The goal of GayBoySupport is to offer information to teenage boys (±12-18 years of age) that are gay or bisexual, or have questions about it. Moreover to increase the resistance within this target group.
We want to provide support and information to gay boys at an early stage. We do this via this website and by answering questions via e-mail. As from November 2008, the Gay & Lesbian Switchboard in Amsterdam answers all questions for us.
GayBoySupport was founded in June 2000, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. – In the United States a study was made of the link between suicide and gay youth. The chance that a homosexual teenager would commit suicide was 3 times greater than that of their straight peers. To act on the high suicide rates world-wide among gay boys, the idea to start GayBoySupport came about.
From 2000 to 2002 the site only existed in English (gayboysupport.com). From 2002 the dutch version was added (gayboysupport.nl). Since July 2016 however, the domain names GayBoySupport.com and GayBoySupport.nl are no longer associated with this website.
From a pioneering role to a source of information – At the beginning GayBoySupport filled an important role, because there weren’t a lot or no sites that offered this type of information to young boys. And that discussed this typical type of boy topics in an open and honest way.
Through the years more information for gay boys became available online.
Since the youth boat participated in the Canal Parade of Amsterdam Gay Pride (First time: august 2007), there has been more attention and information available for gay youth, in The Netherlands.
2000-2008: more than 2,500 e-mails from boys – Through e-mail the widest range of questions get asked. Some boys just want to know about flirting, sex or how to easily meet other gays. Others are desperate and find themselves in isolation. E-mail appears to be the perfect way to increase confidence and resistance.
The amount of e-mails has dwindled over the years. From around 10 a week in 2000 to about 1 a week in 2009.
Since November 2008, Gay & Lesbian Switchboard takes care of answering the e-mails expertly.
From the positive reactions over the years (2,500+), it appears that a lot of boys have viewed the website and e-mail system as very useful. Our aim is constantly reached everyday, worldwide.
The amount of unique visitors to this site is around 4000 per month.
The digital GayBoySupport Newsletter appeared until March 2006, with themed articles, link-tips and relevant news items. In Dutch and English, for different subscriptions.
To keep in touch with the target group, the so called GayBoySupport Network was set up with various youngsters who shared their opinions and thoughts with us on the subjects, through e-mail, msn and sometimes by phone.
GayBoySupport has received spontaneous donations several times. We are surprised, happy and thankful with the financial help of those that want to tone their gratitude.
Subsidy from the RiTS fonds (RiTS fund) – In February 2006, GayBoySupport has been granted a subsidy from the funds of the RiTS fonds. From the letter, saying this subsidy was granted: We are taken with the set-up of GayBoySupport and we think that this project can be extraordinarily meaningful for many homosexual adolescent boys. Particularly the information through the website itself and the fact that emails from these youngsters are answered personally. This fulfills a want and can be of vital importance in and outside the Netherlands.
Since there is a wide variety of information available online for gay youth, GayBoySupport felt comfortable minimalising their activities drastically in 2009. And since November 2008, Gay & Lesbian Switchboard takes care of answering the e-mails expertly.
All the interactive aspects (like weblogs with news, Twitter, Hyves, YouTube, GayBoySupport Network and the feedback-form) were discontinued in July 2009.
Present and future
GayBoySupport will remain a source of pure information with the possibility to ask questions via e-mail and phone (Gay & Lesbian Switchboard). In the background, GayBoySupport incidentally works with the dutch LGBT advocate institute COC and others to exchange expertise.
Older versions of GayBoySupport.com and GayBoySupport.nl
The site has been transferred to the actual version in September 2014. Here below you see several screenshots of earlier versions. (Since July 2016, the domain name GayBoySupport.nl is no longer associated with this website.)