Tabletop Gaymers Inc is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to address homophobia in the gaming industry by providing educational, social, and networking opportunities for LGBT “gaymers” and allies. We also provide support for these individuals through the development of self-identification and safe-space programs. This mission is most often fulfilled in the form of events at gaming conventions such as GenCon.
In July 2000, the Gaymers Yahoo Group would begin the origin story for Tabletop Gaymers. The email discussion forum was a way for LGBT gaymers to share stories and information and to network with one another. This led to small get-togethers at conventions like GenCon.
In 2004, the Gaymer Dinner was the first and foremost get-together for gaymers at GenCon. It was an informal dinner where like-minded individuals got together for an annual meet and greet. The gathering first started with a handful of attendees. By 2011 the dinner outgrew the capacity of most of the nearby restaurants, who were already flooded with GenCon attendees. So the group decided to put on a seminar.
In 2011, the Queer as a Three-Sided Die seminar began at GenCon and has continued since. This seminar looks at gender and sexuality issues in gaming from design and publishing to game-play and community. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people are a part for the gamer community, and although the community is known for its tolerance, GLBT people still often struggle to see places for themselves in the fantasy worlds we create. This seminar looks at gender and sexuality issues in gaming from design and publishing to game-play and community. Each year “industry insiders” are invited to participate in this event which now a standing-room-only audience of over 100 attendees.
In 2012, the GAYMER Badge Ribbon was given away at GenCon. This rainbow colored ribbon is intended to be worn as a symbol of pride and to help gaymers self-identify to encourage networking with other LGBT attendees. At GenCon 2014, with the help of Rogue Judges, over 2,500 ribbons were distributed.
In 2015, the ALLY Badge Ribbon was added, in part, as a response to the passing of Indiana’s SB101, the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” Many of our straight allies asked for a ribbon that they could wear to show their support for LGBT equality. This year (and the following), Cards Against Humanity helped to fund the nearly 25,000 ribbons that were distributed.
Also in 2015, on 13 May 2015, Tabletop Gaymers Inc became an official nonprofit organization, registered in the State of Iowa
In 2017, the SPONSOR Badge Ribbon was created to thank the donors of the organization’s first real GoFundMe Campaign, which raised nearly $10,000 in less than a month.
Also in 2017, 501(c)(3) nonprofit status was granted to Tabletop Gaymers Inc with retroactive status back to 13 May 2015. Meaning that donations made to the organization are tax deductible.
Tabletop Gaymers Inc. is a nonprofit organization registered in the State of Iowa. The following individuals serve on its Board of Directors.
- Jeff Sorensen, Ames IA (President)
- Zach Lones, Seattle WA (Secretary)
- Justin Nauman, Ames IA (Treasurer)
- Victor Raymond, Madison WI
- Brenda Havens, Indianapolis IN
A number of key individuals are responsible for helping set up events, coordinating with local businesses, and distributing badge ribbons. If you would like to help, please contact us.
- Brian Dunten, Indianapolis IN
- Steve Kenson, Salem NH
- Art Dahm, San Francisco CA
Numerous individuals and companies have provided donations, in-kind donations, and support in the past. For a complete list, please visit our Sponsors page. If you would like to become a sponsor, please do so by giving a donation.