GDQ Cancels Florida Speedrun Event Due to State’s COVID and Anti-LGBTQ Guidelines

Games Done Quick, the organization that runs speedrunning marathons for charity, announced on Wednesday that Awesome Games Done Quick will be held next year from January 8th to 15th, 2023. However, the winter event, which was previously scheduled to take place in Florida, remains online. only, organizers say, citing this state’s approach to COVID-19 and “increased aggression” toward LGBTQ people.

“While we’d love to return in person, we’ve decided it’s best to move from our originally planned Florida location to provide a safe and welcoming event for everyone,” said Games Done Quick organizers a statement posted on Twitter. “With the state’s continued disregard for the dangers of COVID-19 (including anti-mandate policies) and increasing aggression toward LGBTQ+ people, including the law colloquially known as ‘don’t say gay,’ we don’t believe there is a safe place for is our community.”

In March, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation restricting the discussion public school teachers can have about “sexual orientation or gender identity.” The Don’t Say Gay law is part of a larger conservative movement against LGBTQ Americans that includes similar bills in three other mainly Republican states. The Don’t Say Gay law has also been challenged at the constitutional level, with critics saying the law both demonizes LGBTQ Americans and places an undue burden on public school teachers. Florida also enacted new rules prohibiting health care providers from using state Medicaid funds for gender-affirming medical treatments. GDQ has hosted several trans speedrunners at its events.

DeSantis has also been criticized for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, after banning mask mandates and calling COVID “a very low risk.” Florida’s masking policy “disadvises wearing face coverings in a community setting” and states that employees should not be forced to wear a mask while on the job.

Games Done Quick organizers said they have signed a deal with a Florida venue in 2021. While the organization had not held in-person events due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, GDQ originally intended to use this venue. The use of an alternative venue would have resulted in a contract cancellation fee; Therefore, Games Done Quick is hosting the AGDQ 2023 online.

Games Done Quick says his organization will still have “significant recovery costs” and will try to “recover them where possible, including community support via Twitch subs.” Game and volunteer submissions for Awesome Games Done Quick will open on September 11th on the organization’s official website. GDQ Cancels Florida Speedrun Event Due to State’s COVID and Anti-LGBTQ Guidelines

Curtis Crabtree

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