Shybi has meant different things to me at different times in my life.
But underlying my experience on the forum has always been a strong sense of community and mutual support. What's noticeably absent is the cliquiness which is often the downside of that sense of community. This is because the admins and mods work hard to make the forum a safe space, and Shybi members go out of their way to be welcoming and inclusive.
I joined Shybi when I was 20, one or two years after coming out. When I came out to my friends, I thought that I wouldn't feel alone, since several of them were queer. And it was great that I could be myself around them - but none of them were bisexual. I felt like I was the only bisexual in the world, and I started to doubt myself; surely I must "really" be straight or lesbian? Shybi helped me feel a lot more secure in my sexual identity, because I met women from all over the world who share my (supposedly) conflicting desires. Suddenly it wasn't so confusing anymore.
A few years later, I came out to my religious parents. The revelation hurt them, and I doubt they will ever accept my bisexuality. This makes me sad, because they will never truly get to know me. But Shybi allows me to connect with other women who've had similar problems with their loved ones, and their understanding has helped a lot.
When my girlfriend broke up with me and moved out, I came to Shybi to cry about it. Through the private messaging function I met a sympathetic friend who listened to my rants and tears.
Now I'm in a long-term relationship with a man who I consider to be my husband although neither of us is interested in officially tying the knot. This has given rise to a whole new set of challenges that the ladies on Shybi have helped me figure out: how to retain my bisexual identity while in a monogamous relationship, and more recently, how to navigate an ongoing threesome when we found a lovely bisexual woman who was interested in being our friend-with-benefits.
During the years that I've been a member, there have been times when I don't visit Shybi for months, even a year. But I always come back...