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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



'King of the Nerds' gay gamer on the show
TELEVISION Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Terri-Lynne Waldron

This article shared 7794 times since Tue Jan 21, 2014
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On season two of TBS' King of the Nerds Xander Jeanneret is playing for keeps. He is a gaymer ( gay gamer ), vlogger, graphic designer and LARP enthusiast ( live action role-playing )—but he also has a heart of gold. So what is a nice guy doing on a show that will test his good guy status? Windy City Times caught up with Jeanneret about maintaining his integrity, being "an open book" and that $100,000 grand prize.

Windy City Times: How did King of the Nerds find you?

Xander Jeanneret: I was initially contacted for season one through a gay gaming group in Los Angeles, and I didn't know anything about the show at the time.

WCT: Why did you reject them when they asked you to be on season one?

Xander Jeanneret: I rejected the offer because I thought it would just be a reality show that took advantage of nerdy people for a laugh, and I didn't want to be a part of something like that. Then, I saw season one, and fell in love with the show. I really felt that it was a celebration of what it is to be a nerd, and the challenges looked like fun! So, when season two came around, I made sure to reach out and see if they'd still have me, and apparently they were still interested!

WCT: What is the premise of the show?

Xander Jeanneret: King of the Nerds is a competition-reality show, a la Survivor. Eleven nerdy people are put together in a mansion ( called "Nerdvana" ) and tested on various aspects of what would be considered "nerdy." The show starts off as a team competition, and one nerd is eliminated each week. Once the numbers dwindle down, the teams are dissolved and it becomes an individual competition for the crown.

WCT: Did you coin the word "gaymer" and have you connected with other gaymers out there in the world?

Xander Jeanneret: I definitely did not coin the term "gaymer"—it exists on many places on the Internet. It's yet another label that we can give to our sexual identity, but I feel that it allows us to express so much without having to explain anything. Any way that people can find each other and connect is great. I have connected with several gaymers out there in the world, in more than one sense.

WCT: How would you define the word "nerd," and why are you qualified to fit into that category?

Xander Jeanneret: Everyone has their own definition of what it means to be a "nerd" or a "geek." Personally, I believe that you can be a nerd about anything. For me, it takes on the connotations of being obsessed with something and having the unbridled passion to have it be a part of your life. This could be expressed in what you wear or what community you surround yourself with.

Traditionally, society has this checklist of things that are nerdy and a lot of my hobbies and interests coincide with that list. For instance, I love tabletop gaming—especially Dungeons and Dragons—video games, and consuming media based in science fiction or fantasy. But I don't just have an interest in these things; most of them are an important part of my life.

WCT: You consider yourself to be a nice guy and you want to prove that you can be that person and still win a competition. Did your nice guy attitude ever get tested?

Xander Jeanneret: For sure! We're in a super stressful environment, and each one of us had to be the "bad nerd" at one point or another. I mean, with $100,000 on the line, everyone's got to fly off the handle eventually! It was a trying exercise in inner peace to keep my cool at all times, but I'm proud of the game that I played.

WCT: Your personal motto is "to be an open book."

Xander Jeanneret: I think this is a fantastic platform to further the understanding that there are intellectual members of the LGBTQ community. While there are many more representations of gay people in today's media, I think that a gay person competing on a show like this proves that being gay is only one aspect of someone's personality. Personal identity comes in many forms, and I fully believe that you should be able to choose your label ( or lack thereof ) as easily as your socks. I identify as a gay man, yes, but also as a gamer, or a linguist. Any one of those labels are as important to defining me as my sexuality.

WCT: Are you ready for the positive and negative reactions that will come your way because you are so open?

Xander Jeanneret: Can anyone really be ready for that? I think that I'm confident enough in who I am that it would take an awful lot of negativity to bring me down.

Season two of King of the Nerds premieres Thursday, Jan. 23. Visit and follow Jeanneret on Twitter at .

This article shared 7794 times since Tue Jan 21, 2014
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