Mary Gray, author of Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America, was interviewed by EDGE on the topic of LGBT youth in rural communities facing big challenges to using the internet, one of their best sources for positive interaction with LGBT communities.
Most of the youth lived in communities where their schools had computers, but came equipped with what Gray called “draconian” software that monitors key strokes and filters access by blocking “gay”, “lesbian” and other words. Interestingly, some filters allow access to “ex-gay” Web sites.
While most public libraries have computers that don’t have filtering software, they are often located in areas where anyone can easily see what users are reading.
“A lot of the young people didn’t heavily participate in chat rooms or Facebook or other social media because they did not have private access,” said Gray.