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ISSUE 5, APRIL 2016

FunWedding Feature inside


Publisher/Editor’s Note

I would like to start off by saying that I have learned something very valuable over the last few weeks: I have no control over what others do or say. The only one I have control over is myself. People are going to say or do hurtful things, but I truly feel that rising above it all, and knowing who I am as a human being is all that matters at the end of the day.  Those who know me, know...and those who don’t will gossip. If you want to know...ask!!! Don’t listen to idle gossip and chatter of others.    With that said I am also very sad. L’Amour has to say goodbye to Hezabel Blackheart who has been the Director of L’Amour Nexus University of Fashion for the last four-plus years. Hezabel has left to concentrate on real life. When she announced her

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Issue 5, April 2016 | L’Amour Diversity Magazine

departure to me, both of us cried and hugged. She will come back and teach when she can, but this is important for her and for me. We will have contact like always. This is a friendship that went from SL to RL. You will be missed little lady. Also we are losing Janet Brink and Lukrecia Merchiston, two of the most amazing Professors to ever grace L’Amour. Thank you both for all your hard work and dedication and thank you for always being there and working so well with Hez. Janet and Lukrecia have been with me as long as Hez and I am beyond sad to see them go. But like I always say, “Real life first”. I wont say goodbye. I will say until we meet again (winks).   Hezabel will be taking the Nexus name with her, and the school will now be


ISSUE 5, APRIL 2016 named L’Amour University of Fashion.  I will be on the lookout for a new school Director and a few teachers.    This issue of L’Amour Diversity Magazine is a great one!    Read a compelling story about an SL resident who is a real life Syrian refugee. His journey is as real as it gets, and I know that you will be touched by his perseverance and strength as I was.    We also feature a Wedding section that is going to bring weddings to the next level.    Producer/Director Xavier Thiebaud and Andy Loon talk about their amazing story of “The Little Prince”.    And so much more...   Write On!!!!!!       Ava Jhamin CEO Publisher/Editor   L’Amour Diversity Magazine.   

n i m a h J Ava

STAFF Ava Jhamin Publisher/Editor Jena Adder Creative Director WRITERS Ahn Avion Ava Jhamin Rhiannon Colclough Sarahelisebeth Brenham Sita Writer CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Vichonette Constantine PHOTOGRAPHERS Alex Avion OnlyGenesis Rhiannon Colclough Trinity Aironaut ON THE COVER Mr. & Miss Model International 2016 Winners Maxtor Frisk & AriannaJasmine Photo by Lira Savira The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Publisher. ©2016 L’Amour Productions. All rights reserved. Second Life® is a registered trademark of Linden Research, Inc.

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Contents

12 Spotlight - Model’s Haven Read about the newest modeling source on

the SL grid - Model’s Haven and owners Drawde Coba and Resmay Bloodstorm.

18 Designers - Nouvelle Aube A New Designer Amonst Us. Get to know Keith Ferguson, Designer and Owner of Nouvelle Aube Ladies and Gents Fashion.

24 Wedding Feature Models Ava Jhamin, Jena Adder, Trinity Aironaut

and Sita Writer show us some interesting alternatives to the typical wedding gown.

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Norena Soir - All the Trimmings Owner of NSP & [MUSE] 42 Saying I Do in Second Life Wedding Destinations

60 Community - A Refugee’s Story Get a glimps into the real life of a Syrian

refugee who made some difficult choices to save his life and his family.

68 Project Bento: Be Prepared to Be Amazed!

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74 Arts & Entertainment - Lady Garden Lady Garden Carbaret celebrates its

5th Anniversary. Jena Adder interviews entertainer and Minxette Chandra Meehan.

88 The Little Prince, A Dream Fulfilled

96 A DJ With a Difference DJ G­Winz (Gerrard Winstanley)

104 Fashion - MMI - A Competitors View Sarahelisebeth Brenham showcases the winners of MMI 2016, and gets feedback about their experiences.

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Slut-Shaming - A model’s perspective on nude modeling

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25th & 26th Pazzo Style Challenge Winners

132 Role Play - Fotios Kahanamoku Do you really know the man behind Million Dollar

Man, Fotios Kahanamoku. Read Fotios’ side of the story in a candid interview addressing the misunderstandings in the modeling community.

138 The Polyamourous Lifestyle

140 The Window Between Worlds A tale of secret lovers

142 Social - “GET IT OUT” Introducing a platform where people

can write and talk about their issues.

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Staff Bios

Ava Jhamin joined Second Life in June 2009 and immediately began her modeling career, working with top fashion agencies and designers on the grid. She started her first agency in 2009, and ran a few others with various partners for two year.

Ava Jhamin

Publisher, Editor-in-Chief, Writer, Photographer

In 2011 Ava opened L’Amour Productions, and together with her loyal team of experts, she has successfully grown the company to what it is today with four subsidiary companies: L’Amour University of Fashion, Pazzo Style Challenge, Mr. & Miss Model International and L’Amour Diversity Magazine. As a writer in real life, Ava is no stranger to the publishing world, and is a natural behind the Diversity Magazine Editor’s desk. She loves SL because it allows her to be creative and to push herself to see and be all that she can. Ava’s fearless attitude, resilience and passion for what she does is fueled by the love and support of her family and friends, with whom she devotes as much time as she can to play and be silly with...and to just be herself.

Fashion has always been Jena’s main interest on Second Life. In addition to runway and print modeling, Jena enjoys working behind-the-scenes as a fashion show producer, director and stylist.

Jena Adder Creative Director

Driven, focused and hard working, Jena brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to L’Amour Productions, including marketing, public relations and business management. Jena’s recent role as Brand Manager at L’Amour involved developing and implementing a new brand and marketing strategy for the organization, including the redesign of its logos and the Diversity Magazine. When she’s not face deep in layout and graphics at L’Amour, you can find Jena hovering around Model’s Workshop where she is COO & Co-Owner, working with Suki Rexen and a team of fashion professionals to organize workshops and fashion events for models.

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Ahn Avion Writer

It’s hard to condense 10 years of SL into a small bio because Ahn has been very busy. His first few years in SL were spent in Gor doing various roles to keep the role play fresh. He got started in Menstuff in 2012 and worked his way up to owner of all of the ‘stuff groups: Menstuff, Womenstuff, Homestuff, Posestuff and Kidstuff. Besides the groups and Gorean RP, Ahn enjoyed other RP genres, belonged to a dance company, and is currently building his modeling résumé in both print (store ads and magazines) and runway. His modeling certificate is from L’Amour Nexus. Together with his vast knowledge of RP, the ‘stuff activities, and his superior writing skills, Ahn has been a wonderful addition to the writing team at Diversity Magazine.

Rhiannon Colclough

Writer, Photographer Rhiannon has been in Second Life for eight years. Among many career changes she has had the pleasure of being a magazine writer/photographer for many publications, and right now is very happy to work for L’Amour Diversity Magazine. She enjoys working with staff at L’Amour, and proud to report on the wide range of topics it covers—even those that are controversial, but important for us to face. Writing for Diversity has allowed Rhiannon to explore the vast world that is SL, and to find new items and places she has never seen and meet people that, without SL, she would have never met... and in general have a really good time. Rhiannon plans on having many more years to enjoy writing for magazines like Diversity!

Genesis has a true love for photography and capturing beautiful images. She is also a lover of fashion and looking good, so some of her work will show both her artistic side as well as her stylish side. Genesis’ talents in photography won her the opportunity to photograph Kimmera Madison for the Feb 2016 cover of Diversity Magazine. Working for Diversity and other clients like Zibska Designs pushes her creativity. Genesis was recently awarded 4th Runner-up in the Mr. & Miss Model International 2016 competition, which she credits as being a real eye opening experience into the modeling and fashion world on SL. Her goal is to eventually be a print model. Check out Genesis’ work on her Flickr and Blog.

Sarahelisebeth Brenham Writer

Sarah has been a citizen of Second Life for over seven years. In this realm, she enjoys working and writing. When she’s not in SL, she could be found reading, shopping and watching TV programs. Sarah’s personality could best be described as giving, authentic, empathic, honest and quiet.

Sita Writer Writer

Trinity Aironaut Photographer

Alex Avion Photographer

OnlyGenesis Photographer

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Model’s Haven is a non-profit Second Life Group and Land Parcel, dedicated to providing visibility to merchants, and support to male and female SL models.

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Spotlight

Model’s Haven By Ava Jhamin

I am honored to be doing this month’s Spotlight story on Model’s Haven and Drawde Coba and Resmay Bloodstorm (meishagirl). I met Resmay when she came to take classes at L’Amour and a fast bond was formed, so much so that now I have the pleasure of calling her sis. I met Drawde a bit later and thought he was sooo perfect for Resmay, and together they were going to be a force to be reckoned with. I was right. They asked if could rent to them the other half of my sim to do a mall. At first I was leery with lag and shows, but I thought about it and eventually thought it was a great idea. The deal was done and Drawde and Resmay have made an amazing Mall and Model’s Haven. I sat down with them both to find out where this vision came from, and to get to know this lovely couple that I get to call my friends and family. Ava: What brought you to Second Life Drawde & Resmay? Drawde: I was a RL live stage Technical Director. I heard through a friend that I could live creatively in a Second Life.

Resmay: A friend of mine told me about SL three years before I started playing, and I got my brother playing so when my RL marriage ended it seemed the perfect time to do something different. Ava: How did you and Resmay meet? Drawde: I was renting homes and she rented from me. Shortly after that my long time partnership ended and I invited Resmay to dance, and the rest is history. Resmay: What he is leaving out is the fact that he IM’d me one day asking what I was doing and I was practicing for the L’Amour Productions “Rippin It” show. I was the only one at the runway and he ask if he could come and watch me. I tried to explain I was only walking up and down the runway and he would probably be bored. He insisted that he would not be. He came and watched me so intently as I strutted up and down the runway, and at the end he clapped and cheered for me. That is when I knew this man is really special. We have been together every single day since. Continued next page...

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Ava: Tell me what was the inspiration for Model’s Haven?

Ava: Can you tell our readers what exactly is Model’s Haven?

Drawde: Simple. Resmay is my muse. I built it for her and all her friends in the SL modeling industry.

Drawde: Model’s Haven is a non-profit Second Life Group and land parcel, dedicated to providing visibility to merchants, and support to all SL models and agencies.

Resmay: I wanted to live where we had more room than our current location, and by living next door to Ava that was going to be possible. Drawde came up with the idea of the mall and I gave up my dream of a larger sim for something that is proving to be so much more rewarding.

Continued next page...

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Resmay: To me Model’s Haven is a place where SL models and agencies can come together as one. We can have a place that all models can come and hang out, dance, take photos, and do what we do best...shop.


Ava: What kind of Stores are in the mall so far? Drawde: Men’s and women’s fashion, jewelry, hair, poses, and soon, cosmetics. Ava: Tell me what are the ups of owning a business in SL? Drawde: I do it to help other SL’ers, and to have fun. Resmay: For me working with the two people I love the most. Drawde and my bestie Willo. Watching Drawde’s

visions come to pass through his builds and seeing Willo take a room of vendor boards and making them come alive. Ava: I know that you’re on the L’Amour Productions Sim. Is there any connection there to L’Amour? Drawde: While the mall and center are not directly affiliated with L’Amour, we do provide support to L’Amour models as well as all agencies. We are dedicated to the growth and success of modeling in SL. Continued next page...

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Ava: Tell the readers about some of your plans for Model’s Haven? Drawde: We will grow as big as prims allow. We have stores and a center for modeling agencies to use as well as models.

information. It is nice to be able to come to one location to help each other with checking prims and poses and styling tips. It is our dream that people will come to the mall and enjoy hanging out, talking, dancing and shopping.

For me I believe there is a wealth of knowledge out there and I would like to see models from all levels of experience come together and help each other.

We have public photo studios, and photo op areas. I hope that SL’ers will come here and find models here that will introduce newbies to modeling, and share their experiences. Resmay: For me I believe there is a wealth of knowledge out there and I would like to see models from all levels of experience come together and help each other. We have talked about having seminars at the modeling center such as simple photography tips or anything that models could benefit from. We have a place where agencies and others can rent a billboard and models will have a central location where they can come and pick up the

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This mall is not only for models, we want everyone to come and feel welcomed. Ava: Thank you so much Drawde and Resmay for sitting down with me and telling the readers of L’Amour Diversity Magazine about Model’s Haven. I know you are going to be a great success with the two of you at the helm. n

Visit Model’s Haven in world at: Model’s Haven Mall I


Nouvelle Aube Is opening its f irst store in SL bringing some exciting designs and outf its for both ladies and gents. The clothes combine smart and classy with a hint of sexy.

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Keith Ferguson (Keith7708 String), Designer and Owner of Nouvelle Aube Ladies and Gents Fashion

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Designers

A New Designer Amonst Us Nouvelle Aube By Ava Jhamin I know that when things are meant to be they just are. I was asked by Drawde Coba and Resmay Bloodstorm to rent the other half of my sim. They wanted to build Model’s Haven and a mall. At first I was thinking of the lag on shows, but then I thought hmmm this could be a great thing. Then Allie Hamilton (AllieAngelica), CEO of Unique Visions, and I collaborated once again to do a show for a new designer, Keith Ferguson (Keith7708 String). As all of us were helping to pitch in for the mall, I asked both of them to be part of the mall. They gratefully said yes and the rest is going to be played out. Nouvelle Aube, Keith’s store, is the main store in the mall. Also taking a spot in the mall is Unique Visions. Keith will be doing a show at the Mall on April 23rd, and we are very excited to have him aboard in all of the adventures that Nouvelle Aube will be involved in.

I sat down with Keith, a very kind gentle man, to talk about his brand and himself. We got comfortable and I went right into the questions to learn more about his vision for Nouvelle Aube. Ava: What brought you to SL Keith? Keith: A friend shared with me about Second Life and I decided to check it out for myself, and here I am almost eight years later. Ava: What made you want to design in Second Life? Keith: I saw so many designers, some making good clothes and some bad clothes. After so long, I was intrigued enough to see what it took to actually make something. I figured I would at least try, knowing it could only end up bad, which I certainly did not want. I listened to all of the advice given to me from others and respecting their success. Each step learning more and more. Continued next page...


When I could not figure something out, it made me want to succeed even more, and I found enjoyment in bringing an item to life. Ava: How did you meet Allie of Unique Visions? Keith: I met Allie through a friend. Over time I watched the work she did for other designers and her relentless efforts to represent a designer’s line. We became good friends and when it was my turn to launch my own line, I turned to

each item in the very best way possible. Ava: How have you found designing in SL so far? Keith: Designing in SL at times can be quite testing, but on the whole it is enjoyable. Ava: Do you get inspiration from real life? Keith: There are so many amazing designs, textures, and fabrics in real

The definite ups of owning a business in SL is the enjoyment you get from others actually buying your designs because they like the quality of it.

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her and her associates to make that all happen.

life that it’s impossible not to be inspired by it.

Ava: Tell me what was the inspiration for Nouvelle Aube?

Ava: Tell me what are the ups of owning a business in SL?

Keith: Nouvelle Aube means New Dawn. It is my time. I have awoken with the decision to move forward, reaching for the next level. The focus for my brand is to sell quality clothes, applying myself to present

Keith: The definite ups of owning a business in SL is the enjoyment you get from others actually buying your designs because they like the quality of it. Too many people claim to be a success when really their

Issue 5, April 2016 | L’Amour Diversity Magazine


items are bought because it’s cheap or given for free. Ava: Tell the readers what are some of your plans for Nouvelle Aube? Keith: Immediate plans for Nouvelle Aube includes opening my first in-world store, which I hope will be the first of many. Buyers will also be able to see my line on Marketplace. Additional plans involve updating my own website, Facebook, Tumblr and Flickr as new items are created. People can soon join my group and be kept up-to-date with new developments. Anybody that designs in SL will tell you they are forever learning and that will be true in my case. As I learn and further develop my skills as a designer, my goal is to have Nouvelle Aube eventually rank up there with the best.

Keith: 90% of my designs have color huds, and with each one I try to give the buyer as many options as possible so they can create their own look. Ava: Please keep an eye out for Nouvelle Aube as I think we’re going to be seeing some great innovative clothing. Thank you Keith for sitting down with me and giving Diversity readers a little bit of you. n

Visit the store in world at: Nouvelle Aube’s Mainstore

Ava: Describe to the Diversity readers what style you feel is the Nouvelle Aube brand? Keith: Nouvelle Aube brand is smart, classy with a hint of sexy. Ava: Do your designs have color huds?

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Weddi


Wedding Feature

ingswith a twist Photos by Trinity Aironaut

Spring has sprung for many of us around the world, and if you’re planning a virtual wedding, it’s the perfect time to check out the gowns and floral arrangements available in Second Life. Traditional weddings may be top of mind for most brides, but those who want to walk a bit on the non-traditional side of the isle can visit Styles by Danielle for gowns that could be worn in both traditional and non-traditional ways...just add your own daring style, colors and accessories. Models Ava Jhamin, Jena Adder, Trinity Aironaut and Sita Writer show us some interesting alternatives to the typical

wedding gown as they couple with our male models in this special Wedding feature. Thank you to Dani Plassitz, Designer and Owner of Styles by Danielle, for the gowns used in the photos. WATCH THE VIDEO featuring more Styles by Danielle Bridal Gowns. Thank you to Norena Soir, Designer and Owner of NSP Florals and [MUSE], for the bouquets and various jewelry worn by the models. Visit NSP Florals and [MUSE] for more breathtaking blooms and gems. Continued next page...

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Models: Ava Jhamin and Owl Braveheart Gown: Danielle Ayanna Green Bouquet: NSP Golden Rose Arm Bouquet


Models: Jena Adder and Cyberdawg Foxclaw Gown: Danielle Thousand Kisses Silver Bouquet: NSP Cascading Jeweled Peony Bouquet (White Ruby & Black) Jewelry: [MUSE] Royale Perpetua Necklace Collection - Blackened Iron


Models: Shocker Munro and Trinity Aironaut Gown: Danielle London White


Models: Sita Writer and Maxtor Frisk Gown: Danielle Grace Bridal Fire


Models (l-r) Ava Jhamin, Cyberdawg Foxclaw, Bai Nightfire


L’Amour University of Fashion is a unique, professional and high-end modeling university focused on developing students to become the best they can be in SL modeling. Visit us at lamourproductions.org


Norena Soir, Designer and Owner of 5, April 2016 | L’Amour Diversity Magazine NSPIssue & [MUSE]

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Wedding Feature

Norena Soir – All the Trimmings By Sita Writer Irrespective of religion, race, country or culture, jewelry and the love of flowers existed as an integral form of expression, wealth and social status. Initially, jewelry was used as a form of currency; even today, numerous cultures continue to do this.

form of artistic expression that often completes an outfit. [MUSE], owned by Norena Soir, creates a complex array of exquisitely designed jewelry and NSP creates floral bouquets and more. Artful, thoughtful and realistic items from NSP and [MUSE] are a delight to wear and adds the perfect finishing

Many forms of jewelry have their roots in function. Pins, buckles and

In SL, I make corsages, boutonnière, bouquets, wedding headpieces, veils and some floral designs not often seen in the real world.

brooches were initially created to serve a specific function, but later evolved into more decorative pieces and were eventually considered as ornamentation and jewelry. Many pieces of jewelry are based on flowers that are encrusted with glimmering gemstones.

touch. Norena’s floral arrangements created by her company NSP are colorfully realistic and team with butterflies, gems, metal, lace and a variety of other creative materials. Norena will even customize a bouquet for you – a perfect option for brides or for parties and events.

In real life as in Second Life, jewelry and floral bouquets are viewed as a

[MUSE], Norena’s recently formed company offers headpieces, Continued next page... L’Amour Diversity Magazine | Issue 5, April 2016

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brooches, earrings, arm braces, bracelets, necklaces, shoes and other accessories. Some are classic designs others feature floral motifs with blossoms that spill down your back or chest. All are beautifully encrusted with the finest show-stopping, glimmering gemstones. You never know what you will find. Classic, gothic or romantic, [MUSE] offers a great variety of accessories. Norena joined SL with her husband and several of their friends after the virtual world they were in closed. She was looking forward to seeing what SL had to offer and was intrigued from the moment she logged on.”

Photos by Sita Writer

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In real life Noreen is a florist and this knowledge kicked off her aspiration to create realistic flowers and floral arrangements in SL. “In the beginning the designer I was working for needed a bouquet of roses for the winner of a pageant she was hosting. Having been a florist in real life for fifteen years, I figured that if I could find roses to work with, I should be able to make her a bouquet.” Intrigued with the virtual possibilities of creating floral arrangements, NSP (Norena Soir Productions) was born. Norena explains, “I spent a few months experimenting and ‘playing’ with full-perm flowers. I really enjoyed the process of creating


corsages, hair pieces and teaching myself how to fashion the types of bouquets that I made in real life.”As Norena’s business evolved she refined her brand. “My NSP Brand used to be called NSP Florals, since I’m known mainly for flowers under that brand. I decided to shorten the name to NSP, and with NSP I create the things I made in real life.” “In SL, I make corsages, boutonnière, bouquets, wedding headpieces, veils and some floral designs not often seen in the real world.” Norena adds, “Although I have done custom work, I am doing less of that now. With that said, for brides, I am always

happy to customize textures to match their theme to help them make their special day memorable. I also match textures for pageants, shows and other events.” Norena’s new company is called [MUSE]. A customer gave Norena the idea for the name of the store. “She told me I was her muse and that my work let her create looks she loves. It made me realize how my work affects others in SL. We all look for inspiration and I am honored that some can find their creativity through me.” [MUSE] was created to showcase Norena’s love of jewelry. It is an amalgamation of her artistic eye Continued next page...

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and floral creativity. “Along with being a florist in real life, I also made some jewelry.” Norena adds, “I love the detail you can infuse into floral and jewelry design. I am very connected to both genres. To highlight my love of jewelry, I decided to create a new brand in order to showcase this concept in a more professional light.” There is a distinct difference between the two companies. Norena explains, “NSP is Floral and Weddingbased. [MUSE] is all over the place! It is fueled by inspiration. Sometimes my floral background sneaks into my [MUSE] creations. I’ve always wanted to make a collection with an organic feel to it. The Miss TWA and the Neverland collections are an example of this and, in my opinion, a very organic series.” Juggling SL and real life for top designers is usually a challenge for Norena. “For me, it’s not easy to find a balance because I tend to take on too much and find myself working insane hours! This runs me down and I get burnt out. I can’t take on the huge projects as much as I used to. My health just won’t let me.” There is always a silver lining though because in SL Norena finds great fulfillment. “I think the biggest thing

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for me is being able to create again. Several years ago, my health forced me to retire from the floral. SL has fired my imagination and I think it is a great creative outlet. So many of my clients and customers inspire my work and this keeps me going. And, knowing that my husband and daughters are proud of what I have done here makes me very happy.” Norena has exciting plans for the future designs. “I’m working on developing mesh parts to improve the look of my wedding bouquets and other accessories. My SL daughters are teaching me and I am excited about this new phase of NSP and [MUSE].” n

Visit the store: NSP & [MUSE] Mainstore


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Wedding Feature

Saying I Do in Second Life Wedding Destinations By Sita Writer Weddings in SL are popular. A quick Google search on SL weddings generated 1.4 million plus results and included everything from gowns, rings and flowers to DJ’s, entertainment and a multitude of venues, both simple and over the top. Today beautiful, elaborate wedding ceremonies have become popular in Second Life as more venues offer services and designers create stunning wedding dresses, bouquets and accessories for the special day. Styles by Danielle and NSP are two superlative designers that offer wedding gowns and flowers that are featured in this issue of Diversity Magazine. If you are looking for a romantic place to say “I do”, I’ve done some research on a variety of Sims that offer wedding services. We hope this guide helps you plan your special day. Photos by Sita Writer Continued next page...

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CELESTINA’S WEDDINGS Celestina’s Weddings, established in 2006, is one of the oldest wedding venues on the grid. They offer more than twenty-one venues to choose from and must know what they are doing. They have been highlighted as one of the best wedding destinations in SL with more than one-thousand couples saying “I Do” on their Sims, making this a noteworthy place to check out. Bilingual wedding planners are a part of

Celestina’s team making them a godsend if your first language isn’t English. The professional team that composes the Celestina Wedding staff consists of: planners, designers, DJ’s, photographers and assistants. Wedding packages start at 5,000L and go up to 28,000L. If you would like to request prices and have sit down consultation to discuss your wedding, contact Sofia Corleone (SofiaCorl3one) for details. Teleport I


STAR*CROSSED WEDDINGS Star*Crossed Weddings is composed of skilled professionals that will be at your service to help you plan your wedding day. Star*Crossed Weddings offers a variety of venues including a large classically styled house called Braemar House that boasts a classic French styled chapel that promises a wedding fit for royalty.

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A new venue at Star*Crossed Weddings is called Giardino and is a lovely rustic barn like setting in the hills of Tuscany. Set in a Tuscan winery, this venue is unique and romantic. Two of the most unique venues offered include Woodland Fairytale and Winter Villa Amore; both are set in a winter landscape that surrounds guests with pine trees and candlelight.


The Starry Night venue is reminiscent of a high-end boutique hotel lounge that will give your wedding a modern and sophisticated vibe. If you want a casual beach wedding, try Aloha Dreams or Sunkissed Falls. For a more formal beach side venue, check out the white and blue themed Heart of Atlantis – it is set in a formal garden

with a glorious fountain overlooking the ocean. Spellbound casts a magic spell in a garden environment with lights that twinkle and gazebos that give it a romantic feel. Wedding packages start at 2,000L and go up to 100,000L. For more information e-mail Juliet Moonshadow. Teleport I L’Amour Diversity Magazine | Issue 5, April 2016

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Star*Crossed Weddings Tuscan Winter Villa


ETERNALLY YOURS WEDDINGS Eternally Yours Weddings brings you a variety of wedding specials and offers personalized venues to make your dream wedding come true. The staff is friendly and helpful and is always there to assist in planning to ensure that your day is perfect. There are fourteen venues to choose from.

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When you enter the sim to begin your exploration of what they have to offer, you will find a helpful locator making it easy to find your way. There are also a number of wedding vendors that make planning easy. Best of all, they have a platform where you can rezz any of the available wedding venues making it easy to choose.


If you love flowers, it is easy to see why the Garden Style venue created by Eternally Yours is popular. The flowers can be customized to compliment the colors you have chosen for your bridal party. The garden setting brings the outside in creating a romantic setting. Another

favorite is called Twilight that surrounds the wedding party with trees, flowers and drifting petals. If you want something simple and intimate, check out the small chapel on the Church Venue. Marriage packages start at $4,000L and go up to 30,000L. Teleport I

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CHAPEL OF DREAMS If you are not a planner and would rather elope, or if you want something small and simple, if not a bit rustic, try the automated wedding service at Chapel of Dreams in Snuggles Forest. This classic chapel is set in a charming forest clearing and, best of all, there is no need to book or wait…this makes saying ‘I do’ easy as pie! After the ceremony go to the pavilion in the dancing grove and dance the night away. Wedding tip: make sure you try the demo to rehearse before you get married. Some folks get nervous (of course this is understandable and just the wedding I do jitters!), so to resolve this just visit Reverend Lee in the demo area and for 1L you can practice your vows! Teleport I

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SUNRISE WEDDINGS Sunrise Weddings also offers an easy solution to those that don’t want to plan and prefer something more intimate. Sunrise offers an automatic Minister in their seaside chapel.

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Couples wanting to say ‘I do’ walk through an arbor laced with flowers to this rustic beachside chapel. New to this venue is a forest venue as well.


Wedding tip for this sim is to make sure you turn on midnight for a fabulous fireworks display after you say ‘I Do’! Prices start at 750L and go up to 3,000L. Teleport I

Sunrise Weddings Forest

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Community

A Refugee’s Story By Ava Jhamin

When Hamm

that real life and SL don’t mix are crazy in my opinion. There is only so much SL and then it becomes our real life, with our real life experiences. Hamm is one of 13.5 million Syrian refugees, who have fled the country since the onset of the Syrian Civil War in 2011. I wanted to give the readers a bit of history before telling Hamm’s story.

I think as Americans we get complacent on how blessed we are to be in the United States. It’s not that we don’t care about others’ plights in the world, it’s just that we don’t really meet anything like that head on. Well I did meet it head on when I met a man on Second Life. His name is Hamm. And for me like with most men you dance and you get to know someone. This one I can truly say threw me for a loop and made me look at my life and life in general in a much different way. Hamm started opening up to me about his real life, which for me of course is a given. People who believe

As of February 2016, the United Nations (UN) has identified 13.5 million Syrians requiring humanitarian assistance, of which 6.6 million are internally displaced within Syria, and over 4.8 million are refugees outside of Syria. Turkey is the largest host country with over 2.7 million Syrian refugees, and has spent more than 8 billion Euros on direct assistance. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) within Syria, and Syrian refugees in neighboring countries, is coordinated largely through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Close to 1 million Syrians have requested asylum in various countries, particularly Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and the European Union. Continued next page...

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...the United Nations (UN) has identified 13.5 million Syrians requiring humanitarian assistance, of which 6.6 million are internally displaced within Syria, and over 4.8 million are refugees outside of Syria.

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By the end of August 2014, the UN estimates 6.5 million people have been displaced within Syria, while more than 3 million had fled to countries such as Lebanon (1.14 million), Jordan (608,000) and Turkey (815,000). The Syria crisis has become the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era, yet the world is failing to meet the needs of refugees and the countries hosting them.1 I sat down with my dear friend to hear his story, a true story of a refugee from Syria. Ava: Hamm can you tell the readers how you came to be in SL? Hamm: I’m an IT Technologists. Technology is very interesting and important for me. I came to SL looking and learning anything new, graphics and program codes, and of course meeting people around the world and creating friends. It’s something really interesting to me. Ava: Hamm can you tell me where in Syria you’re from?

started it was not safe anymore, it was not a happy life anymore. Can any of you imagine yourself like a small rabbit between 10,000 tigers. Any moment rockets can fall on your home and kill you and your family, neighbors. Can you imagine walking in the street and someone just could come and kidnap you or one of your family members. You basically leave home and have no idea if you will ever come back or not on any given day. Ava: Can you explain from your point of view why this happened to you Hamm? Hamm: I am not a politician, honestly never liked politics or watched news so I really have no idea why the hell this happened and changed our country from heaven to hell. Government is corrupted, and I guess some bad people have found Syria a target of politics and money. Then gangs started to come from all over the world to Syria so they can steal, have sex slaves, and kill.

Hamm: Damascus, in the Middle East. Ava: Can you explain to the readers your point of view regarding being kidnapped and forced to leave Syria? Hamm: I lived a happy and safe life, which is all that most human beings are looking for in life. After the war

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Ava: I know your story just broke my heart. What did they specifically to do you Hamm? Hamm: They kidnapped me in the middle of the day, tortured me for a month or so. All they wanted was for me to sign documents. They were real military not mafias. All I was asking


through all of my pain and shock was “What do you want me to sign just tell me.” After some days they told me signing the documents will give us complete rights to take everything I own. They took my shop, my house, my car. They even wanted me to sign a white cash check so they can get access to my funds, and that was something I would never agree too. “This is my life, this is all my hard work, what are you asking me to do is like asking someone to shoot himself.”

I refused to sign and they kept torturing me day and night, no sleep no food, a lot of pain a lot of fear, until the moment comes when you give up. All you want is to go out of there and to end all the pain. All you want is to sleep, to close your eyes and eat anything. So yes I did give up after a month or so and I signed away everything in my life. I couldn’t see anything. I didn’t have the power even to hold the pen or see even the lines on the pages, so they put me in a car, and threw Continued next page...

you have to understand, that no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land

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me like trash in the city of Beirut in Lebanon next to a hospital. I crawled to the hospital door where I stayed for two months. I started to get my power back and I got out of there. I had no money, no passport, nothing. I tried to work in Lebanon, but it was so hard because the country is too poor and small.

as a wanted terrorist. I can’t go back to the place where I grew up and build my life and have my family and friends...well after all to start, I needed a passport. I needed documentation and getting a passport or documents, and be legal. There was only one way and that was to be a refugee in Europe. After one year of trying and trying

A lot of people have no knowledge about what we are going through. All they know are refugees that came to their counties... judging the book by the cover without even trying to open the first page.

After six months of trying and trying to build a life and trying to get to those people who did this to me, I understood there is nothing I can do other then to move on with my life. I then traveled to Istanbul Turkey where I stayed for a year or so trying to get a job. Turkish people completely hate Syrians because of the idea that we come to their country to take their jobs and money, and there is so many of them who think this way of course, after all not all of them but a really big number. I can say, so after a year I found myself helpless to my own life. I couldn’t go home after they took everything and they put my name

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I gave up and decided to do the best for my life...get a documents and only Europe is the solution, so I went to Europe. I ended up in Greece. Ava: Can you tell the readers about your family, where they are, and what the plans are for you with them? Hamm: My family ran to Istanbul, which is the closest city at the moment to travel to. Our plan is to have our life back in some way or another. All we need is some of our life back. But people and readers need to know we are not happy with our choice of Europe or being refugees, but we have no other choices.


Ava: I think the world is led to believe that you and your fellow countryman are poor. Can you set them straight on this Hamm? Hamm: People who think that are WRONG. We have everything in our country as Europe has. We make money in our daily lives. We are an educated people who had a complete great life. Not as most of the world perceived us as people from the desert that rode Camels. The world thinks we don’t have good hospitals, that we treat are women like slaves, ALL WRONG. We have everything and we are not happy to lose our country and our home and all of us wishing to be back home. Our old life is amazing, but we have no more chances. If we stay there we die and will never build anymore future after this war. We lost our homes, so we are forced to do what we are doing at the moment not because we wanted to do it. A big part of the Syrian population are Christians and Muslims, and we all live in the community together in love. We never have any kind of religious issues...not as the lies told on TV and what politicians are saying. It’s not true. We live together and we love each other, and never had any kind of those problems before.

world. What is their knowledge of what you have been through? Hamm: A lot of people have no knowledge about what we are going through. All they know are refugees that came to their counties. A lot of people judge the book by the cover without even trying to open the first page. Ava: What kinds of questions does the rest of the World ask Hamm? Hamm: I’m asked if I am happy to be in Europe, and the answer is no. Not because Europe is bad. No. But because I miss home. I miss my family, friends, and my bed. It’s my life. I miss speaking my own language, and I miss the respect I used to have. I don’t love how strangers look at us as refugees and terrorists or not educated. Please try to open even just the first page of the book before you judge it from its cover. That’s all I can ask. Ava: I think a lot can be learned from this story for all people of the world. Just that...we are all people of this great big world. And as such should all be treated with love, kindness and above all, respect. Thank you Hamm for letting me tell your story. I love you Mr., and I think you’re an amazing HUMAN BEING. n

Ava: I know in SL you can talk to all kinds of people from all over the 1 “Syria Regional Refugee Response – Overview”. UNHCR Syria Regional Refugee Response.

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Let Unique Visions help showcase your new clothing

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Community

Project Bento: Be Prepared to Be Amazed! By Rhiannon Colclough By now, many if not most residents of Second Life have heard at least a little of the Project Bento that Second Life started in beta testing recently. But what is Project Bento? Project Bento is a revolutionary new upgrade to the basic program. According to SL’s website, Bento introduces, “11 extra limb bones for wings, additional arms, or extra leg, six tail bones, 30 bones in the hands (all 10 fingers!), 30 bones for facial expressions, two other new bones in the head for animating ears or antennae, [and] 13 new attachment points associated with the new bones. “We’ve developed all this in collaboration with many expert Resident content creators and with the developers of the most popular tools for creating avatars and animations, so there will quickly be versions of those tools you can use to help take advantage of these changes.” One of those developers on the project was Kay Weston, pose and animation creator in Second Life. She is the creative force behind Image Essentials, an entire

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Kay Weston Developer at Project Bento

sim devoted to not only selling poses and animations, but also providing many gorgeous places to take photos and studios with the most creative backdrops and props. She is one of the most prolific pose makers in SL, and her inside view on the Bento project is a fascinating view on a development that will revolutionize SL. She was invited to be a member by Simon Linden who is familiar with what she does in Second Life. He thought her input could be of value. She was unable to say who all was on the project, but she could say it was made up of six linden staff, four moles, and six residents. These people were tasked


with bringing to life what the Linden staff wanted: to give the ability to creators to make more complicated and realistically moving mesh avatars of every description. Whether it be humanoid or not, the new bones will enable manipulation of body parts that was previously handled by cumbersome workarounds. From her perspective, it was a fascinating and unique view into what this project took to come to fruition. As she put it, “It was quite mind blowing to work so intimately with such unique and talented minds. The creativeness was soon apparent in some of the avatars that were being created in test phases. It was also intriguing to learn in more detail the complexities of the avatar such as the consideration of an avatar’s weight on the servers and how the addition of new bones would impact people’s own computers and performance.” These 16 people not only

had to bring about this tremendous change, but they also had to see how these additions would impact the users. This was quite a challenge. One of the impacts this improvement will bring about, according to Kay,”The new bones will definitely have an impact on how realistic certain poses will be. Finger movements will make a huge difference to some photography poses. Although I don’t normally use facial expressions on poses they could definitely make sad or melancholy poses more evident and wistful. The same can be said for anger or playfulness.” However, before anyone gets excited about this project, there will be a lot of changes to make to make this reality come to life. Kay explains that existing avatars will NOT support the new bone structure. No matter if the avatar is mesh or Continued next page...

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classic, none that exist right now can take advantage of the change. All-new MESH avatars will need to be made to use this new change. Kay added, with a touch of humor, “Although I can hear a groan, I am pretty sure that people will move to them in the future as the new bone structures will enable animators to create poses and

animations with fine control of fingers, face, wings, and tails.” It does open up some more opportunities to make avatars and items that will make SL’s already fantastical environment even more stunningly magical. Kay explained it this way, “The attachment points will enable things that previously were only dreamed of. They will be able to create avatars such as Minotaurs who will have four animated horse legs and two animated human arms. Spiders will have more limbs that work. Wings

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will be able to be used as arms, or even hair for moving ponytails. The new attachment points have opened up far more opportunities for creators and enable RPs etc., to use more items.” She cautioned, though, “At this stage I am not sure how using ALL the new points will affect the overall performance of the systems. Obviously, the more advanced the program becomes, the more advanced our computers will need to be to handle the load they present.” It is also going to impact pose and animation makers as well. Prior to this development, the free product QAvimator could be used for making simple poses and animations; this program is also probably the most user-friendly of all the programs for making animations and poses.” When Kay was asked about how QAvimator fit into this new paradigm, she said,


“QAvimator works on the standard bones. I have no idea whether it will be upgraded or whether it is even capable of handling the new bone structure.” When asked what she used to make her poses and animations, she explained, “I use Blender for the creation of both props and poses. It is free to download. I do, however, use the Avastar addon which is already set to the Second Life bone structure.” She adds “A lot of animators also use Maya and use the Mayastar system for the same purpose as Avastar. I also know of some who use Daz3d. There will no doubt be others, but these three are the ones that I know of that handle mesh creation as well as animation. It is just a matter of learning the software.” If anyone is daunted by these programs, which are not nearly as user-friendly as QAvimator, Kay added, “There are classes in world that teach you how to use them.” “The Anypose in world system will not handle the new bone structures at this stage.” (Draxtor added that there is a Bento user group every Thursday as well). “It must be pointed out again that the new bone structure WILL

NOT be supported on basic non-mesh avatars. It will also NOT be supported on MESH avatars that currently exist as they have not been rigged to the new bone structure.” Lest anyone become discouraged, Kay also reminded us, “It is an exciting development that definitely will provide more flexibility and creativity to creators all around the grid.” Links for more information about the Bento project and a movie about the changes that will show you how they work with supporting avis: Introducing Project Bento - New Bones Added to Second Life Avatar Skeleton The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 35 : Project Bento Exciting changes are ahead, so get ready to roll with the changes! n

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Arts & Entertainment

Happy 5th Lady Garden Celebrating with Chandra Meehan By Jena Adder Three years ago I produced a fashion show for !dM deviousMind called Carnival showcasing carnival costumes from around the world including Rio in Brazil and Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and some very interesting Burlesque pieces (wink wink). I was honoured to work with the owner of !dM deviousMind, Chandra Meehan, who loved our production and invited us to a show at the Lady Garden, the cabaret nightclub that she performed at. I also had the pleasure of meeting the owner of Lady Garden, Chopsy Bode, a very charming woman with the sweetest English accent, the craziest personality, and one of the most talented builders and performers I had ever met in my many years on Second Life. I fell madly in love with the Burlesque scene after seeing the show at Lady Garden, and I immediately signed up as a performer. Now let me tell you…I knew nothing about the art form, very little about building and absolutely diddly squat about choreography. I had a few dance animations and a Huddles EZ Animator, and that was the extent of my knowledge of dance. But in true Jena style, I jumped in feet first, strung together some dance animations,

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grabbed my feather fans and waitress outfit, and slapped together a few prims to create a 1950s diner. The routine was choreographed to “Roxy Roller” by the Canadian band, Sweeney Todd (shameless plug - wink). That first performance got me hooked on the nervous energy backstage and the excitement and chaos of Chopsy and the dancers (“The Minxettes” as they are so famously known) scrambling to get everything organized. I became mesmerized by the elaborate sets and jaw-dropping choreography that was so precise and extremely entertaining. Unfortunately my SL and real life got busier and I wasn’t able to continue on as a Minxette, but to this day I try to attend as many shows as I can to show support and connect with my old troupe. Recently Lady Garden celebrated its 5th Year Anniversary with a fabulous show on March 25th. So many great memories came flooding back watching the packed club come to life with bright lights, glitter, stars and rainbow colors. This along with the sexy costumes and flawless performances by the Minxettes Continued next page...

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made it one of the best I’ve seen in months. The troupe (this show consisted of Rug Halberd, Chandra Meehan, Diawa Bellic, SexyS Quintessa, Eostri, Kismet Coy and Exhibitionista Nirvana) and host Red Pralou really delivered in a big way. Chandra Meehan now runs Lady Garden, in addition to being one of the Minxettes. Her very busy schedule doesn’t allow her to do much else, so imagine my delight when she agreed to share some of her experiences at Lady Garden. Jena: Hello, Chandra. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to talk to Diversity readers about Lady Garden Cabaret. Let’s start things off by telling us a bit more about what you do on Second Life.

Chandra: Hi Jena, always a pleasure to catch you online again :) From the looks of it, you covered pretty much everything in your introduction. I’ve been in Second Life since January 2007, and got immediately hooked on building and texturing and “figuring out how things work”. So that’s still what I do nearly 99% of times I am logged in. Most of that time consists of banging my head against rigging meshes and fitting items while creating costumes for our store, !dM deviousMind. The other portion, I guess you can call it “my SL spare time”, is banging more head against dance choreographies, stage design and endless loops of the same song over and over until everything is right. So that’s my day in a nutshell. ;)

5th Anniversary show performance (l-r) Rug Halberd, Chandra Meehan, Diawa Bellic

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Jena: When did you start performing at Lady Garden?

Minxettes over any other troupe on the grid. ;)

Chandra: Same like you, I was invited to see the shows by a friend who performed at the time. And it didn’t take more than one show or two to send in my own application. This was in November 2011, and I think Chopsy nearly got a heart attack (laughs). I had known Chopsy as a customer before ever knowing what she does— she had used my very old cabaret photo stage for a year or so as a club, and happened to contact me about “a larger version” right in the time that I had nearly finished the “La Burlesque” photo stage. It was a bit like magic, cause everything she had asked for happened to be already there. So it instantly clicked and once I saw the shows, it was a no-brainer to join the

Jena: Tell us a bit about your experiences as a performer. Chandra: It’s a challenge. A big one! *laughs* We often see applicants fade to pale when the question comes “Do you know how to build?”. Truth is, it’s a multi-faceted art form in SL, since it doesn’t “only” require one thing. A very large range of skills is what brings it all in place, building, scripting, choreography and dance queuing, emoting, storytelling, some musical talent, etc etc. And I think what most people don’t realize is that performing requires most of all sincere dedication, otherwise you cannot do it. Continued next page... L’Amour Diversity Magazine | Issue 5, April 2016

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Minxette Eostri

Minxette Exhibitionista Nirvana


All you do is completely “free of charge” based on tips, swallows a huge amount of time, and a not small little fortune to get everything right from avatar appearance, dances you need to acquire, scripting tools and choreography tools etc etc. And then comes “the environmental challenges”: The grid is not always in its best shape either, so a show can be anything from running like a charm to completely ruined based on rezzing behavior, lag, failing scripts, or sometimes also failing operator behind the avatar (smirks). It’s a pain, basically. However, amongst all things I’ve done in Second Life, it became one of the most rewarding things to do for me. I credit that to the absolutely insane amount of creativity my fellow dancers bring to the table, and this insane shared amount of dedication is just very captivating. Also our audience is beyond fantastic. It’s super rewarding to see our Japanese friends set their alarm clocks to 5AM to not miss a thing, friends from West Coast trying to figure out how to leave work earlier and make up for it another time, etc etc. It’s those little things that keep you going and leave us dancers with a very rewarding show. Jena: Tell us about the relationships you formed at Lady Garden, and have any of them shaped or influenced you as a performer. Chandra: Yes, most definitely! You only learn by doing, and seeing a lot. I think it’s safe to say that the majority of my close friends in SL are somehow connected to Lady Garden or dancing in general. Continued next page...

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L’Amour Diversity Magazine | IssueSexyS 5, AprilQuintessa 2016 Minxette


The very first influence came of course from Honey Bender, who transferred the burlesque bug onto me and introduced me “again” to Chopsy. Honey doesn’t dance anymore, but she’ll always be remembered for that very reason. You kinda mentioned it before, of course Chopsy Bode had been a huge inspiration and all of her sets were just WOW. So she was the perfect star to look up to. And everybody who met her couldn’t help but adore her. When she vanished from SL, she left a lot of holes and I think all of us are still wondering on a regular basis if she is okay. There is no real order who inspired me when and how, but it’s a lot of people, too many to make personal

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mention I’m afraid. All of the Minxettes I’ve danced with during those 5 years inspired and influenced me in one way or another. All of the Luxe Girls. Every show I’ve visited at Guerilla Burlesque or Club IMAGE...maybe “order of knowing” seems most reasonable for some of those “longest” in my dance life. Diawa Bellic is one of those dance enigmas to me that I cant miss to mention. Somehow she knows every single dance (or so it seems), whether it starts with hands up, foot left front, head tilted back or which pace it’s in...by heart enough that she can run perfectly fitting dance choreographies straight off the HUD without much thought or inventory searching.


SexyS Quintessa blows my mind every time again with the entertainment value she puts in her sets. She does cabaret in the truest sense if you think of it as “fun entertainment” and she’s never “too tacky”, “too overdressed” or “too weird”. And it always fits. I adore that. She has also “Extravadanza” with a large troupe of friends, the next big show to be shown is “Exodus” in the first week of April. Rug Halberd and Galilla Sinatra, however, did for sure influence my dance routines the most behind the scenes. With their introduction of the Spot On Choreography tools, making show sets turned from 10 hours of headbanging into 50 hours of headbanging and still fine tuning

more (laughs). But oh how amazing the rewards. Both of them have been Minxettes “the old way” and put their skills together with scripter Martin Yeats to develop all sorts of tools to help with choreography design and movement coordination. I love and hate them for it every single time i press the “play again” button while finetuning a choreography. Misse Tigerpaw from Club IMAGE, and actually, the full troupe of Image, enchanted me from day one. Their skills for special effects and particles is mind boggling, I pretty much came to terms that Japanese run particles instead of blood in their veins. ;) Continued next page... L’Amour Diversity Magazine | Issue 5, April 2016

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Also not to forget, my lovely co-Minxette Kismet Coy, who’s probably one of the people i know dancing longest in SL. She’s plainout amazing, especially when it comes to “last minute saves” of unexpected SL chaos or lost sets. Fingers crossing this wont happen to often anymore. I love the wide versatility of her sets, you never know what to expect when the curtain rises. And she’s one of those people you can always rely on, no matter how rough RL gets at the side. Kismet will find a way. And then there’s of course Aelva, who turns the stage into magic and particle explosions every time she enters it, and has saved one or the other show with spontanously added group numbers or other eye candy when too many cancelled last minute. Last but not least, Ellie Criss and Slappy Doobie, who probably inspired us all when you follow down the inspiration heritage line...I admire so many dancers who started out at Ellie’s Burlesque back in the day, even though I could never catch one of their shows due to time zone. However, I’m still waiting for the day to see Ellie back on stage again with us ;) There’s many many more really, too many to name them all or we talk about people the next decade. In short, I love my codancers, no matter where they dance. Continued next page...

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Electrifying Bowie tribute by Minxette Diawa Bellic at the 5th Anniversary show

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Jena: For those not familiar with the process of putting together a dance routine at Lady Garden, please give us a little peak behind the scenes to explain that process. Chandra: I often start with drafts in my sketch book during lunch breaks or on

session follows, alternatively paired with researching marketplace, my inventory and blogs to compose the scene for the stage. If you don’t know song or costume yet, then you need to figure those out too, of course. Usually one or the other part of the performance is what triggers the idea

6th anniversary, more Enchantment shows, 7th anniversary, more awesomeness, 8th anniversary, still there, 9th anniversary, and the beat goes on...

the way to work, and then once i have the concept laid out move to SL to tie it together. You’ll find a picture of the creative mess up on my flickr from not too long ago it’s quite chaotic and needless to say, DO NOT MESSAGE ME in that phase :D. In this case, song choice and a mood and feel for stage and costume was already done (this was for one of our Enchantment Shows “The Last Unicorn”). Other than my sketchbook, I outline everything in a notecard at first, set music marker times and add information for special effect or emotes. Writing down a time line paired with a pre-selection of dances to set up and some rough draft of “what’s supposed to happen when” is usually the first steps for how I create performances. Depending on what I plan to do, a texture creation or mesh creation

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and you just go from there to find matching components. Then once that is done, I put all together in the choreography tool of my choice. After that comes an eternal phase of endless song repeats and finetuning the routine for choreography timing, scripting timing, particles creation and timing, etc., and eventually it is done :) Jena: Can you tell us about a few of your favorite performances at Lady Garden. Chandra: Every performance is quite special, and all shows are always amazing to me. So i don’t think there is a way to measure that (laughs). I have my personal favorite sets, most of those turned into favorites though because I’ve been tweaking them over months and kept improving aspects over and over again.


Minxette Aelva’s group performance at the 5th Anniversary show

Jena: What tools and skills will someone wishing to become a performer at Lady Garden need to have? Chandra: I think i covered most of it under question #3, now add a balanced personality, absence of drama and diva allure, professionalism and calmness in hectic situations to the mix and you’d have our dream candidate (laughs). Jena: What plans lie ahead for Lady Garden? Chandra: 6th anniversary, more Enchantment shows, 7th anniversary, more awesomeness, 8th anniversary, still there, 9th anniversary, and the beat goes on... ;) For the reference, I didn’t plan to take over LGC, so I don’t think “planning” is my strong suit. ;)

Jena: Thank you Chandra for sharing your thoughts and experiences at Lady Garden Cabaret. Happy 5th Anniversary, and may you continue to excite and delight us with your one of a kind performances and fun and friendly atmosphere for years to come! Lady Garden Cabaret puts on a show every last Friday of each month at 3PM (slt). Check the Lady Garden Blog and Flickr for reviews and photos, and visit them in world for show details. n

Links & Landmarks: LGC In world LGC Blog LGC Flickr

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Box of Stuff! Photo Contest “Box of Stuff!” is a judged photo contest with a twist. It’s free for anyone, male or female, and you need not be a model to enter. This contest is hosted by The Stuff groups and supported by the “Stuff Style” sales event. How the contest works is simple, and it will give you a great chance to use your imagination: Each month there will be a free box of props set out in the Stuff Style sales room. To get yours, just teleport over to one of these locations and look for the wooden crate with the “Box of Stuff” sign on it. Each box will contain 6-10 free items of random types.

day of the Month in all the Stuff Groups on SL and in the Flickr group. Now....go get that free “Box of Stuff!”

Your task is to use any 3 (three) or more of the items in a photo. How you use them is entirely up to you, but the 3 items must show up in the final photograph.

RULES. (We kept them simple)

You may take your own photo or have a photographer do it for you. Photoshop work is welcome but not required. Creativity is a must.

2) One Entry Per Avatar Per Month.

There will be several categories of winners, including but not limited to... Best use of Props Most stylish Editorial/Fashion Photo Best in Humor Most Creative There will be Prizes for the winners though what they are will vary month to month depending on donations and participation. Judging will take place on the last week of the month and the winners will be announced on the last

1) You must use 3 (three) or more different items from the “Box of Stuff” box of the month in your Photo.

3) Join the “Box of Stuff!” Flickr group and upload your entry to it before Midnight on the 20th of the month. (Make sure your SL name is in the photo description so I can find you in world) 4) Get Creative and have fun. 5) Make sure your SL name is in the photo description so i can find you in world If you have questions or comments drop a notecard titled “Box of Stuff” to AlexAvion. The ‘Stuff Sales Room by Menstuff, Womenstuff, Homestuff


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Arts & Entertainment

The Little Prince, A Dream Fulfilled By Ava Jhamin

Xavier Thiebaud: Producer Andy Loon: Director The Prince Orionek Twist: The Aviator The King The Drunk Business Man Lamp Lighter Angelina Kita: The Rose The Snake The Fox

If Saint-Exupéry is to be believed, The Little Prince is a book for children written for grown-ups. It can be read on many different levels to provide pleasure and food for thought for readers of all ages.

I sat down with the Producer, Xavier, who was determined to bring the tale of the little prince and his rose to Second Life. Also joining us was Andy Loon the Director of the Little Prince.

The author, an aviator, crashes with his airplane in the middle of the Sahara Desert. While he is trying to repair his airplane, a little boy appears and asks him to draw a sheep.

Ava: How did you come to be in Second life?

The author learns that The Little Prince comes from asteroid B-612 where he has left behind three volcanoes and a rose. This delightful story was brought to Second Life to give it new life, with a cast and crew who were going to make sure they did justice for this sweet little tale.

Xavier: I came over on the exodus from The Sims Online along with the other sims refugees and pilgrims. We were beta 2002. The founding avatars we now call Second Life or lovingly known as SL or the GRID. Andy: I am a fan of science fiction. And I wanted to be in an alternate reality. When I read about the existence of Second Life, I decided to check it out. That was eight years ago. That was the beginning. Continued next page...

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Andy: Maybe it’s a secret, but I tell you it was the dream of Xavier. I decided to make them happen for him. Ava: Why Did you want to bring this amazing Story to Second Life?

Ava: How did you both meet? Xavier: Oh WOW! That was sooo long ago! I believe I saw he was working on Josephine Baker story, so I introduced myself. He has since then done several memorable plays and ballets and operas, such as Romeo and Juliet, Tales of Hoffman, Josephine Baker, Moulin Rouge, and of course The Little Prince and many more.

Xavier: Because we all need a Prince and Rose in our lives. I wanted to share this beautiful story with everyone in S: – people who already knew the story and especially for the ones who never had. Andy: The book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is very smart and easily gives us the philosophy of the

Andy: We were both interested in the art and theater. Ava: Tell me how did the Little Price come to be in Second Life? Xavier: Andy and I have been friends for many years. I knew Andy was the only one who I could trust to do it with because of his professionalism, style and experience. One day I asked if he would like to do the play with me? He said yes.

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author. The little prince represents the open-mindedness of children. He is a wanderer who restlessly asks questions and is willing to engage the invisible, secret mysteries of the universe. The novel suggests that such inquisitiveness is the key to


understanding and to happiness. However, The Little Prince shows that age is not the main factor separating grown-ups from children. The narrator, for example, has aged enough to forget how to draw, but he is still enough of a child to understand and befriend the young, foreign little prince. It was worth to face this challenge for people in Second Life.

Ava: Was it hard to find actors and actresses on SL to bring your story to life?

Ava: Who brought the Little Prince to who? Xavier: I asked Andy a few years back if he knew of The Little Prince. He said of course! I asked if he would like to do a play of it in SL? Of course he said yes and the rest is history. Andy: When Xavier came to me with this proposal, I was a little skeptical. But then day after day, I tried to imagine how it can be done. And I finally was ready. Ava: Can you tell our readers how and what you did to make the Little Prince a reality? Xavier: Imagination + Experience + Showmanship + Magic = Second Life Play Andy: I repeat the same sentence, well said Xavier.

Xavier: Originally I wanted to have live voice or at least recorded voices and live or recorded singing. Logistics alone showed it’s easier said than done in SL. Andy did the casting and plays The Little Prince. Angelina Kitaj plays the rose, fox and snake. Orionek Twist plays the pilot, king, businessman, drunker and lamp lighter Andy: The main thing was to determine how many people have to play different roles. Of course, the less the better. Ava: What was the hardest part about getting the Little Price done? Xavier: Live voice actors and Live singers and timing. Continued next page...

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Andy: For me the hardest was the scenario. And that condensing a whole, to give the philosophy of the author. And so it was interesting for the audience. Ava: What was the funniest part for you both with The Little Prince? Xavier: Please King, command the sun to rise! Ok... command me to leave! good bye King.

We had at least 100 people in attendance. Every showing til our finale was sold out. We did it in English, French and Japanese.

Andy: Of course, song and dance baobabs.

This year, however, we are doing very strict limited showings. I strongly urge anyone wishing to see this beautiful performance, to not wait and see it before it goes away.

Ava: I know the Little Price did really well its first run. Can you tell the

Andy: The Little Prince is so interesting (what we know from the audience) that we want him seen as many people in Second Life. Ava: What are future plans for The Little Prince? Xavier: Only to show it, so people may enjoy.

readers why you brought it back instead of doing another play? Xavier: Our grand opening at the Royal Opera House in Second Life.

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Andy: Perhaps we will prepare more language versions, i.e. Italian, Spanish and German. And also we want to have a video of the whole performance.


Ava: I like that Andy I think that is a great idea, more languages. What are the future plans for Xavier and Andy? Xavier: That’s TOP SECRET!!! What I can say with most certainty...it would be something to be cherished =) Andy: We have a lot of different plans...

going to stop, to the end of my...or Second Life. ------- Interview with the Cast ------Ava: What was the best part about being part of Xavier’s & Andy’s vision? Orionek: Dance baobabs, finding costumes and animation was a real challenge for me.

Ava: Can you tell our readers something about yourself they may not know? Xavier: I am the owner of The A List! Essentially the SL version of what it would be in RL. I enjoy putting on very special productions. I try to keep them fresh and unique. Sometimes I might do a fashion show or a play or ballet or a huge party. It all depends on what I want to do and have time to do. To all your readers. If you’re not here, then you’re just not on the list baby. If you wish to join, simply contact me and say I would like to be on The A List and that you read the article from the L’Amour Diversity Magazine. Say “Ava sent me” and I will give you a free membership :). Andy: I began to realize art in my theatre eight years ago. I’m not

Angelina: For me to act the rose, the snake and the fox, because I can express them very much with animations, gestures and dances. Dancing is my life and so it was easy to decide. Andy: The hardest part for me was to play on the different sims. On every sim I must prepare everything special for that particular place. Continued next page...

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Andy: Yes I knew all of the actors from The Little Prince. I have been directing theatre for eight years and all are old friends. Ava: What do you take away from this project?

Ava: What was the hardest part about being part of The Little Prince? Orionek: I play in this performance up to seven characters. The most difficult was to create them and fit appearance, so that each character was different and unique. Angelina: The hardest part for me was to act with the small grey snake, to bring energy into it. Andy: I think for me the hardest part of little prince was to walk exactly from place to place. Ava: Did all of you as actors know each other before The Little Prince? Orionek: Yes, we are a crew, we know each other very well. Angelina: I have known Andy Loon for many years. We produced and did a lot of shows together. I knew Orionek Twist before, and Xavier since this production of The Little  Prince.

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Orionek: The question should rather be what we gave of ourselves – all the teamwork is very important, and the effects can be seen on the stage. Angelina: A childhood dream came true. Let me thank Andy Loon for this realization and Xavier for the production. Andy: I hope that the next experience will be even better, and that with every show I learn something new: new animations, new outfits,, new actions. Ava: Thank you all for sharing what I know is a near and dear project. I have been 5 times to see The Little Prince and each time it just touches me. This last time I had to listen because SL was having a moment and couldn’t see a darn thing. I heard it only and came away being even more touched by this special production. Take Care of the Planets is what kept playing in my head. And how ‘did’ they all live... n


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Arts & Entertainment

A DJ With a Difference DJ G­Winz (Gerrard Winstanley) By Rhiannon Colclough

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In such a social place as Second Life, clubs are one of the best ways to meet others, dance, and hear great music. Sometimes, though, in amongst the dancing and chatting, a DJ stands out. Maybe it’s the patter, the way the DJ chats up the audience, or it’s the DJ’s looks, or the song selection. Sometimes you meet a DJ who gives more, whose set seems like an organic whole and planned to please the ear, and not only does the DJ love the music and plans it well, but shares that love with you through information tidbits, such a DJ is Gerrard Winstanley, aka DJ G­Winz.

Someone at the event ran a fashion house and invited me to DJ at their model shows and it took off from there.”

He’s been in SL for six and half years, but has only been a DJ for four years, approximately. He describes his beginning, “I took advantage of the no upload fee on the Inworldz grid to import and frame 500 vintage cinema posters and display them in a replica of the Rio Cinema in London’s east end. I had an idea of what music I wanted at the grand opening and figured, after a little research, it would be best to do it myself.

People chair dance, it’s true, but they’re still primarily relaxing at home. I tend to favour music with particularly innovative quirky lyrics that encourages comments and lively chat, which isn’t really an aim in RL. Although the virtual environment is usually a club,most here are virtual radio­style DJs, with tracks played at random and breaks for voice. I do talk over

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His approach to DJ’ing very much differentiates between how DJing is done in RL and how it is (orshould be) done in SL. As he puts it, “Well, although I do themed ‘listening’ sets at Marcel’s Happy hour, I’m primarily a dance DJ ­but I don’t think long instrumentals with strong four-­to­the-­ floor beats really suit virtual events.


occasionally ­but always leave the beats going underneath.”Hi preparation for sets keeps in mind that the audience is primarily interested in relaxing and enjoying the music. He describes it this way: “I always start with at least twice as much music as I need. I’m a big fan of beat-­matching and seamless transitions from track to track, so I get the software to analyse the BPM (beats-­per-­minute) and first arrange the set in ascending order. then I go through listening to the cross­ fade transitions and culling the tracks that don’t really fit as they disturb the flow and feel of the set ­the BPM don’t always reflect the true energy of a track.” As I’m doing that I move some tracks to the front that are strong opening numbers and others to the end that have a torch song feel. That works well taking over from another DJ ­but at a place that fills up slowly I play longer, downtempo numbers at the beginning as a warm up.” Even when he does artist or band retrospectives, he keeps the listening pleasure of the audience in mind. “I do a lot of artist or band retrospectives, selecting a Continued next page...

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representative sample of their oeuvre­ but still beat­-match so don’t play the tracks in historical order. For my ‘signature’ dance sets, the aim is to make a one or two hour continuous piece of music that has a particular character and coherence, with often one or more recurring lyrical themes. ­ that’s also fun and has many points of interest along a musical journey that uplifts and carries along a communal mood.

it’s usually only live piano p ­ laying singers that float my boat a ­ lthough my favourite virtual musician O ­ blee (Obeloinkment Wrigglesworth)­plays guitar and uses loop pedals, he’s brilliant.”Of course, people new to a field will ask those who have gone before in that avenue for advice.” When asked if he had any advice for new DJs, Winstanley replied, “People want such different things from DJs it’s hard to say. I can just

Most of what I play is new to most people... it feels like a special achievement to get an IM from someone saying that they like what they’re hearing.

It’s unfortunate that quite a few always leave a few minutes before the end,­as the last tracks have been carefully selected to enhance the feeling that I want people to go away with.”Most of the time, live acts manage to attract more people than DJs do, ­no matter how good the DJ.” When asked if that meant a weakness on the part of DJs, Gerrard responded, “I’m not sure that the popularity of live acts reflects a weakness of DJ sets as such. Live singers though, do naturally create more of a sense of occasion that I think attracts people. Personally

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say what I like to hear w ­ hich is music that I haven’t heard before that the DJ passionately wants us to hear and is knowledge about. If it is a set of familiar tunes, I like to hear that they’re played in a sequence that’s been thought about ­that here’s a reason, even if it’s only a pleasant key change, why one song follows another­and that overall there’s a planned musical flow that manipulates the audience and gets their mojos rising.” Considering that he has spun tunes for four years now, trying to beat­-match and make a pleasing whole of his sets, one could


assume that his DJ’ing career is full of huge highlights. In his view, however, he thinks it’s been a succession of small highlights. “Most of what I play is new to most people and given that most people have a preference for things they’ve heard before, it always feels like a special achievement to get a good response from someone new ­an IM or shout out in chat that they like what they’re hearing, that they can hear and appreciate the time that’s gone into the preparation ­or that

they just respond exuberantly as the energy levels dip and rise again. I’ve learnt that doing a special event and getting a great crowd response with new people joining my group and subscriber list doesn’t mean that I’ve ‘made it’. At my next regular gig there still can only be a handful of people turn up.” That last comment is probably very familiar to DJs, and comforting as well. When Gerrard was asked about the lows, he responded, “Again ­they tend to be minor disappointments Continued next page...

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here and there. Being scheduled after a singer or band and arriving to see a crowd of new people that haven’t heard me before, only for them to all disappear at the changeover. I do love and appreciate my regulars very much,­but to play to a new crowd is adifferent kind of buzz that’s good to have every now and again. I can’t honestly say that I’ve learnt not to be disappointed as virtually everyone poofs before I start, ­I just try and bear it with dignity.” Good advice for anyone! A surprise was finding out what Gerrard’s favorite music is ­one would assume that it’s the same music he spins. Not so, however, as Winstanley explains: “Well, what I listen to at home isn’t always the same as what I collect and play.” “In the kitchen, in bed and on my MP3 player it’s mostly piano concertos and symphonies ­Camille Saint­Saëns, Carl Nielson and Franz Berwald 3being my current most­ listened­to.” So how does he decide on the music he plays? He elaborates, “For DJ’ing, I specialise in promoting contemporary dance music from Europe’s small independent labels that have a broad ’retro­ futurist’ style.” I’m on all their mailing lists and often get free sample tracks sent. The period after the summer

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festivals is great, as I can pick up a lot of new tracks from new bands that have taken the smaller side stages by storm.” “I like innovative musicians that mix it up a lot traditional melodies and instrumentation fused with electronica and modern club beats. I eschew mainstream rock (apart from some 60s and 70s favourites) ­as so many other DJs have such great collections.” How would he then describe his musical choices for his sets? Gerrard says, “It’s not straightforward describing the music I play in my signature sets, I’ve had to make up my own electroswing, funky afrobeats, horny jump blues, nujazz manouche, rootsy folkstep, raregroove floorfillers, groovy exotica, psychedelic bongo rock, nostalgia pop’. That just about covers it.” Gerrard Winstanley is an original DJ, with his own ways of doing things and a clear vision of how he should proceed. If you get the chance to catch him, you will not be disappointed ­you will be entertained, educated, and exhilarated. He is truly a DJ with a difference. n


Fashion

MMI - A Competitors View 2016 By Sarahelisebeth Brenham Well, that’s all folks! This year’s Mr. & Miss International has come to a close. Although everybody was having fun being in this competition, two winners did have to be named. The individuals that were the victors in this contest were AriannaJasmine and Maxtor Frisk. Congratulations to you both on behalf of all of us at L’Amour. Now that this competition is over, it was decided that I get the opinions from the champions as well as some of the finalists of this year’s Mr. & Miss Model International, about their overall experience in this competition. Here’s what they had to say. AriannaJasmine - Miss Model International 2016 My overall experience was excellent. The contest had fun challenges. The staff was very helpful and easy to reach out to at any time. We were provided the opportunity to get feedback on our performances and to ask questions.

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Maxtor Frisk - Mr. Model International 2016 The MMI experience was one of challenge, growth, learning and expression. I found the atmosphere between candidates to be extremely friendly and one of willingness to help one another. The ladies in particular set a very, very high standard and they pushed the guys to work to their best in order to compete with them in the top ten rankings. I had a great time preparing for the fun and imaginative challenges, which gave great variety and kept us tested. Daneen Sands - Third Runner Up It was an amazing experience for me, and a result I never expected. I am glad that I took the time out to take this journey. I came in Third Runner Up, and I am still a bit shocked by it. I have gained a lot more confidence, and I feel that even though I still see myself as a model in progress, I feel that I have learned so much. The best thing of all is I met an amazing person, who I am honored to call my friend, Genesis.


Resmay Bloodstorm My experience with MMI has been something that I shall not soon forget. It was the best experience in my modeling career and also the most challenging. I knew I was going up against much more seasoned models, but I had also been told to just go for it, that I would learn and grow so much as a model. I did and it is a decision I will never regret. It may have taken a week to recuperate from the experience, but I still do not regret it. I would recommend MMI to any model of any level as long as you are willing to dedicate a lot of time and energy. MMI teaches you to be the best that you can be. It is like a lot of life experiences you will get out of it what you are willing to put into it. If you think MMI is just another beauty contest you are sadly mistaken. MMI is anything but just a beauty pageant. MMI makes you really learn who you are as a model as they do not “tell” you how to design an outfit or who it has to be

from. You are given a theme and told to “make it your own.” I have grown so much as a model in the short few weeks of MMI and I have made some of the best friends from the experience. I was very surprised how willing people were to help each other when it came to questions we might have. It was a competition but there were so many willing to help in any way they could. You hear stories about how much fun it was, now people laughed, teased, & even cried together. Those stories are true. If you want to do something that will have an impact on you for the rest of your sl life do MMI. What have you got to lose? A few sleepless nights? Sleep is overrated anyway. See photos of the winners on the following pages. Read the recap from the Final event on lamourdproductions.org. Photos by Lira Savira Continued next page...

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Fashion

Slut-Shaming By Vichonette Constantine I am a model. I have been involved in the SL fashion industry since 2009, and since that time I have seen and heard a great many things that caused me to raise a brow. However, in keeping with my nonconfrontational nature, I have rarely spoken out about any of it. I do not spread gossip, I do not fight the battles of others on their behalf, and I do not embroil myself in the drama that tends to surround certain groups, agencies and individuals. Last month, however, something private was dragged out into the public eye, and the backlash suffered by a handful of people - some of whom I consider friends - has grown to the point of being something I, as a woman, a model and a resident of Second Life, simply cannot ignore. It won’t go away until it has been examined, turned inside out, dissected, disinfected and ultimately buried. I’m talking about the belief that, as pixels in a virtual world, we somehow have the right to dictate to other pixels in a virtual world what is and is not “acceptable behavior,” and to publicly shame those who we believe do not live up to our own

personal standards, with complete disregard for the truth. A year or two ago, give or take a few months, notices began cropping up in a couple of the large model groups I belonged to. These notices were calls for lingerie models, with a little note that they may also do nude or topless photos. Curious, I did what I always do and pulled up the guy’s profile. That right there turned me off, as it was laced with photos of this average-looking man surrounded by half naked women and piles of cash. In my eyes, the guy fancied himself the SL version of Hugh Hefner, and I wasn’t sure if I was offended or amused by his boldness, but there was no way I was going to nibble at that bait. Eventually, after seeing countless similar notices from this individual, I decided I was offended (not one of the smarter things I’ve done in my time) and went to the owner of one of these large groups and complained. I was assured the man had been thoroughly vetted, was legit and that those who did choose to do photos for him were treated Continued next page...

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respectfully. I wasn’t convinced, but as time went on, the notices stopped, and I found myself thinking more and more on why I was offended in the first place. It’s not that I had or have anything against nude modeling. I don’t. I’ve posed nude for photos more than

believed were true, what business was it of mine? Who was he hurting? Certainly not me! Certainly not the models who were being paid VERY well for their time and were not coerced into posing for him. I didn’t KNOW what those photos were taken for, or what they were used for. I ASSUMED. Bad things, assumptions.

It’s not that I had or have anything against nude modeling. I don’t. I’ve posed nude for photos more than once... once, walked runways in nothing more than a mannequin skin and jewelry, and we won’t even go into my real world experiences being nude in a room full of strangers, so what was my issue? After thinking long and hard about it, and eventually talking with a friend who had done a photo or two for this man, I realized just how misplaced my outrage really was. What was really bothering me about the whole thing was my belief, based solely upon a perfunctory review of a profile, that this guy was just some slimy perv getting off on pics of naked pixel women. I’m claiming a defense of temporary insanity here, because in the grand scheme of things, even if what I

They lead to judgments, whether deserved or not. In my case, I learned it was not. This article, however, is not about that man. The paragraphs above are merely background to how I came to hold the beliefs I do about how we behave toward others in this virtual world in which we live. As mentioned above, last month something that was intended to be private was dragged into the public eye, and it’s how some in SL’s fashion industry and elsewhere have responded that has lit a fire under me today. There is a general rule of thumb in the SL fashion industry that if you belong to any “adult” sites or groups, you hide them in your profile. Your Continued next page...

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profile must be pristine, because heaven forbid anyone ever discover you do what I would guess at least 90% or more of the adults in Second Life have done. We’re told to make alts for our adult activities, and most of us do just that. My question here is why? Why are we expected

suffered from others after those photos were made public. Why do we do this? On the one hand, I firmly believe every agency head has the right to run their agency as they see fit, and to instruct their models on what

If a model can be fired for posing topless for someone, that’s something they should be told up front, before they agree to any contract...

by others in our industry to appear to be paragons of virtue when the reality is precious few of us actually are? Is that not the very definition of hypocrisy? Years ago, there was a magazine being published. I can’t recall the name of that magazine, but people would sneak photos of others in the fashion industry in compromising positions and then publish those photos - complete with the avatar names clearly visible in the photo - with the sole purpose of publicly shaming these people for doing what adults do. I knew, personally, two individuals who shut down agencies and left SL over it, and for what? Surely it wasn’t because people saw a photo of two pixel people having sex. No, it was the verbal abuse they

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is or is not acceptable within that agency. However, this is something that should be laid out BEFORE that model joins the agency. If a model can be fired for posing topless for someone, that’s something they should be told up front, before they agree to any contract, so that they can make an informed choice on whether or not this is an agency they wish to belong to. And if the agency is going to make that sort of restriction, shouldn’t the agency heads live up to that same standard? I have seen agency heads sporting BDSM collars and calling their partners Sir or Master. If you’re so openly living a kinky SL lifestyle, how do you even make the distinction between “this is OK for me to do, but that is not OK for you to do?” Continued next page...


In the real world, models pose topless or nearly nude all the time. Look at ad campaigns by American Apparel, Calvin Klein, Givenchy, Jacquie Aiche,

don’t understand the mindset there at all. In SL, we do jewelry shows, strutting down a runway - a half dozen of us or more - in nothing but

to name but a few, and you will see some of the raciest photos you’ll find in the fashion industry.

shoes, hair and jewelry and that’s OK, but it’s not OK to let someone take a picture of us like that? Why not? In a world where no matter what it is, someone, somewhere, will have a fetish for it and sexualize it, how is it even possible to make the distinction that a topless photo done by this photographer is all right, but a topless photo done by

What makes it all right to have a nearly naked American Apparel model lying in a provocative pose to sell underwear, but not all right for a pixel woman in SL to stand topless behind some guy sitting in a chair? I

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that photographer is wrong because they might also do pornography? A picture of a fully clothed woman in thigh boots taken by a commercial photographer would be a whole lot more sexually appealing to someone with a shoe/ boot fetish than that topless photo taken by a “pornographer.” The bottom line here is this is a virtual world. It’s a fantasy we create for ourselves, an escape from the real world for a little while. We are pixels on a screen, nothing more. For many of us, our first “job” had us dancing on a pole and taking clothes off for lindens. We play dress up; we change partners more often than some of us in the real world change our underwear; we are furies and fairies and minotaurs; we are designers and models and builders of grand palaces; we are vampires and werewolves and demons; we dress like streetwalkers one second and like princesses the next with a mere click of a button; we role play kinky lifestyles some of us wouldn’t dare attempt in the real world; and

yet, behind the screens, we pass judgment upon those who choose to live their SL differently than we do. Is that fair? Is it right? Is it justified in any way, shape or form? I think not. Each of us is entitled to live our second lives as we see fit. If for some that means getting paid very well to let someone take a photo of them in their birthday suit, whose business is that really? Not mine. Not yours. If it upsets you to know that someone did let someone take a photo of them like that, ask yourself why you’re so upset about pixels on a screen. This is not your child, your spouse, or anyone else you may have a real world right to be upset about. This is a person behind a computer screen, probably thousands of miles away, who has chosen to let their pixel person be photographed, and that’s their business - and their right. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author only, and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of Diversity Magazine, its principals or its editors. n

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dragonguyuk WINNER - Boho 26th Pazzo Style Challenge March 2016

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Role Play

Do you really know the man behind the MDM Brand? By Ava Jhamin First I want to explain to the readers that I call Fotios Kahanamoku ‘Sir’ out of respect for his roleplay in Second Life. I met Sir about 4-1/2 years ago and like many others saw the notecards. I think for me and the way I was brought up I didn’t assume. I went and saw for myself. I met a very nice man who ran a business according to his roleplay. He was very respectful and very professional. Anyone can believe as they choose. They can also choose not to be involved and even feel protective of others. But if only choices are made not based on the rumor mill. I sat down with Sir for the simple fact of him telling his side of his story. Ava: Hi Sir thank you for taking time out of your busy work schedule to help me with this article. I always ask first how did you come to SL?

Fotios: Hi Miss Ava, I started SL in 2009. I have had experience with other online games before, but SL was described to me (from my cousin who was running a club at that time) as a game in which you can do business, and roleplay different characters. It sounded to me really interesting, because I like to do both and I thought ok I will give it a try. Ava: I know Sir that all people come to Second Life wanting to get something out of it, possibly what best suits who they are. Can you share with us your reasons for creating Fotios Kahanamoku and the MDM brand? Fotios: I created my avatar with the very same purpose to have fun. And indeed I have, and still do. A lot of role play with different types of personalities. I have tried a lot of different businesses in Second Life. Continued next page...

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Fotios Kahanamoku MDM Owner

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I created MDM Enterprisers almost five years ago, when I discovered a new passion of mine, which is photography and producing high quality photographs. Ava: I really want the readers to know Sir. It’s easy for me because I know you. Can you please tell our readers a bit about the man behind the brand? Fotios: Fotios Kahanamoku is a respectful kind and professional businessman who always pays his employees for any work they do for me. I am known for being a very generous man. With a selected group of people I role play my Second Life persona which was inspired by the gimmick of my favorite WWE superstar Ted DiBiase (The Million Dollar Man), who was supposed to be a heel (wrestling term for bad guy/ villain) and Hugh Hefner. Ava: Can you also explain to the readers why you are doing the role play that you are doing in Second Life? Fotios: There are people in sl who roleplay to be animals, vampires, jedis, aliens and anything you can possibly imagine. This is the place to be if you like to role play different personalities. Ava: What is it Sir that you are getting out of doing this role play as the Hugh Hefner of Second Life?

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Fotios: I am entertained by trying things I can`t do in real life, such as producing pictures in which I pose as the legendary Hugh Hefner Other people on the other hand, are entertained by doing brutal fatalities in video games such as Mortal Kombat Ava: We know that a lot of people on the grid don’t like what you do. Do you have any idea why this is? Fotios: Well to be more accurate a lot of people in the modeling community do not like what I do. In most other communities they mind their own business. I have started hiring models from this community around 2012. After I have produced a few erotic or porn pictures, whatever you want to call it, with ladies from the adult industry. I then decided to produce something more soft. I wanted to do a lingerie picture, and based on my little knowledge from real life modeling (from shows such as next top model, etc), I thought that this was the community to look for models. I made an advertisement in a group which allows even nude modeling. and ended up producing a high quality picture which was elegant and beautiful for it’s time. I also paid each model who took part in it 2k. So i provided the models a job source that also paid very well. Yet again few people I didn`t know or even talk


to, checked my profile, they saw the naked pictures, which I never hid in the first place. In their thinking you would of thought they accomplished a huge discovery like Christopher Columbus, and since in their little minds someone who produces adult or naked pictures is not allowed to produce pg pictures if he wants too. They called me scammer. Some of them even said that there is no job

defaming a legit business like mine is against TOS. To sum up, there are people who do not like me, because I produce also xxx pictures or because they take way too seriously my roleplay personality. And that is understandable. What is not right is defaming people without proof. Ava: When the notecards go out you have been called a lot of names Fotios. Can you tell the readers of

...a lot of people in the modeling community do not like what I do. In most other communities they mind their own business.

and people should not apply to my jobs because it was a scam for sex!!!!. And by the way I can`t recall anyone of them apologizing for these accusations. After I posted the picture proving that my advertisement was legit few days later. So people who provided zero jobs in the modeling group, had the nerve to call a legit business person a thief. Disliking my art is fine, but trying to ruin my name is actually bullying. Proposing to an adult person to pose naked is perfectly legal, however

Diversity Magazine what they are not understanding about you and your businesses? Fotios: First of all, I am not a Saint. I have made mistakes in my personal and professional life. However, most of the hundreds of models and every single one the dozens of my photographers who have worked for me the last five years will say the best thing about me is our business relationship. But I have been called names such as rapist(!), scammer, thief, blackmailer and unprofessional from people

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I didn`t know personally, which I clearly I am not. When I approached them, asking what exactly is there proof, they simply told me that they heard this somewhere else so they wanted to protect their models.

Well I will say this sir, since my name has been mentioned, I will make you a deal. You do your roleplay and start an MDM Magazine and I will be your first centerfold, like my idol Marilyn Monroe did. hahha

Every time I tried to find out their source I have been told that my accusers prefer to stay anonymous.

Ava: I know that a lot of things are being said about you and to you. What are your thoughts when you

Nowadays, I show the models who are interested in joining my company samples of my productions and based on what they like to do I ask them to pose...

Even criminals in real life, have the right to defend themselves against their accusers, but I guess I can`t say the same about this community. These same people are just bad people. For example there are pathetic human beings out there who have put my pictures under a microscope, and since the models were anonymous they tried to guess who the models were, even mentioning some names (such as yours) of people who have never posed with me. Since they can’t do anything to me or hurt me, they did these hurtful things to anyone who could possibly work for or with me.

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get attacked verbally by people? on the grid? Fotios: I avoid drama, my thoughts are that some people take Second Life way too serious. Ava: Model’s in the real world and in Second Life do nude pictures. Why do you think there is such a stigma created around doing this with MDM? Fotios: I have produced pictures with people from a lot of different communities. Somehow in the modeling community, of which the members were supposed to feel comfortable the most with their bodies, there is a lot of backlash.


Reason? It’s because this community has a lot of drama queens, jealously, bullying and bosses who like to stick their long noses in their models personal life. Ava: How are models or anyone that works for you approached when they come and have an interview with you Sir? Fotios: Nowadays, I show the models who are interested in joining my company samples of my productions and based on what they like to do I ask them to pose in similar poses. So I ask from ladies who want to work as lingerie models to pose in lingerie and from ladies who want to do nude modeling to pose naked. I think it’s obvious that if you want me to hire you as nude model, that I have every right to know how you look naked prior to being hired. Speaking about pathetic individuals, drama and attempts of people trying to defame me. There are people who still show today a 2012 interview I did in character of which I described a progress of a casting with women who have applied to do porn with me,

Fotios: No, at this time I provide with high paying jobs a small group of around 40 models in total (from several communities) and around five photographers which does not affect the economy of SL. Well I think that does your providing paid jobs, a lot of people even in the modeling industry don’t get paid. People will say it’s the “PRESTIGE” of working for us. Which of course I think is poppy cock. So I do look at you helping people paying them well and therefore are contributing to the economy of SL. Fotios: I would like to thank you for this interview, and the opportunity you gave me to tell the story from my side. I would like to ask the reader if they hear someone to call my pictures unprofessional to compare my pictures with his/her. It was my absolute pleasure Sir, and I am glad to finish the series of articles about this subject with yours sir. And you will always have my admiration and respect as a business man and as a friend. n

Ava: Do you feel that you contribute to the economy of Second Life Sir and if yes how so?

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Role Play

The Polyamourous Lifestyle By Sarahelisebeth Brenham What exactly is love? Ask an x amount of people and that is how many different answers you’ll get. So, if love doesn’t have a definite definition, then could it be possible for people to be in more than one romantic relationship? I mean, marriages of same sex couples are being accepted more and more throughout the World. So why can’t individuals be involved in more than one intimate partnership? Could it be that those in multiple romantic relationships have gotten a bad reputation? If this is the reason why Poly partnerships are frowned upon, then I understand. Seriously, I do. Because it seems that media outlets are mainly profiling people that either enter the poly lifestyle for the wrong reasons or do something to tarnish the reputation of that culture. Well, ladies and gentlemen, as part of the Poly lifestyle for a bit of time, I’d like to share with you the

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lessons I have learned while in it, so one can possibly avoid making the same mistakes that I made should they be thinking about entering this culture. Please read on if you’re interested in learning what I feel everybody should know about this lifestyle. Even if it is not for you, this will help you understand it better and not judge others that wish to live the poly life. The first thing I should have done before entering the Poly culture was to research it. Did you know there are several different types of Poly relationships and many ways to structure each? I know I sure didn’t. If I had done my homework on this lifestyle, before diving into it, many arguments could have been avoided. You see, sometimes when you’re in love, you don’t always think logically and that is exactly what happened to me.


The other thing I wish I had done prior to jumping into this poly lifestyle, was figure out what my needs were when it came to a romantic relationship. I understand that needs can and do typically change throughout the years, regardless of what your relationship status is. But I feel if you know what your current needs are, you can save yourself and others and avoid confrontations heartache. While there were a few things that I should have done before joining the Poly culture, there were still a few that I could have done while I was in it, so my experience could have been better. Like what you ask? I should have found a support group for this lifestyle, as I really didn’t have any friends that practiced this culture at the time and I think it would have helped me cope better with the

challenges that Poly relationships come with. What kind of obstacles you ask? Jealousy, time constraints and break down of communication can all occur in Poly dynamics and all things that I encountered when I was in my Poly family. One of the other things that I regret not doing during my stint in the Poly lifestyle, is holding back my true feelings on certain matters. You see, successful Poly relationships thrive on communication. So, by me not expressing how I was feeling about specific things, I basically was cheating myself and the others in my Poly family in having a better time within the poly culture. I believe that Poly dynamics can become mainstream, as long as people take the time to understand all of its different forms, ways to shape/run them and that none are entered into for a malicious reason. n

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Role Play

The Window Between Worlds A tale of secret lovers By Ahn Avion After the party when everyone has gone home, when the servants have cleaned up and gone off to quarters, the dutiful man, so responsible and diligent in all that he does, that man

The doubt seeps in further as the moon wanes in and out of the clouds, blocking the light that would give way to his lover’s path. With a heavy sigh, he closes the lid on the piano

Breaking the kiss if only to breathe, the lover’s eyes took on the look of something dark and primal as he took the man’s hand to lead him outside...

that has so little time for himself that he dares not indulge in the fantasy of a love has one, has found one. One that touches a part of him he keeps away from others, most of the time even himself. For so long he waits, long enough that he wonders if his lover will come at all. The wine all but gone, the man finishes the last of his glass yet saves the other for his lover that he fears will never arrive.

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keys and begins to walk away when a shadow appears on the polished floor, growing in length as the presence nears. His lover has arrived. This is not his world. The lover. His hands are callused, his face unshaven and smudged with a day’s work in the fields and gardens. It is far too late for him as morning would come too soon, but sleep had become a thief to slip away from him at every turn.


He had debated coming and knew the risks were beyond the limits of sanity yet he could not stay away. Tonight, like the sprinkled few before, saw them as equals. Upon the first kiss of greeting, of longing, he was no longer. The Man as the lover was no longer the worker. Passion entwined them into each other’s arms, hungry with desire that neither could deny. Breaking the kiss if only to breathe, the lover’s eyes took on the look of something dark and primal as he took the man’s hand to lead him outside. Moon or no, the lover knew the lay of the land and took the man to the grotto that had been hidden, purposefully so, by the natural vegetation around it. The lover guided the man in to display layers of blankets that covered the hard ground surrounded by candles for those moments when the moon blushed behind the clouds.

Time stood still then as they made love in a shower of kisses long before their bodies joined as one. Though they were hidden to all else, they were bare to each other, vulnerable the way only true lovers can be when souls unite and find harmony within the heart of the other. Not a word was spoken in the hours that passed, nor had they ever shared words before as they had never been needed. And so it was, as the moon snuck out of the night to give way to the sun’s brilliance did the lovers part in sated silence, each one knowing that they could never be together yet could never be apart. n

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Social

“GET IT OUT ”    The reason for this new column for me is this: I know a lot of people deal with their own issues on Second Life or real life, and sometimes people can sit on things and it festers until there may be no way of coming back.  I want a platform where people can write to me and talk about their issues and get a decent response without any prejudice or judgement.  What could this be? Anything about... • Boyfriend Issues • Breaking up- is so hard to do! • People problems • Couple problems • Fashion issues • Fashion issues with people • Friendship issues There are a few things that you learn not only about people of SL,

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but cliques of SL. I am not one to conform but I take it all in. You can say seven years has taught me to be the Dear Abby or Oprah Winfrey of Second Life. I don’t claim to be a psychiatrist or psychologist, but I am a Secondlife-ologist.  So come and be part of “Get It Out”!!! You can be anonymous or better yet don’t be and let’s deal with issues and solve them instead of festering on them and being miserable. In order to participate please send a notecard with the following information: Name:_______________________ (if anonymous) put that.  Issue:________________________ Note:  If it is something that I feel is out of my realm I will let you know A.S.A.P. with a notecard back. 

n i m a h J a Av

Ava Jhamin Publisher, L’Amour Diversity Magazine


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L'Amour Diversity Magazine - Issue 5 Apr 2016  

L'Amour Diversity Magazine Issue 5 showcases the MMI 2016 Winners, delivers compelling interviews in fashion, entertainment and role play, a...

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