Welcome to soc.motss, the oldest newsgroup for lesbian and gay people. This FAQ introduces our unique discussion environment.
The easiest, most effective approach is to spend time in listening mode, that is, to read the articles and observe what goes on in soc.motss. You’ll gain a feel for the range of viewpoints expressed and for our varied personal styles.
You don’t have to be gay or lesbian yourself to participate, but bigots are not welcome. Soc.motss has zero tolerance for homophobia, sexism, misogyny and racism. If you’re clear about that, feel free to join any discussion that interests you or to start a new topic.
If you decide to stay around, the complete FAQ (see below) explains the group’s history, in-group lingo and much more, so it’s best if you read it. It tries to help you feel at ease in our midst. However, here are things you need to know right away:
- The acronym “motss” stands for “members of the same sex”. It’s not the most obvious name, but it’s the original one and it has stuck. There are various ways to pronounce soc.motss: the two most common ones are “soash-mahts” and “sock-dot-mahts”.
- Soc.motss is definitely NOT for discussion of whether homosexuality is good or bad, natural or unnatural, moral or immoral. Other groups exist expressly for debate on those topics.
The problems most often encountered by newcomers are these (for more detail, see http://www.soc-motss.org/doc/faq/faq_problems.html), and avoiding them will spare you emailed or posted protests from the cohort:
- Do not cross-post, that is, post both to soc.motss and to another newsgroup at the same time.
- Don’t post commercial messages, personal ads, pictures or multimedia files.
- If your posting software is MIME- or HTML-capable, turn that feature off so you post in plain text only.
- To make your postings easier to read, adjust your line length to 60-65 characters and type a [return] at the end of each line.
This is enough to get you started. The complete FAQ is online at
It’s a series of 34 web-based documents with a link index that makes it easy to browse.
Send corrections or comments concerning any aspect of the FAQ to the FAQ Maintainer, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FAQ is in the public domain; it may be freely copied for any purpose. It comes without warranties of any kind. This introduction is posted on the 8th of every month to soc.motss, soc.answers and news.answers.
8 May 2008