GYO was founded in 2011 with a mission to bring a public face to GayYoungOld relationships. General society needed to see that these relationships are just as nurturing and healthy as any same age straight or gay relationships. It started as a simple Reddit group and developed to groups over many social platforms and thousands of followers and contributors and even group Meetups with plans to expand to various cities.
For 8 years, I lead and managed all of these different groups. My concept and management was for an altruistic Gay Younger Older community but with a strong drive toward aggressive growth. I put a lot of work and personal funding into growing and marketing GYO. It’s audience grew exponentially year over year. In time, I had heard from various users that didn’t like the idea of the GYO group constantly growing and spreading to new networks. They wanted it as their own.
My goal was to curate positive thoughtful interaction and great GYO reading material.
The feelings of burnout a from the previous years of fielding complaints had started to take a toll on me and I wasn’t shedding the negative input the way I had in the past.
In June of 2019, a few users started a campaign to change the rules regarding what types of content would be allowed on the reddit group. Until then pictures were not allowed because they generally don’t require much thought to post and don’t require much input and yet they yield large upvotes. Images can’t be automatically filtered for inappropriate or irrelevant content so they require more interaction from mods in the case of material that breaks the existing rules. To this point, I had done almost all of the content moderation with the exception of one or two people. So the idea of a group of users demanding the mod team do more rubbed me as entitled and presumptuous. I took it personally because it was personal for me. Starting the group, writing the rules, posting the first posts, and investing 1000s of hours growing, planning and moderating develops a lot of passion for leading a project but this is the wrong attitude to have when attempting to incubate an already existing community…
Ultimately, my time as reddit GYO Top Mod was successful, having started and grown the subs from 1 to over 20,000, 8 years later. I felt some in the Reddit group had grown to merely tolerate me as Top Mod. I also realized my brand of leadership was not what a reddit group of r/GYO’s size needed going forward. On June 15th, I announced my resignation as r/GYO Top Mod. I left administration of Reddit GYO, NYC GYO Meetup, and Facebook GYO to a select group of mods, admins and organizers whom I could trust to continue to develop the GYO goodwill that was instilled in the original GYO mission.
Going forward I will continue to push for GYO acceptance around the world. I feel I’ve completed my goal of launching a successful GYO movement, and will continue to aid the movement from a more passive position.