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This week we are shining a spotlight on Second Pride, a destination that is celebrating 15 years of service to the LGBTQ+ community in Second Life. Learn more from their chairman, Lee McKay. Lee McKay - speech at the 2022 Second Pride opening ceremony - Photo by Jason Roach How long have you been in Second Life and how did you first hear about it? As of July 11, it will be 16 years for me. I barely remember, but I think it was around the time that Second Life was "hot" in the media and even popped up on a couple of tv shows. I was hooked right away. I took some months-long breaks over the years, but for the last 5-6 years have been here steadily. You are the Chairman of Second Pride, can you tell us more about the history of Second Pride, how it came to fruition, and what can people expect when visiting the destination? I wish I had more information about the history than I do. I know we are in our 15th year, but the Board of Second Pride has changed many times over the years. I'm not sure who the original members were, but we certainly appreciate the foundation they laid. The leadership is now more continuous, and this has allowed for more growth and stability over the last few years, including official sponsorship from Second Life, which we are so grateful for! Photo by Patch Linden Second Pride is also a Community Gateway, what kind of support does it offer Second Life Residents? You can, of course, create your Second Life account right from our website and arrive in our Gateway on day one. We have one of the more detailed and in-depth tutorials that I have seen, created by a school teacher, with interactive stations for learning various skills. We will also soon be implementing a method for a new user to be able to call a Second Pride Ambassador with questions. This should be available in the next couple of months. Photo by Tomais Ashdene June is Pride month and in Second Life many members of the LGBTQ+ community find this to be a safe space to express themselves and feel empowered. What kind of celebratory activities does Second Pride have planned for this month? Second Pride holds an annual event in June to celebrate Pride, with 10 days of activities, including DJs, live singers, stage performances, etc. across multiple venues. We also have a wide selection of vendors set up with stores, gifts, and more. The two regions, Second Pride East and Second Pride West are set up as a large city, including a beach boardwalk with amusement rides, games, and more. We usually select two "first life" organizations to raise funds for. This year they are ILGA-Europe and Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS. Then after June, we switch focus to another organization or two until the next June. We want everyone to know that Second Pride doesn't go away after June. We have three other major events, Glitter & Gore for Halloween, Holidaze in December, and Mardi Gras. These are all multi-day events. We also have some smaller events over the year. Our regions are here every day, all year long for people to come and enjoy. Photo by Evie I. Ravens Aside from Second Pride, what other projects are you working on in Second Life? I manage a men's resort and club called Steamworkz, part of the Boystown community. I also help with the management of the rental land and homes there. I've been involved at Boystown for many years before working there. It's where I call home. Photo by Scarlett Amethyst Tell us about some of the other Residents in Second Life that inspire you and whose work you admire. Adham DeCuir, who created Boystown in 2007, is a good friend and an amazing graphic creator, community designer, and landscaper. None of those terms really cover what he's capable of. If I need something for Second Pride, he's always able to whip up a stunning venue or whatever we need in nearly no time. He created our replica of the historic Stonewall Inn, and our current main stage area. Tomais Ashdene, a fantastic photographer and landscaper, and another good friend. He did the majority of the work on the park at Second Pride. Grant Valeska, an amazing designer and performer that created the Lady Gaga concert for Second Pride last year, and the Britney Spears "Stronger - A Live Experience" for this year. Watching Grant create is truly watching a master at work! There are many others, and I feel guilty for not listing them all here! Second Pride 2022 Second Pride is celebrating 15 years of service to the LGBTQ+ community in Second Life. Running from Friday, the 3rd of June through Sunday, the 12th of June, this year’s main event will feature DJs, singers, and live shows covering all styles and genres. Explore both regions of Second Pride all year ‘round. You’ll find shops selling clothing, accessories, furniture, animations, and much more, from LGBTQ+ creators and allies. You’ll also find information about LGBTQ+ friendly communities, support services, art installations, photo opportunities, games, rides, and lots of fun! During this event, Second Pride is raising funds for ILGA-Europe and Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS (info at second-pride.com). So, whichever color of the rainbow you are, come out and play at Second Pride, because you are Unmovable, Unstoppable, and Unbreakable! Visit in Second Life Where can Residents learn more about Second Pride? Please share links to any sites and social media accounts. Second Pride Website Second Pride Twitter Second Pride Instagram (just getting started) Second Pride Flickr Group (anyone can submit pics) Second Pride Destination Watch this Second Pride video from 2019 on the Second Life YouTube Channel We hope you enjoyed learning more about Second Pride and their mission is to serve, support, and empower the diverse LGBTQ+ communities of Second Life! Each of these weekly Spotlight posts will feature a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup.