Even though more than 500 worldwide Pride parades and events have been postponed or canceled in 2020, the annual celebrations of LGBTQ visibility are continuing on(line). The latest company to offer queer individuals and allies a safe, socially distanced way to get in the spirit of Pride? Airbnb.
This week, the home-sharing service announced its new summer lineup of Online Experiences. Timed to coincide with the 2020 Pride month, they include a new selection of Online Experiences led by LGBTQ hosts from Thailand, Australia, Germany, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the United States, and beyond. The new Online Experiences—which mark Airbnb’s first virtual celebration of LGBTQ culture, history, and activism—will be offered throughout the year.
Ranging between $1 and $40 per person, the LGBTQ-oriented virtual lessons include a queer poetry workshop in Portland taught by a local nonprofit artist collective, a class on LGBTQ Culture and Nightlife in London led by Aisha Shaibu (founder of the LGBTQ nightlife company Moonlight Experiences), and a conversation with some of Thailand’s Kratoey (or “Ladyboys”) to discuss gender identity and the country’s transgender community.
Guests will also have the opportunity to join a global LGBTQ bar hop, watch a new interactive live musical by the Lisbon host of “Sangria and Secrets with Drag Queens” (another popular Online Experience), and take a virtual tour of the Stonewall Museum LGBTQ Archives, accessing original artifacts that tell different stories from the pivotal moment in LGBTQ history.
Just like Airbnb’s other Online Experiences—which launched in early April so that people in quarantine could “travel from home” (and Airbnb hosts could earn an income, safely)—all classes will be hosted through the video chat program Zoom, which you can download for free to your computer or phone, both iOS and Android.
As part of Airbnb’s recent announcement, the platform said it will launch a total of 100 Online Experiences “dedicated to representing LGBTQ diversity” throughout 2020 in partnership with the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA) and the IGLTA Foundation. During Pride month and beyond, Airbnb’s Online Experiences landing page will continue to be updated with more spirited online opportunities to come.
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