many servers. Sadly, quickly attracts all the trouble that this newsgroup -- -- was designed to avoid: flame wars, off-topic sex-related ads, homophobic trolls, and all the rest.

I'm bringing this to the attention of the readers of to let everyone know that there may be people on who are seeking help, but who don't know of the existence of this newsgroup. If you feel that someone over there may benefit from the postings on, you may want to drop a line over there and lead folks in this direction.

Whenever I mention and the gay youth mailing list, people ask me if I'm gay. Call me "straight but not narrow." I became involved with the creation of this newsgroup because I saw an opportunity to help young people who need support and friendship, and maybe even make someone decide not to commit suicide after all. For anyone curious about the involvement of the First Online Church of "Bob" in the creation of the newsgroup, the story of the origin of the newsgroup was posted to the newsgroup in October of 1999.

Does It Matter?

My father asked me if I am gay
I asked Does it matter?
He said No not really
I said Yes
He said get out of my life
I guess it mattered

My boss asked me if I am gay
I asked Does it matter?
He said No, not really
I told him Yes.
He said You're fired, faggot.
I guess it mattered

A friend asked if I am gay
I said Does it matter
He said, Not really.
I told him Yes.
He said Don't call me your friend
I guess it mattered

My lover asked Do you love me?
I asked Does it matter?
He said Yes.
I told him I love you
He said Let me hold you in my arms
For the first time in my life something matters.

My God asked me Do you love yourself?
I said Does it matter?
He said Yes.
I said How can I love myself? I am gay
He said That is the way I made you
Nothing again will ever matter.

-- written by an anonymous teenager
posted to on Wed, 21 June 1995
by Chris M. Hassett