Create Your Rainbow Issue 18 - Living Out Loud

Pride and crypto representation

Happy weekend friends 💖 

Welcome to Create Your Rainbow - a newsletter to help unleash your community creativity. 🌈

There was no issue last week due to the holiday, but we’re back this week!

There’s a reason this newsletter is called Create Your Rainbow - this week you’ll read why!

The first part of each issue is dedicated to educational and informational content. I also share behind-the-scenes with Inner Colors members!

Thoughts Leading Up To Pride

If I’m honest, writing has been difficult for the past couple of months. Writing content takes research, effort, time, clarity, and patience.

I came to web3 for the promise of a more equitable space for people like me, a trans lesbian community builder seeking opportunities to create change within a new Internet.

I needed to take action when I saw the same imbalances of resources being funneled into crypto, business as usual for hierarchical, plutocratic spaces - and I ignored DAO structures for too long because they, too, felt speculative and tokenized in the same ways that benefit the wealthy. Now, as the space matures, there are more options than ever for social and democratic change. Building that change is difficult for those already burnt out and left without sufficient resources.

I call for us to band together as builders, artists, and developers of protocols to collaborate on meaningful efforts forward (not more NFTs or PFPs, but conversations that move decentralized tech together).

Pride Month In A Decentralized Space

To say that there isn’t enough LGBTQIA+ representation in web3 is an understatement, but it’s far from just representation we need. I know loads of us who are thriving in the space, like these artists, our founder champions of diversity like Betty and Debbie Soon.

It’s clear those of us still in the space feel a responsibility, duty, and service to our community to express our excellence out loud!

We need gay and trans liberation and joy through decentralized resources to lift us from the destruction, legislation, and politicization of our bodies, we need the support of crypto leadership. Black trans women and trans teens continue to be targeted. We need to take ACTION!

My entry into the NFT space is one of openness and vulnerability through outing and doxxing myself for the benefit of all those I knew were hiding themselves, the anonymous users and learners who are also operating behind a silly PFP.

I chose to show the space why and how queer folks can lead in a male and wealth-dominated culture rife with speculation, tokenization, and poor morals under the guise of anonymity in the face of decentralization.

Some would say, “Everyone is equal in web3” or “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from,” and while I have made statements similar to that last one on many occasions, there are times when that truly isn’t the case, like when you’re out in web3. For more on this conversation, listen to the Twitter Space I joined this week with Klara, and Dawnia, who are very talented, accomplished crypto artists.

Last June, the NFT space was filled with hope. There were promises made, communities were being funded left and right - we had Pride celebrations, and curated metaverse parades. I hosted a 13-hour Space as part of my job in web3 and asked members of the community to speak about their experiences. This year that hope is suffocated by memecoins and scams but there is still joy to be found in intimate spaces of queer creation. And yes, there are big events yet to come that directly benefit us still to be announced.

However, there’s another thing we should discuss. Something touched on in the space above this week. We are more than our identities. We are whole people with lived experiences and expertise beyond being gay or trans. When you are loud and good at what you do… you receive the recognition you deserve.

My call to any LGBTQIA+ person in web3 is always to be as loud as you need to be and as quiet as you need to be. Take the time to rest so you can shine as brightly as you deserve. This comes with practice, patience, and self-awareness. Confidence is built over time, not days or weeks, but often years.

I’ve been out for over 5 years now and I still have heaps of slumps of insecurity, demotivation, and grief for the ways we are treated across the globe. What keeps me going is finding spaces of queer joy and creative energy in communities like Take Up Space and speaking with members of Cloud Scouts.

We Must Remember & Honor

Every year, I watch Paris is Burning (now on Max since removed from Netflix) as a reminder of where we come from. I watch The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson to honor her fight for trans and gay liberation with Silvia Rivera.

I am reminded of how this video clip of Silvia Rivera still rings true through yearly rainbow capitalism outpourings of the commodification of our lived experiences. Even as the backlash hits all time highs.

I watch this documentary about the Lesbian Avengers of 1992/1993, and I'm inspired by their handbook.

The Southern California Women for Understanding was also a huge hit in the ’90s, with just over 1100 members at its height. Makes one think just how much can be accomplished with a small membership - in opposition to crypto’s unsustainable and unrealistic need for thousands upon thousands of members per community.

I grew up in a small town, so I knew nothing of lesbians or trans people when I was a child. It wasn’t until I started working at 16 that I met gay adults for the first time. I hung around clubs, danced, and got lots of free drinks (totally took advantage of having the build of an athletic twink).

I feel it necessary to look to our ancestors for guidance, particularly when times are tough.

My Outlook For The Future of LGBTQIA+ Liberation Through Crypto

Here are some communities and action items I see taking the lead for LGBTQIA+ liberation in the New Internet.

There is no doubt that Take Up Space is leading the way. Last season they hosted CreatorThon, a two-day summit celebrating queer voices in web3. Contact here to get involved in their latest initiative!

The 50mm Collective is a digital art community providing resources to BIPOC trans and queer artists. Take a look at their curated virtual galleries here.

Prism World hosts IRL events to celebrate Black, queer and trans artists!

Mutual Love, very dear friends who hosted Mutual Love Fest this year at SXSW.

I see these communities continuing their work with joy and lots of incredible art curated with impeccable vibes. At Take Up Space meetings, I feel a sense of community and creative joy unmatched in most other places in the space due to feeling safe to be nothing but myself with no pressure to be anything else.

However, I see them evolving as more gay and trans folks become comfortable with spaces inside a better Internet that operates increasingly on-chain. We will always find ways to adapt and survive. As the space matures, the barriers to entry become smaller and smaller, making communities feel easier to join for folks seeking safety. While each of these communities may remain smaller in nature, that is for the best - leading to wise discussions and creative ways to bring joy to our lives both in the physical world and on-chain.

I want to see venture funds, accelerators and angels dedicated to funding LGBTQIA+ founders and leaders in the space. This is how we survive, it’s what we need to keep doing the work to create spaces for our collective pride. We need this type of distribution of resources and acceptance into networks. Particularly, I want readers and listeners to know how much your support affects the ways people experience the space as a whole. Without queer artists and founders, a new Internet is entirely dull, lifeless, uninspired.

If you want to hear more or if you’d like me to help you craft your story through community building, one way to support me is through sharing this newsletter. You can also fill out this form to connect.

This week I have some more broad web3 updates you should know about & the world of AI/AR/VR continues to rock our socks off. Check it out!

Apple’s Big Event is Monday!  🍎 

Apple’s WorldWide Developer Conference is their biggest event of the year and with this year’s event titled “Code New Worlds,” we’re going to see an AR/VR headset and more new hardware releases.

Long Thread On Crypto Legislation Time!

Crypto legislation in the US? Didn’t have this on my BINGO card but certainly not complaining. Read the 162-page document or read this super-long thread for the summary.

More News From The Front Lines in Hong Kong

On the heels of the above legislation, we have news of a USD stablecoin… under regulation by Asia as the US continues to lose ground in the space. Lots of mixed emotions here. 😬 

And remember, I believe in you. 💖 🥺

Below are all the Twitter Spaces I’ve spoken in, transcripts, and resources pinned to each.

That’s all for this week, friends! I hope you’ve found this issue valuable, and if so, I’d love for you to recommend a friend or two to subscribe. It would mean the world. 🌈 

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