The history of GayLINC

Well, where shall we start with the history of GayLINC? Maybe best to go back to the times of ceefax. Remember these pages on your television with all kinds of news, presented as text only? In the 80’s one of these 999 pages on Dutch television covered gay and lesbian news. But as it was very much a one-way medium more interactivity was needed. At the same time the computer became more and more a household item. So a few of the people involved in creating the ceefax page combined these two: in 1995 they created GayLINC (Gay & Lesbian Information and News Centre) and started a bulletin board (not very successful but good fun building it).

The Digital City Amsterdam (DDS)

Source: De Digitale Stad, Proeftuin voor de electronische snelweg
Source: De Digitale Stad, Proeftuin voor de electronische snelweg

When GayLINC was more or less operational the Council of Amsterdam created  as a trial for the council elections in 1994 Digital City Amsterdam. This was a novelty and pre-www time. They had decided to create a virtual city, allowing the citizens to become involved in the city in a new way and create a virtual representation of real life in Amsterdam. They also hoped to bridge the gap between politics and daily life. So GayLINC offered to create a pink square, making gay and lesbian activities part of the new city. Around a year later the World Wide Web was introduced and we could say goodbye to our limited knowledge of UNIX, although we would keep struggling with html, scanners, modems and ftp for many years to come.

Given its origin GayLINC has always aimed at providing information and opinion. We could add the most interesting, commercial and sexy pictures and videos but why would we? The web is full of them and it would not support our main goal: to inform you, dear visitor, about gay and lesbian life in Amsterdam. We hope to have done that for 20 years and hope to continue for many more to come.

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