Trials of Eyeliner

Comes across all shy and coy, just another nancy boy

Stalkers and creepers, come inside the Church of Rant and pull up a pew. Nancy Boy has some bones to pick.

There’s been a harsh discussion lately on Second Life events, clubs, and full sims who chose to limit their clientele to a specific type of attendee. The usual distinctions are drawn and have been around for years: Men Only, Women Only, LGBT only, Straight Only, Human Avatars Only, Vampires only and their food.. etc. A running theme that has always been there, but recently seems to be gaining more hatred, is the “No Furries or Nekos” rule that some popular places enforce.  And of course the ‘No child Avatars” which I think has been around and visible even longer. The current argument that has my dander up is over whether or not straight women should be going to or are they welcome in gay bars and events in SL.

I’m of the opinion that SL is your playground. Build your sandbox and play with those you want to play with.  Ladies, if you want to have a stitch-n-bitch with your girlfriends for a ladies night out, you have every right to go to a women’s only event and have a great evening without us menfolk changing the vibe. Because that’s what it comes down to: the vibe. The energy and flow of an event- a party- a club- a sim.

It’s always going to hurt a little bit if you turn up to an event and get sent packing because you’re not welcome. That stings- it feels like a personal slap in the face. It feels like you’re being outcast or discriminated against. It’s a terrible feeling to have for any reason. It’s a feeling the LGBT community has felt for a long time.

So lets talk a little about the reasons why people go out in SL.

Whatever event it is you choose to attend- you’re going because you like the people- or the hosts- or the people who come to this particular event. You’re going for a good time. And what makes up that good time? The people who attend. One of the gay bars I regularly go welcomes women, furries, and avatars of every color and stripe and its a fabulous vibe. I love the people. But if I want a raunchy night out with the guys, I’m going to go to Blow Buddies for some dirty fun. Women in that environment completely change the vibe. Similarly, if a bunch of guys show up at a Lesbian bar- their vibe is completely thrown off. Why is it so hard to respect people’s desire for a particular vibe in a club?

Do I think SL should be full of “X-Only! No Y Allowed!” clubs, events and sims? Of course not. Mixing it all together is how you meet great people, find new friends, share discovered interests and have a satisfying, well-rounded experience. Its how you extend your support groups and circles of friends and have fascinating discussions on everything under the sun.

But sometimes, dammit, I want to hang out with the guys. And I need someone to explain to me why I, or anyone, has to justify the desire to want to hang out by ourselves and why a “Guys Night” or “Girls night” or whatever night is so bad.

Ladies- we don’t hate you. I will concede there are a lot of misogynistic asshats out there who might. Ladies- I don’t hate you. I greatly enjoy your company. 99.99999% of the time, c’mon into the gaybar and dance with the boys and laugh and have a great time.

Does that mean I want you standing next to me while my pet is on his knees giving me a blowjob? No, really, I don’t. I also don’t want you coming into the bar I’m hanging out at and start hitting on me- even in jest. Hi, Gay. Step off.

This gets closer to the root of the problem, I think.  And it isn’t just SL. Happens in RL all the time as well. Straight girls coming into the gay bars and hanging all over us because we’re queer so we’re safe right? Obviously you don’t mean it and it’s just fine to hang on us and flirt because its meaningless.

Guess what? It’s not.

And its uncomfortable. A lot of ladies know exactly what that feels like. I lost count of how many times I’ve consoled a female friend about how they hate getting hit on just because they have boobs in SL.

Boundaries. Everyone has them. And sometimes we want to hide within them.

I will also advance that unless you’ve lived it, you have no earthly idea what it has been like to grow up queer. To have to LEARN that you can be open about your sexuality in public. To permit yourself to be out and be yourself. To feel comfortable in an environment to relax and have fun. Some of us spent years pretending to be straight, lying about who we are to our loved ones, parents, friends. Hell, some of us are STILL not out to our families and loved ones in RL- SL is a place where we can be ourselves in a private, safe environment.

So again, I ask you, why is it wrong of us to sometimes want a LGBT only event? Or a male event? Or a lesbian event? Or a transgender event?

“Oh I have lots of gay friends. My is gay and I support LGBT!”

That’s fabulous. Its wonderful. And we love you for it. Straight allies are a huge part of the LGBT community: Just look at PFLAG, Gay Straight Alliances and other groups. Together we all stand proudly for everyone’s right to be who they are and proud of it.

It doesn’t, however, mean we can’t sometimes want to be in our own safe space be it for conversation or rowdy parties. It doesn’t mean we don’t like you. It doesn’t mean we don’t want you to be around other times, and it doesn’t give you the right say our desire to want to party amongst ourselves is stupid, rude, exclusive, or as one person advanced, akin to racism or hypocritical bigotry.

The only thing it gives you the right to do is respect other’s desire to party from time to time by themselves. Just as you have that same right. And I appreciate those who have been involved in this ongoing argument being accepting of that right. You have voiced your opinions that you personally don’t want to participate in an “X Only” event and that, too, is your right and it is great that you still respect those of us that wish to do so now and again.

There are dozens of gaybars on SL that welcome everyone into their midst all the time. There are a few that prefer to keep their establishments to gay men, lesbians, transgender, bisexuals, furry, D/s, or whatever stripe that tickles their fancy so those folks can party openly and comfortably where they know they’re safe in a vibe they enjoy.

So the question is, why do you want to walk all over someone’s safety zone and call it evil?

It’s not about you. Leave your ego at the door.



9 thoughts on “The X-Only Rant

  1. As a gay male who came out before he was able to go bar-hopping in RL, this whole thread of ‘waaah i’m not allowed I’m not a gay male/I’m a furry/I’m a neko/I’m a triple-breasted-whore-from-Eroticon-Six’ just leaves me blinking. When I was in my late teens, I used to go to the ‘gay neighborhood’ with friends, and while they’d go bar-hopping, I’d hang out at a cafe in the neighborhood. People would take a break and come hang out with me, telling me about who did what and what happened and so forth, but I never got… pissed that my 17-year-old self wasn’t welcome at the bar.

    And seriously, saying ‘it’s gay-only? THAT’S LIKE RACISM!!!’?
    Something I’ve noticed is that the only people who say ‘that’s like racism’ are the people who are used to getting everything they want in life (or much of it), due to the color of their skin and the heteronormativity of their sexuality. You never encounter someone whose entire life has been warped out of true by the fact that society teaches people that black boys on the subway are scary and will snatch your purse so you need to hang on tighter – or that asian women are quiet and docile and submissive (Margaret Cho would like a word with you about that one) – or that all gay boys are foppish queeny stereotypes – saying ‘that’s just like racism’. Hell, I can draw parallels between the experiences of my white ass and someone African-American, but I wouldn’t say ‘that’s just like racism’. I’d say ‘isn’t it weird how most God-botherers are a bunch of assholes, if you’re someone who isn’t a white heterosexual?’ instead (and no, most Christians aren’t God-botherers, before someone gets their underwear caught in the taffypuller and all bunched up, here).
    Pro tip for the folks who want to say ‘that’s just like racism’: it’s NEVER ‘just like racism’. Not ever. You could turn that innate reaction of ‘this reminds me of what people I know who encounter racism describe as their situation’ into a chance to become smarter, though! Try saying ‘okay. This is reminding me of what I see in the world that gets called racist. How would you differentiate it from racism?’ to the other people. But sweet holy Torley, yer honkey ass doesn’t get to say ‘that’s like racism’ because their honkey asses asked your honkey ass to not come into the club on boy’s night. THAT’S actually kind of racist, kiddies.

  2. petracarpenter says:

    Blimey someone has rattled your cage. I never really understood the whole hanging around gay men thing (no really stop laughing I mean it!) and it is true I have heard a lot of women say they are safe because the men are gay which may explain how Gok Wan gets away with what he does, women feel safe with him because he doesn’t want in their knickers. I like a person be they male or female on personalty alone, if we click not because I desire to flirt with them. You know me (or used to) and that isn’t the way I roll.

    I wouldn’t wish to go hang out in a gay club just the same as I wouldn’t wish to go hang out in a lesbian one. Granted been to one or two lesbian ones in SL when a friend has been a DJ there but otherwise it isn’t my thing as i prefer a mix of male and females.

    I can’t even remember the last time I went out to a club in SL, those days seem to have gone by the way side for me. But that is because I’d prefer to go to them with friends, only all of my friends have long gone…guess I just find it hard to find new friends to click with.

    A guys night out shouldn’t be an issue be the guy straight or gay and the same for females. Clubs which only have certain types as members have been around since the year dot-hello gentleman only clubs for one!

    Do you really still have stalkers and creepers even after all this time? I don’t have either…never did even when people thought I’d been in your pants…and Corpses. Least nobody thinks that anymore-the virgin has returned and landed *coughs and does a curtsy*

    I promise not to stalk you or Nath to any clubs be they straight or gay-guides honor!

  3. Nikolai Warden says:

    I agree with you Nigel. My impression is that the incident that caused this dust up was the case of a club owner exhibiting what I would call a misogynistic or perhaps to put it more strongly, gynophobic response to the presence of a female avatar. A less offensive, and problematic dialogue could have been along these lines … “This is a gay male beach that encourages nudity and our patrons are uncomfortable disrobing with women present. No offense intended, but I must ask you to leave.” “I am only here to vote for a friend’s art in this contest, I will not be but a moment.” “Oh, all right, then. We should have moved the exhibit farther away from the male only area. Feel free to come and vote, and thank you for supporting a worthwhile cause.”

    There is a difference between a hateful response along the lines of “we do not want your kind here” and referring to women by offensive terms versus explaining that patrons want a safe space to indeed, be raunchy and crass and for fellows to engage in sex without feeling inhibited, and that having women at such a venue with such goings on would be unseemly and uncomfortable. Most venues with good management that do have male only areas or events do explain it in such terms.

    Now, why this brouhaha over gay venues not allowing female avatars and less outrage over Lesbian sims that boot and ban male avatars without so much as an IM? Or clubs that do not allow child avatars? According to LL TOS,nonsexualized nudity is allowed at mature sims … so places that allow one to hang it all out, as long as what is hanging is indeed hanging and not say, thrusting into someone else or spurting do not violate TOS or community standards by allowing child avatars. Child avatars are also allowed at adult sims as long as they are not in proximity to sexual activity/sex scripted devices. Yet the ban on child avatars, the “ewwwww GROSS” response from so many when they see child avatars is extremely common. Such “no this or that” policies at venues have existed for ages in SL and many venues that have such policies in place have very well attended events, indicating that such “safe places” are desired by those who patronize them.

    As for the issue of straight women flirting with gay men … there is flirting and there is being hit on seriously. I have no issue with women flirting if it is in good fun. I have been to a gay club once in my RL … it was too noisy for me, and hahaha, old fashioned that I am, I found the behavior there unseemly, just as I find a good deal of similar cartoon behavior in SL. I cannot say I have ever experienced the heavy handed “flirting” you describe, being hung upon and groped by women. That is not flirting, it is sexual harassment. I flirt with straight women all the time in SL and RL. Partly because I am quite shy and yes, they are “safe” people with whom to flirt … assuming they are not the sort to develop mad (and I mean that rather literally) crushes on gay men and think well, all he needs is a real woman to straighten him out … and partly because where I come from, as long as it is not crass, flirting is a way of showing people they have been noticed and people tend to like to be noticed and acknowledged.

    1. Absolutely! There’s no reason to be rude, mean, or a jerk in asking someone to please respect the desires of an event and scoot on off. I should have addressed that. There’s a huuuge difference in “Hey, X only tonight, please! Come back another time” and Instant boot from sim without so much as an IM. And it needs to be consistent, you bet. If its a Pig only event and two chickens come in, both chickens need to be asked to leave, not just one. Besides, chickens are such a maligned bird 😛

      1. petrvanbeeck says:

        mmm chicken – oh wait thats another post. nvm.

  4. I love to read a good rant and yours gave me shivers down the back, Nigel! 🙂

  5. Rwah says:

    “So the question is, why do you want to walk all over someone’s safety zone”? Answer: because people are a**holes who can not respect boundries.

    Now where is your wine? There is a mass going on and no wine?

  6. aryanna001 says:

    How dare you not drag me along to every single solitary event you attend! *wails and throws myself dramatically in the corner* I thought we were friends!

    Seriously though, there is a place and a time for everything and everyone, it just isn’t ALL the time. Establishments have rules for a reason and mostly it is for the comfort and enjoyment of their patrons. People need to take the blinders off. While SL is there for YOUR enjoyment that doesn’t mean you can eff with everyone else’s good times. They are there for themselves. So take a chill pill, back off and find another place. If someone tells me my kind isn’t allowed, I apolozige for the intrustion and find somewhere else to go. Its not that hard. 😉

  7. Zaaf says:

    Love this rant, but I can’t believe I missed the drama!!! Adding a little of my own rant now. Ignore at will.

    I used to attend parties at a weekly “Men Only” event in SL. I loved the camaraderie and the adult dress (ahem) that was allowed there, and I was really able to connect with a few people I met along the way (including my current partner). Then one of the moderators got tired of moderating and, although he continued booting females that he didn’t know, he’d allow in the ones who were his friends. They would not only “gawk” loudly in local at all the naked but also hit on the entirely gay clientele. People started leaving in droves. I didn’t want to leave; I just wanted him to do his job. I liked the club and the atmosphere. So I IMed Mr. Moderator and asked if the “no females allowed” rule was still in effect. I received back a pretty blase “no one’s complaining, so I’m letting them stay.” I told him I was complaining, and that many others were, as well, but only in IM (and apparently not to him), right before they TPed out. He gave me a metaphorical shrug, and that was that.

    Now, I do like hanging in clubs with women, too (and do it regularly several times a week). I have loads of female friends both in SL/plurk and RL. However, I don’t want women hitting on me in clubs, and I REALLY don’t want them ogling me while I’m supposed to be at a male/gay only nude-o-rama event. I don’t set foot in female only clubs. I only rarely attend mostly straight clubs. I try not to rock other people’s boats, but I get exhausted by the sheer numbers of people who are constantly trying to overturn mine. Everyone has needs. One of those is to feel they belong somewhere. I’ve missed the feeling of belonging since I left that club. There are places I now go to party that I really do enjoy, but I haven’t found another place that feels like that place used to feel. Sometimes exclusivity isn’t about hatred or fear. Sometimes it’s about needing a place you can walk into and feel like you’re home, and no one’s gonna’ bother you if you wanna’ toss your clothes in the corner and get a little crazy.

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