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Email: legolas at bridges-across.org (BA Web Forums Admin)
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rules governing their conduct on the webforums. The first rule is
presented on the Orange
page. Participants must agree to the following pledge.
These Forums are confidential and
copyrighted. Access to our Forums is available
to Members only. By agreeing to our Terms and
Conditions you are promising to keep any and all
posts found within in complete confidence. IF YOU FIND
SOMETHING USEFUL THAT YOU WISH TO SHARE ELSEWHERE, YOU MUST OBTAIN
PERMISSION FROM THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR
BEFORE DOING SO. NO EXCEPTIONS!
Those submitting a registration request at the orange page
will receive automatic email asking them to reply with the username and
password. Then a person will verify that the info from the
website request matches the info from the email confirmation.
After the email confirmation has been received and processed, the
registrant will receive email explaining that now he/she will be able
read the webforums and that a second registration for posting to the
forums will be necessary. Registering to post leads to a page titled: Rules,
policies, and disclaimers
The page begins: "If you agree to abide by our rules
below, please press the Agree button,
will enable you to register on this message board. If you do not agree
to these terms, press the Cancel button."
1. Be Respectful: We encourage the reader of each
post to read with an open mind. Because we often use different
please use care in responding in order to not jump to the wrong
2. Use "I Statements": Even if you feel that this is
more than just your feeling or opinion but, instead, a fact or the
Truth, you should still avoid declaring your beliefs or opinions as
3. Don't Generalize: As a rule, individuals tend to
think their experiences are similar or valid for everyone. Keep in mind
that this list will include people from wildly different life
experiences and world views. Any generalizations promoted will probably
anger or offend others. Often, generalizations will prove to be wrong
4. Don't Attack: Criticism is one thing, personal
attacks are another. Personal attacks of other Forum Members are out of
place regardless of what one may think of a given personal opinion.
This doesn't mean that we cannot discuss experiences -- but the
discussions must occur within a respectful framework. Flame Wars will
NOT be tolerated!
5. Be Honest: There is no need to pretend to be other
than who you are. If you state something, out of respect for others on
the list, please be honest. If you prefer to withhold something, please
respect those who share in a way that is vulnerable.
6. Minimize thread drift. Place your thread in
the most appropriate forum. Choose a title which clearly
describes the subject of your thread. Stick to the topic of a
thread or create a new one.
This page has buttons for "agree" or "cancel."
Our charter statement, How We Agree
does not contain "rules" for forum participants. Rather, it outlines a
set of principles that go beyond the BA rules for forum participation.
These principles are guidelines or goals which we attempt to
model in our participation in the forums.
First of all, we are unanimous in the view that every
individual human being is of immeasurable worth.
Some of us (but not all) would put that in theological terms: made in
the divine image, an object of God's infinite love, etc. But however we
phrase it, we are agreed that every person is of great value.
Secondly, we agree that is wrong to mistreat anyone or to promote
mistreatment of anyone. We find common moral ground on the question of
whether or not it is right for any person to be harassed, intimidated,
insulted, beaten, ridiculed, humiliated or murdered. Whatever our views
on sexual morality, we believe all such behavior is wrong. Those of us
who are Christians would agree that wherever such things happen, Jesus
stands with the outcasts. We share concerns, from different
perspectives, for the safety and future of the most vulnerable among
Thirdly, we recognize that for dialog to be fruitful, those who engage
in it must be prepared to listen carefully and with respect, as well as
to be listened to. We value the process of dialog, of conversation. We
refuse to presume that nothing can be learned from someone whose
experience or opinion is different from our own.
Fourthly, while we have "agreed to disagree" on some matters, and
therefore do not expect to change each others' minds, we are united in
the desire to change many people's attitudes. We deplore the
demonization of one group of people by another, and especially public
and political attacks. We find sweeping generalized statements, whether
about "the homosexual agenda" on the one hand, or about the "Religious
Right" on the other, to be decidedly unhelpful.
Part of our goal in dialog is to model ways of addressing the issues
without resorting to extreme and emotionally charged rhetoric, even
our feelings and opinions are very strong. We have agreed to abandon
intentionally hateful speech, which can lead to or legitimize violence
and ridicule. Part of the process of dialog is learning how speech
that is not intended to be hateful can sound that way.
We are agreed that care must be taken in the use of language, because
many cultural differences that have grown up on the opposite sides of
this divide are reflected in the choice of words that are used.
We are learning that words which seem simple and straightforward to one
group can seem terribly "loaded" to another. We are working to discover
why this is so, and to educate one another and be educated so that a
clearer understanding of the language that we use can form the basis of
Together, we hope that this bridges-across project will demonstrate a
working model for respectful,thoughtful dialog that can be useful as a
resource for creative action wherever the divide appears.
Finally, we are agreed, based on the immeasurable worth of every human
being, that one of the most important things we can do is provide a
space for persons to tell their own stories. We value the creation of
relationships of trust, even across this divide. It is the
of such relationships that allows all our stories to be told.
the Journeys forum and Journeys page, we tell our stories.
Some of us have decided to leave homosexual behavior and identity
behind - - perhaps we found that our sexual attractions and fantasies
also changed. Others have worked at ways to affirm our homosexuality in
a society that can be intolerant. And some of us tried to move away
from homosexuality and then came to the conclusion that we should
embrace it as intrinsic to our identity.
Some of us who deal with conflicts between gender-identity
and biological gender and choose to change our biological gender -
others choose not to.
Some of us are family and friends of people who are dealing
with sexuality and gender- identity issues.
Given that stories are very individual but important
personal experiences, most likely you will begin to get a glimpse into
each storyteller's world view. For many this world view involves a
strong sense of faith, and for others it it does not. Don't be
surprised to hear about changes in world view -- including religious
beliefs -- in our journeys to deal with sexuality and gender
We have strong opinions about the topics being discussed
and we value the creation of relationships of trust, even across this
divide. It is the establishment of trusting relationships that allows
all our stories to be told.
There is great potential for this forum to be informative
as well as useful in building bridges between Side A and Side B. Have a