CommunitySpotlight Series


Leaving the light on to find a safe space

pollack spotlight on morehead
Posted at 10:33 AM, Aug 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-24 16:05:18-04

MOREHEAD, Ky. (LEX 18) — There's always a spotlight on Kaiju Games in downtown Morehead.

Whether it's natural light beaming through storefront windows, Alex Salisbury has been thankful there's been a light since he opened almost three years ago.

"Lights are on, water is on, doors are open," Salisbury said. "That's kind of the basics you can ask for."

Kaiju Games is a gaming store. He opened shortly before the pandemic began.

"The previous game store in town was leaving and so it kind of opened up the spot that was available, so I just kind of took it over," he said.

This isn't just about a profit. There are bills to pay and day-to-day responsibilities that come with running a business. Salisbury says this is an LGBT+ owned business.

"We're trying to provide a kind of queer-aligned safe space where obviously everyone is welcome, but we're trying to give people that entertainment and that thing to do," he said.

Salisbury says this is about giving people an experience. An experience of a safe place for people to feel accepted and to find their community.

"Regardless of your gender, orientation, or your background or ethnicity, right? You can come in and you can have a place where it is safe to come in and learn hobbying and learn gaming," he said.

His mission is to give people a place he had destined for.

"I get to be here and have that thing I was missing," he said.

What he was missing, he says, was that community and safe place -- an open place for people to find their light.

"We need to keep the lights on," he said. "I've always told people that at the end of the day even though I don't have a front porch, I can still leave the light on."

Salisbury admits business hasn't always been financially easy, but he says he's staying afloat and making it work.

"I don't want to ever have to look at my players and say this is it. We're not going to be open anymore," he said. "That is my actual true fear."

Salisbury says this year has had ups and downs and scary moments where some things didn't go quite as intended. Still, though, games are on the shelves and chairs are ready for people.

"I've kind of always said that as long as my community wants me here, and as long as Morehead wants me here, and I feel there's a need for me in the business, I always want to be here," he said.

He doesn't have a porch outside or an actual light right outside his business. It's sunlight beaming through storefront windows by day. Even when the sun goes down, he's in control of his own spotlight.

"I want everybody to know that when I say even though we don't have a front porch I'll leave the light on, it's not just a physical thing," he said. "It's an actual pledge to help and provide and protect and to be that kind of focal point and heart of the community."

You can learn more about Kaiju Games by clicking here.