“The events are primarily about socializing, and everyone can feel comfortable about being a gaymer and also just being themselves, whatever sexual or gender identity they may have,” says Giovanni Temansja, treasurer of Toronto Gay Gaymers (ToGG). ToGG’s membership is now approximately 400 people, with the most striking growth occurring after members marched in the 2011 Pride parade. By 2012 Pride, ToGG had a booth where passersby could witness adorable “larping” (live-action role-playing) and receive ToGG business cards from “cosplaying” cuties (boys dressed as their favourite characters). This geeky universe abounds with strange terminology, but the best is probably “crossplaying,” which is like cosplaying, except the boys dress up as their favourite female characters. “We had one member dress up like Jean Grey from X-Men
,” Temansja says.
The theme of ToGG’s September meet-up is Iron Gaymer. Loosely based on the TV show Iron Chef
, it will feature one-off battles between handpicked members and randomly chosen challengers. Contests will range from console games to board games to card games, with the main criteria being they must involve competition and must be fun to watch. Trans people and lesbians are especially encouraged to come out. “Rumour has it there are lesbian gamers out there somewhere,” Temansja says. —Jeremy Willard
ToGG: Iron Gamer is Sun, Sept 23, 3–10pm at O’Grady’s, 518 Church St. torontogaymers.ca