Seattle is widely known as one of the geekiest places in North America (at the very least). Whether it’s due to the rain, the glut of software and game companies in the area, or some other factor, you’d be hard pressed to find a city with more game stores, arcades, conventions, bookstores, and various havens to explore your love of comics, science fiction, and video games.
In the last several years especially, geekdom has expanded into events targeted towards geeks who are also queer. Huge, mainstream conventions such as PAX and Gen Con have added panels about inclusivity and areas to explore more diverse content. There are new conventions solely targeting LGBT gamers, SF and comic book fans. Most major cities have “gaymer” groups on Facebook and Meetup.
Whether your interest is in advocacy and inclusivity in geeky mediums, or you just want to meet fellow queer fans of your favorite genre, Seattle is one of the best places to do it.
Here are some options to fulfill your queer geek cravings:
Whether your tastes run to complicated European worker placement games, improvisational storytelling games, or dungeon crawlers, there are tons of stores and venues to play at. Capitol Hill-based board game stores, Phoenix Comics and Games and the Raygun Lounge /Gamma Ray Games are both very queer-friendly. The Raygun Lounge also features a spot to eat and drink while you move your meeples around. Both venues are also great places to find players for tabletop role-playing games.
If you’d like to meet up with fellow queer board game geeks, there are some great options. For queer-specific gaming, Queer Geek currently hosts several meetups. The second Saturday of the month (that regular date starting in February) features a general GLBTQ board game meetup at Phoenix Comics and Games, from 1-5pm, always a busy, fun crowd. It’s been popular enough to expand into a second event, coming soon at the Raygun Lounge. Every other Monday, there’s also a ladies’ board game night at Phoenix, aimed primarily at female-identified queer gamers, but open to all.
Northwest Press, based in Seattle, is a top independent comic book label focused on queer content. Their founder, Zan Christensen, has been profiled in the Advocate and Out Magazine (as part of the Out 100).
GeekGirlCon is a celebration of female geekdom, with numerous queer and queer-related panels and organizations present. The next one happens October 10-15.
Most of the major local conventions have made efforts to include queer content. The Penny Arcade Expo added a diversity lounge this year, with meetups, informational booths, tabletop gaming and a safe gathering space. Both Penny Arcade Expo and the Emerald City Comicon have queer-oriented panels, and Emerald City Comicon’s speed dating, Sci-Fi Speed Dating, includes same sex dating.
In addition to these conventions’ official events, there are a number of queer-focused events that crop up around the same time. For the last several years, Charlie Logan from Queer Geek has put on the Pink Party Prime, the same weekend as PAX, a huge gathering mecca for local and visiting queer geeks. Last year’s party, produced by Jetspace, was the hugest yet, featuring over 650 attendees and a major industry guest, voiceover actress Jennifer Hale. A similar party is planned this year for Emerald City Comicon, in addition to another edition of the Pink Party Prime during PAX Prime.
There are a ton of local SF/fantasy-focused conventions, and most of those have some queer panels and presence, including Norwescon.
There are a few local groups aimed at queer SF/fantasy. Gay Romance Northwest has co-presented various events with Gay City and Queer Geek that feature local LGBTQ SF/fantasy authors. Minor Arcana Press features a number of queer writers.
While this fits in a few different categories, gaming, cosplay and dance party, Insert Coin is a monthly event held at the Seattle Eagle on the last Saturday of the month.
As of yet, I don’t know of any specifically queer anime-focused local events, but Sakura-Con is a popular local anime convention.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, so feel free to chime in with your favorite thing we’ve forgotten to mention! Queer geek out.