Playing with Pride All Year at Prism Tabletop Club

Dozens of LGBTQ+ gamers hanging out, playing games, and celebrating diversity in gaming. That’s what you’ll find at Prism Tabletop Club, The Rook Room’s twice-monthly game night focused on the Des Moines metro’s LGBTQIA+ community.

This year for Pride Month, we wanted to highlight one of our favorite and most popular events: Prism Tabletop Club LGBTQ+ Game Nights. Making its debut in November 2022, the event has grown into a recurring event popping up twice a month and drawing hundreds of gamers to more than 30 game nights over the past year and a half.

Prism Tabletop Club LGBTQ+ Game Night Full Table of Gamers

The idea for Prism Tabletop Club was sparked in 2022 after seeing a need to create a safe space for the queer community amidst an increasingly hostile atmosphere in Iowa for LGBTQ+ rights and queer community members.

Probably the most notable piece of hateful legislation aimed at Iowa’s LGBTQ+ community that year was the transgender sports bill signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds in March. While that legislation made it into law, Iowa lawmakers made attempt after attempt after attempt that year and since to deny the LGBTQ+ community basic rights and paint them as less than. It’s only because of thousands of dedicated, hard-working, outspoken community members fighting against hateful and hurtful legislation that more of those bills didn’t become law.

The constant attacks and countless fights can be taxing. That’s why, as a fully LGBTQ-owned business, we wanted to bring our community together regularly in an atmosphere that allows people to play, relax, and find their people as their full selves.

Prism Tabletop Club LGBTQ+ Game Night Rook Room Fun Expert Teaching Game

We also knew that, as a pop-up with no permanent space of our own, we wanted to find a venue partner that exemplified being a welcoming, affirming, and accepting space for our friends to gather. It was beyond easy to find just that in The Slow Down Coffee Co. Not only are owners Kara and Drew some of the hardest-working community builders in the city, but they’re also fierce allies for marginalized communities throughout the metro.

So, in November 2022 Prism Tabletop Club was born with the mission to “create a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQIA-identifying individuals of all ages in order to build a lasting, supportive community connecting over a shared love of games on a regular, monthly basis. We encourage you to gather, play games, slay dragons, piece together puzzles, hang out and meet new friends.”

Prism Tabletop Club LGBTQ+ Game Night People Smiling Playing Games

What started as a once-a-month gathering quickly expanded to twice-monthly events after several standing-room-only turnouts. It’s now held on the first Wednesday and third Sunday of each month at The Slow Down.

We bring a specially curated selection of games from our Rook Room game library while The Slow Down slings delicious beverages as we welcome any and all affirming and accepting LGBTQ+ and ally players to join us and play with Pride. Nametags and table signs help ease the process of meeting people and finding other players.

Prism Tabletop Club LGBTQ+ Game Night Join Us Table Sign

It’s free to attend though we gladly accept donations to help sustain the event’s future for years to come. A special thanks goes out to the dozens of extremely generous donors who have already given. Those donations go directly to additional Prism Tabletop Club programming and LGBTQ+ community support.

Prism Tabletop Club LGBTQ+ Game Night Game Shelves

The fight for LGBTQ+ rights is far from over and we here at The Rook Room promise to be there to support and build the community every step of the way. And Prism Tabletop Club will exist as a safe space to connect, create friendships and families, and celebrate all the wonderful diversity that makes up the LGBTQ+ community.

Learn even more about Prism Tabletop Club and check out upcoming events.