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QA was an online community for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) youth from around the world. We grew, quite organically, from a personal homepage first published in 1999 and by 2002 we were operating a small forum. We would go on to form a fully-fledged, vibrant community with almost 20,000 members. Unique, homely, and socially responsible, QA had mutual respect at its core.

In May 2014, after over a decade of service, we closed our virtual doors. In the United Kingdom, our native country, the campaign for LGBT rights is essentially complete from a legal perspective and attitudes have come a very long way. We know that many kids still suffer bullying and we know that coming out is still a difficult process for most. Nonetheless, British young people today have a wealth of LGBT exposure and there would seem to be less reliance on sites like QA.

Internationally, the picture is, of course, more mixed. There is undoubtedly still a need for QA-style resources but we believe those audiences should be better provided for by national and regional organisations.

The internet evolves apace, however, and forum-based peer-lead support has become less relevant than social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. QA worked so well for many years because its management team was in the same age range as the members, and, possibly, posting was about more than micro-blogging. A new generation of LGBT youngsters are self-publishing their way to internet fame and are directly providing encouragement and support to kids worldwide.

If you'd like to get in touch, please head to our Facebook page.

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