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Showing posts with label transition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label transition. Show all posts

Monday, May 23, 2022

Door to America: A destination for new residents into SecondLife : Moonite1687 REPORTING


As established SecondLife (SL) users, how many of us can remember our first time touching down in the virtual world as 'newbies' or new residents. It was daunting, exciting, novel, and an overall adventure that would continue to unfurl. The experience is the same for many new residents that have no prior knowledge of the metaverse. Now, add in the criticism, the rules that act against new residents, and the harsh treatment and discrimination that many faces, and this increases the anxiety and intimidation that many feel when trying to interact with residents with years of SL experience their belts. On the side of the more seasoned users, this separatism comes from new residents pleading for lindens or other handouts, and the antagonizing behavior that some of the new residents subject SL users to creates riffs and barricades between them other new residents and the possibility of receiving enriching support. However, many newcomer-friendly communities are cropping up throughout SL to move the dial on new resident support in a positive and more inclusive direction. 

Door to America is an organization that started in January 2022 to create a safe space for all new residents. A conversation with Angelor Galanter reveals what Door to America is for and is planning to do to ease the transition from real life to SecondLife for many new residents. 

Moonite1687 (M1):  Who started this initiative?

Angelor Galanter (AG): Karlee Heartsong and I started [Door to America] together, and this was a mutual decision to highlight the importance of "human connection" in SL, to be an extension of "self", but there are other reasons to be in SL. 

M1:  So, the reason for Door to America is to encourage human connection and support self-expression?

AG: Yes, for example, imagine the one ember of passion you hold for life [you] bring it here and let it blossom without all the metrics you are judged for in rl. [Be it] poet, artist, creator, builder, and you can meet others who feel the same. A person can crystalize and develop themselves and relationships here. 

Angelor and Karlee, the co-founders, designed the space to foster self-expression through some of the perks on the Door to America sim. Angelor mentioned that the sim is home to a seven-layer track feature 4000 meters long that acts as a learning aid for new residents. There they can learn to manipulate objects and how to maneuver their avatars. New residents can also come to listen to live music performances, play card games, fish, dance, go for a horseback ride, and more, making human connections and feeling a part of a welcoming community. 

Their website, which launched roughly a month after the sim with online, features a list of destinations, tutorials, a covenant for their sim, and a link to meet the teams behind Door to America. 

When asked what the plan for Door to America's future looks like, here is what Angelor had to say: 

M1: Can you share with me any plans for the future of Door to America? Anything in the pipeline that you can share that will enhance your mission?

AG: I've sent letters to AARP and other real-life organizations to enlist their acknowledgment or sponsorship from colleges to employment, work at home, general disability, and social networks [sic]. Now, it's a matter of becoming a gateway first.

For those unaware, a gateway in SecondLife is a community in the registration pathway on These gateways offer their orientation path and give Residents a more accessible direction in the virtual world. Angelor hopes that Door to America will spur a resurgence of SL users by becoming a gateway community, taking the 900,000 user mark to an additional million to increase the number of human-to-human experiences that we all could share. 

To learn more about the Door to American initiative, please visit the website: and the inworld location:

Wednesday, September 8, 2021


What can I say?  I like people.  I like talking to people...and I like hearing their stories.  It is interesting how much you can learn just by listening.  It is said that God gave us two ears and one mouth in order that we might listen twice as much as we speak. Would that more people would do so.     
It was a Friday night a few weeks back.  I was in one of my favorite SL haunts, and I struck up a conversation with another patron at the bar. Over the next hour, Mercedes shared with me her story.  A story of introspection, identifying how she sees herself, embracing that identity, and then sharing that identity with the important people in her life. Mercedes is Transgender, or a “Trans”, as she calls it.  Assigned male at birth in RL, Mercedes identifies as female, in RL and in SL.
Transgender is a term used to describe people whose gender or sense of personal identity does not match the sex they were born with. In other words, a transgender person may have been born as a male but identifies as a female or vice versa.  Research suggests that 1.4 million adults identify as transgender in the United States. About 0.7% of adults 18-24 identify as transgender, and 0.5% of adults 65 and older identify as transgender.

After conferring with my editor, we decided that Mercedes’ story could serve to inform and enlighten SL Enquirer readers about life as a transgender, and possibly shed some light and support understanding this often-misunderstood population.
Josh Bellic (JB):  Mercedes, I believe you have an interesting story to tell, and I appreciate your willingness to share it with our SL Readers.  To start off, can you tell us, when did you first decide to go Trans?
Mercedes (M):  Not sure exactly Josh, but I am pretty sure it was about 15 years ago.
JB:  I imagine it must have been a fairly lengthy process to arrive at such a momentous decision, no? So, what was it that caused you to make that decision?
M:  Well Josh, I have always been female in my mind.  I just finally just reached a point in my life where I had the opportunity to complete the process.  Modern hormones and medicine are amazing these days. They really are.
JB:  And what of your family and friends?  How did they react when they heard the news?  Did your family support you in this?
M:  Well, most of them were shocked, but a few were not..  You’re gonna have to accept that you will lose friends in the process, but to me they were not that good of friends, to begin with.  My family is mostly accepting....distant family members remain... well.. ...distant  lol 
JB:  And what about “crossdressers”?   Are they the same as “Trans”?
M:  No. That is not correct.  I know some straight males that just enjoy dressing up.  They see themselves as males, whereas I and other true transgenders, identify as female.
JB:  How do you feel about all the guys playing females here in SL?  Anecdotal wisdom suggests that up to half the women avies here are men in RL
M: I don’t mind.  That’s what SL is all about – a "Second Life".  Where else can you see what life would be like as the opposite gender?  Just don't trick anyone that you’re "close" to.  That’s not fair to them.
JB:  And what about the “T-Girls” in SL?  - attractive female avis with male genitalia.  What is THAT all about? Are these folks legit Trans also?
M:  I find most are male.  TG people work so hard in RL to hide our history (bulge) so, in my option, a real TG is not going to show off their parts whether all out or a bulge, the point is to be seen and accepted as female.  I have no bulge clothes, and in any nude-only places, I am seen as female.  I don't advertise in my profile but all my friends know about me and for sure if we are dating, I don't hide or trick, I just don't advertise as I feel it’s no one’s business but my own. Sorry, I got sidetracked....but to answer your question...I don’t judge anyone here, if someone wants to flaunt their privates, more power to them.  If you don't like it, don't look.  :)
JB:  Do you feel subtle or not-so-subtle discrimination here, or in RL? 
M:  SL is very accepting, more so here than RL actually.  It provides a platform where I get a lot of questions asked that one may feel uncomfortable asking in RL.
JB:  How far along in the transformation process are you?
M:  This is a complicated far as Male to female,  I’m happy where I’m at.  But regardless of your gender, you are always making improvements on your Physique and look.  So when I look in the mirror I’m happy but always saying "I gotta fix that", and off to the gym I go (5X a week btw
JB:  I remember reading an interview with a RL trans.   She was saying how lonely she was.  Men won't date her, because they see her as really a man;  lesbian women won't date her because she is not “really” a woman.  It must be terribly lonely. She can’t seem to make it all work.

M:  Yeah.  It takes a special breed of a person to get past all that.  Once they get to know me though, things change.  Appearance is only skin deep. 

JB:  So, Mercedes.  You have been here almost 14 years?  What is the attraction to SecondLife, and what is it that keeps you coming back night after night?

M:  My attraction was simple boredom.  I wish I could say something more exotic, but I can’t.   I keep coming back because it is fun.  There is always lots to do and you meet people and create relationships with people from all around the world.

JB:  Is there anything else about your experience you would like to share with our readers?

M: Just be yourself, enjoy your SL as you wish.  Just know that everyone enjoys their SL the way they wish and there is no reason to be judgmental of others.

So, there you have it, folks.  Yet another fascinating resident, contributing to the variety of lifestyles that make up the fabric of Life on the Grid