The online world of gay dating could be considered shallow by some. It could also be considered dangerous, disgusting and difficult. But through all the hookup sites, late-night booty calls and anonymous chatting, one website has strived to rise above the rest. Connexion.org opened for business more than eight years ago and has been a gathering place for gay people to meet in an approachable atmosphere.
The rules of Connexion kept sexually explicit photos and fake profiles away while encouraging community interaction and a gathering for gay people to meet other like-minded individuals. The site also encouraged people to be polite and engaging with others.
But the site, which had more than 200,000 registered members, will be closing down on Sept. 14.
“It has been a fantastic eight years and we’ve all made a lot of great friends that we don’t want to lose contact with. The site will remain open until Sept. 14 for messaging people so you can communicate with your friends here and find alternate ways of contacting them,” a statement on the site reads. “Though 2011 has been the best year for us in terms of income and site growth it has not been enough to make us profitable.”
Connexion has brought Utah couples together and helped many gay men on their journey coming out and connecting with others.
Salt Lake City resident Michael Elliot said he’ll miss the site and that he cherishes the lasting friendships and relationships he made.
“You know, I signed up for Connexion.org a few years back. I’ve met a lot of really nice cool guys on it; a few boyfriends as well. I heard that it is shutting down, and I can’t even get into it anymore. I was really sad because out of all the dating sites, it was the best, because it wasn’t a hookup site, and it wasn’t a meat market. You could meet guys who were genuinely interested in getting to know you, and not just what was in your pants,” Elliot said.
Along with meeting people, Connexion included a community calendar and a section for queer-related news. Connexion is allowing people to log into their accounts to collect information and connect one last time with friends and neighbors before the site is permanently closed.