Hello world. As you can tell, that’s not Cheri Horton you see in the photo, it’s yours truly. But what you may not be able to detect is the fact that I am a biological male. Sorry about the fuzzy Web cam image, but you get the idea. Or at least I hope you do. Basically, I’m an androgyne, if you wanted to slap a label on me.
Why the hell am I telling you this? Well, after about two weeks or so of serious consideration, I felt strongly that I wanted to reveal to the blogosphere the nature of my true gender identity and sexuality. I’ve reached this decision for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, I thought it might create a lot more opportunity for me to get publicly involved with the discussion of cybersex, online identity, and of course, virtual worlds like Second Life. When I say publicly involved, I mean I’d like to at least have the option of going to events or conferences, doing interviews, meeting people who have similar interests, and things of that nature, instead of feeling trapped behind a virtual world persona.
Additionally, I’ve been having the impression lately that this blog is developing too much of an air of unreality, like there’s no real human behind the content that’s being posted. That doesn’t really sit well with me, and I am guessing it kind of rubs readers the same way to at least some extent. Then again, my disclosure may wind up wreaking damage on this blog, and people might lose interest altogether.
This whole issue came to a head last week when I was asked to do an interview with Radio Open Source dealing with my interaction in Second Life. It was for a segment due to air Tuesday, simultaneously taking place ’live’ in Second Life. I agreed to it preliminarily, and was later informed by the show’s producer that my area of interest may prove too sexual for the show’s ‘family hours’ broadcast slot. So, at this point, it looks as if the interview is a no-go, although I haven’t heard anything definitive yet. (If it does fall through, the major bummer would be that I may have lost a chance to hang with Sherry Turkle, who is scheduled as one of the show’s guests.)
At any rate, if such an opportunity ever presents itself again, I’d like to be able to participate without having to worry about who is going to be (perhaps understandably) shocked, surprised or appalled that I am really ‘male.’ This way, I am breaking the news up front.
As far as my (trans) gender and sexual orientation, I am in fact a bisexual who identifies as neither male nor female, but somewhere in between. Just think of me as a sort of gender hybrid. I feel these details also are relevant to what I am trying to accomplish with this blog, by the way.
In addition, while I have the opportunity I’d also like to apologize in advance to any Second Life residents who may be pissed off that I am not a genetic female in real life. As far as the handful of residents whom I have established relationships with in SL in one form or another, out of courtesy, I’ve already informed them about my news prior to making this post. And I very much appreciate the fact that they all handled it extremely well and maturely, and we are all remaining cyberpals in Second Life.
So, how is all this going to effect Cheri Horton? I don’t know, really. We’ll have to wait and see. I may wind up giving her a virtual penis, I may not. I may transform her into a hermaphrodite. I really like her ‘physical’ appearance, but then again, I may revamp her a bit merely for her to present a more androgynous image. I also have no idea how Cheri’s social interaction in SL will be impacted.
I do know one thing, though: my exploration and documentation of Second Life sex and relationships will continue in earnest. And I think my experiences inside that virtual world will now be a lot more relevant to who I am in real life and will be that much more engaging, not to mention more revealing in terms of self-discovery, if you’re into that type of thing.
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