Pride 2022 was a chance for members of the NFT community to show their support for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Now that Pride is over, it’s important to take a look back while also providing plenty of ways to continue to engage and support the community.
This article is designed to educate individuals on the different ways the LGBTQ+ community has established and grown in the NFT space. Keep in mind that while we did include quite a few LGBTQ+ projects on this list, there are still plenty out there for you to explore and discover on your own!
Launched on June 30th, 2022, Coca-Cola released its Pride Series! A collection of 136 NFTs consisting of brightly colored rainbow versions of the company’s iconic glass bottles that were put up for auction and hosted on Polygon.
A fun and colorful way to celebrate Pride, the collection was created by award-winning designer and LGBTQ+ advocate Rich Minsi. Profits earned from the sale went directly to LGBTQ+ charities. While the sale only brought in $23,000 initially, a percentage of all future sales will be going to charity as well.
Big companies weren’t the only ones to get into the spirit of Pride. Decentraland hosted their own pride event that lasted for the whole of July. DCL’s Festival Land District was transformed into a fully fledged Pride Parade complete with rainbow fountains, interactive pride floats, and plenty of areas for attendees to take selfies. The event promoted live performances and also offered free wearables to visitors.
Fashion brands such as Original Penguin, popstar Thalia, guests and Web3 community members joined the festivities as speakers and entertainers. Attendees were invited to interact with the floats, join panels, parties, and more. In addition to events on the main festival grounds, teleporters were available sporadically across that allowed visitors to visit other locations holding events in Decentraland.
Between the booths, performances, and speakers, the event was designed to mimic a real-world Pride festival and provided opportunities for individuals who might not otherwise get the chance to attend or experience what Pride is all about.
The MetaPride Festival was described by its hosts as ‘the start of a modern movement’ The event was brought to life by Jake Resnico an event coordinator with experience bringing to life exciting festivals around the world, and Matt Stevenson, who previously worked for both Time and Wired. The event was meant to combine live entertainment with NFTs, bringing Christopher Street into the Metaverse.
The event was meant to act as a celebration of love and included live musical performances alongside moving speeches by empowering speakers. Special guests included Galantis, LP Giobbi, Ty Sunderland, and Blondish, among many others.
In addition to live entertainment, the event also hosted an NFT Charity Collection composed of unique creations designed by LGBTQ+ creators that were then auctioned off. All proceeds were donated to OutRight Action International, which works to support global LGBTQ+ communities.
Moving away from events and projects designed solely to take place during Pride Month, let’s take a moment to explore a project meant to support and promote queer creators year-round. Founded by NYC drag queen Ruby Powers (aka Brent Lomas), The Queenly NFT is an organization used to promote, host, and support LGBTQ+ creators who are entering the Metaverse.
So The Queenly NFT, LLC has helped over a dozen queer creators to launch their projects successfully. These projects include work by several artists of varying backgrounds, gender, and sexual orientations. With the Metaverse still such a new environment for most, the importance of amplifying the voices of queer creators is more important than ever.
Their most recent project, ‘Dissolve’ by Grey Leifer is a collection of 12 animations featuring specially designed soundscapes. Leifer commented on their project, stating that “Each piece is a [study] of emotional resolve, a commentary on internal ebb and flow. These are universal experiences for people who walk through society ‘othered.’”
Leifer is an established fine artist and worked previously as Chief Design Officer for the gender-equal clothing brand, Play Out Apparel.
Pride Icons is a limited digital collection of pop art NFTs, created by Max Bahman. The collection itself consists of three sets that are ‘fabulous, legendary, and unique in their own way.’ Purchase of the Pride Icon NFTs grants users access to a community as well as member-only benefits and events. In addition to benefits in the metaverse, members are also given benefits that include discounts on facial plastic surgeries and discount memberships to a partnered fitness resort.
Co-Founders Eliad Cohen, Regev Gur, and Amir Lazarovich hoped to create a ‘purpose-led community’ that worked to fund non-profit organizations while creating a supportive environment for members of the LGBTQ+ Community. Though currently in a ‘hybernation period’, the group insists that there are big plans to come for the community.
Currently, the project has not yet been launched: The creators had originally planned to launch on June 1st, 2022, during Pride Month but unfortunately could not do so.
FeWoCiOUS is a collection of NFTs created by a young transgender artist who goes by the name of Victor, and has earned over $17 million in under a year. Originally utilized as a way to escape from his day-to-day life, the artist has now created a mini-empire by selling his pieces in the metaverse.
His most recent project, FeWoWorld, will allow holders of paint drops to unlock items in the generative art world he has created. He explains that the ‘more paint in your “Paint Drop” the more you’ll be able to unlock in FewoWorld.’ This includes canvas and items he calls Fewos. Fewos are inhabitants of FeWoWorld, and are another collectible for investors in the projects.
Take Up Space is a Web3 Playbook created by Founders Paff Evara and Hannah Peacock. It is designed to give new investors the skills to navigate the Web3 space with confidence while providing an understanding and supportive community. After feeling irritated by how ‘pale, male and pretty stale’ they found the metaverse, they decided to bring in some changes to make the community more accessible to a broader range of individuals.
The pair explained that their primary goal is to bring more BIPOC & LGBTQ+ people into the metaverse and create a welcoming space from the start. They have created a course that is designed with walk-throughs, readings, webinars and Q&As while also providing support 24/7 on their Discord. Their goal is to break Web3 down in to its smallest segments to help boost anyone’s knowledge from complete beginners to intermediate users who are just looking for a bit more information.
It’s great to see these positive moves by companies who are bringing LGBTQ+ into the NFT space in such diverse ways.
All of these projects are working to ensure that LGBTQ+ individuals have an active voice in Web3 from the very beginning. This list was intended to introduce you to ways you too can get involved and support the community!
As always, make sure to research any project before you invest to ensure you are actually supporting LGBTQ+ creations that do support worthy causes and charities. As inclusivity and Web3 continue to grow together we are excited to see what comes next in this area of Web3!
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