A number of social gatherings have started to take place in the Metaverse as companies across the globe begin to understand the value that virtual interactive environments can have for consumers. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that Pride Month — a month-long celebration held in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots — will be celebrated in various metaverse environments this year.
Pride in the Metaverse creates open access
Akbar Hamid, co-founder of People of Crypto Lab (POC) — an innovation hub dedicated to increasing diversity and representation in Web3 — told Cointelegraph that the Metaverse is an incredible way to allow people around the world to partake in events they may not be allowed to participate in otherwise. “We want Pride Month 2022 to be an event anyone can join, even in countries where people are not allowed to participate,” he said.
Although Pride Month is celebrated openly in many places, 71 countries currently criminalize being LGBTQ+. In order to push against this, Hamid explained that POC has collaborated with The Sandbox — a blockchain-based metaverse project — to launch a virtual diversity, equity and inclusivity hub during Pride Month. Known as Valley of Belonging, this unique youth center will enable people across the world to celebrate, said Hamid:
“Marginalized communities tend to be left behind, so POC’s goal with Valley of Belonging is to ensure that each community has access to events they can openly participate in. And given the current climate of rising discrimination against LGBTQIA+ and other minorities, there has never been a more important time to build a safe space that welcomes all.”
In order to achieve the goal of “belonging,” Simone Berry, co-founder of POC Lab, told Cointelegraph that Valley of Belonging will consist of 8,430 nonfungible token (NFTs) avatars that represent different ethnic, gender and sexual identities. “All of our avatars are non-binary, meaning they don’t identify with any gender or sexual orientation. This…