I'm sad to have learned that Steve Dyer has passed away. Steve was an old friend from Boston and from soc.motss, the gay and lesbian Usenet group I frequented around 1989-1996. We haven't talked in years, but his generous social and Internet life have had a big impact on my life.

Steve was an old Unix and Internet hacker, in the center of net technology and culture in the early 80s. He founded net.motss in 1983, our own little place on Usenet for gay culture. That culture became an important part of many people's lives. Motss was my window on to the gay world when I was in college, a wider place full of intelligent people from all sorts of backgrounds. I wouldn't have met a whole lot of friends without motss, including my partner Ken. Later Steve also founded the Bears Mailing List which was instrumental in defining a subculture for gay men who were unrepresented in mainstream gay culture.

Internet communities always seem to have people like Steve: someone who creates places for a group, who does the organization and the shaping. Steve was particularly good at connecting socially, every motsser I know has a fond story of a casual gathering at Steve's house where they could finally meet motssers in person. Steve was a particular joy face-to-face because of the mirthful twinkle in his eye, friendly and wicked-smart and very generous to people. I regret now we hadn't spoken in some 10 years, I'm sad he's gone.

  2010-06-11 14:48 Z