About us

bgiok is a non-profit project run entirely by volunteers from the LGBTQ+ project Outline in Catalyst.

What is bgiok all about? What does it do?

‘Being gay is okay’ offers ‘Information and advice for gay, lesbian, bisexual and unsure under twenty-fives.’ bgiok is sort of a beginner’s guide to being gay, using accessible language to give practical advice. It’s not about ‘promotion’, because being gay isn’t a club that you sign up to. It’s about feeling better about reality and making the best of it. It’s about showing that being gay is different – not worse. We try to do this via the range of content. There’s also a problem page where visitors can submit their unique concerns.

What is the history of bgiok?

Created in 2000 by Jason Mitchell bgiok went through changes and remakes as he learned more about website and graphic design and about what visitors want from the site. It was last rebuilt in May-June 2014. The mobile version was born in May 2014. In 2016 bgiok was gifted by Jason to the LGBT support charity Outline to maintain and preserve it. In 2023, Outline merged with Catalyst and became ‘Outline in Catalyst’, who took over running and updating the site and responding to queries.

Who runs bgiok?

bgiok is a non-profit project run entirely by volunteers and staff from the service Outline in Catalyst. Outline in Catalyst is a Service run by Catalyst Support (Registered Charity No. 1075892) on behalf of the charity Outline.

Outline owns and operates the website www.bgiok.org.uk (the “Website”). The Website was founded, as a non-for-profit project, by Jason Mitchell in 2000 and gifted to Outline on 1 April 2016. Outline did not create, and has not reviewed for accuracy, the Website content including (without limitation) advice to Website users.

Do you offer telephone, text message, or crisis support?

Outline offer telephone and text messaging support to people struggling with their sexuality and gender identity. Outline don’t offer crisis support. Please see other support services on the links section or go to Outline’s website for more resources: https://outlinesurrey.org.uk/

Why use cartoony graphics? Shouldn’t you take people’s problems seriously?

bgiok isn’t all about problems and it doesn’t assume all visitors are having a tough time. The team behind bgiok take peoples’ problems very seriously, but we didn’t think that is a reason to have a flat, formal or dull looking website. bgiok was created to have a positive and inspiring tone because we think many of us could do with viewing homosexuality in a better way. We think it’s a website that stands out from the crowd.

Is bgiok strictly for people under 25 years old? Will you help people who are older?

bgiok is aimed at people under 25 because the younger years are often the most challenging and tumultuous in a gay person’s life, with the most unanswered questions, new challenges and often a lack of support or the ability to seek it. But people older than 25 are not banned! Outline the charity behind bigok support people of any age through their charitable activity.

From Jason the original author of BGIOK

bgiok was born in 2000. It’s hard to remember the exact moment I decided to create it, but I remember being very excited. Through friends and a gay youth group I used to attend, I’d met a lot of people who had experienced problems with their sexuality. I’d encountered a few obstacles along the way myself and had been bullied from a young age because I was gay. It occurred to me that there were a lack of websites for young gay, bi or unsure people that offered genuine advice and support; a website that attempted to answer questions that a reader might have felt unable to ask at school or even at home.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what generally happens when you type the ‘g’ word into a search engine. I had also been disappointed with some of the existing gay youth websites that seemed to focus on celebrity gossip, sex and fashion. Knowing what Kylie has for dinner is not very useful to someone who’s been told they’re going to hell for being gay. I’d also noticed that free magazines handed out in gay venues tended to proliferate the stereotype of young gay people all being promiscuous clubbers with attitude. I didn’t just want to promote the idea that it was okay to be gay, but also that it was okay to be yourself.

After 16 years of running the website I felt it was time to move on to other projects. Now that bgiok is entrusted to Outline I intend to focus on my other passion, www.anothervegan.co.uk, and on illustration and other creative pursuits.