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sethmahoney
November 16th, 2006, 12:07 AM
Howdy all. During all the fuss over gayubuntu.com here (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=299027), a few forum members, myself included, thought that a more integrative approach might be to create a subforum much like Ubuntu Women (http://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=76) whose goal was to help make linux and Ubuntu specifically more friendly toward all the non-hetero folk around here, and also to see if a forum like that could be used to generate interest in development.

While I haven't seen many overtly homophobic posts on this thread (the mods are doing a good job), I have encountered a few, and it seems to me that not only does that kind of nonsense go against the spirit of Ubuntu, but that it also potentially alienates a user base that has proven extremely loyal to those organizations who take an inclusive attitude toward them. Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, it occured to me during the discussions about gayubuntu.com that it might actually be the case that LGBT folk tend to be interested, for whatever reasons, in certain kinds of software that are otherwise unclaimed, and if this is the case, the community-building efforts of a LGBT forum could be used to spark development.

Anyway, that's more or less what I'm thinking. I'm going to try to attach a poll (which I've never done before), so cast your vote, and post any questions or (please, non-offensive) comments here.

bruenig
November 16th, 2006, 12:18 AM
My opposition arises from the concept of separation. The separation is not consistent with the mantra of ubuntu. Your argument for it seems to be based on the fact that a woman's subforum exists, yet doesn't justify why such a forum is good or right or whatever value judgment word you want to throw in here. Just because a woman's subforum exists doesn't make it right nor does it make a subforum which essentially serves the same purpose right. Unless you can provide intrinsic justification for the women's subforum, relying on it as precedent to support the gay forum is not logical.

Fragmentation is bad. We have an ubuntu cafe. That seems a sufficient subforum for any special interest discussion or anything of the like. The goal of these forums is ultimately support and as you move towards more fragmentation, you start reducing the amount of people that view, and therefore are able to offer support for, each post and problem.

sethmahoney
November 16th, 2006, 12:28 AM
My opposition arises from the concept of separation. The separation is not consistent with the mantra of ubuntu. Your argument for it seems to be based on the fact that a woman's subforum exists, yet doesn't justify why such a forum is good or right or whatever value judgment word you want to throw in here. Just because a woman's subforum exists doesn't make it right nor does it make a subforum which essentially serves the same purpose right. Unless you can provide intrinsic justification for the women's subforum, relying on it as precedent to support the gay forum is not logical.

My argument isn't really based on the existence of the Women's subforum - I just used it as an example of what I'd like to see happen. My argument is based on the fact that there are homophobic posts appearing on this forum (although they're usually deleted quickly), that Linux has primarily a straight male user base, which tends to promote its own interests (look, for example, at the number of desktop screenshots that have been posted featuring half-naked women, and think about how women might respond to that) and that an LGBT forum could serve the needs of Ubuntu by mobilizing a user base that may have specific interests and be motivated to developing along those lines.

As for fragmentation, gayubuntu.com exists. A subforum on this forum does not, and such a forum would be integrative (in my view). Its goal would not be to promote a separation between users (because that already exists - not all the time, but enough of the time) but to unify what I see as an already fragmented community.

maniacmusician
November 16th, 2006, 12:37 AM
yes seperation is not intended at all here. In fact, it's a way to possibly make forum-goers more aware of their populace. Anyone would be free to post there, and I expect them to.

I, for one, would love to talk about current issues regarding homosexuality, and I might even have a few questions I want answered.

I think it's a cool idea

Dual Cortex
November 16th, 2006, 12:39 AM
I haven't ever really seen half naked women on screenshots here.

Unless you meant women in bathing suits... and I highly doubt women are offended by that,

maniacmusician
November 16th, 2006, 12:49 AM
lol, let's not get off track. The issue at hand is simply would you support a subforum to make LGBT users feel more comfortable, where we could discuss issues that have come up, talk about how homosexuality is being played out in current events, etc.

jimmyxx
November 16th, 2006, 12:50 AM
firstly sorry for my post causing such a fuss! *lol*

I personally think this would be a great idea. It would continue the ideas behind gaybuntu and attract gay & lesbian non-linux users to start using ubuntu. It would keep everything under one roof which is one of the big points raised by so many people in the original thread. I also think it would be a great step to showing how the open source & ubuntu community has such a mature attitude towards topics like sexuality.

hanzomon4
November 16th, 2006, 12:54 AM
Great idea I support it. One of my favorite developers is trans-gender and I think a LGBT sub-forum would foster an inclusive attitude amongst the community.

sethmahoney
November 16th, 2006, 12:56 AM
firstly sorry for my post causing such a fuss! *lol*

No worries about creating fusses! Sometimes, that's a good thing!

po0f
November 16th, 2006, 01:57 AM
I don't have anything against people with different sexual preferences from mine, but I think this is a bad idea.

The Ubuntu forums were created (I'm guessing) to support Ubuntu users with their problems with Ubuntu. Granted, we have been given playgrounds in the Cafe and Backyard, and these should be enough. There are plenty of special interest forums out on the internet (see attachment); we don't need "yet-another <insert topic>" forum created here. IMO the LoCo and 3rd party subforums are totally unnecessary as well.

I don't think it's cheap to run these forums. I'm sure whoever funds them doesn't mind, but they definitely feel it in the wallet every month. Attracting more users for a purpose totally separate from the original intended purpose of these forums just creates IMO undue wear and tear.

I don't think it's easy to moderate these forums. You're asking the moderators to deal with all the crap that's bound to come up in such a controversial forum, on top of the crap they deal with already. (Mods: I seriously salute you, all you guys/gals are doing a fine job.) I wouldn't be as tolerant as the mods have been so far, but the addition of such a forum would probably force a mod to push a little harder than we're used to around here. Then we'd have a bunch of whiners complaining. Nobody likes whiners, least of all me.

These forums are also public, meaning I wouldn't doubt if you walked into an average middle/high school and started surfing the internet that these forums would be blocked. True, kids are more aware of current social issues than their parents realize, but to openly expose kids to this kind of subject matter on a primarily computer-related forum is going overboard. Do you really want the Ubuntu forums to be blocked to all the kids in school that have a legitimate interest in browsing here? There is an amazing amount of knowledge and knowledgeable users here, and I would hate to see it go to waste.

I guess what I'm really trying to say is, think about what you're asking for. Take into consideration everyone and everything that would be involved in such a forum.

</opinion>

sethmahoney
November 16th, 2006, 02:11 AM
Attracting more users for a purpose totally separate from the original intended purpose of these forums just creates IMO undue wear and tear.

...

True, kids are more aware of current social issues than their parents realize, but to openly expose kids to this kind of subject matter on a primarily computer-related forum is going overboard.

While I understand your other concerns, I'm thinking that you might be misunderstanding the purpose of the forum. It wouldn't be to function as a gay forum hosted by Ubuntu, but to address different ways that being gay, trans, bi, whatever, might intersect with linux use, and to address issues that sometimes arise on these forums that are pertinent to gay, lesbian, bi, trans, or whatever folk. And I don't think that anything like that is really something we need to protect our kids from...

EDIT: I'd like to point out that the purpose of this poll is really so that I can get an idea what other forum members think about the idea, to see if its something worth pursuing. That I'm responding to people who don't support the idea doesn't mean that I'm trying to bully the opposition into agreeing with me, but that some of the concerns raised have seemed misguided about the intent of the idea, and that's worth addressing.

bruenig
November 16th, 2006, 02:16 AM
The creation of such a subforum seems to me to be in itself offensive. It dictates that gay people somehow have different computer needs than any other people. A computer is a gender neutral, sexuality neutral, and all other social issues neutral, device. To assume that different sexual preferences have different needs would be as absurd as saying we need a black subforum or a white subforum. If one wants discussion, the cafe is there. To start making subforum after subforum for each special interest is not good policy.

And I realize that the point is not that gay people get support in the gay forum, but separation still exists. If one wants to discuss a gay issue, the all encompassing cafe is there, as it should be for the women. The forums purpose is support, we start getting off on crazy tangents when we start making discussion subforums for each group.

Dual Cortex
November 16th, 2006, 02:18 AM
Could you please give us an example of a thread that could be found in a "LGBT Subforum" that provides us and the mods a reason of why such a forum should be set up?
I really can't come up with something that should be specifically posted in a "LGBT Subforum" that cannot be answered or commented on any of the other Ubuntu forums (except for things that I believe are not appropriate in the Ubuntu forums, or topics that have no relation to Linux and could be posted in the Cafe or Backyard).

po0f
November 16th, 2006, 02:27 AM
sethmahoney,

Almost 99% of the time, I can't even tell what a poster's sex is, much less there sexual preference. How does me knowing help me better help them? Or, how does me knowing have any effect on a possible response I might have to someone's post, be it a support question or an off-topic discussion?

sethmahoney
November 16th, 2006, 02:32 AM
Could you please give us an example of a thread that could be found in a "LGBT Subforum" that provides us and the mods a reason of why such a forum should be set up?
I really can't come up with something that should be specifically posted in a "LGBT Subforum" that cannot be answered or commented on any of the other Ubuntu forums (except for things that I believe are not appropriate in the Ubuntu forums, or topics that have no relation to Linux and could be posted in the Cafe or Backyard).

Of course any topic that could be in an LGBT Ubuntu Users forum could appear elsewhere. Really, we don't need subforums at all - all Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, hardware, eye candy, etc. questions could all go in the same forum.

I guess, in direct response to your question, the kinds of things I'd like to see in such a forum would include polls on what sorts of software LGBT people are interested in (because there might be a difference) with the goal there being focusing a community on development of software (which isn't to say that there should be "gay software projects", but that if we have a gay community that is particularly interested in a particular kind of software, we should take advantage of that), issues on the forums regarding homophobia and transphobia and how to address that to the benefit of the entire community, stuff like that. The purpose of creating such a subforum would be to centralize all of that kind of discussion and hopefully to form a community interested in furthering both the Ubuntu community (among the LGBT community, and elsewhere) and furthering software development.

sethmahoney
November 16th, 2006, 02:33 AM
sethmahoney,

Almost 99% of the time, I can't even tell what a poster's sex is, much less there sexual preference. How does me knowing help me better help them? Or, how does me knowing have any effect on a possible response I might have to someone's post, be it a support question or an off-topic discussion?

I guess the only response I have for you is that the purpose of a forum like the one I'm proposing wouldn't be to inform you of anyone's sexual preference.

po0f
November 16th, 2006, 02:47 AM
sethmahoney,

I'm not trying to harass you or anything, but the burden of proving a need for such a forum is on you, since you proposed it. :)

How does a homosexual's needs differ from a heterosexual's needs? What kind of homo-centric software is out there that you would discuss, if any? Gay GTK themes? How does current kernel development affect homosexual Linux users? I don't get it.


I guess the only response I have for you is that the purpose of a forum like the one I'm proposing wouldn't be to inform you of anyone's sexual preference.

Wouldn't posting in (or even asking for the inclusion of, for that matter) such a forum almost imply sexual preference?

maniacmusician
November 16th, 2006, 03:02 AM
pfft no way. I intend to post there and I'm not LGBT. It's not all about needs, it also has to do with comfort; I'd view it as an opportunity to learn how to make people feel more comfortable. And even though you may not be one of them, there are homophobes here and some instances of harrasment do happen. The situation of this is similar to the existing Ubuntu Women subforum.

Though Ubuntu Forums is mostly about support, I take a certain amount of pride in the fact that it's even more than that. We can foster certain individuals or minorities and make them feel more comfortable here. I think that could be a large part of this.

Part of me sees this as a little social experiment, which excites the psychologist in me. I want to see the outcome of this forum.

Dual Cortex
November 16th, 2006, 03:04 AM
Of course any topic that could be in an LGBT Ubuntu Users forum could appear elsewhere. Really, we don't need subforums at all - all Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, hardware, eye candy, etc. questions could all go in the same forum.

No, that is completely different. We need those for organization purposes, no arguing with that. Other subforums such as the Ubuntu CE - they are PROJECTS that actually include specialized software/sub-projects.
I do wonder why there's a Women forum (in fact I haven't even taken a look at it before - there might be a reasonable purpose to it). And if there isn't, that does not mean we should start making a "Thomsonian Medicine" subforum or a "Zimbabwean" subforum just to exploit the forums.



I guess, in direct response to your question, the kinds of things I'd like to see in such a forum would include polls on what sorts of software LGBT people are interested in (because there might be a difference) with the goal there being focusing a community on development of software (which isn't to say that there should be "gay software projects", but that if we have a gay community that is particularly interested in a particular kind of software, we should take advantage of that), issues on the forums regarding homophobia and transphobia and how to address that to the benefit of the entire community, stuff like that. The purpose of creating such a subforum would be to centralize all of that kind of discussion and hopefully to form a community interested in furthering both the Ubuntu community (among the LGBT community, and elsewhere) and furthering software development.


Address on issues of homophobia/transphobia/'whatever-phobia'? Go rally for Gay rights in your community, or if you want to feel close to the Ubuntu community, post a thread on the Backyard - that's exactly what it's for.

Gay community interested in a particular type of software?
You did not give an example - and I doubt mods would create forums to wait until someone ,somehow (!), devises an appropriate idea of software for 'gay...whatever's only that could earn its place on the forums.
Again, you didn't give any specific topics to satisfy me (<- Whose opinion can be said to be worthless).

As po0f mentioned on post #17 , all I could think of would be 'gay, bi, trans, whatever' themes and backgrounds - And what makes them different from 'normal' people's backgrounds/themes is something that *could* be posted in the forums (just like the 'non-offensive' women in bathing suits) and other things which are not appropriate)

sethmahoney
November 16th, 2006, 03:12 AM
I do wonder why there's a Women forum (in fact I haven't even taken a look at it before - there might be a reasonable purpose to it).

Oh, you should take a peek. They've got a good explanation for the forum in a sticky.


Gay community interested in a particular type of software?
You did not give an example - and I doubt mods would create forums to wait until someone somehow (!) devises an appropriate idea of software for 'gay...whatever's only that could earn its place on the forums.
Again, you didn't give any specific topics to satisfy me (<- Whose opinion can be said to be worthless).

Well, I wasn't really talking about gay software, whatever that might mean, but about software that LGBT users might happen to be interested in. By way of a hypothetical example, suppose there were a number of LGBT users interested in samba. That could provide the Ubuntu community with a user base who could be mobilized into providing useful GTK apps for samba configuration. (Of course, I'm not saying that LGBT users are interested in samba, but the point is that smaller communities can often be mobilized into doing things that larger communities tend to let stagnate.)

po0f
November 16th, 2006, 03:33 AM
sethmahoney,


... By way of a hypothetical example, suppose there were a number of LGBT users interested in samba. That could provide the Ubuntu community with a user base who could be mobilized into providing useful GTK apps for samba configuration. ...

As opposed to all of the Ubuntu users interested in Samba? Are gay people more inherently motivated into coding apps than straight people?


... but the point is that smaller communities can often be mobilized into doing things that larger communities tend to let stagnate. ...

It really just takes one person to start a project for it to take off. Look at Linux. :)

The only initiative I see being taken on these forums into doing anything for "the community" is in requesting new subforums, further splintering the community. "We're a part of the community too, give us our own space away from everyone else!" is all I'm hearing.


... but about software that LGBT users might happen to be interested in. ...

How does sexual preference influence software preference?

What's the difference in asking the whole community (via Cafe/Backyard/whatever) a question, and asking the LGBT community? I'll tell you: You're limiting the responses that you might potentially receive. You're tailoring your audience to suit your own needs (your own needs? I thought the whole idea was to be a selfless act, not a selfish one). You're segregating yourselves to your own niche. And here I thought the point was to not segregate yourselves.

bruenig
November 16th, 2006, 03:35 AM
I still don't understand nor has it been sufficiently shown that sexual preference will or even could affect software choice. I understand your point sethmahoney, but there simply is no reason to think a gay person would have software needs different from a straight person or even that a gay person would have particular software preferences. They would vary in proportion to anyone else. There is nothing about a computer or ubuntu or software that is really in anyway biased or more appealing to a sexual preference. It would be like saying we need to have a gay pi and a straight pi. Pi is pi regardless of who is using it.

Also I still see such a devotion to gay software or gay software preferences or whatever that may be as being offensive as it inherently stipulates a that sexual preference makes someone in all aspects of life different. Difference in sexual preferences does not translate into difference in software choices or preferences. They are exclusive.

sethmahoney
November 16th, 2006, 03:46 AM
I still don't understand nor has it been sufficiently shown that sexual preference will or even could affect software choice. I understand your point sethmahoney, but there simply is no reason to think a gay person would have software needs different from a straight person or even that a gay person would have particular software preferences. They would vary in proportion to anyone else. There is nothing about a computer or ubuntu or software that is really in anyway biased or more appealing to a sexual preference. It would be like saying we need to have a gay pi and a straight pi. Pi is pi regardless of who is using it.

Also I still see such a devotion to gay software or gay software preferences or whatever that may be as being offensive as it inherently stipulates a that sexual preference makes someone in all aspects of life different. Difference in sexual preferences does not translate into difference in software choices or preferences. They are exclusive.

I guess I wasn't clear. I'm not suggesting any link whatsoever, but that any group may use software differently, be interested in different aspects of software, as a matter of chance. There are scientific studies that back me up here, which suggest that women tend to think about software in different ways than men, that older people tend to use computers differently (are attracted to different interfaces, etc.) than younger people, etc. What I'm trying to say here is that we should take advantage of any differences we might find.

And, of course, that is just one part of my argument.

trash
November 16th, 2006, 03:52 AM
I've come across three peices of software for linux developed by LGBT, we would be the first Distro to openly welcome them(as far as I know).
So sorry I can't remember the software by name, though Jimmy did mention one, i'll try to dig up the others.

po0f
November 16th, 2006, 04:02 AM
I've come across three peices of software for linux developed by LGBT, we would be the first Distro to openly welcome them(as far as I know).
So sorry I can't remember the software by name, though Jimmy did mention one, i'll try to dig up the others.

I use software based on my needs, not who coded it. I openly welcome any program that makes my life easier, coded by anybody.

I'd still be interested in the project names though. Let's just see how much better LGBT people can code better than me! (wouldn't take much :))

ShanghaiTeej
November 16th, 2006, 04:42 AM
I still don't understand nor has it been sufficiently shown that sexual preference will or even could affect software choice. I understand your point sethmahoney, but there simply is no reason to think a gay person would have software needs different from a straight person or even that a gay person would have particular software preferences. They would vary in proportion to anyone else. There is nothing about a computer or ubuntu or software that is really in anyway biased or more appealing to a sexual preference. It would be like saying we need to have a gay pi and a straight pi. Pi is pi regardless of who is using it.

Also I still see such a devotion to gay software or gay software preferences or whatever that may be as being offensive as it inherently stipulates a that sexual preference makes someone in all aspects of life different. Difference in sexual preferences does not translate into difference in software choices or preferences. They are exclusive.

I couldn't agree more. I also think that that reasons behind creating a LGBT sub-forum or any type of Ubuntu related forum is a gross and unfair generalization on people who happen to be homosexual. I fail to see how someone's sexual, attraction or gender preferences affect Ubuntu. I think separation, as opposed to inclusion, creates an absence of much needed educational opportunities for any circumstance.

lazyart
November 16th, 2006, 05:07 AM
What does this really accomplish? Everyone is already welcome here.

I'm half American Indian (Cherokee) and half African American and the parent of mulatto children. I don't see a subforum here for either of my heritages, nor is there a Half-Indian/Half-African-American-with-Mulatto-Children-Who-Votes-Democrat Forum.

This is Linux for Human Beings. Not Gay Human Beings, not One-Legged Human Beings and Not Half-Indian/Half-African-American-with-Mulatto-Children-Who-Votes-Democrat Human Beings.

If you spawn off a seperate distro and have specific issues then I'm all for it. If a group has specific needs that differ from the general community, then please open the forum yesterday.

What are the special needs that the LGBT community has that are lacking or overlooked in the Ubuntu Distro?

I think it's safe to say everyone is welcome. If you create a new subforum, will it stop the wisecrack responses that we saw in the gaybuntu post? I think not.

Here, the LGBT folks are just like anyone else.



Isn't that the ultimate goal?

Zyphrexi
November 16th, 2006, 05:22 AM
can I have a straight person forum too?

hmm pi is a number... i don't believe it has a sexual preference. Or do numerical values reproduce asexually?

Ubunted
November 16th, 2006, 06:12 AM
to help make linux and Ubuntu specifically more friendly toward all the non-hetero folk around here,

How exactly is it NOT friendly?

I'm not a homophobe, I just feel the same way I did when the "Gay character in Star Trek" rumors started flying around - what's the point?

towsonu2003
November 16th, 2006, 06:17 AM
I support the idea of an LGBT forum, as well as an LGBT emailing list and an LGBT launchpad team.

I recently saw this: http://digg.com/linux_unix/Gaybuntu_The_ubuntu_gay_scene

There were a lot of "that is separatism / segregation" posts there. I saw a couple here too. I even saw similar messages in Ubuntu Women forum subsection (against that specific subsection of the forum), so it's a quite common but an ignorant[1] argument against such group.

I am quoting my message at digg.com entry, which might clarify what's going on for some people who are not very literate[1] about oppression and politics.

I think this same quote could also clarify why I think most of the objections I see in this thread are wrong...



Interesting. Those who are burying this, thinking that it's "ridiculous" or "segregating" should note that oppressed groups can be drawn to a new community easier if a group that specifically supports them is already present.

Also, I am (not) stunned by the ignorance on oppression here. "Segregation" is "segregation" only if the oppressing group segregates the oppressed group. Examples:
1. If women are cast by men to their homes: that's segregation. Women are oppressed by men...
1.a If women decide to form a "national organization for women": that's not segregation.
2. If blacks are cast by whites outside public spaces: that's segregation
2.a If blacks decide to form a "black power" group: that's not segregation.
3. If linux users cast gays and lesbians away from the community by labeling them (and others) as "faggots" or "tomboys": that's segregation
3.a if gay linux users decide to form a "gaybuntu" group: that's not segregation

For those who still don't get it: 1, 2, and 3 are forms of oppression; 1.a, 2.a, and 3.a are efforts of resistance against the dominant group / culture. It's also a means of founding a secure place to go to [(having a support group of one's own)].


[1] I do not use "ignorant" and "illiterate" in a demeaning, derogatory way. To the contrary, it is very common for those in privileged positions to have no real idea about oppression of relatively (to them) under-privileged groups.

[serious off-topic ahead]
By the way, I saw great comments at gaybuntu forums. I think it is hilariously clever to have lgbt artwork, lgbt language packs etc in ubuntu as installable packages. adding such features is a great idea, and a ubuntu-lgbt-team at launchpad.net could coordinate such development efforts.
[/serious off-topic ends - ignore this part in replies]

jpkotta
November 16th, 2006, 07:51 AM
This doesn't seem like the kind of thing that warrants a subforum. Are there really that many LBGT people that want to discuss this particular Linux distribution that it needs a dedicated subforum? I say they can discuss things in general forums with everyone else. If they want to discuss specifically-gay-and-Linux topics, it can be on a thread-by-thread basis.

However, I still think the women forum is valid. As an engineer, I don't like the fact that 50% of the population is severely under-represented in technical fields. Maybe gays are (under-represented) too, but I'm pretty sure they're not 50% of the population.

argie
November 16th, 2006, 08:57 AM
I say give it to them if they want. I mean, hey, if it makes them happy and has negligible cost, why even bother opposing it?

Terracotta
November 16th, 2006, 10:23 AM
So if I make a topic in the ubuntu cafe about www.itrick.org I wouldn't get very negative comments about it? Really how long do you think it will take until it gets buried in the backyard. Or if I placed a linkt to an article about gay-adoption (compare it to an article about bush, or about irac, or about iran: they hang another guy for being gay last week), how long do you think the thread will survive? These things are still non-debatable to many in the straight world.

xingmu
November 16th, 2006, 12:47 PM
First of all, this horse has already been beaten to death in the Ubuntu Women forum. But I can't help jumping in again...

I think there are legitimate reasons for both supporting and not supporting a LGBT forum.

SUPPORT

Having a forum based on a personal identity that is not well-represented in the community could attract people who would have otherwise felt isolated.

There is no question that the general stereotype of OSS/Linux people is young white straight introverted men. Regardless of whether that stereotype accurate, it has power. I think it would be incredibly difficult to find a female Linux user that hasn't heard the line "You use Linux?!" Likewise, coming out as LGBT usually leads to the shocked response "You're gay/lesbian/transgendered?!" Usually, the people in these cases don't mean to harm. They just are shocked that their stereotypes aren't accurate. But what ends up happening for the woman or the LGBT person is feeling like they don't really belong. To be part of a community you have to have some sense of sharing common identity. Usually, the more things people have in common, the more stronger the community. We all share Ubuntu, but clearly people still have a desire to seek out other things in they have in common. Thus, we have seen a proliferation of various localized, language-specific, hobby-specific, and even religion-specific Ubuntu groups. And it seems that it's working. There are people who otherwise would have been isolated from each that are brought together instead and have done great things for the greater community of Ubuntu.

There is infinite possible ways that a LGBT Ubuntu group could contribute to the greater Ubuntu community.

I agree that most LGBT users of Linux have similar tech needs to non-LGBT users. So, I think it's understandable that some people question how LGBT users have special tech needs. However, why must we assume that a LGBT Ubuntu group can only make LGBT-specific contributions to Ubuntu? As previous posters have mentioned, there is no reason why the LGBT Ubuntu group couldn't mobilize around any Ubuntu-related project be it software development, marketing, documentation, etc. In fact, there are actually some areas where an LGBT group would be especially well-fitted to a particular task. For instance, they could oragnize Ubuntu parties to attract new users through their personal networks and help diversify the Ubuntu userbase. They could also be a sizable part of the LGBT Ubuntu group that also shares a common interest in non-profit organizations and wants to help develop software or a specific distro for charitable groups. And of course, they could just simply want to work together on a project because they share a sense of community with each other. So, the possibilities of how they could contribute are really limitless.

OPPOSE

If the increased costs of maintaining an LGBT group outweighs the benefits it brings to the greater community, then I would hesitate to support the endeavor.

A previous poster pointed out that there are real monetary costs in maintaining the forums as well as time costs for the people involved. I think that if the LGBT forum was to be relatively inactive (or simply became a prolonged debate on justifying its existence), then it's really not helping the community and should be freed from its misery. But whether an LGBT group can contribute to the community is up to the members themselves and they should always be given a chance. Thus, I think that the real point of this thread is to ask "Would YOU want to help the Ubuntu community while participating in the LGBT forum?" That's the real question. There should be no need to ask for "permission" from other users to start a forum. If the forum can demonstrate that they can help the community that it naturally deserves to be supported.

SIDENOTE

The existence of a LGBT forum alone surely won't harm the community. Although it seems some people believe that merely having a LGBT forum would harm the community because of such things as "community-fragmentation," I don't think there is any legitimate reason for this. As I argued above, if anything a LGBT forum will help bring people together, not separate them. Clearly, LGBT forum members will still use such forums like "General Support" when they want to get general help on using Ubuntu. But when they want to vent after hearing a homophobic comment on the boards, or when they want to discuss plans on for an upcoming Linux party organized by LGBT forum members, or when they want to just find some other Ubuntu users that they have something in common with...they can go to the LGBT forum. And, of course, ANY person would be welcome to the LGBT forum. If non-LGBT Ubuntu users wanted to understand how they can avoid making LGBT people feel excluded, they could go to the LGBT forum and discuss it. Without the forum, these issues would likely never have a safe space to be discussed and these people would never have been brought together. But with the forum, a currently fragmented part of the community can have a space to build itself up together. I think that the only possible scenario where the LGBT forum could lead to minor community fragmentation would be if someone was to leave the Ubuntu forums completely because they felt that the mere existence of an LGBT forum was offensive. This may seem like a loss, but I don't think so. Part of the community guidelines here is being tolerant and I think it's fair to say someone who leaves the Ubuntu community simply because of the *existence* of a LGBT forum would not be following the guidelines of tolerance to begin with.

zcal
November 16th, 2006, 01:07 PM
I understand the reasoning for this idea, but let´s make sure we don´t forget exactly why this has become an issue. Obviously the huge controversey surrounding Gaybuntu has caused the need to address this issue, and I seem to be one of the few who´s unsure of what should be done. My hope is that, should the forum be created, it is not met with homophobic response. I feel as though the community´s already taken some bruises from what went on in the Gaybuntu thread, and I really wouldn´t like to see an ugly uproar over giving gays their own subforum.

Also, I´m concerned that other interest groups might feel left out. People tend to point fingers, and if they see there´s another forum springing up based on the specifications of one group, well then there just might be demand for even more subforums. While I think that it´s good for people to get together with who they feel they share interest, this forum is about computing. That said, I have no qualms with the appearence of Gaybuntu, but I´m not so sure I want to see "cliques/clics/sp?" created within this forum itself.

pinkbetty
November 16th, 2006, 01:20 PM
I'm not in favour of this, nor the Women's subforum.

What it is that currently makes Ubuntu and the forums unfriendly to the LGBT community?

I saw a similar comment in regard to Ubuntu CE. What makes Ubuntu un-Christian?

Why does everyone insist on forming their own little cliques rather than engaging with the world as whole?

lazyart
November 16th, 2006, 01:49 PM
I'm not in favour of this, nor the Women's subforum.

What it is that currently makes Ubuntu and the forums unfriendly to the LGBT community?

I saw a similar comment in regard to Ubuntu CE. What makes Ubuntu un-Christian?

Why does everyone insist on forming their own little cliques rather than engaging with the world as whole?

Cosign.

towsonu2003
November 16th, 2006, 09:05 PM
Why does everyone insist on forming their own little cliques rather than engaging with the world as whole?

If you have rtf thread... pls see posts sent before you for explanations.

here are links you will find helpful:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=1765548&postcount=34

http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=1764694&postcount=30

bruenig
November 16th, 2006, 09:06 PM
Cosign.

Weird I was going to say secant.

pinkbetty
November 16th, 2006, 10:21 PM
If you have rtf thread... pls see posts sent before you for explanations.

here are links you will find helpful:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=1765548&postcount=34

http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=1764694&postcount=30
Neither of those links explain WHY people form cliques.

I think it feels a lot safer to form an artificial barrier between yourself and others who may be seen as different, rather than confronting human nature head on. But if you see people with bad attitudes the only way you will ever help them to change is by talking, and not confining such talk to a separate forum.

BWF89
November 16th, 2006, 10:35 PM
This is a forum for Linux and open source users. Not some place for people to go separating themselves based on their sexual orientation. If you want to discuss these things go to the backyard. LGBT forum is even more dumb than the Ubuntu Women forum we have that nobody uses. Besides the fact the rest of the Linux community is going to be making fun of you guys if you make as sexual oriented subforum.

po0f
November 16th, 2006, 11:06 PM
No one is opposing the LGBT users, just an LGBT subforum (at least, this is what I'm against. And the LoCo forums, and the Women's subforum. Heck, almost all the 3rd party subforums.)

Why is there still a need for an LGBT subforum? (http://www.gaybuntu.com/forum)

My original purpose for using these forums was to help and get help, not socialize with other users. I have since started to mingle a little, but support issues are still number one. I just think people are losing sight as to why these forums were originally created.

You want to attract homosexual users to Ubuntu? Tell them about gaybuntu.com (and to come here when they really need help). For those users already here, put a link in your sig.

ShanghaiTeej
November 16th, 2006, 11:39 PM
Wouldn't people be drawn to Ubuntu because it's awesome and free software and not whether a certain sexual orientation uses it?

bruenig
November 16th, 2006, 11:49 PM
The argument of drawing in gay users still seems fairly offensive. Instead of saying 'hey we have a superior OS and you ought to use it and look at the extensive forums, etc.' It seems almost like you are trying to dupe them into using the OS by drawing them in with a special subforum for them.

'Hey gay person, we have gay subforums, don't you want to use ubuntu now.'

It seems very insulting to think that anyone would make a decision on such a ridiculous and otherwise purposeless subforum. (I say purposeless because the 'specific software preferences' argument seems to have been trounced fairly thoroughly and this was the only other argument given.)

hanzomon4
November 17th, 2006, 12:14 AM
Well, we know that LGBT folks have a hard time. Whats wrong with them having a subforum were they could socialize and talk about issue they find important/interesting.

They exist and some use ubuntu.. And the forums, while yes being about support and all, is a place were folks do socialize and talk about non-ubuntu/software related stuff. I personally don't know any LGBT folks and I think that a common interest(ubuntu) could be good way to learn about others who are different from myself. Do we need a subform? no... but what can it hurt to at least give it a try. If it doesn't work... end it. We really don't know if LGBT users have any special OSS-community or software issues because maybe they don't feel comfortable bringing it up. I was surprised when an :unnamed developer: stated that they were trans-gender.. I was even more surprised when the next poster said the same.

My .02, try it for a trial period, that would answer the question of whether or not anyone would use it and it would tell us what the hell they might want to talk about

zcal
November 17th, 2006, 12:18 AM
The argument of drawing in gay users still seems fairly offensive. Instead of saying 'hey we have a superior OS and you ought to use it and look at the extensive forums, etc.' It seems almost like you are trying to dupe them into using the OS by drawing them in with a special subforum for them.

'Hey gay person, we have gay subforums, don't you want to use ubuntu now.'

That's what the purpose of a sight like Gaybuntu serves, although I don't think it does it offensively. I posted a similar argument in the Gaybuntu thread, but I supposed I'll repeat myself here.

A site like Gaybuntu has the benefit of catching the eyes of gays who may be searching around online for things/sites they specifically identify with. As Gaybuntu could come up in a search, I see it as being a good proponent in attracting gay users, and most importantly MORE users, to the Ubuntu community.

That said, I'm not sure an LGBT subforum here would have the same, POSITIVE, result.

Terracotta
November 17th, 2006, 12:56 AM
That's what the purpose of a sight like Gaybuntu serves, although I don't think it does it offensively. I posted a similar argument in the Gaybuntu thread, but I supposed I'll repeat myself here.

A site like Gaybuntu has the benefit of catching the eyes of gays who may be searching around online for things/sites they specifically identify with. As Gaybuntu could come up in a search, I see it as being a good proponent in attracting gay users, and most importantly MORE users, to the Ubuntu community.

That said, I'm not sure an LGBT subforum here would have the same, POSITIVE, result.

Strange some people were against the gaybuntu.com site for exactly the opposit, they would prefer a subforum so there would be less segregation (gays going to gaybuntu.com for technical help).

Dual Cortex
November 17th, 2006, 01:18 AM
No, we prefer LGBT's to post in the forums for support/off-topic-non-offensive-chat than having an LGBT subforum.
There's simply no reason for it, just as there is no reason for the empty 'women' subforum.
Now, if LGBT's want to have their own community of LGBT's mostly for who-knows-what chatting [this is the only purpose (an awkward one) that I could come up with), just attract LGBT's to the gaybuntu.com site.

John.Michael.Kane
November 17th, 2006, 02:00 AM
Please keep the thread on topic,and refrain from using insults to make any points.

Bells
November 17th, 2006, 02:58 AM
Yup i'm in.

Dual Cortex
November 17th, 2006, 03:21 AM
Women obviously are not knowledgable enough to use such a complex piece of workmanship such as a linux os, thus need their own forum.

(cough)

There's women's forum because women are 50% of the population. Always and forever more. And in 99% of the world (it's practically in our genes) men are better. This patriarchal outlook is always more strongly expressed with new technology. Whether it be the spear or linux, when that new thing his the "market," the only people who are able to use it well are men. Women just don't know how to do stuff right. I mean, we still can't figure out cars.

Gays don't have that. It is not in our genes for heterosexuals to feel superior to gays. And most importantly... gays aren't a constant half of the population that are ignored every time a new technological advance comes. It's not a popular thought that gays don't know how to use linux, it's not a popular thought that gays can't figure out how to drive a car, and if we're to guess at how we acted in "cavemen" days, we must look at highly social animals... and many, many species do not care whether you're gay or not and many have a majority of gays in the population (the bonobo monkey, an example), which we very could have had a similar social structure, it just didn't survive 'cause gays don't breed well.

And I say this as a bisexual, masochistic, kinky woman.

There is a reason women have a forum. Somehow 50% of the population has been turned into a minority, and has accepted their role. Science and technology fields are overrun with men. In middle school and high school, girls who previously excelled in math and science suddenly intentionally miss problems so they can fit in with the social norms, and then they actually do stop learning 'cause of the stress of being right all the time in those classes. That's what's happening to 50% of the population.

There can't be a forum for every minority. But the 50% minority: yes.

Now, that is a sexist comment, and the conflict here isn't about the LGBT community being a minority. And I still can't figure out whether you are a woman or a man.
And since it seems like you are supporting the women forums, take a look at it! Since the announcement date of May 15, 2005 there has only been 12 threads! And what goes against it even more is that only 3 of those posts have actually been started by women!

sethmahoney
November 17th, 2006, 03:31 AM
The argument of drawing in gay users still seems fairly offensive. Instead of saying 'hey we have a superior OS and you ought to use it and look at the extensive forums, etc.' It seems almost like you are trying to dupe them into using the OS by drawing them in with a special subforum for them.

'Hey gay person, we have gay subforums, don't you want to use ubuntu now.'

It seems very insulting to think that anyone would make a decision on such a ridiculous and otherwise purposeless subforum. (I say purposeless because the 'specific software preferences' argument seems to have been trounced fairly thoroughly and this was the only other argument given.)

That's not actually anyone's argument for creating a subforum like this. Sigh. This is starting to get frustrating...

aysiu
November 17th, 2006, 04:06 AM
I've moved this to the Forum Feedback & Help section, since it pertains to the forums.

Let's try to keep the discussion civil, please.

sethmahoney
November 17th, 2006, 04:13 AM
What it is that currently makes Ubuntu and the forums unfriendly to the LGBT community?


Well, I have seen great words like ******, sissy, homo, etc. in these forums, although the mods usually catch them really quickly. That's pretty unfriendly.


I saw a similar comment in regard to Ubuntu CE. What makes Ubuntu un-Christian?

Nothing. The creation of Ubuntu CE had nothing to do with Ubuntu being "un-Christian". It had everything to do with someone wanting to create a distro that included Christianity-related software by default, primarily for people who would use Ubuntu in a church environment. Regardless, this is a specious comparison, since no one is suggesting the creation of a separate distro here.


Why does everyone insist on forming their own little cliques rather than engaging with the world as whole?

As I tried to explain in the very first post in this thread, avoiding cliques was one of the reasons for going for something like an LGBT Ubuntu subforum rather than relying solely on something like gayubuntu.com. The idea was that a subforum here would still be here, and would invite participation by the whole Ubuntu community, rather than isolating LGBT people to their own website. The purpose, rather than to create a clique, would be to help address issues that arise occasionally on these forums, to further the idea that Ubuntu is for everybody, and to motivate a group of potential developers. It was never to say, "hey, gay people, come here for all your support needs", or to say, "hey, straight people, keep out", or to say, "hey, gay people! Look! Ubuntu has this little subforum, so you should use Ubuntu!"

OneWingedAngel
November 20th, 2006, 10:52 PM
I'm not sure this is the way to go. I don't see a pressing need for a homocentric subforum on a computing site. It seems like pointless segregation, when Ubuntu is supposed to be about blending of cultures and all that.

Besides, there is already Gaybuntu for us LGBTQ Linux users, and it would be made pointless if this happened.

jimmyxx
November 23rd, 2006, 11:35 AM
I think the fact everyone keeps barking on about segregation is silly & incorrect. I also think people saying that there is no homophobic attitude in this fourms is also wrong. If you don't believe me then hit the search drop down, enter the word gay or *** or whatever, toggle show posts and then hit go.

Granted its not in every thread people say offensive things. But things are said, its tough for people to feel able to be open about there sexuality with people so easily calling something which they deem silly/rubbish 'gay' or whatever.. It's society to blame and this will just take time to change, but for now people still have trouble being openly gay in public in fear of rejection. Its all very well saying things like "why can't they just be openly gay in the ubuntu cafe forum?" but until you are gay and have been through coming out (telling your folks, maybe getting kicked out of your home and verbally / physically attacked) then honestly you have no idea how hard it is. I think it all boils down fear of rejection.

I heard they think that about 1 in 5 people are gay/lesbian, this of course also applies to Internet users, programmers, designers and people involved in this forum and the development of ubuntu. I know that up to the age of 17 i didn't tell any of my online friends that i was gay as they were also very casual with there regular flaming and calling people homo as an insult.

Sexual discrimination does happen, so what a great way to send out a message saying the ubuntu community acknowledges that it is often hard for someone to be open about who they are online and they have a small sub forum where flaming, bad jokes, and casual insults will not take place. It will give gay ubuntu users a place to meet and talk. If i was non-ubuntu user and checked out the fourms and saw an LGBT community it would be a big bonus and would drastically increase my chance of giving ubuntu a whirl and getting invloved on the forums.

By putting up a sub forum we would be expanding the ubuntu community -not segregating it. If they do make the forum, gay users will not simply jump into it, close the door behind themselves and turn the key. Thats just ridicules - the lgbt users would still utilize the rest of the forums and be as involved as anyone else!

Thats my rant for today..

hehe,
jimmy x x

majikstreet
November 26th, 2006, 12:28 AM
I realize that I'm a bit late to the party (and that I haven't posted in a looooong time so I'm really out of the loop when it comes to EVERYTHING on this forum..

I think there should just be a gay thread. Similiar to a say metal-lovers thread....

easy enough.

also: I notice that there aren't that many forums for gay people... Especially geeks! so, why not.

xingmu
November 26th, 2006, 06:10 AM
And since it seems like you are supporting the women forums, take a look at it! Since the announcement date of May 15, 2005 there has only been 12 threads! And what goes against it even more is that only 3 of those posts have actually been started by women!

Correction, there have been 90 posts since the start of the Ubuntu Women's forum. Don't forget that some get archived!

Anyways, this issue of activeness is part of my argument about supporting an LGBT forum. I wouldn't support it starting it if no one was committed to it and I wouldn't support continuing it if it was inactive. Of course, I hope that Ubuntu Women gets even more active and look forward to when I have time do my part. More relevant to the issue at hand, I would like to help out the LGBT forum as well. But I have to be very honest that I don't have the ability to make such a commitment right now. Hopefully later I can jump in, assuming that it manages to get off the ground.

So as I suggested previously, I think the focus of this thread should be on what contributions could an LGBT forum make for the community and who is willing to be a part of that.

Discussion of segregation and whether LGBTs are an oppressed minority is really wasting our time. The forums are already divided into many special interest groups. It's a normal and expected phenonmenon in a large community. We never called it segregation before, why now? And secondly, starting a forum on a special interest has no bearing on whether those people are a oppressed minority!

InsomniacUK
November 26th, 2006, 03:12 PM
This idea is pointless. Can someone just give me one good reason why this idea should be given any consideration at all?

I'm not homophobic, it's just a pointless idea. Seriously.

omns
November 29th, 2006, 09:42 AM
.

XVampireX
November 29th, 2006, 05:42 PM
I think it's a great idea, put it on a trial run, see what turns out with it. Assign a good moderator to it that doesn't mind running around eliminating homophobic comments.

robconscient
November 29th, 2006, 07:42 PM
I voted YES when the poll was first posted a week ago. I never posted any thoughts though.

After giving this some time to gel, I still think an LGBT forum might be nice, but I am not sure what we would *talk about* ?? Most of my forum viewing has to do with technical support. As much as I love to talk about hot guys, gay rights, yadda yadda, I'm just not sure I would do so here. It seems... irrelevant?

But then I am new here, so take my opinion with the requisite nugget of NaCl.

wykedengel
December 4th, 2006, 08:31 PM
I don't think there is anything wrong with their being a forum where people can come together in an environment in which they feel comfortable to seek help from other experiences users. Personally, I don't care who gives me help so long as A) they know what they're doing and B) they are not giving me misinformation.

Personally, I have not seen posts which can be deemed offensive or that express an intolerance for any particular group. I think all of the subforms are like the cherry on top of a sunday, it just completes the dish.

Look at it this way, even with Ubuntu there are "flavors" Xubuntu, Edubuntu, Kubuntu and a released geared toward religion. So if the developers and those in the movement have the freedom to enhance Ubuntu, why not have users enhance the forums?

diskotek
January 5th, 2007, 04:31 AM
i think it would nice, so this way ubuntu can grab many glbt users, especially beginners. and i'm sure that many glbt groups (ngo's - activisits - societies) would support and promote it.

jimmyxx
January 15th, 2007, 11:30 PM
well currently there is 56% in favour of the sub forum and 82 total votes. WIll the forum staff post here and let us know their throughts?

sloggerkhan
January 15th, 2007, 11:46 PM
I don't really get this. The reason women having a separate thread/group thing is because there are so few women in tech/on computers/using linux period. Now are you saying that gays are disproportionately not not into tech/not computer literate/not linux users, much like women and that we need special outreach to get them into linux and computers? Or are you saying that you need your own space to talk with each other because you feel like the rest of the community isn't tolerant? Or that your are trying to hide by yourselves instead of being a part of the larger community?

Overall, I'm just not clear on the point.

XVampireX
January 23rd, 2007, 05:20 PM
I would think the need for such a forum is for social reasons, instead of tech reasons...

Also if anyone cares there's a few channels on freenode that are dedicated for GLBT:

#gaygeeks is one run by Zotnix who's not the most tolerable op there (Personally I got banned for some unknown reason, but now I'm back and he seems to be a bit nicer...)

then there's ##gaygeeks which is a channel that was created by another person (blu3) that has alot more tolerance, but it has less people there.

Those 2 channels are actually related to tech discussion, for those naughty people there's the same channels with a suffix -asl ... Well at least for those out of work.

Also a website: www.gaygeeks.org and official website is www.gaygeeks.info

One of the members (nicktastic) of ##gaygeeks also created a last.fm group: http://www.last.fm/group/GayGeeks
I'm a co-op there, so if you wish to join in, I'll be glad to accept you :)

mikedep333
October 17th, 2008, 05:31 PM
Canonical is flirting with us.
http://usshop.ubuntu.com/images/training.jpg
http://usshop.ubuntu.com/training.php?catid=5

LaRoza
October 17th, 2008, 05:46 PM
My opinion (I am a mod, and can't make decisions on this)

I don't see the point of such a forum. There are no unique technical aspects of this sort of person (that I know of).

I could see it happening if there were some sort of group for it (like Ubuntu Women).

mikedep333
October 17th, 2008, 07:35 PM
There is a launchpad page now with a map.
https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-lgbt

LaRoza
October 17th, 2008, 07:50 PM
There is a launchpad page now with a map.
https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-lgbt

Add it to the Forum Council Agenda (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ForumCouncilAgenda)

I can't second guess the FC, but it has a chance I think.