Every year I go to GeekGirlCon it gets better, and each time I go it feels more like home. Geeks know the feeling I’m talking about well. You know that feeling you get when you walk into a Con after eagerly anticipating it for a year? Yeah, that’s the feeling I’m talking about, and it becomes more intense every year I visit GGC.
This year, I had the opportunity to present my second panel “Black Twitter and Fandom”. Last year’s panel, “Black, Latina, Girl, and Geek: A Tale of Acceptance”, was a heart-rending experience for me, so I was very stoked when I was able to return, and geek out with a room (and convention center) full of fellow nerds and geeks. HDMI adapter cord be damned!
Maybe it’s because Seattle is the kind of city that is a breeding ground for more social acceptance and awareness (we’re not perfect, though), but GeekGirlCon is for everyone, and believe me, everyone goes. Male, female, black, white, heterosexual or LGBTQ, and everyone in between is at GGC making the most of one of the few Cons that makes everyone feel comfortable and welcomed. Where some Cons are all about one’s, uh, assets, GeekGirlCon is about something more pure, and more sincere: the love of geekdom and all that it encompasses. Because it’s a smaller, yet constantly expanding convention, GGC doesn’t fall under the weight of its own self-importance. It’s all love whenever I go, and I always end up meeting men and women who I’d totally go on coffee dates with, and that’s a big positive. I don’t do coffee with just anybody! All jokes aside, of the Cons I’ve been to, GeekGirlCon always has the friendliest, most outgoing people. And what’s more, they aren’t all there to show out–although the turn up is always fun at the bigger Cons–they are there to geek out while making a positive change to our geek community.
“Black Twitter and Fandom” was a smorgasbord of people from different walks of life and backgrounds, and for someone who is adept at being a lone wolf/outlier, it was an amazing feeling to have met other people who brought out a more outgoing persona in me. That only happens when I’m comfortable with people, and that usually doesn’t come easy. This is a testament to the convivial nature of GeekGirlCon as a whole.
As a matter of fact, this was brought up during the extremely stimulating “Fatness and Fandom” panel featuring Kim Correa, Sabrina Taylor, Uhura Jones, Amber Bushnell, Shawna Jaquez, and Rachelle Abellar. “Fatness and Fandom” not only addressed issues like the lack of plus-size geek merch, but the real possibility that if representation for all wasn’t a priority for creators, then people’s hard earned dollars should be spent elsewhere. I was also happy to see they addressed the duplicitous nature of some creators. So while you can go to GGC for the tabletop games or the costume contest, you can most certainly find robust and timely conversations about comics, gaming, books, and other media without fear of the Internet Orc Militia and their bullshit antics (#GamerGate, I am looking at you).
After the panel, I had an amazing conversation with Sabrina, Uhura, Crazy Aunt Lindsey, some of the ladies at the panel (who don’t have Twitters, but if you read this, you’re awesome!), Jamie Broadnax from BlackGirlNerds.com , Raychelle Burks (Dr. Rubidium) and got to meet DNLee (The Urban Scientist) by whom I was absolutely starstruck because awesomeness. It’s always fun to meet other geeks, but to have that many fellow black girl geeks in one location was like a freaking dream come true. Seriously, 10-year-old me would have passed out from excitement. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met plenty of geeks at Emerald City Comicon and San Diego Comic-Con, but I feel like a unicorn when I go to those, which isn’t a knock on them. It’s just what it is.
So next year you should definitely plan on going to GeekGirlCon if you haven’t been yet. And feel free to bring your kids if you have any. Sometimes, fandoms can feel pretty exclusive, but GGC’s raison d’etre is inclusion, and the events of this past month have shown that us geeks totally need more of that in our lives. I definitely look forward to next year’s Con.