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Op-ed: The First Word I Ever Googled - Why Online Privacy Is an LGBT Issue

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Huffington Post
|
September 11, 2013
Issues: 

The first word I ever Googled was "transgender."

This was in 1995, so I didn't actually Google it per se. Larry Page and Sergey Brin hadn't even developed the first Google algorithm at that point, so if you wanted to find something on the Internet, you went to Yahoo! and looked it up in their directory. And if you were lucky, you discovered that some generous soul had taken the time to put up the content you were looking for and had listed it there.

I was on a Department of Defense computer at the time, in my wife's office in Kaiserslautern, Germany, where we were both assigned as U.S. Army lieutenants. She was finishing a late-evening meeting with her soldiers; I'd sent mine home an hour earlier and was waiting for her to wrap things up so that we could head back to our own quarters. It seemed safe enough. I'd already had a lifetime to learn to look over my shoulder, and I knew I'd have plenty of time to close the browser window before anyone came into the room, so I felt safe clicking on the first site I found. I read; I learned. Eventually I clicked the "back" button to find another site.