Checking Yourself

The past 6 months have been interesting for many good and many not so good reasons. There have been some highs and lows for us but that is old news and its time to look forward.  Its time to step up for the greater good.  Its time to put petty personal issues aside and ask what can I do to make this a better place.

What we do in Second Life and how we represent transcends itself to RL and vice versa. Its time to ask what can I do to make things better for someone else.

I go through ups and downs of liking and not liking Facebook.  But on occasion there are some VERY interesting items pass through my timeline that make me stop and go “hmmmm.”  Most recently was a post by Dan Savage on The Stranger about homophobia in Ireland. Can be found here if you haven’t seen it.  It brought me to a beautiful and eloquent speech by Panti Bliss, who according to her wikipedia page is Ireland’s foremost drag queen.  Please take the time to read Dan Savage’s piece, it lays out the background of what Panti is referring to in this video.

As Dan said few people in North America had ever heard of Panti until now. I have spent the past few days learning more about her.  What she said in this speech hit home with me on many levels. And it carried a great deal of meaning for me both for my SL and my RL.

Homophobia runs deep in everyone’s life.  In and out of our community.  There is strong hate and dislike for certain members of our community from within the greater community.  This is for me a really sad state of affairs.  One thing that Panti said, ” I do, it is true, believe that almost all of you are probably homophobes. But I’m a homophobe. It would be incredible if we weren’t. To grow up in a society that is overwhelmingly homophobic and to escape unscathed would be miraculous. So I don’t hate you because you are homophobic. I actually admire you. I admire you because most of you are only a bit homophobic. Which all things considered is pretty good going.

But I do sometimes hate myself. I hate myself because I fucking check myself while standing at pedestrian crossings. And sometimes I hate you for doing that to me.”

I keep my head held high.  I have overcome alot and am at a comfortable place in my life.  I have learned to appreciate others and the diversity around me.  I respect your opinion, I might not necessariy agree with it, but it is your oninion and you are entitled to it.

In my research of Panti, i came across this video shot last year at 30th anniversary of Dublin Pride.  She present wonderful remarks to open the event and brings into perspective the difference a community can have and how we can work around those difference for the greater good.

Pride in RL and Pride in SL is more than who has the pretty group, who throws the biggest parties, who throws the most L’s at the sploders.  In fact there is a great deal more to the community than dance clubs and cruising for sex.  Because alot of those who seek to alienate and hate us think thats all we do.  There are many talented creators in the SL community and for a good number of them they are  creators in the RL community as well

There are many life issues that should scare the hell out of you that affects the community as a whole. As Panti said in the first video, “Have you ever turned on the computer and seen videos of people just like you in far away countries, and countries not far away at all, being beaten and imprisoned and tortured and murdered because they are just like you?”

Please consider this an open call to everyone, Step Up, Step out and lets move forward.

Thank you for reading.