GaymerX, The Con That Focuses On Queer Geek Culture, Will Return Next Year On July 11-13th.


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    I'm always torn about these kinds of events. I'm all for celebrating diversity, but I also feel these create segregations. Humankind seems to always want to gather into similar groups of people. Gaming seems to transcend that though. Video games allow us the incredible opportunity to be who we want, it doesn't matter if you're a minority, gay, straight, disabled, physically deformed, married, rich, poor, a parent, liberal, conservative. We're barbarians, knights, space marines, bank robbers, super heroes and ninjas. I suppose it has its benefits tho. But I can't help be reminded of the way something like PAX glues together such a diverse bunch of people around a common interest.

    Last edited 02/10/13 8:20 pm

      Speak for yourself. I'm looking forward to Albiheebcon, where Jewish gamers with albinism can get together and show the world how awesome we are at games BESIDES the ones where we simulate an economy.

      Last edited 02/10/13 8:30 pm

      I'm for it at the moment, although in the future i would rather see it phased out as people become more accepting of other peoples sexualities. I can see why some gay-gamers would rather go to an event like this as opposed to an event like comic-con, as there is no fear of persecution because everybody there is the same. Not that they should have to fear anything at any other event, although terms like "fag" and "homo" do tend to be thrown around in competitive games as derogatory terms, so i can see why gay-gamers may feel uncomfortable in crowds where everybody practically plays competitive games and where they are more likely to find un-accepting (homophobic?) people.

      meh, any excuse to meet people who share as many similar hobbies and passions is good enough for me.

      *Goes to gaming event*

      Hears "Fag! Homo! Gay!"

      *Appreciates the acceptance of diversity*

      When homophobia is gone, then what you described would be 100% accurate. It would do nothing but categorise and separate gay gamers. However, we're not there yet. Sometimes it would be nice to go to an event where you know you won't have to hear that stuff.

      Also, hooking up.

    Gaymer here, and so glad there are events like these, because you would have to be pretty blind to think that the videogame industry/community is some kind of minority utopia where pretending to be a wizard equals no discrimination. I'm all for a bit of escapism, but the core of these events are about not only bringing people with common interests together, but by creating a truly discrimination free event for gay gamers (which does wonders for the self esteem, and that is never a bad thing for anyone). I always felt left out of stuff even in the gaming world, from simple things like not growing up with any major gay characters to play as to having to put up with kids screaming "faggot" over teamspeak. Shit's not cool. So never roll your eyes at this sort of stuff, because it means the world for the people involved.

    I don't like this at ALL.

    I really couldn't care less about someone being gay, (My best friend for most of my school life is gay). But when i see this kind of stuff I'm kind of pissed off.

    IF ANYONE tried a straight version of this people would be going fucking mental, but somehow its okay to have it the other way around? So why does this have to be "gay". The double standards in todays society is absurd.

      It's not really double standards when the LBGTQ community are a minority subjected to oppression from everybody else. That is why such events exist. Don't be a jerk about it. Just let it be, man.

      that's not it at all! The 'normal' gamer is an ideal consisting of straight, white and manly. People who aren't straight, white or male exist only as 'other'. Without gaymerx the queer miniroty of gamers simply wouldn't exist, because noone outside would think twice that any person like that existed or even cared much about games. After all, if you're gay or queer, shouldn't you be dedicating your life to advancing queer social equality and anti-discrimination? or, wrecking the traditional family? Why on earth would a gay person make their gaming habit the centre of their life AND say out loud that there are actually a group of people who have 'gay' in common as well as games?
      Because, otherwise, society sees gaming as straight-white-male. And dudes have had the privilege of being the majority gamers for so long now, how could you possibly criticize giving someone else some attention? The 'straight version' is every gaming convention & all gaming culture so far. You can't measure a minority finding their voice and say they are being unfair to you.

      the standard set of experiences a gay person has is far from equal to that of a straight person.

      Suggesting equality there misses the whole point of this stuff.

      it's kind of stupid to argue double-standards against a minority who for most of their growing lives would have been discriminated against.

      maybe for now, these kinds of events are cool, but ideally, in the future, it would be phased out because by then they wouldn't have any reason to feel out of place. hopefully.

      straight people are welcome at gay events, but the reverse is far from always true.

      I mean, I'm fine with you organizing a straight version, but what's your motive? if it's to exclude queer people then you're an ass, whereas if it's like this and the intent is to explicitly make it clear that everyone is welcome regardless then go for it.

      this type of event isn't about excluding straight people, it's about making it clear that everyone is welcome regardless of their sexuality, that's an acceptable reason to hold this event, doing it with the express intent of excluding people is not.

      and to be fair normal gaming events are pretty much straight gaming events, considering straight is normal.

        This is a bit of a philosophical question, but if everyone is welcome, how is that just a regular event?

          it's about making it clear that everyone is welcome and then everything usually tries to focus on the less standard things that aren't usually featured as prominently elsewhere. basically they go through the effort of diversifying their content to appeal to those that aren't always considered at standard events.

          when you just hold a regular event it's not always clear whether queer people are welcome, even if their queerness doesn't have anything to do with it, and rarely if ever do things that might interest their specific group get featured.

          basically it's just like a regular event but they go through some efforts to appeal to the less standard audience.

            Codswallop, you all missed the point.

            I have never heard of a straight only game convention of any kind. Nor have i seen one advertising "straight" And i fail to see how your sexuality has a single damn thing to do with video games unless your talking some weird sex sim. Otherwise you are ALL acting like gays aren't normal people that somehow they dont "Get" everyone else's kind of games, which is actually a subtle form discrimination.

            So the point still stands, 100% unequivocally that if anyone had the word Straight in the title of their game convention they would be labeled homophobic and cop a huge amount of abuse no matter what the intent was, good or bad.

            So WHY is that OK for gay's? Because that's the very definition of double standard.

            I would also put it to the above posters having GAY in the title implies the EXACT OPPOSITE of an open everyone invited convention and that it infers that only gays are welcome. A simple name like EB EXPO implies a games convention for everyone and I've never heard of one that would exclude gays.

            This title does more harm than good, its promoting segregation, that somehow gays are a special people that need their own individual convention away from the rest of the "non gays" for whatever reason (this isn't a sex convention is a game convention). It really doesn't matter if that is the intent or not, or if straight people are welcome too, this is what the name implies and is the kind of stuff we would expect to see way back when (in secret even or as forced seclusion) and not something that i think needs or even should to be around today.

            People have been fighting for gays to be seen as just regular people like everyone else, that their sexuality is irrelevant, so this is counter intuitive to that goal.

            Last edited 03/10/13 9:52 am

              I understand where you're coming from, and you make some solid points - but, if you'll forgive the assumption - you're missing some core underlying facts that make the above sound like it's missing the point.

              Consider the following:

              Geeks/nerds were the dump group for mainstream society for a fair few decades. Being called a "nerd" or a "geek" was an insult - it was an undesirable thing, and it marked those people out for ridicule and segregation. They're different, they're to be shunned.

              So what did geeks do? Set up geek clubs, conventions, gatherings - join with your fellow geeks, feel free to be yourself and embrace what you are.

              Recently, being a geek or nerd became "cool" or acceptable - and people actively strive to give themselves the nerd or geek tag. The terms aren't negative so much anymore.

              However, even inside the geek/nerd/gamer sub-group, there's always been a need for a further "dump" group. The ones you can gather around and five a kicking, and say "Well, at least I'm not THEM!". In gaming circles, that was gay people. (The fact this exists in mainstream culture, and can potentially be linked to the expansion of "gamer" to include people who would never have been a gamer before, is important to discuss elsewhere).

              Calling something gay, calling someone homo, calling someone a fag was a major insult or put-down. Being "gay" was undesirable - even for a marginalised group like gamers. They're different, they're to be shunned, right? You don't want to be a fag, do you?

              So even inside our small, slowly-becoming-mainstream group, gay people are cast out.

              So what did they do? Set up a gay gamer convention - join with your fellow gay gamers, feel free to be yourself without being kicked around.

              Conventions like this are so that this sub-sub-group, doubly marginalised, if you will, can take pride in what they are and have a safe place in order to gather people from that group, or people who have no problem with that group. Hopefully this will start getting things to the point where gay gamers aren't a collective punching bag amongst gamers. At that point, sure, there's no need for gay-themed conventions - it'll just be gamer conventions because gay gamers won't feel like they're the shit on the sole of everyone's boot.

              firstly, the name may seem like it's restricting the event to gay people but it's not, it's in the title more-so to explicitly state that gay people are welcome and that there will be a focus on things relevant to them (sometimes things that have queer origins get left out of other events because they aren't always in line with the target demographics of those conventions), straight people are perfectly welcome as long as they have no problem with a room full of queer people.

              queer people are not always feeling welcome in normal game event environments, even if it's only subtle and not in a malicious way it can feel extremely unwelcoming, sometimes it may even feel hostile, so this sort of event makes it clear that they are expressly welcome and things that normally don't get shown because of their queer nature get featured, straight people never have to worry about any of that so nobody has organized a straight equivalent.

              remember, it's not about segregation it's about inclusion, normal events can feel segregating to queer people, this is about getting rid of that. if you organized a straight event with the express intent of excluding gay people it wouldn't go over well, but I would take equal issue with an event that was created with the express intent of excluding straight people, but if you created an event to focus on the more typically heterosexual aspects of games I'd see no problem with it, queer people are still welcome they just might not find it as interesting or relevant.

              at the end of the day you shouldn't judge the convention on its name, you should judge it on its purpose, and I'd say making it clear that queer people are entirely welcome is a pretty reasonable purpose for a convention.

              Do you know why you haven't heard of any 'straight' conventions?

              THAT'S BECAUSE THEY ALL ARE, EXCEPT FOR THE FEW BADGED OTHERWISE.

              It means that if you want to look for some romance at a con, (and where better than somewhere filled with folks of similar interests), the default mode is 'straight'. On a purely practical level, this kind of conference helps people with different orientations hook up inside a target rich environment, rather than wondering which gamer yelling F*GGOTS at his CoD team mates is secretly in the closet but open for some shenanigans behind hotel room doors.

              And it's not segregation at all. That would be having 'gays only' events INSIDE another conference. This is a separate conference, and if you argue it's segregation within the greater 'gaming conference' umbrella or even 'nerd conference' umbrella then newsflash, there's plenty of 'segregation' along genre and interest lines already.

              Yes, it would be nice if everyone could all be together in one homogenous, oozing mass.

              However, that's far from reality right now and the onus is on the dominant groupings (straight, white, male) to unbend from viewpoints that reinforce their dominance.

              It also might shock you to realise that gay people will attend 'normal' conferences as well and to all intents and purposes, are 'regular people' at these events.

              Unless they wear their pink triangles, that is.

                Nope never seen a convention made for straight people you are just flat out lying right now.

                If you are looking for romance at a games convention that is your prerogative but also not relevant. "adequate place to find mate" Is not the pre requisite of a games convention. If you are gay and want to find other gays for a hook up you would go to a gay bar ( You know a place typically associated with looking for "partners") Which is why a gay bar is perfectly fine to distinguish itself from a normal one, because being gay in that instance is relevant. Where as being gay has count in 0 ZERO relevance with a games convention.

                We don't have gay blockbusters, or super markets (or special gay "markets" for lack of a better word), why? Because being gay has no relevance on what movies you enjoy or which foods you like, just as it has no relevance on the games you enjoy. SO yes 100% having a gay convention is self segregation. Instead of having a gay convention people should be trying to stop the few things that are still deterring some gays from the normal events. Normal as in for EVERYONE not just straight people. Excluding yourself from an ENTIRE event is far worse than whatever else you seem think is under that "umbrella".

                You also state that these gay conventions are open to everyone. But what you would find is the exact same thing happening to the "stragiht" people at this convention that you say is happening at the normal events. All this content that is apparently gay only that is excluded (I still haven't seen a single example of this) is now going to be showed at the convention. But if its all gay orientated and straight person comes in how is that going to play out?

                If you want to hold hands and some knob head throws you a filthy look or worse how is that different to you doing it at the movies, video store or supermarket. The same people will be in all those places. It doens't make it any less wrong but i dont see the reason for an entire gay focused convention.

                So I've still yet to see an adequate reason as to why this has to be a "gay" event and why there is one in the first place. But as long as you want equality It would just appear to do more overall harm than good, the more these kind of events crop up the more those that are still discriminating will get away with it. No doubt with comments such as "why the fuck are you here queer go to your own convention".

                  Lets make this a little clearer shall we. GaymerX is not an exclusive gay convention, straight people are more than welcome to come along if they so choose, although it is safe to say that there will more likely than not be more gay people there than there are straight people, and that the straight people who do go are more likely than not going to be comfortable with their, and others, sexuality.

                  The main focus of this type of convention however is to provide a safe area where gay-gamers are free to be themselves without fear or persecution, because they are in an environment where they are free to be themselves, as everybody there is the same, or at least accepting of their sexuality, and where they have no reason to fear being judged by others due to their sexuality. It might not be so obvious to you (assuming your straight), but being judged by others for your sexuality is not fun, ok? It's not fun to have people refer to you as "fag" and "homo", it's not fun to see people obviously judging you, and it's not good for your self-esteem. That's where conventions like GaymerX come in to the picture.

                  I admit that it may seem like self-segregation for the gay-gamer community, but how I see it is that it is a way for the gay-gamers to show that they are just like everybody else, and that there is no shame in being gay. Unfortunately the gaming community generally tends to come across as homophobic. I mentioned it in my post earlier, but derogatory homophobic terms are thrown around a lot in competitive multiplayer. I understand that it is just (usually) trash talking for the sake of trash talking, but it still makes it seem as though being gay is a bad thing to be. With this in mind, would you really want to be a gay person walking around a convention where the general consensus is that the majority of people there are homophobic?

                  I personally don't think that the gaming community is homophobic, but with all the trash talking going on in games it must be obvious to see as to why the gaming community is seen as homophobic.

                  The fact that you don't see why an event like this may be deemed necessary (at the moment) only goes to show that you aren't looking at the bigger picture. That's not to say that that is a bad thing, it is actually quite good as it seems to me like you are comfortable with other peoples sexuality, ie you don't care if someone is gay. The problem that seems to be happening is that you are assuming that everybody has the same mentality as you, which is sadly not the case. So for now, I am happy that events like this take place, although in the future i would hope that they are no longer deemed necessary as people become more accepting of others.

                  On a side note, when @burnside talked about romance at conventions like this, he was talking about ROMANCE, not a casual hookup. You go to a gay bar for a hookup, not for romance. This provides an area where like minded people can go to potentially find love. Also, assuming that you are straight, you will never know how awkward it can be trying to figure out if a guy is gay or not. It makes flirting really difficult at times, and embarrassing!

                  PS. I hate labels such as "gay" and "straight". People are just people, ok? Does sexuality really matter?

                  Last edited 03/10/13 11:05 pm

      Really? Are you one of those people who ask why there is no Straight Pride Parade or White History Month? Events like these are not gay only events but gay supportive events. Every other event has a heteronormative focus, where a gay gamer can't hope to see more than maybe a panel or special interest booth that caters to them. At GaymerX or similar events LGBT people have a rare occasion where they are not relegated to a footnote, single panel or specialist booth. If a gay person walks through a regular event holding their partners hand they are more than likely going to encounter a negative reaction, not so at a LGBT event.

      Instead of asking why there are no straight events be thankful you don't need one, because every other event IS one. This double standard you mention is a figment of your privileged imagination.

        What the fuck are you on about a pannel for gay people??THIS IS A GAMES CONVENTION ABOUT GAMES. I have never seen heard or otherwise been informed of any game that was "anti" gay, only for straight people or a game that was for "gay people".

        I also didn't ask for a straight event, it was a COMPARISON. whereby regardless of reason, good or bad, If the word straight was used in any title like text about a games convention or lan people would be up in arms, where as apparently its okay for gay events. That is a double standard regardless of your "opinion" or how little a problem that double standard is.

        I would also ask that you give me a few examples to prove your point of "heteronormative focus" and where and how exactly LGBT people are relegated to a footnote.

        Never in all my life have i heard that being gay somehow means you don't enjoy 95% of video games, which is basically what you are implying without actual examples.

          I am unsure if you are trolling or if you really don't get this...

          An LGBT event is like a "gay bar," it still serves straight people, it just doesn't focus on them, because every other establishment that doesn't specifically identify as LGBT friendly already does. Occasionally at events like PAX or whatever, panels are held where issues are discussed by people in the industry, occasionally (thankfully with more frequency) issues like representation of women, race and the LGBT community in video games are brought up but as these panels cater to people outside of the SWM scope of most events they are often barely blips on the radar or to use a metaphor a "footnote"

          We live in a world where the majority of people are heterosexual and because of this heterosexual is considered the default. The "heterosexual as default" view is called heteronormativity and in the majority of cases is a safe bet. In the realm of video game events this manifests itself through Booth Babes, scantily clad women in game art and other things designed to attract the straight male gamer. Some people don't fit into the straight, white, male default but still enjoy video games and because most people usually like to socialise with others who are like themselves they become a community, online or otherwise.

          Since the whole straight white male thing is so well covered at most of the big conventions smaller communities will often get together to organise an event that focuses on their own community. It welcomes people of all walks of life, but like a gay bar, its scope is people who are outside of the usual target audience of mainstream events. To signify this and so people know what they can expect when they attend a label (like LGBT or Gaymer) is added to avoid confusion, the reason this is not done with mainstream events is because the heteronormative focus is assumed because... Heterosexual is the default, this is why it's not a double standard to signify LGBT as the target of an event.

          The sting for you seems to come from the event not being suited to you, that in this instance the straight gamer is being left out and that feels wrong, this is called straight or heterosexual privilege and is an interesting thing to research. It basically says that you are accustomed to being included if not focused on and this perceived lack of inclusion irks you. It is why people say things like "if someone held a straight event there'd be outrage!" I suppose to please people with heterosexual privilege like yourself it could have been labelled LGBT friendly instead of just LGBT, but because so much already is designed to appease the privileged I don't think it's going to do any harm... (ie big deal if for one event you are not the target audience when you are for every other mainstream event)

          Lastly, I never implied that LGBT people don't enjoy 95% of video games, I simply explained why GaymerX is a thing and why it's not a double standard to call it an LGBT event. For further information you could look up David Gaider's response to a Straight Male Gamer who complained about inclusion of LGBT and female gamers in Dragon Age.

          TL:DR It's not a double standard really, your privilege just makes you feel like it is.

    @kingpotato Wow. I can't even begin to point out all the things wrong with that comment.

      even if you did, he'd probably argue till all meanin was lost.

    I can imagine the toilets will get pretty dirty after all the guys hooking up with eachother

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