LGBTQ Spaces in Social VR and Virtual Worlds

Photo by Tristan Billet on Unsplash

The real world can still be a unwelcoming place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer (LGBTQ) people. So perhaps it is not surprising that LGBTQ people are attracted to social VR and virtual worlds, as a way to connect with other queer people and create queer spaces. (Please note that, as a proud and out-of-the-closet gay man, I am reclaiming the formerly pejorative term queer in referring to LGBTQ people.)

Second Life

Second Life is home to dozens of LGBTQ-friendly places, including the popular Lesbian Teahouse and the five-sim Boystown Gay Community. Every year there’s a massive virtual Pride festival. There’s even a sprawling, ten-sim ancient Roman roleplay community Romanum for gay and bisexual men! You can also pay a visit the Transgender Resource Center and the Transgender Hate Crime and Suicide Memorial.

Linden Lab maintains a listing of LGBT friendly places in SL, and even a special LGBTQ landing page for visitors:

AltspaceVR

LGBTQ+ and Friends Meetup in AltspaceVR

There are two regular weekly LGBTQ+ and Friends meetups which take place in AltspaceVR:

Come join our global LGBTQ weekly meetup that offers support, encouragement, and love from all corners of the world. Join our North American meetup at: (6:00 p.m. Pacific). If you are sending your love abroad, join us at our earlier time (1:00 p.m. Pacific). We have created this safe haven where you can express yourself in a welcoming environment. We have created this space for those who have difficulty sharing their thoughts and experiences. Feel bold enough to share your stories and we will do our part to give you the encouragement you need to live the life you have always dreamed.

Here’s a link to the current events calendar in AltspaceVR, so you can find out when the next meetup is taking place.

VRChat

VRChat has an active LGBTQ community that runs its own Discord server, where you can find out about happenings and events in-world.


Have you heard of other LGBTQ-friendly spaces and events happening in other social VR platforms and virtual worlds? If you do, then please leave a comment below telling us where and what it is, thank you!

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
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UPDATED! Fashion Models in Second Life: A Fad That Has Come and Gone?

Images taken from the Beauty of Rehana blog…quick, somebody get this model a sandwich, she must be starving! She looks hangry 😉

At one time, there were literally hundreds of avatar fashion models in Second Life, who would be hired to perform in virtual fashion shows for designers, and even work as mannequins in stores. In fact, Vanity Fair worked for a couple of years as a mannequin/model for the avatar fashion designers Lemania Indigo and Lestat Reuven, back in ye olde pre-mesh clothing days. She got free outfits in exchange for standing in the store for a shift, showing off the latest fashions and occasionally answering a question from a shopper.

Nowadays, it would appear that there are more modeling schools and agencies in Second Life than actual modeling jobs! There’s even a blog to keep track of them all. Most modeling schools will charge you a pretty penny to teach you everything there is to know about modeling in SL, but I have found that if you just spend enough time in Second Life, you can learn most of what you need to know for free. Who needs a school, especially when there are so few jobs for the people who graduate? There are pageants you can enter, but these all seem to be run by the modeling schools, which seems to me to be a sort of vicious circle.

Is the era of SL modeling over? I would argue that it is. Most vendors are creating alts to use as mannequins and to illustrate their products in stores, rather than going through the fuss and bother to find and hire (and pay) fashion models. Bloggers tend to use their main or alt avatars to illustrate their blogs (like Rehana, above). And I can’t remember the last time I heard about a fashion show in Second Life, or a store that was actually hiring models. Most of the buzz now is about monthly events like Uber and FaMESHed. (By the way, the current anniversary round of Uber runs until August 22nd, so be sure to get down there and grab all the free gifts!)

What do you think? Is Second Life modeling dead? Feel free to sound off in the comments, or better yet, join the RyanSchultz.com Discord and take part in the discussions and debates taking place there!

UPDATE Aug. 7, 2019: Amanda Magick of the Second Life blog Magick Thoughts SL has also written about this topic. So has Monica Querrien, a Second Life model and blogger, on her blog Moni’s World. They both add a lot to the discussion, so I would encourage you to go over and read their blogposts.

Thanks for the tip, Amanda Magick!

Philip Rosedale Pops into Second Life for a Visit

This morning, Linden Lab founder Philip Rosedale tweeted:

And a number of people took him up on his offer to meet in-world. Hey, how often do you get to hang out with the founding CEO of your virtual world? Draxtor Despres took the following picture of the meetup:

I love how Philip has kept essentially the same avatar look after all these years! It’s refreshing to see someone who has decided not to opt for a mesh avatar body, and stick with the classic avatar (he even has the old system hair!).

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Women’s Hair from Little Bones

Did you know that you can help support my blog (as well as the newly-launched Metaverse Newscast show), and get great rewards in return? Here’s how.


Even though I have been exploring Second Life for over 13 years now, I still stumble across stores I had never been to before (and that’s part of the fun of exploring the grid!). A Second Life vlogger alerted me to Little Bones, which is a women’s hair store I had never been to before. The store appears to specialize in long hair for female avatars.

There are two lucky boards in the store, which do not require a group join to use:

If you wish, you can join the Little Bones group for L$100, and pick up all the group gifts on their gifts wall. Most of the group gifts are so-called “mermaid” colour packs with multicolours, such as this style called Bliss:

Here are just a few of the free hairstyles you can pick up from the lucky boards. This is Vortex, which comes in a pack of blonde colours:

This is beautifully textured hair that comes with a colour HUD, a tint HUD to further adjust the colour (or if the colour HUD contains tones not to your liking), and a styling HUD. Here’s another example of Little Bones hair, called Poison, which comes in a dark/black colour pack:

And here is another hairstyle named Fusion, which comes in an assortment of multicoloured rainbow styles which I wasn’t crazy about, so I decided to just tint the default white colour to jet black using the included tint HUD. You can move either or both sides of this long hair forwards or back using the styling HUD:

So, if you are looking for some lovely long hair, pop into Little Bones. The store is fairly busy and the letters turn over frequently, so you probably won’t have to wait long for your letter to show up. Or, even better, teleport in your friends and make it a social event!

Here’s an older blogpost I wrote that lists other stores with lucky chairs and lucky boards (note that some of the information may be out of date).