A personal announcement, emphatic thank-you, and cheers to Fedora.

Major thumbs up, Andrew. I can only do so much from here, but I totally wish you all the best, and congratulate you on taking the steps forward that you're taking. *HUGE HUGS*

Man, forgot how old this thread was, congrats to everybody who's come out.

All the best Andrew. If you need it, we also have the "Depression is ruining my life" thread.

It is actually one of the more positive and supportive threads on this site, despite it's title.

Goodjers are good people, I am honoured to be considered amongst it's numbers.

Rubb Ed, Roland, thank you!

m0nk3yboy, Depression comes with the stuff I'm not disclosing yet, as does alienation. But, if I could help fight the bad feelings and alienation in others then it came time to speak up.

I don't visit this thread often, but just wanted to say congrats Andrew!

Hooray! Congrats, Andrew.

Thank you again.

I would still like this to be an offer to everyone else more than anything. Your kind words are still appreciated very, very much.

I've been a follower of this thread for a while and wanted to step out and share to my story.

I'm an openly gay man and have been for the past 15 years. I came out my freshman year of high school at age 15 in 1998 in a small town in Central Kansas. I've had my issues with people living in a conservative state in the middle of the US; but was a silver tongued country kid that managed to talk my way out of most conflicts but have broken a few jaws, dislocated a few shoulders, and knocked out some people to get myself out of a tough situations.

I am openly gay in my every day life but have always been fearful of coming out in the gaming community. I had an experience when I was 18 going to an anime/gaming convention called Otakon in Baltimore. I am an Otaku as well as gamer so it was something I dreamed about going to. I went in Cosplay as Quatre and met a guy dressed as Trowa and we hit it off. We had an amazing evening and it was the first gay person I had met who was also into Anime or gaming. However, on the way back to my hotel I was cornered by a few guys from the convention. They cornered and threatened me so I was forced to fight my way out and back to the hotel. I didn't go back to the convention for the rest of the weekend. This made me fear those in the gaming community and it lead to me stepping away from gaming though my high school and college years. I still played games on my own, but purposely avoided groups, quit my D&D group, and would never discuss my sexuality with those I gamed with or knew to be gamers. I was open in real life but closeted when I was gaming even going so far as to never let my gaming alias never be known by people in my daily life.

Thankfully, a co-worker turned me on to this community. This group had done much to show me that despite the generally diminutive attitude given toward LGBT people in the wider gamer community that this is an inclusive place. I have slowly been letting down my guard and allowing my gaming life to be open and share space with my personal life. I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for this as you may never know how much this has meant to me.

I am now turning 30 this year and have been with the man of my dreams for the past 7 years. I look forward to further opening my life up in all aspects and look forward to spending more time getting to know everyone in the GWJ community and thank you for letting me ramble a bit about my personal life.

Welcome

I sure hope you continue to feel welcome here, Blondish. Your post made me sad and happy at the same time, and I don't really know how to respond because it sounds like you figured everything out. Happy 30! I just turned 30 this year, too.

Welcome, Blondish! Trust me, as another openly gay member of the board, this is a great community to be yourself. And as tuffalobuffalo said, happy 30! This was my 40th b-day year, and 30 is a great starter for things to come.

My mind is genuinely blown that you encountered such a group at Otakon. I just never expected to see such behavior coming out of that place. Perhaps it was the time period, though. That might have been the same year I went for the first time, and crossplay was becoming a new thing and usually a joke (Sailor Bubbah, Man-Faye, etc.). Perhaps the scene just wasn't as open at the time.

Fast forward maybe four or five years, and I went back with a friend of mine that was invited back to the hotel room of several girls and their gay friend to watch Yaoi. Don't know if that shows an improvement or not.

In any event, despite my own shock and rambliness, it's good that you're finally able to be yourself in all facets of your life. Congratulations.

Thank you for sharing Blondish.

Rubb Ed wrote:

Welcome, Blondish! Trust me, as another openly gay member of the board, this is a great community to be yourself. And as tuffalobuffalo said, happy 30! This was my 40th b-day year, and 30 is a great starter for things to come.

Just so everyone is clear, though we have lots of gay people here and I'm straight (Ally), I'm still the most fabulous.

That's right, Quintin, you just keep on walking.

Coldstream wrote:
Rubb Ed wrote:

Welcome, Blondish! Trust me, as another openly gay member of the board, this is a great community to be yourself. And as tuffalobuffalo said, happy 30! This was my 40th b-day year, and 30 is a great starter for things to come.

Just so everyone is clear, though we have lots of gay people here and I'm straight (Ally), I'm still the most fabulous.

That's right, Quintin, you just keep on walking.

Hey, I (also a straight ally) got a shout-out for my cat-ears from Senator Schumer at the most recent NYC Pride parade!

blondish,

Wow. I'm sorry anything like that happened at a convention or anywhere else for that matter. You seem to have kept your resolve through all of it in an admirable way -- overall.

I'm also glad that you are finding places to be happy and be yourself. A lot of people here are nothing short of wonderful about encouraging others. Congratulations on your personal happiness, and wishes of more happiness to follow.

Coldstream wrote:
Rubb Ed wrote:

Welcome, Blondish! Trust me, as another openly gay member of the board, this is a great community to be yourself. And as tuffalobuffalo said, happy 30! This was my 40th b-day year, and 30 is a great starter for things to come.

Just so everyone is clear, though we have lots of gay people here and I'm straight (Ally), I'm still the most fabulous.

That's right, Quintin, you just keep on walking.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Coldstream wrote:
Rubb Ed wrote:

Welcome, Blondish! Trust me, as another openly gay member of the board, this is a great community to be yourself. And as tuffalobuffalo said, happy 30! This was my 40th b-day year, and 30 is a great starter for things to come.

Just so everyone is clear, though we have lots of gay people here and I'm straight (Ally), I'm still the most fabulous.

That's right, Quintin, you just keep on walking.

Awh, I love you guys. I'm really glad there's a community where you trust us enough to be yourselves.

(Straight fem, here, but seriously Coldstream, you do not want to battle me for the fabulous crown. I own my own tiaras. I'm just sayin...)

Not fabulous and I know it. Whatever!

Terrible con story, Blondish. Bit of an indictment of the gamer community that you feel more comfortable being "out" IRL than in the gaming scene. Gamers can be pretty insular. This is the place!

Coldstream wrote:
Rubb Ed wrote:

Welcome, Blondish! Trust me, as another openly gay member of the board, this is a great community to be yourself. And as tuffalobuffalo said, happy 30! This was my 40th b-day year, and 30 is a great starter for things to come.

Just so everyone is clear, though we have lots of gay people here and I'm straight (Ally), I'm still the most fabulous.

That's right, Quintin, you just keep on walking.

So, tell us about your sparkle ponies.

Mixolyde wrote:
Coldstream wrote:
Rubb Ed wrote:

Welcome, Blondish! Trust me, as another openly gay member of the board, this is a great community to be yourself. And as tuffalobuffalo said, happy 30! This was my 40th b-day year, and 30 is a great starter for things to come.

Just so everyone is clear, though we have lots of gay people here and I'm straight (Ally), I'm still the most fabulous.

That's right, Quintin, you just keep on walking.

So, tell us about your sparkle ponies. ;-)

I liked sparkle ponies before they were cool.

::hipster::

Coldstream wrote:
Mixolyde wrote:
Coldstream wrote:
Rubb Ed wrote:

Welcome, Blondish! Trust me, as another openly gay member of the board, this is a great community to be yourself. And as tuffalobuffalo said, happy 30! This was my 40th b-day year, and 30 is a great starter for things to come.

Just so everyone is clear, though we have lots of gay people here and I'm straight (Ally), I'm still the most fabulous.

That's right, Quintin, you just keep on walking.

So, tell us about your sparkle ponies. ;-)

I liked sparkle ponies before they were cool.

::hipster::

We need to get together and drink more, in honor of our relocated comrade, Paleocon.

Mixolyde wrote:
Coldstream wrote:
Mixolyde wrote:
Coldstream wrote:
Rubb Ed wrote:

Welcome, Blondish! Trust me, as another openly gay member of the board, this is a great community to be yourself. And as tuffalobuffalo said, happy 30! This was my 40th b-day year, and 30 is a great starter for things to come.

Just so everyone is clear, though we have lots of gay people here and I'm straight (Ally), I'm still the most fabulous.

That's right, Quintin, you just keep on walking.

So, tell us about your sparkle ponies. ;-)

I liked sparkle ponies before they were cool.

::hipster::

We need to get together and drink more, in honor of our relocated comrade, Paleocon.

Would love to. Alas, I'm now a relocated comrade: I was transferred from DC down to FL about three weeks ago.

ccesarano wrote:

My mind is genuinely blown that you encountered such a group at Otakon. I just never expected to see such behavior coming out of that place.

It only takes one or two jerks. The important thing is for everyone else to make it clear that we won't tolerate such behavior — not confronting it can make it seem like the crowd doesn't think it's a problem.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

I sure hope you continue to feel welcome here, Blondish. Your post made me sad and happy at the same time, and I don't really know how to respond because it sounds like you figured everything out. Happy 30! I just turned 30 this year, too.

Same, all around.

Blondish, if you ever want to hit a con that I'm at, you're welcome to roll with any crew I'm in.

Goodjers roll deep.

wordsmythe wrote:
ccesarano wrote:

My mind is genuinely blown that you encountered such a group at Otakon. I just never expected to see such behavior coming out of that place.

It only takes one or two jerks. The important thing is for everyone else to make it clear that we won't tolerate such behavior — not confronting it can make it seem like the crowd doesn't think it's a problem.

Super true! Take note, non-confrontational types.

Thanks for all the support. It further validates my decision opening up to this group. Keep in mind this was in 2002 which was 11 years ago. This was also right after Bush had been elected along with a large number of state amendments banning gay marriage including my home state of Kansas passing their own defense of marriage act. Attitudes have changed so much since then and even more so since when I came out openly in my home town in 1998; the same year that Matthew Shephard was murdered in the hate crime in Wyoming.

So much in my life has taught me to be cautious but unafraid in how I live my daily life. I live within a 2 hour drive of the Westboro Baptist Church who is famous for holding up the signs, "God Hates Fags" but love the state I live in. I know so many people here that are open and excepting and they out number that vocal minority that is filled with bigotry and hatred. I have experienced that being myself and letting my sexuality be at best a secondary trait of what defines me is the best way to protect myself and change the opinions of those around me. I personally look forward to a day when my sexuality is a mundane issue and we all wonder why this was anything to worry about.

I hope to go to another convention in the next year or so. I'd love to go to GenCon with a co-worker. It seems like it has a festival kind of atmosphere and get to meet some GWJ members as well. I'm always envious when the podcast group has their episode at the Con and they talk about all the wonderful experiences.

Blondish83 wrote:

Thanks for all the support. It further validates my decision opening up to this group. Keep in mind this was in 2002 which was 11 years ago. This was also right after Bush had been elected along with a large number of state amendments banning gay marriage including my home state of Kansas passing their own defense of marriage act. Attitudes have changed so much since then and even more so since when I came out openly in my home town in 1998; the same year that Matthew Shephard was murdered in the hate crime in Wyoming.

So much in my life has taught me to be cautious but unafraid in how I live my daily life. I live within a 2 hour drive of the Westboro Baptist Church who is famous for holding up the signs, "God Hates Fags" but love the state I live in. I know so many people here that are open and excepting and they out number that vocal minority that is filled with bigotry and hatred. I have experienced that being myself and letting my sexuality be at best a secondary trait of what defines me is the best way to protect myself and change the opinions of those around me. I personally look forward to a day when my sexuality is a mundane issue and we all wonder why this was anything to worry about.

I hope to go to another convention in the next year or so. I'd love to go to GenCon with a co-worker. It seems like it has a festival kind of atmosphere and get to meet some GWJ members as well. I'm always envious when the podcast group has their episode at the Con and they talk about all the wonderful experiences.

They do some cons over in Overland Park (where I work). If you ever head over that way I will buy you a beer:)

Blondish83 wrote:

This was also right after Bush had been elected

I don't know if this is healing or deteriorating, but I first interpreted that as the band fronted by Gavin Rossdale getting elected to something.

wordsmythe wrote:
Blondish83 wrote:

This was also right after Bush had been elected

I don't know if this is healing or deteriorating, but I first interpreted that as the band fronted by Gavin Rossdale getting elected to something.

Vote for Bush! Better than the rest!

wordsmythe wrote:
Blondish83 wrote:

This was also right after Bush had been elected

I don't know if this is healing or deteriorating, but I first interpreted that as the band fronted by Gavin Rossdale getting elected to something.

This made me laugh and disturb people near my desk at work. Thanks to you sir.

On a side note I've been told I perform an acceptable version of Glycerine at Karaoke. I freaking love the cello in that song and I let the natural scratch in my singing voice go crazy.