Monday, February 6, 2012

A Confession

Like many of my readers, I've known about my fem side since I was quite young.  I think the first time I dressed I was around 7.  The first time I dressed completely I was 13.  That I remember.  I even remember what I wore.  My mom's kelly green gown.  I tried makeup and a wig she had and believe me, I looked like hell.  But to my young eyes, I was beautiful.  Finally female.

I dressed when I could.  My mom didn't have a huge wardrobe, but I tried them all.  My favorite was a gray skirt with a pink top.  Funny how I own something similar now, isn't it? 

So was that enough?  Hell no!

Around the same time I started dressing, my friends and I discovered the world of Dungeons and Dragons.  This was 1977.  Yes, by then I was hard-core into Lord of the Rings and fantasy books.  And then this box came into my life.

Basic Set Box art from 1977

So how does this fit in?
In Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), you can play a character of many types, races... and either gender.  So while my main characters were always tough, buff fighters, I also made sure that there was a woman in the party (usually a wizard) and that I played the role.  There were only three of us playing, so we had several Non-Player Characters (NPCs) each.  It was my first expression of my femininity.

Then came my first main female character: a priest.  She was blonde, buxom, and wore a red dress.  Don't ask me how this protected her from swords or claws- I was only 14 then!  She was my main character in an adventure called Tomb of Horrors.

Tomb of Horrors cover art

It's still the most fun I've ever had in an adventure, especially since my fellow player and I (the third guy ran the adventure: the dungeon master) each ran four characters and my priest was the only survivor.  I think her name was Athena, but my memory is fuzzy there.  Oh, did I mention the hallway full of mist that changes your gender?  Heehee. 

I played D&D through high school and college.  In college, we actually had women in our group!  By then I'd stopped dressing, as it wasn't something guys did.  And obviously I was the only weirdo in the world who did that sort of thing, right?

Fast forward many years.  I kept playing D&D off and on, and even worked in the Adventure Gaming field for some time.  I kept my feminine side well buried, except for those female characters.

Then, nine years ago I moved back to the Philly area.  Stopped playing D&D altogether.  Three years ago, I finally recognized my feminine side. 

But another game came in between those: Second Life.

Four years ago, I started playing Second Life (SL).  What is that?  Ummm well, according to Wikipedia:

"Second Life is an online virtual world developed by Linden Lab. It was launched on June 23, 2003. A number of free client programs, or Viewers,[1][2] enable Second Life users, called Residents, to interact with each other through avatars. Residents can explore the world (known as the grid), meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, and create and trade virtual property and services with one another. Second Life is intended for people aged 16 and over,[3] and as of 2011 has about one million active users.

I was hooked.  My first character was male, but I soon had a female character.  Then another.  And now all I play are female characters.  My current is pictured below.  I've played her for the last three years.

So why do this?  I find that when I CAN'T express myself as a woman in real life, it helps to do so virtually.  My character is identified in Second Life as TG, so I'm not trying to fool anyone.  (That said 3/8 of all women avatars in SL are played by males.  And those are the ones REGISTERED as men, so the number is probably higher.)

What do I encounter as a transgender in SL?  Well, some people refuse to speak to me.  I occasionally get some grief, but SL has a Mute button for those you don't wish to hear.  And there are guys who want to hook up with me because I'm TG (yes, virtual chasers!)

Still, I've connected with Trans-people from all over the world.  There is a huge network there which offers support and friendship.  And actually, most people are cool about me being who I am there.  In an environment where there is antire subculture of people playing furry animals, I'm not considered odd.  I've even made some good friends!

So there it is.  I confess: I'm a Gamer.  I have been and will continue to be.  Some people will judge.  Well, I'm used to that.  I think playing SL and D&D have helped me to find the courage to walk out the door in a skirt, and maybe to be a better woman.  And if you were to see my SL character's wardrobe, you'd find her style is very similar to mine.  Hmmm... think I try ideas on her, where it's inexpensive?

In many ways, becoming the woman inside is very hard.  It's good to be able to blow off steam.  And in my case, it's good to be the woman I am virtually when I can't be one outwardly in real life.


  1. I used an Internet site, much as you describe Second Life, back in the '90s. I meets your description of Second Life to a T (excuse the pun), but I guess Second Life began in 2003. Anyway, I got away from it and never revisited the site. Perhaps it morphed into Second Life. Anyway, it seems that a lot of trans folks do Second Life. I did have a female avatar, btw.

    Calie xxx

  2. My son plays a lot of games and in most, his character is female. I once asked him why and he told me "Well, if your gonna spend all day looking at a character, do you want it to be some buff dude or a hot chick?"

    Had to hand it to him, the kid had a point there . . . ;-)

  3. Kid has a Good point. In SL your view is of the back of the character, and I'd rather see a woman's curvy butt any day instead of a guy's...