Why I’m Attending GeekGirlCon

Why I’m Attending GeekGirlCon

By: Virginia Eader

I’m super excited to attend GeekGirlCon for the first time this weekend. It took me some time to get to this point and I thought I’d share why that is.

I could have attended the last 2 years but something inside me held me back. I honestly felt intimated at the thought of being around women (and men) who are way more committed to their geekiness than myself. I mean, Celebrity CityI’ve never even watched a single episode of Firefly or Dr. Who.  I can count on one hand how many comic books I’ve read and I only recently learned what Dungeons and Dragons was all about.  Needless to say, I hadn’t really felt that I’ve lived up to the “standards” of what it means to be a “real geek.”

What drew me to this year’s GeekGirlCon were two things. First, Denise Crosby will be there on Sunday! (Okay yes, I’m a Star Trek: The Next Generation fan. So I’ve got that going for me.) That was a start but I was still feeling unsure- like maybe I would just go half a day to see her and check out the merch booths, buy a GeekGirlCon souvenir to prove I was there and call it good. Then I started reading the descriptions of the sessions and I realized something. “Holy crap, this is ALL the stuff I geek out on EVERYDAY!!” Not the content of the sessions- gaming, comics, cosplay, etc.- but the context in which they are being explored- through a lens of social justice.  Here are a few of the titles I pasted from the website. The titles alone have got me all excited!

Race in Costuming and Performance

A Community Divided: Bullying within the Cosplay Community and How to Solve the Problem

Black, Latina, Girl, and Geek: A Tale of Acceptance

(Re)creating Female Sexuality in Comics

QUEER GEEK!: Women in Gaymer Communities

Comics for Social Change

Since the inception of Have You Nerd (which spawned from dismantling the very thoughts I was having about GeekGirlConnot being a “real geek.”) I’ve realized that we’re all nerdy in our own unique ways. Wow, cliché, I know. But seriously, this was a lesson that I’ve actually learned the last year and it’s helped me to get over this weird feeling I’ve had for so long about not living up to the ideas I had formed in my head. Most importantly, when it comes down to it, aren’t these thoughts and feelings connected to the same ideas that have reinforced harmful race and gender stereotypes in the geek community as a whole?

So as I proudly enter the walls of the convention this year, I’m excited to engage in much needed dialogue about inclusion and acceptance and why being a geek is as much about being our own unique person as it is about being a part of a fun and supportive community with which we can express ourselves.

Editor’s Note: Both Meg and Terra will be working at GeekGirlCon. If you come too, which you should, make sure to find them and say “Hi!”. Saturday they have a panel on ‘Creating Inclusiveness in the Geek Community” at 3pm in Room LL3.