Cyberbullying

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Cyberbullying

Unread postby MusicLoverDude » 17th March, 2017, 3:54 pm

Hi everyone. I don't usually post on here because, well, I'm 23. But when I was 15 and 16 I was a more active member on this site, or the .net version to be specific. From what I've heard, the .net site merged with this one, and that is why I've decided to create this thread, because what I experienced in 2009 and 2010 is not ok under any circumstances. Basically, here's what happened:

- I came out as gay when I was 15, and being the computer savvy person I am, I found the gayteenforum.net site and I figured it would be a cool place to chat with other people in the community. But for me, that ended up not being the case. During the summer 2009, I started posting pictures in the Post Your Pics type of section. I was stupid enough to put "Please Be nice" in the first post I ever put there, and I might as well have just left that phrase out, because the majority of the comments I got were mean. I'm an overweight person, so I was picked on for not having a body that was in shape or six pack abs and what not. But despite that, I kept posting pictures and what not, thinking things would get better, and they didn't. The comments got worse, with some people even joking that I should hang myself. There were nights where I would cry myself to sleep over this. This was my own community being rude and nasty to me, and they were actually a lot worse than the straight community has been to me. After awhile, I realized that the best thing I could do for myself was just leave the site, so I did that. I posted probably a few more times in late 2010 and early 2011, but after that I was gone for good.

The worst part about it was that everyone that picked on me felt no remorse for it whatsoever. I actually looked up the site again out of curiosity a couple of years ago before the merge, and I found comments relating to all the bullying I received as being "good times". That's how evil some of these guys were. During my experience, there was probably only 2 to 3 people that were actually genuinely nice to me and the MODERATORS also joined in on the bullying.

If you're from ATRL, or you were around in 2009 and 2010, than you might know that my username carries a bit of a rep with it, but even so, bullying someone is never ok.

That's why I created this thread, because if you're going to be online here, you need to treat people the way you want to be treated. You never know what affect your comments can have on someone, even if it's just behind a computer screen. Don't body sham someone for how they look, and don't use the "we're just looking out for your health" argument as an excuse. There are ways you can help someone with their weight without being a bully about it. And it's not your job to look out for them either. And also, don't pick on someone for having a fem-like voice, or having a "mainstream taste" in music, and use the "if I'm gay, it means I like guys" excuse to just fem-sham somebody or sham someone for not acting "masc". I've been out for almost a decade by this point, so I've seen comments like what I just quoted before and there's just so many mindsets that people use to snub other people on here that can actually hurt someone's self-esteem or confidence. Everyone has different personalities and I wouldn't want to be snubbed just because you think my voice isn't deep enough or I'm not "masc" enough.

And I know this is a gay TEEN forum, so the maturity level isn't going to be the greatest, but that doesn't give you an excuse to not take something like this seriously and just treat people nicely and with respect, and you'll get some back in return. Plain and simple.

I just wanted to share this, and hopefully this at least puts awareness out there that cyberbullying DOES happen on here as it did to me and I don't want what happened to me to happen to others on here.
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Re: Cyberbullying

Unread postby Dessy » 17th March, 2017, 4:11 pm

I recognize you from ATRL! But yeah, Cyberbullying isn't really okay. I personally can't really judge how this forum has changed over time so I can't really comment on the history.
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Re: Cyberbullying

Unread postby Kaspar » 17th March, 2017, 4:30 pm

Thank you for posting the story, let's hope situations like this will happen less and less frequently, as GTF in its core is essentially meant to be a place that helps you, accepts you as you are, not bullies or makes you depressed. Making people aware of the damage is important as some bullies don't even realize that what they're doing might be so devastating to another person.

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Re: Cyberbullying

Unread postby Mawd » 17th March, 2017, 4:41 pm

Things have changed a lot since those days. I'm sorry it happened to you.

Not everyone moved over from .net fyi, especially some moderators. Still its not like .org hasn't had its fair share of toxic people in the past but with the mandatory age limit and other changes in tolerance I'd say we saw a major shift between 2012-14. Last few years felt completely different to then too.
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Re: Cyberbullying

Unread postby boiii » 17th March, 2017, 5:08 pm

shame*
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Re: Cyberbullying

Unread postby Vortex » 17th March, 2017, 6:44 pm

GTF has a horrid record of cyber bullying. I should know, I've been here nine years. When I was 16, I was outed by a guy from here. I had to go to conversion therapy, and my dad almost had a complete mental breakdown.

GTF is the healthiest place it's ever been.
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Re: Cyberbullying

Unread postby Anonymous Boy » 18th March, 2017, 1:11 pm

I'm really sorry to hear of the experience you had on that site... please know that we don't allow bullying like that here, and you certainly won't find our moderators engaged in it!

I'd just like to briefly clarify what happened between the two sites. To say that they were merged is kind of overstating it: the administrator, Kevin (who went power-crazy in late 2007 and started banning lots of people (including myself, a moderator there at the time), leading me to create GayTeenForum.org), eventually stopped renewing the gayteenforum.net domain and I managed to acquire it in 2015.

I forwarded the domain here in case any nostalgic old members came back later, so that they could find their way here and onward to the adult version (GayForum.org) where they would find some of the members who were on GTF.net (or GTFN, as it is now usually referred to) pre-2008.

After we left, Kevin tried to repopulate the forum with friends and family members who were more like him than the people who had left, some of whom were immediately made moderators, and the result was a really toxic atmosphere. As others have alluded to, GTFN had a serious bullying problem even before we moved here, but while the community here has become a lot nicer over time, the environment that was fostered on GTFN went in the opposite direction. Having read your story, I'm very glad teenagers no longer find that place when they search for a community like this.
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Re: Cyberbullying

Unread postby Pity » 18th March, 2017, 1:29 pm

Yeah, if GTF was anything like you described, it has definitely gotten a lot better. I don't think I've seen a lot of bullying.
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Re: Cyberbullying

Unread postby MusicLoverDude » 19th March, 2017, 1:17 am

I'm glad to see that things have changed for the better since what happened to me all those years ago. It's just bittersweet that it pretty much happened after I became an adult. Even so, I still felt it was important to share my experience on here before it was too late so that it doesn't happen, which it doesn't seem like it will.

I might post on here from time to time I guess, but I'll definitely sign up for the adult forum then and hopefully it can just be a feel good atmosphere there.
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Re: Cyberbullying

Unread postby George » 19th March, 2017, 4:47 am

Well, I can promise you times have certainly changed; the likes of Hnngh have fucked off and so we're a much more calmer community :P I would suggest you stick around, you're still within the age limit and I feel like you'd benefit from being here :P Do pop into chat sometime :D
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