Mount your Yoshi and squeeze into your Tanooki suit, because LAGS is celebrating its first decade of gay geekery!
“LAGS events are gaming, it’s dancing,” described LA Gayming Society president Brian Moreno backstage at Downtown Los Angeles gay bar Precinct. “My favorite tagline we ever did for a party was ‘meet, mingle, and find your Player 2.’”
As Brian spoke, go-go dancers clad in Super Mario and Pokémon cosplay strutted past him on their way to Precinct’s stage. In the next room, downtown drag darling Isadora Spreads rehearsed choreography in a Luigi-inspired lewk.
This video game aesthetic paid tribute to the 10th anniversary of LAGS, Los Angeles’ premiere LGBTQ+ “gayming” social club. For Brian, these events cultivate a queer community distinctly different than the mainstream gay scene that predominantly saturates LA’s gayborhood of West Hollywood.
“Something that was major for me is I wanted to meet more gamers,” explained Brian. “I’ve lived in Los Angeles for 14 years. For so many years I felt like I didn’t have people that shared my interests. Then I found the LA Gaming Society and I met so many incredible people.”
A decade after its inception, LAGS continues to attract queer video game aficionados seeking camaraderie, evidenced by the throng of geek-chic Angelenos frolicking through Precinct. Throughout the bar, attendees challenged each other in various games, most notably in a tournament of Super Smash Bros projected against the entirety of one wall.
In addition to the gameplay, multiple raffles offered the chance to win video game prizes, such as a highly coveted PS5 bundle. Yet, more than providing competition and cutting-edge consoles, LAGS challenges the stigma of video game enthusiasts.
“The stereotype is that gamers are nerds,” said Brian. “They’re antisocial. They only like staying indoors and don’t like talking to people. Tonight proves that gaymers absolutely are fun. They’re absolutely social. They’re absolutely vibrant and eclectic people. We’re incredible f***ing people.”
Click through all the adorkable debauchery for images of the geekiest go-go dancers and nerdiest fashionistas the LAGS 10 Year Anniversary Party had to offer. Gayme on!