A Letter to the Trans Youth of Texas

February 23rd, 2022

Dear, trans, enby, gender fluid, gender queer, and gender expansive youth of Texas:

Today is a hard day. A lot of days are hard, we know, but this one really, really sucks. The news about Governor Abbot’s executive order letter is scary, and it probably doesn’t make you feel very safe.

Sometimes, the adults who are supposed to protect you just don’t. They let their own prejudices and false beliefs get in the way of their duties to others. When this happens, people they are supposed to protect get hurt. Worse, the folks who need that protection the most are ignored and sometimes, like right now, they are put in danger.

The leader of your state, Governor Greg Abbott, is telling your teachers, doctors, mental health professionals, and other adults, whose job it is to look out for you, to report your guardians to authorities if they help you get gender affirming medical care. He is even calling it child abuse. We want you to know: he is wrong. There are no “two sides” to this issue, there are no shades of gray here. Governor Abbot is wrong and has done a terrible thing in issuing this order. He is trying to keep you from being the person you are. Worse, he is trying to put people in prison for doing exactly what they are supposed to do –help you grow into the best, most authentic version of yourself.

Having had the chance to meet so many of you at PAX South and HavenCon over the years, we wanted to let you know that we’re with you. We see you. We support you. We care about you. And we think what your state government is doing to you is absolutely horrible. There is nothing wrong with being transgender, nonbinary, gender fluid, gender queer, bi gender, gender non-conforming, gender expansive, or any gender you in your heart are! More importantly, there’s nothing wrong with getting help from a medical professional because you were assigned a gender at birth that doesn’t fit. You are wonderful. The world needs brave people like you.   We can’t wait to see who you grow up to become and we intend to make sure you get that chance.

There are so, so many other adults who care, too! We are all going to do our best to get you the care and resources you need to grow up healthy and happy. GaymerX has put together a list of nonprofits, local community groups, charities, and other organizations that you and your loved ones can contact for help. –If you’re an adult reading this looking for ways to support these young people, there will be resources there for you, too.

You can find that list here: Texas Trans Affirming Resources

Or copy and paste this link into your browser: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1a7icwHmm7A47bkZLd4sXH7jFtJNjUjL_ogEyq53FPGI/edit?usp=sharing

It may not seem like it right now, but there is hope. Most of us adult queer folks grew up without a lot of support from our communities. There were not enough caring and knowledgeable adults looking out for us. We know how much that sucks. We don’t want that to happen to you. We’re going to stick up for you because we know how it feels when people in power treat you like you shouldn’t exist. (And you absolutely should exist!) There are a ton of queer and allied adults who are on your side and who are fighting hard, every day, to make the world a safer place for you and other LGBTQIA+ people.

We’re not going to give you some shallow “it gets better” talk. We’re promising you that there are people who are fighting to make it better for you, right now. We’re asking you to hold on while we fight this and things like it. We’re going to keep looking for ways to create spaces and media that validates you and who you are. Lastly, We want you to know that many of us who are already in jobs that are supposed to protect you intend to keep doing just that, in spite of this order. We’re asking the other adults in your communities to do the same.

We hope this letter has given you some comfort. We wanted to let you know how much we care and how hard we’re going to work to try to keep you safe.

In Solidarity,

Katie Kaitchuck

Executive Director

GaymerX

Brian Kunde, LCSW

Culture & Operations Director

GaymerX

The New GaymerX Board of Directors

We’re proud to welcome new members to the GaymerX board of directors. After an extensive search and vetting process, we have selected a group of experienced games industry and nonprofit professionals. Each one of them is deeply committed to our mission of supporting and celebrating LGBTQ+ people and culture in gaming.

Over the next year, our board will focus on fundraising, improving and increasing the programming offered by GaymerX, and developing partnerships with other nonprofit organizations as well as gaming and tech companies. Keep an eye out for exciting announcements in the coming weeks.

We’re thrilled to introduce to you our new board members…

Cherry Thompson

Pronouns They/Them

Cherry Thompson and their cat Odin
Cherry Thompson (and Odin)

Cherry Thompson is a games accessibility specialist/developer with a keen focus in systems design and user experience. They’ve worked on projects of various sizes from small indies like Gambrinous (Cardpocalypse), GlitchMN (HyperDot) to AAA such as Guerrilla Games (Horizon Zero Dawn), Media Molecule (Dreams), Crystal Dynamics (Marvel’s Avengers), Ubisoft and more.

Cherry is also a successful public speaker at conferences like GDC, Full Indie, PAX, a11yTO and internal to many studios. They’re bisexual and non-binary and have a passion for making both games and the industry inclusive of everyone. Their hobbies consist of cake eating, bird watching and adventuring with their one eyed cat, Odin.

Mark Barlet

Pronouns: He/Him

Mark Barlet

Mark Barlet has 25 years of hands-on experience in the technology and assistive technology field. Widely regarded as one of the leaders of 508 accessibility, Mark manages a team of high-end accessibility experts through his veteran-founded business The Barlet Group, as well as the highly trained assistive technology experts at AbleGamers. In 2004, Mark founded AbleGamers after Multiple Sclerosis attacked his best friend, Stephanie Walker, nearly taking away her ability to interact and connect through video games. His vision was to ensure that no one with a disability would ever be without answers on how to conquer disabilities and continue enjoying one of the world’s largest past times.

James Nieves

Pronouns: He/Him or They/Them

James Nieves has been leading local gaming communities since a young age and has proudly attended every GaymerX convention held in North America. They led video game operations for GaymerX East, Flame Con’s gamer lounge and most recently organized events for Samsung 837 and local NYC gaming communities. James has a deep love for classic video games and enjoys retro-inspired indie titles.

Katie Kaitchuck

Pronouns: She/Her

Katie Kaitchuck

Katie Kaitchuck is the Executive Director of GaymerX. She is a staunch proponent of incorporating more robust Diversity & Inclusion initiatives into the games industry. An AmeriCorps VISTA alumna, she is a seasoned nonprofit and gaming industry professional having honed her skills at Ubisoft, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and Feminist Frequency.

In her early days at GaymerX, she organized the –now yearly– GaymerX GDC Scholarship Program, sending LGBTQIA+ game developers to Game Developers Conference in San Francisco since 2018. In her role as Executive director she has traveled the country speaking at gaming conventions and advocating for more and better queer representation in games. In the coming years, she plans to expand the scholarship program to be a more holistic offering, ensuring that participants can travel and be housed safely while in San Francisco. She is also in the process of developing exciting new programs to add to GaymerX’s portfolio.

GaymerX East ’19 Has Been Cancelled

To our community,

We regret to inform you that we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel GaymerX East ‘19. Due to complications with our venue, we won’t be able to hold the event on the scheduled dates nor will we be able to easily reschedule.

All contributions to our indiegogo will be refunded. If you need further assistance, please feel free to contact us at [email protected]

Here’s what happened…

When we confirmed our event with the Microsoft Times Square Conference center, we did so following the same process we had gone through for previous years. We were given the assurance that our agreement remained the same. However, a few days ago we were informed that their procedure had changed and that they would require us to sign a new contract. Partly, it would restrict which companies were allowed to sponsor the event. Additionally, the contract wouldn’t be ready for another month.

Sponsorships pay for a big chunk of our events. Large companies –a number of whom would likely not be allowed under the new contract– have been some of the biggest sponsors of past GaymerX conventions. We are a small, all-volunteer organization, and not in a position where we can hold a convention without significant financial support. In this case, using the free venue provided to us by Microsoft would be too expensive with the new restrictions being placed on us.

This left us in the difficult position. We either wait for the contract –which if its terms were unfavorable would leave us little to no time to renegotiate before our event– or we cancel the event before it’s too late to refund our crowdfunding backers. We’re choosing to do what we believe is best for our community because we value your support so much.

While this is an unfortunate outcome, we want to be clear that we harbor no ill will toward the Microsoft Times Square Conference center. Their space is no longer suitable for GaymerX East ‘19 and while we wish we could push forward with the event, we just don’t see a way to do so.

There is no way around it, this sucks. We know how disappointing this must be to our community. We hope you can forgive us. If there’s anything you need from the organization, please feel free to email us: [email protected]. Our deepest apologies to all of you.

Katie Kaitchuck

Executive Director, GaymerX

GaymerX at PAX South 2019: Diversity Lounge and Q&A Panel

Hey, folks! Executive Director Katie Kaitchuck here to tell you about our upcoming plans this January.

I am excited to announce that GaymerX will be at PAX South 2019. You can come visit us at our booth in the Diversity Lounge on the North end of Level 2. Come pick up your pronoun ribbons and say hello to the team. We will also have buttons, stickers, and information about upcoming events. Just look for the bright pink table and banner!

Read more

GaymerX East Player’s Guide

Let’s do a quick walkthrough of GaymerX East for this weekend!

Getting to the Venue

GaymerX East starts registration at 10AM, so make time for travel and all that to get to Time’s Square. The event takes place at the Microsoft Technology Center. This post here has useful tips for getting to the venue, and even good tips for food!

This is what the entrance to the Microsoft Technology Center looks like! The address is “11 Times Square, New York, NY 10036” but the entrance is actually on 8th street just around the corner!

microsoftentrance

Registration

At the door you’ll be asked for your ID. If you registered through Eventbrite your name should be in the system already. We will hand you a pass that is used solely for getting in and out of the building through the building’s security. Please note that if you haven’t gotten a pass yet we are NOT selling them at the event, the event is officially sold out.

From there you will take the elevator to the 5th floor where you will be able to register and then hang out in the social lounge until the events begin. You’ll be guided as to where to go but there is also this handy dandy map!

Board Games

We STRONGLY urge people to bring one or a couple of cool board games to play in our tabletop area.  There will be some to play, but if you bring your favorite then you can show it to all the lovely people at the event! This also goes for card games and tabletop RPGS. The event can be WAY more fun when people bring a bunch of neat, interesting games that people may not have had a chance to learn before.

Video Games

We will have a BUNCH of amazing video games! Most of these will be cool indie games that you may or may not have ever played! We encourage you to try AS MANY of these games as you can during the weekend because a lot of these may be games that you won’t be able to play at home for a while. Most of the games will be brought by the developers themselves and you’ll be able to chat with them and talk about what they’ve made! Make sure that you EXPLORE as much as possible because there will be games all over the place and you’re gonna wanna find them all!

Panels and Talks

We have a TON of programming so whether you wanna check out 1 or 20 panels this weekend, we’ve got you covered! At most times there will be 1-3 sessions running in the 6th floor. Check out the handy dandy schedule app Sched to learn all about these amazing panels and the awesome people on them! Make sure you plan ahead, even if it’s just taking 10 minutes at the start of the day to check out the schedule. It’ll prevent that moment after the show where you regret missing your favorite speaker or topic.

HAVE FUN

GaymerX East is going to be an event where we can all let loose and have fun and make new friends and learn new stuff! Make sure to be friendly and kind to each other and abide by the Code of Conduct which is a handy tool for interacting with new folks! Also, keep in mind this is our first New York event ever and we’re new to the space, so bare with us and let us know if there’s anything you need!

After Party

On Sunday night, we will all head to the Iron Bar & Lounge, just 3 tiny blocks from the venue. There, we’ll be treated to an amazing show by the incomparable nerdcore rapper SAMMUS, which if you haven’t heard yet you’ll definitely want to check out. To get in just bring your GaymerX East badge and you’ll get into the show AND we’ll give you a drink ticket!

** WE HAVE OPENED UP A FEW TICKETS! Because of folks at GXE wanting to bring friends, we’re opening up some tickets for the after-party! Head to gxeast.eventbrite.com to get a ticket for the after-party. If you’ve already got a GaymerX East Con-Badge, then just bring that and you get in for free.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help! We’ve got lots of awesome volunteers around (check the badge ribbons!) and the staff will also be at Con Ops for anything you need! Also, if you have any ideas, feel free to share them, we’re pretty open minded! If you have any discreet questions feel free to email [email protected] and if you have private questions to ask, feel free to email [email protected] or see us in Con Ops!

Last chance to get your tickets for GX East and GX Australia at the lowest price!

😍Join us in NYC November 12-13 for GaymerX East!

Get your tickets before Nov 1 when prices go up by $15! Only 150 tickets left too!

http://gxeast.eventbrite.com 

Check out our little map! 😀

ALSO!

This is your LAST chance to back GX Australia and help bring queer gaming and a safe space for nerds of all kinds to Australia… check it out and consider tossing them some $!

Just check out some of the Bosses of Honor coming to GX Australia Year 2!!





Damn!! LOOK at that lineup! Go back now!

Bye!

Logitech G Scholarship to GaymerX – Open until September 28th!

Still need a ticket for GaymerX?

The Logitech G Scholarship program provides the opportunity for game students, developers, and fans to attend GaymerX Year Four (GX4) when they may not otherwise be able to do so.

To apply for a free 3 day pass to GaymerX, plus a swag bag from Logitech, head over to https://www.gaymerx.org/gx4logitechscholarship

See you all soon!

DSC_5628

New This Year at GaymerX – Diversity Theatre

The Expo Hall at GaymerX this year features a first, The Diversity Theater. Here companies and organizations will showcase their initiatives, offerings, and recruitment opportunities. Reinforcing the truth that diversity isn’t merely accepted in today’s game and tech industry, it’s in demand.

We’re excited about this great addition to our expo hall, where attendees can meet representatives from companies like Intel, Microsoft, LinkedIn and Patreon!

Microsoft Session: [email protected] Program overview 4:30 – 5:20 pm

Becoming an independent developer and shipping games is easier than it ever has been, but finding success as a developer is as challenging as ever. In this talk, you’ll learn about Microsoft’s [email protected] program for independent developers, as well as our take on essential issues that developers need to address during development to maximize your chances for commercial success with your game.

Stop by the Intel Booth: #504

In the Diversity Theatre:

  • Friday 1:30 – 2:20 pm
  • Saturday: 1:00 – 1:50 pm
  • Sunday: 1:00 – 1:50 pm

Linked In

In the Diversity Theatre:

  • Friday: 2:30 – 3:20 pm
  • Saturday: 12:00 – 12:50 pm

Patreon

In the Diversity Theatre:

  • Friday: 2:30 – 3:20 pm
  • Saturday: 2:00 – 2:50 pm
  • Sunday: 2:00 – 2:50 pm

Last day for hotel rooms!!

Today’s the last day to book a hotel room for GaymerX at the group rate ($145)! After this, room prices will likely be double!

Please use this link to book a hotel now and tell anyone you know who was planning to go!
https://aws.passkey.com/event/14827516/owner/2281/home

** Sunday night rooms might already be full! **

Just think of how much easier it’ll be to cosplay when you’re staying at the venue!

GaymerX 3
GaymerX 3

GaymerX 3
GaymerX 3

GaymerX 3
GaymerX 3

GaymerX 3
GaymerX 3

GaymerX 3
GaymerX 3

GaymerX 3
GaymerX 3