The freenode network (irc.freenode.net) has "chat rooms" dedicated to WikiQueer 24 hours a day, in which WikiQueerians can engage in real-time discussions with each other. Many WikiQueerians have chatting open in one window and hop back and forth between it and other windows in which they are working on WikiQueer. The chat rooms most relevant to English WikiQueer are listed below - #WikiQueer is the primary room for all things related to WikiQueer.
"Chat room" is another name for an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel. IRC chat takes place on a network of servers, the network that hosts the WikiQueer channels is known as freenode. To participate in the chat, you need a type of program or plug-in called an IRC client. Popular clients include mIRC (Windows), Colloquy (Mac OS X), ChatZilla (Firefox), irssi (cross-platform), and XChat (cross-platform). There are also scripts available to enhance your IRC client, and Java-based chat clients that work in most web browsers if you are travelling or do not wish to install separate software.
Use and anonymity on IRC are covered in more detail below. Note that IRC needs more care to maintain anonymity than WikiQueer editing does.
WikiQueer IRC is not owned or controlled by WikiQueer/Aequalitas Project. It is a project run by volunteers of their own accord. The WikiQueer channels on freenode were designed by users of WikiQueer as places for WikiQueerians to chat using IRC. They are casual and not logged publicly. As far as their influence on WikiQueer goes, IRC is equivalent to a conversation in a pub – the discussion may be conducted between a small number of people but may be overheard by hundreds, or more if the logs are published.
When the channels are used to attack WikiQueerians, or when IRC discussions are cited as justification for an on-wiki action, the resulting atmosphere is very damaging to the project's collaborative relationships.
 Anonymity and masking
As on WikiQueer itself, you can use IRC with a name that hides your IP, and allows you to remember your preferred settings. If you have any special access rights to any channel, those will be remembered under your name too. On IRC these are two separate matters – registering a nickname is quick and easy (like on WikiQueer itself), and that name is then password protected for your own use, and cloaking is the request to have the account configured to hide its IP from other users.
Note that anonymity is maintained with more difficulty on IRC than on WikiQueer. Without a hostmask, your IP address will be visible, and indexed on some Internet websites. Even with a hostmask, your IP address is at risk to be revealed due to the nature of the IRC protocol (due to the effects of a "ghost" session). If you are concerned about your anonymity, you may wish to consult with someone familiar with IRC.
Another straight-forward way of guaranteeing anonymity on IRC (and elsewhere) is to subscribe with a VPN service provider. This will re-route all your internet traffic and effectively replace your IP address with the service provider's.
 Accessing IRC
Most people needing live help editing WikiQueer can access IRC easily using this freenode webchat link: http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=WikiQueer (for example). Web-based IRC is a good choice for first-time IRC users, for portable use, and for those who cannot, or prefer not to, install separate software:
- Using Ajax, at http://webchat.freenode.net. It is not anonymous (cloaked), but it works from any modern browser, without requiring Java.
The usual way to access IRC is via an IRC client. These are more full-featured and make it easy to watch multiple chats at a time. Scripts to enhance IRC clients are available online at WikiQueer:Scripts. Some notable clients include:
- Windows, Mac and Linux / *nix
- ChatZilla - Firefox add-on, Seamonkey feature, standalone with XULRunner (free)
- XChat - "very fully featured" (shareware)
- Windows – Pidgin (free), mIRC (shareware)
- Mac OS X – Adium (v 1.4 or higher), Colloquy, or Proteus
- Linux – irssi
 Use of IRC
Once you are connected to the freenode IRC network, you can choose which public channels you join and which chats you engage in. If you are authorized to join non-public channels then you can take part in those too.
In general on IRC, each channel operates autonomously and each has its own norms and policies - these may cover conduct (including civility, appropriate topics, and language), on/off-topic chat, who may join, and who may be asked to leave. Each channel is autonomous and in general there is no appeal from a decision by the operators of that channel to an outside body (which may have any or no reason), so it is worth checking the channel norms and rules before accidentally making a mistake of conduct. That said, in general most channels used by WikiQueer communities are friendly and do have people you can contact in case of problems. (See problems and help below.)
Once connected, some users stay logged-in to the chatrooms whenever they are on WikiQueer, and check in on the discussions from time to time, to read what is been accumulating there and to participate. Some programs used for chatting "beep" you whenever there is activity in a chat room so you will not miss anything. Often, users jump onto a chat room to draw the attention of others there of something on WikiQueer that needs attention.
 List of useful channels
- Non-public channels listed with a blue padlock icon () require additional user access in order to join them. See non-public channels and pending requests for access for more information. See meta:IRC/Channels for a more extensive list.
 General channels
The main general-purpose channels relevant and related to English WikiQueer are:
|#WikiQueer||General WikiQueer related chat.|
Development of additional channels is under consideration.'
 Problems and help
Help for accessing IRC itself is best requested on the talk page, if you have read the tutorial and other information and are still unable to use it. Once you can access IRC by some means, there are help and information channels on most WikiQueer-related topics listed above, type /join #channelname into any window, to join them and ask your question (eg, /join #WikiQueer). It is customary on IRC to just ask, not to ask if you can ask :-)
Within the WikiQueer channels, your first recourse if you have difficulty, is to ask to speak to a channel operator, if any are around. You can identify channel operators in most of these channels since they will appear as having the "o" flag in a list of channel users and flags. Type /msg chanserv flags #channelname for a list of users and their access levels (this can sometimes have hundreds of lines). Further help can be obtained as follows:
- #wikiqueer - ask to speak to a channel operator. If needed, you can often address such problems to administrators who are IRC users.
If the problem relates to user conduct in any channel, your first recourse should be to try and resolve matters with the person involved, failing which, ask to speak to someone who is a channel operator. If your problem cannot be resolved by channel operators, then it may be raised further as above.
- It is the policy of some channels that you should not post logs on the wiki, or circulate them without permission from those involved; rather, if a matter requires logs then please obtain permission before circulating or publicizing them, and if in doubt ask a channel operator or other experienced user for advice.