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Old 11-29-2018, 05:55 AM
Northshoreman1 Northshoreman1 is offline
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Default gay penpal website(s)

Originally Posted by kruise View Post
Are there any good websites out there with gay inmate pen pals? The one I use to use went offline several months ago. I'd like to find a pen pal to write especially in the Western US if not even closer to home. Home is Washington state btw.

Like you, I'd used that gay/bi/tran exclusive website, and appreciated their interface--and was sorry to see 'em go!

There are a number of websites that have gay sections, but the only one I've found so far that's exclusively gay/bi/tran/etc. is focusing on the alternative community. Although it's got a pretty good-sized database, and can be sorted a number of ways, it's got a couple of drawbacks, too:
1) There's not a way (unless an inmate bypasses their rules) for you to directly contact the inmate. In most cases, you have to go through their organization to get/have them make (initial) contact. Most inmates are only identified by first name--no last name, no inmate #.
2) There's not a really clean user interface to pick up new penpal requests. After much trial and error, (grrrrrr!), I now sort the "entire list" by "B&P Member number" in descending order. (Just click on the header's column title to get that option.) You can also combine multiple sorts, say by state then member number.
3) I've no idea how to identify when a penpal request is modified/updated. I don't see any user access to "date last modified", or a similar field.
4) The vast majority of penpal requests do NOT contain a photo. Don't know how critical that is to you.
5) Most inmate info is "free-form", it's all ONLY based on how much info the inmate provides. In some cases,you get very little info to used to make your choice.

Out of all the issues, for me, #1 is the biggie. I'd much prefer to do my own contact without adding in another layer to slow down the initial contact.

Now, understand, this isn't an endorsement or condemnation of their services--it's just my observations--and at this point, I've not used them to obtain a penpal, so I'm not qualified to talk about their service quality.

But, this site, like all other sites or site sections for gay prisoners will require that you use prudence in selecting/contacting the inmate(s). So...DO YOUR HOMEWORK on any inmate: check 'em out on multiple other websites to see if they're gay/bi/whatever there, too. (There's plenty of hints on this forum about how to protect yourself; you just MUST make that extra effort. PERIOD.)

And having said all of that, I've had some great penpal relationships over the last few years. Just be careful, use common sense, and about all, relax and enjoy your new soon-to-be friend.
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