Investing In: PRIDE & Community

Happy PRIDE to one and all!

It was two years ago Merisel and Kyra were married (see below!) as the Advanced Player’s Guide was released. That June we didn’t have the same PRIDE month we normally do considering COVID as well as a keen focus on the violence against BIPOC individuals. I was thankful then and thankful now for rising visibility and communities coming together as some have long asked for as we are all together in our quest for fair representation and equal rights. As a symbol I love the flag image I’ve used as a banner. You can check out this article I found on Teen Vogue for more on the history of the various flags. PRIDE is certainly more than flags and parades after all.

It was 53 years ago, on June 28th, the Stonewall Inn was raided by the police with riots ensuing and the first march occurring a year later. In some places like here in my state of Rhode Island that march has become a parade, but that’s not true everywhere especially in other countries. PRIDE is many things for many people including support, visibility, celebration, as well as remembrance and thanks for those who have marched and supported this movement before us. It’s a celebration for those fighting, surviving, and living. It’s a joyous thanks with visibility of those living their lives and our allies who support us. And while there’s plenty to still change (or protect), I’m inspired this year despite the challenges we’re seeing, inspired by those groups and people in the community and that’s where I spend my energy to feel renewed and invigorated. I thought I’d highlight some of them today!

First I have to mention a bit not connected to the gaming world. Like I mentioned in my Avatar article, I loved and look forward to more seasons of Heartstopper. Yasmin Finney, a trans woman and BIPOC, is wonderful in her role. I highly suggest you check out her interview for Elle magazine. She’ll be in the new Doctor Who as well! The entire cast is a treat and I’m thrilled for the positivity and visibility this show (originally a graphic novel) provides for a younger generation. I wish I’d had that when I was younger. However, something I do have now are my friends and even more support at work!, I recently joined a new company and am thrilled by their support for a number of groups about diversity and inclusivity, including their LGBTQIA+ group.

There are a number of people I’ve found through Critical Role. I think I first saw the Critical Bard in Critical Role chat, a group and community I’ve found incredibly positive and supportive. I also like how Critical Role has heard concerns on inclusivity and has brought a more diverse cast for its show(s) or guests. On that note I’d like to applaud Martlet Games for making a change to their Pride By Night one shot. They heard and acknowledged the cast lacked diversity with queer BIPOC, spoke as a group, and made changes while pledging to do better in the future with casting. That’s the sort of growth we all need to adopt, encourage, and support as we look at PRIDE or any month going forward! Luboffin is someone I’ve been following closely for Critical Role youtube videos. She just hit 10K subscribers, she’s Australian, and she also cooks in between miniatures and talking theories for we gamers. Incredibly charming and friendly, she’s also a welcoming community member.

But back to the Bard! I figure how else can you get inspired if you don’t listen to THE Bard so when Critical Bard suggested checking someone out, I did. Chidorii Chan was streaming Dead by Daylight as I was doing some chores. They were kind enough to inform me on some of the lore (because I love lore) and a bit more about the game as they played, even letting me choose whom they’d play. I chose the hag, of course. Their friendly, fun, welcoming attitude is just another example of why I love this community. I definitely suggest you check them out on twitch too! They’re also Critical Role fans!

Many know Ginny Di who is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. She’s the first cosplayer I ever started following as her Jester is just impeccable, but I love her other creative work. Through her I found Deussolaris, Laura of JessoLaurus, and her husband Jesse. I’m not speaking specifically of how people identify, what their sexuality is, etc. in this article but I do really appreciate Jesse’s allyship. I could tell he was a swell dude from what I saw of their cosplay group, and I’ve enjoyed what they’ve produced together like the Jester’s Mom parody. Jesse is a nice guy, sure, but I think I find empathy with a taller guy (taller than me even) who has diverse interests around gaming and outside of it.

I asked Jesse what got him into cosplay, and it’s incredibly sweet, as it was to get into a hobby Laura was into. He quickly threw together a Goliath costume to match her Elisa from Gargoyles for Denver Comic Con and it turned out, it was the 20th year anniversary. 7 years later and they’re married with Ginny getting them into actually playing D&D, as well as listening to Critical Role. They always say to be yourself when trying to meet the right person, but maybe dressing up as someone else while you do it and showing interest in their nerdy pursuits is the real sweet spot! Jesse’s a supportive, protective soul online and so I check out there content on twitter, twitch, and youtube.

I wanted to also call out the supportive communities where I enjoy spending my time because they’re filled with amazing people of all types, running games with diverse and exciting casts. Gehenna Gaming is always premiering new one-shots and trying horror games. Carrion Comfort invites new and recurring guests into trying video games and actual plays like the recently concluded Kingdom Hearts: the Interstitial War. I love Charm Person Games and applaud Natalie for her premiere of Sapphic Space Pirates. I got to meet Sade at PAX Unplugged and so glad to have met them through Carrion and Charm Person! Roll for Combat – where many of the staff here also play – will now always hold a place in my heart as I adore my nonbinary witch Ateran who of late is realizing the importance of their found family. Finally, a special thank you to our amazing staff here at Know Direction as I greatly appreciate their support and celebration of all voices in the gaming community!

From my gay heart to all of you, thank you for being a part of this community! Again, I wish you a happy PRIDE this June! I encourage you to invest in those who invest in you and the communities, groups, and people who celebrate love and diversity! Do read up more on Stonewall if not familiar or educate yourself on PRIDE topics, think about how you can participate in your communities’ diversity, and remember to support others as visibility at this time can save lives! Even adding your pronouns to your twitter profile or email signature can show others that you aren’t going to assume their gender.

Investing In:

I wasn’t quite sure what to name my article series when I first started but the idea of showcasing or discussing things that make me excited, that I find new and interesting, or maybe I’m otherwise passionate about seemed to fit with the idea of Investing In something like the Pathfinder 2E mechanic. To use some magic items you have to give that little bit of yourself, which helps make these things even better. I like the metaphor of the community growing and being strengthened in the same way!

I also want to hear what you’re Investing In! Leave me a comment below about what games, modules, systems, products, people, live streams, etc you enjoy! You can also hit me up on social media as silentinfinity. I want to hear what excites you and what you’re passionate about. There’s so much wonderful content, people, groups (I could go on) in this community of ours that the more we invest in and share, the better it becomes!


Banner Pathfinder Lost Omens: Knights of Lastwall cover, Paizo

  1. Heartbond, Iconic Encounter: Of Wasps and Whispers, Paizo, art by Valera Lutfullina
  2. Cosplay shot, Deussolaris, Laura and Jesse of JessoLaurus as Mollymauk, Marion (Jester’s Mom), and Fjord; properties of Critical Role cast
  3. Heart Gay Pride, Creative Commons Attribution, Wikimedia

Rob Pontious

You may know Rob Pontious from Order of the Amber Die or Gehenna Gaming's first series of Monster Hearts 2. He currently writes Know Direction's Investing In blog as well as a player for the Valiant podcast and Roll for Combat's Three Ring Adventure. He's been a lover of TTRPGs for over three decades, as a gamer, and a GAYMER. You can find him on social media as @silentinfinity.