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This content will become publicly available on April 19, 2024

Title: "We Cried on Each Other’s Shoulders": How LGBTQ+ Individuals Experience Social Support in Social Virtual Reality
Although social support can be a vital component of gender and sexual identity formation, many LGBTQ+ individuals often lack offline social networks for such support. Traditional online technologies also reveal several challenges in providing LGBTQ+ individuals with effective social support. Therefore, social VR, as a unique online space for immersive and embodied experiences, is becoming popular within LGBTQ+ communities for supportive online interactions. Drawing on 29 LGBTQ+ social VR users’ experiences, we investigate the types of social support LGBTQ+ users have experienced through social VR and how they leverage unique social VR features to experience such support. We provide one of the first empirical evidence of how social VR innovates traditional online support mechanisms to empower LGBTQ+ individuals but leads to new safety and equality concerns. We also propose important principles for rethinking social VR design to provide all users, rather than just the privileged few, with supportive experiences.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2112878
NSF-PAR ID:
10462217
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
CHI '23: Proceedings of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Page Range / eLocation ID:
1 to 16
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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