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As someone who was born in the 90s, I spent the majority of my growing-up experience finding solace through random computer games on the internet. I was quite literally everywhere all at once. I’ve been banned from Club Penguin more times than I can count, I had more Webkinz than friends at one point, I began an America’s Next Top Model-esque competition series on a Sims 2 forum and I even started fights with strangers across the globe on Serebii.net over my love for Pokémon. But, out of all corners of the internet I found myself on as a child, I had one true obsession: Neopets.
I’d spend hours on the computer playing with my Neopets. Although I had a real-life pet of my own, my virtual Neopets brought a sense of happiness I can’t really explain to folks who have never played the game. I would dedicate hours to choosing the correct Neopet for me and ensuring I chose the right name to match my new online pet’s personality. I would cry if I had to give my Neopet away to the Neopet Pound when I wanted a new one since you were only allowed to have a few at a time. In addition, I would quite literally try and steal my mother’s credit card so I could get some Neocash (only purchasable with real-life money) so I could purchase my online creatures some cool new things. I was a true Neopet fan.
Now, as someone who is 26 years old and hasn’t touched a video game controller or an online forum since before I was a teenager, I almost completely forgot about Neopets. That is, of course, until I found out that Neopets just released something I never knew I needed: a Neopets Pride Collection. Because Neopets are the newest queer allies to join the community this Pride Month. Neopets really said, “love is love!”
Honestly, I had no clue Neopets were still a thing, but after this announcement, I am so glad they are. As a gay man, I had no idea my childhood love of Neopets would come back in my life during my 20s as the queer icon I never knew I needed them to be. And, for that, Neopets really slayed June. Great job, girls.
Here’s the tea, though: not only is this launch making our little queer hearts beat a little faster, but Neopets isn’t just doing this because they wanted to make queer-coded clothing. Neopets is also donating 20% of ALL Pride merch to It Gets Better, a nonprofit organization built to uplift and connect members of the LGBTQ+ community. And when we say all, we mean it — Neopets isn’t only offering these donations during the month of June, they’re donating 20% of everything they make from their pride collection to this organization year-round. You go, Neopets!
That all being said, the Pride parade is just around the corner. Relive your childhood with pride and pick up something from the Neopets Pride Collection today to rock your favorite characters at the parade this year. Cheers, Neoqueers! 🏳️🌈