MetaPride Land Kicks Off Pride With Celebration and Support

More than NFTs, this metaverse space aims to create a community and offer support for LGBTQ+ individuals

The metaverse continues to provide countless ways for people to engage with likeminded (and differently minded) individuals all over the globe, but it’s not always positive. Inequities exist in the digital world just like anywhere else. After encountering this personally, Matt Stevenson (who has worked at TIME and Wired) and Jake Resnicow (who has produced events all over the world, many of which raised significant funds for LGBTQ+ non-profits, AIDS research, queer people experiencing homelessness and more) decided to “bring Christopher Street to the metaverse.” To do so, they created MetaPride Land, an always-on space for LGBTQ+ individuals to celebrate and connect, whether they are able to express their true identities in the “real” world or not.

Beyond celebrating Pride, MetaPride Land (which is launching its preview this month) will become a hub for queer people to access critical life-saving support services 24 hours a day—including crisis support, resources regarding housing assistance, employment and healthcare, and counseling for those struggling with identity or suicidal thoughts. There will also be community-building events, panel discussions and workshops as well as opportunities for sharing, selling, purchasing and appreciating each other’s creative works in NFT form. The first of which is a collection curated by Foodsmasku, and included an open call for works by queer artists all over the world (including myself). The collection will be auctioned online, with the majority of its proceeds donated to OutRight International and other non-profits dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community.

While the longterm goal is to have a space that’s accessible year-round and 24 hours a day, June is—of course—significant. On the last Friday and Saturday of the month, a hybrid festival will occur in the metaverse and in NYC, the city where Pride was born. There will be musical performances, talks, speeches and other activations both in the digital and physical realms. They have also secured commitments from Decentraland, The Sandbox and Voxels, who will supply the web3 land and build the first MetaPride Land neighborhoods that launch this month, and will play host to MetaPride Land Festival.

“We are starting with the festival in June so that everyone can celebrate together, regardless of their physical location and from the safety of their homes, but this is just the beginning,” Stevenson tells us. “We know it’s early but we also know how these early days are the most important to ensure our voices are heard, we hope to onboard many newcomers to web3 and increase visibility and representation in web3. There are lots of moving parts, but our initial focus will be on access and support ensuring the major platforms are delivering on the ‘promises’ of web3.”

Unlike a lot of companies, conversations and coverage focused on web3 and NFTS, MetaPride Land remains firmly focused on people’s real-life experiences. Ultimately, Stevenson and Resnicow hope that MetaPride Land is a “truly safe, equitable and inclusive space” where queer people can find creativity, community and connection.

Images courtesy of MetaPride Land