Written in Rainbow

About Us

Written in Rainbow provides a Pen Pal Service for LGBTQ+ teens and adults worldwide. We are passionate about helping our community to establish connections and build friendships with other LGBTQ+ individuals.

We strive to support the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals through
the art of letter writing—which has been reported to have many benefits surrounding mental health.

Through our service, we aim to help our community to establish real and impactful connections with others, which we are hopeful can turn into life-long friendships.

How it Works

A step-by-step guide on how our Pen Pal Program works

Step 1:
Fill out our registration form.

Step 2:
A hand-picked, suitably matched Pen Pal will be chosen for you. You will be paired based on age, identity, preferences, shared interests, etc.

Step 3:
We will send you an email to notify you when we have found a match for you, along with your invoice and an agreement form.

Step 4:
Upon receiving your payment and signed agreement form, you will receive your downloadable Pen Pal Pack to print out.

Step 5:
You will then be given the details of your Pen Pal and are ready to start writing to them!

Prices

USD: $15.00

GBP: £10.00

CAD: $20.00

AUD: $20.00

EUR: €15.00

(or currency equivalent) ⠀


What is the charge for?
We charge a small, one-time fee to use our
service — this is to discourage and prevent any time-wasters, scammers, fraudulent or hateful activity.

5% goes to All Out - a global movement fighting to build a world where no person has to sacrifice their family, freedom, safety, or dignity because of who they are or who they love.

Further Info

Our service is open to older teens (16+) & adults and is available worldwide.

We may consider slightly younger teens, however we will need to gather consent from a parent or legal guardian first.

You will not be asked to make payment until a match has been found for you. Payments are non-refundable.

We cannot give an exact time frame of how long it will take for a suitable Pen Pal match to come through for you - it could take anywhere between a day to several weeks. Please be patient with us as we do our best to allocate a Pen Pal for you ASAP.


You can contact us via DM on Instagram or email [email protected] with any inquiries.

Guidelines

Written in Rainbow intends to provide a friendly and fun way to connect with other LGBTQ+ people from all over the world.

We do not tolerate any form of hatred or discrimination.
Any letters you send should be respectful and kind. Be mindful regarding the cultures, beliefs, backgrounds, etc., of others.

This service is for friendship only—our program is not for people seeking romantic relationships.


DO NOT:
- Send anything illegal.
- Send offensive or sexual letters.
- Try to use this as a dating service.
- Ask your Pen Pal for money, donations or compensation of any kind.
- Pretend to be somebody else.
- Use, disclose or otherwise make available to any third party any private and/or confidential information of your Pen Pal.
- Use our service to violate the law or promote any type of crime. Otherwise, you might be reported to law enforcement.


Failure to follow these guidelines could result in a permanent ban from using the service, or a warning, depending on the severity.

Safety Info

Your safety is our priority—each application we receive will be vetted thoroughly.

You will be able to let us know whether you are out (openly identify as LGBTQ+) on our registration form. If you select no, we will inform your Pen Pal to ensure that they use discreet envelopes/packaging (i.e., no rainbows or LGBTQ+ symbols) when sending your letters.

We will never publicly share any personally identifiable information via our Instagram or any other platforms.

Any shoutouts we do share to try and help you with finding a Pen Pal will be displayed as follows:
21 year old from California, USA / she/her pronouns / English-speaking / enjoys traveling, hiking and graphic design.


Before you can participate you will need to sign our agreement form. This will be emailed to you once a Pen Pal match has been found for you.

Our Pen Pal Service is open to those aged 16 and over. We may consider slightly younger teens, however we will need to gather consent from your parent or legal guardian before you can participate.

You can avoid mentioning that it is an LGBTQ+ Pen Pal Service if you are not out or comfortable with them knowing so.
There is also no mention of LGBTQ+ on our invoices in the case that your parent or guardian is paying the invoice for you.

In general, please be careful about what kind of information you give out about yourself to your Pen Pal.

Never give out your bank information or send money, donations or compensation of any kind to your Pen Pal.

Please report any suspicious behavior to us ASAP.

Pen Pal Pack

Once you have been matched with a Pen Pal and we have received your payment, you will receive your downloadable Pen Pal Pack via email.

Included in your Pen Pal Pack is:

- ‘Get To Know Me’ Template
- 100x Questions Game Cards (10 pages)
+ ‘Answer to Your Question’ Notecards
- Monthly Notecards
- Snail Mail Tracker
- Lined Writing Template
- Pen Pal Writing Guide


The Pen Pal Writing Guide explains how and when to use each of the above.

Our templates are designed to help you get started and to keep the conversation flowing!

Our Why

Many people within the LGBTQ+ community can feel isolated and wish that they had more LGBTQ+ friends to talk to. It can be especially difficult for those who live in areas where there are not many opportunities to make queer friends, or for those who find it difficult to go out and seek these friendships. Gay bars and social events aren’t everybody’s cup of tea, and that’s ok!

Even though we are now living in the age of social media, many people still find it hard to make real connections through these outlets or struggle with putting themselves out there to make those connections.

Through our service, we can help to establish those connections for you.


Why Pen Pals?

Hand-written letters provide a more personal connection than social media, texts or emails.
When someone takes the time to write you a hand-written letter, you know that a lot of care and attention has gone into sending it.

We are living in a very fast-paced world where everything is instant, and the art of letter writing is somewhat lost.
However, the art of letter writing can be very therapeutic and has been reported to boost happiness, support brain development, increase connection, ease anxiety, relieve stress, promote feelings of acceptance, cross-cultural learning and even boost physical health.

Research shows that mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, are more common within the LGBTQ+ community.

It’s important to note that being LGBTQ+ doesn’t cause these problems. But some things LGBTQ+ people go through can affect their mental health, such as discrimination, homophobia or transphobia, social isolation, rejection, and difficult experiences of coming out.

We strive to support the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals through our Pen Pal service, helping them to establish real and impactful connections with others, which we are hopeful can turn into life-long friendships.

All Out

We have chosen to support the work of All Out — a global movement fighting to build a world where no person has to sacrifice their family, freedom, safety, or dignity because of who they are or who they love.

“All Out is a global movement for love and equality. We're mobilizing thousands of people to build a world where no person will have to sacrifice their family or freedom, safety or dignity, because of who they are or who they love.”

“Every day, people face violence or jail because of who they are or who they love. All Out members help change that. All Out depends on small donations to keep going – and our tiny and efficient staff ensures that every gift goes a
long way.”


www.allout.org
Instagram: @weareallout

FAQ

Are there any requirements to become a Pen Pal?

- You do not require any particular experience or skill to become a Pen Pal. The main criteria for using our service is that you are over 16*, identify in some way as LGBTQ+ and that you can make a commitment to write regularly (at least once per month).

*We may consider slightly younger teens, however we will need to gather parental consent before you can participate.



Can I have more than one Pen Pal?

- For now, we would like to focus on allocating people to just one Pen Pal each. This helps to ensure that there are enough matches available for everyone and everybody has an equal chance at finding a match.

However, if you feel that you do not connect well with your Pen Pal or your Pen Pal suddenly stops writing to you, we can assign you to a new one. This will be free of charge.



I made a mistake on my registration form, what do I do?

- No problem! Please send us a direct message or email stating your name and details of the information you’d like to correct.

Likewise, if you change your mind about something (e.g., you selected domestic Pen Pals only but have changed your mind and are open to international), you can send us a direct message or email with your name and details of the information you’d like to update.



What happens after I register for a Pen Pal?

- Once you apply for a Pen Pal, we will look through our applications and pair you up with a suitable match as soon as one is available to allocate to you. This could take anywhere between a day to several weeks.
Applications will be checked daily.

You will then receive an email from us to notify you that a match has been found, along with your invoice and an agreement form.

Upon receiving your payment and signed agreement form, you will then be given the details of your Pen Pal and are ready to start writing to them directly.



Once a Pen Pal match is made, what information does my Pen Pal receive about me?

- The only information we disclose to your Pen Pal is your first name (we will not share full names), your provided mailing address, languages spoken and if you selected no to the question on our registration form regarding if you openly identify as LGBTQ+.

We will not share any further information with them as we don’t want to ruin the surprise factor by giving too much away - allowing Pen Pals to introduce themselves!

In the circumstance that your Pen Pal would like to request further information about you before writing to you, we will only disclose this information to them with your permission.



I wrote my Pen Pal a first letter but haven’t heard back. What should I do?

- We recommend that you let us know and we will reach out to your Pen Pal for you to find out whether they wrote back. Unfortunately, sometimes mail can be delayed or even go missing - we will be able to get some answers after we have communicated with your Pen Pal.

If we don’t receive any response from your Pen Pal, we'll match you up with a new one.



I sent my payment and signed agreement form X amount of days ago but haven’t heard from you, did my payment go through?

- The delay between making your payment and receiving your Pen Pal Pack + Pen Pal’s details is due to us still waiting on your Pen Pal to make their payment and/or send their signed form.

Everyone is entitled to take up to 10 days to make their payment and email their form back to us. After 10 days, if we have not received their payment and form, and have not been able to contact them, their invoice will be cancelled and you will be informed of the situation.

You will then be rematched if another suitable match is available to allocate to you, otherwise you will be refunded if a match does not become available for you within 7 days (and start the waiting process over again).

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy outlines the processes that Written in Rainbow follows when collecting, storing and handling personal data. We are committed to maintaining trust with our users and will always do our best to keep your data secure.‍

What data we collect

Pen Pal forms
Written in Rainbow collects names and contact details, including email addresses and mailing addresses, in order to match pen pals.

By filling in the Written in Rainbow Pen Pal Service registration form, you allow Written in Rainbow to retain the information you provide in order to contact you, and to manage the program including the purposes of matching you with a pen pal and maintaining your involvement in the program.
We never publicly share any personally identifiable information (i.e. name, mailing address or email address) of our users.

Email addresses
With consent, Written in Rainbow collects names and contact details (such as email addresses) for the purposes of managing the program. We use that information to carry out the next steps of the program after receiving your registration - including to inform you when a pen pal match has been found for you, to issue your invoice, to send your downloadable Pen Pal Pack and our agreement form, or to contact you regarding any issues throughout your involvement in the program.

You can update your contact details at any time by contacting us directly at [email protected]

We won’t share your email address with any other organizations and businesses without your permission.‍

Visitors to our website
Written in Rainbow uses the built-in insights tool on our website (www.msha.ke/writteninrainbow) to help analyse how visitors use our site. We do this to find out information such as the number of visitors to various parts of the site, and what visitor behavior patterns are like. We do not track any personally identifiable information about visitors to our site. Personally identifiable information is only collected when you fill in and submit our registration form.

How we collect your personal information
Written in Rainbow collects your personal information in the following way:
- Directly from you, when you complete the WIR Pen Pal Service registration form, or when you provide information via email.

How we use your personal information
In providing our pen pal service, your information is only disclosed to the sole individual who receives you as their pen pal match. The only information we disclose to that individual is your first name, mailing address, languages spoken and if you selected no to the question on our registration form regarding if you openly identify as LGBTQ+. This is also the only information you will receive about your pen pal. If your pen pal would like to request any further information about you before writing to you, we will only disclose this information to them with your permission.

As pen pals, you can disclose to each other whatever information you feel appropriate. We advise you to be careful with what information you do exchange with your pen pal. Never give out your bank details or send money, donations or compensation of any kind to your pen pal.

Currently, we do not share your email address with your pen pal. We ask for your email address on the registration form but it will not be passed onto your pen pal. We only need your email address for customer service emails.
All WIR users are instructed not to pass the details of their pen pal to anyone else.

How we store your data‍

We store your data using Google Forms. You can find Google’s privacy policy here - https://policies.google.com/privacy#infocollect.
Only a limited number of people have access to any data you provide and this is limited to the Written in Rainbow organizers. We do not share your data with any third parties.

We use appropriate security measures to protect any information we hold from loss, misuse, unauthorised access, disclosure, alteration or destruction. Including password protection, multi-factor authentication and anti-virus software.
Unfortunately, no company or service can guarantee complete security.
Unauthorised use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of your information at any time.‍

Requesting your data
To request access to the data that Written in Rainbow holds about you, send an email to [email protected] You are entitled to view, amend, or delete the personal information that we hold.

This policy was last updated on March 30, 2021. We may revise this policy from time to time, if we consider the change to be material we will notify and the most up to date version will always be available on our Privacy Policy page.

OH HEY, FOR BEST VIEWING, YOU'LL NEED TO TURN YOUR PHONE