This week’s readings actually made me sad. I cannot believe it’s 2014 and people need to hide behind a computer screen in order to feel comfortable with their sexuality. But, there is also a positive way to look at it because at least they have a place where they can feel comfortable. Having “cyberspace” to talk to other people in the same situation, or even people who are just there to support them can really help them get through the hard times like bullying or the process of coming out of the closet to family/friends.
This article really reminded me of my own experiences. I went to school and played soccer with a girl named Melissa, but as we got older she referred to herself as a boy and wanted to be called Mel instead. She politely asked friends and teachers to refer to her using male pronouns: he, him, his, etc. And I will never forget sophomore year on the first day of class, I had art class with Mel and she politely told the teacher (who must’ve been an old Catholic woman) that she’s in the process of changing genders and such. The teacher never respected this and purposely called her Melissa and still called her female pronouns most likely because she was against transgenders.
When she came out to her parents about wanting to go about receiving testosterone treatments and changing her gender, the reaction was anything but accepting. But she generally felt she was born in the wrong body. Online she would’ve represented herself as a male avatar, or clicked the “male” preferences on Facebook.
But she went on with treatments even with her parents’ bad reaction, and is now a he named Malcolm. I remember I always tried talking to him and understanding but obviously I can never understand. He told me he created a blog and also reached out to others going through the same thing (these were myspace days so she met them through myspace) and this made me realize how great the internet is. He was able to cope with and talk about these issues with people who actually understand and are going through it, and he told me personally that without that he would’ve killed himself.
Thats why sex and romance on the internet is amazing. You can connect with people who are just like you, who you wouldn’t even know right off the bat… because you obviously don’t always know that someone is transgender right off the bat by looking at them.
These LGBT communities online are awesome and if anyone has a problem with it, then they don’t need to be apart of it and that’s the great part! The old school catholics or people who are against it don’t need to see anything they don’t want to see and the LGBT community has friends and people who support them… it’s the best of both worlds.
I’ve seen the gay communities on SecondLife a little bit when I visited London City and a few other places on our field trips in class, they had gay clubs and sports bars which were very explicit, but it anyone felt on comfortable they obviously didn’t need to stay.. there were plenty of other activities to do in London City.