Mookychick Forum Closing on Winter Solstice 2019 With Reunion Party
The Mookychick Forum will close at midnight on Winter Solstice 2019, on Sunday 22nd December. We celebrate a haven that has changed the lives of so many for the better.
Update: The Mookychick forum is now closed and the reunion party was amazing. Thank you to all the mooks who attended, re-connected and made it a night to remember!
Let’s not use the word sadness. It’s with deep teary fondness that we announce the sunsetting of the Mooky Forum this Winter Solstice. And this is how and why.
It was 2005.
There was no Twitter. Facebook was in its first year of existence. When it came to finding one’s people or absorbing new ideas and ways of being, it was HARD. So many of us were dancing in the dark.
And then came the Mookychick Forum. It’s not often discussed in the press and public spaces, but it’s a piece of vitally important community history, like Glastonbury’s Stonehenge. People who weren’t there in its heyday will struggle to understand its precise use and value, but dear hearts, the people who were there know.
Much like the stones dragged from who-knows-where to stand in a circle in the Wiltshire landscape, the Mookychick Forum had POWER.
It is therefore somehow fitting that a place so powerful, a magical gathering place built not of stones but of stories, should be commemorated with even more words thrown at it before the lights go out and the curtain falls.
Hello. Come on in. Make yourself at home.
Before we chat about the forum’s ending (and honestly, my loves, the time has come) let’s take a peek at why it was born and why it was a place that became so popular it got a quarter of a million unique visitors every month, with posts every ten minutes.
The forum was a HUGE gathering place, bigger than a stone wall could ever contain. It was like Twitter and Facebook, but only populated with people you’d want to know.
And… most importantly… it was a secret.
Okay, it’s still 2005.
Picture 2005 onwards. No-one is talking openly about mental health and everyone is quietly assuming they’re the only ones they know who are Losing Their Shit And How Can This Be Happening. No-one is sharing anything about gender and orientation and sex and body positivity. No-one is discussing coping mechanisms and trauma. In fact, these everyday words aren’t really being used yet. They kind of don’t exist. Academics will no-doubt rightly refute this ridiculous claim, but for the rest of us? Words like ‘trauma’ in its current accepted meaning – and now clearly-defined concepts like ‘gaslighting’ and ‘woke’ – don’t really exist. The closest thing you’ve got is grrrl power. Like the ancients who built Stonehenge, you can only work with the tools you’ve got.
Now picture yourself, if you wish to. You have thoughts in your head, but no-one to share them with. You know change is bubbling through you, and you yearn to find souls you can truly share with, but where are they? Even if you find them, how can you safely bare your soul?
But you know there are others out there. If you exist, so do they. You only have to find them.
Finding the Others.
And thus, on the Mookychick Forum, everyone began to gravitate towards each other. They came for different reasons. Maybe they wanted ideas on vintage style, or advice on bad first-time sex, or were seeking inspiration for gothic modest clothing. But once they began to gather, they had soooooo much in common, despite their very different interests, tribes and concerns.
Yes. So many different paths brought mooks to the same place. A haven where you could talk honestly and safely without family or peer groups ever finding out about your deepest dark, your brightest lights, about the things that mattered most to you and the ridiculous things that really didn’t.
The Mookychick Forum felt like it was the most open yet most secret salon in the world.
Ssh… it’s a secret.
Could you be a Mookychick Forum member? Well, yes. Anyone could come and join. But there was no address or map. You had to find it through online searches, because you really wanted to find it… even if you didn’t yet know of its existence.
And, of course, once you knew about the forum, you never told a soul.
What if you did tell someone? Well, then you were potentially no longer safe. By this point you’d have already posted a bunch of very intimate and personal stuff to people that you knew were your fellow mooks, even if the rest of the world would label them strangers because you only knew them by their forum handle, not their birth name.
If you told someone, it was no longer a secret.
Then again, if you told a friend about the forum, that’s how you knew they were a real friend. You would only tell a real friend about the forum. You’d only invite people from whom you had literally nothing to hide.
The Mooky Mods and Community Veterans had your back.
‘Self-policing’ is kind of the wrong word, but one of the beauties of this little swirl of online joy is that it was self-regulated. I won’t name names, because OH HEY IT’S A SECRET, but the Mooky Mods came from all corners of the world so that there was pretty much always a mod you could turn to, wherever you lived in the world and whatever time of day or night it was. And there were mooks who didn’t have the title of ‘Mod’, but were nevertheless pillars of the mooky community, helping it all hang together by the skin of its teeth.
The forum became so super-popular in its under-the-radar kind of way that only the wisdom and passion of its moderators saved it from becoming sheer bloody mayhem.
You want drama? The Mookychick Forum served drama, and none of us will ever forget it! Where online communities flourish, dramas inevitably follow. By this point it really wasn’t 2005 anymore, and we all knew that ‘toxic’ didn’t just relate to labelled ingredients.
I can’t even count the times that the happy haven was disrupted by Seismic Events (like the ridiculous shenanigans with the Men’s Rights Activists who came a-visitin’), and the veteran mooks and mods had to restore order through an organic mix of of common sense, kindness, Grade-A whimsy, scathing wit, regulations (yes, we had regulations by this point) and – occasionally – righteous fury.
I am not going to talk about all the drama because, well, I think we’re probably all bound by some kind of Hippocratic Oath. But, seriously. If you were there, you know.
Achieving Final Form
Someone could say the Mookychick Forum was a victim of its own success. I just think that it’s okay. Things change. We had to deal with the toxic elements of having an online forum, because one of the key pillars of this kingdom was always safety. The safety of the mooky community had to come first, you know?
So we made the forum invisible to search engines. The upside was that we didn’t get crusading Death Eaters anymore, but we also got fewer new mooks arriving – because an online search for something random yet perfectly mooky was always how new mooks had joined.
Another Very Important Thing we had to do was get rid of the majority of threads, even though they were so useful for new and potential mooks looking for like minds. Some of these threads had 15,000 posts attached to them, full of REALLY intimate stuff, and the forum had been going so long that many of the posts were by young teen mooks who had since grown up, got on with their lives, and forgotten the forum had ever existed. I mean, there were so many deadnames from people who might be horrified to see pre-transition posts. So many secrets revealed that a person might no longer wish to have displayed online. We owed it to mooks past as well as present to keep the forum safe, always. So we hacked through the threads as if they were vines choking trees in the jungle. In a way it was sad, because those giant old threads about really interesting and useful and insightful stuff were still bringing in new mooks who were finally getting the kind of advice and reassurance they were looking for… but it wasn’t safe to keep them and it wasn’t fair. They had to go.
It wasn’t just forum stuff that made the forum downsize to a slightly more bijou residence, either.
Spreading love not hate with #TMI
Something else was in the air, too – a huge shift in everyone’s collective approach to social media.
It was becoming so much more common to share in an intimate way on standard social media platforms. People could Find The Others just by following hashtags and tweeting with randoms who might one day become friends, whether online or in meatspace.
I like to think that the Mookychick Forum had achieved its Final Form. When you consider it was just a tiny wee place full of wonderful and wonderfully different people that no-one ever talked about, it’s amazing it ever became the majestic community it did. And that’s all down to the beautiful mooks who used it. Sharing births, deaths, marriages, achievements, fears, loves, musings, sex toy guitars (oh no, wait, that last one is breaking the Mookocratic Oath)… all these absolutely gorgeous mooks made space for each other, and that’s what makes it all just so utterly amazing.
Peace and Mook Out…
So there we have it! The once-grand Forum is now a beautiful empty ruin filled with spammers, memories and ghosts! Aargh, scary ghosts!
It’s almost tempting to keep the Mookychick Forum like an abandoned fallout shelter, there In Case Of Emergency. This idea makes me smile a little deep down inside and it also makes me think of blessed Didymus and Hoggle.
“Should you need us… Yes, should you need us for any reason at all…”
Here is the truth of it.
The Forum was and always shall be a joy in our hearts. But we do not need it any more. From endings come wonderful new beginnings.
It is time to thank the Mookychick Forum for its service and move on.
And thus, the sun will fall on the Forum for the last time on Sunday 22nd December, at midnight, on Winter Solstice 2019.
And please do join us for the reunion party!
(PS. Yes, the website is fine, so please don’t worry. The forum has reached its sunset, but Mookychick enters a new dawn xxx)