Gay Pride 2012: The Geek Agenda
June 23-24 was Gay Pride in Seattle, and the geeks were out in full force. Coordinated by Benjamin Williams (UW Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity) and Zan Christenson (Prism Comics, Northwest Press), Seattle nerds gathered for the first Queer Geek Float for the Seattle Pride Parade.
Among our sponsors were Gamma Ray Games, Northwest Press, The Dreaming Comics, Pink Gorilla, and these two local guys who make some webcomic. Mike and Jerry of PA couldn’t make the parade, but a few of their cohorts marched with us, as did Gamma Ray Games owner Eric Logan. Gamma Ray Games also created our custom 2012 Queer Geeks gay pride t-shirt, given out to the first 50 people to sign up to walk with the float.
The geeky community in Seattle, especially queer geeks, have been brought together in a
big way by Gamma Ray Games opening on capital hill. It filled a void and became a central location for many gamers on the hill and in Seattle. Having a game store that is openly supportive of women and minorities has been a huge factor in the community coming together and getting to know each other. It’s hard to remember a time when it wasn’t there, even though the store has only been open a couple years.
Queer Geeks weren’t the only ones nerding up Gay Pride. Other geeky parade participants included GeekGirlCon and PopCap, and EA had a float in San Francisco’s pride parade. There isn’t much harassment of nerds within the gay community, but anti-gay harassment in gaming and geeky communities is a longstanding issue. Hopefully support from companies like Penny Arcade, PopCap, and EA will encourage LGBT acceptance in the wider gaming community and foster more community among gay gamers and geeks.
After the parade, Seattle Queer Geeks had an afterparty at The Capitol Club on capital hill, complete with gaming consoles loaned by Pink Gorilla and PopCap, and board games supplied by Gamma Ray Games. The ladies played SPANC, as we felt it was appropriate, and I saw a lot of Super Smash Bros. on the screen nearby.
It was a fantastic Gay Pride for the Queer Geeks, and expect to see more from them in the future!