While I mentioned earlier this morning that hipster LGBT blog The New Gay, has shut their virtual doors, today also brings news that Fridae.com has closed up shop following a dispute between the founder and current board members. The extremely popular social networking site aimed at Asian LGBT folks will transfer domains and will now redirect to fridae.asia instead.
Site co-founder Stuart Koe resigned as CEO of the company earlier this year and says a fight with the current board led him to shutter the domain after he was cut out of all shares of the company he led for seven years.
Leaving Fridae has been one of the most difficult decisions I've had to make. Having already devoted more than 10 years of my life to Fridae and the community, steering the company through several business cycles, and on the cusp of another phase of innovation and growth, I was prepared to commit another 20.
Unfortunately, the biggest obstacle I was faced with was an unsupportive Board, namely Joan Foo Mahony, Peter O'Connor, and Guillaume Levy-Lambert, who did not share the vision I had for Fridae. This made it difficult, if not impossible for me to continue in my role. The last few months of my time at Fridae has left me disappointed and very disillusioned.
For the past 6 months since my departure, I have tried but failed to resolve outstanding disputes with the existing management. Meanwhile, the Directors have exercised a clause to forfeit all the equity that was supposed to be allocated to the management as sweat equity. As it now stands, I no longer own a single share in the company I have invested most of my working life to build.
For all this, and many more reasons, "Fridae.com" is no longer the same company that the founders envisioned. And thus with great regret, I am hereby severing the connection between the domain "fridae.com" from Fridae the company and the service provider.
While this isn't quite the same scenario as other LGBT media outlet closures, it does serve to illustrate the divide between those of us who start sites with good intentions of making a difference for the LGBT community versus those who are in it solely to make a buck.