Last year, Riot Games added its name to the list of global companies that externally celebrate May 17th as IDAHOTB. Since its creation in 2004, the holiday has helped to draw attention towards the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexuals, transgender, intersex people and all other people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics.
Making global gaming communities an environment that is welcoming to all is top priority for Riot Games. For years they have championed diversity and inclusion within their leading online communities. Particularly in the communities built around Riot’s wildly popular online strategy game, League of Legends, or LoL. Rising to fame since it’s 2009 release date, LoL has one of the largest digital footprints of any game.
Riots 2018 IDAHOTB Celebration
When Riot Games decided to make IDAHOTB an annual celebration this last year, they saw an opportunity to utilize LoL’s popularity throughout the gaming world. By creating a Rainbow Fluft Icon that LoL players could purchase and equip, Riot Games allowed their players to join the global movement, signifying to the world their support for the LGBTQIA+ communities. When players equipped the icon, a colorful animation was set off when the player spawned in his base at Summoner’s Rift.
Over 3.5 million players worldwide made their support of IDAHOTB known last year by using the Rainbow Tuft icon. The virtual celebration continued this year when Riot Games introduced their new and improved Rainbow Tuft icon. For the cost of 1 Blue Essence, players this year could purchase the icon. Once equipped, players sporting the Rainbow Fluft icon will have a rainbow-like homeguard trail animation that will go towards making everywhere feel empowered to be who they are in Riot’s communities.
IDAHOTB, or International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia was started back in 2004, bring awareness to the violence and discrimination facing the LGBTQIA+ communities. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexuality, and other sexualities, sexes, and genders that aren’t included have historically faced much hardship, and IDAHOTB is a way to recognize these challenges and work to overcome them. In fact, May 17th, was chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. The LGBTQIA+ communities have come along way since this time, but there is still much progress to be made.
May17.org promoters of IDAHOTB are quick to point out that the day is not necessarily a centralized campaign, instead, “it is a moment that everyone can take advantage of to take action, on whatever issue and in whatever format that they wish.” Many governments and organizations have adopted the IDAHOTB cause and it has thus taken on many different denominations. The website states that because of this diversity, “Acronyms also vary, from the initial IDAHO to IDAHOTB or IDAHOBIT. The Day is not one central trademarked brand, and everyone is free to communicate as they wish.”
Riot Games Donates to The Trevor Project and It Gets Better Project
Letting LoL Summoners purchase and equip the Rainbow Fluft icon was only half of Riot’s IDAHOTB recognition and celebration. The other half came in the form of 2 $50,000 donations, Riot made to the Trevor Project and It Gets Better Project. Mirroring the $100,000 donations from last year’s IDAHOTB, Riot Games has doubled down on their efforts. News of the donation was received warmly by Brian Wenke, Executive Director of the It Gets Better Project who said:
The It Gets Better Project is proud to partner with Riot Games for a second year in honor of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. Rioters have proven themselves over and over again that their commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion is unwavering. Their efforts are essential to building a positive, supportive, and respectful gaming community for all people.
The It Gets Better Project will be putting the donation towards their Global Summits program. This program gives international IGBP affiliates the opportunity to work with their local LGBTQIA+ organizations. The Trevor Project will be using their donation towards building up TrevorSpace, a worldwide online community for LGBTQIA+ youth.
Keep up to date with all of Riot Games’ diversity and inclusion efforts by visiting their Diversity & Culture page.