SL Pride, the event celebrating diversity organised by and on behalf of Second Life’s LGBTQ+ community opens on Friday, June 14th, 2019 at 13:30 SLT with a short address by the Chairman and Board Members of Second Pride, and runs through until 18:00 SLT on Sunday, June 23rd, when there will be the closing remarks and a 2-hour opportunity to simply hang out in the celebratory region.
With entertainment and activities through the week, this year’s event has the theme Stonewall 50: Celebrating Heroes, marking the 50th anniversary of New York’s 1969 Stonewall Riots. These were a series of protests in New York City’s Greenwich Village that are now widely regarded as the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States.
As a part of marking this, the host region for Second Life has been set out to reflect Greenwich Village, with a design by Jogi Schultz (yogijo), of the 1920 New York Project fame (see here for more), the region is centred on a park area in which can be found the main events stage. Around this can be found a road system, complete with sections of elevated railway, beyond which sits a façade of high-rise buildings representing the Manhattan skyline.
On the south side of the park, is a brick-faced homage to the Stonewall Inn, the focal point for the 1969 riots. Sadly, it is also a façade; while there is a museum to the events at Stonewall Inn on the region, it is located in another building to the east of the region – it would have been fitting to see it framed inside the inn’s walls. Also to be found along the roads is a fun fair complete with Ferris Wheel, roller-coaster and carousel, and the new Second Pride Community Gateway.
Designed to resemble a construction site, the latter is intended to offer users coming into Second Life a place to learn the basics of the viewer and be a place where members of the LGBTQ+ community can find a home and a place from which they can explore the wider offerings of Second Life.
In terms of the SL Pride event, A full schedule of entertainment is available on the SL Pride website, as a full list of sponsors. Note that while the entertainment schedule opens in List view, for ease of reference, you can change it to a Day view via the drop-down at the top right of the schedule page.
In addition, the website also supports a Get Social option, which allows people to interact with one another. Those joining it can create extended profiles, upload profile pictures, join an activity stream (similar to Facebook), connect with friends, private message one another, and so on. Click the Get Social! in the website’s menu bar to get started.
This year, donations will go to Rainbow Railroad, an international organisation dedicated to helping LGBTQ+ people around the world escape state-sponsored violence, offering them the chance to travel to places where they can live their lives in freedom. As hard as it may be to believe, there are 71 countries where being LGBTQ+ is criminalised, and in eight countries the sentence can be the death penalty. As such, Rainbow Railroad can literally save lives around the globe. You can find out more about their work in the video below.
So, be sure to make time to visit SL Pride during the coming week, share in the entertainment, see the art, tour the region – and donate to the Rainbow Railroad.