"There are No Girls on the Internet" seems like a pretty tilde-feels relevant podcast -- https://www.iheart.com/podcast/1119-there-are-no-girls-on-the-65877505/episode/how-women-built-the-internet-67251360/ -- things felt really wide open when anonymity on the Internet was _positive_ thing (which it is so frequently _not_, now).
One thing that I think helps make @tildetown (and other tildes) great is that you're just represented by a username.
You're not asked to fill in your real name, or upload an avatar picture. Just going by your Unix username is a kind of ~90's pseudonym.
@gamehawk @tildetown on re-reading my post it looks like I'm trying imply anonymity improves diversity (the name of the podcast is confusing things here) -- but on the episode they're really just talking about how anonymity used to be a creative force, rather than how it made them feel more included or among peers. My wife's experience (as an early 90's internetter) sounds exactly like yours, when the male username she wanted was taken she chose a neutral one to not give away her gender.