It's been more than 13 years since DIVA launched the UK's first
free lesbian social networking platform, in the shape of the DIVA
Blue Rooms. Back then, internet forums were new territory for the
lesbian community but women took to them with such enthusiasm that
these days it's hard to imagine lesbian life - and particularly the
dating scene - without the internet.
The Blue Rooms quickly attracted members from all over the UK
and beyond. Members shared gossip, discussed the issues of the day
and reached out through the ether to provide each other with
friendship and support. Women in far-flung locations discovered a
community, friendships were forged and relationships born.
Not all the activity took place in cyberspace, either. Members
held "meets" in real life too, gathering to take part in Pride
parades around the country, camping, or just getting together for a
drink and a laugh in person.
More than a little drama ensued over the years, but most fracas
were ably contained by the forums' dedicated team of volunteer
moderators - "the mods".
When we decided to relaunch the DIVA website, it was with great
sadness that we realised that our new platform would no longer
support the Blue Rooms. Our new site offers loads more content,
refreshed on daily and fully commentable, but it was time to let
the Blue Rooms go…
Happily, long-time Blue Roomers have risen to the occasion and
opened their own forums at http://thebr.proboards.com.
The format is much the same as the old Blue Rooms and everyone's
welcome, including the DIVA team.
"When we heard that DIVA would no longer be hosting the
DIVA Blue Rooms after the new website launched, there was a feeling
of loss," said long-time member Janie Thomson. "The
Blue Rooms have been around for a long time and there's always been
a feeling of ownership by the users who have shaped the forum.
There have been many long-term friendships formed, relationships,
feuds, good times, bad times and downright crazy times.
"We weren't ready to let that go, so I was asked if I
would provide an alternative platform to keep the Blue Rooms going.
I had that up and running within a few days and we have over 100
"All women who identify as lesbian or bisexual are
welcome, even if they've previously been banned from the DIVA Blue
Rooms. We look forward to chatting with, educating, entertaining,
and infuriating each other for many years to come. Come and join
us. You might like it."
So, see you in the Blue Rooms! (When you're not enjoying all the
brilliant stuff over here…)