Photo: Francis Scott Fitzgerald, c. 1920 (Bettman/Getty Images)
Thanks to LetterMo pal, Dario for giving us an inside look
into an elusive segment of the snail-mail community,
the male letter writers. ?
We Admins are always happy when we see new guys sign up!
Dudes Who Write is a global community of guys who enjoy handwritten or typewritten correspondence sent through the postal system. Our goal is to make it easier for guys who love snail mail to find each other, to increase our visibility within the global snail-mail community, to share resources about anything postal, and to promote analog correspondence among fellow gentlemen.
Guys who enjoy postal correspondence are like mirages, they are heard of through shared pen pals or found through Russian-doll-like chases across Instagram accounts, so I thought that in this day and age there should be an easier way to connect us.
I knew of multiple letter-writing groups but none where you could easily spot guys, who seem to be fewer, less visible, and less outspoken than women about their passion for mail. In the social media wilderness, the more common male species of potential snail-mail writers are philatelists and fountain-pen lovers with a few typewriter aficionados thrown in for good measure. For some of them their obsession of choice does overlap with the pleasure of corresponding by snail mail, but it’s not a given.
I wanted to create a safe space to find and be found by like-minded guys of all races, religions, and sexual orientations, and on September 20, 2020, Dudes Who Write was born on Instagram. It has been exciting and rewarding to see many guys who love all things postal join our community and use our platform to find other guys to exchange mail with.
The way our community works is very simple; by following the Dudes Who Write account, our members are always in the loop about anything new, and they can interact with the community in whatever capacity they feel like:
- Sharing their experiences about the topic of a given post (which gives them visibility within our community so that other guys who are interested can contact them)
- Commenting with an intro and a request for correspondents on the latest post on the grid
- Reading the existing comments on any of the posts to find a suitable postal pal and contacting that person directly in a reply to the comment or with a DM.
We also have a Facebook account for whoever is not on Instagram, and on both platforms the members of our global community can post their introductions/pen pal requests in English as well as in whatever language they want to correspond in.
Exchanging mail is such a powerful tool to bring people together. To gay guys who might be without family support or feel alienated within their own circles of friends, for example in remote/rural areas where LGBTQ visibility and acceptance can be challenging, connecting by mail with other guys who might understand what they’re going through can be a lifeline that sustains them until better days arrive.
Life can be a solitary affair, indeed, but it doesn’t have to. Having a pal you can write to will undoubtedly bring solace to your days. Guys can be guarded about their feelings and fall prey to anxiety and isolation, but mail/letter writing represents an opportunity to pause, collect your thoughts, and share your daily life with a friendly like-minded person open to receive such a gift and to reciprocate it.
In these times of widespread lockdown, even guys who are not used to writing mail might feel more inclined to give it a try, and I hope that Dudes Who Write can help create connections and bridge such needs.