I'm sure you've all seen the recent news surrounding "Gaymercon"; the gaming convention for the homosexual community. If you haven't, I will now give you a brief summary of it. Gaymercon is currently a kickstarter project. It is a gaming convention designed specifically for gamers who are homosexual but, according to currently known information, is not excluding the participation of the heterosexual community.
As with all things that have a social background or impact, a gaming convention for homosexual gamers has gained all kinds of attention; both positive and negative. I will discuss, hopefully briefly though that isn't a certainty with my style of writing, both sides of the coin.
The Positive Attention: This is, largely, from the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) community who see this as a step forward for their rights and a venue for them to gather with people of common status, free of being subjected to heterosexual themes and any recriminations. In defending themselves against the negative views, they state that straight gamers (and people) can't know what it's like to be gay and thus can't understand why a convention like this is both progressive and necessary.
The Negative Attention: This, unfortunately, can be seen as coming from 2 sides. The one side is homophobic and hateful. The other side is only in the negative area because it isn't in the positive area. That is to say that it has nothing to do with homophobia, more about a different kind of logic. Many, and yes this includes myself, do not see any reason for such a convention to exist. The stance is that sexual orientation is irrelevant to being a gamer. What you do in bed has no impact on your games or your gaming skill or why you love to game. In defending themselves against those on the pro-convention side, they state that this convention is creating more divisions among people and fostering further segregation. It is now not a matter of being gay, it is a matter of being a gay gamer.
In the world we live in, we have far too many labels separating us. We create these divides and state that they exist so that they won't exist. It is a vicious paradox that seemingly has no end. Some say Gaymercon is a safe haven for the LGBT community to gather and discuss their favorite hobby. Others say that it promotes homosexuality as a difference that should be separated from the gaming community at large. This is a topic that will see no resolution.
I submit to you though that there should be no additional labels in the area of gamer. I say that "Gamer" is its own label. The only qualification to be a gamer is that you game regularly. Your race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or breakfast choice have nothing to do with your ability to pick up a controller (or keyboard, phone, or tablet) and play your favorite game. When you're playing online, you'll win or lose based solely on your skill (unless someone is cheating) and not on any other aspect of your being. That label, the label of Gamer, should be the only one that matters. Girl Gamer, Guy Gamer, White Gamer, Black Gamer, Gay Gamer, Straight Gamer, they all have one thing in common. At the end of all of those labels is the word Gamer. Eliminate the other labels and exist solely as Gamers.
Anime conventions, sci-fi conventions, comic book conventions; all of these things have something in common. They aren't labelling the people who go to them as anything other than fans of the specific theme of the convention. There is no "Gay Anime Fans Convention" or "Asian Star Trek Fans convention." So the idea that a Gaymercon is necessary is pretty illogical. Games aren't a platform for fixing society, they are entertainment. Games shouldn't be used to further an agenda, they are for fun.
Just be a gamer. It doesn't matter if you're gay or straight, black or white, short or tall, fat or thin. You're a gamer, that's all that matters. If you're going to separate yourself from the rest of us, don't get upset when it works against you.
Happy Gaming my fellow Gamers. I think this issue should be an eye opener to developers/publishers to release games in the summer so that we don't have so much time on our hands.