Last week on the subway, I noticed a woman reading a New York Times article with an interesting sub-head: “A community united by a penchant for risk.” Later that day, I went online and read the article for myself, a piece titled “Recklessly Seeking Sex on Craigslist” by Douglas Quenqua.
While I had the hopes that the article would explore the benefits of online forums for interaction, I assumed that it would probably be recycling the same nonsense that as a young queer boy, I am all too familiar with. My mother, father, friends, and anyone else who has a chance to inundate me with their ramblings of “safety” will tell me “be careful on the Internet, people are crazy,” or “you never know what will happen.” I have always scoffed this off, because since dial up, I have been addicted to the Internet. It was one of the first places where I found other gay people. I lived in a world of chat rooms, forums, magazines, and porn. Every day the bus ride after school was the waiting room for me to get home and enjoy a few hours alone with the computer before my parents got home. It was one of the first places that I explored gay identity as young adult. I made friends, shared pictures, had “e-boos” all over, and was able to really be “gay.”