I've started to make a list of guidelines for my Affinity story project. It's by no means definitive, and subject to change/my whim at this point, but I think this itÔøΩs helpful to my process, so here it is.

  • Contributors should be male, and have been raised as such.
  • Contributors should be gay, bisexual, and/or have had significant romantic and/or sexual relationships with other men.
  • Stories should be factual, though it's ok to change minor details, like names and locations to protect yourself and/or your friends/family.
  • Stories should be written from the perspective of the author in the first person.
  • Stories should tell of event(s), and feelings the author felt in reaction to the events, and thus should not attempt to analyze the event in a larger context.
  • Contributors need not have "come out," to their friends, family, teachers, etc. confidentiality will be respected.
  • Contributors need not be 18. (Is there some way that I can pull that off? Also, is there a way that we can dodge the mandated reporter bullet? I mean I don't think I have to report anything if I don't want to, but I need to decide how I feel about this. I'd want to encourage confidence in possible contributors that have stories about cutting, abuse, etc?)
  • How has being gay/bi has affected your friend type relationships?
  • How has coming out has affected existing relationships?
  • How dose your gay/bi identity affect your relationship to women?
  • Dating as a young gay/bi man?
  • How has being gay/bi affected school?
  • How has coming out affected your relationship with your parents? Grandparents?
  • Have you ever come out and regretted it later?
  • How do you feel when you see a straight couple your age being affectionate in public?
  • Have you gone to a Pride celebration? Why or Why not? If so what was it like?
  • Examples that other gay men/youth have presented for you.
  • How has being bi affected a heterosexual relationship? A homosexual one?
  • Gay role models.
  • Having a closeted relationship even if you were out.
  • Being in the closet, and staying in the closet.
  • Your feelings about the community of young gay/bi men.

Examples of subject matter for stories:

  • Your reaction upon meeting someone else that was gay (or lesbian).
  • The first time you identified with some one who was gay/bi and how you felt.
  • How you felt when you met/saw/heard about the first (other) person in your age group that was gay/bi.
  • A time an unexpected ally came to your defense, ie. A teacher standing up for you. Conversely, the time when an expected ally (like a best friend) didn't come to your defense.
  • How you felt when HIV/AIDS became real for you.

And basically this amounts to me thinking out loud on the 'blog, but then I'm prone to doing that even under the best of circumstances. Now all I have to do is synthesize this in to something a bit more coherent, and more user friendly.