Laura's Playground Community Rules
These rules apply to every member's participation in the Laura's Playground community. They apply to both our live chat rooms and our forums. Your use of either service constitutes your agreement to abide by these rules, whether you have read them or not. Because each rule was implemented to protect both Laura's Playground and our members, there is no point in arguing about them with the staff whose duty it is to enforce them. Whatever your opinion of the rules, speaking abusively to any of our staff members is grounds for an immediate and permanent ban from future participation on the site. If you have questions or concerns about any rule on this list, please contact Dev.
Please note that Laura's Playground is not a sex or dating site. Those who admire or fetishize transgender people are not welcome here. Soliciting our members or attempting to engage in cybersex is strictly prohibited and will be reported to the appropriate authorities. If you are looking for a transgender dating site, please consider TSGirlfriend or the FtM Dating Site.
On this page, you'll find sections for the introduction to our site's offerings, universal community rules, rules specific to our chat rooms and forums, notes on the disciplinary process, and information on how to appeal disciplinary action taken.
In addition to providing chat and forum software for community interaction, Laura's Playground maintains a large number of resources you may find useful. These include such things as worldwide directories of professionals who work with the transgender community, trans-friendly businesses, financial aid programs for the transition process, and much more. We encourage you to explore the site menus at the top of the page and in the sidebar and become familiar with everything we have to offer.
Gender issues can be incredibly complex and have dangerous - even life-threatening - consequences. For this reason, we urge all of our members to see a gender therapist for help navigating the maze of emotions and practical concerns that are all part and parcel of being transgender.
Please note that your experience with the Laura's Playground site will be much easier if you configure your browser to allow pop-ups from www.lauras-playground.com. We do not make use of pop-up (or any other kind of) advertising. Many links on the site are set to open in a new tab, however, and if you click a link in our live chat without first enabling pop-ups the Java software may boot you out.
Finally, it's necessary to create two separate accounts to participate in the forums and live chat. However, we encourage you to choose the same username for both services, as it will help people to recognize you on both platforms.
- Please choose an appropriate username. We suggest that you use the first name you'd use on the street when presenting as your true self. Names cannot include the following:
- Stereotypes - whether related to race, gender, or something else entirely, your name may not reference a stereotype or mock any demographic. This includes words like "sissy," "tranny," or other generally derogatory words.
- Sexual domination or submission - king, queen, master, slave, top, bottom, or other words that imply a sexual role are not permitted.
- Authority - mod, moderator, admin, etc. - your name may not state or imply that you hold a position of authority on the Laura's Playground site.
- Articles of clothing.
- Body parts.
- Random strings of text and/or numbers - using your initials is fine, as is adding a (short) number after your name, but complete gibberish isn't okay.
- Members under 18 years of age may not include their last names in their usernames.
- Names that, at the discretion of Laura's Playground Staff, can be interpreted as references to illegal drugs, crime, sexual innuendo, racism or any other form of bigotry, or political affiliation, or names that are in any other way offensive, will also not be allowed.
- If you wish to share photos of the fully-healed results of top surgery (either FtM or MtF), you must do so via private message only after first verifying that the person you wish to share them with is 18 or older and has clearly stated a desire to see your photos.
- You may not publicly offer to share these photos, and you may not share images showing nudity below the waist for any reason.
- Laura's Playground staff reserves the right to make the final determination as to the appropriateness of any content posted.
- Remember that any time you share an image with someone online, you immediately lose control of that image. Any photo you share should be sent only to those you know you can trust to keep it private.
- Crisis rooms are limited to the member in crisis and any staff speaking with them. You must never enter a crisis room that is already in use. Also, do not start private messages with anyone who is in a crisis room, unless you need to bring an emergency or crisis to the attention of the staff member. You may not ask either party for details about the crisis after they leave the crisis room. Our crisis chats are treated with the strictest confidentiality. As suicide prevention is our primary purpose here at Laura's Playground, anyone found to be deliberately interfering with that purpose will be banned.
- Never start a private message with someone until you have obtained their permission in the main chat room. Staff members are the exception to this rule. You can PM a moderator to get assistance with something or discuss an issue without prior permission. Staff can also PM members without prior permission. However, unless it's urgent, they will generally get your permission before sending you a private message.
- Chat rooms labeled for specific gender identities are for use by those people only. For example, the MtF room may only be used by people who identify, at least part of the time, as female. Likewise with the FtM room. If you are unsure of your identity, you may enter any rooms appropriate to your questioning until you are sure.
- If you wish to share a link to a site, image, or video in chat, it must first be approved by a moderator. All links must meet the PG-13 rating requirement. When you'd like to share one, simply PM it to a moderator and ask for approval to post it in chat. The moderator will review it to ensure that it's appropriate and then, in the main chat room, give you the go-ahead to post it.
- Please do not choose an inappropriate color for your chat text. Colors that are too light are hard to see, and colors that are too bright can easily cause eye strain and headaches in those reading what you have to say. Your text color should be dark enough to appear clearly against the chat room background.
- Use the siren sound (*emergency*) only when a staff member's attention is urgently needed. Valid reasons to use this sound include, but are not necessarily limited to, a member in crisis, a predator or admirer in chat, or receiving an inappropriate private message. Note: the sound will only play for people in the room in which you use it. If the moderator whose attention you need is in another room, open a new PM with that moderator and sound the siren there.
- Special conversation topic restrictions for chat: because our live chat is commonly used by people in varying degrees of distress, we ask that you avoid talking about weapons, illegal drugs, self-harm, suicidality, rape, sexual assault or abuse, and other triggering topics in public chat. Of course, this restriction does not apply to crisis rooms or PMs with staff, where you can discuss anything and everything you need to talk about. The aim of this rule is to prevent triggering multiple members when we may not have enough staff on hand to react appropriately.
- Identifying chat staff: we use icon colors in chat to help identify members and staff. These icons can be found next to the members' names at the right-hand side of your chat window. These are the colors and their meanings:
- Blue: Chat Member
- Light Blue: Greeter
- Yellow: Teen Mentor
- White: Moderator (Non-Crisis)
- Purple: Crisis Moderator in Training
- Red: Crisis Moderator
- Green:Crisis Moderator and Supervisor or Administrator
- New topic posts must be made in the relevant forum. We ask that you read the forum descriptions before posting. Off-topic posts may be moved to the correct forum without notice.
- Members must respect the rights of individual copyright holders at all times. Images from other sites (with the exception of public sites whose intention is for images to be shared), links to illegally distributed content, or encouragement of or guidance on how to infringe on others' copyrights is not allowed.
- Members should use an appropriate, descriptive title when posting a new topic. Examples of bad post titles might be, "Intersex problem," "Money," "Trouble," or other generally vague subject headers. Good titles might look like, "Medical complications associated with adrenal hyperplasia," or, "What problems did you experience when transitioning?"
- The teen forum has a special setup. Only teens can post new topics, but all members can reply with support and advice. Staff may also start new topics to discuss things of interest to trans teens, though this will be very rare. Adult topics are not allowed in this forum.
Discipline and Dispute Resolution
In both chat and the forums, a specific process is followed for handling most issues. First and foremost, if any topic gets out of hand and discussion becomes less than respectful, a staff member will step in and declare the topic closed. When that happens, there is to be no further discussion on the subject, period. Continuing to argue the topic after a moderator has called a halt to the conversation will result in disciplinary action being taken.
For the above issue and violation of other rules, the steps in the disciplinary process are as follows:
- Warning: Staff will privately message the member, explain that a rule was violated, and warn that further action may be taken if the violation is repeated.
- Second Warning: For most rule violations, members will receive a second warning before any further action is taken.
- Ban - 3 Days: Members who disregard any warnings they receive and continue to cause issues will be banned from participating at Laura's Playground for a period of three days.
- Ban - 30 Days: Continued violations will result in a month-long ban from participation in the community.
- Ban - Permanent: When a member shows a complete disregard for the rules and the disciplinary process, they will be permanently banned from taking part in the community.
Special exceptions to the disciplinary process:
- Admirers, fetishists, pedophiles, and those who inappropriately proposition or message our members will be banned immediately and permanently, without warning or notice.
- Members who ask a minor for contact information or personally identifying information will be banned immediately and permanently, without warning or notice.
- Members who threaten or attempt to cause harm to the site, its staff, or its members will be banned immediately and permanently, without warning or notice.
- Members who post spam, commercial advertisements, or requests for money will receive only one warning before being permanently banned. If the violating content is the only content that has been posted by that account, there will be no warning - the permanent ban will take place immediately.
Appealing Disciplinary Actions
If you receive a warning or are banned for any length of time and feel you did not violate the rules, please first contact Dev to discuss the situation. Please be sure to explain why you feel your post or actions were not in violation of the rules. If you are still dissatisfied with the situation after working with Dev, you can reach out to Stu, who is the final authority on all rules and their enforcement.
Last updated October 21, 2016 (edited for clarity and completeness).