I’m into dudes: to begin with. There is no doubt whatsoever about that. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that I am into dudes. Why do you need to know this? Because if you think I’m the run of the mill comic book geek, my rather somber tale of C2E2 will make way less sense.
Jump back a few weeks before the convention when HEAVEmedia editor Amy Dittmeier and I were perusing the events and guests that were to be the hallmark of this year’s convention. Among the panels and third-tier celebs was a mention of SciFi Speed dating. After slight prodding (blackmail) I convinced Amy to sign up with me. While filling out the form I was asked my gender and my gender of choice to “date.” That answered that lingering question of whether or not the company catered to the gay community. Further research of the company told me that they welcome anyone, regardless of orientation or gender identity. That should have been my first clue that all was not right. The logistics of running speed dating for the LGBTQ community still gives me headaches to ponder. I was naïve, so I just went with it.
I received an email from the staff stating that I was all registered and set to go, along with instructions on where and when to show up. All was going swimmingly. When the Facebook page posted some advice for male daters about general hygiene I jokingly asked what they advise for gay dudes. They said the rules were the same. Being a worrier, I even posted on their Facebook making sure everything was set to go and my spot was guaranteed. Yep, all set. And then we got to C2E2.
Amy and I are some of the first to arrive and we give our names. The woman hands us stickers (I was number 3, that means there had to be at least 2 more dudes for me!) and eventually we’re told to split into guys and girls. I’m shoveled into a group of guys who, bite me with your political correctness, were certainly not gay. The girls get ushered into the room to prep and I take a second to ask what the situation is for gay daters.
“Oh, we only had one sign up and he didn’t show,” the girl at the table told me.
“Me, I’m the guy who signed up, I’m right here,” I reply.
“Oh, we’ll you’re the only one,” she says, not really looking to continue the conversation.
“Soooo, what am I supposed to do?” I ask, feeling a bit embarrassed.
“You can try to find some guys at the convention and bring them back here to a later session,” was her final response. Yep, if I want to meet guys in speed dating I better find them myself. I walked away, peeling off my nametag, having two hours to kill while waiting for Amy. I ended up seeing the Nicholas Brendan panel, which was HIGH-larious.
So, am I mad no fellow gay geeks came out to speed date? Not really, I can see how it would be doubly weird for someone to put themselves out there to be picked. That’s why I give tons of credit to the guys who do speed dating, it’s got to be rough. What was unacceptable was SciFi Speed Dating’s handling of the situation. Rather than giving me a heads up before hand that no other dater’s signed up, they just shrugged me away. I contacted them on their Facebook wall about how the situation was handled and my comment was swiftly deleted. In the future, I ask that they are up front with all of the people who sign up for their event, rather than brushing off someone who is really sticking his neck out to find geek love. It feels a bit disconcerting to be treated as such at a convention where arguably the biggest star was an out gay man who gained fame playing an omnisexual time traveler.* Also, all the Nightwing action figures were way too expensive, stupid overpriced boy wonder.
* For those of you who don’t know who Dan’s reference, click here and then go watch everything he’s in.