Qtopia: Creating safe spaces for queer people in the metaverse

He's creating a safe space for queer people in the metaverse. Brut spoke to Joshua Zeke Thomas, one of the partners of Qtopia: the first metaverse by and for the LGBTQ+ community.

“Qtopia is a safe place”

Joshua “Zeke” Thomas, DJ and activist, is creating a safe haven for queer people in the metaverse, which has been criticized for incidents of hate speech against minorities. Thomas is one of the partners of Qtopia: the first metaverse created by and for the LGBTQ+ community. “You can be wherever you want, whoever you want. Let yourself escape. Let that part of you be able to express whatever it is you want to get out at the time. As queer people, we need safe spaces. And Qtopia is a safe place”, says Thomas. 

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Through initiatives like Qtopia, the metaverse can help uplift marginalized communities and create safe havens for queer people where they feel empowered in their identity. “I believe the goals of Qtopia are to make a queer space that is inviting to anybody who enjoys Web3 and future thought. To make a safe space for people to come, and interact with, and express their ideas, and play music and build things”, explains Thomas. “The Web3 space is forward-thinking. The blockchain is forward-thinking. Cryptocurrency is forward-thinking. Everything's a disruptor. I love to be a disruptor as well. Learning and constantly striving to learn, that's what brought me into this.”

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“That's what I'm here for right now. To lead”

This is not the first time Thomas has used his platform to empower others. As a sexual assault survivor, he is the first male spokesman of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. “I was sexually assaulted at 12 and raped at 27. I don't like to call myself a victim. I am definitely a survivor. I survived and I persevered. And I've continued to grow. I very intentionally am in therapy two times a week. If I live in that past, I can feel it. If I live in the future, I worry. I get anxiety. But if I stay present, and I do take deep, intentional breaths because they slow me down… if I stay present, I can handle it”, says Thomas.

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Thomas says empowering other survivors helped him heal from his trauma. “I didn't realize that my DMs would be filled with other survivors or people relating to me. I knew I had to speak up for others. so that many more people could potentially heal from my story, or potentially avoid my story. That's what I'm here for right now. To lead”.

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