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 years to attend GeekGirlCon, despite being a Seattle resident with interests in diversity that are universally nerd-based. I didn’t want to appear inauthentic and take away from what I considered a female-oriented safer space. Convinced by friends last year that my presence (and the presence of allies in general) was welcome, I attended, had a great experience and plan to attend again.
I spoke with Danielle Gahl, the PR manager for GeekGirlCon, and she fully emphasized this point.
“GeekGirlCon embraces all types of people, period,” she assures me. “There is no way to list all the subsets of folks that now or in the future will make up the body of GeekGirlCon. All ages, gender identities, sexual orientations, sexual preferences, sizes, abilities, ethnicities, nationalities, races, creeds, religions, familial statuses, alien species, earth species, education levels, science specializations, operating system preferences, fandoms, etc., are welcome. Anyone supporting women in geeky pursuits is welcome.”
What about queer folks specifically?
“LGBTQI fans can expect a comfortable, welcome space where everyone can be themselves,” she explains. “We take the well-being of our attendees very seriously, and have a reaction team whose primary objective is making sure that everyone has a safe, harassment-free experience.”
Specifically of interest to queer fans this year is a panel titled Analysis of Gender vs. Sex: Why, Where, and Going All the Way, analyzing distinctions between sex and gender, discussing positive and negative examples of trans and nonbinary characters, and the journey forward in this conversation.
Danielle also indicated that Trans Lifeline will be a participant this year in their Connections room (a space devoted to career, school and other opportunities).
These are just a couple of LGBTQ-related highlights among many relevant panels and activities.
I asked her what cool and shiny new activities we could expect from this iteration of GeekGirlCon.
“Can I tell you about the fashion show,” she asks me. “We are having our first ever GeekGirlCon Fashion Show on Saturday night, where a diverse group of geek girls will take to the runway to model outfits from a selection of local geek fashion companies. There will be swag and I suspect there will be glitter. We also have G. Willow Wilson coming this year. If you don’t know her name, you know her work in Ms. Marvel.”
“GeekGirlCon is unique,” Danielle emphatically adds, “because inclusion isn’t something that we are adding to our schedule, it is our mission. We’re striving to create a positive, supportive culture that celebrates the female geek in the most intersectional way possible.”
If you are a female-identified geek or supporter of them, you should definitely plan to attend GeekGirlCon. Tickets are still available but are selling fast, so get yours now!