Welcome to Queercraft

A supportive LGBTQ+ community of over 10 years and counting

For ten whole years, Queercraft has been a hub of activity and support for LGBTQ+ Minecrafters. Founded by Beaupedia in the far-off year of 2012, the community has grown into a group of bustling builders and friendly faces, all tied together by exciting events. It’s a place where people can find support and safety, as well as fun.

Unfortunately, LGBTQ+ people can still face discrimination, especially in online games. So he wanted to make a space that would be open, fair, and understanding to everybody. “As much progress as we have made as a society when it comes to queer issues, the internet is still the wild west in a lot of ways,” says Beaupedia. 

At that time, even Minecraft itself hadn’t been around for very long. Beau and a friend were checking out the game and found out about public servers and set one up for all LGBTQ+ people to play together and get to know each other. “I thought we’d play for a few months,” he says. “Little did I know that here we would be ten years later!”

The main server hosted by Queercraft is a Survival server, filled with a variety of builds made by members of the community. Many players love to create mapart, lining up blocks just right so that the pictures they create can be viewed, well, on a map! “It requires so many materials, time, and planning,” says Beau. He doesn’t make them himself – “I’m not that talented or patient!” he admits.

“It’s a wonderful way for people to express what they’re interested in,” he says. But it also helps people to find friends on the server. If someone makes an artwork of a character from a TV show they really like, other people will know that they can chat about that with them. And, of course, a lot of the mapart is Pride themed, allowing the server members to celebrate themselves in ways that they might not always be able to outside the game.

New players in the Survival world are welcomed into the server with a tour. They’ll get a dozen free cookies, learn about the market where players exchange items for a currency called marbles, and visit the community centre, where they can pick up any spare items that have been donated for newcomers to enjoy. Then they’ll get their room at the inn, which they can stay in for seven nights while they build a little house of their own.

“Then we take them to the library,” says Beaupedia. The library teaches players about the server and about Minecraft in general. “The amazing thing is, we’re so far into this game existing and there are still people who just started playing,” he says. So the library will teach anyone who isn’t sure what they’re doing everything they need to know to get started.

And the final step is a great big welcome. Everyone online is invited to say hello to the new player through the world chat, which has no restrictions by distance. “It’s amazing. I love that moment. You just see the chat fill up with the people online saying ‘welcome!’  ‘welcome!’ ‘welcome!’ ‘Glad you found us!’”

Queercraft’s welcoming nature has created a community that’s been running for over a decade. Some people have come and gone, but others have been there for the whole ten years. “We have people who joined when they were 13 who are now 23 and have children of their own,” says Beaupedia. “Which is hard to fathom.”

Queercraft also runs other servers, including themed creative servers like Pixel, for – you guessed it! – pixel art, and Mars, for all things space and sci fi. They have weekly events where players can request songs to be played and dedicate them to their friends, romances, or chosen family members. And they have DJ events where people can dance and piñatas dangle from the ceiling and drop rare items. “It’s kind of the heartbeat of the community, every week we come together for this event,” says Beaupedia.

But Queercraft goes beyond Minecraft, too. Beaupedia created a non-profit organisaton called Prism which aims to go wider as a place of safety and support for the LGBTQ+ community. With discrimination still sadly common online and offline, Prism aims to give people a place to go if they have any problems, for example by setting up small group discussion sessions. Creating the non-profit wasn’t easy – many people don’t understand that a Minecraft group can be so important to the people involved. But Prism is now working and ready to expand, making sure that more and more LGBTQ+ people can get the help and community that they deserve.

For more than ten years, this community has been bustling, making incredible map art, hanging out on the dance floor, and helping one another to feel loved and accepted. Here’s to an even better next ten years!

Jay Castello
Written By
Jay Castello
Published

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