Pride is about feeling good about ones life and accomplishments and contributions to “the community.” Community in Second Life is hard to describe or put your hands on. There are social communities, business communities, and lifestyle communities. They never see eye to eye and sometimes just can’t seem to get along.
Quoting from Wikipedia “Gay pride or LGBT pride is the positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance.”
That statement in my eyes is the reason behind Second Pride. Second Pride is one of the oldest, if not the oldest LGBTQ groups in Second Life. It was established to bring the various communities together for a festival once a year to show ourselves off. To show the good things that we accomplish in our every day lives both in SL and RL.
In my eyes, I am going to state categorically, that it was not established as a self promotion tool for anyone involved. It was not established to be a super secret club for self-perceived movers and shakers. It was established to promote and bring together the entire community for at least 10 days every years to show off.
In being able to serve the community the board has guidelines and a set of bylaws that guide it in accomplishing their job. Let me tell you its a big job. There have been ALOT of anonymous accusations of misdeeds in the past 3 years. From my year directly with the board never saw any of it. There have been a great deal of comments in the past of the board sitting on loads of money that should be distributed. There have been alot of unfounded accusations of board member just stealing money, I can’t speak for past boards, but I can say the accusations that flew when I was on the board were made up lies.
Well as I stated the board was established to put on a yearly festival. Outside donations to charity are a byproduct of the festival.
Three years ago the board voted to purchase a sim, instead of renting space to hold meetings. In establishing the sim, the board made available meeting and display space to smaller non-profits in world who would be better served not having to spend their resources on tier. They also established a Second Pride avatar that acts as the banker and is responsible for paying the bills. As with any organization/charity SP operates on a year budget. The tier fee for the sim is ~79,500 a month, which means that the board needs to budget 954.000Ls each year to just cover that cost. Then there is the cost of the avatars premium membership which is approximately 19,000Ls a year. After the festival the board meets to discuss and take suggestions for worthy in world or real world charities to donate the excess funds to. The board works with the charities and often seeks out charities that have an in world presence as the transfer of the funds is less complicated.
Records of all transactions are recorded and posted on the SP website. There is also an audit committee that periodically looks at the financials to make sure that everything is on the up and up. They have found errors/spending mistakes in the past that were corrected. To try to overcome any re-reimbursement errors, the board 2 years ago established a policy of all asset purchases are made by “the avi.”
Now that I have gotten that off my chest, Its time for the varied members of the community to come together. Elections for the Second Pride board will be happening soon. Its time to be involved, whether its standing for election to a board position or volunteering to help one of the elected board members. Details of the election have not been released but should be soon, stay tuned.
Have a great day ya’all.