Sydney's Gay Gamer Community Planning To Run A Float At This Year's Mardi Gras

I said goddamn — Luke Hopewell over at Gizmodo Australia is doing some really interesting work on games at the moment. Earlier this week he wrote a top notch piece about Queensland and R18+ games across state borders and now he's put together a great story on Sydney Gaymers, a rapidly growing local group that helps gay gamers meet up and play without fear of the slurs that plague online services like Xbox LIVE.

It's a great story that culminates in the group planning to run a float at this years Mardi Gras, and being sponsored by Sony and Valve to do so.

“I don’t think anyone would disagree with the fact that the worldwide gaming community does…enable some pretty nasty harassment,” Joshua tells me. Even though he’s on the phone at the other end of a city, I nod my head in agreement. All you need to do is log onto Call of Duty multiplayer to find that gay isn’t considered as a lifestyle to some gamers, it’s an insult.
Joshua explains that some in the LGBT community put down their controllers, card decks and cosplay outfits years ago because they didn’t want to go near the venom of the greater gaming community for fear of reprisals about their sexual orientation.
“There would be [more LGBT] people interested in gaming if they weren’t turned off by a hostile environment,” he explains. “They’re not willing to experiment with games because they know they will be subject to language they don’t want to be subjected to just for playing a game.”

I'd recommend heading over to Gizmodo to check out the whole story.

Sydney Gaymers: Meet The First LGBT Gaming Group To March In The Sydney Mardi Gras [Gizmodo]


Comments

    I just finished reading Luke's story and started wondering if he thinks that because you're a new Dad he can start circling in hopes to be first on the scene when you meet your demise. :P

    As for the contents of the story. It's a great idea and comforting to know there's people out there who care about creating safe environments where like-minded people can game without judgement.

    I'm guilty of yelling "that's gay" at the frustration of being killed by a camper... several times in a row. And I couldn't care less about gay people - I say this because their lifestyle has literally zero impact on the way I live my life and I have no issues with them at all.

    But this reflects my youth and upbringing (I'm not saying my parents were terrible homophobic people) but going to an all boys (catholic) school this was bandied around as an insult on the playground. This happened for my entire school life and I'm still struggling it to remove it from my vocabulary - at least as an insult.

    Every time I hear it used as an insult during online gaming session my retort is usually "so?" because it doesn't even register as an insult to me but occasionally i find myself yelling "gay" when that fucking camper shotguns me in the back... It's becoming more infrequent and maybe soon it will be completely gone from my rhetoric while gaming online.

    Read it earlier at Giz. Great to see the LGBT community being represented in gaming and I'll be cheering the float along as it heads up George St.

    It's also a great reminder to all of us that calling people 'Faggot' when playing is offensive to more than just the person it's directed. I play with a lot of kids and many would not think of using derogatory racial terms but have no qualms about calling another player 'gay'. More and more I'm reminding them that while getting upset, or excited when playing is par for the course it should not mean that you lose focus on what is right and what is wrong.

    Damn I'm starting to sound like an old man :)

    ^^how does a camper shotgun someone in the back?

    guilty as charged, I even use it around my gay friends. I'm a fairly s#!t dude.

    A float at the Mardi Gras? That's gay. . . Because it is the Mardi Gras, and most stuff is gay there.

    I used to call things gay, when I was 10. (◔_◔)

    Pro tip gay people who play games tell things like faggot, gay and homo. Also segregating yourself doesn't help make you mOre accepted by a community.

      So based on your anecdotal bullshit, gay people 'tell' (!?) things like faggot etc, well guess what? Most gay people don't like being called faggot, just like most Jews don't like being called sniveling kikes.

      And how the fuck is having a parade to celebrate your community segregating yourself from the rest of society? The only people who view it as segregation are people like you, who are so filled with stupidity and bile that they can't even let people enjoy themselves. But for real, Chinese people should probably stop celebrating their alternate new year, and that Cup Day parade in Melbourne has got to go.

      In conclusion, shut up and rack off you mouth-breathing bumwhistle.

    That was meant to be yell.

    Faggot Has been an insult for gay peope, Old people or a Pile of sticks. Its time this word moved on again to insult new people.

      That is the laziest and dumbest strawman idiocy that gets thrown up in this argument, The year is 2013, and there are no more ye olde peasants referring to piles of sticks as faggots. It is clearly a slur against gay people.

      Once again, you are a hairy backed rube, and your arguments are a fucking idiot.

    Judging by the online chat I've heard, we're all gay. It's not as if the frustrated potty-mouths only yell "FAGGOT!" and other slurs at legit gay people.

    “They’re not willing to experiment with games because they know they will be subject to language they don’t want to be subjected to just for playing a game.”
    Gee man, ich bin ein Berliner.

    Maybe I'm biased because I'm a gay gamer myself but these groups need to exist. I have spent most of my life being called a faggot to belittle me for being honest and true with myself. Hearing the words faggot, homo or gay used to be a warning, I would prepare myself because someone [more often then not a stranger] was either going to physically or verbally attack me, and although I would fight back doesn't mean it didn't hurt like hell every time it happened. So hearing that shouted during a match, I take it in my stride but I can't pretend my hands don't tense up on my mouse or controller.

    Pretend all you want, the word faggot has one meaning, to demean people for their sexual preference because of the notion that being gay makes me less then you. This isn't about segregating ourselves, but until the gaming community as a whole can stop throwing around harsh, unfair and vulgar terminology that belittles my very existence, I want to play with people who understand what it is like to hear that word and know how deep it actually cuts, a group of people who aren't going to flippantly throw it around like it's as harmless as the words "Oh damn it.".

    And as for you troglodytes telling me to get over it, that a word is a word, try hearing those words spat at you before a rock collides with the side of your head, or finding it painted across your locker at school, or have it used as a replacement for your name because your classmates couldn't be bothered learning it. Then ten years later having it thrown about as common phrase, just a playful term for when a video game frustrates you. It's great that you're so okay with it, congratulations at not being phased or offended by something that has zero impact on you and your life, please continue to tell me how I should react to situations that make me uncomfortable.

    Thanks for bringing this article forward Mark, even within the gay community being a gamer can make you an outsider. Its nice to see people finally coming out of the wood works, proud of both their sexuality and their gaming habits. I've always avoided Mardi Gras but I'd probably turn up just to see this float.

    the online gaming community has been hostile in one way or another for a while now (i.e female gamers, LGBT, -insert war ravaged/religous nationality-) there is a need for people having less anonymity when playing these sorts of games. of course you cant just lower the anonymity becouse its the internet. that doesn't float to well with most pro internet nuetrility organisations and for good reason. there needs to be more of these friendlier community sub cultures for sure. segregation isn't good but atleast a zone in the digital world where this is monitored to keep people
    safe.

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