I found this post (please excuse the numerous editing issues, as recognized in its own disclaimer) extremely interesting in the way it challenged how young people use the internet to form community. I have read quite a bit speculating (there is so little research and not much anecdotal information either) on how sexual and gender minority are reaching out online to form community. Most of this information discovers how these youth use the internet to reach out of their isolated communities to find others “like them” in other places.
This is not the case here.
Mary Gray, of the Communication and Culture dept. at Indiana University, gives an example of how rural youth use the internet to strengthen their LOCAL community of LGBTQ youth. It’s a neat case study that makes me wonder how widespread it is.
Another point I appreciate: the fact that these youth feel safer in public venues rather than hidden in their own identities, or online. To me, a supporter of these youth, it is reassuring that they are trying to make themselves visible and part of the community.