As Pride Month grows in visibility and importance around the world, new ways of celebrating human diversity are emerging. In XR, we have the opportunity to format our work and social experiences for greater acceptance and appreciation of more types of people. This is one of the founding principles of Virbela–that anyone can come to work and express themselves, both in avatar form and as part of an office environment that supports transparency and connectivity.
It hasn’t always been this easy for everyone, though. For decades, a history of discrimination clouded or diverted the potential of many people. The remnants of these biases still present risk for individuals who identify as anything but cisgender and heteronormative. These biases also present a different kind of risk to companies who may miss out on the full engagement and contributions of every team member if they don’t intentionally build inclusivity into their frameworks.
In recognition of the cultural and socio-economic journeys of LGBTQ+ people, Virbela presents The Virbela Speakeasy: Pride Month. This curated XR exhibit includes two floors of interactive displays in a spatial lounge nightclub. The exhibit runs through the end of June. All are welcome.
Visit the Pride Speakeasy Now: Download Virbela Open Campus. From the Welcome Area, use the menu in the upper left. Click Go-To, then Speakeasy: Pride Month to teleport instantly to the exhibit.
How We’re Celebrating Pride Month
Within The Virbela Speakeasy: Pride Month, two floors of displays highlight notable stories and resources related to LGBTQ+ experiences. On the ground floor, the curation focuses on the ongoing efforts to empower individuals and communities. On the second floor, the curation showcases some of the positive results of these efforts with an eye towards a brighter future for everyone.
Featured content includes works on the Stonewall Riots, Gay Liberation Front, the calls for HIV relief, and the stories of popular icons like Harvey Milk, RuPaul, Megan Rapinoe, Wanda Sykes, and others.
On June 30 at 1PM PT, the Virbela Pride Parade celebrates with a parade led by some of Virbela’s LGBTQ community and partners and culminates in a fashion contest where anyone can dress their avatar as colorfully as possible.
Building Pride in XR
Any company can customize Pride Month events in virtual reality for their staff to explore. While The Speakeasy: Pride Month is open to anyone at any time, you can develop these XR spaces to reflect your own cultural touchstones and host your own events.
Inside the Speakeasy or other customized community experiences, you can move freely, talk with colleagues or other attendees, follow links for more content, take screencaps from your browser, and teleport to other parts of your Private Campus. At many companies, it may make sense to offer these community experiences year-round and refresh them occasionally with a renewed curation to reflect social and company progress.