• Gaymers: How one group of LGBT gamers are changing video game stereotypes (The Feed)Source: The Feed
A Sydney group of LGBT Gaymers are trying to change the stereotypes of video gamers. The Feed tagged along to a Gayming night to find out why LGBT people see it as a safe place to interact.
The Feed

24 Nov 2015 - 1:54 PM  UPDATED 24 Nov 2015 - 1:54 PM

Playing video games often comes with the stereotype of being a straight, white, male who spends most of his time alone. For anyone that doesn’t fit that mould, online gaming can be filled with bullying and homophobia.

A Sydney group of LGBT Gaymers are trying to change all of that. The group formed almost two years ago and in 2013 became the first gaming group to march in the Sydney Mardi Gras.

Joshua Meadows is a member of Sydney Gaymers and says it's been a long road to finding acceptance in the video game community.

"I had, actually, in high school more people who thought that it was strange that I played video games than had an issue with me being gay," Mr Meadows said. "So it was something that marked you as some sort of strange nerd who is socially awkward and can’t be around other people."

"It’s hard to play any video game online without being subjected to a litany of slurs and homophobia."

There are now more than 1000 people who are part of the Sydney Gaymers group. Many join the group because it's a place where they can play games and still feel comfortable with who they are.

Brooke Everett, 21, says she's struggled with abuse through video games before but joining the Gaymers group gave her somewhere safe and friendly to belong.

"I get a lot of nasty messages online, calling me a slut, saying I’m only doing it for attention or I must be incredibly ugly and then especially with the homophobia part – because it was bad enough that it was a girl online. But a lesbian, that was something entirely new. Horrible."

"It’s allowed me to be entirely myself. I love gaming. I love women. I love being able to socialize and just be entirely myself. Be a big goofball."