A number of social gatherings have taken place in Metaverse as companies around the world begin to understand the value that a virtual interactive environment can have for consumers. It should come as no surprise, then, that Pride Month – a month-long festival held in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots – will be celebrated in a variety of settings this year.
Pride in Metaverse creates open access
Akbar Hamid, co-founder of the People of Crypto Lab (POC) – an innovation center dedicated to diversity and presentation on Web3 – told the Cointelegraph that Metaverse is an amazing way to allow people around the world to take part in events they may not be. may participate in other respects. “We want Pride Month 2022 to be an event that everyone can take part in, even in countries where people are not allowed to take part,” he said.
Despite the fact that Pride Month is celebrated openly in many places, 71 countries are currently judging to be LGBTQ +. To counter this, Hamid explained that POC has partnered with The Sandbox – a blockchain-based metaverse project – to launch Virtual Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Center during Pride Month. This unique youth center, known as the Valley of Belonging, will enable people around the world to celebrate, Hamid said.
“Investigated communities tend to be left behind, so the POC’s goal with the Valley of Belonging is to ensure that each community has access to events that it can openly attend. And given the current atmosphere of growing discrimination against LGBTQIA + and other minorities, there has never been a more important time to build a safe space that welcomes everyone. “
To achieve the goal of “belonging,” Simone Berry, co-founder of POC Lab, told the Cointelegraph that Valley of Belonging will consist of 8,430 inflexible symbols (NFTs) representing different ethnic, gender, and gender characteristics. “Not all of our avatars are twins, which means they do not know gender or sexual orientation. This is also the first NFT project in The Sandbox that allows users to customize avatars using first names, “Berry explained. She added that avatar features will consist of over 36 different skin tones while featuring features that celebrate differences such as prosthetics, as well as cultural features such as hijab.
Berry also noted that NYX Professional Makeup – a subsidiary of L’Oreal – will merge with The Sandbox to offer voxelized makeup, which will help promote adoption. “To show that makeup is asexual, all the avatars in our coin, which will take place on June 17, will have makeup from NYX,” she said. Yasmin Dastmalchi, CEO of NYX Professional Makeup, told Cointelegraph that the partnership with POC and The Sandbox is important as it provides a platform for true self-expression in diverse communities, noting that Metaverse “has become a form of digital identity.
Decentraland will also allow users to openly celebrate the month of 2022 in Metaverse’s blockchain-based event with a month-long event offering entertainment, experience and curatorial content. Iara Dias, CEO of Metaverse Pride and Chief Producer at Decentraland, told the Cointelegraph that Metapride Land will announce its headquarters in Decentraland to celebrate Metaverse Pride:
“This will provide a lasting safe space for the global LGBTQIA + community to participate and meet other members around the world. Users will be able to access the space all year round, not just during Pride Month, which further secures the commitment of Decentraland and its partners to support the LGBTQIA + community.
Dias added that Decentraland will host Metaverse Pride on June 11, a festival honoring the LGBTQIA + community. She explained:
“In a debut during Pride, the long-awaited ‘kissing’ feeling will allow avatars to kiss each other and express their feelings to each other. Furthermore, couples of all sexual orientations can marry in metaverse and get NFT certificate of their relationship.
According to Dias, these qualities provide a unique opportunity for gay couples living in countries where they are not allowed to express their commitment. “There will also be drag queens presenting for the first time in Metaverse, along with a special vogueing-capoeira performer marking the first time this type of dance and promotion will be introduced in Metaverse,” she said.
How Safe is Metaverse?
While it is noteworthy that both The Sandbox and Decentraland will host Pride events this year to secure new opportunities and access, it is important to note that security and safety are still ongoing challenges in Metaverse.
Online communities such as gaming chat rooms are notorious for hate speech against racial and sexual minorities. Indeed, it has been shown that budding societies with opposites are clients of racism, bigotry, and misogyny.
One scientist who recently entered the Meta Horizon World social network using Oculus Virtual Reality headphones announced that her avatar had been raped in the virtual space.
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In view of these concerns, Sebastien Borget, co-founder and chief operating officer of The Sandbox, told Cointelegraph that the platform takes security very seriously as more events are almost hosted. “Sandbox safety education is important to bring the next billion users on board Metaverse,” he said. Borget added that Sandbox’s recent partnership with Ledger’s hardware wallet will help boost Metaverse security.
Given that Decentraland is also a blockchain-based platform, Dias noted that user data and privacy are paramount. “The only user ID on Decentraland is usernames and wallets. This allows users who wish to remain anonymous to express themselves fully without fear of being identified, “she said.
Regarding appropriate behavior, Dias mentioned that Metaverse Pride has developed behavioral guidelines that allow users to block others if they are harassed. “We will use non-actor characters to provide instructions on how to do this, but we have also made it very user – friendly.
Web3 takes pride to new heights
Challenges aside, Web3 as a whole allows Pride Month to go far beyond what has previously been possible. Dias highlights this and said that given the actual Pride event, Metaverse allows people around the world – even in dangerous places – to get involved. In addition, she said that an individual’s digital identity defined by an avatar can give users the courage to be who they want to be. “It would not surprise me to hear stories of people who said that their avatar helped them to be brave and finally come out and be their own selves.
A number of NFT works of art are also being launched to celebrate and draw attention to Pride Month. For example, Serge Gay Jr. and Dan Nicoletta, both photographers and close friends of Harvey Milk – an American politician and the first publicly gay man elected to public office in California – recently launched a limited NFT art series inspired by Milk’s legacy. .
Nicoletta told the Cointelegraph that the goal behind “The Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza” NFT Museum is to promote support for LGBTQ + civil rights and the new NFT art market: “I do not see much LGBTQ + material in that area yet, so I is excited about the possibilities and to be working in that medium for the first time. “
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Brian Springfield, executive director of The Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza in San Francisco, told the Cointelegraph that the proceeds from the NFT project will go to Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza to support the creation of an inclusive safe space in the Castro district of San Francisco.
“The goal of The Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza NFT Collection is to raise awareness of The Memorial at Harvey Milk Plaza project in San Francisco and to encourage other cities to build similar spaces in their own communities,” he said.
Pride Icons is another NFT project that aims to shed light on the LGBTQ + community. Regev Gur, Pride Icons’ marketing director, told the Cointelegraph that the NFT collection contains images of important people in the LGBTQ + community, such as Andy Warhol and Elton John.
Gur said he grew up with a gay father who hid his true self for years. As such, he explained that the biggest goal behind Pride Icons is to shed light on the LGBTQ + community while blockchain is accessible to those who may not be aware of the benefits of technology: “It’s really about education – we need to educate people all origins of the power of Web3 and NFT.
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