Whether you’re into cosplay, fantasy, or both, you can exploit your wildest dreams at these two Pride events on June 22. Hop onto an evening cruise with Geeks OUT for Cosplay & Pride, a graphic art, anime, and manga-inspired costume party for all nerdy members of the LGBTQ+ community.
In my previous life as a field organizer, it was often said that organizing people was a lot like herding cats. The talented folks behind WICOMICON, a Pop-Up comic and arts convention held in Baltimore last week, put that expression to shame. In less than a week a group of dedicated organizers, activists, scholars and reporters joined to fill in the void left behind by the now infamous implosion of UniversalFanCon. It was a Herculean effort of community organizing and it’s reminded me of the raw power of people to unite behind a common cause.
“WICOMICON was a testament to the power of community… a shining example of the truth that when folks get together under one common goal, without ego, and in the face of great adversity, there is nothing we can’t accomplish. It was an honor to be a part of such a beautiful moment in this renaissance that is unfolding in front of us.” — URAEUS (Black Heroes Matter)
We wanted to take some time to celebrate the event and its organizers who worked tirelessly to make it possible. The convention was produced by The Nerds of Color, Black Heroes Matter, and The New Release Wednesday Show, in association with André Robinson of Carbon Fibre Media and Elijah Kelley of the Be A Boss App. Other organizations like GEEKS OUT and Flame Con helped by purchasing and donating tickets for would-be attendees.
“After recent events our goal was to help the vendors and artists left with inventory they couldn’t move and plane tickets they couldn’t return. And to change the narrative about working with creators of color and give everyone affected a sense of hope.” — Karama Horne (theblerdgurl)
The event featured folks from the comic, arts, and entertainment industries – including the casts of the SYFY Series Killjoys and The Magicians. Convention-goers had the chance to revel in goods from exhibitors, attend panels, show off their cosplay, and enjoy music. Below you will find some highlights from last week’s WICOMICON. We hope you’ll take some time to join us in commending these organizers and change-makers.
Website Geeks Out is offering free tickets to their LGBTQ inclusive convention Flame Con for anyone who purchased tickets to the recently cancelled Universal FanCon. Flame Con takes place in New York August 18-19. Universal FanCon was scheduled to take place this weekend in Baltimore and was postponed indefinitely. The con came about due to a Kickstarter campaign in 2016. The organizers of the con also had a comic-con that was cancelled after conducting a Kickstarter in 2015 for PrideCon in Anaheim. You can head to io9 for a timeline of details.
Co-presented by Geeks Out, curators of New York’s LGBTQ-themed convention Flame Con, Pride Alley is a full section dedicated exclusively to LGBTQ creators. Awesome Con will also host more than a dozen LGBTQ panels, including “Star Trek Discovery & A New Era of Diversity” on Friday, from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m., “Creating Inclusive Gaming Spaces” on Saturday, from 11:30 to 12:15 p.m., and “Let’s Be Wonder Women,” on Saturday, from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m.
Video games and comic books have long been thought of as the province of white, straight, cisgender men. But Miguel Miranda, administrator of the DC Gaymers social group, knows better.
“For a lot of queer gamers, gaming is a part of how we dress, how we interact, how we have fun,” he says. “It’s an essential part of our identity.”
To celebrate that identity, Miranda is bringing together queer gamers for a chance to network and socialize during this weekend’s Awesome Con. On Friday, March 30, DC Gaymers will host a “Queer Gaymer Meetup,” and while the meetup itself is free of charge, participants will need to pay Awesome Con’s $35 daily admission fee — or $75 weekend fee — to enter the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
“We’re hosting an informal panel where we’ll discuss what it means to be a gay gamer and why that’s something people shouldn’t hide,” he says. “We’ll also play a couple of rounds of Gaymer Jeopardy, to keep it lighthearted and fun. It’s really just a space to chat, hang out, and have fun for about two hours at Awesome Con.”
Later that night, DC Gaymers and Geeks OUT are hosting a dance party, “Snikt,” at the Dew Drop Inn, a bar in D.C.’s Brookland neighborhood. The party features various DJs, raffles, even a signature cocktail created just for Awesome Con attendees: the Valkyrie, a vodka soda with a black current mixture.
Party-goers are encouraged to dress in costumes, in keeping with Awesome Con’s reputation as an affirming venue for people who are interested in cosplay.
“Being who you are isn’t something you should have to be cautious about,” says Miranda. “Just like people aren’t afraid to say what sports team they’re a fan of, or where they’re from, queer gamers shouldn’t be afraid to share who they are. You don’t have to be scared of what you like.”
DC Gaymers’ “Queer Gaymer Meetup” at Awesome Con is Friday, March 30 from 5:20-7:15 p.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Pl. NW. Regular admission fees to Awesome Con apply.
Snikt: A Queer Geek Dance Party at Awesome Con is Friday, March 30 from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. at the Dew Drop Inn, 2801 8th St. NE. Admission is free of charge. For more information, visit facebook.com/DCGaymers.