#FeelThePride: An immersive WorldPride experience
2019 marked 50 years since the Stonewall Uprising in Greenwich Village, and it was also the first year that WorldPride took place in New York City. To recognize the moment, The Ally Coalition (TAC) invited the global LGBTQI+ community and allies to power an immersive, light and sound experience that amplified their voices.
The “Feel the Pride”experience collected people’s messages of what Pride means to them and used Microsoft’s Sentiment Analysis API to analyze the thousands of stories shared. Then, artificial intelligence deciphered whether the statement was positive, negative, optimistic, sad, or something else and assigned a color on the rainbow spectrum and corresponding music to the message. The result was a stunning audiovisual display that allowed people to experience the different emotions of Pride.
Where to now? A panel conversation around activism, art, and technology
As a culmination of the experience, these voices were also part of a dynamic discussion called “Where to Now?” that explored the intersection of art, activism, and technology. The panel was hosted by POSE FX’s Angelica Ross in conversation with fellow activists, who reacted in real-time to #FeelThePride tweets.
The Book of Pride: celebrating the stories of Pride
Five years ago, Mason Funk set out to capture the stories of LGBTQ+ trailblazers and elders across the U.S. Today, these interviews are available as part of the OUTWORDS digital archive and in the recently published The Book of Pride.
It all started when Mason found himself laying awake at night, wondering how the queer community had gone through such a radical transformation within his lifetime from the 1960s to today. Who were the people that ignited, led, and witnessed this sea change?
“Who were the activists or people in their own local communities who had taken steps to live more authentically and bring their true identities out into the world—even if that caused turmoil or rejection? I didn’t know who they were or what they had done. I just knew they were out there.”
– Mason Funk
After years of traveling across the country doing interviews, Mason recently launched the nonprofit digital archive OUTWORDS—the first national effort to preserve the stories of LGBTQ+ elders and pioneers in America—and curated The Book of Pride: LGBTQ Heroes Who Changed the World. Microsoft commemorated the launch of the book and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising with an event at their flagship store in New York, where Mason led a panel on the diverse stories and experiences of the LGBTQI+ community.