What is Q Chat Space? What is it not?
Q Chat Space provides live, chat-based discussion groups for LGBTQ+ and questioning teens ages 13 to 19. It is not a forum, and there is no video or audio. Everyone is chatting during the same pre-scheduled time.
Q Chat Space chats are facilitated by experienced staff and volunteers from youth programs at LGBTQ+ centers across the United States. Q Chat Space facilitators are not medical or mental health professionals and cannot provide crisis intervention. The facilitators may also be required by state law to make a report if you share that you are being abused (physically, sexually, or emotionally) or that you want to hurt yourself or someone else. If you are in crisis or need help immediately, please call 911 or use the resources available here.
People are using Q Chat Space to get support, make friends, and build community in a safe environment. Q Chat Space is not a dating site. Please do not repeatedly talk to someone about romantic or sexual things when they have asked you to stop. Do not use sexually explicit or degrading words and phrases.
It's my first time joining a Q Chat Space chat. How do I join?
- FORM: Complete our First Time User form.
- FOLLOW: Sign up for text reminders at Join A Chat page and follow our Instagram/Facebook to get reminders about our chats.
- REGISTER: When it’s time for the chat, go to Join A Chat page and click the “Join Now!” button, then register for a new Rocket Chat account. IMPORTANT: You must use the same email address you used for your First Time User form!
- WAIT: Check your email! You will receive an email once your account has been activated (this may take up to 24 hours during weekdays, longer on weekends).
- JOIN: After your account is activated, go back to Join A Chat page and join the chat!
What will it be like when I join a chat?
Q Chat Space chats can be confusing and overwhelming for new folks! Our chats usually flow like this:
- Chat room opens and participants can join!
- Facilitators welcome everyone and direct message each person in case they need 1-on-1 support (participants cannot direct message each other, only facilitators can).
- Some casual mingling time.
- Facilitators start the chat with the group agreements, introductions, and an ice breaker.
- Facilitators start the conversation about the topic for the day.
- 5 minutes before the chat end time, facilitators wrap up the chat and share a list of resources.
- Everyone is removed from the chat room and then the room is closed.
Check out this video to see what joining a chat would be like.
Can I get text reminders? When are they sent? Are they private?
You can sign up for text reminders (English or Spanish) on our Join a Chat page. Text reminders are sent one day and one hour before the chat. You can unsubscribe from the text reminders anytime.
There are 2 text message reminder options: Discreet or Detailed. Discreet text reminders are private, they do not include "Q Chat Space" or the name of the chat. They only say "Reminder: You have an online discussion in about 1 hour." or "Reminder: You have an online discussion in about 24 hours." Detailed text reminders will include "Q Chat Space", the name of the chat, and a link to Q Chat Space website.
Unfortunately, we can only send text reminders to U.S. and Canada phones at the moment.
How can I share feedback?
If you have any feedback to share about another participant, a facilitator, a particular chat, the website or chat platform, or anything else, contact us through this form.
What am I agreeing to in joining Q Chat Space chats?
We want people who use Q Chat Space to feel safe, get support, and make friends. In order to make sure that happens, we need to have clear and mutually agreed upon ways to interact with each other. We ask every person who joins groups on Q Chat Space to agree that they will:
- Respect other’s identities and pronouns.
- Keep confidentiality – what’s shared here, stays here.
- Be here for support and try to stay positive.
- Welcome new ideas and different perspectives.
- Own up to and forgive mistakes.
Both facilitators and participants in groups are responsible for keeping these agreements. They are also responsible for courteously helping others understand when they might be doing something that doesn’t follow the agreements. Everyone needs to work together to build a respectful and trusting community.
We also want to be clear that Q Chat Space is here to support you, but the facilitators are not medical or mental health professionals, and the facilitators cannot provide crisis intervention. And, while we won’t share the information you share in the chat, there are a few exceptions. Q Chat Space facilitators may be required by state law to report information shared in the chat if you share that you are being abused (physically, sexually, or emotionally) or that you want to hurt yourself or someone else. If you have questions about this, we are happy to explain the process and keep you informed as we make a report. Lastly, chats may be used for training, evaluation, or research, but your username or personal information will never be shared publicly.
How can I make sure I am safe and help create a safe space while participating in Q Chat Space chats?
We want everyone to feel and be safe in Q Chat Space. Here are some guidelines to help you do that.
- When you log in to the chat, choose a username and profile picture that maintain a level of privacy you are comfortable with.
- Remember that what happens online is as serious as in real life. Don’t say anything in the chat that you wouldn’t be comfortable saying in person.
- Don’t share personal information like your birth date, phone number, city you live in, school name, or social media accounts.
- Trust your own instincts. If you think that it might be unwise to share something, don’t do it. If someone says or does something that makes you feel uncomfortable, ask them to stop. If they don’t stop, let a facilitator know.
- Even if you think it’s obvious that you are joking, it can be hard to tell. If it’s meant to be funny, make that clear by adding ‘lol’ or ‘jk.’
I'm an adult and I'd like to share Q Chat Space with youth. How can I do that?
Thanks for your interest in spreading the word about Q Chat Space. You can download our resources like posters and social media graphics here: https://www.lgbtqcenters.org/Q-Chat-Space
What’s the fine print?