Bonus Level: The Queer Gaming Community Plugs Into GaymerCon

If you’ve ever played an online multiplayer video game, you might have noticed the environment isn’t always welcoming to those outside the straight, white male paradigm.

GaymerCon—a new event happening August 3 and 4, 2013, in the queer mecca of San Francisco—hopes to change that. Or at least provide an environment where fleet commanders, elfen adventurers and apocalyptic anti-heroes can let their rainbow shine brightly (and maybe even find gay romance, on or offline).

We are creating a convention where all types of geeks can come together, meet others like them, and have a blast without having to worry about what their peers think of them or being discriminated against. We will have exhibitor space, cosplay, guest speakers, live music, panel discussions on topics that are directly relevant to our interests, gaming industry professionals who support including queer content in their products, social events, and of course…GAMING!

We will also have events and activities that target other areas of geek and tech culture besides gaming. From tabletop gaming to geek chic, from panels by tech leaders to cosplay and live music- we hope to have something for everyone.

The con’s creators must be onto something, because in just five days, their Kickstarter campaign has already well exceeded its $25,000 goal. (Extra funding will be used to secure entertainment, celebrities, a better venue and other refinements, say planners.)

Gaymercon is just the latest in a growing movement of gay-geek-culture that was evident to anyone who was at last month’s San Diego Comic-Con, where seats at the Gays in Comics panel were impossible to find.

Bent-Con, a comic-book convention welcoming to gay geeks everywhere, had its inaugural run in Los Angeles in 2010. Organizers barely expected 100 attendees, but 500 showed. That number rose to 2,000 last year and, at this year’s event (November 30-December 2), even more folks are expected.

But it hasn’t been a smooth ride, as both conventions have faced bigotry: Bent-Con had trouble finding an online payment processor when its original one turned out to be a Christian organization that wouldn’t do business with them. And even though GaymerCon started receiving donations right away, it also received some pretty homophobic vitriol on its Kickstarter and YouTube pages.

Thanks, jerks, for showing us why queer-safe spaces like Bent-Con and GaymerCon are still needed.

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  • Devlin du GEnie

    Gaylaxicon is a queer science fiction convention. It’s been going on for decades.

    Here’s the website for this year’s con in October in Minneapolis:

  • Daez

    I do not agree that games are not inclusive; however, I base it on anecdotal experience. However, every single guild (group of players) I was ever part of had at least one gay person (other than myself) and always made strides to make sure that everyone in the guild was treated with dignity and respect.

  • Tom

    As someone who identifies as a gaymer I find it great that this is happening. The other gaymers I have met at meeetups are fun people. I am supporting this and hope to be able to attend.

  • redcarpet

    It will be nice to actually have a chance to fuck the nerdy guy i’m playing Halo with rather than just check out his ass when he gets up to get more Mountain Dew.

  • Haha

    “If you’ve ever played an online multiplayer video game, you might have noticed the environment isn’t always welcoming to those outside the straight, white male paradigm.”

    The irony being that many white gays feel the same way about non-white gays, and most white gamers including gay gamers are rather exclusive and have no problem with racial slurs being used(even if they didn’t use them themselves).

    The ridiculous whining about white gays being a legitimate minority is getting to be so tired.

    White gay gamers who call themselves gaymers constantly talk about being gay, making gay jokes, and basically focus all of their energy into their sexuality rather than whatever game they’re playing.

    That’s why other gamers don’t welcome them, not so much because they’re gay. The last thing you really need to do in an online game is talk about your sexuality. No one can bother you if you aren’t spamming it in a chat because no one knows what your sexuality is.

    These “gaymers” don’t understand that a major aspect of MMO gaming is the escape into a fantasy world for a few minutes to a few hours. They just log in and become massive attention whores.

    I’ve met plenty of other gay gamers who belong to actual minority groups who don’t feel the need to tell everyone logged in about it. They also don’t feel the need to form a gamer group based entirely on their sexuality. Go figure.

    I guess when you’re actually treated like you’re different from birth you don’t feel the need to go out and search for it for attention.

    There are plenty of adult gamers and adult guilds that are inclusive and welcome all gamers.

    “Gaymers” are not better than gamer “gurls” with the attention-whoring. It’s embarrassing.

  • n900mixalot

    @Haha: Yeah because the constant stream of ‘n****r’ this and ‘f****t’ that and ‘n****r f****t’ the rest is SO much fun to put up with. Sometimes you don’t want to have to hear all of that.

  • JohnnyBoy

    @Haha: I haven’t experienced any of that because I don’t even bother with multi-player. It’s just not fun to me. It’s kind of like the club. People can’t just go to dance and have fun. They have to bring their drama. So I just play alone or if I have someone over. Plus I have had a hard time finding gay dudes that play the same games as me. They play dead or alive, Halo and Fable. I’m more of a COD, Saints Row, GTA, Mass Effect kinda guy.

  • Haha

    @n900mixalot: Except ‘n*****r’ sometimes comes from gaymers who also have tons of negative things to say about black men.

    That is what I meant by the irony of it. Joining and creating exclusive groups based on sexuality, race, etc is moving backwards rather than forwards.

    @JohnnyBoy: I just people on ignore or turn the chat off when they get ridiculous. The people who say offensive garbage they wouldn’t dare utter in real life are just looking for the attention they don’t get at home, school, or work. F and N bombs don’t even phase me anymore and I really love a good long religious argument to laugh at in random games.

  • T.J Grabowy

    @Haha: As a white gaymer I can say that plenty of anti-gay epithets have been directed my way without any indication on my part of my sexuality. While I obviously don’t deal with racial, ethnic, gender, or other prejudices, it is a little far-fetched to say that all white gaymers being harassed are at fault for their harassment. The only time I bring up my sexuality while gaming is when other gamers use anti-gay epithets and I then respond saying perhaps I would like to suck dick but that doesn’t really have much relevance to me kicking your ass. Usually that shuts them up.

  • AaronT

    @Haha: There are some gaymers who are overly sexual in game chat, true, but there are also straight gamers who talk way to much about virtual chicks and hot female characters wearing skimpy clothes. You seem to be familiar with MMOs – the female avatars dancing on mailboxes in their underwear or the RP “lesbians” – all straight guys.

    I have been in at least 10 different gay guilds in as many MMOs over the last decade. Two of those were overly sexual and I didn’t stick around. The other 8 were more focused on the gameplay and just designed to be a place where someone could game with their boyfriend w/o it turning into an issue, and where they don’t have to hear the “f”-bomb or how this or that element of the game is “gay” nonstop during a gaming session. All of those guilds also banned any sort of hate language or discrimination.

    Frankly, I have never heard the “n” word or even any racially hateful comments from any gamers who identified as gay, and that’s in 10 years of playing all of the most popular MMOs. The worst I’ve seen has been some blatant hetero-phobia, and it was addressed by guild leaders almost immediately.

    While I’m not saying you made all that up just to make some kind of point, I think your experiences would not be consistent with what most of the rest of us have seen. I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with that and I’d be happy to suggest some very friendly and inclusive guilds in just about any MMO!

  • Daez

    @Haha: You really need to get over being a victim. I know that it is part of black culture to continuously blame everyone around you for your life, but those that rise above it can accomplish really good things. See, now that is about as bigoted as what you just said.

    When you are gay, you are not telling people about your “sexuality” because you want/need attention. You are telling them, if you do, because you are proud of who you are as a person. You are proud that you have a lovely partner, a beautiful home and wonderful children. You want people to know that you are happy and healthy being yourself.

    I know you fail to understand that since your whole post whined about how you are a victim and more entitled than anyone around you, but still try to understand.

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