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After the news of subreddit r/gaymers' cease and desist yesterday, much was being said about both and its owner Chris Vizzini. Many users have noted that is, as of writing, down and has been for several hours.

This morning Mr. Vizzini took to Reddit himself, username GaymerOrg, to share his official statement on the issue:

Hello fellow gay gamers. I wanted to address the cease and desist letter that was sent to reddit.

First and foremost, I never asked for the sub-reddit gaymer to be removed. I emailed reddit twice asking that they simply rename the community to something else. They did not respond.

As a trademark and word mark holder, it's my responsibility to defend the marks, otherwise I could lose them.

I started in 2003 and began to build Gaymer as a brand. Thats why I trademarked and word marked the name. At that time, there was only one other site around dedicated to gay gamers. I have spent countless hours and thousands of dollars on I have done so gladly as it's brought happiness to many people.

I have received many nasty emails and comments on my site, not to mention what's been said on the reddit site.

I cannot stress this enough. I have no problem with other gay gaming sites. I think it's great others exist. The only problem I have is when the Gaymer name is used. That infringes on the word mark. A perfect example of this is Its a great website for gay gamers but does not use "gaymer" in its name therefore I have no problem.

It's only when "gaymer" is used in the site name that causes confusion to the public. That is what word marking is all about.

I have absolutely no ill will towards the reddit community. I have been in contact with a very nice woman at reddit who is working with me on this.

I would never try to take something away from people that they hold so dearly. But I also can't have the Gaymer name used in your community.

One thing that has been asked is why GaymerCon was not contacted. They do not have an online community. That is a convention. My marks pertain to online communities. Should they ever add an online community, then I would have issue with that. I did remove the GaymerCon article. While I do still support them personally, I can't give them support on behalf of They made disparaging remarks about my site without knowing the details. I do wish them well on their venture.

For this to be resolved, its going to take respectful communication between the moderators at reddit, the reddit people themselves and myself.

I hope the barrage of insults directed at me and my site is not an indicator of how this communication to resolve will take place.

Looking forward to a peaceful resolution to this matter.

Chris Vizzini

Now that both sides have made their case the gay gaming community will have to watch and wait to see what becomes of r/gaymers.


Arthur said:

This is just the tip of the iceburg.

All sites and orgs that are using the word "gaymer" have been contacted by this guy.

The toronto Gaymers just changed their name to the toronto gay gamers.

This is not cool. A simple amalgamation of two words is not a sutitable target for a trademark, also at no point in time has Chris Vizzini ever said that he invented the word.

The aggressive attacks on you are justified, Mr. Vizzini. You are attacking your own community - there is no positive outcome to this.

This is the comment I left for him there.

You are fully entitled to "". Keep it, nobody here wants it.

You have 0 right to the term "Gaymer" that is a term that video game players with non stereotypical sexuality have called themselves since long before you started your site and we will continue to use it long after your site has gone.

You have attacked us in our home. This place is a safe place for us to come together and enjoy the connection that this community has developed completely outside of your small group of friends on your forum.

You can bet your ass we will fight.

You may be a good person, but a good person coming into my home and telling me what to do, is still someone that I have to stand up against.
So thanks for actually standing up and saying something like you have a spine but unfortunately the only way this would have meant anything was if you came here and told us this was some kind of error made on your part.
Because this was a pretty big error.
You will lose, there are more of us then there are of you.
May Judy have Mercy on your soul

kidicarus222 said:

It sucks that the people who Vizzini would want to help are the ones getting caught in this mess, but I feel like if people really want to make a fuss, they need to be bemoaning how U.S. copyright law works, not accusing Vizzini himself of wrongdoing. The term shouldn't have been copyrighted in the first place.

But how would the copyright affect, say, the Tumblr tag "gaymer"?

KC said:

I'm quoting part of this:

"I cannot stress this enough. I have no problem with other gay gaming sites. I think it's great others exist. The only problem I have is when the Gaymer name is used. That infringes on the word mark. A perfect example of this is Its a great website for gay gamers but does not use "gaymer" in its name therefore I have no problem.

It's only when "gaymer" is used in the site name that causes confusion to the public. That is what word marking is all about."

It states, in black and white, that his claim only pertains to ONLINE SITE NAMES. It's a legal matter, and he is playing by the rules. He does not suggest that he coined the term, nor that it cannot be used anywhere at any given time. This is specifically online communities. Please educate yourself on legal Word Marking prior to attacking the site owner.

James said:

Gaymer is not a brand. This guy is obviously not very bright. Good luck with your brand when you have pissed off your target audience.

oldtaku said:

Is this like the lunatic who was suing anyone who used the word 'Edge' in anything gaming related?

Lucas said:

Wow, they're really going at him with guns blazing. I'd bet you money he ends up losing the trademark!

Seth said:

This is my response to his letter (I posted it on Reddit as well):

Mr. Vizzini,

I don't know (nor care) if you know this but, you can't trademark a word that describes a group of people. That's like me saving a trademark on "atheists" or "furries" or "gamers"
You can't. You may have the documentation that says you can but, it was wrongfully signed by someone that thought you were just "so clever!" but, it's not right and will be fought. You can bet your ass that if needed, everyone in the GAYMER community will petition if needed for you to lose this faulty trademark.
Shitty of you to even do this but, I think you've met your match...welcome to Reddit! Us GAYMERS aren't backing down. There's many other platforms to use the term and create more and more groups to promote the term, it's not yours so, get over it!

Wondering said:

The snarky part of me thinks, "So, he's become a patent/trademark troll, now that GaymerCon has made lots of money."

This is Chris Vizzini from I wanted to say a few words as my own site has been hammered with hits and it down for the time being.

There is so much misinformation floating around and people are going crazy. The original post on reddit/gaymers was this "Gaymers could be banned and deleted by tomorrow, please FUCKING READ!"

That was never the case, not even close. I never asked for anything to be banned or removed. No one asked me what was going on, it was just posted to reddit that I was trying to shut them down. Again, this was never true. This fact seems to be getting glossed over. I spoke to the reddit people on the phone and asked them to rename the sites containing gaymer. She said she would take the letter and the information I gave her and hand it to the legal team Thats the last I heard about any of it until today. She was supposed to contact me with details which I was still waiting on.

Im not sure who was contacted or how the information was conveyed, but it was misinterpreted by someone somewhere along the line. I also never threatened to sue anyone. The woman I spoke to is Rebecca and I will be contacting her about this misunderstanding. Somehow it went from a rename request and C&D letter requesting they contact me to discuss solutions to my wanting to shut down reddit gaymers. Once again, that was never true.

Even the people here at published articles about it without even attempting to contact me for more information.

There is a lot of misinformation and a lot of conclusions being incorrectly drawn.

Nexus said:

Well aren't we just lucky that he doesn't have a problem with the name GayGaymers.
The guy comes off as an enormous douche IMO.
He could have easily trademarked the name, but noooo. That just wasn't enough for him.

Mattmyx said:

Wow, just wow.

The response to this has been sickening.

Good to now the gay "community" is all about revenge, mis-information, jumping to wild conclusions and blatant hate and fear mongering!

Guess those wonderful traits aren't just restricted to homo-phobes and far-right wannabe Christians.

Hurray for humanity at it's finest.


AJ said:

We don't care what your intention was...

It's disgusting that you have the word Gaymer trademarked at all.

Safe to say, if a petition or a crowd funding for legal fees to mount a case commences you'll quickly lose that trademark. Should never have been granted in the first place.

LogopolisMike said:

Not a redditor, but I certainly understand their anger. Gaymer is term that is used in many communities, and to try to claim all online usage of it, even if you have the trademark is something worth getting outraged over. It's like saying "Here's this word I use to define myself and my friends -- you can't use it." It's as simple as that. I'm sorry you tried to make a buck or take control of a word that people use to identify themselves, but language and identity is about more than dollars and trademarks.

Jamison said:

Chris Vizzini

r/gaymers should not have to change there name just because of a trademark that you should have never been issued in the first place.

The word gaymer has become a term of identity for how one may describe them selves it's use should not be dictated by one man.

You need to drop this and fast there is no version of this scenario wear you win.

Say you do get r/Gaymers to change there name then what? You just pissed off a large part of a community you claim to care about, and there not going to sit still and let you take there name from them not with out a fight.

Look in your heat you know back in 2007 that you had no moral right to trade mark gaymer, sure but not gaymer. You did not invent the gaymer community you just tried to profit on it.

Adrian said:

Oh y'all whiners above me need to stop moanin' and trollin' over a slang that didn't make it to the Oxford dictionary. Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill. You guys are just looking for a reason to flame, pun intended.

If you care so much, then go make an effort to change copyright laws. Or simply do a fundraiser to buy out his rights so you can donate "gaymer" back to the public domain.

ImFromTheInternet said:

In response to Chris Vizzini,

I would think someone who so desired to keep their trademark, which their website was based on would spare no expense to keep it up when a shitstorm begins. If it means so much, why would you let this icon of your hard work die due to load, bandwidth, or any other reason?

As someone who has in the past dealt with officialness, and partnerships with other sites, I personally believe it would have been in your better interest to attempt a partnership with the Reddit r/gaymers group, apparently you didn't think about how this could have driven ad revenue, or sales from your cafepress store, etc......

You have quite effectively made thousands of new enemies, and people who are going to look for blood, and likely abandoned a number of your members in the process. Unfortunately its too late to make amends, and as much as I try not to wish ill upon anyone, but due to your lack of tact and class, I do hope this comes back to bite you in the ass, hard....

Chesterfunk said:

Again, the problem with this whole ordeal is not about the renaming of subreddit, but rather his trademark of the term gaymer. Sure they could rename all the subreddits that use the term, which would suck but is not the end of the world. The problem stems from the possibility of him attacking other sites for using gaymer that could not easily change their name with rebranding or relaunching their entire website. GaymerCon comes to mind here if they ever decide to have a significant web presence (which they will need to). He can pretend to be innocent saying he only wanted a name change, but the ramifications this could have beyond reddit is what is scary.

Raphaol said:

Chris, I don't think there was actually a "misunderstanding" on reddit's end with regards to your rename request.

You see, a subreddit rename is unprecedented and poses a huge technical challenge. The most straightforward and immediately feasible means of complying with your request is to shut down the site. Even if it was never your intention, the loss of all /r/gaymers content and user registrations was, from the perspective of the /r/gaymers moderators, a very real potential consequence of your actions.

P.S. This isn't about one subreddit anymore. You're fighting for the right to "own" a word that thousands of people use to describe a core element of their shared identity. You should seriously reconsider this path. I very much doubt this is something you can win, but even if you do, it will be a wholly Pyrrhic victory.

Eric said:


Chris Vizzinni does not deserve the rights to such an all-encompassing term that describes all gay videogamers. Pure and simple. The fact that he went out of his way to trademark the term says a lot about the individual in question... and even more so the fact that he's pursuing other online communities of gay gamers.

And to actually write on this board trying to play the victim?

Why are you calling reddit up and asking other people to rename themselves? They are gaymers as much as people who visit this site, and as much as any gay gaymer on earth.

I hope /r/gaymers challenges this trademark, cause there's no rational logic behind one man owning such a broad term.... specifically a term that he didn't even invent.

It's literally the equivalent of either owning the term 'gay' or owning the broader term 'gamer'... and attacking people online who dare to use it as part of their sites or forums. This guy has definitely crossed the line.

Roxas said:

I may be a Nobody, but I'm sorry, this whole situation is all a bunch of foolishness. I call shennanigans on you Mr. Vizzini.

Is power really so important to you that you have to take it out on everyone else?

If you really are a gamer, and a GAYMER, you should learn from the games and stories which you play and experience. They teach many lessons that pertain to this example. Pay more attention to the games you play.

All power has its price, and this is your price of pride.

gingerjet said:

This is the first i've heard that there was some sort of controversy over they term "gaymer". I don't know all the facts regarding it but I do know this - Chris Vizzini has failed Internet 101. It doesn't matter if he is technically right but he's pissed off the internets. There were more appropriate ways to handle this that Mr. Vizzini could of taken to milk the heighten interest in "gaymers". But now it's clear he doesn't have a clue and I now only know him as a incompetent asshole. And so does everyone else.

To Mr. Vizzini: you completely fucked up. Enjoy the ride.


I am a journalist, I work for I can't speak for the writers of, but I messaged you asking for a statement on my article (still putting the finishing touches on it right now), as did Kevin Morris from The Daily Dot, neither of us have gotten a response from you. Check your Reddit messages, that was the only way I could find to contact you privately with down, and your email address not published.

Treylot said:

So just about anybody could have copyrighted the 'gaymers' name, it's just that he was the first one that did? I'm starting to wonder why he even thought that was a good idea.

seraph said:


Wow, so it looks like Vizzini asked some of his friends to come and argue his point in public for him? Or is it the man himself, who realizes he has basically no leg to stand on?

Here's the facts: if you care about 'gaymers,' then you care about giving this minority group as much support and safe-space and inclusiveness as you can.

If you DON'T care about gaymers... then why on earth did you think you had a right to the trademark?! The gay community exists to help people feel safe in a world that uses everything in its power to destroy us. Turning a profit and protecting your "right" to a name for that community is, essentially, a slap in the face to a political minority that largely just wants to be left alone to have fun in relative peace.

We get enough persecution as it is without getting some from a greedy source that PRETENDS to be on the same side.

Eric said:



As if gaymers don't get enough crap from the wider gaming community, we have to be attacked by supposedly one of our own?

Nobody should own the right to 'gaymers' or the right to dictate to gay gaymers how or what they should refer to themselves as.

It doesn't matter... said:

The simple fact is, Chris, YOU DID NOT CREATE THE TERM 'GAYMER'. Full stop.

You have no case.

If Apple can trade mark rounded edges, well then Gaymer can be trademarked too. It sucks but them's the world.

Mikey said:

Puh-lease, this guy is delusional. He doesn't own the word Gaymer, online. That's like saying you trademarked the word Twink, and no other online communities can use that word. That's ridiculous. You can't call dibs on a word.

It sounds to me like he wants more attention for his site. Maybe he feels threatened that other Gay Gamer (GAYMER) communities are growing more popular and successful than his very dated website.

He says he's just doing this because he doesn't want to lose the trademark (yeah, okay, lol). But lets so you do. So? And this affects you how? Get over yourself dude.

It'd be one thing if they were calling themselves and were using a site that looked like yours, similar logos, etc. That's not the case. Get that stick out of your butt and leave these people alone.

Lee said:

Is there something we can do? A fundraiser or a petition to make the word "gaymer" public domain? This is a term that people use to identify themselves like "nerd" or "geek." We can't just let one person own it.

This will effect a lot of groups like mine that worked hard to establish a name in our local communities.

Plz halp!

neshoba said:

overall, I am extremely disappointed by the response from /r/gaymers. Chris shared a few responses on his Facebook page and it's the stuff which we formed our communities to shield ourselves. I understand most of the knee jerk reaction stems from the community being blindsided by a cease and desist. However, is within its rights to contact Reddit as a service provider to help resolve a claim of copyright infringement. The general use of the term to identify the community is not an issue. Chris uses the term to address members of the community there. The general acceptance of the term is debatable and nebulous. In 2007, I stirred the pot over the same issues as the trademark was processed. I was met with apathy for the use of the term to identify the community. This year, when Gaymercon gained momentum, a blog went up about how the term is not as inclusive for all members of the LGBTQ gaming community. That aside, I just google searched the term and Chris' site was the first result. I think that should count for something.

Ann said:

Oh yeah... the internet and copyright. Some people will never learn.

Aedan C Roberts said:

Sorry Chris,

Throughout all your responses where you attempt to explain this as a wild misunderstanding I see very little misunderstood.

You "asking" a community (touting legal contracts with your "polite inquiry") to rename itself simply because you somehow managed to claim rights to the digital use of the word "Gaymer" (which I highly doubt would stand ANY test of scrutiny) is- intentionally or not- a veiled threat. You thinking you have sole access to a term you in no way invented that describes an entire subgroup of people on the internet is just ludicrous. And your recent spate of attempts to go after anyone "infringing" on your supposed property is extremely detrimental to the community as a whole.

Saying "First and foremost, I never asked for the sub-reddit gaymer to be removed. I emailed reddit twice asking that they simply rename the community to something else" is tantamount to saying "I never asked you to stop breathing- I merely requested you stop inhaling oxygen through your lungs." Not only are you simply rephrasing what you deny doing- but you are asking them to do something you should never have been asking in the first place.

Stop with the "requests". Learn to co-exist with the other communities using the term "gaymer" instead of attempting to fight them with some ridiculous copyright you think you have the right to brandish.

Adrian said:


Hi. My name is Adrian, a real person with his own voice, not some member of an overnight bandwagon. No one asked me to stand for Mr. Vizzini. In fact, I don't personally know him nor do I actually side with him or anyone for that matter. But I find this "gaymer" hullabaloo asinine for these reasons:

1. This issue has been going on for years and has not affected my life in the cyberspace or gaming sphere AT ALL.

2. Being a "gaymer" is only one aspect of me, not the whole me. If the term describes you as a person completely and unequivocally, then you're pathetic.

3. You and I can call ourselves "gaymers" over and over. No one goes to jail.

4. The issue here is the restriction of the use of "gaymer" on the url, none of which affects me or you. This squabble is between owners of their respective urls who have made their business issue a community issue. This could've been handled smoothly in a private manner, but noooooo, the community had to be involved. Ridiculous.

5. Businesses here in the US and the rest of the world run on trademarks. If you don't like current copyright laws, then take action! Don't be a keyboard warrior.

I've been a member of both sites, and, and found the latter more to my liking. Even so, if I were a community organizer who believes the term "gaymer" should never ever be trademarked, then I would go with the least resistance approach and have a dialogue with Mr. Vizzini to discuss a win-win situation instead of encouraging character assassination and divisiveness within the gay gaming community. Obviously, this guy spent time, money, and effort to actualize his goals, unlike others who just love to complain and create drama like what we have here right now.

Jeremiah said:

After Reading Chris's response posted to I would like to offer my thoughts.

It is a shame Chris is missing the point. There is no denying that he is within his legal right as the mark holder in what he is doing. However, mere legal right does not justify the action. Perhaps at the time the mark was filed Chris couldn't have imagined an enormous community rallying under the G---er banner. In addition I feel in assuming that Chris Vizzini was not the originator of the term... merely the first person to file the paper work. With this in mind his trade mark filing was not an insidious time-bomb but all the same very likely he knew what he was doing... why else go to the trouble of marking it. Reading the response and also glancing over Chris's Facebook profile yesterday... The ~why is everyone being so mean to me~ response from Chris needs to stop. Looking at the momentum this community has gained in a short period should have prepared Chris that he would likely be a villain and very likely an exile. In a matter of hours he managed to turn thousand up thousands of eyes towards him. All of them feeling cheated because a label, and identify they were proud to hold is now threatened. Chris is also failing to see that he didn't just trade mark a product name like coke... he trade marked a word that represents an identity. An identity that everyone caught up in the wake of this cease and desist to reddit holds [or held] close. Because of this people referring to themselves has g---ers now feel as if their identity has been ripped away by a selfish money hungry brat. My biggest issue with Chris's response is a theme of being helpless... of not having a choice... of HAVING to defend the trademark... speaking of the thousands of dollars he placed into the g---er bucket. Chris had a choice and he chose poorly. He was not helpless in this and no one forced him to defend the mark, and seeking sympathy by bringing money into the issue not only presents a primary motive it also serves to make his stake in this shallow. I am curious to see how this shakes out. At this moment (especially after seeing Chris cite g---er as a BRAND in the response) I am all in for saying FUCK THAT WORD and moving on. Let Chris have his "brand" because unless the word is released from his control G---er is worthless now, a bought registered word with a dollar amount owned by one not all, controlled by a person who respected their own personal gain their "brand" over a community. A community that they were part of...were being the most important word in that statement.

Seth said:

Ok well,

This yahoo group from 2000 clearly shows that Mr. Vizzini did not in fact create the word and/or definition for the word 'Gaymer'.

I am meeting with council this afternoon to discuss the options of relinquishing trademarked rights to this word.


Chris - saying you have to file this or less you lose your trademark. What you don't really seem to understand no one wants you to have this trademark. We want you to not protect it and then get a much tighter trademark - like "" instead.

discchord said:

This is the most absurd thing anyone could do to protect their name. Going after an open community to protect your trademark? You just smeared shit all over your name.

You know people with stupid patents, like moving your thumb to the right is somehow a patent? Yea, you're one of those guys. Give it up and say your sorry. It is the only way you will save your real name.

plastickman said:

You are going to burn Chris and nobody will ever forget or forgive you for this epic FUBAR. Especially a large community of intelligent gay men and women who see you cashing in on what you never invented or had any right to try and own. Enjoy your scarlet letter, you deserve it.

Captain Proton said:

I have just looked at the US patent and trademark office ( has anyone bothered? )

Mr. Vizzini applied for a trademark of his site's logo - with the word gaymer in small letters underneath - back in 2003 but the trademark itself only started working in 2007.

Then in 2007 he also trademarked the word gaymer with the following description:

" Computer services, namely, creating an online community for registered users to participate in competitions, showcase their skills, get feedback from their peers, form virtual communities, engage in social networking and improve their talent; Computer services, namely, hosting and maintaining an online website for others to discuss, receive and disseminate information concerning video games; Computer services, namely, hosting on-line web facilities for others for organizing and conducting online meetings, gatherings, and interactive discussions. FIRST USE: 20030526. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20030526"

(It should also be noted that the words Gaymers and Gaymer's are also trademarked since 2011 by a luxemburg company that produces a non alcoholic cider)

It is good for him that Mr. Vizzini did not go into bathroom accessories because his name (vizzini) is already trademarked for all use in advertising of "Bath tubs and shower trays; Bathroom exhaust fans; Baths, bathtubs, whirlpool baths and bath installations; Bidets; Drain structures for use in spas, steam rooms and baths; Flexible pipes being parts of basin plumbing installations; Hand showers; Kitchen sinks; Plumbing fittings, namely, shower control valves; Plumbing fixtures, namely, sink traps; Shower and bath cubicles; Shower bases; Shower doors; Shower faucet extensions; Shower heads; Shower tubs; Showers; Showers and shower cubicles; Sinks; Tap-water purifying apparatus; Taps; Taps for washstands; Toilet accessories, namely, handles that are affixed to toilet seats; Toilet bowls; Toilet seats; Toilet tanks; Toilets"

and so it goes :)

Captain Proton said:

additional Trademark information:

It may be possible for Reddit to claim that while the word was unique back in 2003, it is now a recognizable generic term and so should no longer fall under trademark protection.

For me, it's pretty clear people are not mad at him because of trying to shut the group or even because of the group name, but because of the trademarking of the word "gaymer" itself. Vizzini either failed to see this or is pretending he did not see this.

My point of view is that if he did not created the term, he does not have the right to trademark it. Seems like if today someone would go and trademark the word "bear" and tried to forbid the entire bear community of using the word in any site name. Despite his real intention behind, what looks like is he tried to be smart. But pissing off most part of his own target audience does not seem very wise to me...

I very much agree with the sentiment that if people don't like trademark laws, you should work to change them. Please do. Join your local Pirate Party. We need more people.

That said, just because it's not illegal to be a dick doesn't mean you can't just stop being a dick anyway.

Chris, cut the crap and let your trademark lapse. I guarantee you that losing it will have a negligible impact on the financial health of your website.

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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