Michael Wilson was just another country boy battling isolation and depression and highly medicated for ADHD when he created what would become the world’s most successful website for gay teenagers.
Mogenic is a web-based resource specifically for queer youth. Since its conception 10 years ago, Mogenic has become the world’s largest gay and lesbian youth community in history. Which is exactly what Wilson has in mind.
I want Mogenic to be seen as the MTV for gay youth, Wilson tells Sydney Star Observer.
Wilson started the website at 16, motivated by his own seclusion growing up in Newcastle. Ten years on, it exists on donations and advertising, with sponsors like the Azure party and American Express helping cover the $2000 a month cost of running the site.
By his own admission, Wilson was a weird kid. I was sent to counselling by my primary school teacher for cutting up and pulling bones out of dead animals.
When he reached his teens he became more and more isolated. He was diagnosed with ADHD and heavily medicated. He cut himself with razor blades, leaving scars that are still visible today.
But instead of suffering in silence, Wilson decided to create something that might help others in similar situations. In December 1996, aged 16, he launched Mogenic.
Mogenic aims to reduce isolation and depression by making contact and is a supportive network that many rely on as a lifeline, Wilson said.
It’s been a busy ten years in the life of Mogenic. In its lifetime, the website has attracted about 500,000 members. Although Wilson has grown up, the site has remained distinctly youth-focused, an honest, non-compromising resource for gay kids all over the world.
The ethos of the site has remained the same. It’s all about the positive advancement of youth.
Its tenth year in particular has proved an important one. Wilson is currently negotiating with Foxtel who have flagged plans to launch a new ad on the site, and he recently appointed US-based writer Brandon Thorp as editor.
Brandon is extremely creative and has already made a significance in the functioning of Mogenic, Michael said.
Donations are always welcome, and can be made via the website.
For more information visit the Mogenic website.