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Have you ever been cyberstalked?
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 Posted: 2010-08-01 04:52 am
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PsyStudent

 

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Hi everyone, I'm a graduate student trying to do my dissertation on cyberstalking in the LGBT community, and I'm trying to gather some info first.
First, I'm wondering if anyone out there has ever been cyberstalked.
Secondly, if yes, would you be willing to answer a 30 question anonymous survey about it?

Thank you so much for responding, I appreciate the help. :)

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 Posted: 2011-07-31 05:13 am
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Columba

 

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I am trying to actively join a local LGBT social group and before attending any events they let me technically join online, then promptly told me they prefer face photos' to create a sense of family' I got two messages from three of the group's organizers.

I told them that I have been taught that it is safer to avoid face photos on the 'net to avoid cyber stalking...plus, I don;t know anyone yet, I don't necessarily want them knowing my personal info' before I know a little more about them, that's the beauty of the 'net, you can gauge people before jumping/bing thrown into anything.

I recently sent  a message to the administrators about an upcoming meetup and the one who 'accepted' me into the group replied that she

" had hoped I would feel comfortable, after getting a feel for the group with uploading a photo but now it's been a month and I (she) don't think it's fair to the other members. I (she) have let others decline from showing photos for professional/ personal privacy. This does not seem to be the case with you, howver; we have all been burned in the past but we are all putting ourselves out there. If sharing a photo of yourself is still  not something you feel comfortable with then you may want to consider leaving the group.If you want to discuss this further, let me know."

 

If this was a prerequisite it should have been clearer and they should not have allowed m,e to join without one. I have seen other members' pages and there is a lot of dogged flirting from the members, including older members on the younger members' pages, especially when they are new to the group.

 

I don't have to post photos on any of my other forums/groups/boards/chatrooms, LGBT or otherwise, local community or otherwise.

This insistence and undertone of passive agressive accusation is really creepy to me, I've never experienced it with any other LGBT activity group or member forums.The tone with which the group organizers are dealing with me reeks of the abusive, domineering relationships I've been in either superficially or intimately.

I am worried I am over reacting (just in my own head and internal emotions, I haven;t even replied to the email yet) and I want to be a member of the group but, it gives me a pit in my stomach whenever I think of this ultimatum they are giving me...it also reminds me of guys trying to insist I do stuff for them to prove to themselves that they have control over me, which is not something I need more of from my LGBT 'support' groups.

I am writing here because I thought it was interesting that my preemptive self-protection was not respected, especially since I know there have been hate crimes comitted in our local community.Why force me to share my photo??? It also reminds me of the early post/Stonewall days when people were outing others without permission and villifying those who were either wanting anonymoty or just hmmm autonomy ?!

 

 

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 Posted: 2011-08-05 06:33 pm
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PsyStudent

 

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Columba, I am so sorry that you had to go through that experience. I don't believe anybody should demand to see a face photo of you if you don't feel comfortable sharing it. I agree, if that is what they wanted, they should have made it clear from the beginning. I also agree, from what you wrote, it sounds very passive aggressive of them. My personal suggestion is that you listen to your feelings and leave the group. If anybody is trying to force you to do ANYTHING, even with passive words, they do not deserve your friendship or trust. Also, as evidenced by the flirting on other member's pages, this may not be the group that you were looking for at all. There are tons of other LGBT support and activity groups on the web, as well as LGBT Community Centers in many towns, that I'm sure will not make it a requirement that you do something you don't feel comfortable doing.

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 Posted: 2011-08-05 07:15 pm
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Columba

 

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Thank you for the validation, it really helps because as I stated, I didn't want to over react. What the organizer's reply email  implied ( among other things) about needing to 'put (One's self) out there' is true and I don't want to be unaware of my own true fears or motivations. Also, when people are trying to belong, they don't like to discuss these things for fear of looking like or becoming associated with an over reactor/outsider which may be why noone in my other affiliated group replied to my questioning them on whether my concerns were valid.

 But, ultimately, I agreed with your advice and have already left the group.

I sent  a reply email to them similar to what I wrote here about there needing to have been a clear prerequisite and their insistance after-the-fact making me uncomfortable.

I received a reply from yet another organizer from whom I'd never received one before. This time it was a male who just wrote a dry response:

'If you rejoin with a real name and face photo you will be accepted into the group'

This really convinced me that there was some 'dyke drama' or ulterior motive going on so it cynched my decision to focus on my personal interests and other LGBT groups.

When trying to step back and analyze this scenario I keep remembering the scene from Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake and how confusing it was to me when I first watched it but, peer pressure comes in all forms, and is possible any time One surrounds One's self with any group of peers.

- Sad but something to be aware of to maintain equilibrium and health.

 

Thanks for your help and good luck in your future endeavors :)

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 Posted: 2011-08-31 03:25 pm
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captainrainbow

 

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PsyStudent, kudos on your endeavor! This one will definitely help our fellow LGBT's who have experienced cyberstalking, or who will be experiencing it. In this day and age, the web has given stalkers a better platform, which is unfortunate. The internet would have been an awesome tool for easy communication.
Dear Columba, sorry about what you've gone through. Hold your head up high! :)



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 Posted: 2011-09-01 11:04 am
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Columba

 

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Thanks :) I actually ended up discovering that one of the mediators for that group ( the male who sent me the final 'dry' reply)works at the housewares store down my street. I shop there all the time.He doesn't know who I am, I don't think... I'm glad I avoided getting overwhelmed by any possible melodrama - attracting it to my home neighborhood would have been a nightmare to say the least.

Last edited on 2011-09-01 11:07 am by Columba

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 Posted: 2011-09-05 11:20 am
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captainrainbow

 

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Columba wrote: Thanks :) I actually ended up discovering that one of the mediators for that group ( the male who sent me the final 'dry' reply)works at the housewares store down my street. I shop there all the time.He doesn't know who I am, I don't think... I'm glad I avoided getting overwhelmed by any possible melodrama - attracting it to my home neighborhood would have been a nightmare to say the least.
Ooh, that's intense! I do hope he actually knows but is just too embarrassed to approach you in real life, you know, some people have a bad-ass alter ego virtually but are lame in person. :q And great job on not being melodramatic, be the intelligent one. :cool:

Last edited on 2011-09-05 11:26 am by captainrainbow



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