Lilly B. was the alt of Tracy M, whose story is told in Tales From the Front: Gender Deception: Tracy M. and Tom T. In summary, Tracy M was being pursued by a former lover who’d a lied about her gender, claiming to be a man in RL when she was in fact a woman, forcing Tracy to retire her own avatar and create an alternative: Lilly B.
Tracy really didn’t like the idea of an alt, but she wasn’t willing to give up SL. She built Lilly B. to be as unlike her as possible. Where Tracy had been tall and willowy, Lilly was shorter and more curvaceous. Where Tracy had been blonde and brown-eyed to reflect her RL appearance, Lilly had flaming red ringlets and eyes of luminous sea-green. Even in temperament, Tracy had been outgoing and confidant prior to Tom’s announcement, Lilly embodied her new confusion and uncertainty and was shy and tentative, with an air of vulnerability.
It was as Lilly that she met Kevin G. She didn’t mean to get involved. She didn’t want to get involved, but it was like love at first sight. He seemed to somehow breach all her defenses, knock down all the walls she’d thrown up to protect herself and somehow reached right inside her. She was terribly lonely, frightened of Tom, and still confused, and Kevin offered strength, love, and security, and there was no doubt about his real life gender.
She knew she was vulnerable and knew she was falling, but she couldn’t seem to stop herself. They’d been together just a few days, but the feelings were intense, undeniable, and mutual. On the third night they were together, she told him Tracy’s story, her story.
He was so shocked and she was so concerned that it didn’t occur to either of them for some minutes. He took her in his arms and comforted her and assured her that he didn’t care about her past. He loved her just as she was.
And then it seemed to dawn on both of them at the same time. This love was doomed. Lilly was temporary and expendable, a product of Tracy’s confusion and uncertainty and fear of Tom. Tracy wasn’t being her real self when she played Lilly. She was playing a part, and it was a part she probably wouldn’t be able to sustain, and wouldn’t want to sustain, because it wasn’t her. Kevin had fallen in love with a fiction, a mirage.
They tried to work something out. Tracy brought back her original Avatar to meet Kevin , but Tom and his numerous alts were constantly online and using spyware to detect her and start harrassing her. And Kevin by now was confused and uncertain as well. He loved Lilly, and that’s who he wanted. But Lilly wasn’t real.
Kevin had to let her go, and the sooner the better, before their love grew even more serious. Tracy told me how Kevin held Lilly one last time and wouldn’t let her go, and how she–Tracy– couldn’t stop weeping in real life, how she wanted so much to play Lilly for him just to keep his love, but knew Lilly wasn’t really her, and that she’d be fooling Kevin and fooling herself.
In the end, Tracy and Lilly both left Second Life for an extended time. I met Tracy at a club a few months after all this happened, and that’s where she old me this story.
–Aiden Swain 6/26/2010