According to some people, I’m an “online crossdresser”, most likely because they don’t understand how Second Life works for those who are nonbinary (meaning, a gender identity which doesn’t fit with just “male” or “female”). If you want to understand a bit more, listen in on my story and see how this might stack up against your original opinion of nonbinary users in SL.
Back in 2003, I didn’t know what being genderfluid was. I do, however, remember making a beeline for the men’s section in a department store and buying slacks and oversized shirts to hide my figure. I had no idea why I was doing this. I was just doing it. Before I had a name for what I was, I did it and was happy, not caring about the weird looks other people in the store were giving me.
About ten years later, I began “masking” (as my people call it) for performance art and to play with gender again. I liked the way I felt when people said, “I can’t tell if you’re a man or a woman”. It made me feel powerful, like I had defied something and become a completely new person entirely. I took it and ran with it–it was my life, my rules, but those were not the things I practiced in SL yet. When a newspaper asked me to talk about my work, I talked about shifting genders when masking. I was proud of who I had become and you can find that article to this day.
I didn’t have a male alt back then in SL. So… I made one. And then, this year, I merged my male and female self to one alt thanks to the Gen-Neutral event and getting a ton of new clothes on one av. Now? I have a male and female body on one avatar, and many clothes for both. The picture above shows the difference between my appearances.
For me, I’m based enough to not give a damn if someone tries to clock me for my genitalia. I certainly don’t care if you’re uncomfortable with me changing to a male in front of you. Call the cops if you’re offended. I don’t care.
But what you should understand is that many nonbinary users–trans, genderfluid, or anything else on the gender spectrum, use this game to get accustomed to the idea of taking their rl gender to the next level.
Maybe they can’t go outside wearing the clothes they want right now. Maybe they would, you know, get beat up or die out there. Or maybe they can’t afford the right meds for beginning a transition. Or maybe they just don’t know what to wear yet, so an avatar can help them visualize what fashion choices to make.
Who are you to say who is and who isn’t a part of a particular community? Nobody made you a monarch of everyone, so go right ahead and step on down from that throne.
There is no “trans situation that is out of control”. There is nothing to control. There are people minding their own business and being happy.
Are you nonbinary? How has SL helped with your personal life and development of queer identity? Leave a comment and share, thanks!
What I’m Wearing
Logo Alex Mesh Head
[ a.e.meth ] – Vega Skin (upcoming)
RC Cluster – Love Lenses – Hearts (always)
Exile – Loose Ends
PEQE – Shany (white)
Modern.Couture – Opala Black Necklace
Wishbox – Rose Crown (White)
Adam Mesh Head
[ a.e.meth ] – Apollo Skin (upcoming)
Yummy – Leather Shoulder Brace
Albar – Drops Tunic
Exile – Cozy Winter Nights
Pucca Firecaster Creations – General Cloak
Assorted liquor bottles – Kunst
22769 – Industrial Countertop
Madpea – Chicago skybox (RARE)
Niji-ya – Coffee machine and hot cocoa machine
what happened to juicy? are you her is she you or are you just a subsitute blogger? well juicy after seven years i have finally deleted your blog from my bookmarks. seems that your blog has gone to shit, well if you even do blog any more, and the ppl that you get to sub for your blog, do nothing but insite negitivity. so good by juicy…..have a wondeful…..life..second or not
I’m Gogo’s friend. I helped her with blogging since we lost a friend last year to cancer. Talking about genderfluid and trans lives in Second Life is not important? I understand if this isn’t a subject you like, but it doesn’t invalidate it’s importance to address.
Please be respectful to guest bloggers and my friends. I have received feedback over the years that people want to see more than just fashion coverage, and more than just my avatar’s images over and over and over. If the content isn’t to your taste, click X.
I loved the post, the content, however the picture didnt feel in the theme. You can make better, you have amazing creativity and pictures.
How? Those are both me, I’m sorry if you don’t like my playfulness in talking about being genderfluid.
Brilliant blog post as always. I love you blogging Gogo but I also love to see new faces – its gives a different feel. Great job Aemeth, you are so different from Gogo it is a real curve ball to see your posts show up. I look forward to seeing which one of you blogs next
Thank you! I really appreciate it.
I cannot believe how many people totally miss the point of what SL is about. In the 10 years that I have been part of this amazing social experiment I have been male, female, white, black, old and young. I have flown with wings, worn animal appendages. I was even a mermaid for a while. I have been whatever I wanted to be for fun and just allowed my creativity to flow. I have never experienced any negative reactions towards my avi purely for the way I look. I leave RL behind. No one knows who I am in RL. Why would they need to know. I am free here. Leave your RL drama behind and set yourself free. No one cares here as long as you are true to yourself and kind to others. Lead by example. If however you insist on bringing RL into SL then the drama will follow and you may as well quit now.
PS. This is not a dig at Aemeth, who I think has really helped Gogo out here with some great articles. As I have always said to Gogo, this is your space and you are entitled to write about anything you want. I just feel that we sometimes blur the lines and forget the true essence of a Second Life xxx
No worries! I understood your sentiment. Thank you for coming by to say what you feel!
Great post Aemeth! I support this message and feel a person has a right to appear as they feel comfortable. Whether you present yourself as male or female or any place in between it is the inner beauty that makes a person special. You can’t write the truth and make everyone happy. Thank you Gogo for having Aemeth on the team, she is an amazing person and I enjoy her writing.
Thank you Poly! You’re a wonderfully supportive person and I appreciate you.
I’m transgendered, but I wouldn’t call myself fluid or non-binary. I don’t mind the binary too much, I just got assigned the wrong part of it. Though I know the binary is no friend to the fluid and non-binary such as yourself. And yes I use SL to help deal with the dysphoria, it helps, so I’m female in SL.
Yes! The dysphoria is real. Before I added a male option to my main avatar, I would feel strange some days, uncomfortable, not want to put on ANY feminine clothing… it was a mess. I’d walk around in SL and feel uncomfortable because my brain was not chill with being a woman at that moment. After adding a male appearance, I felt a lot better. If I ever went “nope” to my appearance after that, I could switch and the feeling went away.
RL? I stick to gender-neutral clothing now and that suits me a lot better. I don’t force myself into blouses anymore if I don’t feel okay with it. My rl rules for dress are still changing, but I am definitely at the point where I don’t let anyone tell me what to do or wear.
Life is too short not to be who you are and happy with that. Screw what the rest of the world thinks. Thanks for sharing your story. i appreciate a person with guts — man, woman, or occasionally undecided.
Amazing post. I saved this until I could give it the attention I felt it deserved. Like Mitzy is touching upon, SL gives us the opportunity to explore many different selves, it lets you be whatever you want, and that is one of the most fantastic features of it. I think SL is a fantastic tool for people who suffer from some form of body dysmorphia, whether it’s gender related or not. Because if you can see your 3D self the way you think you should look, that can help with defining it, confronting it, expressing it and for some it’s even enough to combat the every day negativity.
As for Ameath’s post, yes, they are very different. But you have something very important in common with Gogo. You refuse to be silent just because people think you’re saying the wrong thing. You’re both amazing writers and I hope you do go on blogging.
Thank you so much, and thank you for coming by to leave a comment! You are very right, for some, shaping our rl identity here and planning it a bit can help to cope and make our best choices when we walk away from the keyboard.