The Gay Gamer Stereotype and the challenges of the industry

Sam’s note: I was nervous about publishing this piece. I think we’d all like to believe that a gamer is just a gamer, but minority groups based on sexuality, ethnicity or even gender would likely say otherwise. I’m glad my piece gave Marco the strength to share his story. I’m terrified he gets hated on by those who don’t see it the same way. I’m hoping these stories inspire, uplift and remind us all that we can be a community of friends gaming together as opposed to anything else. Okay, that’s my bit, I’m out.

If you do not know me well enough, then you probably don’t know that I am well, gay (aka a Gaymer, a term created by the internet and not me). I say it doesn’t impact my life at all, I’m just a gamer… but it does. Every day I face challenges in the industry. Some are because I chose to work in it but some are because of my sexuality. We know that Sam has her own challenges she faces as she tries to kick ass in CS:GO and take names. I was inspired to share mine too.

I read somewhere that being gay is one thing, but being a gay gamer means coming out twice, once in real life, and again as a Gaymer – This cannot be more true. 

A little back story

I came out on my 13th birthday to my mom. We were arguing about who stole my brother’s Playboy magazines. I made it quite clear to her and the family that I am the last person on the planet who is interested in looking at a female’s lady parts, unless they are in a beautiful sequenced gown that I can see shimmering down the runway. Long story short, it took a long time for my brothers to come to terms with who I am, but we are the closest we have ever been, and I love all three of them dearly and would kill for them.

I went to an all-boys school, Jeppe Boys. Yes, me in a boy only school, with my perfectly straightened hair and glossed lips, I didn’t care. But with this came a few issues in my life, both at school and at home. I have been gaming my entire life, mainly because no matter what happened at home or school, how many times I wanted to jump off a building or slit my wrists, I always had a place to escape to in a video game. It was my therapy, it kept me sane and, in theory, saved my life.

Gay Gamer

Fast forward a few years and I am now a full time writer in the video game and tech industry. After starting my own shitty website when I was 16, I am pretty happy where I am today, and I have some people like Pippa and Sam to thank for always giving me the chance where others were threatened by something they did not know. Thank you!

The challenge of being a gay gamer

Honestly, dealing with teenage boys and their small-minded opinions, was nothing compared to being a gay gamer in this industry. It is tough at times. I am really “out there” and comfortable in my sexuality. It can be difficult to connect with with some gamers. A small minority do feed the stereotype of men who lack the slightest social skill and appear to never leave their house. In the same way I may feed a gay stereotype or Sam a girl gamer stereotype. However, I was always taught to embrace what makes me unique. I’ve nailed that.

Gay Gamer

Some people are uncomfortable around me because they don’t understand. Others are uncomfortable with the idea of different. In the end you either understand that I am here because I love what I do and my sexuality has nothing to do with it. That is the most challenging part of my job, meeting new people in the industry who do not understand what I am, and fear the unknown.

An Average Gaming Session

70% of my time is spent playing games with friends, some of these sessions are a bit more unpleasant than others as again, people fear what they do not know. Words like “faggot, bumchum, mophie” and more are always thrown around in a chat party, and although they are not directed at me, I cannot help but feel sad about the state of gaming when it comes to homophobia. Literally nothing is done at all to try and prevent it. No Hashtag- InsertMustFallHere, no developers standing against it. We just have to shut up and deal with it.

Gay Gamer

Just because we are gay does not mean we cannot play games as well as you can, and we are not in your chat party to harass or flirt with you. We are there to play games, that is it. It is an issue I even face with fellow male journos as it really comes across that they believe that I cannot play games. They sound surprised when I tell them that I go flawless three times on a weekend playing Destiny’s Trials of Osiris, or when I have a review up on time, they are speechless to how someone who is gay, could have completed a game in a 48-hour period. It’s called an all-nighter with lots of cheese chips, wine because I do not do beer, and Redbull.

Then religion comes into it, like it always does. I run a Destiny Clan, yes gays can do that too, and we have a highly religious guy in the clan, who I respect. At the same time, I fear the day when he actually finds out that I am what I am. He already gets a little weird when we chat about off-topic things like drag queens and sex changes. I fear I may lose his respect, or worse he leaves the clan after 2 years of being part of it. See, females might be worried about being objectified, gays are worried about being accepted in the first place.

Shashay Away

Gay Gamer

Can a person not like the same sex, fashion, beauty, games, technology, and all thing geek all at the same time? Apparently not. And it’s the general gaming community as much as fellow writers, that need a serious wake up call. Watch an episode of Modern Family or something. Gay people are real, and you have one working in the same industry as you, get used to it. As my dear friend Ru Paul says “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?”







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