photocredit : bresc
After the overwhelming success of the last geeks talk sexy part 2, we planned to cover LGBT. But there was a certain amount of worry that we were not going to be able to give it the justice that it deserves, simply because neither me, Samantha or Hwayoung were lgbt. Even Simon who joined the team after part 1, was neither. So this was really shooting in the dark for a lot of us.
The fear grew over the coming weeks as the geeks talk sexy got retweeted around. Technicalfault gets a mention here for his crazy amount of retweeting. At some point the event ended up attached as the pre-bollox club event and on the official canal street facebook page. The fear was more about people overrun by people who were expecting a discussion about LGBT generally rather that in the context of geek culture, but we neither have feared it all worked out great and we had our most successful geeks talk sexy to date.
We started late but setup quickly while quite eager people turned up and started to chat. After a weird rearrangement of the tables (blame Samantha for her double rainbow idea) and a series of questions on the projector. We kicked off with me showing the BBC Three documentary from Dawn Porter goes Lesbian a while ago. While we put the finishing touches to everything you couldn’t help but laugh at some of the things Dawn was saying on the documentary. Its really interesting how attitudes have changed.
We started when our special guest for the evening Ben Light turned up.
At the start the crowd of almost 40 people (best turn out to date by a bit) were a little quiet as we explained like the last one, we want to frame the discussions around geek culture oppose to the wider society. So after the recap we kicked started everything by reading out what peoples answers were to the questions we asked at the very start. Unfortunately I put up a earlier presentation and so the questions weren’t exactly what I was thinking, but we did get a general answer to how do/have you meet partners? Generally it was the same as the male and female answers from part 2, which makes total sense. I was hoping for some slightly different answers but everyone was very sensible with the answers.
Then started a conversation about the term LGBT after admitting I had never heard the term before till a volleyball player told me the Manchester Jump team was LGBT. The debate is pretty much the same one that is on the wikipedia page for LGBT. Some said Gay was a better term and some said Queer was even better still.
After this we got on to the debate over Bisexual relationships. I stuck up a post from the Savage love which was pointed to by quite a few blogs I had seen while doing research. The notion that Bi-sexual people were confused or greedy was quickly crushed by many and the similarities between straight, gay, lesbian, bi, etc relationships were discussed in some detail. I threw in a couple of bombs here and there in the way of the Kinsley scale and Bisexual erasure but everyone was pretty much agreed on most subjects except dating profiles with spelling mistakes.
This cause quite a bit of heated discussion and I would have loved to let it continue but we were already running late and the break was rapidly approaching. Hey and who couldn’t resist the lovely cocktails which were available for a generous donation to madlab.
Pina Gaylada, L33t Lesbian, Manchester Trans tea and Bigrasm were the order of the day at the cocktail bar. While people tucked into there cocktails, we setup the 1 minute rants section. To be fair we didn’t have many of them but the lies and lack of english on profiles came up again. I had a good old rant back about people getting far too touchy about spelling. Before you knew it we were on to our special guest Ben Light.
Unforgeable we had some nasty technical problem. Ben used Apple keynote to do is presentation and so we had to use Samanaths MacBook to do the presentation. What followed were a ton of different problems related to the lack of Video memory (who ever says it just works with Apple devices is seriously deluded and should have witnessed the systematic errors Ben and Samantha had to deal with). Anyway in the end, we got it working by reducing the screen resolution down to 800×600 and bouncing back and forth on the PDF instead of the keynote.
Ben focused on LGBT characters in video gaming and it was a fascinating talk (don’t think I’ve ever seen him give a average talk!) Even with the technical difficulties, he was able to show some interesting examples of LGBT characters in popular video games. (I will link to the presentation once Ben posts it to me). The presentation spurred a ton of interesting questions but we had to cut them short because we were running about 40mins late by that point.
After Ben and the Q&A it was a matter of pointing people to common bar as usual. Where conversations continued deep into the night.
I’d like to publicly thank everyone who made it to the event and made it our most popular event to date. Special thanks to Ben Light for the look at the questionable role of LGBT characters in mainstream video games.
Part 4 is still being resolved but we’re certainly going to delve into the world of Poly relationships in geeks talk sexy part 4: the dynamics of relationships.