A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the TrevorSpace social networking site is an arm of the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention organization that provides support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth. The site is intended to be a safe space for LGBTQ people -- and their straight allies -- ages 13 to 24, and users seem to be very respectful of each other. The site mentions that sexual discussions are allowed in a certain chat area, but explicit content is strictly forbidden everywhere else.
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Is it any good?
In an effort to weed out fake profiles -- and bullies -- TREVORSPACE requires that users take several steps to be "certified" as members, including posting a real photo of themselves. Certification is required for accessing certain features of the site, including chat. New users might get a little frustrated waiting for certification, but it seems to be a good way to keep the community friendly, respectful, and legit. TrevorSpace isn't very stylish or high-tech compared to other social sites, but it gets points for transcending the "just for fun" category by integrating resources and other helpful information.
Talk to your kids about ...
Teens are frequently targeted by bullies for being -- or appearing to be -- LGBTQ. What would you do if you were being bullied? Who could you go to for help? Families can also talk about what it means to be an "ally" to LGBTQ teens.
Families can also talk about what's OK to disclose on social networking sites. How do you know what information is safe to share?
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