Love is love. Love is not defined by gender. If we open ourselves to real love, we can find it in any person, irregardless of gender.
Having said that, I want to take this post and dedicate it to the team at Burrow Coffee & Bourbon Company.
If you look through my credits, you will notice that I’ve been shooting a lot of my blog photos at Burrow lately. Harlow & Dusty (sorry, dude…you’ll always be Dusty to me) have created this gorgeous and welcoming sim that you should check out of you haven’t already. It has everything from woodlands to farmland to beaches to the coffee shop and bourbon factory…and more. Harlow did an amazing job of blending everything together seamlessly for this amazing location. Along with the beautiful landscaping, they regularly host DJs and live performers to help bring people together.
But it’s not just the physical beauty of this sim that continues to draw me there. It’s the friends that I have there and what I have found to be one of the most socially open and accepting environments in all of Second Life.
Remember…I’ve been on the grid for about 14 years now. I’ve visited so many sims and clubs over the years that there’s no way to keep track of them all. I’ve visited many clubs that exclude people for so many reasons. Those reasons range from the quality of your avatar to the style of avatar you have to you sexual or gender identity. I’ve also witnessed so many clubs that claimed to be inclusive of lifestyles, especially the LGBTQ population but yet, when push came to shove and myself or a friend was attacked by a club patron for who we are…the club management did nothing despite their pledges to support diversity.
If there is one thing I have learned in life, not just on this journey, but with life in general…there is a big difference in saying you support something and actually standing by those stated values when push comes to shove. Burrow lives those values every day.
And if you had made it Burrow’s Pride Fest event this past weekend, you would have seen all that I am talking about in way I cannot even put into words.
Now, we all know I am a bit of a sap…and I own it. But having shared what I did above, I also want to say a few special words, not just about Burrow as a whole…but also about members of the Burrow team.
Harlow – I am sure you are tired of getting letting messages from me telling you thank you and how much your support means to me, but I won’t be stopping any time soon. You are a light in this world…the type we need more of. Your love of life and others shows in everything you do. We may not talk often, but I always know you are there and that alone means more than you know.
Dusty – You’ve never flinched around me. Not once. From the day Sady introduced us, you welcomed me into your circle. When I was fighting to come out of hiding last year, you always encouraged and supported me. The number of times I have had someone come after me for being me and you have messaged me to make sure I was ok and if you needed to step in…there have only been two other men in my life who consistently did that sort of thing for me. I hope that let’s you know how much I respect you as a man and a human being.
Aria – We only started talking a few months ago but you have quickly become such a dear friend to me. You have tolerated my antics and my cluelessness (picture Alicia Silverstone in Clueless here) and have helped me laugh when I was in such desperate need of humor. I treasure the friendship that has developed between us and have so much respect for you and all of your amazing talents. Thank you for allowing me into your circle.
Sady – I know I am probably going to be in trouble with you because you always yell at me when I get sappy with you. For almost two years now, you have been such a positive and constant presence in my life. You have accepted me, encouraged me, mentored me and pushed me to be better than I imagined I could be. You have allowed me to lean on you during some of the worst times and have trusted me to be a support for you when you have been struggling. You gave me a chance and saw potential in me that I couldn’t see in myself. You’ve always had my back and I hope I have always had yours. You’re openness to other’s lives and worldviews is a gift few have and it has made me respect you more than you will ever know. Whether you know it or not, you will always be family to me.
Sassy – Girl…I don’t think I have ever fallen in love with a new friend the way I did with you. Your personality is infectious and helps draw others out of their hiding places, like you did with me. You have always been there for me…during some of my absolute darkest days since we met. I pray I have always been there for you as well. Any time there has been a period where we haven’t talked as much, it has never changed anything and we have picked up right where we left off. You are one of the most loving, accepting and generous human beings I have ever met. I am so lucky to have you as my sister.
Ane – So we have known each other for some time through our SL jobs but only recently have started talking outside of business topics and I am so happy we have done that. Your sassiness and humor has left my face and sides hurting from laughter. What I have learned about your drive and spirit is inspiring and I look forward to learning more about you moving forward.
To the rest of the Burrow Crew – I have only spoken with the rest of you briefly, but you all have been amazing. Thank you for always welcoming not just myself, but everyone who walks through the doors of Burrow.
If you have not checked out Burrow before, please do. As I have shared, it’s not the gorgeous design that makes Burrow a place I love…it’s the people. And in the end, isn’t that the most important thing?
See it on Flickr.
Foxcity – Carefree 6m
Burrow Coffee & Whiskey Company