I’ve written [previously](http://www.timbomb.net/blog/2002/07/15/the-hagiography-of-ian-roberts/) about the [Ian Roberts](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Roberts_%28rugby_league_footballer%29) fan page I keep called “[World Of Ian](http://www.timbomb.net/ian)”. I didn’t mention in that post that, since February 2001 I’ve also moderated an online community at [Yahoo Groups](http://groups.yahoo.com/) also called “World Of Ian”. I started the group because I kept getting email from people who liked the fan site and I thought they ought to have some way to talk to each other.
As time wore on it turned out to be a pretty decent way to gather new news about what the guy was up to. Much more reliable than Robert’s various agents who have promised to send me updates but never do.
In the last couple of years, the group has had little traffic and I’ve kind of lost interest in running it. In the last twelve months, the group’s attracted the attention of someone who was charged with stalking Roberts a few years ago – he’s been the primary poster, which has been good for traffic, but he’s been a bit of a handful to moderate.
In the end, I decided a few weeks ago to let the group end. It had about 900 subscribers, but more than half of those had set their preferences to “No Email” – not a good sign – and fewer than 10 people had posted in the last year.
Today I pulled the plug and sent a final email to the group. Here’s what I said:
From: “Tim M”
Date: Sat, 04 Nov 2006 01:42:09 -0000
Subject: And that’s that.
After a last little sputter, the lights are out on the World Of Ian
Yahoo Group. I’m leaving my website up at [http://www.timbomb.net/ian](http://www.timbomb.net/ian)
to record the six or so years in Ian’s life after he came out, but
this will be the last email you will receive via this Group.
I run various web projects out of [http://www.timbomb.net](http://www.timbomb.net) although this
is one of the oldest. Drop by from time to time and see if there’s
anything you’d like to be involved in.
I started this project because it seemed to me that Ian exemplified a
way of being gay that was not commonly shown, especially outside
larger gay cities like Sydney. I wanted to help share that example –
not because it was better than other ways of being gay, but simply
because it seemed to give young men, struggling to find their
identity, more options and more choices.
In a world where it still seems that Queer Eye For The Straight Guy is
all the media wants to show us of being gay, it still seems to me that
there’s a role for showing young men that there are as many ways to
being gay as there are gay men. But perhaps hero worship of one man
isn’t the best way to do that.
Perhaps the time has come for more of us to be ourselves, to be fierce
and strong and bold and to tell the truth of our lives to the world so
that we are not reduced to a media stereotype and trivialised as the
When you talk to younger men, consider that you act as an example of a
way of being and try as hard as you can to speak from the truth of
your experience and to be a hero in their eyes.
Let’s shift from hero worship to heroism.
Thank you all once again for my little soap box and for the support
you’ve shown this project over the years. Thanks especially to those
of you who posted pictures or news articles and took time to interact.
I wish every one of you the very best. You have my respect and my love.
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