Closing The Book

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Closing The Book

Unread postby Angel » 2nd September, 2017, 8:09 pm

I'll start this with saying that this is the last post I'm going to make on either GTF or GFO. I'll try not to be too gushy.

Well, it's been a long 7 years. I've no idea where to start this really but I guess I'll just ramble for a bit saying whatever comes into my head. There's not a lot you can say to summarise such a vast amount of time - I've spent 1/3 of my life so far connected to GTF in some way, whether that was the initial year of lurking and reading stuff, the 3 1/2 years of active posting, or the 2 1/2 years I've spent mostly in the background since starting university.

I've now been around longer than the entire moderation team (and a total of 3 Administrators Emeritus...) and indeed have seen two complete changes in mod team since I started. I'm reasonably certain that Vortex and Jimjam are the only active members who've been around longer than I have, which is kind of upsetting in a way. I've also now seen 5 different chat clients in regular use, including the recent push to move to Discord, a change which of which I think I wholeheartedly approve. I was always a more chat-focused member in my time here, so any move to make chat more accessible and less painful to use is something which I would welcome with open arms.

Most of you don't really know who I am; for a proportion of you the first time you will have met me will have been during this years' House Cup. This is not something I regard as a particularly good thing. Whilst last year I started in the house cup as a participant and rose to captaincy, this year I started the Cup as a captain and ended it as a participant. I'm not going to go into details about why I stepped down as a captain because I think that that's drama that doesn't need to be aired, but I do think that one contributing factor was the ever-more-apparent divide that was growing between myself and my team; I just didn't feel connected to them in the way that I had to Coruscant last year. It is perhaps telling that I wrote a SYG last year, after the Cup, where I waxed lyrical about how the Cup had made me feel like I still belonged in this community, whereas this year I am writing my goodbye thread. I think the Cup was a particularly violent but ultimately effective method of making me realise that I don't really fit in here anymore. I'm sorry to the people who only met me through this Cup - I'm not sure that it was the best situation in which to meet me and I wish there had been a better opportunity to make a good first impression.

I used to do meetups, an awful lot. Back in 2012 and 2013 there were a group of us in the UK who would meet up on a really regular basis; Thumper, Szazomy, Divided By Zero, Political Cake, nikolii, et al. In my time at GTF I have met at least 12 members (off the top of my head...), all of whom with the surprising exception of Henning have now left the forum. It's also fairly interesting that of those there's only 1 or 2 I'm in regular communication with these days (and another who it turns out now lives 100m away from me but that's just strange and mad and we don't really talk). This is also why I find it entertaining that George would tout the next summer meetup as "GTF Summer Meetup 3" or somesuch - we were doing them waaaaaay beforehand. We also had Annual Portsmouth Januaries which I think happened three times, that was quite nice. I remember thaprot, Thumper, and I watched Rise of the Guardians on one of them (must have been Jan. 2013). The following year was the last one; Thumper and Divided By Zero had broken up and weren't really speaking, Szazomy and nikolii were on the verge of splitting. I think that was the last time I met up with anyone actually, barring the trip to Hampton Court Palace that I know happened somewhen but can't for the life of me place - might have been summer 2013, which would make the tension-ridden Portsmouth January in 2014 the last mass meetup. Kind of an ignoble end to a 3-year long spate of meetups, really. I since met Chronos and Henning individually, although they barely count as GTF meetups I think and more just "Angel goes on a jolly to see some friends".

When I started uni, I tried really hard to find a way of describing GTF that didn't sound fairly dodgy, and came up with "I help out on an internet support group for LGBT youth". In many ways, I believe that is exactly what we are, and I think that's the core philosophy with which I see this place - whatever else it is we do, we are primarily a support group in my book. I firmly believe that we all joined here for that reason, in one form or another, and I also believe that people tend to leave when they no longer need us. I joined here in November 2010, and started posted regularly in November 2011. I think, more than coming here for support for being gay, I joined here because I just needed support from other people generally. I was home-educated, and lonely. I had no idea how to talk to people or interact in any meaningful way - indeed, I remember being so embarrassed at my social skills that I wrote Thumper a very long apology after our first meeting in January 2012! I started 6th form in September 2012, and slowly got my life together. I think the confidence that I got from GTF cannot be denied, and that definitely helped throughout college. It's worth noting, however, that internet friends can very rarely be a substitute for actual friends, which I've only really in the last 2 years got to the point of saying that I have. University has been the best thing I have ever done, and whilst there are many things I would do differently if I could go back 3 years and do it all again, overall it has shaped so much of who I am and how I react to people. That initial impetus to be better than I am came from GTF, however, and in a classically gushy manner I'm not sure I'd be how I am today if I hadn't joined GTF when I did.

I don't really have that much more to say. GTF has given me highs, lows, and everything in between. There have been people I have loved and loathed, people with whom I have violently disagreed and almost worryingly often agreed, a huge number of people who I would call friends but have lost touch with and one or two people who I don't think I'll ever lose touch with, despite their best efforts at points! Above all else, I think GTF gave me an area to explore being comfortable with myself, not necessarily as a product of my sexuality but certainly a place to connect with people with whom I was guaranteed to have at least one thing in common. I tried as hard as I could to have a positive impact on both the forum and individuals whilst I was here, and I hope that with this closing post that I'll be remembered as someone who tried to help other people as much as this place helped me.

Thanks for everything, it's been a blast.

A x
Dearly departed
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Re: Closing The Book

Unread postby Kaspar » 2nd September, 2017, 9:54 pm

Considering the amount of time you've been here and the brief moment we got to know each other, Angel - you really did make a very good impression very soon. Before the House Cup - I had no idea you existed. After the House Cup - I'm moved by the fact you are departing. The contrast is big, ey? :P
It felt great to work with you.
It felt great to chat with you.
It felt great to get to know you - even if it was just for this short.

You did leave an impact on this place and fortunately there are still people here, doing what you were doing (we talked about it, remember? :P ).

Best wishes and good luck in life, I guess :heart:
Proudly, the Captain of team Spirited Away
House Cup 2017

mattyk wrote:You are indeed all-round 100% certified awesome!



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Re: Closing The Book

Unread postby TheBrunswickian » 3rd September, 2017, 1:11 am

goodbye, and go well into the night
House Cup 2016 - Team Westeros
House Cup 2017 - Team Lion King



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Re: Closing The Book

Unread postby boiii » 3rd September, 2017, 3:53 am

I knew you briefly, but it was a pleasure. :)
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Re: Closing The Book

Unread postby Ethán » 3rd September, 2017, 8:42 am

Bye
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Re: Closing The Book

Unread postby Pity » 3rd September, 2017, 1:32 pm

I wish you the best, Angel!
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Re: Closing The Book

Unread postby Tim. » 3rd September, 2017, 6:43 pm

Never got to know you personally Angel, but I must say a big thank you for creating that popularite program that saved me countless hours of time! It's great that you made so many friends during your time here and it was a place that was helpful to you. All the best for the future!
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Re: Closing The Book

Unread postby mattyk » 4th September, 2017, 6:30 am

Like you, Angel - I hadn't planned on posting here again but for you, my friend, I'm happy to make an exception.

This is certainly one individual for whom your presence here at GTF has made a huge impact. For me, that long winter of 2012 was where I personally found my feet here as a GTFer and you were (in all honesty) probably the biggest reason for that. All those mornings sitting here on GTF Chat before sunrise, wrapped in blankets chatting with my best friend here (you) about all sorts of stuff - I never really did understand just how you knew so much about so many of the members here :rofl2: My point is though, that we often contribute more than we know through our impact on others and you can certainly claim credit for that.

In my opinion, GTF is the poorer for your departure, Angel and your contributions to this site over the time you've been here (especially the 2016 House Cup) have made GTF a better place. Realistically (and sadly) I probably won't get the chance to talk to you again but please know that I've always respected and admired you and I pray that your future will bring you all the happiness and fulfilment for which you could ever hope. Farewell, old friend :heart:
One can pay back the loan of gold,
but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind.
- Malaysian proverb


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Re: Closing The Book

Unread postby Abdeltyf » 4th September, 2017, 6:52 pm

I loved our conversations, you're a great mind Angel. Gonna miss you man :heart:
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Re: Closing The Book

Unread postby KrisCross » 4th September, 2017, 7:18 pm

Goodbye Angel! Always sad to see someone go...
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