Progress does not come without a price. Our advancements in equality have come in leaps and bounds. We celebrating the joyful time of the holiday season of 2015 with greater acceptance and equality than many in our community could have ever dreamed of when the fight for our rights first started. But that acceptance also comes with a price to be paid. Our greater acceptance and equality means that some of the old ways we had of connecting with each other no longer have the activity and interaction that they once had. One of those ways, the social networking site, gay-cowboys.com will be ceasing operations at the end of 2015.
From the gay-cowboys.com webmaster:
The gay-cowboys/texasmale website has been in operation since the internet was born. In the beginning it was a homepage for the IRC chatroom #gay-cowboys.
For many years the website expanded to include all gay cowboys,
their admirers, and those with a country interest. For many men it has been a way for those in remote locations to chat and/or meet with others with similar interests and share their ideas with others. There has also been many reports of how the website brought folks together in lasting, meaningful relationships and even marriages. It was always awesome to hear that the website brought people together in loving, lasting, true relationships.
Unfortunately during the past several years with the emergence of mega websites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc, the member following and member contributions has declined to the point that I have been paying for the server and bandwidth costs out of my own pocket (not to mention my own time to maintain and moderate the site) because the site has been operating in the red. It is for this reason that I have decided to discontinue the website at the end of the year.
I have been a member of the Gay-Cowboys.com website since it’s inception. I am a little bit sad to see it go but a little bit glad, too. I understand that it is the “price of admission” that we have to pay for equality. I understand that the purpose and need that Gay-Cowboys.com served isn’t as urgent because of equality; because we have made strides to remove the stigma of being gay and still continue to do so every day.
We have created a world where people are comfortable coming out at work; to families; and on sites such as Facebook, where we can now announce to the world our same-sex relationships, engagements and marriages. We have created the world where we can be that open. That is the world I want to live in. If the price we have to pay to have that world is letting go of an old networking site that I loved, I’m willing to pay that price.
Gay-Cowboys.com now becomes part of our history; part of the story of how we got to the place of equality. It was another way for us to connect; another way for us to be out; and another way for us to tell our story. For the years that it did, I am very grateful, but I look forward to the world where we don’t need a site like Gay-Cowboys.com because gay people are comfortable enough to be out and connect at any old rodeo, ranch or honky tonk.