Friday, November 30, 2007

For the guys who are gals in SL. respond if you want.

Been reading blog posts lately and saw this response by anony-mouse on a post on Kit Meredith's blog. I know why I play a female avatar, I'm transgendered in RL. But there's folks who don't identify as transgendered who also play female avs. Some do it for business I think, some do it to "explore"and some I think are transgendered but might not have heard of the term or even realize that's what they are.

This post is for all of you born males playing female to respond to, anonymously if you want. It's not really intended for those who do identify as transgendered though you can respond too. I'd like to know how you feel about playing a female av, why you think you do it, how you interact with other avs, anything you want to talk about. If you don't feel comfortable talking about that, tell me what clothes you like, where you shop, that sort of thing.

I'll kind of get things started:

I'm CronoCloud Creeggan, born male, play a female av. I'm transgendered in RL. I would like to do what we call "transition" but such things are very money intensive and I don't have those kind of resources. I've done what some might call "crossdressing" in RL for around 30 years. I like the things that the people who are called "femmes" tend to like. I have an amateur's interest in fashion and makeup. I'm also a very much a geek. :-) I'm not involved in any kind of romantic relationship in SL or RL, in fact I freely admit to having never been on a date in RL. And yes, I'm a virgin. (I know, I know I'm 40 and a virgin) But that's all issues and drama. I don't identify as lesbian in RL, though I did at one time spend much time hanging out in transgender friendly lesbian IRC channels. If I was to transition though, I would identify as lesbian. Lesbian male to female transfolk are actually rather common. As we say, gender identity, and gender object choice (who you want to love and have romantic relationships with) are two different things.

I'm honest in SL about being a born male, it says so in my profile. I decided early on to do that because I joined SL using my "male" nick to participate in a vodcast related chat. The persons in the community related to the vodcast knew me as male. But after I had seen fashionable pretty avatars in SL I wanted one too, so I switched, and decided to admit to why I had done so in my profile. There's a bit of a trend in the transgender to community to try to encourage less secrecy and more openness.

I've not had much trouble in SL in regards to my openness, though it has surprised people and some people I have encountered have openly said they don't get the "why" of it. But that's okay because I don't know why either, it's just the way I am. Now it's your turn, I look forward to reading the responses. If you don't want to respond on the blog, you're welcome to e-mail me, there's a link to my e-mail address at the bottom of the page.


Cherie Parker said...

I think your ability to be open and honest with who you are and what you want, dont want, what you do and don't know are commendable. Not everyone here in SL or in RL can or is willing to do that. Carry on and be well.

Cherie said...

I think your willingness to be open about who you are, what you want, what you do and don't know is commendable. There are not enough people in SL or RL that can or are willing to do that. I say, rock on and be well.

CronoCloud said...

Right, my "openness" is my choice and not something that I think everyone should feel they have to do. So no pressure. :-)

-Ana Lutetia- said...

Amazing post!

Delilah Karas said...

I don't think that anyone should feel *forced*, most especially in this electronic world of ours, to be any particular thing.

The fact that some people do, or who think they should be able to force other people in any particular direction is a very saddening phenomenon to me.

I love that you've made your choices based on what you want and feel comfortable with rather than what anyone may have said you ought to be or should be.

Sometimes I think that the only gift we ever really can give ourselves or someone else is simple acceptance.

Anonymous said...

Anony-mouse 2

You forgot the two. One is someone else, and I've always liked using the name for anonymous posts, so I stole it from the other, hehe.

I agree with the openness, but I know a few of those I care for (well.. really, just one of them) would run away in a second.. I don't know how well many people can understand it.. but those that are closest to me, so far, have accepted it.

It's a choice for me, and yes.. For years, I've known that I would go through the transition if I had the monetary means to do so. I'm only a mere 24 so.. who knows what the future will hold.. and I've felt this way for at least ten years.. knowing just what I am for a little over 5. Whatever happens, happens.. I'm happy with the feminimity I get to have through SL.. wish beyond all else that I could experience the same RL as well. ._.

Well.. for now.. time to run to SL.. Ciao~

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm a male with a fem avie, we have actually met before, once in a shop, you made a complimentary remark about my boots...oh my heart sang! :)

Anyway, I'm not open, although three of my SL friends know my RL sex (and they are all males playing fem avies!).

I knew I had a transgendered perspective before SL and have been very grateful for the opportunity to explore this part of my psyche.

I don't have any desire to take this any further in RL as I'm quite happy with my male body and sex...its just that I enjoy being a girl sometimes...there is a freedom, a lightness unavailable to men. Or may it is available and that is the challenge in RL for people like me...

It's funny, in RL I'm something of a scruff but in SL I'm a fashion addict.

I have thought about opening up to my friends in SL but...I don't really want things to change. My closest SL friends are all female...I'm sure they would be ok about it but i don't want to risk the dynamic changing...

thanks for bringing this topic up, it's good to talk about it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, other Anonymous, that is a problems alot of us do face. Whether to open up to everyone, or remain closed.. I've been trying my hardest to open to all those that are important to me, but it is very hard, for me. I've never been good about talking about myself to others, especially when it's something as possibly damaging as this could be... but.. I have found that my friends and Loves all accept me for who I am, not what I am. That in itself is incentive for me. So far, to use your term, the dynamic hasn't changed a single bit with any that I've told. Maybe I'm just lucky.. but it always feels good when I do tell them.

Anyways.. Best of wishes, I'm sure we all could use them, hehe. ^^

Anony mousie 2

Phoenix Chapman said...

I applaud anyone who is comfortable with themselves. I'm working towards that myself.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for coming late to these blogs at yours and Kit's. I am a RL straight male who has a female lesbian SL avie, and does not tell. I am completely happy in this role, and have always found it curious that when I first joined there was not a second of hesitation about being female. In RL I love women totally - physically, intellectually, mentally - I find them the vastly more compelling sex, and have always had more female friends than male. I felt SL allowed me to connect with women without all the societal BS about being male - most RL women distrust men, and for good reason. In SL I enjoy making women happy sexually, interacting with them intelligently, and making emotional attachments to them as friends (and shopping!). The only problem of course, is that I now have two very good female friends and it pains me to no end to be deceiving them...

Anonymous said...

This is the first time, so far as I remember, that I have posted anonymously in response to a blog. I'm quite open in RL about who I am. And I've told people in SL-- but selectively, and with no ill effects.

I am also transgendered. In fact, I'm transsexual. I have been living in the female role for nearly 20 years and had genital surgery in 1991. I am unremarkably female in person, and quite comfortable that the outside matches the inside.

I came to SL a little more than a year ago with no intention of becoming romantically involved. In fact, it wasn't even on my radar. But then I met just the right avie and I was smitten. We have been together for a year, and have been together twice in real life, the last time for more than a week.

When I disclose in real life, sometimes it's like people take off their pink-tinted goggles and put on their blue-tinted ones. Their default assumption about me-- which was that I was born female-- changes, and when it does, they try to find "male" things in my appearance, voice, or behavior. Of course, they find them-- no one ever clocks me as transsexual, but anyone can find "male" characteristics in pretty much any female.

I'll admit it bugs me a bit that I get such an examination, even though it's perfectly normal. I realize my chromosomes are probably XY (never had them checked, when was the last time you sent your cheek swab to the lab?), and a good forensic pathologist could tell my skeleton has male characteristics, but I pass fine, I just get scrutiny. They look hard to try to "turn" me into a male, and that program just doesn't run for them, and they eventually put their pink goggles back on.

In SL, my physical absence doesn't provide such cues, which is probably why I don't disclose to everyone. Funny. In RL I am such an activist that a google of my name will turn up about a million matches. In SL only my sweetie and close friends and SL family know.

Being a transgender activist, I've dealt with gender so much it's pretty much become invisible to me. Although I've always been attracted to women and don't find the male form or male appendages particuarly pleasing or erotic, sometimes I just see beyond the gender and see the person.

I think SL helps us do that. We don't have physical cues, and we see beyond the representation of the physical (the avie) to the intellect and personality behind it, and we make our romantic and erotic connections to the real person.

I have total respect for males who play female avies in respectful ways-- as opposed to the bimbos with too-big hair, too-big tatas, too-short skirts, too-too much of everything, combined with aggressive male sexuality. The latter, I think, are what males playing females in SL are like-- and many are just that-- but so many women here have male typists. I think it's cool. I think it increases sensitivity and I think it helps males get in touch with themselves.

Sorry for running on so much. I just started typing and it all come out. :)

Call me 20 Years On

Anonymous said...

Anonymous male, I'm with you -- male RL, female SL, and hetero in RL.

The biggest issue I have is wrestling with the fact that there is one part of me -- gender -- that I'm "lying" about. I've never been asked if I'm male or female, so never had to out and out say it. I'm certainly not some of the other things I can be in SL -- mer, for example -- and that goes without saying.

It's something I wrestle with.

Anonymous said...

I really ought to be pointing my RL husband/SL partner to this, but I know his reasons as well as he does.

My h/p is a hetero male IRL who is quite comfortable in his biogender but wears a female av in SL 95% of the time. He likes having something pretty to look at as he goes around inworld, he feels that people respond to him better when they see a female face than when they see a male one, and it's a heck of a lot easier to keep a female av in clothes and hair that doesn't look like a great, big bundle of afterthought. I've tried building a male av myself for those random times I want to be undisturbed while doing something else despite my screamingly female SL name (my h/p's is gender-neutral). It's a bitch and a half to find a skin that isn't scruffy or gangsta and doesn't cost $3000L.

Anonymous said...

I'm a 50 yr old hetero male in RL. I have male and female avatars in SL. I like playing both. But I vastly enjoy the female more because of the lesbian sex. I love women and I envy their sexuality. I wish I'd been born a girl. I'd have been a lesbian slut. I do agree with one anonymous comment, that indicated a guilt for being deceitful. I totally understand.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm anonymous for this one.

I am not transgendered or gay/bi. I am heterosexual. I have a male avatar and a female alternate. I find nothing wrong with males using female avatars in Second Life unless they intentionally play games with females' heads. I do it, because it does give me a chance to be treated how women get treated, to see what it's like. I'm just trying to be sensitive because I understand what they go through is rough...

To anyone doing this in SL, no lies, and no deceptions, pretty please? Haha :P

anonymous (all lowercase)