Greta Gustava Martela knew her name 15 years before she transitioned. It was the namesake of one of her characters in Icewind Dale, a Dungeons and Dragons-based role-playing game.
"This is true for a lot of trans women: that character allowed me to explore my preferred gender in a no-risk way. ... Seeing myself allows me to immerse myself in the game," she said.
Martela was just one of many who attended GX3: Everyone Games, the queer gaming convention started in 2013, which took place at the San Jose Convention Center last weekend. Organizers said that 2,250 people registered for the third version of the convention, which was the biggest yet.
"Gaymer" is a deeply-held identity: people romantically represent themselves as gaymers on their OkCupid and Grindr profiles. Shy Den, a cosplayer dressed as Mettaton from the game Undertale, introduced herself at the convention's drag show as such: "My gaming identity is stronger than any other identity I have."
Martela was at GX3 to promote Trans Lifeline, a crisis hotline for trans women staffed by trans women. She said the gaming community has a high representation of trans people because players can customize their characters and choose who they are, a boon for trying out an identity the player may one day inhabit.