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RIFT Pride 2013: Thoughts, Musings… and Pictures!

By on Jul 1, 2013 at 9:13 am, in Article, Editorial, RIFT  |  Comments: 14 comments

pride writeup title

This past weekend was RIFT‘s first player-run, in-game Pride event. It was hosted by the awesome folks of The Last Prophecy on Greybriar and thanks to solid player organization (thanks Danitsia and crew!) and RIFT‘s nifty cross-shard grouping feature, the event was a pretty damn fine (and fun) success. There were over four raid groups of parade participants and a bunch more of us who showed up fashionably late (yep– I might be talking about myself) and just kinda hopped in on a Greybriar alt and had a blast.

Contrary to what some players on the forums anticipated, the event went off without a hitch for the most part. While there were a handful of players participating in various global channels that had a few negative comments and whispers for those organizing the event, for the most part the atmosphere was entirely positive. There were quite a few players who were genuinely confused about the event and what it stood for exactly, but I’m a firm believer in the fact that Pride parades and events exist to spread awareness and community– but also knowledge. Knowledge, even in a video game, equals power. The fact that players were curious was an excellent sign.

Since this was RIFT‘s first foray into holding a player-ran Pride event, confusion and unsureness regarding the necessity of such an event kind of had to be expected. It comes with the territory, if you will. I’ll be upfront here– yes, I know this a controversial subject, but as a queer writer and gamer both, you bet I’m going to plunge right in headfirst.

Pride events and other celebrations of diversity are necessary in any healthy, thriving, and progressive community. That includes gaming communities. Whether those celebrations take place in guilds, forums, private events, or public events is up to the community members themselves, but being LGBT is more than a simple lifestyle– it’s part of our identity. Therefore, in order to feel comfortable within said community, we have to be who we are. Celebrations like this help us reach out to others, spread awareness, and gain confidence.

wow pride

The fact that RIFT is holding events like this is a fantastic sign. It means that the community is beginning to solidify in ways it hasn’t before. This year’s Pride parade may have been a little small in comparison to the monster-sized Pride events (see above) held every year in World of Warcraft, but it all begins with that first step. That first step of raising awareness, sharing knowledge, and letting the RIFT community know that we can all safely be ourselves in an overall gaming community that can, well, be a little judgmental. If I had a quarter for every time I’ve seen a racial/gender/sexual orientation slur or insult in the last few months of playing any online game, I’d be able to buy something pretty nifty.

And that, frankly, is why events like Pride are needed. It all begins with small steps. “But politics don’t belong in games!” folks may say. Really? When’s the last time your political beliefs made you feel ashamed of yourself while taking part in a global chat discussion, raid, or guild/voice chat? This isn’t about mere politics. It’s about identity. For many of us LGBT folks who have been gaming for quite some time, we can count quite a few times when we’ve suddenly felt ashamed or angry at some random comment, slur, or the simple fact that we felt it safer to remain silent when guild chatter became aflutter with perfectly normal talk about spouses, significant others, and boobies (COUNT ME IN).

It’s why many of us seek out LGBT-friendly guilds. It’s why there are countless guilds across the global gaming community that open their doors to everyone (and not just gamers of varying sexual orientations) and close the doors to players who spout out insensitive crap every other raid night. We all spend hours upon hours invested in our games. We deserve to feel comfortable in our in-game skins just as our real-life skins. It all begins with that first step.

Okay, I’m done rambling. You’re free to disagree with my above thoughts, of course, but keep the comments civil.

In the meantime, screenshots! I wasn’t able to grab too many. If anyone has any other cool screenshots or videos they’d like to share, feel free to share them! There were definitely some awesome costumes.

As always, click on the thumbnails to bring up the full-size pictures:

Laura Hardgrave

Laura Hardgrave

Laura is the Editor-in-Chief for Junkies Nation. When she's not writing long editorials or fighting apostrophe errors, she enjoys exploring multiple MMORPGs, getting inspiration for more long editorials, distracting big snarly things for her friends, and writing LGBT science fiction/fantasy.
  • Samuel Serafim

    Very funny. Congratulations for this event. A much better carnival, but in any day.

  • Rusty

    My philosophy on this is be who you want to be, but DON’T force it on others, and that is a two way street. If someone has a first amendment protected religious viewpoint that certain lifestyles are wrong, they should not have it shoved in their face, just as I am sure the LGBT community would appreciate in the reverse.

    • Liore

      I see this point often, and it confuses me. Does a St. Patrick’s Day Parade shove being Irish in someone’s face? Does a parade for a sports team force that team on everyone? Is a Thanksgiving parade forcing others to .. I don’t know, eat turkey?

      Somehow every other parade is just a fun celebration, but a Pride Parade, oh man, that’s an evil parade that forces an LGBT lifestyle on everyone. It’s really weird.

      • Samuel Serafim

        Once a time the ignorance said they are trying to convert us. And all brainless sheeps heard that.
        They repeat it until today.

    • Larry Ripley

      the only problem that I see with that dear love is that for so long we have had to endure the abuses of the masses and quite frankly this house will never again allow ANY folk to abuse us. So you will forgive just a bit of “joyous” shoving back won’t you love??

  • Alatarv

    I have no problem at all with the event or the parade. If LGBT supporters want to do that, go right ahead. I am not gay, but I don’t care if you are. Whether or not I think being gay is right or wrong for moral or religious reasons has no bearing on the fact that you should be free to live your life as you wish, and me the same. I absolutely cannot understand why our society can’t just DO that. I don’t want to tell you who you can love, or marry, or anything else. I don’t want you to tell me what I am allowed to believe or teach my children. As long as we agree that we accept each other as we are and live peacefully together, everything else is a private matter.

  • Samerra

    Wonderful article, on the behalf of The Last Prophecy, thank you Laura Hardgrave!
    There are many others that should be thanked for making this parade possible. Trionworlds did have a GM present during the event. Prismatic Legion brought a lot of people to the party. Of course Danitsia my favorite guild leader for organzing and leading the parade and she’s a great ally to the LGBT community. Of course there are too many others to thank so I won’t try. You all have my gratitude.
    It was a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to doing this again next year!

    • Laura Hardgrave

      Yess, I suspect next year’s will be quite awesome!

  • Danitsia

    Thank you so much for this follow up. It was indeed a fun and happy AND PEACEFUL event. It hurt no one and folks that weren’t specifically gunning for it didn’t even know it was going on. Some folks that learn about it as we were preparing to roll out in fact loved the idea and joined us, even if they didn’t have a costume. Many thanks to the support of Rift Junkies for this event, to TRION WORLDS for having a GM present on the day to ensure there wasn’t anyone trying to just be rude, to other fan sites that also showed a lot of support.

    Next month join us for our VERY REVEALING RUN through Hammerknell Fortress to celebrate NUDE DAY! :)
    Info here:
    TLP runs public events for the community every month, so stay tuned!

    <3 Dani

    • Laura Hardgrave

      You’re quite welcome. :D

  • Minecraft

    Thoughts, Musingsā€¦ and Pictures!

  • James Ile

    great article …but my only question is why are these news feeds the only thing ever updated on this site

    • Laura Hardgrave

      We’re in the process of updating our class guides section. It’s been sorely in need of an update for a while now.

  • Larry Ripley

    Dang it !! I knew there were going to be a whole host of positives for leaving the WOW universe after so many years…..We have been pleased with RIFT in so many ways and now for a same-sex gaming houshold to see these things happening in the RIFT Universe just adds weight to our decision to leave and make RIFT our new home!!