🌈 Welcome, LGBTQ+ and allies!
We’re so excited about the success and growth our LGBTQ+ & Friends Meetup, one of the oldest and largest community meetups in AltspaceVR.
May 4th was a festive moment with friends and family on the dance floor & new home to connect and embrace this digital safe haven. The community hosted a giant global Party & Mingle and special Open Mic Night to celebrate their Two Year Anniversary. 🎉
We chatted with Chris, the founder of the LGBTQ+ and Friends Meetup, to hear more about why this group is so important to him and members from all over the globe, and how you can get involved.
Discover future events by subscribing to the LGBTQ+ & Friends Meetup Channel to discuss relevant topics, share stories of your experiences, and/or just plain hang out. Join the North American meetup. If you are sending your love from abroad, join the UK Meetup on Wednesdays.
👋 Say hi on Discord or Twitter!
#GetSocial with Chris,
Founder of LGBTQ+ & Friends Meetup
Q. How has this group impacted the community?
Chris: The impact from this group is that more and more people in the community are supportive of the LGBTQ+ community. Anybody has access to it, it’s talked about freely, and it creates more of a supportive vibe.
There will always be people that aren’t supportive or are troll-like, etc., but here in Altspace, with the administrative team and the Community Helper staff, I feel the tolerance of this community is much higher and has a much more positive vibe. I believe the LGBTQ+ & Friends meetup has allowed other people to create groups for other important topics like weight-loss and disability, and I believe the community will continue to grow and have more amazing groups and meetups of many types.
LGBTQ+ & Friends meetups matter because there are people across the country and across the world that cannot live freely as they are, without judgment, and this space allows anybody anywhere in the world to come [and] be who they are without question and with tons of support. If someone comes in to the space and is not supportive, they are removed without question.
Q. How different do you think this group would be if it were IRL instead of VR?
Chris: Because this takes place in virtual reality, people have more of a tendency to be who they are. You have the ability to call yourself whatever you want instead of going by your real name, so the anonymousness of this makes a huge difference compared to if it were real life. I have honestly never been to an LGBTQ meet-up in real life, so I couldn’t quote on that.
Q. Tell us about yourself and why you care about this.
Chris: It was about two years ago that I joined the LGBTQ hang out that Keegan Law, the Program Owner of AltspaceVR, started. I had only been in AltspaceVR a couple weeks — I was hooked. Once Keegan started getting too busy, I offered to take over the events on a weekly basis, and here we are two years later, continuously hosting two events a week — one for North America and one for the UK.
I care about this so much because I have been a part of the LGBTQ community since I was about 18 years old. I never saw myself as someone who could lead a group like this, but looking at it now, I am so happy that we’ve been able to do this for as long as we have, and I hope we can continue for many more years to come.
Q. Tell us more about these meetups.
Chris: So over the first year, I was able to add people to the meet-up’s admin team, and over the last year, those people have gotten busy with life, school, and work, and I’ve slowly brought more admins onto my team to make sure we have the best possible events.
The meet-ups have gone from just hanging out in a room with a whole bunch of people to amazing topics that we brought to the table, back to hanging out in a room, and I hope to continue to allow it to grow and expand, but you’ll just have to come to the meetups in this third year to find out what is to come in the future.
Q. How can one get involved as a participant or volunteer?
Chris: To get involved in the meetups, as a moderator or in an administrative role, all you have to do is show up to one of our meetups and talk to one of the admins in the room, or message us on Discord or Facebook, email us, or tweet us, and we will do our best to get you involved. We’re always looking for help, we’re always looking for volunteers and moderators.
👋 Introduce yourself to the community, join their Discord.
📅 Stay up-to-date on all meetups on Twitter.
🎉 Snaps from the party & celebration below!
For more 👋 Subscribe to #GetSocial in Virtual Spaces Channel in AltspaceVR hosted by Andy Fidel, virtual host & digital media educator. Chat with community about #SocialVR ✨