Vancouver
2 min

Queer wanderings online

Building the perfect avatar

Did you know that queers use social networking sites like MySpace, LiveJournal and Facebook more than straights do? It’s true. A lot of my queer friends spent months honing their online presence. I decided it was time for me to get in the groove.

So I set up a Facebook account. At first I was super-addicted, choosing the perfect photo for my profile, checking to see who was there from my high school, filling in all of my likes and dislikes and trying to come up with witty status updates, like “Sarah is shaken not stirred.”

Since then, it’s worn a little thin.

The 14-year-old inside me spends too much time reading cool people’s profiles and falling into a pit of envy and self-loathing. God, there are so many writers who are more successful than me, femmes who are hotter, queers who are more fabulous and a whole whack of people who’ve been to Europe 87 times.

And I’ve had to delete a few friends whose in-jokes and charmingly original status updates (X is more blue than green, Y is wishing on a star) were way too annoying.

I’ve tried to extract my gaze from my navel and join some political groups. But a lot of the groups on Facebook reflect the fact that it is less popular with queers than other sites and that much of its content is created by high schoolers. When I searched “lesbian jew” I somehow ended up at the Save Britney Spears Foundation (91 members). Then again, maybe I don’t know as much about Britney as I thought I did.

Last week I expanded my horizons to Second Life, though my avatar is still floating like a dork at the entryway. All I’ve managed to do is make her thighs and stomach heftier than the starter model.

My gay friend asked why I wanted my avatar to look like me, when I could do as he did and transform myself into an uberbabe. He says that if I get my act together and actually start hanging out with him on Second Life (he is the ripped beefy blond with the crew cut; you may have seen him), he will buy me some really nice hair as a welcome gift.

How gay is that?

Now I’m thinking of pulling up stakes at Facebook and moving over to LiveJournal. There are a ton of queers there. I may not be ready to join Bi Poly Kinky Pagan Gamer Geeks, but I bet I could find some other Jewish dyke writers and cartoonists.

So many options, so little time. Can I just say, I freaking love the internet?