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Help Make GaymerCon Happen!


When GayGamer.net was first introduced, some wondered why we needed our own site devoted to videogames. But if you spend any time at all in our forums, you will find a vibrant community that sprung to life where gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual gamers can discuss their passion while enjoying the freedom to finally be themselves. The gaming community can still be full of homophobic jerkwads who threaten to ruin our fun.

And now a group of gaymers are attempting to put together GaymerCon, the first gaming and tech convention with a focus on LGBT geek culture. To me, this sounds like a fantasic idea. Not to segregate ourselves, but to create a safe space where we can enjoy our hobby without fear. Read this blog post from our own Vorpal Bunny because he says it better than I could ever hope to.

But GaymerCon is just a start-up, and it needs your help to come to life fully. They are attempting to raise money through Kickstarter, and are more than halfway to their goal of $25,000. If you'd like to help out, donations start at just $1 because every little bit helps. And you've got until August 31. They hope to be able to hold the first GaymerCon in 2013, and I really hope they succeed and it is a fabulous success. So much so that they decide to alternate it every year with GaymerCon East for those of us (like me!) who probably won't be able to afford a trip to San Francisco where it will be held!

29 Comments

alex said:

awesome!!!
but everyone knows VF2 is the best!!!!! ;)

Dryden said:

Damn. I was gonna put up a piece about this, but I was beaten to the punch. Stupid work shift getting in the way! *shakes fist*

Seriously though, I met these guys this year at GDC. They're excellent people and thoroughly determined to make this work. I will definitely be donating and attending.

AladinSane said:

That was cute and sounds like fun. I've kicked down a few drachmas...

fillerbunny9 said:

and if there was any proof that this was needed, just browse over to your favorite non-gay site, and read the vitriol posted in the comments sections!

VoiceOfGosh said:

There better be an army of Gay Gogo Booth Studs at this shindig or I'm gonna have to take my pants off and dance.

Holy crap, that sounds AWESOME! :D And hopefully I won't be the only dyke there; that's the only thing that worries me...there seems like so much focus on the G in the alphabet soup that an L like me still often feels on the outs, like I'm still encroaching on the boys' club. :P

Branovices said:

There was an SNES directly over his shoulder in the background when he said he didn't have one. >_

Wootini Author Profile Page said:

I know... I just didn't want to be rude and point it out! ;-)

Ann said:

You don't need a GAYmer-convention. Go to regular game-conventions, show the people you are part of 'em. Having a gaymer-convention just seems like you want to be alone, to shut yourself off from the other gamers. You want to be treated as equals, so why doing that "oh we need something on our own" again?

I don't see any point in that, just the usual stuff about sexuality. MEH!

Get the money for a booth at a regular gameconvention - the better idea IMO.

Chewey said:

Ann,

You make the mistake of assuming that we don't go to other cons. Just like any con is about bringing like-minded people together to indulge in a shared interest, a con that brings LGBTQ gamers together is meant to allow us queer gamers and geeks to meet other queer gamers and geeks and share that experience together. We're only shutting ourself off from other gamers in the same way that gamers and geeks shut themselves off from the rest of society by going to a con focused on geeky things.

The reality is that there are very particular things about being both queer and a geek that don't get addressed at a normal con; and in some ways, that's to be expected. The vast majority of the people going to any con are going to be straight and largely unaware of the issues we face. This kind of a con allows us a gathering space to, if nothing else, meet others like us. Queer people have always had to create spaces where we can get together and just be ourselves, meet new friends and romantic partners, and share the issues that affect our community in particular ways. It's not an attack on the rest of geekdom for us to want one con of our own that allows us to address the things that are most important to us as queer geeks and to celebrate the unique things about queer culture that a straighter con audience might not really get or enjoy (I'll almost be disappointed if there's not a drag contest involving video game characters).

If you were in queer spaces all the time, interacting with queer people most of the hours of your day, don't you think that at some point you might just want to be in a straight space with people you share certain things in common with? Not because that queer space would be necessarily bad or uncomfortable--though it might!--but simply because there would be things that are particular about the way your mind works that wouldn't be shared by most of the people around you. We all need space to indulge in the things we enjoy with people who totally get that, and creating a Gaymer con is a way for us to do that. It doesn't shut us off from the rest of society for any longer a period of time than any con does for the rest of geekdom. It just gives us one con a year in which we can focus on doing things the way we want to do them.

Ann said:

And you make the mistake of assuming I assume that "you" don't go to other cons.

A booth at a regular con would be the better idea.

Chewey said:

Ann,

Why would it be better? Moreover, why do you presume to tell queer geeks what would be better for us, instead of allowing us to determine that for ourselves? You address none of my points above. Think of it this way: would it be better if we didn't have gay bars, but instead just set up a place inside every straight bar for us to congregate?

Will one of the big cons have lots of panels focused on LGBTQ issues? Will the big cons make sure that everyone who comes to the con is comfortable with queer geeks? Will one of the big cons provide more than a booth's worth of space for queer geeks to get together and meet each other?

You just don't seem to be willing to consider the idea that one booth at the cons isn't really enough to serve the needs of our community. It's also the case that you didn't speak up--I guarantee you didn't--when the Penny Arcade folks created PAX a number of years back, instead of just setting up a booth at the established cons. It's only ever the case that anyone is "cutting themselves off" when it's minorities wanting to create a con here and there where they'll be more comfortable once a year, isn't that right? It's as if people view it as an attack on the establishment for queers to occasionally want separate spaces where our needs can be accommodated better.

Ann said:

Typical... it's always the others, right? And don't make the stupid mistake of comparing a con with a bar!`

What LGBTQ issues in gaming anyways?

You do have problems - for example - in WoW, so why doing the "hey we do have this problem" on a gaymercon, instead of doing it on a regular one? Show them you are part of their community, show EVERYONE that problems.

Gays always want to be treated equally, but do everything to seal off at the same time. "We need this and we need that and we need some other stuff as well - oh wait and there's still room for another thing over here".

Make the con - you are free to do! But I just don't see a real point in it. If you have problems, than show it everyone.
That being said: It's my PoV and you cannot change that. Get used to it.

Cyro said:

Chewey, you did an excellent job explaining why having a GaymerCon is a great idea. It's an innocuous convention that simply better caters to us as an audience. And remember, just because it is oriented toward LGBTQ members does not mean non-LGBTQ people aren't welcome. ;)

Matou said:

>>And remember, just because it is oriented toward LGBTQ members does not mean non-LGBTQ people aren't welcome.

That. Like "we do have a veggie-restaurant, but we do serve meat for non-veggies too".

Chewey said:

Ann,

Oh, bless your heart. You're just so hostile, aren't you? And your mind is so closed off to any alternate ideas, isn't it? I'll keep responding until either you don't have anything to say, or until you're willing to open your mind a little and understand where we're coming from.

I don't presume that my analogy is perfect, but you've failed to address the underlying point of it: why should gay people always have to interact with each other solely in the presence of straight people? One of the reasons that gays have created spaces for ourselves where we can be together is that straight society has so often been hostile to us. We like to have the occasional space here and there where we're the majority, and where our needs are the ones catered to. Non-queer people can come into our spaces, and we welcome them with open arms, but queer folk need to have a few spaces here and there where we set the rules of interaction.

Regarding specific LGBTQ issues in gaming: homophobia in online gaming spaces; lack of representation in sci-fi and fantasy; breaking into the gaming industry as an openly queer person (ie, job discrimination issues); finding other queer folk nearby to play with (and I mean that, in this case, solely in reference to board games, video games, etc.). Those are just a few issues. But LGBTQ specific themes will likely be infused throughout a gaymercon: non-gender-conforming cosplay; a video game character drag show; booth boys! And, most important, a large space that makes it easy to meet other queer folk for friendship and/or romance.

This last thing is really important. I don't think straight folk really understand just how hard it often is for a lot of gay people to find romance and friendship where they live; add on a penchant for all things geeky and that makes it even harder. Our population is so relatively small, that we have always needed and still need spaces larger than a booth where we can meet other people like us. We don't create these spaces in order to wall ourselves off from the world forever, but for brief periods of time we like to have places where we can indulge our interests in our own unique way. Queer culture has a lot of unique things that make it distinct from other cultures. A gaymer con would allow us to both indulge all of those things, and create a safe and comfortable space, one time a year, for people who want to just let loose and be themselves, whether they're gay, trans, asexual, or whatever.

One other point: why don't you have a problem with the entire idea of a gaming/sci-fi/fantasy con? Why do geeks have to wall themselves off from the rest of society? Why can't they just interact with the rest of the world? If geeks want to indulge in geeky things in a public space they should just set up a booth at the state fair.

I feel as if I should address your point about wanting equality, but I find it hard to do so without being enraged. Let me just say that equality is not premised on whether or not we mingle the appropriate amount with straight people. It's premised on our full and equal standing as members of the human race.

Ann said:

how about you set a good example - and stop to make up arguments. for the recor: i never said "i have no problems gaming/sci-fi/fantasy con". need more samples? they are plenty.

you just fail to see the point of gays claiming to be equals, yet doing almost everything to have "whatever" on their own. if you are equal to the others, you don't need everything address JUST to you. and don't come up with the "human" aspect - that's as stupid as comparing a con with a bar!

you cannot show and educate people about the problems if you stay in your tiny little world. go to a regular gaming con, make EDUCATION about the problems there. you are - A-R-E - part of the gaming community!

the only stuff you can come up with is the sexual stuff. why the f*** do "gaymers" need "gay games" anyways? Does the new Dante HAVE to be gay, just for you? Nope! Do you need a male Lara Croft, to make Tomb Raider more attractive for you? NO! Do you need booth boys? Not at all - just if you are in some need to view "half naked guys".

Moments like these make me - as gay (!) - sick. No matter if its a "whatever" gayconvention, CSD or whatever. Everything is more like a real life catalogue for your next sexpartner or whatever. Demonstration for rights, education about why homophobia is plain stupid is almost NOT there, if not even complete absent. Fine by me, do your party, convention or whatever you please, but you cannot be serious by starting to argument about how much it does agains homophobia and all the other issues.

maybe you should open your mind a bit - I am fine if some people get their gaycon, do their CSD and whatever they please. You however seem, like you cannot accept another point of view about the "why and why not" of this con.

Chewey said:

Ann,

So then you do have a problem with the very idea of a con at all? You do have a problem with hiking clubs? You do have a problem with sporting events? Should we all just sing kumbaya and pretend that we have no differences and no reason for people to congregate together in smaller, more distinct groups because we share similar interests?

You don't seem to actually be addressing any of my points. You say that comparing a con with a bar is stupid, yet when I explain to you the underlying point behind the analogy you don't address it at all. My point about demanding equality is apparently "stupid," but I'm not sure why besides the fact that you think it's stupid without making an actual argument.

You present a crude false dilemma. By saying that we can't show and educate people about the problems by staying in our own world, you assume, yet again, that a gaymercon excludes also setting up booths at other cons. That's simply not the case. There are a number of examples of panels at past conventions that address breaking into the gaming industry as a queer person, homophobia in online gaming, etc. And there will continue to be. To create a gaymercon is not to exclude that work in the future; it's to create a space once a year where we don't have to spend all our time educating other people, but can instead just celebrate our geeky queer gaming community, meet new friends, maybe meet romantic partners, address as a group how we can combat homophobia and transphobia in gaming, share tips and experiences for getting into the gaming industry, etc. You say that all I come up with is the "sexual stuff," but is any of what I just said in the previous sentence related to sex at all, outside of romance (which, of course, is only partly sexual)? You've simply ignored everything I said and zeroed in on my quip about booth boys.

The argument about gay representation in games--not about gay games as you so crudely put it--is a much larger one. Suffice it to say that it's simply about wanting to see parts of our lives included in games in the same way that straight peoples' lives are included in games.

If discussion of the real need of queer people for romantic entanglements makes you sick--"as gay" (please see my eyes roll dramatically at the likelihood that that's true)--you might want to get a fainting couch. Somehow, in all my mention of the things that would be included in a gaymercon (panels on homophobia, gender-non-conforming cosplay, meeting new friends, etc.) you zeroed in on a quip about booth boys and probably took the word romance to just mean sex. That says a lot about you, if you think me including the very idea of meeting a romantic partner can only be interpreted as us all looking for our next hookup. Remember, straight people, too, meet romantic partners at things like cons. Most people go to spaces that indulge their own specific interests in part in hope that they'll meet someone they're interested in or who's interested in them, someone they can share those interests with in fullness.

Look, again, it comes down to wanting a safe, comfortable space once a year where queer geeks can let loose. Where we don't have to worry about feeling uncomfortable (remember, there are a lot of young queer geeks out there who haven't had enough years to truly feel comfortable in their skin, and who can be scared off from regular cons by the rampant homophobia that they see in online gaming spaces), or constantly explaining ourselves, or educating straight people. I mean, gods forbid that gay peoples' lives don't revolve around educating straight people about ourselves and the issues we face. I think this is what drives me most crazy about your arguments, is that you can't seem to grasp that just once a year, in addition to setting up booths or panels at other cons, we would like to not have to focus our energy on educating straight people, to have a space where we set the rules of engagement.

I would be more willing to accept your point of view if you actually had good arguments against my points, instead of just labeling them "stupid" without really making an argument about why they're wrong. From what I've seen, however, you've not really engaged with them, while I've given you a worthwhile retort to almost all of your points. Please try addressing my points with an argument, and then I'll be willing to listen. Tell me why we can't both have one space a year for ourselves and also set up booths and panels at other cons. Tell me why it's okay for people to come together in other types of distinct groups like hiking clubs, sporting events, or the established cons, but that it's exclusionary and backwards for gay people to do so. Tell me why having a safe space to form new friendships and maybe even find a new boyfriend or girlfriend is an invalid reason for a gaymercon, but not an invalid reason for straight people to congregate in distinct groups based on their interests.

Ann said:

It is just not possible to talk with you as long as you make up arguments all the time.

Get used to it - my point is "go, make that con, but a booth at a regular one seems better, no matter if it is for education about gays being part of gaming, about homopohobia, ..." Stop being so hostile when people don't go "gay" for that con!

Shawn said:

Ann, you are a damn mess.

Chewey said:

Ann,

It's too bad you're not willing to engage with my points. I've said over and over again that a gaymercon is not exclusive of booths or panels at other cons. It's a false dilemma to suggest that we can't both have a con focused solely on creating a comfortable space for queer geeks and also go to other cons and set up booths and panels on issues we face. The reason I'm arguing to vociferously with you is that I believe that people need to understand just why it's so important for LGBTQ people to create spaces where we can feel safe and that are focused on our needs. The arguments against these kinds of spaces generally don't hold water, and that's what I've been trying to get you to see, if you had actually been interested in examining the arguments made. But sadly, it appears you're not.

Ann said:

there's just one mess: making up arguments and twisting stuff, because I said my point of view - which was not "a gaymercon exclude a booth at regular conventions, safe places are crap and you don't have the right for finding >romatic partners

but that was predictable somehow.

Mike said:

Ann, why don't you take some of these half-baked points that you're trying to make over to the NAACP website and see if you get a less ”argumentative” response. I mean, if we're not allowed to have somewhat exclusive events that celebrate our culture, why should anyone, right? Maybe we should get rid of all the Ren Fairs because surely they don't need to set aside a time and space when there are public parks everywhere that they can invade.

The whole point in having a convention is to create a gathering for a subset of society, to get together and be together with others that are like you. It's not cordoning off a portion of California where we can go live in permanent seclusion from heterosexual society, it's two days. Calm down. Chewey has made some really smart, articulate points and frankly you, Ann, are embarrassing yourself.

Ann said:

Not as much as you or some other people here. Again, I never said you are NOT allowed to do so.
That's pretty much a big kindergarten including the whole "lt's argue till death"-sickness of the internet.

Someone says his point of view, that in his POV a booth at a regular con seems more like a good idea for doing something about homophobia (in games), to show gays are part of the community and everything that comes back is a witch-hunt because you only see someone "not going 100% gay" for that con.

I so don't have to calm down - I am and just can say it once more: make that con, I got no problem with you doing it. You could take a leaf out of that book and just accept my point of view - WITHOUT adding anything I never said!

Mike said:

The whole point is that you don't understand the situation at all. I don't think it was ever the intention of this convention to combat homophobia, it's about gathering as a like minded community.

And how does an isolated booth at a major convention do anything for homophobia? I've never seen a Muslim gamer booth or am Asian gamer booth. What's the point?

And you are allowed an opinion, but don't come to a public forum like this and be indignant if people disagree with you. You haven't addressed anybody's points, you've been combative and not supportive of our community.

Chewey said:

Ann,

This is actually what you said:

"You don't need a GAYmer-convention. Go to regular game-conventions, show the people you are part of 'em. Having a gaymer-convention just seems like you want to be alone, to shut yourself off from the other gamers. You want to be treated as equals, so why doing that "oh we need something on our own" again?

I don't see any point in that, just the usual stuff about sexuality. MEH!

Get the money for a booth at a regular gameconvention - the better idea IMO."

I've been arguing that you're wrong, and that we do need a gaymercon, because of all of the many above reasons that I'm not going to go through for the umpteenth time. You implied that a gaymercon was exclusive of booths and panels at other cons, and to suggest otherwise is a lie on your part. You're now trying to find a way to back out of this, and I don't blame you. It sucks to be wrong. To turn this around, I just stated my opinion on what you said, so there was no need for you to respond at all, was there? But of course, this is what conversation between people entails, a back and forth dialogue on issues, the point of which is to hopefully enlighten (in its best form).

I'm not going to accept your point of view unless you make an argument for it that is sensible, and you shouldn't accept my point of view unless I make an argument that is sensible. The reality, however, is that I've made what I think are a lot of rational, sound arguments, and you've essentially chosen to not respond to them, but to instead skip around them and just insult them.

Ann said:

And where is the "you are not allowed to have that con, having that con excludes a booth at a regular con, you are not allowed to have a safe place, to find a partner, ..."?

Oh and it sure is clever to quote out of context and interpreting something into it I never said.

The only arguments you come up with just are exactly as "medieval" as the the arguments of homophobic people and you are just as ignorant as ' em too, since you cannot accept another point of view. And you are NOT doing anything to change that with such old arguments. You even confirm some stuff, for example when you are almost thirsting for booth boys.

Ann said:

>>And you are allowed an opinion, but don't come to a public forum like this and be indignant if people disagree with you. You haven't addressed anybody's points, you've been combative and not supportive of our community.

Mike, just set a good example! You are not doing the just the opposite here as well.

As for a booth at a regular con: You fail to see that point. Fine by me. You don't need to come up with your silly argument about a muslim booth or are you doint that over at NAACP as well? Anyways, you don't see a point in that, it's fine by me. What now? Oh yeah - I get in my tank and start to (kinda) freak out, because someone doesn't agree here.

Ann said:

For the record: The cleverer give in. I don't want to get you off the idea of a gaymer-convention, you however do this:

>>And your mind is so closed off to any alternate ideas, isn't it? I'll keep responding until either you don't have anything to say, or until you're willing to open your mind a little and understand where we're coming from.

That's no base for any discussion at all.

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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Ann on Help Make GaymerCon Happen!: For the record: The cleverer give in. I don't want to get you off the idea of a gaymer-convention, you...

Ann on Help Make GaymerCon Happen!: >>And you are allowed an opinion, but don't come to a public forum like this and be indignant if people...

Ann on Help Make GaymerCon Happen!: And where is the "you are not allowed to have that con, having that con excludes a booth at a...

Chewey on Help Make GaymerCon Happen!: Ann, This is actually what you said: "You don't need a GAYmer-convention. Go to regular game-conventions, show the people you...

Mike on Help Make GaymerCon Happen!: The whole point is that you don't understand the situation at all. I don't think it was ever the intention...

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