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.