This week we are spotlighting Sylvania Square, a furry neighborhood inspired by the rainbow palette of the RL village of Boystown.
Safe spaces can mean many things; safety from violence is of course vital for all communities to grow. However, the ability to express one’s true self without judgment and connect with others who have similar interests and perspectives is also something to be treasured. Mayor Celeste Étoile is keenly aware of this, describing Sylvania Square as “a place to surround yourself with people who understand and accept you as you are. A comfort, a sanctuary, a home to those who need one. This place was created to help LGBT+ people find themselves, find friends, make memories, find love, and explore their identities in a safe environment.”
During the isolation of the COVID pandemic, Celeste says that "finding somewhere in a virtual world like this can be a lifesaver. Finding people who understand you can be life-changing."
Vice Mayor Aine Bunny also places immense value on finding community for marginalized people, adding "there's a strong sense of euphoria that comes about when you're able to breathe life into a dream like Sylvania's - one that is incredibly important to the target demographic which we can heavily relate to, especially given our current real-world circumstances... We want to make sure those who need a sense of respite, a place to call home, a change of pace, a spark of inspiration, kindred spirits to commune with, etc., have as much of it as we can provide."
RL neighborhoods by and for the LGBTQ+ community have popped up in countless cities around the world. You may recognize names like The Castro, Chelsea, and Zona Rosa. Second Life is home to many queer friendly regions, and all are encouraged to explore.
Celeste says of SL, "Second Life was a place that I could create myself how I wanted to be perceived and a place where I could find friends who understood sides of me [which] in real life [some people] may not have been able to grasp. There has always been something incredibly life changing about being in SL. It's a place that brought me closer to my partners, my friends, and myself, in ways I can never say thank you enough for."
Sylvania Square is free to enter and welcomes everyone, even non furries, although to enter Residents must have a payment method on file as a formality. Visit Sylvania Square today to breathe easily and let loose in a judgment free zone.
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