It’s taken me a few days to process this past weekend, but I think I’m now ready to take a stab at writing about my experiences.
It all started on August 1, 2012 with a Kickstarter Project. A friend of mine brought it to my attention, and when I first went to the project’s page… I got very choked up. There are times in your life when, after spending a great deal of time training your subconscious to pretend a void doesn’t exist, you are suddenly shocked into facing your reality. This was one of those moments, and soon a tear (or maybe two) found its way down my cheek, and I heard myself whisper, with cracking voice, “Thank you.”
I backed the project immediately.
Over the course of the year, as GaymerX gained more and more traction, some resistance from the general gaming community began to form: Why do you need your own con? To be somewhat blunt, we need our own con because the vast majority of gay gamers don’t like being harassed at mainstream cons; we don’t appreciate our identity being used as an emasculating slur; we’re tired of being confronted and asked the same questions by hundreds of people – most of whom don’t really care about the answers, they just want an excuse to examine the “freak.”
Can you imagine the pure bliss of spending the weekend with a group of people who are just like you? Where you are, finally, part of the normative group? Where you spend the time focusing on gaming, and stories about your experiences with gaming, and listening to vendors talk about stories you can relate to? Of course you can… that’s *every* con for you. But not for us… this was the first time, and believe me, we loved it.
In fact, we loved it so much one blogger’s post about the event ended with a lament:
“I don’t have the right words to describe how much it meant to belong this weekend, or how hard it is going to be to go back to work tomorrow. For two days, I wasn’t ‘the other,’ and it was wonderful; one day I hope I can feel like that all the time.”
Again, that ever-present, formless feeling finally given voice.
Overall, the con was a monumental success. There were some fantastic panels, including ones hosted by EA, BioWare, GayGamer.net, and the ever-wonderful Pandora Boxx.
Ellen McLain (GLaDOS, Portal Series) and John Patrick Lowrie (The Sniper, Team Fortress 2) lead a two-hour panel on Voice Acting – what it’s all about, how they got their start, and tips on how to break into the biz regardless of where you live. They led the panel attendees in a Still Alive sing-along, which ended quite dramatically in a marriage proposal that left the room cheering, and without a dry eye in the house.
The GAYMERS crew held a panel, hosted by The Tester Season 2 winner, Matthew Michael Brown, to show the pilot episode of their web series and to get feedback from the attendees. It looks like it’s going to be a fun show and definitely one to keep an eye out for. Here’s the web preview to give you a taste – they said the pilot episode we saw will be up Soon™
Not to leave everyone out, the Voice Acting Dynamic Duo came back during the GaymerX closing ceremonies to lead everyone in song. Ending, this time, with a standing ovation, and still much tearing up at the thought of this being the final moments of the con. [youtube]7uKEgmrN8PI[/youtube]
I absolutely can’t wait to see what happens next year for GX2 – and I hope I can, even in some small way, help make it a success.