LifeLine is a Free Spirits resource aimed at giving support to boylovers and girllovers in difficult life situations by providing real-time chat and a message board with a supportive, confidential environment. More casual conversations also take place when no visitor in crisis is present.
LifeLine is run by a webmaster along with moderators who are called Volunteers (Vols). LifeLine Volunteers are selected from long-term visitors who have been helpful in the chat rooms and send in letters of application. Along with moderating the chat and messageboard, they also answer email and help decide and enforce resource policy.
LifeLine's biggest draw is its real-time chat rooms. Chat is only open while a Volunteer is present to open and moderate the chat room. Volunteers are marked with an in the user list to symbolize that they are there to listen to visitors. Sometimes they are called "ears" by visitors.
Because chat is only available while a Vol is on duty, the LifeLine home page lists both scheduled times as well as off-schedule planned times. When chat is not available, visitors can post on the message board or send an email via the contact page or to email@example.com.
The origins of LifeLine can be traced back to the late 90s when Kabouter first made the suggestion that such a service was needed in the community. After a couple failed suicide attempts by BoyChat posters, Steve2Boys formed a group of posters in Fall 2000 and began working on a plan for a way to help suicidal boylovers. Progress moved slowly. Because LifeLine wanted to be a place for both boylovers and girllovers, as well as youth, it approached Free Spirits with the request for hosting without becoming an official Free Spirits resource. The request was granted, and LifeLine launched as an independant resource in September 2001. Just before LifeLine launched, Steve2Boys stepped down and Nelly became webmaster.
After a suicide by a beloved La Garçonnière poster in December 2004, kody was sucessful in assembling a French-language version of LifeLine in early 2005. It started as scheduled hours in the English chat room, but in January 2005 a French-only chat room was added, followed shortly after with a dedicated message board.
When LifeLine launched, it had a distinctive bright orange design with a little hand grasping the fingers of a larger hand. As the site grew and became more complex, it also became more difficult to navigate. A blue design with unified navigation and incorporating the two hands was designed by Hínandil and was unveiled at the start of the 2005 Free Spirits Fundraiser.
On May 25. 2006 it was officially announced that LifeLine joined the Free Spirits to become a Free Spirits resource.
List of LifeLine webmasters
- Nelly (September 2001 - present)
List of French webmasters
- Kody (January 2005 - November 2006)
- LifeLine (https link)
- LifeLine Message Board (https link)
- LifeLine in French (https link)
- LifeLine French Message Board (https link)
- Announcement of LifeLine joining Free Spirits (https link)