Author: Eric Starker

Out Con: Queer Geeks & Palm Trees

This is part of a series of profiles of conventions, local to Seattle and across the country, with missions that are relevant to the LGBTQ community. When I think of Miami, Florida, I think of sunny beaches, palm trees, cocktails and ‘80s TV shows. My mind doesn’t immediately jump to Miami as a destination for gaming, science fiction or fantasy. While there’s clearly an outstanding queer club scene there, there’s also a number of conventions and a strong fan presence. We spoke to cosplayer Jonathan Stryker about the first annual Out Con, one of the first LGBTQ geek conventions in Florida,...

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Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend: A First-Timer’s Guide/Experience

For those interested in kink events primarily targeted towards a queer male-identified audience, there are a number of great ones out there. Most people have heard of Folsom Street Fair and International Mr. Leather (IML). In Washington, DC in January, there’s another big kink event that draws a lot of attendees and participants: Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend (MAL). I’ve attended Folsom, IML, Dore Alley, Mr. International Rubber, and Rubbout. But there’s a first time for everything, so this year I decided to attend MAL for the first time. Here are my thoughts, and a guide for those who might consider attending...

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Pup Bolt’s Taking The Kinksters To School

If you’re curious about getting tied up, being paddled, or any other ways to express your sexuality beyond what’s considered vanilla, even in this day and age there are limited resources available to learn. There are some great books out there, but that’s quite a time commitment and deep dive to satisfy an initial interest. You can certainly watch relevant pornography, but that may feed something other than a desire to learn how-to. What sort of resources exist out there for a quick fix in learning the basics about kink? Enter Pup Bolt and Pup Amp, also known as Cass Bolton and Tyler...

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GaymerX: Blazing An Inclusive Trail For Queer Geekdom

This is part of a series of profiles of conventions, local to Seattle and across the country, with missions that are relevant to the LGBTQ community. GaymerX is still the only LGBTQ convention intended uniquely for gamers, and it paved the way for many of the other newer conventions we’ve previously profiled. While Bent Con and Gaylaxicon were perhaps the first queer geek conventions, they focused on different areas of fandom. GaymerX was also one of the first queer conventions to have a Kickstarter model for funding, and really broke through to the mainstream gaming press. Now in its third year, GaymerX...

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Mr. International Rubber: Squeaky, Shiny People and Their Toys

A hearty band of souls gather together in Chicago each November, braving the often unrelenting cold, windy weather, to be among their brethren in the rubber community, a fetish based around wearing latex or neoprene clothing. People travel in from all over the country and beyond, with attendees from as far away as the Netherlands, both to compete for the Mr. International Rubber title and to enjoy the social and play activity around the contest. But what exactly does all this entail? Is it a big sex party? Social gathering? Somewhere in between? I’ve attended four past Mr. International...

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Flame Con: Burning Bright for Queer Comic Fans

This is part of a series of profiles of conventions, local to Seattle and across the country, with missions that are relevant to the LGBTQ community. Most of the conventions we’ve covered thus far have focused on gaming, both tabletop and video varieties. But what about the world of comic books and graphic novels? Queer folks have made significant headway in the comic world in recent years. The major labels (DC & Marvel) have included more LGBTQ characters, issues, and plot lines, while independent labels such as Zan Christensen’s Northwest Press offer a level of diversity rarely seen in comics...

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Superhero Fetish: A Scene Growing Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

Chances are, if you’ve encountered the fetish scene, your thoughts immediately turn to handcuffs, rope bondage and leather harnesses. But fetish is constantly evolving. Other gear has grown in popularity, such as spandex, neoprene and rubber. Role-play scenarios have shifted from master/slave to puppies and handlers, anthropomorphic animals (furries), and adult babies (ABDL/diaper fetishists), among others. One increasingly popular fetish pulls from both the most innocent and childlike of interests as well as more intense scenarios: superheroes. Ripped from the pages of comics, and more recently a huge surge in popularity in movies, TV and video games, there’s a...

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GeekGirlCon: Supporting Women in Geeky Pursuits

This is part of a series of profiles of conventions, local to Seattle and across the country, with missions that are relevant to the LGBTQ community. One of the most prominent conventions in the country promoting diversity, and specifically women in geekdom and geek fandom, is GeekGirlCon. Now in its fifth year, the event at the Washington State Convention Center continues to rapidly grow rapidly and attract participants from all over the country and beyond. Like Orcacon, GeekGirlCon puts diversity at the forefront of its mission. I’ll fully admit that, as a male-identified fellow, it took me a few...

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OrcaCon: We All Believe That Everyone Games

This the first of a series of profiles of conventions, local to Seattle and across the country, with missions that are relevant to the LGBTQ community. There’s a brand new gaming convention right here in the Pacific Northwest: OrcaCon, taking place January 8th-10th at the Holiday Inn in downtown Everett, WA. While Jetspace has profiled LGBTQ targeted conventions in the past, OrcaCon is a convention aimed at a broader audience, but one with inclusivity and diversity at the forefront. Most established conventions (such as Norwescon, Gen Con, and PAX) have diversity programming and initiatives, but have incorporated them later in the process. That’s not...

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A Queer Geek’s Guide To Seattle: 2015 Edition

Seattle is widely known as one of the geekiest places in North America (at the very least). Whether it’s due to the rain, the glut of software and game companies in the area, or some other factor, you’d be hard pressed to find a city with more game stores, arcades, conventions, bookstores, and various havens to explore your love of comics, science fiction, and video games. In the last several years especially, geekdom has expanded into events targeted towards geeks who are also queer. Huge, mainstream conventions such as PAX and Gen Con have added panels about inclusivity and...

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Totally Unofficial Queer Guide to PAX Prime 2015

If it’s August, and you’re a gamer, that can only mean one thing: PAX Prime. What started out as a humble Bellevue gamer con has grown into a massive gaming juggernaut, comprised of no less than four worldwide gaming conventions. Still, PAX Prime is the granddaddy of the Penny Arcade Expo machine, drawing what’s been rumored to be more than 100,000 folks to the Washington State Convention Center annually for gaming, cosplay, socializing, and the odd case of pinkeye. It’s been sold out for months, of course, so if you don’t have a ticket already you’re probably out of...

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Galacticon: The Little Convention That Couldn’t

Galacticon 4 appeared on the Seattle events calendar only a few months ago. It’s billed as the world’s largest Battlestar Galactica Con, and presented an incredibly promising line-up, including a large number of cast members from both the original as well as the rebooted shows, along with stars from other genre shows, including Firefly and Babylon 5. Galacticon is hosted at the Seattle Center, a large, well-known venue. This is its fourth year as a convention, the first convention co-produced by Richard Hatch, the original Apollo himself (as well as Zarek in the reboot). There’s major media and news coverage, including articles in the...

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The Geeks At Night, Are Big And Bright, Deep In The Heart of Texas

There’s been a recent trend, lately, towards more organized activities for queer folks who are also fans of geek media, whether that means video games, role-playing games, board games, science fiction/fantasy books, TV, films, anime, or other. Queer geeks have a community based on a set of interests, rather than just a sexual or gender identity in common, and gatherings that target them offer a different social opportunity outside of a generic bar social setting. While conventions like PAX or San Diego Comicon have LGBT inclusive panels and spaces, conventions specifically targeted at the queer population offer something extra...

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High Heels and Leather: Pup Tugger Breaks the Mold

The leather community has always had its shares of competitions and titles. In and near Seattle, we have the Washington State Mr. and Ms. Leather competition, Seattle Leather Daddy and Daddy’s Boy, Northwest Puppy, and others. One of the most famous in the country, though, is in Chicago: IML – International Mr. Leather. Held over Memorial Day Weekend since the 1970s, International Mr. Leather has crowned leather men based on physique, audience engagement and leather image. Winners and contestants have definitely pushed boundaries in the past, notably with a trans, person who uses a wheelchair crowned as the winner...

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Totally Unofficial International Mr. Leather Party List

International Mr. Leather is a huge gathering of kinky, primarily queer folks in Chicago, hosted this year at the Congress Plaza Hotel. While centered around a contest and crowning of a new title holder, it’s now equal parts play party and social gathering. There are a lot of official events, such as Gearblast and the Chicago Rubbermen meetup, that you can find a comprehensive schedule for here – and you can always find a party in the hotel lobby. There are a lot of offsite events, smaller and/or unofficial gatherings, that don’t make it on the schedule. So here’s a list of a...

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Tyler Rush: Pup, Geek, and Porn Star

If you’ve spent any time out and about in Seattle’s bar scene, or on one of a number of shared blogs and Tumblr sites, you’ve likely seen a striking, fit fellow wearing very little clothing. Too vague? He’s just as likely to be out wearing a sexy version of your favorite video game character’s costume, particularly at the Seattle Eagle’s popular Insert Coin parties which he co-hosts with DJ Krot. He’s also a fan of human puppy attire, as in a leather harness, a pup mask, and a strategically-placed tail. I’m talking about Tyler Rush, also known as Pup...

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