Frequently Asked Questions for Journalists and Other Non-Boylovers
1. Why does this FAQ exist?
This FAQ is intended to help journalists and other non-boylovers who are visiting BoyChat.
2. What is boylove and what is BoyChat and the other boards?
Boylove is an attraction to boys, which may have erotic, emotional, and/or aesthetic aspects.
BoyChat is the oldest and largest message board for boylovers; it is maintained by a group of volunteers called Free Spirits; its purpose is to act as a support and self-help group. It provides a means by which people who find themselves attracted to minors may help themselves come to terms with their attraction in a way that is ethical, informed, and supportive. It is not for discussions of how to break the law - illegal discussions are not permitted. Nor is it used for trading child pornography: we do not allow Free Spirits services to be used for trading, discussing, accessing, storing or distributing pornography of any kind.
Free Spirits runs a similar board in the French language: La Garçonnière; in the German language: Jungs; and in the Dutch language: Jongens. The same purposes and rules apply to these boards.
More information on boylove, BoyChat, and Free Spirits can be found at the Free Spirits home page, and the BoyChat FAQ.
3. Where can I find background material about boylove that is written by boylovers?
Free Spirits maintains BoyLinks, an index of boylove sites; it links to a wealth of material written from a variety of viewpoints. A useful starting point is the section What is Boylove?; these articles do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of all boylovers, but they describe the views of many.
Boylove Resources links to additional material written by boylovers, while BoyWrite, a message board maintained by Free Spirits, carries essays, memoirs, stories, and other literary productions by boylovers. BoyChat and other Boylove Message Boards carry day-to-day reflections by boylovers.
4. Where can I find background material about boylove that is written by non-boylovers?
Scholarly Resources carries links to articles on this subject. Unfortunately, many articles on boylove have been written by authors who spent little time researching their subject.
5. Which boylovers are available to provide information on boylove?
The media contact address for Free Spirits is email@example.com. Most of the Webmasters of the boylove message boards would be happy to cooperate with journalists seeking to write balanced articles.
6. Which non-boylovers are available to provide information on boylove?
Several people will jump at the opportunity to provide information; however nearly all have their own axes to grind. Some in the past have vigorously attempted, with varying degrees of success, to use journalists to convey false information supportive of their personal situation, or to plug their books.
We suggest you show standard journalistic caution in interviewing anyone who claims to have knowledge of boylove. You may wish to check the person's background and reputation. You should certainly seek to verify any information given to you, and we ask that you follow the normal practice of allowing people whose activities have been commented upon the opportunity to respond to charges. In other words, once you have talked to the "child advocates" about boylove, come back to the boylovers and ask for their views.
7. Is BoyChat a place for boylovers to arrange real-life meetings with boys or to exchange child pornography?
Absolutely not. BoyChat's rules forbid the use of the board for either of these activities, and those rules are vigorously enforced by a team of volunteers ("the Cogs"). Our greatest difficulty is with a few individuals whose idea of a high moral ground is to themselves post illegal or offensive material and then complain to the media about it. We delete their posts rapidly, but some take screen shots immediately after posting. Please check all purported copies of BoyChat and its posts against the original, as forgeries are common.
8. May I reprint posts from BoyChat?
All BoyChat posts are copyrighted in the names of their authors; permission must be obtained from the authors before reprinting the messages.
We urge you to be fair in your representation of what types of messages are posted at BoyChat. No single post is representative of the views of all boylovers.
9. May I post messages at BoyChat?
Any non-boylover may post messages at BoyChat, provided that he follows the board's rules. Journalists should keep in mind, though, that BoyChat's administrators have the duty to delete any posts they believe are intended for entrapment purposes. Such deletions rarely happen, but to avoid the possibility of misunderstanding, you may wish to contact the Webmaster first to explain the nature of your research. BoyChat welcomes posts from authentic journalists and researchers.
10. Why do the boylovers distrust me?
Journalists will often find that their intentions are distrusted by the participants on BoyChat; this distrust is sometimes expressed in strong terms. In order to understand the suspicion with which some boylovers greet outsiders, journalists should realize that BoyChat has a long history of being visited by outsiders who claimed that they were writing a balanced report on boylove, and who then proceeded to write a sensationalistic smear article. In some cases, the so-called journalists were not journalists at all.
For this reason, it is wise for the journalist, before he requests any information from the participants on BoyChat, to introduce himself and his project at length. A description of how he plans to approach his subject, as well as a link to his organization's Web site, will help to allay the suspicions of many boylovers. It is not necessary, of course, that journalists be pro-boylove in their approach; most boylovers understand that a balanced news article must present all views. Journalists should not be offended, though, if some boylovers continue to suspect the worst of them; until the day comes when most journalists write balanced reports on boylove, it is likely that many boylovers will continue to have grave doubts about anyone from this profession.
11. May I interview boylovers?
One great limitation on the journalist is that only a handful of the people posting at BoyChat are publicly "out." A few more might be willing to give telephone interviews if they can be reassured of security issues. Print journalists should consider the possibility of drawing mainly upon e-mail interviews, since most boylovers would be glad to communicate with reporters in that fashion.
In any of the above cases, the same rule applies of establishing your credentials before plunging into the interview. A boylover who receives e-mail from a stranger is likely to be highly suspicious of his correspondent's intentions.
12. What do boylovers think about sex with children?
There is no consensus in the boylove community on this subject; the Free Spirits home page explores this issue at greater length.
13. What do boylovers think about child pornography?
Again, there is no consensus in the boylove community on this issue, as on many other issues. Journalists should keep in mind that boylovers come from a variety of backgrounds; boylovers are no more likely to hold the same opinions on controversial subjects as a disparate group of heterosexuals would. All that holds the boylove community together, aside from the members' feelings towards boys, is an ethical consensus that it is wrong to exploit children.
14. What do boylovers think about free speech, child sexual abuse research, mentoring, and many other subjects?
We hope that you will ask and find out. Too often, journalists have produced reports about boylove without taking the trouble to actually question boylovers about what they do or believe. These FAQ can only be a starting point for your research, since boylovers hold so many different views and live such different lives from each other. We hope that you will be able to explore the various aspects of boylove in depth, and we look forward to reading more fair-minded, balanced reports on boylove.