Thank you Tabitha…
Spot on, so eloquently and respectfully stated. You remind me once again of why I am here. About one of the things I love most in sl… the diversity. Not just conventional diversity, such as language, culture, gender, sexual preference, background, or level of ability (be it physical, emotional, sexual, or social)… but also the virtual or created diversity. There are so many choices (Furries, Steampunks, literalists, musicians, artists, deep immersionists, children, animals, vampires, goreans, sailors, surfers, on and on)… not to mention the concept of Alts or what behaviors we choose.
While it saddens me, although does not surprise me, that the judging of what is acceptable as ‘normal’ in life is so accurately reflected in SL. I value these differences. So much is communicated by our choices in SL. All these choices are reflections of our own stories. Still SL is more than a mirror for life. Second life is a marvelous tool for telling our stories.
Story telling… imagined or otherwise is what SL facilitates so well. Many are surprised, even hurt, by the depth of intimacy that this shared story telling creates. But that surprise and even pain is also valuable. It is Human. To paraphrase my-self/my-avatar “…Do not under estimate the intimacy of sl… to think this intimacy is not “real” is the height of hubris. “
It is my hope that we who choose Second Life will choose to preserve and encourage its diversity, to respect its differences and to build a unique and creative community.
To quote my grandmother – “Life is messy… if all you do is worry about is cleaning up … you will miss the good stuff”.