Why Australia Needs A Queer Gaming Convention

Every time I see a straight couple holding hands, or kissing, or hugging in public, it’s a little painful.

I'm Liam Esler and I'm gay. I’ve been with my partner for the past eight and a half years, and I don’t feel comfortable doing any of those things. Not necessarily because someone would say something, or do something, but because we become a spectacle for people to react to. I can’t hold hands with my partner walking down the road without being judged for it. And it’s all well and good to say, “Well, just ignore it,” but why should I have to? Shouldn’t it be okay for me and my partner to express even a small amount of affection in public and not be judged for it?

Earlier this year Joshua Meadows and I got together with GaymerX in the United States to organise the first ever queer gaming convention here in Australia. GX Australia is a space where diverse people, women, queer people, trans* people, people of colour and of different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds are actively welcome. Where we can talk about the issues that affect us and hang out with people who are like us. And we want you to be there, whoever you are, because we think you’re awesome, that that you deserve to be acknowledged, and we hope that you can support us.

When I was growing up, games were an escape and an outlet: a place I could be myself without fear of ridicule, anger, or disgust. Sometimes it was an adventure, saving the world with Jak & Daxter. Sometimes it was a puzzle, finding solutions in Myst and Riven. Sometimes it was just fun, a place where everyone was equal and we could all just hang out, like with Crash Team Racing.

Games were always a place where I didn’t have to worry about the real world. That was pretty important to me growing up a gay kid in a small country town near Adelaide, South Australia.

I know that I’m not alone in this. For many people gaming is an outlet where they can be themselves in a world they feel doesn’t accept them. Where it’s okay to be a man or a woman or non-binary, and explore what that means to you in a safe space. Where you can love whomever you want to, and not worry about the expectations of society. Where you can explore your identity, who you truly are, without worrying about what others will think of you.

My parents realised pretty early on that I was different, that I wouldn’t fit in at a normal school. They moved out of the city and to the small, close-knit community of Willunga, an hour south of Adelaide, where I went to a Steiner school. The Steiner curriculum is very arts-focused and fit me perfectly, but I was still the only queer kid. This was the right thing to do, but moving me to somewhere with fewer people meant it was harder to find find people like myself who I could relate too. My parents did a wonderful job making me feel accepted within our family and our community at large, but for a long time, I was one of the only queer people I knew.

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know I was different. I was always the weird kid, even at a “weird school.” I never had more than a few friends until high school, when I learned to be funny.

Games and their online communities became my refuge. I met many amazing people: straight, queer, trans*, and everything in between- and slowly began to realise that it was okay to be myself, even though I was different. I learned that different didn’t mean I was bad or unworthy. Different was just that — different — and there were a whole lot of other people like me. I wasn’t alone any more and it felt amazing.

I had found my people and we were all over the world. I often wished I could meet my online friends in person, and some I did, but the tyranny of distance is mighty indeed. Even today I still stay in touch with many of the people I met online when I was a teenager. They watched me grow up and taught me many things I needed to know about acceptance and friendship and how to love people who are different from you. They’re as much a part of me as my genetic family.

This is why fifteen year old me could have really used an event like GX Australia. I know that these spaces are important because of my own experiences and also from having countless conversations with others about how important their communities were to them.

It’s true that we have several fantastic gaming conventions in Australia, particularly PAX Australia, which we mention in the GX Australia Kickstarter video. PAX Australia has done some absolutely brilliant things for diversity, and has worked incredibly hard to ensure their event is welcoming to and accepting of diverse people. I’m constantly in awe of the work they do in this field, in their panels, their support of the Diversity Lounge, the creation of the AFK Room, and many other initiatives.

With all this in mind, you might ask (understandably): Why do we need a queer convention? Why do we need to divide, or otherwise compartmentalise the gaming community?

There are lots of answers to this. For me, the core is this: most gaming events, including PAX, are primarily targeted at people who aren’t me. And that’s totally okay! I’m not in the majority, and I don’t expect all things to be targeted towards me. Gaming events are usually targeted at guys of the heterosexual bent, often considered to be the ‘core’ gaming audience. Events like PAX are doing awesome things to broaden their attendee base and make all people feel welcome, but that doesn’t change the fact that those events aren’t for me specifically. And while that’s totally fine, it would be awesome to have an event that is for me.

Over 50% of the population are women and we still have a long way to go to reduce discrimination against gender. Australia, as a whole, still has issues. Homophobia and transphobia are still very common, despite the fact that Australia is considered progressive in these areas. We want to create an event that recognises this, where we can talk about the issues that concern queer, trans* and other minorities that might not concern the broader gaming audience. Where we can hang out with people like us, who are different.

I want a place where, even if it’s only for a weekend, I don’t have to worry. Where I can hang out and enjoy the games I love, talk about them from my own perspective, and hear the perspectives of others who are different too. Because everything around me, down to the pop-culture I consume, tells me that who I am isn’t normal, that I don’t fit the mold of societal expectations. And for the most part, I’m okay with that. I know I’m not the norm. I know I’m different, and I’m okay with that. I think I’m pretty rad, actually, but it’s taken me a long time to get to that point. And many people never do.

I don’t want the world to change everything that it does just for me. All I want is a couple of games I can play, people I can talk to, and events I can go to that actively say, “Hey. You’re awesome, you’re welcome here, let’s hang out."


    Don't worry, whenever I see any couple holding up the pedestrian traffic by kissing or holding hands in public it's painful for me too.

      Just like the lollies at school rule, Bring enough for everyone or wait until you get home right.........

      You're single too, are you? Damn those couples flaunting themselves in public!

  • This comment is not available. This comment is not available. This comment is not available. This comment is not available.

    This comment is not available.

      I have to agree. Why segregate? Can't we all be friends?

        We're talking about a hobby where it's generally accepted (or at least tolerated) to insult people using derogatory remarks about sexual preference (among others, but they're not what we're talking about here).

        Literally last night I got called a useless fag in Battlefront for botching my time as Han Solo in a Heroes vs Villains match.

        Unfortunately we can't all be friends yet, but hopefully events like this will have a positive influence on the gaming community and society as a whole.

          I'm not sure I'd call people acting like immature pricks 'generally accepted', certainly not at places like PAX.
          The problem is there will always be immature pricks in any society though, do you really think making LGBT gaming convention (or something similar) will stop that? Sorry, there are immature pricks in the LGBT community too.

            I wasn't really clear with what I meant by "generally accepted". What I mean is that if a person uses that kind of insult in the majority of video games you won't see anyone jump up and slam that person for it (or temp ban them). Do it in a comparable setting like a sporting event? You'd be thrashed.

            Will Gaymer stop people being homophobic? Absolutely not. But I feel like it has the opportunity to enact a positive change in some peoples' lives without a negative on others and I think if it has that potential then it should be encouraged.

              Quick note: I am sorry if any of the following offends you. However, if you do get offended, then so be it. I am not trying to be anything but a realist in this post, so bare with me.

              You are not gay. You are not straight. You are not Bi. YOU are a person. What you do sexually is NOT who you are. Who you are is how you act. And right now, you are acting like a stuck up snob who thinks that having an event for people like you is a good thing. Its not. If anything, you are making your self's MORE of a target.

              What if this was a Straight only event? Or a guys only event? There would be a public uproar over it. YOU would be out in force, on this site, saying how bad it is that there is a straight only event, and how it only serves to push a there view on to people. Maybe it wont be you. But I will guarantee that SOMEONE will say it.

              'Oh, but because this is a gay/trans/pan/whatever only one, then it makes it different'. No. It is not different. It is never different. Equality works both ways. Equality means you get treated the same as everyone else. NOT that you get special treatment for being gay or a girl, like some people seem to think. That is called sexism. NOT equality.

              As for abuse online, this person on the internet would have no idea that your gay. NONE. He is treating you EXACTLY the way you want to be treated. He is treating you the same as he would treat anyone else, because he dose not know that your gay. Now, if you told him you where gay, that means you just made your self a target.

              If you REALLY want to be accepted for who you are, don't do the following:
              1. Tell everyone you meet you are gay. Not because of sexism, but because not everyone needs to know that you are.

              2. DO NOT let your personal biases run your career. Its stupid. If I wanted to read about gay rights, I would not be on a GAMING website. If you want to write about it, that's fine. But do it somewhere more appropriate. Not everything you write HAS to relate to the fact your gay. In fact, that makes you more of a target, because you keep advertising that you are one.

              3. When your online, and I know this is hard to do, as I have trouble doing it my self, but don't take what people say to you on the net as a personal insult. There some shit head on the net. You should NOT care what they think. Ever.

              In closing, I would like to just say this.

              You are not gay. You are not straight. You are not Bi. You are a person, just like the rest of us.

                It is not that these events are for LGBT+ people only, but that the event is targeted to that player base. Every single other convention, though mostly welcoming, is not concerned with LGBT+ representation. This one is.

            I think it's a good idea. As a gaymer, I'd love to meet people even more like minded than just regular gamers.

            To be able to talk to another guy about how much I love Mass Effect and Justin Bieber's body in the same breath.. Can't pass that opportunity up!

          So instead of that slur would you have preferred "useless c**t".... same sledge, same idiots doing it, same meaning, different word.

            Same meaning? One is a derogatory term for a gay person and the other is crass slang for vagina. The fact that they're both used as insults doesn't give them the same meaning.

            Also, abusing someone with racist, sexist, bigoted insults isn't sledging. It's abuse.

              I mean if there's a little jerk on the other end of the internet saying things like that, their delivery of words are always going to be the worst thing they can pull out of their arsenal.... I wouldn't take offence to whatever garbage they're spitting out, it upsets and annoys most of the people who aren't in the cross hairs as well.

              My default online gaming setup is to "mute all" and have a separate instance running for friends voice chat, I learnt in 2004 (through counter strike) that this was the only way to stop idiots.

                I used to have a keybind when the chat got particularly vitriolic that would only have the text up for a split second before it faded :P

                I don't generally get offended by those sorts of comments, but my point is that we should never accept it as OK behaviour with statements like "yep, that's part of gaming/the Internet".

                I guess my point is that I'd love to see a big push from the gaming community at large to start vilifying those sort of comments, but it never happens...which is a shame because if it shifted from insults to actual sledging you could see some amazingly funny stuff, a la cricket :D

                Last edited 23/11/15 4:04 pm

                  The reality is, it is part of gaming... and for the past 11 years I've circumvented it because noone has a good system of culling it out besides the mute button. I thought MS were bringing out a rating system like uber where you could downvote random people to stop them doing this... haven't seen anything about it.

                  It is not "OK" behavior and if I see someone do it IRL I'll say something about it... otherwise there's not much more you can do about it when you're on the receiving end. It's all the same smack talk and if someone is really suggesting that one word over another is worse... it's not.... it's all the same.

                  I would advise anyone to not read or bait into it and to not take any personal offence to it, it's usually someone else in taking out their frustrations out on the world... feel sorry for them if anything.

          the problem is Rize that a lot of these remarks, like fag, along with racial slurs and the like are being misused and therefore misinterpreted. im Greek myself, but i have a vast circle of friends who are of mixed ethnicity's, and various sexual orientations. You've gamed with some of us as well.

          we drop gay comments, with phrases like "take it up the arse", or "bend over", to racial slurs between each other (with the bendover parts a reference to my Greek ancestors experimentation days!), but absolutely NONE of it is ever literal, and we never mean it as a sign of disrespect. its kinda hard to explain but at the end of the day, its just friendly banter.

          I totally agree, it may seem highly inappropriate but basically, we are all dicks, and this is how we insult each other. i can see see how it may look from the outside, but anyone gaming with us, regardless of race, sexual orientation, or whatever, is treated the same.

          basically i will swear at everyone regardless of who they are, and without any expectation that im going to offend anyone. just like i wont be offended with anything thrown at me...

          and at the end of the day, we say goodnight and look forward to our next gaming session!

          but yes there are still REAL judgemental, homophobic and racial dicks out there

          Last edited 24/11/15 3:24 pm

      The fact is, homophobia IS still quite prevalent, and people DO judge. If everyone was like you, then what you said would be perfectly true. They're not, and that's a shame. We are slowly moving towards true acceptance, but the fact is we aren't there yet. It's excellent that you don't judge, and I think your heart's in the right place, but you aren't right in assuming everyone is actually ok with homosexuals or trans genders.

      • This comment is not available. This comment is not available. This comment is not available. This comment is not available.

        This comment is not available.

          Yeah pretty much. I'm getting a little sick of everyone carrying a torch when in fact they should learn most people are dicks and will judge you regardless of who you are or what you do.

          Last edited 23/11/15 1:36 pm

          Yeah things will never change, let's all just embrace the status quo FOREVER.

            Don't think that's what he's saying.

              Social equality is never reached because those seeking equality never seem to see themselves as equal.

              Last edited 23/11/15 1:59 pm

                *Social equality is never reached because those who are already "equal" don't seem see that others are not.

                Fixed it for ya...

                  No fix required. So far everyone has said gays are fine, welcome, accepted at gaming conventions which even cater to them with the panels....

          • This comment is not available. This comment is not available. This comment is not available. This comment is not available.

            This comment is not available.

              That's literally what you're saying though:

              "You are not born with an entitlement to being liked, tolerated, or respected; these are things that are earned, and unfortunately there are those who believe that someone being homo or black or super mutant or whatever is a good enough reason on its own to completely withhold that due to their own selfish, peculiar predilections. It's not going to change."

              • This comment is not available. This comment is not available. This comment is not available. This comment is not available.

                This comment is not available.

                  Okay, so we shouldn't have gay clubs.
                  We shouldn't have award ceremonies that celebrate black music.
                  We shouldn't have women's sporting events.

                  This isn't segregation. It's about empowerment and about people being provided with a space to be themselves. Segregation is a completely different thing. Completely. Segregation the way you're talking about is about people in a position of power enforcing boundaries. Like, apartheid in South Africa.

                  This is about a minority group themselves creating a space. This is them saying, actually I'd quite like a place where I can hang out with like-minded people without fear. If queer people believe they need and would like that space, I don't necessarily think it's cool to be like NO THAT'S NOT RIGHT. THIS IS WRONG. You haven't lived in their shoes. You haven't walked that walk.

                  Can you seriously not see the difference here?

                  In addition, I'm almost 100% certain you would be welcome at GX Australia! You would be.

                  No probs -- we're prob not gonna agree on this. But appreciate the edit (thumbsup)

                  You understand this isn't segregation at all though, right? You don't have to be queer to attend, that's just the focus of the con. Literally the only people who aren't invited to this event are dicks. If you are not a dick, buy a ticket and enjoy a good gaming con. If you are a dick, well...that's a different discussion.

                Amazing how differently the same paragraph can be interpreted. I read it as "people are dicks, learning to deal with that will help you get ahead" as opposed to "stay the course and keep it conservative!"

                Oh plain text, you're such a bastard.

                No, that's interpretation. I feel like the level of certainty displayed over the words and intentions of others is a little strange, other people exist and may or may not be stupid. Generally, it's more progressive, holistic and considerate to take the route of "may not" instead of being so definitive in our demonisation.

                I can't reply to the post I want to, but your next reply here really helped me to understand why they wanted to do it.

                Thanks for putting it in a perspective I can understand Mark.

                Last edited 23/11/15 8:32 pm

              I don't think so at all, that's entirely the point. We have two options - drive/support change and acceptance, or accept the status quo forever. Consider when it was socially unacceptable for women to vote. The perception was that women weren't equal, that they needn't have that right as they were incapable of making decisions about laws or positions of power. That perception no longer exists, in fact it seems silly now. Yes there are anti-feminists, and in that regard you're correct, some people will always feel a certain way about things. But the point is that the perception was eventually embraced by the majority, when the majority initially held the other view.

              That isn't the case in Australia yet in relation to same sex couples. It's getting there, but unless we support this change, rather than accepting the prejudice even though we don't agree, then of course it stays the same.

              This attitude is the antithesis of change - you're saying it's always going to be like this, ignore the haters and move on. No. We don't have to.

                I don't think people are against change, I definitely support it. I will not, however withhold considered criticism just because it may challenge my values. Sometimes stuff I believe in deserves criticism for a myriad of reasons. Sometimes it relates to climate change, sometimes it's gender equality, sometimes it's an LGBT issue, sometimes it's religious etc. I simply don't think it's healthy for our cognitive minds to take a back seat to support. I think considered criticism leads to informed refinement and informed refinement leads to greater efficacy and a sense of accountability. It's pretty much how we learn in groups. We're all a diverse group, so we should try and progress in a way that enables and allows those of us whom haven't yet, to actually learn.

                Right now, we use a deficit model to fight ignorance, we're combative, self-indulgent and emotional. It's nice to simply say "fight the status quo" like an idiot but this leaves out basically, well... everything required to do such a thing. You need more than support to improve the standing of minorities in the eyes of the majority. I understand the role of "empowerment" in the fight, I do. I simply don't think it ends there. I think that once people have been empowered, there needs to be a continued direction with a clear goal - right now, we have so many uneducated people taking up causes like they're sports teams, creating this adversarial dynamic whilst not having the skill to engage in clear and informed debate. It all just amounts to noise, sure the prejudiced haven't gotten a clear message through but neither have you, you've simply patted yourself the back and preached to the converted - feels good, adds a sense of self-importance but nothing was accomplished.

                People like to empower themselves with notions like "not having to" put up with hate, you're right, you don't. I'm not sure how this leads to continually indulging in dramatic statements over an educated, planned, informed and considered approach. If the goal is for every individual to indulge in drama, then yes, this is all cool - if the goal is to put an end to prejudice then you're not going to find any measured success.

            Just going to repeat one of my above comments:

            Reverse discrimination is not the answer.

              "Reverse discrimination" is not actually a thing. Discrimination is discrimination.

              But even if it was a thing, GX isn't doing that. It's not turning heterosexual people away at the door, it's just celebrating a specific part of gaming culture. Events like PAX cover these themes and issues, but it's not their main focus. And that's fine, but it means there's room for events like this that focus on specific things that, as Liam says, "might not concern the broader gaming audience".

              It's not segregation: everyone is welcome to go!

                Of course it's not PAX's main focus, because they take the everyone is welcome approach from the start like basically any other 'normal' convention. Everyone.

                There's no list at the door inadvertently highlighting one group, or groups, as being 'more' welcome than others. No matter which way you cut it that's exactly what such a focus does, even though it's obviously not the intent.

                I get why such conventions or such exist primarily focused at one group or another. However in this day and age I feel it has a lot more to do with people feeling excluded when they're actually not anymore; And I absolutely believe such focuses do more to create divides between groups of people than they do to bring them together.

                Could you imagine if someone called for a gaming convention with a focus on straight people? Even if it was clearly stated that all were welcome the backlash would be nightmarish.

                [edit] Didn't see thefong's post below earlier, which basically covers a lot of what I said. Along with making a few other good points that I didn't.

                Last edited 23/11/15 4:43 pm

                  They wouldn't have needed their Diversity Space thing, if they were committed to "everyone is welcome" beyond PR.

            Exactly, we need to do something about this, like needlessly making a hobby with nothing to do with sexuality all about sexuality. In fact, let's make a gaming convention, but only target it towards a specific group, and leave others to feel ostracised needlessly. We'll tell them they're welcome, but make sure in the description to leave out certain groups, so they'd feel awkward attending something that literally has nothing to do with the reason they've been left to excluded.

            Changing the status quo, one needlessly politically correct special flower convention at a time.

            Alternatively, maybe people could stop pushing their own opinions and agendas into subjects, that, let's face it, have nothing to do with the point they're trying to make. Maybe if both sides stop pointing out their differences, and making each other feel out of place, it wouldn't be so much of an issue to begin with.

          Except for us straight, white men. We are almost universally respected for who we are, just because we were born with a white penis.

      Couldn't care less tbh

      If people want their own specifically targeted convention, where they celebrate more than a singular aspect, let them eat cake.

      It's literally no skin off my back.

        I agree. In the past I'd think it was silly to have a gaycon because gay or straight we are gamers. But if gay gamers want their own show so they can hang out with people who share similiar life choices, good on them and good luck. It's not mine or anyone elses business to argue.

      I think he explains this quite well in the article.

      Not sure why you got so many downvotes. As a hetrosexual I agree 100%. No one cares if your gay and holding hands/kissing or talking shite. Seriously. I really can't see the logic behind why people, who in the past have been so vocal about being treated equal, would actively seek segregation? Whole article comes across as someone suffering from special snowflake syndrome.

        It's not about segregation. It's about having a space where you don't feel like an outsider. It's about creating somewhere to let your guard down.

        Imagine living every day of your life where there are assholes that cause you grief simply because of who you are. Sure, everyone has to deal with assholes from time to time but that's nothing compared to the constant barrage some people have to deal with. Now imagine that you could have be away from that. Not just away from that but in a place where you can trust everyone.

        How is that not a good thing?

          It's not hard to imagine. It's called high school.

            Yeah now imagine that following you even after you left high school.

          Yeah but do you see any of that at PAX or other gaming conventions? I really haven't to be honest, if anything I thought PAX bent over backwards to make the convention as fun and safe as possible for anyone and everyone. And I got to play games (win win right?)

          Hell, most of us older geeks are just stoked that there are these conventions at ALL compared to as recently as 5 years ago. Why on earth would we want to start splintering off already?

            When people make comments like this:
            I actually felt a little overwhelmed by the panel choices this year as they were all so focused, I felt ostracized from the convention because all I wanted to do was play games and celebrate gaming as a whole. Why do we end up getting so many political/social movements now being attached to gaming?

            Then yes, yes I am seeing it at PAX. You feel ostracized because minorities want to talk about their experiences? Have you ever considered that people can have a different perspective from yours and talking about it is exactly celebrating gaming as a whole.

              I can't think of a response that won't make me sound like a bigoted idiot (you've probably already judged me as such). I have a problem with people putting walls up around them when the aim of the game is to have fun, which most likely stems from me thinking gaming is still meant to be a fun past-time we can all enjoy together.

              By all means people should be able to discuss their situations/experiences in a supportive forum. I'm a bit offended you're immediately assuming I don't want people to celebrate gaming that way. This year's program felt unbalanced to me, that's all. I was trying to highlight that as someone who just wants to have fun etc, it felt very serious this year compared to the last 2 years I attended.

              My poorly worded response which you've quoted was merely a "don't push too far the other way, we should all be enjoying ourselves regardless of creed" but I fucked it up. Ostracized was too strong a word.

              I think laughter, sharing experiences and generally enjoying each other's company with a common bond over gaming will do more to help everyone be more accepting.

                I think you needed to step back and think about exactly what you've said. Based on your more recent comments, you've done that.

                  I have. I didn't want to sound as dickish as I did with my original comment. I mostly just sat there thinking "but we do accept you, we do want you to take part" without thinking that not everyone thinks along that same train of thought. We can't all have it so easy sadly :/

          Shouldn't we be trying to create more environments where everyone feels confortable to let there guard down together though (i.e. at a general gaming convention like PAX) rather than only feeling safe in small groups that are like them?

          Last edited 23/11/15 1:50 pm

            Progress is easier in small steps.

              Progress is best when action has been deeply considered.

                That sounds a lot like an excuse not to do anything until it has been "deeply considered".


          "Safe Spaces"

          It seems like there's an entire generation who is seriously so uneducated they've been rewriting concepts arbitrarily with no consideration, research or perspective informing them and a media facilitating ignorance by explicit definition. As someone who's spent so much time in academia - it terrifies me how closed and transparently defensive people (and even Mark, today) are of alternate perspectives. We all know you don't learn by silencing, by generalising or demonising - so why is it such a priority that we actively engage in the means that cultivated all of the problems we have now? It's almost like the definition of the word "consider" has changed without people noticing. Now, it means "legitimize", because insecurity has overtaken cognition as our main filter to view the world.

          To clarify, considering, exploring or acknowledging an alternate viewpoint is not legitimizing it. There's obviously a massive difference between hate speak and criticism of writing or presentation but we routinely see Kotaku and other publications treat it like it's the same thing in an effort to show arbitrary support. (since it isn't educated or considered - the actions required for it to be defined as such don't exist in the construction of the piece - as a perspective)

          Doesn't this just change the status quo to something else instead of challenging the actual idea? I'm a staunch supporter of the LGBT community and consider myself empathetic and holistic in perspective but I'm also an advocate for critical thinking - It's exquisitely painful that these qualities don't seem to be compatible with eachother at this point in time.

          To clarify, this is all to do with the narrative conventions used in the article, not the event in question. Totally support it. I'm just not an "ends justify the means" kinda person.

          Last edited 23/11/15 1:57 pm

          Its not like he walks around with a sign saying I AM GAY. So he wants/needs special recognition as a gay, that happens to be a gamer, im a gamer, and my sexual orientation is noones business

            That's because nobody cares when you're normal.

            I can walk down the street holding my girlfriend's hand. Nobody bats an eye but we're effectively displaying a neon sign that says "we're heterosexual". A gay couple does the same and suddenly they're shoving their sexuality down everyone's throats.

            A convention like GX Australia gives LGBT people a space where they can feel normal. Don't underestimate how valuable that can be.

            • This comment is not available. This comment is not available. This comment is not available. This comment is not available.

              This comment is not available.

                Normal is an assumption people make when they see you. You're part of "us" until you do something abnormal and then you become "them".

                Normality differs from person to person and asshats have a very restrictive definition of normal.

              If you're creating a special space, and purposely filling it predominately with a set group of people, and claiming you need to do so to feel normal, the problem isn't everyone else, it's you. You're literally going out of your way to point out you're different, then saying you want to be treated the same.

        • This comment is not available. This comment is not available. This comment is not available. This comment is not available.

          This comment is not available.

            It's not gating off though, you don't have to be part of that specific community to attend. In fact just about every event like this welcomes people of any preference.

            It's just a celebration of more than one thing is all.

              How do you distinguish something like this from something like PAX? In both cases everyone is welcome regardless of their preferences, the main focus of the event is gaming, there's a mix of attendees of all natures and preferences, there's security and a focus on inclusion, and there's always a chance some douchebags will make it in regardless. In both cases you don't have to be part of a specific community to attend, the doors are open to everyone as long as they're nice to each other.

              I have no issue with gay gaming conventions, I'm just curious where the distinction is drawn in your mind between the two events. Or if perhaps you have insight into why the author feels like he isn't in PAX's target audience, which as far as I know is just 'gamers'.

                Easy, one is a celebration of gamers and pop culture and the other is a celebration of gamers, pop culture and homosexuality.

                If both welcome everyone then there really is no issue what is being celebrated.
                The fact Pax is trying to break down the division in the world of gaming is a great thing, but an alternative in no way detracts from that cause just as Pax itself doesn't eliminate the need or want of different interest groups to gather and celebrate.

                If the author feels something like this is more his thing, then that is his to own and far from me to question.

                  Does GX celebrate homosexuality, though? The Kickstarter and website seem to be carefully worded to say that it's about creating a place where everyone is welcome regardless of sexuality, where queer people can feel comfortable but not specifically celebrating any particular sexuality.

                  I didn't mention PAX to imply there could be only one convention; naturally alternatives are welcome. I mentioned it as a comparison between what seem to be two groups striving for the same goal, and whether that gels with the suggestion in the article that GX's approach is necessary.

        It's not about "actively seeking segregation," but it is about establishing a space where people who FEEL segregated from wider gaming communities on account of their sexuality can meet.

        Sure,you may have no issue with gay couple holding hands- that's great, and it's a sign that you're a good person!- but unfortunately not everyone is that way. Even in spaces where nothing bad has happened, the perception is important- the feeling of being in a dudebro, masculine heterosexual space (which is what gaming MARKETING often caters to) when that's not you is uncomfortable.

        In addition, and perhaps also more important, while the games audience may be like that, there's a very, very legitimate discussion about representation of GLBTI in games and how they're marketed. as the author pointed out very well. We may not be conciously excluding people, but the industry as a whole isn't conciously including people (all that often) either.

          people who FEEL segregated from wider gaming communities Don't take this the wrong way but isn't that a personal issue? Something that you should try and get help with? It does come off as a bit of paranoia that EVERYONE is judging you and deeming you "insert what you feel". A good portion of people just wouldn't care.

          It really doesn't bother me if there is a GLBTI convention for games but where does it stop? Should there be religious ones as well? What about race or ethnicity? By all accounts they get hit with the same "Judgements".

            Should there be religious ones as well? What about race or ethnicity?
            Would it be a problem if there was? Not trying to flame, I honestly want your opinion.

              Me? No not at all. It's just taking away from the main point of the convention tho - gaming. I just don't really understand why race religion sexual orientation "INSERT X HERE" has to come into play? Can't it just be about gaming?

                It absolutely can be, and that's what conventions like PAX are about. In a perfect world all conventions could be about the raw hobby/whatever and nothing else, but unfortunately (to use a hilariously tired phrase) this is not a perfect world.

                As an aside, it's really hard writing replies to people here without sounding condescending or snide...

                  I think you're right. The level of acceptance of a particular subset of the world is what I enjoy most about PAX - in this case, gamers. People can get dressed up or sit around playing 3DS or watching people play LOL or spend all day in the board games or miniature painting area or whatever, feeling included and comfortable and completely unjudged. Nobody is going to call them names or snicker at them or threaten irrational violence. It's amazing and this feeling is the main reason I keep returning.

                  Now extend that to a smaller subset of society: gamers whose sexual preferences place them in a minority. Don't they also deserve to feel the same level of inclusion at a large-scale get-together? If you don't want to go, that's fine! Just don't stand around calling them names, or snickering, or threatening irrational violence. Just be happy that both sets of people have somewhere they can be happy.

            Sure, people might not feel that way, but that doesn't mean that people can't put on a convention deliberately catering for those who do. Hell, no one's putting a gun to your head and making you or I attend. In an ideal world, everyone would have their needs met by PAX, or EB Expo, or any other convention, but there's no issue with putting on a specialist convention.

            A lot of the comments here (btw, I don't want to be perceived as just taking a dig at you specifically, because I'm not) are saying "everything is already good," but if someone doesn't feel that way, and we want gaming to be a broad church, we should support a con that will let people build their confidence in being a represented gamer.

            As for your second comment, it absolutely doesn't have to stop there. Why can't there be a convention focused on racial diversity in games?

      There's two sides to this.
      Yes, we all like to think that we are inclusive people, and that we don't care if two guys or two girls show affection in public towards each other, but I don't think you're very aware of the stigma associated with being gay.

      People do look, people do stare, and people do judge. You don't notice it unless you're on the receiving end of it. It feels like you're living under a microscope at times.
      Even just a glance from someone walking by can feel like they're staring at you for an eternity.

      I'm not saying that everyone does this. In fact, most people probably aren't, but there's times you can't shake that feeling, like you don't belong, because unfortunately most gay people are taught from an early age that they are different. It can make you feel unwanted, unwelcome at times.

      So yeah, having a safe space where you can go and be yourself would be comforting to those who aren't as confident in themselves as other gay people. Slightly segregating, sure, but it'd be better if you were supportive of the event to help install confidence in those who do attend who maybe aren't so confident in attending regular conventions.

        People do look, people do stare, and people do judge

        Doesn't matter what you do whether you're gay straight or trans tall short skinny fat muscle bound - people will judge you. Society is built around it (hello facebook). At the end of the day people just need to be comfortable in their own skin - stop worrying what others think! If you have issues with it - get help.

          Honey, that's a very easy thing to say when you haven't been taught from your whole early childhood, and sometimes even into your adult life, that you're different, and not in a good way.
          Getting bullied for being gay, being conditioned to think that you don't fit in, being made to feel lesser for a large portion of your life over something that you have no choice over.
          So what if they, we, occasionally want a place where we can go and avoid that feeling of judgement.

          Don't preach to me.

          • This comment is not available. This comment is not available. This comment is not available. This comment is not available.

            This comment is not available.

              With no hint of sarcasm, I think it's brilliant that you don't need this gaming convention...but maybe others feel like they do?

            No intention to preach. What happened to you is absolutely without a doubt terrible. But it is still something you have to come to terms with. From my point of view segregation isn't the answer. Your only fueling the notion that you are different - not to be accepted as normal. Having a place where you can go and avoid judgement is fine but do you really need a different gaming convention to do it?

            To be clear i have no issues if there is one but i can't understand the need for it and imo it's only fueling the exact issues you are having (if people never see it - it will never be considered normal).

              Again though, it's easy to sit there and say that it isn't needed when you aren't on the receiving end of the judgement and persecutions.
              I, myself, didn't get bullied. You know why that is? Because I hid being gay. Another shitty thing about being gay that people overlook. Hiding who you are can be just as bad as getting persecuted for who you are. I couldn't be myself for a good 7 years of my life in fear of persecution. Since I realised at 14, to when I came out at 21. That time sucked. It would have sucked if I came out in highschool too.

              So, I'm over it, Sweetie I'm well and truly over it, but you're damn right that I'm going to stand here and advocate that some people do need it. Hopefully not forever, but right now? People need it, and that's not up to you to say that they don't.

                You're confusing "need" and "want". Nobody *needs* a gaming convention.
                Also, how very judgmental of you to dismiss other commenters with that "you don't know what it's like" nonsense, without knowing a damn thing about them or the lives they've led.

          Or a rad group of friends you can have a good time with. That also helps a lot :D

      I have to agree. You want acceptation and validation? It's sad that it is like this, but I'm afraid that you'll have to earn it, in the same way that once, that black woman sat down on the seat for white people in the bus. Segregating yourselves, (as much as it will feel nice to be among kindred spirits) will only contribute to maintain this "us and them" status quo and things will never change.

        It almost sounds like you're saying we needed to engage in slavery so black people could earn the right to be human?

          uh? How many hoops of logic are you going through? The actions of that woman were necessary because discrimination /already/ existed. Similarly, discrimination against same-sex couples already exists and they need to fight against it.

            Only one; there shouldn't have been a bus just for white people. Equality doesn't need to be earned; it's should be expected.

            However this is not the case; and as such the communities who are discriminated against should have the freedom and right to congregate where they feel comfortable. They aren't excluding anyone but they are being clear of the target demographic. Much like a gay bar; is that considered segregation as well?

              Look, I'm not saying that discrimination should be the status quo or something to be expected. It's messed up that it is, but shutting eyes and ears and chanting "this is not how thing should be" is not going to magically make us appear in that superior reality. Sadly, things are how they are and it falls on the shoulders of this generation and perhaps next, too, to change things with your own two hands rather than run and corral yourselves in a cozy, friendly bubble where you can pretend everything is alright. Such behaviour will literally do nothing to change public perception.

              To answer your question, I believe a gay club is different in the sense that, like straight clubs, they are places to meet and pick up potential romantic/sexual partners. Having a place of that kind for your own means that you won't be awkwardly having to guess whether the person you have your eyes on has your same orientation. What would be the benefit of a gay game convention, on the other hand? Don't you go to those for the games? Wouldn't such restricted demographic meant that it involves many less expositors and participants? As I said in my first post, the only thing that it would do is foment the "us vs them" mentality some people have.

              Last edited 23/11/15 11:48 pm

      I'm bi and I still agree with this.
      Segregation is not the answer. Sorry Liam but I am a staunch supporter of equality, not reverse-discrimination.

        Hey! No need to apologise, different opinions are what make awesome conversations. :D GX Australia is welcoming to everyone, including straight people! That's part of the point. :)

        Reverse discrimination does not exist. They are not discriminating against you.

      I completely agree however i had a discussion about this where the point was made that as long as homosexuals FEEL that they are not accepted then a convention like this was justified. I believe that it would be better to make an effort at pre-existing gaming conventions to make homosexuals feel welcome without drawing attention to them as this would make everyone happy and be a lot cheaper. frankly i think the real reason conventions like this exist is that companies use it to create yet another 'demographic' to sell to and in theory make a lot more money.

      How does a GX convention impact anyone arguing against it at all? How does it take anything from you in any sense whatsoever?

        I take the most common argument here to be that it fragments the community along lines that aren't particularly related to what the community is about, which is gaming. I'm sure a lot of people agree that the ideal situation would be for the world as a whole, the gaming community and its conventions to not care at all about your race, sexuality or zombification status (the struggle is real), and that we're not at that point yet, it's just a question of whether something like this is a necessary small step in the right direction, or if it puts barriers in the way of reaching that ultimate goal.

        I'm not advocating any particular argument, for the record, this is just how I'm interpreting other comments here.

      See, this is my kneejerk response to the proposal here and for the record, I'm not at all against a gaming con with a queer focus, or intended as a safe space for LBGTQ gamers and enthusiasts. But I just don't "get" why anyone needs to be anything but a gamer at a gaming con.

      Obviously the flip side of that coin is, no, I don't "get" it. I've never had to feel any kind of persecution for my sexuality, and because heterosexuality is the social "default", that feeling has never pervaded my character.

      I don't see the need for a queer gaming con, because I'm not queer. I like to believe that the gaming community is all-inclusive and that homosexual gamers and couples, and while I believe that a gay couple would have no issue or be considered remarkable or otherwise draw attention at a general gaming convention, I'm just not in a position to make that assessment on their behalf.

      So, I agree with you. But I also can't claim to fully understand what motivated the writer to feel this way, so I don't want to be dismissive of his views.

      I came on to post something just like this.

      If you want a Gaymer show, then go ahead and organise it... but I seriously doubt it is NEEDED. Sure, toxic gamers will continue to trash talk about being gay/black/fat etc. They are toxic, not normal. They insult ALL of us and drag down the general image of what it is to be a gamer. Games are fun, so gamers ought to be generally fun loving. Weather that means you are gay/straight/bi or even not sexually preference at all should not matter... should not...but will to the toxic (hopefully) minority.

      Also, wide acceptance of homosexuality is still quite new. Woman's liberation has been around longer and is still fighting to achieve true equality. Give it time.

      Either way, I hope you find happiness in what you are doing.

        You don't NEED any number of things that you still feel are necessary to your quality of life. Instead of thinking of 'need' as "I will die without it", think of it as "My life will be significantly improved by its presence".

        Like, say... free healthcare. You can live without it. Many people never have any need for it to exist. But for many people, it means the difference between just getting by and having a decent quality of life. In that way, we all need things we don't actually need in the strictest sense.

      You are very clearly an outside observer looking in and only scraping the surface level of a very deep issue. To say such things is pure ignorance.

      You nailed it! This is everything that I was thinking about reading this article. I was like mate, you're a gamer, a gaming convention is for gamers. I feel bad that he doesn't feel comfortable holding hands with his partner and I wish that we lived in a world where everyone was accepting but that's not the case.

      However, I still feel that a queer gaming convention is is bringing sexual orientation into a domain where it would be better if it was left out. When I play online I don't care if you're bi, gay, straight or somewhere in between as long as you're respectful and there to have fun!

      well said, 100% agree, this article is lame

      Last edited 24/11/15 5:43 am

      Quick! Tell people how they should feel and what kind of social lives they can have! Tell private enterprise how they are allowed to cater to only the markets you deem worthy!

      Do it for inclusivity! They are the real bad guys with their weird "wanting shit that I don't care about" bullshit.


      Feels segregated, so then decides that creating an exclusive event for a sub-group of eople is totally the right way to fix that segregation right? stupid.

      That is my problem with society right now. EVERY SINGLE equality argument from the masses is essentially flawed, in that EVERY SINGLE argument revolves around the better treatment and less segregation of one group, by performing acts and/or creating changes that ONLY affect that group. Essentially CREATING inequality in one form, to satisfy the inequality of another form. Go ahead and try to prove me wrong on that.

      True equality, is when people like that stop thinking that people give a shit about them being gay, and does whatever they want, wherever they want. That is the only way this person will ever achieve equality. By not asking for special treatment, and not giving any to others.

      Last edited 24/11/15 1:07 pm

      Why do you gamers even have gaming conventions? Why segregate yourselves, you should just have "hobby" conventions that suit all interests, instead of having it be all about you!

    Best of luck with your event!
    As someone who is completely unqualified to comment of such subjects, id never considered lbgti gamers, as being different from gamers, as its none of my concern who does what with whom.
    I feel bad that some humans feel they must have a separate gaming event because of their gender or sexual orientation. maybe i naively hoped that the gaming community shared your sentiment of your last paragraph.

    I don't understand what this comment does to further the discussion in any way

    Good luck with your gamer conference. Hope it gets off the ground and it is a success.

    Anything that promotes video games, community and the ethos of tolerance and equality should be encouraged.

      "Anything that promotes video games, community and the ethos of tolerance and equality should be encouraged."

      I agree, if that's what this does...

      This does not promote equality. To compare to something else, this is a group of boys creating a 'boys club' because they were sad they couldn't join the 'girls club'.

      It's still an exclusive group.

    Every time I see a straight couple holding hands, or kissing, or hugging in public, it’s a little painful.
    Shouldn’t it be okay for me and my partner to express even a small amount of affection in public and not be judged for it?
    You're judging others, saying you find it painful to watch them and then expecting others not to judge you?
    For what it's worth (as an individual straight guy), I couldn't care less about gay, straight, whatever people holding hands, kissing, etc. Obviously crazy PDA's make me a little uncomfortable, as they do anyone else but regular affection... No.
    I personally don't see a need for segregation of events, if people are judging others randomly, that seems like a problem they should fix, not a reason to exclude and segregate the community.

    I always thought the whole idea of equality was to include and stop treating people like they're different. Why do people keep trying to exclude instead? I honestly don't understand how that helps the problem. It seems to me more like it shines a light on parts of the community saying "look, we're different!" Isn't that what we're trying to stop - by saying there is no normal/standard?

    Edit: (for clarity) I've read some of the other comments here and seen this bit mentioned..
    For me, the core is this: most gaming events, including PAX, are primarily targeted at people who aren’t me.
    This is really what I'm talking about so I thought I'd mention it here. Having been to all three PAX Aus' I have to ask, How exactly do you see PAX as targeted at people who aren’t you? PAX is targeted at gamers in general... even looking at the panels, there were probably more equality/social justice-style panels this year than gaming related ones. There was the diversity lounge (as always) and even gender-nuetral toilets. I honestly can't see how it's aimed at one gender, sex, race, whatever - more than others...

    Last edited 23/11/15 1:42 pm

      You're judging others, saying you find it painful to watch them and then expecting others not to judge you?

      It's painful for them because they're seeing people have what they can't have.

        I know many who have this, "can't" is a massive stretch - it just comes with more obstacles.

          Last I checked it's still illegal for them to get married? Or have kids? Or have a religion brand their sexual preference as a sin? But hey if all that's been sorted you're right "can't" is a massive stretch. Bad @trjn next time read up on the news before commenting!

    So we should exclude a group of people because of their sexual orientation? #GaymerGate

      No one will be excluded from GX. The entire point of it is to just make it more inclusive to one group.

    I've been waiting for this article! Now I have something to link people to rather than having to type it all out from scratch.

    I am not gay. I have general social anxiety, depression and OCD. I also don't feel comfortable walking down the street because I feel like everyone is staring at me, or notices the things I am self-conscious about; Even though (logically speaking) they definitely cannot know those things about me and probably do not care. The ONLY place I feel comfortable is when I am playing games or discussing games whilst attending a gaming event. I want to be around people who have the same love of games in their heart. I don't care if they also love guys and/or girls too. I want to be included in your love of games Liam.

      Hey <3 Come along! We'll have a bunch of panels on mental health, and GX Australia is welcome to everyone. We'd love to see you and hang out :)

        If you target anything at a certain group of people only, you're doing the opposite of making it welcome to everyone.

          GX Australia is open to everyone, and we'd love to see you! Just like PAX is primarily targeted at your 'average gamer', while still working extremely hard to make minorities feel welcome, GX Australia is for straight people too. :)

            PAX is targeted at Gamers. All gamers, big, small, trans, cis, gay, straight, black, white. You're the one trying to act like a special little flower saying that's not good enough, and that you need your own convention. Seriously, what the hell does sexuality have to do with gaming? My brother is gay, he's been open about it since he was a kid, and we've been gaming together since we were children, from the SNES, the N64, Xbox, Xbox 360 etc, and we've attended the last 3 PAX's together. Not once has he stopped and say mid Halo campaign though, "gee, I could appreciate this a lot more if I was straight". He's never felt out of place at PAX. Hell, why would he? It's not like people are running around with signs with their gender/sexual preferences on them, we're there to play games FFS. I just showed him this article, and even he can't figure out why there needs to be a seperate Queer Convention.

            That's like saying straight people are welcome in a gay bar.

            Sure, it may be technically true, but very few straight people would ever dare to show their faces.

          Couldn't that be said of PAX? Do you think PAX is unwelcoming to non-gamers?

            It's a gaming convention, for gamers. Look at their posters they put up. "Welcome Home", "A reunion for the family you choose". If people can look at that, and feel it's not enough, because it's not catering to their sexual preferences, then there's clearly something wrong with them. What the hell does it have to do with someone's sexual preference to begin with? I spent half of Saturday at PAX this year learning to paint minis, being shown the proper techniques and methods by a really nice chick sitting next to me, her friends and mine ended up grabbing drinks and dinner that night, and we all exchanged steam contact details, and I'd been playing Dota with her for weeks until she mentioned she had to head off after the match, because she was going out with her girlfriend. Til that point, I had no idea about her sexuality, and to be honest, couldn't care less. Why would I? I made some great new friends, we play games together, and had fun. Why does a hobby with nothing to do with sexuality suddenly need a convention that targets select people based on sexuality?

    I've got to be honest, this seems hugely counter-intuitive to me. You're asking for the same treatment as everyone else (which, by all means, you absolutely should have), but then you want to have an exclusive convention that only makes certain people feel welcome (based and what you said, you're welcoming everyone who isn't a straight, white male). You even said that gaming is an outlet for all people to be themselves, then complained that even PAX (which is hugely inclusive btw, and had multiple panels this year talking about fostering greater diversity for gamers) isn't targeted at you specifically, as if you deserve special treatment. If it's meant for everyone, why would it have to be targeted towards any audience based on sexual preference, or skin colour, or gender identity? Why should it be? It's a gaming convention. It's targeted at gamers. Not straight gamers, or male gamers, or any such nonsense as you seem to imply, just gamers. I may not be gay myself, but I hardly see why your sexuality has anything to do with gaming. I've played board games, card games, PC games, console games, pen and paper role play, and have been for nearly 20 years, and at no point has my sexuality had any affect on any of those. How does who I, or who anyone else is attracted to, have anything to do with playing games? All that creating an exclusive event, that only makes certain people feel comfortable in does, is further create a larger gap between who you consider normal and different. You're literally making the larger issue at hand worse.

      Well said. The article is doing my head in a little. I actually felt a little overwhelmed by the panel choices this year as they were all so focused, I felt ostracized from the convention because all I wanted to do was play games and celebrate gaming as a whole. Why do we end up getting so many political/social movements now being attached to gaming? It boggles my mind when people want to be included but they think they don't feel welcome. Don't stand on your soapbox, get in there and have a good time. We're not all arseholes in this world. Some of us just want to play games :)

      EDIT: @trjn pointed out my middle paragraph makes me sound like a bigoted c**t. I'd just like to point out I in no way thought any of the panels should NOT happen, just thought the balance was very much towards bloody serious topics this year compared to the previous two PAX's.

      Last edited 23/11/15 2:27 pm

        Come on @trjn, talk to me about it. You have well thought out ideas, much more worthy than just a downvote :)

        And you can go to PAX and just play games! It's great!

        But the truth is is that games can't, can't be isolated from the rest of society. As a still in many ways nascent form of culture, there's a very important discussion about how gaming does fit in to political and social movements.

        Do we want to stand as a gaming community that's a monolith and unchangeable, where all games are white male protagonists who shoot aliens, or to celebrate and cultivate a diverse and fluid gaming community? One where we can explore social issues, or discuss representation, or games as art, while all the while STILL being able to shoot aliens and drive cars?

        I put my dollar down on the second option

          After reading the comments for the last 2 hours I've definitely changed my tune. It's always a case of "but why the hell would you want to make yourself stand apart even further?" Now I can see why. I'm a social gamer, so anything that brings people together for a good time is right up my alley.

          However to Trnj's point, that's just one way of looking at it. People get a lot more out of gaming than I do so more power to them :)

      Gamers want games to be considered art but there are already art and entertainment expos, why do we need PAX or any other specific 'gaming' expo. They have some panels on interactive art, showed some games, there isn't any reason for a specific 'video game' specific expo.
      This is the same thing on a smaller scale. We prefer to go to a specific video gaming expo as that is our primary focus, rather than a wider arts and entertainment expo. We can mingle with people who we understand more closely, and can naturally associate with due to common ground.
      Others may prefer a gaymer focused event where they can discuss games freely and with the scope of understanding.
      Just things like saying that people using gay terms as slurs in chat upsets them. At PAX if you discussed that with random people you met you might get a bunch of 'It's harmless, grow up, just ignore it, etc....'. At a specific gaymer focused event you are much more likely to get a more understanding reaction and a more fulfilling and nuanced discussion.

        That's actually the most succinct argument for it I've read so far. Everyone gets fired up and launches into a retort instead of doing what you've just done.

        Cheers for this point, much easier to understand when you think about it like this.

        This is a really good analogy, Tigs. Nice one!

      You're asking for the same treatment as everyone else (which, by all means, you absolutely should have), but then you want to have an exclusive convention that only makes certain people feel welcome (based and what you said, you're welcoming everyone who isn't a straight, white male).

      Not inconsistent at all to say that people should get the same treatment, but right now they don't, and until that's fixed at the broader level it's helpful to carve out spaces where good behaviour is more explicitly required.

      (Liam was also pretty clear that anyone, including straight white males, is welcome - the only thing that's unwelcome is harassment. If you feel that an explicit rejection of anti-queer harassment is an attack on straight white males, you should probably think about why that is.)

      Last edited 23/11/15 5:09 pm

    Despite feeling like much of what was said in the article was manipulative and insincere as well as containing many instances of appropriation (as defined by the conventions of the English language) - I'll support it gladly. Mostly because my friends who identify as homosexual aren't this ridiculously self-indulgent.

      Well that's nice of you. The Kickstarter is linked to in the article!

    I do often speak about queer issues in non-queer spaces, and have been on a multitude of panels @ PAX Australia over the last couple of years! PAX is wonderful, and as I mentioned they've done a huge amount of outreach and some amazing work to make everyone feel included.

    That said, the majority audience for PAX isn't queer and diverse gamers, it's straight gamers, and primarily dudes. :) Both Penny Arcade and PAX Australia have been hugely supportive of us, but that doesn't mean we're their core audience.

    We're creating GX Australia as an actively inclusive space, where the target audience is queer and diverse people.

    I'm glad that you've seen queer couples being affectionate in public, that's fantastic. I wish that were the case for all queer couples, but the reality is we have a whole lot of homophobia, transphobia and racism in this country, whether we'd like to admit it or not.

    It's important to have spaces where you can talk to people who are like you about the issues that you both face. Yes, we can do that at conventions like PAX - and we do! But it's also important for minorities to come together and have a conversation without fear of being ridiculed - even if it is just a fear, and not a likely reality.

      "a whole lot of homophobia" ?

      Haven't seen it, not for years. I think I must be very lucky in the company I keep.

        Yeah I had to check myself on this recently when I sat there going "I don't get why people say there's an issue with misogyny in Australia..." And then I had my eyes opened to the utter douchery that people think is acceptable behaviour towards women. It... hurts my brain. I think I have been very lucky as well to have always had loads and loads of family and friends throughout my life who have been part of the LGBT community.

        Consider yourself lucky that this is the case!!

          I am lucky. In my working life I'm surrounded by straight, gay, black, white, christian, muslim, Iraqi, Indian, Afghan, Chinese, Japanese, Saudi and all things in between. Some have stories that would shiver yer timbers (particularly from the middle-east).

          Everyone's the same and most people are just trying to do their best.

        I am HEINOUS jealous :D Unfortunately it's something I see pretty regularly, even in Melbourne!

        I thought we were pretty much over racism when I was in my twenties, until a point where I moved, changed my routines and job, and was suddenly exposed to it everywhere. Slurs I thought had died out twenty years ago, being used vehemently by teenagers on public transport.

        Definitely lucky in the company you keep.

      Yeah, see, this is wrong. The majority audience for PAX is gamers, that there happens to be more straight male gamers there is purely statistics, as there is more of them in general. Ever heard correlation does not imply causation? You've made the huge assumption, that because something happens, in this case more straight people attending something, they're the target audience, and completely ignored the simple fact that there happens to be more of them, so there's obviously going to a be a higher percentage of them in attendance. You're still avoiding the reason you're choosing to almost segregate yourself to talk about your perspective on games. What does gaming have to do with your sexuality at all? Have you somehow felt left out, or not included at anything at a gaming event based on who you want to bone? Because I couldn't possibly see what that has to do with anything, unless you're going out of your way to make it a problem.

    What utter nonsense.

    You like men or women good for you.
    You don't walk around with signs proclaiming your sexual preference, diseases, fetishes, likes, dislikes etc why even create this segregation and labeling?
    We're all human and just because others like the same sex I dont see why they just cant attend the same conventions etc.
    Guarantee this is only possible in western cultures where political correctness and woe is me attitude rules the day.

    Last edited 23/11/15 1:51 pm

      Ok, yes if you are about to be jailed for being gay or thrown off a high building by ISIS, it is a bit difficult to organise a video gaming convention. But in western liberal democracies we have (and need to defend) the wonderful rights of tolerance, freedom of expression and equality. I don't see what is wrong with a group of people from organising their own community event.

        I don't see what is wrong with a group of people from organising their own community event.

        So you don't see an issue with people creating exclusive events intended for members of that particular group of people, in the name of 'equality'?

        because I do. It's not equality, it's actually the opposite. It furthers segregation and is by nature, discrimination.

      You don't walk around with signs proclaiming your sexual preference

      Don't hold hands with your partner. Don't kiss them or look at them affectionately. Don't express an appreciation for the attractiveness of video game characters that are the same sex as you. Because if you get harassed it's because you were walking around with a sign proclaiming your sexual preference.

        video games don't need politics and bullshit.
        you go to these events for the video games not to dicuss gender issues etc

        Go find a public forum or a gay group to talk.

          "Finding a gay group to talk" seems to be exactly what Liam is doing. I'm glad you've come around to seeing it his way.

          Last edited 23/11/15 5:36 pm

          People keep wanting video games taken seriously and yet we keep seeing this.

    I think the first two paragraphs are pretty much applicable to any public display of affection regardless of orientation. We're still a relatively prudish culture and one that is pushed to be politically correct in everything so even simple displays of affection tend to make people titter and talk in hushed whispers to the person beside them. Not only that, if you're single, or getting over a break up, or any other number of personal reasons then seeing someone doing something that you can't do or are jealous of is always going to make you uncomfortable and pained.

    These kinds of articles are always a little confusing for me as I try to separate out the difference between a convention that focuses on LGTBQ culture and games and one that merely encourages only an LGTBQ audience to attend. I think this is where a lot of the "Why are you segregating yourselves?" comments come from as well as people conflate the difference between target audiences and primary audiences. In any case, it's great that games have become big enough to allow us to start seeing these specialised conventions, though the motivation behind it shows that the gaming community as a whole still has a long way to go.

      I think the first two paragraphs are pretty much applicable to any public display of affection regardless of orientation.

      Having a big ol' pash on a street corner makes people feel uncomfortable regardless of your orientation, but you're not going to get randomly abused for walking down the street holding hands with your opposite-sex partner (and if you think that doesn't happen to same-sex couples because you don't see it, then lucky you, but you're wrong).

    Imagine if a straight person asked for an article dedicated to their discomfort with homosexuality and a 'no gays' event?

    Come on. This shouldn't even be published.

      This comment is inane.

      Liam isn't made uncomfortable by heterosexuality; it's 'painful' because it reminds him of an openness and a freedom that he may not be able to enjoy as a gay man. He isn't begrudging straight people their PDA's or events or whatever, he's lamenting that he can not feel similarly free to act as he chooses.

      Secondly, this is not a 'no straights' event. It's an inclusive event targeted at a different demographic.

      This event in NO WAY would affect you or your life. The article was published clearly to try and raise some awareness for those people to whom it might make a difference.

      It's not all about you.

        Bullcrap, the OP hasn't in any way elaborated in his post examples or specific situations of incidents at game conventions specifically that have led him to feel uncomfortable enough to the point of warranting a 'queer friendly' event for gamers.

        This is a plight faced in every day life, I have a uncle who is a teacher and he is gay, he has been discriminated against getting several roles in his industry, but i haven't seen him asking for a 'queer friendly' school to teach at - you know why? Because in the real world ultimately people get on with it - just like OP should.

        No, actually his comment was spot on.

        If it's okay for a gay person to complain about straight people events, then it should be 100% okay for a straight person to complain about gay people events.



        Which is one simple FACT that most of modern society ignores. You chose to focus on the ONE SIDE of the argument which is socially popular, and ignore the one that isn't.

        It's an inclusive event targeted at a different demographic.


        So you mean, like how ALL gaming events are targeting the GAMER demographic????? OP complains about how PAX and other events are APPARENTLY targeted at straight male gamers (even though there is no official declaration of this) while at the same time, openly and officially declaring that GX is targeted at homosexual gamers. Do you not see the problem with this argument?

        Last edited 24/11/15 2:51 pm

    I feel that if you started a queer gaming convention you'd just be doing more to separate yourselves and create more division.
    Also you say "Shouldn’t it be okay for me and my partner to express even a small amount of affection in public and not be judged for it?". That's not a problem with society, that's a problem for you and you alone. Everyone is judged, it doesn't matter if you are kissing a man, walking around in a steampunk costume or just eating your lunch in a public place.
    I personally don't give a flying f*** if people show affection in public regardless of whom you're showing that affection too (unless it's illegal). Stop caring about the thoughts of people you don't know and will never meet and just live your life.

      I also think that what we try to create in gaming conventions is a place where we can come together and celebrate our similarities, I think that limiting entry to one group of people does the exact opposite of that.

        target audience is LGBTQ+ gamers, but that doesn't mean that entry is limited to them. it's mentioned that it's open to everyone, except for harassers.

      Stop caring about the thoughts of people you don't know and will never meet and just live your life.

      This would probably be a lot easier if there weren't so many people willing to share those thoughts loudly, directly and even violently while you're just trying to go about your day.

    I am completely boggled at the extremes of opinion in the comments. I can confidently say that if you feel you need this event: go nuts. I'm not offended, I'm totally supportive, and I don't feel ostracised, but, more importantly, as a male, heterosexual, middle class, moderate-liberal, red-blooded Australian, this event would have zero impact on my day-to-day life. Just as the Diversity Lounge took zero enjoyment away from me at PAX.

    And I'd get used to that feeling of being judged - it comes with the territory of being South Australian (see also: Collingwood Supporter).

      I'm sorry, but there's absolutely no place for Collingwood Supporters in gaming.

      Get out.

        he has absolutely no place being from South Australia and being a Collingwood supporter either....