Seaspride 2023: The Importance of Online Spaces by Tsunamy (Reprinted)

This post by @tsunamy was originally posted here for TSPride 2021. It is reprinted here with permission.

The Importance of Online Spaces.

By Tsunamy

When Seraph asked me to write something for TSPride, I was at something of a loss. To be honest, I’m not really an activist and have never been a huge fan of Pride events; and it’s only been the past several years I’ve participated IRL Pride. So, I just wasn’t sure what I had worthy to share.

But, the more than I’ve thought about it, the more I was reminded that online spaces have been instrumental in my coming out. I don’t just mean places like (for the children here, think of it as a prototype of Grindr), but more generally spaces like Virtual Chat (something else that is long dead) and yes — NationStates.

These spaces became places where I could experiment and better understand myself. You can still find some early posts where I’m play acting Elle — well L. — Woods.

And then, someone on Twitter pointed out— it was only 18 years ago last week that sodomy laws were struck down in the U.S. In short, when I started playing NS — in 2003 — men and women could be arrested and charged for sexual acts.

From an American context, it’s really difficult to imagine how far the country has progressed in a relatively short time. But quite literally, being gay had only been fully legal in the U.S. for less time that there are been an NS nation of Tsunamy. Crazy.

Yet, we need to remember that not everyone lives in the U.S. and gays are still persecuted in many places around the globe. And, it is still the online spaces that can provide something of a safe haven for people to express themselves, experiment with their identities and learn who they are.

I love that TSP has become the first gay feeder (h/t to Glen and others who made it possible) and I think we should be proud the welcoming, encouraging and supportive community we’ve become.

And while I hope everyone — myself included — can find the courage and the support to push for change IRL, it’s always comforting to know TSP is happy to accept everyone for who they are.


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