Cyber Queerness

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There is no denying the big role that the world wide web played in most of our LGBT activism escapades, coming outs, and falling head over heals.  Throughout the past decade, the tools that were mostly used were the following: ( I tried to put them in order of appearance )

1-ONElist that later became eGroups that later became Yahoo! Groups that branched off into other mailing lists

If you were online & gay in the late 90s, the ONElist is probably the first thing you joined. Hundreds of LGBTs on it & hundreds of emails in our mailboxes every week. Over the years, as different organizations formed, they created their own mailing lists.

2-mIRC channels : #gaylebanon & #lesbanon

Remember mIRC? #gaylebanon ( before # became popular for twitter) was a mixed channel where Lebanese queers met and planned secret gatherings. Ok, so mostly they met up for sex, but hanging out in the channel was our favorite evening passtime. The girls had their own much less popular channe #Lesbanon. My favorite memory of #Lesbanon is being bounced off of it all the time because they thought I was some guy. Why? Because I never gave out an a/s/l. I was just coming out, exploring unchartered territory. I felt like a rebel.

3. & then there were many..

It had a black background, rainbow-covered hunk on the front page, and only a few pages in total, but was the main method of connecting to the mailing list, chat room, and happenings. After that, tens of Lebanese LGBT websites took on the internet.

4. Gaydar/Gaydargirls

The ever-popular dating site. Sign up, create a profile, browse through other profiles, meet someone, exchange messages, then add them on msn and chat for hours.

5. MSN

Smileys then emoticons then webcams. People adding people from their friend’s lists and the community growing and MSN becoming your number one source for gossip. You became best friends with people you’ve never met & would never meet.

6. MySpace & then Facebook

MySpace didn’t hit very strongly in Lebanon, but a good number of queers got on, splattered rainbow flags & same-sex kissing all over their backgrounds and met up with people like them. Then everyone and their mother migrated to Facebook. Most of us had double profiles (for before Facebook invented limited profiles) – a gay one & a straight one. So find a lesbian / gay friend, add them to your list, then go through their friends’ list and add their friends, assuming that a lesbian or a gay person would automatically only have lesbian or gay friends. Get your bubble burst. And then came the actually useful pages and groups on Facebook.

7.  Twitter

Ok, so we’re still new to Twitter. But so far, it’s connecting queer bloggers & internet enthusiasts from all over the region.

Shant is a half-breed in a mutation process. She enjoys her coffee with a few drops of amaretto and her pickles with hot cocoa. She also has compulsive movie-watching binges, which make her speak in movie quotes. She fancies punk cabaret and lives her life pretending it’s an ongoing edit of a film.

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