Community Rules

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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.



Site Introduction

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.

One particular service we offer that is of interest to many members is weekly support meetings in our live chat room. For a schedule of meeting times and topics, please consult the calendar.

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.



Universal Rules

  1. 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.

  2. You may not intentionally misgender other members. We realize that androgynous names can create confusion, and that accidents happen. If you aren't sure of a person's gender, just ask. Continued or deliberate misgendering of other members may result in you being banned from the community. As a corollary to this rule, you should avoid using generic greetings such as, "Hi ladies," or, "Hey guys." At any given time, there's likely to be members online from all over the gender spectrum. If you dislike being asked which pronouns you prefer, you should consider using a name that answers the question for you.
  3. Be supportive of other members. Never imply - or say outright - that someone is being overly dramatic or faking a crisis. This is dangerous, especially in a community whose purpose is suicide prevention. We encourage our members to open up in chat and forum posts, and no one should suggest that another member's problems are too numerous or frivolous.
  4. Be inclusive of all other members. Everyone on the transgender spectrum is welcome here, from those transitioning from one binary extreme to the other to those in the middle, including those who identify in some way as non-binary. Members are not allowed to invalidate or erase the experience of anyone else in the transgender community. Attempting to bump a certain group or identity out from under the transgender umbrella or suggesting that one needs to conform to a certain expression to fit beneath it will not be tolerated.
  5. The following behaviors are strictly forbidden: personal attacks on other members including yourself or repeating attacks others have made on themselves, bashing of other members or groups, baiting others, making threats, trolling, instigating or participating in flame wars, intentionally insulting other members, posting inflammatory content, and using sexual innuendos. Engaging in any of these behaviors may result in your being banned from the community. Additionally, both forum staff and automatic software in chat will filter "shouting" - that is, posts written entirely in caps.
  6. All content posted in public areas (with the exception of gender identity-specific rooms and crisis rooms in chat and private conversations with staff) must be PG-13 or cleaner. Pornographic, vulgar, or indecent text, images, links, or other content will not be tolerated. This includes nudity, underwear imagery, or revealing swimwear photos, as well as photos of wounds, injuries, or other bodily conditions that may be distressing to others.
    • 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.

  7. Private messages are for your eyes only. You may not share the contents of a private message with anyone. However, if someone in a private message is speaking to you inappropriately or if you suspect they are in crisis, you should immediately notify staff. To do this in chat, open a PM window with a staff member. To notify staff in the forums, click on the "Report" link contained within the private message.
  8. You may not publicly share any personally identifying information or contact information anywhere on the site. This includes your full name, email or physical address, phone number, social media accounts, instant messenger handles, or any other information that can directly or indirectly identify you. We strongly advise members not to share this information privately, either. Because the safety of minors is of paramount importance to us, members under 18 may not disclose this information anywhere, even in private messages, and should notify staff immediately if they are asked to do so.
  9. No images or videos of minors can be made available anywhere on the site, period. This includes within member profiles - if you are under 18, we suggest sharing a picture of your pet, a favorite place, or another neutral photo, but you may not post a picture of yourself. This also includes photos of children in your family or who are otherwise known to you.

  10. You may not, under any circumstances, ask a minor to share contact information or personally identifying information with you. Members who violate this rule will be immediately and permanently banned.
  11. You may not advertise, spam, or solicit money anywhere on the site. Laura's Playground does not accept or allow commercial advertisements of any kind. Posting spam or other solicitations in either the forums or our live chat is forbidden. Please note that links to GoFundMe or other crowdfunding campaigns are also prohibited.
  12. You may not impersonate another person, regardless of whether that person is a Laura's Playground member.
  13. You may not misrepresent your identity or circumstances anywhere on the site. While you are under no obligation to reveal your real name or disclose every aspect of your life, what you do share on the site must be true.
  14. You must keep your usernames and passwords secure at all times. You must never share your login credentials with anyone. Also, you may never access the site using another person's account.
  15. You may not discuss warnings, bans, or other disciplinary actions in public. If you disagree with a site policy, please contact Dev. Information on how to resolve disciplinary steps you feel were unwarranted can be found further down on this page.
  16. You may not speak favorably of nor encourage others in participating in illegal activities or using illegal drugs. This includes discussion of obtaining hormones without a valid prescription.
  17. You may not share the dose of any medication you are taking or have taken, including hormones. What works for you could very well be lethal to someone else.
  18. You may not recommend dangerous or harmful treatments. This includes both herbal and non-prescription hormones, "reparative" or "conversion" therapy, and any other medication or treatment that has been proven to be fraught with danger.
  19. You may not evade or attempt to evade the profanity filters. Both the forums and the chat rooms make use of filters that catch profanity and convert it to more appropriate language. Writing in such a way as to defeat these filters on either platform is not allowed. This includes manually editing profanity - saying "F***!" accomplishes the same thing as using the word without the asterisks. Just type it as intended and let the filter do its thing.
  20. You may not discuss or link to other sites containing chat rooms or forums, regardless of their purpose.
  21. Religion and politics - except as directly relates to the transgender condition - may only be discussed in the appropriate places. There are specific forums and chat rooms for conversation about these subjects. The forums in particular contain sub-forums for various faiths, which are considered to be safe spaces where discussion should never be antagonistic.
  22. No one under the age of 13 is allowed to participate in this community. Laura's Playground lacks the physical capacity to comply with federal regulations for sites that welcome members under 13. If you are under 13 and looking for other transgender folks your age, we recommend visiting the Mermaids community.
  23. Staff reserves the right to make exceptions to these rules in the event that proposed content or conversation will significantly better our community.
  24. Chat and forum posts must be written in English only. While members from around the world are welcome at Laura's Playground, the vast majority of our staff is unable to interpret - and therefore moderate - content in other languages.
  25. Laura's Playground is hosted on servers physically located in the United States. As content on our servers is stored within the United States, US law prevails in consideration of any legalities. By your use of this site, you agree to the jurisdiction of the United States - more specifically, the State of Idaho.
  26. Other abusive or unique situations may arise from time to time that are not covered by our rules. We reserve the right to deal with those situations appropriately to protect the integrity of our community and the safety of our members.

Laura's Playground reserves the right to amend these rules at any time, with or without notice.



Chat-Specific Rules

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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


Forum-Specific Rules

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?"
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Second Warning: For most rule violations, members will receive a second warning before any further action is taken.
  3. 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.
  4. Ban - 30 Days: Continued violations will result in a month-long ban from participation in the community.
  5. 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:

  1. Admirers, fetishists, pedophiles, and those who inappropriately proposition or message our members will be banned immediately and permanently, without warning or notice.
  2. Members who ask a minor for contact information or personally identifying information will be banned immediately and permanently, without warning or notice.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).