We want everyone to feel safe and supported in our online community, so please read the guidelines below and refer to them if you're unsure about something. Remember: everyone deserves respect and compassion.
16+ only. Forum members must be over the age of sixteen to sign up and make posts. Anyone found to be under this age will have their account suspended.No harassment, trolling, or verbal abuse. This one's pretty simple: be respectful. We have zero tolerance for aggressive language (yes, this means swearing at people), threatening violence, or being generally unpleasant to members of the forum.
No hate speech. The Forums are for all LGBTQ+ people and straight allies alike, and attacks based on gender, race, age or sexuality will result in instant bans. If you have a problem with trans people / black people / bisexual people, take your problem somewhere else. Attacks don't have to be directed at a member; making blanket statements about these groups - "all bi people are...." is also a no no.
No spam or advertising. Whatever you're selling, we're not interested. These kinds of posts will be taken down straight away. Pointing towards external products or services isn't totally forbidden, but should be appropriate to the conversation being had.
No inappropriate links. Any linking to vulgar, pornographic, hateful, or otherwise unsuitable content outside of OutLife is not allowed.
Respect people's opinions. You may disagree with other forum members on a huge variety of topics, but that's no excuse for bad behaviour. State your case, but be mindful of others and that your opinions may differ. If you think someone else is wrong, then your only options are to speak politely, leave it be, or if there's possible danger, inform an admin.
Protect anonymity. Lots of people wish to remain anonymous online with good reason. Never pressure anyone to reveal their identity, or anything that may reveal their identity (name, specific location etc).
Only one account per person. Any duplicates will be found and removed.
Don't swap personal details. Remember this is a public forum and all information posted can be seen by anyone. Please dont post any contact details like email addresses or mobile numbers these will be removed by a moderator at the earliest possible opportunity.
Members who break the rules will warned but if it continues then you will be banned permanently.
Keep it on topic. Try to keep threads on the original topic in the first post. Conversations may drift slightly over time, as is natural, but if they drift too far we may close a thread. We've deliberately created spaces for members to chat about life, the universe, and everything, which exist outside of the Advice and Support area. Please use them!
Be compassionate and understanding. Members will come here with all kinds of problems, thoughts, and needs. Responses should take that into account and not be judgmental. We're all at different stages in our journey, so try to put yourself in the other person's shoes before posting a reply.
Shouting louder isn't being heard. Your post probably isn't going to help someone if it's ALL CAPS AND EXCLAMATION MARKS!!! Instead, try engaging with the other people in the thread and making your reply as clear / thoughtful / helpful as possible.
If in doubt, ask an admin. You might have a response in mind, but are unsure whether it's appropriate. You might be worried about someone. You could just be unsure what to say. Whatever your concern, the best thing to do is message an admin so they can point you in the right direction.
Talking about mental healthWe should all be mindful of how to speak about LGBTQ+ mental health. Here are a few do's and don'ts to be aware of.
Using the right language. Don't refer to people as crazy, mental, psycho etc etc - this kind of language is stigmatising and.. well... just plain wrong.
Don't try and diagnose. If someone is sharing their particular symptoms, or experience of mental health problems, it's best not to play doctor. Outright stating that someone is bi-polar, manic depressive, or obsessive compulsive isn't helpful: they need to get a proper diagnosis from a medical professional. However, do feel free to share your own experiences, and if you have an inkling someone might be depressed, suggest they get themselves checked out.
Stories of suicide. When talking about someone's suicide, try to avoid the specifics of someone's death (how they did it), or pinning it on a single reason (his boyfriend left him). Spreading the method can be dangerous and no person takes their life for a single reason - it's far more complicated than that. Avoiding these cab protect people who may be experiencing suicidal feelings and are vulnerable.
Above all else please enjoy the Forums and we hope that you will enjoy collabarationg qwith people from the local community.... Welcome