All forms of geekery are very popular among gay men. But why? To mark Star Wars Day (May the 4th Be With You),'s Alex Hopkins hunts down some self-professed gay geeks and asks some probing questions!


Andrew, 30 – the professional geek

What does the term ‘geek’ mean to you?
Someone who is enthusiastic about a hobby or interest – they just live and breathe it.

What kind of tech are you interested in and why?
I’m mostly into home automation tech and electronics. I work as a systems programmer for a company that installs high-end automation systems into some very high-end houses, so my interests and work merge nicely.

How would you describe the ‘gay geek’ community? 
There’s a very active community – it’s thriving. Many gays that are geeks feel safe within this group. It’s very welcoming, and there seems to be little bitchiness. 

Why do you think gay men are particularly into their tech?
I find this interesting. There seem to be two types of gay men: those who are into tech and those who take a more hands-off approach. Those who are into it love the novelty of the devices, I think.

What are the two must-have tech products which gay men – and indeed anyone – should have which are on the market now? What is so great about these?
The first item would be an iPhone®. Simple to operate, powerful and can interface with many devices. Yes, we’ve all had these items for a while, but more and more products are being developed to interface with them.

The second would be the LightwaveRF ® system. You can control everything in your house from your phone or remotes. Lighting Curtains and heating can be interfaced. A truly powerful system. 

Tad (short for Tadpole) 30, a Nursery Nurse for 0-5-year-olds, and an Australian soap opera fanatic

What does being a ‘gay geek’ mean to you?
"Geek", for me, would be a term that I use to describe someone who is completely obsessed with something - whatever something that might be! Personally, I’m a total geek about celebrities – not the well-known A-listers, but more obscure, lesser known ones. For example, I buy DVDs based on who is in them, whether I've seen them or not, and know most of the cast from the (over 800) DVDs I've collected. But mostly I’m Neighbours and Home and Away freak. I can't remember a time I didn't watch those Australian soap operas. You may laugh, most people do! But I can tell you pretty much everything about both because I am, I admit, a fanatic!

How would you describe the ‘gay geek’ community? Is there one? How welcoming have you found it?
I'm sorry to say it, but I joined a lot of online groups expecting them to be warm and welcoming, but I didn’t have that experience. A lot of the guys and girls have a tunnel vision view on the term ‘geek’, and don't consider people with less obvious geeky obsessions real geeks. If you aren't a fan of their love and dare to say so, well let's not go there!

I believe most think that if you aren't obsessed with tech, games, or anime of some sort, then leave! That's not to say I haven't had any nice experiences, though. I’ve spoken to and become friends with a few great people, and am an admin for the Gay Geeks UK page on Facebook. Everyone is welcome there! There’s no discrimination, and I haven't once had a negative word exchanged in all the time I’ve been there. We have a relatively small number of members now, but it’s been growing lately, so please, anyone that wants to come and tell us about their loves is welcome! It's great hearing about what makes people tick, what makes them happy!

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"Gay geekery is all about exploring a different world to the one in front of you" - Cheery Fakewell.

Cheery Fakewell, 28, ‘gay drag queen geek.'

What does being a ‘gay geek’ mean to you?
It means liking things which aren't the mainstream, whether that be video games, comics or cosplay (a form of performance art in which participants wear costumes representing a particular character). It’s about exploring a different world to the one in front of you and realising that sports can be electronic and not just physical. Why let only this world be your oyster? 

What kind of games are you interested in and why?
I am into RPGs [role-playing games] and games like League of Legends®. They offer an escape from reality. League of Legends® allows me to be connected to other gamers and be social with people when I might not have plans, or I’m doing a show. I also frequently have horror game nights with my friends where we will all take turns to play a game such as Amnesia: The Dark Descent and scare ourselves shitless!

How would you describe the ‘gay geek’ community? Is there one? How welcoming have you found it?
I’ve been part of gay geeks groups on Facebook and part of Gaymer networks on PSN (PlayStation® Network). I'm also included in the drag scene and regularly perform and run a drag night. I encourage people to do cosplay drag if they want, and then you see some amazing costumes. The other day I did Him from The Power Puff Girls (US animated TV series) and will be playing Greta the Gremlin from the film The Gremlins for our drag show Jingle Hell. You get to meet all sorts or fabric Cosplayers especially at MCM London ComicCon where sexuality and gender seem to be fluid. 

Why do you think gay men are particularly into their games?
Because it gives focus. It's just fun and a break from the real world. It's something cool that helps you bond with others over. It's an affordable hobby which you can indulge in your living room!

What are the two must-have tech products which gay people – and indeed anyone – should have which are on the market now?
PlayStation 4® and a smartphone.

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Long Beach, CA - USA - September 12, 2015: Star Wars Storm Trooper costume at The Long Beach Comic Con held at the Long Beach Convention Center.  

Sam, 25

What does being a ‘gay geek’ mean to you?
It means everything! I've always been a bit of an odd one out, and I kind of found comfort in video games and anime. Finding the gay geeks community was like discovering a family I never knew I had, and feel like I fit in there.

What are your geeky passions?
I’m an all-around guy when it comes to tech. I play on the PC and console, but I also love card games like Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic: The Gathering®, and I’ve just started playing Dungeons and Dragons. 

How would you describe the ‘gay geek’ community? Is there one? How welcoming have you found it?
I've felt quite accepted by the community. I'm a little bit shy, but all the people I've spoken to have been great.

Why do you think gay people are attracted to geeky pursuits and tech?
Some people still believe that gay people are incapable of doing normal things - or they think that we do things in a 'queer' way. We love Tech because we want to escape that stereotypical view, and the fantasy characters it contains can help us feel more accepted, I think.


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