Geek Week: Fanboys
Skip Ender's Game
by David-Elijah Nahmod
On Friday, November 1, Fanboy SF will host a lively party at the Lone Star Saloon, 1354 Harrison in San Francisco. Called Skip Ender's Game: A Salute to Hikaru Sulu, the event coincides with the opening night of Ender's Game, the new Harrison Ford sci-fi action thriller. Sulu is the beloved Star Trek character portrayed in the original TV series by the now out, proud George Takei.
Ender's Game is based on the same-named novel by Orson Scott Card, the noted science fiction author and notorious homophobe. A former board member of designated anti-gay hate group NOM (National Organization for Marriage), Card has said that any government which recognizes same-sex marriage is his "mortal enemy."
Earlier this year, DC Comics dropped Card from a series of Superman stories he was going to write due to public outcry regarding his views.
Fanboy SF is a monthly party for openly gay/LGBT comic book fans which takes place at Lone Star Saloon. At their tumblr page, Fanboy SF describes themselves as "a party for Queers of the Geeky persuasion." The Skip Ender's Game event is being held in conjunction with anti-Ender's Game parties all over the country, courtesy of Geeks Out. Founded in 2010, Geeks Out "seeks to highlight and foster the growing presence of the LGBT community within the greater comics and gaming communities." Geeks Out had previously helped to organize a boycott against Card's Superman stories.
"Our position is the same for Ender's Game," said Jono Jarrett of Geeks Out. "Don't buy it. Let it fail. Refuse to participate with your money because you don't want any part of your dollar going to Card's anti-gay agenda."
Further controversy was generated when GLSEN (the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network) bestowed its annual Respect Award on Lion's Gate Studios. Though Lion's Gate has a history of being LGBT-inclusive, many felt that this award was ill-timed, as it's being given within thirty days of Ender's Game's release.
"You can't pick and choose when progress is worth your time," said Fanboy SF organizer James Rouse Iniguez. You either 'do, do not; there is no try,'" he said, citing the famous Yoda quote.
The boycott is growing, according to Iniguez. "We've had a ton of support from our sponsors in SF, especially the owners of the Lone Star Saloon, where we host our monthly party," he said. "A lot of what we've done is in line with the national movement championed by our allies at Geeks Out. This includes education and providing information about Orson Scott Card's history of homophobia, bigotry and prejudice. A lot of folks don't know and are quite shocked when they learn."
In addition to sending a very clear message, the party will be fun! "We will screen Sulu-centric Star Trek episodes and do a silent trivia with prizes donated by local queer/geek-friendly sponsors. It's our goal to show queer communities in SF that there are tons of other ways they can engage in sci-fi/fantasy genres that are inclusive and progressive."
And of course, it all happens at a saloon, so spirits will be served!
Party against hate! Check out Skip Ender's Game: A Salute to Hikaru Sulu on Friday Nov. 1 at the Lone Star Saloon, 8pm-1am. 1354 Harrison, San Francisco