With several US states enacting homophobic laws and Pixar and Disney employees exposing gay censorship at their companies, the online identity of the LGBTQ+ community is a hot topic. The NFT market is too young to judge its friendliness towards gay, queer, and trans people. Yet, the NFT market has redeemed itself with the collections like World Of Women, which endorses inclusivity and diversity. The possibility of free expression is already a significant feature of the NFT artworks market. However, will NFT be a remedy for closeted and openly gay people who face oppression worldwide?
An essential part of this question lies in understanding whether the online identity of LGBTQ+ people is a necessary component in the expression of their gender and sexuality. Without understanding how crucial online representation is for a person hiding their real identity in real life or showing it openly, it is impossible to know how substantial the NFT market is for LGBTQ+ people. With Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram already rapidly submitting NFT avatars as an integral part of their ecosystems, LGBTQ+ people need to ensure they don’t get left out of the NFT profile pics hype. Also, it must be taken into account that the Metaverse LGBTQ+ will have to be adequately represented, but will corporations and artists be able to provide this?
NFT-avatars in their current form are an investment. Non-fungible tokens, given the great potential of secondary sales, are precisely a means of earning. However, this period perishes quickly enough – the above-mentioned social networks and metaverses create a colossal and specific market of NFT-avatars that directly serve as profile pictures. One such project is the Novatar, a collection of 25,000 infants that can grow into LGBTQ+ adults. In a recently given interview, the co-author of the project stated the goal of Novatar to promote gender diversity and freedom of LGBTQ+ representation. The objectives of this and other similar projects are admirable, but NFT collections do not cease to be an investment that many experienced investors are hunting for. Thus, LGBTQ+ people cannot feel comfortable choosing an NFT profile picture to their preference. Suppose they want one or another queer avatar for themselves. They will have to act more cleverly than investors with extensive resources and use NFT-avatars only for profit. The Novatar have taken countermeasures against this problem and only allow 5 novatars per crypto wallet. However, this does not make the NFT market fairer for oppressed LGBTQ+ folks who want to express themselves vividly on social networks and metaverses.
Not to mention the riveting prices on most NFTs, especially their resell prices, the likelihood that NFT avatars will become the ultimate medium for representing LGBTQ+ individuals online is extremely low. So far, we can only speak to a greater extent about the exploitation of LGBT topics in NFT circles. However, projects like Novatar made by an LGBTQ+ team could turn the game around and inspire even more LGBTQ+ driven projects that can be accessible to all sorts of people.