When it comes to NFTs, it’s over-saturated. The NFT space is such a sales-driven marketplace, it can be hard to sift through the junk and find the most authentic stories that are being told today, true, meaningful stories.
The LGBTQ + community finally has a home with Pride Icons, which claims to be at the heart of what they’re calling “the largest LGBTQ + NFT collection in the world.”
Co-founded by Israeli actor and activist Eliad Cohen and influencer marketing agency founder Regev Gur, of the Narrative Group, the project aims to highlight the achievements of the LGBTQ + community, who has fought for their rights for equality and visibility, to be accepted not in spite of their differences.
With more work yet to be made, it’s a way to pause and pay tribute to the progress has been achieved by legendary LGBTQ + icons who have shaped pop culture.
For this project, each NFT is a digital design created by artist Max Bahman, a 24-year-old artist based in Tel Aviv, who has crafted a pastel-hued pop art NFTs to represent 100 trailblazing Pride Icons, which are available on Discord .
The first auction and minting opens in early May, and they plan on releasing batches of 10,000 NFTs at a time (helping the team is Google engineering alum Amir Lazarovich).
“Each icon is built from each star, from Elton John to Cher and Harvey Milk, each NFT is related to the icon and what they represent,” Cohen said.
Rather than a straightforward portrait, each NFT is a metaphor for each person it represents. There are NFTs representing Welsh actor Luke Evans, and Freddie Mercury, the singer from rock band, Queen.
“We went one by one to check out each icon’s history and how they helped make progress,” Cohen said.
Milk was a trailblazing gay politician who was the first to be elected in California, and didn’t hide his sexuality in the 1970s, while Cher is a gay icon who has donated millions to gay-focused organizations.
Even Elton John, who came out as bisexual in 1976 (he later identified as gay in the 1990s), told Rolling Stone at the time that: “There’s nothing wrong with going to bed with somebody of your own sex,” a bold move for the time.
“This is completely new,” said Cohen.
They’re planning on giving back $ 1 million to non-profit organizations that serve the LGBTQ + community. “This is the only condition I would do it, my partners were on the same page that we wanted to take part in the fight for equality and donate to non-profit organizations, including those in Russia and Ukraine. “We want to support wherever we can,” Cohen adds.
According to Gur, each team member has a story connected to the LGBTQ + community. “My father came out of the closet when I was 13 years old, for example, and two years later, my sister did, as well,” said Gur.
“Nobody should live like that — my father lived 40 years lying to himself and the people around him that he was straight.”
“We thought: how do we shed some light on this huge darkness across the world who don’t live their lives as they should?” asks Gur, who is a Forbes 30 Under 30 in Israel, for the Class of 2021.
“When you buy an NFT, you’re bringing something meaningful into your life,” he adds.
we work with surrogacy company Tammuz who help bring kids into the world. We’re doing things that actually want to help the community. This is why we did it. ”
The team at Pride Icons has the goal of being “the biggest LGBTQ + community in the world for NFTs.”
“The power will come when enough of a community has been built up, once we get more people, we can do so much good for this world,” said Lazarovich.
It’s a personal story for Cohen, who grew up in a small town in the north of Israel, serving in the military in his youth. “I was in the closet and crying every night to God asking why did you make me gay? I felt weak, alone, compared to others, ”recalls Cohen.
“When I started my journey by coming out of the closet at the age of 22, I want to show people that by being gay is not a weakness, its a strength. I accepted myself. ”
“It’s to help our brothers and sisters and nonbinary folks,” he adds.