The articles that Destructoid has run recently about GaymerX
have made me kind of sad and worried about the current community. The articles
themselves are great, mind you. The staff is clearly welcoming of people from all walks of life. It's the comments that make me worried; full of blatant ignorance, vitriol, and unhelpful apathy. The few positive comments are like an oasis in a desert of hate, and they're usually from the same few users (most notably Pixielated and crackedbat). I feel like even the lighthearted gay jokes would be welcome at this point (offensive though they may be to some), but even those are few and far between. And maybe I'm just remembering things incorrectly, but I feel like it didn't always used to be like this around the site.
I remember a time when Jim Sterling would consistently post articles with completely unrelated homoerotic header images
that were clearly straight up gay porn, cropped just enough to make it not pornographic). The comment sections would either have some fun with it or sometimes even ignore the images entirely, as if they were just a normal part of the site. Anyone who complained about the images would get a mouthful from the site's regulars, mocking their sensitivity. I'll admit that I was a bit unsure about the images at first, thinking they would just lead to comments full of homophobia, but that very rarely happened.
I also remember reading articles such as Pixielated's first promoted blog
or Chad Concelmo's farewell post
about Final Fantasy VI, where the comment sections were brimming with positivity and open-mindedness (with a relatively minor amount of sourpusses). Those articles made me feel very good about the Dtoid community! In fact, they made me feel like Destructoid's environment had become something like the idealized version of the world that many of the comments on GaymerX articles tend to bring up, a place where no one cares one way or the other about your sexuality, you're welcome no matter who you are.
Destructoid is not a website like GayGamer, where the primary focus is on LGBT issues as they pertain to video games. It's a website where the primary focus is on video games, yet any related topic is welcome, including topics of an LGBT nature. That was one of the reasons why I fell in love with this place; I actually felt welcome here! I hate to think of new members reading the comments on articles like the ones about GaymerX and coming to the conclusion that Destructoid is not a place where they'll be welcome
Now, maybe it just has something to do with the GaymerX convention specifically. After all, there's apparently something about a gay-oriented video gaming convention that many people can't seem to wrap their minds around. But even articles about the convention from a few years ago
had MUCH more positive receptions than they do now. Maybe if we saw another article like the ones by Pixielated and Chad, we'd get a more positive reaction from the community. I'm not really sure, because we haven't seen an article like that in a while.
Anyway, to get to the point, I've been trying to think of ways to create a more welcome atmosphere around Destructoid. I might try to think of some LGBT-centric blogs to write about, and I'll definitely try to post more positive comments on articles about LGBT topics. Admittedly, said articles are not very common, which is fine, but I hope the ones we get in the future can harbor a more positive atmosphere than the ones we've seen recently.
I'm confident that the part of the community that frequents the C-blogs are a lot friendlier and more welcoming than your average front page commenter, so I hope that everyone reading this can agree with these sentiments and maybe try to help the situation in their own way. And I understand that LGBT issues are probably not very important to some, and that's fine too. As long as you're not actively trying to harbor a negative attitude, then we can surely get along.
What do you guys think? Has anyone else noticed this shift in attitudes surrounding these topics? Maybe you're tired of hearing about all this sexism/racism/homophobia stuff, but after reading some of the comments from the aforementioned articles, surely you can see that there is still a problem. And this is exactly why these topics are continually brought up, because we clearly have not yet reached a state of universal acceptance. Maybe one day...