Kali is now a regular contributor to Sappho, a women's board she most appreciates because there she is accepted as an equal.
"They forgive me for being young," Kali laughs, "though women come out later than guys, so there aren't a lot of teen lesbians. We joke that we're posting to 500 of our closest friends.""The wonderful thing about online services is that they are an intrinsically decentralized resource," says Tom Rielly, who has solicited the hardware and imparted the skills to get dozens of queer organizations jacked in.
And the messages that stream back into John's box are mostly from kids his own age, many marooned far from urban centers for gay and lesbian youth.
Liberty has claimed much of that wilderness now, but the frontier always lies ahead of us....
The frontier of liberty may have expanded far beyond where it began, but for those without rights, it always seems on the horizon, just beyond their reach.
After mood swings plummeted her into a profound depression, Kali - like too many gay teens - considered suicide.
Her access to Gay Net at school gave her a place to air those feelings, and a phone call from someone she knew online saved her life.
I conformed to society's paradigm, and I was rewarded. Everything I did was a diversion from thinking about myself.
Finally, last summer, my subconsciousness felt comfortable enough to be able to connect myself with who I really am, and I began to understand what it is to be gay.
For young queers, the Magic Ring is the bond of community.
John's posts have the confidence and urgency of one who speaks for many who must keep silent: The struggle for equal rights has always taken place on the frontier of the legal wilderness where liberty meets power.
The choir trip fiasco was but one chapter in the continuing online journal that has made John Teen Ø - or as his parents and classmates know him, John Erwin - one of the most articulate voices in America Online's Gay and Lesbian Community Forum.
From: John Teen Ø My high school career has been a sudden and drastic spell of turbulence and change that has influenced every aspect of life.
"Teens are starting to throw their weight around," says Quirk, the leader of the AOL forum.