Panel Recap: Sex Ed Super Friends!

It’s time for me to make a confession. I have to admit, dear readers, that even though I look forward to all the amazing panels we at GeekGirlCon offer each year (seriously – so many different topics! So many incredible panelists!) there is one category that I await with an almost feverish anticipation, and that is the sex panels! There is maybe nothing I love more than smart, cool, thoughtful people getting nerdy about one of life’s most confusing, awesome, weird, and wonderful topics: sex.

This past year, GGC17 was graced by the incredible Sex Ed Super Friends! panel. Presented by Planned Parenthood, this panel amassed a slew of the raddest sex nerds around to delve into the complicated, emotional, embarrassing, and oftentimes difficult to talk about world of sex. Whether it was offering compassionate insight, providing recommendations, clearing up misinformation, or much more, the panelists took on attendee question – both anonymous and not – with thoughtfulness, wit, and utter aplomb.

Image Description: A person dressed in a superhero costume dances through a shopping mall. Source: Giphy.

Before delving into questions, the panelists began by introducing themselves. Comprising a veritable murderers’ row of sex education, the panelists represent a variety of experiences and identities. Moderator Liz Andrade is a sex-positive graphic designer who works for Planned Parenthood and has co-founded All Cycles, a grassroots Outreach Project for community members to bring menstrual supplies to folks in need and is a member of the Women of Color Sexual Health Network. Andie Lyons is a Health Educator for the Seattle & King County Public Health department, where she provides direct sexual health education, support and training for teachers providing sex ed, as well as a variety of resources to promote sexual health and wellbeing in the community at large. Forever Moon is a Community Outreach Educator and Teen Council Facilitator at Planned Parenthood in Olympia, Washington, and a self-professed nerd who has been educating about topics of sexuality since she was 17. Dawn Serra is the creator and host of the weekly podcast, Sex Gets Real, and of the annual sexuality summit, Explore More. She also lectures at colleges and universities on sex and relationships and works one-on-one with clients who need to get unstuck around their pleasure and desire. Tobi Hill-Meyer is a multiracial trans woman with well over a decade experience working with feminist and LGBTQ organizations, and one of the few people in the world who can claim to being both an award-winning porn creator and a children’s book author. She currently serves on the board of Gender Justice League and works as Communications Director at Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center, along with operating her own media production company, Handbasket Productions, and releasing the recent anthology Nerve Endings: The New Trans Erotic. Cy Enseñat is a queer pleasure-based sex educator, full spectrum doula, and curandera who works with Babeland, a Seattle-based sex toy boutique which works to create an approachable space for people to explore their sexuality with high quality, body safe products and accessible classes on a myriad of pleasure based topics.

Image Description: Emma Watson as Hermione from “Harry Potter” raises her hand to ask a question. Source: Giphy.

After introducing themselves, the panelists answered attendee questions on a variety of topics. First up was a question about how to support a friend who is doing sex work? The panelists recommended education about sex work and sex workers, including the ways in which many anti-sex work policies are incredibly harmful to sex workers. Like other work, sex workers experience a range of working conditions, and preconceived stereotypes about sex work can fail to adequately represent real-life experiences. Ultimately, resources like the amazing Whorecast podcast – run by queer sex worker Siouxsie Q – can help educate, which, alongside involvement in sex worker advocacy, is a crucial way to support sex workers.

Another panel attendee asked about ways in which to delve deeper into body positivity and fat-positive media. In response, the panelists noted that the more we see representations of ourselves in media, the better we are able to feel about ourselves. In this way, finding community and representation online and in person can be crucial. Some examples of resources to look into included the Instagram hashtag #bodieslikeoceans, the store and community Fat Fancy in Portland, the queer No Lose conference, the porn performer April Flores, the Oh Joy Sex Toy webcomic, the More Fats More Femmes quarterly event in Seattle, and Curvy Girl Sex, an amazing book by sex educator Elle Chase.

Another question centered on the difficulty of accessing sex and having a sex life while facing homelessness, dealing with public and group housing, living in poverty, and other related issues. The panelists pointed out that sex can look many different ways for different people depending on their various situations. It doesn’t have to follow one particular model to provide pleasure. Ultimately, though, there are many barriers in place for marginalized people around their own bodily autonomy and access to fulfilling sexual lives. Because public sex is criminalized and private space is commodified, access to money so often means access to sex in our capitalistic culture. Additionally, sex and sexuality can be hugely important to mental health and general well-being, so devoting energy to these aspects of life are in no way a waste of time, resources, or energy for marginalized people facing such barriers, but rather a necessary form of care and wellness.

Image Description: Characters from the movie “Pitch Perfect” engage in an a capella sing-off, and the caption reads the lyrics “Lets talk about sex baby, lets talk about you and me.” Source: Giphy.

Another panel attendee asked about how to figure out if they are asexual or just having bad sex. In answer to this question, the panelists offered tips and resources to help explore asexuality., graysexuality, demisexuality, and many more identities. They also urged people struggling with whether they are asexual to engage in thoughtful individual contemplation of what sex mean to them and the place it has in their life, since sexuality is incredibly individual and cannot be dictated or defined by anyone but yourself. Perhaps the most important element to keep in mind when going through this kind of questioning is so allow space to change with time, to recognize that identity does not have to fixed, and that changing your mind is incredibly valid.

Image Description: Beyoncé takes off her glasses seductively. Source: Giphy.

Another question asker shared their experience of having come to terms long ago with being a lesbian, and feeling uncomfortable in queer spaces now that they are currently in a relationship with a man. They wondered how to participate in queer spaces while feeling like they no longer quite fit. Dawn Serra, one of the panelists, empathized with this question, sharing that she too had gone through a similar experience and grappled with the same questions of belonging, She – along with the other panelists – advocated for finding bi-specific spaces rather than monosexual queer spaces, recognizing that queerness isn’t defined by a current relationship, behavior, type of sex, or experience, and that many people find themselves in the position of feeling isolated in queer spaces for a variety of reasons.

Lastly, one question centered around how to explore sexuality while working through guilt from growing up in a deeply religious family. The panelists offered a variety of fascinating and thought-provoking responses to this question, including the possibility of finding erotic possibility in their own internalized guilt by exploring taboo, kink, and shame. They also spoke about the intrinsic elements of embodiment and sensuality in many religious traditions, and the potential power of exploring the latent queerness and erotic potential of even the strictest of traditions. One panelist also suggested the Our Whole Lives curriculum offered through the Unitarian Universalist church as a way to explore sexuality and sexual education as a religious person.

Thanks to Planned Parenthood and this amazing group of panelists, I left feeling comforted, inspired, and excited by the potential of nerdy, queer, fat-positive, inclusive, empathetic, and fun sex education to truly transform the ways that we engage with and experience sex and sexuality!

 

Image Description: Sex educator Lindsey Doe from the YouTube channel Sexplanations riases her fists in excitement. Source: Giphy.

Hanna Hupp
“Rock On!”

My 2018 New Year’s Challenge

Source: Wikimedia Commons. Description: fireworks exploding over Seattle.

Happy New Year, fellow geeks! I’ll admit that I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions or spend much time considering the opportunity that a fresh new year brings, but 2017 was a year of embracing what worked for me and letting go of what didn’t, and I don’t want to lose that momentum in the coming year.

Source: giphy. Description: a gif of colorful fireworks exploding in the night sky.

Source: Giphy. Description: a gif of colorful fireworks exploding in the night sky.

I’ve been thinking about what I want to focus on in 2018, and I’ve realized that one of the places I still have plenty of room to grow in is making choices based on my hopes and not my fears. I have a tendency to sabotage my own happiness by either saying no to or bailing on good things out of fear that they won’t work out, and I’m making 2018 the year of not letting the panicky voice in my brain run the show. That’s a big ambiguous mission, so I’ve come up with a more concrete challenge to start with, and I’m extending it to all of you, because if I’m going to do something hard, I want to drag as many people along for the ride as I can.

Source: giphy. Description: the 10th Doctor from Doctor Who holding out his hand to the camera and saying, “Come with me.”

Source: Giphy. Description: the 10th Doctor from Doctor Who holding out his hand to the camera and saying, “Come with me.”

So here’s my 2018 challenge for us all: do one thing you’ve been putting off because of fear.

Sign up for that 5K, put together that cosplay, start that career change, have that hard conversation—whatever it is you’ve been meaning to do but have been avoiding because it’s big and terrifying, let 2018 be the year that you acknowledge the fear and do the hard thing anyway.

For me, this means finally getting back into the world of fiction writing. In college, I wrote two novels and landed a literary agent who got me a contract offer from editor at a major publishing house. I was ecstatic. My agent was working on securing a movie deal now that we had a publisher, and my future was looking bright. Part way through the contract negotiations with the publishing house, my agent called to say that the editor had rescinded the offer without any explanation. She reached out to a few other editors, but the whole process got pretty quiet after that. I took what was supposed to be a short break from writing things for myself to recover from the disappointment of having my plans axed and the fear that maybe the contract had been pulled because I wasn’t a competent writer.

Source: Giphy. Description: George Michael Bluth from Arrested Development walking sadly with his head down.

Source: Giphy. Description: George Michael Bluth from Arrested Development walking sadly with his head down.

Six years later, I am ready to end that break. In 2018 I’m committing to write some sort of fiction. I don’t care about length and I don’t care if it’s good enough to share—I’m tired of letting the fear that I will never write anything worthy of publishing stop me from doing something I once loved.

Now it’s your turn. What scary thing are you going to take on in 2018? Share your resolution in the comments or keep it to yourself—either way, may we all own our hopes and tackle our fears in this new year.

Caitlin Foskey
“Rock On!”

Panel Recap: ¿Como Se Dice ‘Nerd’?

Going into my second Con as both an attendee and a copywriter, I was incredibly excited to attend the panel “¿Como Se Dice ‘Nerd’?” Last year, this panel was without a doubt one of the highlights of my entire convention experience, and this year proved to be no different. Moderated by Sylvia Artiga, a writer and the creator and manager of ¿Cómo Se Dice Nerd?, an online spaced dedicated to celebrating Latinx nerds and their contribution to art, music, and pop culture, the panel explored the fraught yet joyous intersection of Latinidad and geekdom. Artiga’s fellow panelists included Tristan J. Tarwater, a prolific comic and fantasy writer, Isabel Ann Castro, an illustrator who acts as co-founder and art director for St. Sucia, an international Latinx art and literature zine, and organizer for the San Anto Zine Fest, and Joamette Gil, an illustrator, cartoonist, curator, podcaster and publisher.

Image Description: Panelists speak at the “Como se dice ‘Nerd'” panel at 2016’s GeekGirlCon. Source: Sayed Alamy via GeekGirlCon flickr

The panel was guided by a variety of questions surrounding creativity, community, and identity. How does language, nationality, race, and history influence the way Latinx nerds interact with fandoms, hobbies, and geekery in general? What are some of the works or places that make Latinx nerds feel welcome and represented and what feels isolating? How can geeky interests be used to confront issues of colorism, colonialism, and culture clashes in the Latinx community?

The beginning of the panel focused on introducing the panelists, a diverse group of self-identifying Latinx nerds from a wide variety of backgrounds. The panelists immediately reflected on the difficulty of the time in which the panel was taking place. This year, the convention took place during the utter devastation of Hurricane Maria, and the ensuing governmental and aid response (or lack thereof). Artiga and her fellow panelists noted that it was a “heavy time” for the Latinx community, and that GeekGirlCon provided an opportunity for those carrying so much stress and heartache to still recognize how much they simultaneously deserve joy and fun.

The panelists then highlighted some of the ways in which their geekery interacted – and often clashed – with their Latinx identity growing up. As fledgling nerds within a Latinx community, the touchstones of nerd culture that they loved were often seen as “American” (read: white), leaving the panelists in a difficult position in which “American-ness” was both venerated and discouraged. As Tarwater pointed out, “the whiter you acted, the better you could do,” highlighting pressure from within the Latinx community to comply with the forces of assimilation in order to get by. Artiga underscored this point, noting that there is a “painful and complicated narrative of passing into ‘Americanness.’” Ultimately, many of the lessons that the panelists absorbed growing up played into the false narrative that if marginalized people play by the rules of assimilation they will succeed and be accepted. Part of their individual and collective activism lies in recognizing the damage of this narrative, making sure that the Latinx community knows that it doesn’t “have to play the game anymore,” and creating new spaces for Latinx people to thrive without having to adhere to the strictures of a white, capitalistic, colonialist society.

In order to create these spaces, the panelists spoke about the crucial importance of the internet as a tool for communicating, collaborating, sharing work, finding your voice, finding an audience, and, ultimately, expressing yourself independently and authentically. In this way, Latinx creators can push for their own representation, creating media that speaks to their experiences far more directly than anything in the mainstream. The internet also tends to have a snowball effect, creating large-scale change out of small-scale projects and mobilizing people around common goals and experiences. To this end, the panelists highlighted the hashtag #latinxscreate, which provides one such space to share and celebrate Latinx work that is also inclusive of the Black community.

Image Description: Audience members at the “Como se dice ‘Nerd'” panel at 2016’s GeekGirlCon. Source: Sayed Alamy via GeekGirlCon flickr

The panel moved on to a discussion of the challenges facing Latinx nerds and how to face them. The panelists noted how much guilt can be involved in the process of creation for Latinx individuals – a sense that pursuing their passions means betraying both their community and their ancestors. They reflected on the importance of being self-centered rather than selfish, of paying attention to what you are and what you want as long as it doesn’t hurt others. They spoke of the fact that guilt will inevitably crop up, but alongside it there must be space for a reclamation of happiness and joy, and a recognition that incredible suffering has occurred in the hopes of building a better future.

The panelists then offered a few examples of great representation of Latinx identity within mainstream media, such as characters from “Jane the Virgin” and Cisco from “The Flash,” as well as the re-vamped America comics from Marvel. Alongside these positive representations, the panelists also expressed uncertainty about Claire Temple from “Luke Cage” and frustration over the fact that white brunette actors are often substituted for Latinx characters and that Afro-Latinx women are usually cast as Black characters. Because of the disappointing nature of so much media representation of Latinx identity, many of the panelists spoke about purposefully avoiding content that promises Latinx characters in the understandable fear that they won’t deliver. The representation that is necessary is of Latinx characters as authentic, well-rounded, diverse people – a low bar, but one that mainstream media all too often fails to meet.

Image Description: Panelists speak at the “Como se dice ‘Nerd'” panel at 2016’s GeekGirlCon. Source: Sayed Alamy via GeekGirlCon flickr

The panel concluded with a question and answer period. One attendee reflected on the fact that too many Latinx characters are written by white people and the result is almost uniformly terrible. They wondered where consumers should be looking right now to nurture Latinx creators. In response, the panelists pointed to the aforementioned #latinxscreate hashtag along with the #comesedicenerd hashtag as valuable resources, as well as the power of writing and creating for yourself. They noted that it’s important for Latinx creators to allow themselves space to fail and get it wrong, but that putting their work out their is too important to stay silent out of fear.

Another attendee asked about Latinx-owned businesses to support, to which the panelists noted that many creators at the Con itself were incredible and more than worthy of support. They also highlighted zine fests, creator Patreon pages, and the importance of supporting friends and utilizing community resources, as well as prioritizing money to support independent creators of color. One of the final questions centered around “passing privilege” as a light-skinned Latinx person, and wondered how they could interact within Latinx spaces without bulldozing and taking advantage of their privilege. In response, Artiga noted that “there is space for people to be the scaffolding and make the space” for others to speak, to provide crucial behind-the-scenes support and signal boosting and to use privilege and the energy that privilege provides to call out racism and prejudice where those with less privilege might feel unable to. Ultimately, the panelists also emphasized the fact that light-skinned Latinxs are “part of the story too,” and have an importance space within the larger fight for greater representation of the incredibly diverse Latinx community.

This panel was thought-provoking, beautiful, and an important reminder of the power that creators have when nurtured by an inclusive and committed community. Here’s hoping that the panel will be back to provide additional insight and inspiration at this year’s Con!

(Also, a reminder that, more than three months after Hurricane Maria, nearly half of Puerto Rico’s residents still do not have power and the devastation from the hurricane (and the lack of an adequate governmental response) means that attention and support is as necessary as ever. Alongside supporting Puerto Rican creators, please consider checking out the following links and directly contributing to disaster relief efforts:)

Hanna Hupp
“Rock On!”

Geek About Town: January

The New Year is (almost) upon us, which means that we can finally bid goodbye to the unfortunate, terrifying mess that characterized most of 2017. The good news is that there is SO MANY incredible and exciting events coming up in January to help beckon in a better and brighter new year!

 

Source: Giphy. Image Description: The character Rachel Berry from “Glee” wearing a Happy New Year Crown. The image text reads “The countdown begins.”

 

Tuesday, January 2nd: Kit Build! Adafruit LED Goggles

  • 1pm – 4pm
  • Living Computers: Museum + Labs
    2245 First Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134
  • $68
  • Kill two ravens with one stone and learn how to solder while you create your newest costume headpiece – a wicked pair of Adafruit LED Goggles – in this 2-hour entry level workshop. Space is limited for this take-home activity.

 

Wednesday, January 3rd: Reading Through It: Weapons of Math Destruction

  • 7pm
  • Third Place Books Seward Park
    5041 Wilson Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
  • Free event!
  • The Seattle Review of Books and Seattle Weekly aim to help you cope with the next three years thanks to Reading Through It, a “monthly book club exploring who we are as Americans, where we’re going, and how to fix it.” Weapons of Math Destruction is a former Wall Street analyst’s warning against “the mathematical models that pervade modern life—and threaten to rip apart our social fabric.”

Source: Giphy. Image Description: The characters Bones and Kirk from Star Trek: The Original Series nod at each other.

Saturday, January 6th: Extraterrestrial Architecture in Space

  • 10am – 12pm
  • Center for Architecture & Design
    1010 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
  • Free event!
  • All-ages event!
  • We’re bored with Earth. What about Mars? Participants will learn about the very different problems architects would face if building for the surface of other planets….and moons…and asteroids? The sky is not even the limit…

Source: Giphy. Image Description: The characters Steve and Nancy from “Stranger Things” dance at a party.

Saturday, January 6th: Laser Stranger Things

 

  • 4 dates – January 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th
  • 8:00pm
  • Laser Dome at Pacific Science Center

 

  • Follow our Laser artists into The Upside Down with this laser show tribute to the music of Stranger Things. A synth-heavy score and dark 80s soundtrack contribute to the spooky nostalgia of this popular Netflix Original hit. Performed, as always, by our talented laser artists, don’t miss this limited run in January of Laser Stranger Things.

 

Saturday, January 6th: Children’s Storytime at Elliott Bay Book Company

  • Every Saturday of the month
  • 11am
  • Elliott Bay Book Company
    1521 10th Ave, Seattle, Washington 98122
  • Free event!
  • Join us for this fun hour of readings from picture and storybooks with one of Elliott Bay’s bookfolk. Go to the castle in the children’s section … and the stories begin!

 

Thursday, January 11th: Gay City Arts presents To Exist Is To Resist

  • 4 dates – January 11th, 12th, 20th, 21st
  • 7:00pm
  • Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center
    517 E Pike St, Seattle, Washington 98122
  • General Admission $15, Discounted Tickets $12, Radical Hospitality Tickets free!
  • What would Marsha P Johnson, Leslie Feinberg and our sick and disabled queer grandparents have to say about fighting to survive and win? Sick and disabled queer/ trans people have always resisted, from the first colonial invasions to nursing homes to freak shows to street based queer and trans activism. We are heroes, fighters and survivors and we have the medicine we need to survive Trump. In this star-studded sick and disabled QT/POC show, curated by billie rain and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, come witness Seattle based disabled queer/ of color artists performing new work reflecting on the resistance wisdom of our disabled queer ancestors.This performance is also part of a star studded ALL SICK AND DISABLED QTBIPOC ALL THE TIME DOUBLE WEEKEND! Come see us, and then check out Neve Andromeda Bianco Mazique’s one femme show, Betcha Ungodly Things! Support all of us! Come for this living altar of disabled QTBIPOC testimony, genius and love. 

Thursday, January 11th: Art Spiegelman, Anita Kunz, & Steve Brodner on Art Young

  • 6:30pm – 9:30pm
  • Society Of Illustrators
    128 E 63rd St, New York, New York 10065
  • Non-Member and Member tickets $15, Students and Seniors $7
  • Join us for an evening with comics art giant Art Spiegelman and acclaimed illustrator Anita Kunz as they discuss the lasting influence of 20th century political cartoonist Art Young, with master caricaturist Steve Brodner moderating the discussion. The three will examine the historical significance of Young’s work, and its relevance in today’s artistic and political landscape.

    Images for discussion will be drawn from the 2017 retrospective To Laugh That We May Not Weep: The Life & Times of Art Young (Fantagraphics) by Glenn Bray and Frank M. Young. Copies will be available for purchase after the event.

Source: Giphy. Image Description: Characters from the movie “Jumanji” sit down to play the game “Jumanji” together.

Friday, January 12th: GeekGirlCon Board Game Night at Wayward Coffeehouse!

  • 7pm – 10:45pm
  • Wayward Coffeehouse
  • 6417 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115
  • Free event!
  • Do you love board games and enjoy teaching others how to play? Explore the board/card game hobby and meet folks happy to teach you their favorite board games! Come and play with folks who love playing games. And the best part about the GeekGirlCon (http://www.geekgirlcon.com/) game nights with our friends at Wayward (http://www.waywardcoffee.com/)? They are absolutely FREE with no cover charge!

 

Monday, January 15th: BlackLivesMatter- Let Black Liberation Ring

  • 6pm
  • Westlake Park
    401 Pine St, Seattle, Washington 98101
  • Free event!
  • We strive for #BlackLiberation – we strive for freedom to not be treated like animals and for our justice system to treat us equally or be abolished – we strive for fair and equal taxation so that people of color can not only survive but thrive – we strive for a day were we are not discriminated against for our skin color or our culture but treated equally for content of our character – we strive to not be shot and killed by police and then our image be slandered on the news. We ask you join us and say Racism and police brutality and unfair and unequal treatment of Black people has to stop and freedom has to begin because until Black people are free no one is free.

 

Sunday, January 15th: Cine-City: A Community Exposé

  • Seating at 6:30pm, show at 7:00pm
  • Naked City Brewery & Taphouse
    8564 Greenwood Avenue North, Seattle, Washington 98103
  • $8 in advance, $10 at the door
  • Cine-City is Seattle’s only consistent film night with bi-monthly (every other month) screenings of local short films. We will fill up a block of films 45 minutes to an 1 hour, at the end of the night the films will be voted on and the most voted film will be announced the next day and will move on to the Best Of in November. All proceeds help the Film Non Profit Ardor Creative Media. http://ardorcreativemedia.com/cine_city/

 

Monday, January 16th: MLK Seattle Rally & March

  • 11am – 4pm
  • Garfield High School
    400 23rd Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98122
  • Free event!
  • Educate yourself at workshops from 9:30-10:50am, then at 11:00am, join the pre-march rally in the Garfield Gym to become inspired and informed with speakers, performers, and more. View the full schedule at www.mlkseattle.org/index.php Following the rally (12:00-12:20), the march line-up starts in the Garfield parking lot (across the street from Ezell’s chicken). The march will begin at 12:30, heading to the Federal Building at 2nd & Madison. The Downtown Program is estimated to start at 1:30 p.m. Marchers are welcome to return to Garfield for a late lunch or to join employers and more at the Opportunity & Information Fair at Garfield (1:30-4:00pm).

 

Wednesday, January 17th: Literary Arts Series: Jesmyn Ward

  • 9pm – 2am
  • Benaroya Hall
    200 University St, Seattle, Washington 98101
  • Tickets between $10 and $80
  • Jesmyn Ward has been called “fearless and toughly lyrical” by the Library Journal. Her novel Salvage the Bones, the story of four motherless children trying to protect their home in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, won the 2011 National Book Award for Fiction. Her unflinching portrayals of young black men and women struggling to thrive in a South ravaged by poverty and natural disaster have been praised for their “graphic clarity” by the Boston Globe, and for their “hugeness of heart” by O, The Oprah Magazine.
    Ward’s follow-up to Salvage was Men We Reaped, a memoir that confronts the five years of Ward’s life in which she lost five young men—to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that follows people who live in poverty, particularly black men. Lauded by Kirkus as a “modern rejoinder to Black Like Me [and] Beloved,” Men We Reaped is a homage to Ward’s past, her ghosts, and the haunted yet hopeful place she still calls home. A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography, it was named one of the Best Books of 2013 by Publishers Weekly, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, NPR, Kirkus, New York Magazine, and TIME magazine.

    Ward is also the editor of the critically acclaimed anthology The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race, which NPR listed as one of the Best Books of 2016. Taking James Baldwin’s 1963 pivotal examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, is a jumping-off point. The groundbreaking collection features essays and poems about race from the most important voices of Ward’s generation and our time—from Edwidge Danticat, Natasha Trethewey, and Isabel Wilkerson, to Mitchell S. Jackson, Kiese Laymon, and Claudia Rankine.

    In the forthcoming Sing, Unburied, Sing, Ward will return to Mississippi and the themes of her earlier work. Confronting the realities of life in the rural South, Ward gives us a road map through Mississippi’s past and present that explores the bonds of family as tested by racism and poverty. Her work is all set on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi where Ward grew up, and each new publication makes her a fitting heir to the rich literary tradition of the American South.

Source: Giphy. Image Description: Beyoncé and Lady Gaga dance together in a music video.

Thursday, January 18th: BEYONCÉ vs. GAGA vs. BRITNEY vs. MADONNA SING ALONG

  • 8pm
  • Central Cinema
  • $12 General Admission
  • Four of music’s finest divas join you for what’s sure to be one of the best nights of your life. The Queen of R&B, The Queen of Pop, the Princess of Pop, the , and the Mother of Monsters team up to get you singing, dancing, and so much more. Telephone on the big screen is worth the price of admission alone.

 

Sunday, January 20th: 2018 Pantsuit 5k Run/Walk

  • 9am – 11am
  • Green Lake
  • $22.09 entrance fee
  • Bring out those pantsuits ladies (& gents, kids, dogs ok too). Fun run/walk around Greenlake. The primary purpose of the event is for the unification of the Pantsuit community and to continue to strive for change. Last year we had over 700 attend, let’s make this event bigger & better. Event is not timed. It is a fun run/walk. No refunds or transfers. Rain or shine. This is a no frills run/walk. 30% of the proceeds go to Planned Parenthood!

 

Wednesday, January 24th: #MeToo in Tech: How Men Can Help

  • 6pm
  • Northwest Film Forum
    1515 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
  • $12 tickets
  • This event will be a forum for men who work in the tech industry in Seattle to discuss ways that we can show up for women, trans folks, and other non-cis-male-identified folks who often experience harassment and discrimination in our industry. More details will be posted at this URL as we get closer to the event.

 

Monday, January 25th: Children’s International Film Festival

  • January 25th – February 10th
  • Northwest Film Forum
  • 1515 12th Ave. Seattle, WA 98122
  • $12 General Admission, $9 Students, Seniors, and Children
  • Over the past 13 years, Children’s Film Festival Seattle has become the largest and most respected film festival on the West Coast dedicated to children and their families. Each year, Northwest Film Forum selects more than 170 children’s films from 50+ countries, reaching more than 10,000 people during festival screenings in Seattle and a subsequent festival tour of 15-20 U.S. cities. What we stand for: Racial equity and diversity, inclusivity, social justice, global awareness, and the best in age-appropriate, visual storytelling for young people. Produced by Northwest Film Forum, Children’s Film Festival Seattle includes live performances, features, shorts and hands-on workshops, all crafted with care for the next generation of movie lovers.

 

Friday, January 26th: Lovett or Leave It

  • 8pm – 11pm
  • Moore Theatre
    1932 2nd Ave, Seattle, Washington 98101
  • Ticket prices vary, starting at $47
  • STG Presents & AEG welcomes Lovett or Leave It to The Moore Theatre on Friday, January 26, 2018. The Lovett or Leave It podcast, as part of Pod Tours America, has announced additional tour dates and will be live on stage January 26, 2018 at 8:00 pm at The Moore Theatre. Former speechwriter for Hillary Clinton and the Obama White House and co-host of the wildly popular podcast Pod Save America, Jon Lovett brings his Lovett or Leave It podcast live to Seattle. Get ready for a night of lively and humorous discussion of politics and top news stories with special guests along with other popular Lovett or Leave It segments.

 

Friday, January 26th: GeekGirlCon Board Game Night at Wayward Coffeehouse!

  • 7pm – 10:45pm
  • Wayward Coffeehouse
  • 6417 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115
  • Free event!
  • Do you love board games and enjoy teaching others how to play? Explore the board/card game hobby and meet folks happy to teach you their favorite board games! Come and play with folks who love playing games. And the best part about the GeekGirlCon (http://www.geekgirlcon.com/) game nights with our friends at Wayward (http://www.waywardcoffee.com/)? They are absolutely FREE with no cover charge!

Source: Giphy. Image Description: Ryan Gosling works on on an exercise bike while wearing a onesie on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Saturday, January 27th: 2018 Onesie Bar Crawl

  • 14pm

Hanna Hupp
“Rock On!”

Geek About Town: December

It’s almost December, beloved GeekGirlCon blog readers, and you know what that means! Another round of Geek About Town, where we highlight some of the amazing events coming up to help keep your spirits high and your enthusiasm stoked as we enter  a time during which I, for one, can usually be found mumbling “always winter, never Christmas” to myself like a C.S. Lewis character. Happy Holidays!

Image Description: a gif featuring the character Lucy Pevensie in Narnia in the film “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.” Source: Giphy

 

Hanna Hupp
“Rock On!”

Panel Recap: A Geek Girl’s Right to Erotica

I have been more than a little bit obsessed with romance novels, erotica, and romantic fanfiction for most of my life. It started with sneakily checking out books from the library and skim-reading to get to the “good parts,” then moved on to scouring Archive of Our Own, Fanfiction.net, and other glorious sites for all of my slash fic needs, no matter how niche (Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini, anyone?), and now, at long last, I can finally say that I am a proud sex nerd and devourer of all things romance and sexuality.

Given this extensive history, I think it’s safe to say that I couldn’t have been more excited to sit in on this year’s GeekGirlCon panel A Geek Girl’s Right to Erotica. This panel was the first live episode of the certifiably awesome Podice Rippers podcast, hosted by Natalie Warner and Lainey Seaton. When not podcasting “at length and girth” about romance novels, Natalie and Lainey are a cyber-security technical writer and an account manager, respectively. Together, they host a podcast that is an incredibly funny and thoroughly geeky exploration of all things romance, smut, and erotica.

Image Description: podcast hosts and panelists Natalie Warner and Lainey Seaton sitting at their panel table at GeekGirlCon ’17. Source: Twitter

Hanna Hupp
“Rock On!”

Witchy Women: Reclaiming the Misunderstood Halloween Heroine

As Rufus Scrimgeour says in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, “these are dark times, there is no denying.” Given all of the darkness, pain, and anxiety that all of us are inundated with so often in recent times – and which so inordinately affects those who have already been oppressed and marginalized – it sometimes feels to me like everyday is Halloween. Experiencing an ambient sense of dread and fear, worrying about looming monsters both actual and theoretical, consuming a truly impressive amount of candy – this is basically my day-to-day reality. But Halloween is about more than just stress and candy. For me, at least, it’s about acknowledging the spookiness around us, facing up to all of our lingering fears, and proving to ourselves that we can laugh and have fun and eat our body weight in candy corn despite whatever ooky-spooky ghouls might be plaguing us.

So for this Halloween, I’m turning to my trusty source for all things inspiring, empowering, and fear-fighting: pop culture. These might be dark times, but one of the best ways I’ve found to both revel in and rise above the darkness is to celebrate the unruly, wonderful, strange, exciting, monstrous, and magical women who populate some of my favorite scary movies.

Hanna Hupp
“Rock On!”

Geek About Town: November

It’s craft markets galore this month as we approach the holidays! Check out this month’s Geek About Town for where to find those events plus other geeky and interesting things happening throughout November.

Wednesday, Nov. 1: Bob Burgers Trivia Night

  • 7 p.m. — Central Cinema
  • $8 tickets
  • Get ready for 50 questions about your favorite Belcher gang of misfits, covering seasons 1-5.

Saturday, Nov. 4: Short Run Comix & Arts Festival

  • 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center
  • Free to enter  
  • The 7th annual festival will feature over 270 exhibitor artists. Panel talks include Leela Corman, Emil Ferris, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Jesús Cossio, Joe Sacco, Sarah Glidden, and much more. Read more here.

exhibitor artists from around the world including artists from France, Peru, Taiwan, Argentina, Canada, and the UK.

Tuesday, Nov. 7: Gayme Night

  • Starts at 9 p.m. The Unicorn/Narwhal in Capitol Hill
  • 21+
  • Tuesday Gayme Nights are a way to share your geeky gayness with the world. A rotating weekly live gaming extravaganza, hosted by Seattle’s top queens.

Ashli Blow
“Rock On!”

One More Week Until the GGC ‘17 Kickoff Party!

Start your GeekGirlCon ‘17 experience in stylejoin us for the GGC Kickoff Party!

Party!!

Gif source: Giphy

When: Friday, September 29 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Where: Living Computers: Museum + Labs at 2245 1st Ave S, Seattle.

Who: All ages are welcome! The party will also feature a 21+ area with a cash-only bar.

Admission: Your GeekGirlCon ‘17 pass gets you in for free. If you registered and paid online, you can pick up your pass at the party. If you don’t have a pass, you can still join us for $10 at the door.

Details: This year our theme is Geeky Anniversaries! 2017 is a big year in geekdomHarry Potter is turning 20, Sailor Moon is turning 25, and Star Wars is turning 40. To celebrate, we’ll be hosting a contest to determine which of the three is the ultimate fandom. Guests can pick their favorite fandom and complete activities to earn points for their team. At 9:00p.m. we’ll tally up the points, and at 9:30 we’ll announce the winning fandom and give one randomly selected member of that team an awesome prize!

Ways to Earn Points: Start planning now to give your fandom an edge. You can earn points by:

  • Writing your name! Write your name on a piece of paper and add it to your team’s jar at the kickoff party to earn ONE POINT.
  • Dressing up! Wear a suit, gown, team-pride shirt, or cosplay to earn ONE POINT. If you cosplay a character from your team’s fandom, you will earn a SECOND POINT.
  • Tweeting! Tweet a team picture with your fandom’s hashtag (#TeamHermione, #TeamMoon, or #TeamRey) and #GGC17 to earn ONE POINT.
  • Playing Rock Band! Play a Rock Band song at the party to earn ONE POINT.
  • Knowing trivia! Each fandom team will get a trivia sheet full of questions about their fandom. Each correct answer is worth ONE POINT, plus answering all of the questions correctly is worth an additional FIVE POINTS.

Come out, support your fandom, and begin #GGC17 with a bang! We’ll see you there!

Caitlin Foskey
“Rock On!”

Panel Highlight: Celebrating the Power of Fandom at #GGC17

I don’t know about you, but with just a little over a week to go until the Con, I’m currently in full strategic planning mode, obsessively highlighting my copy of the panel schedule and inevitably overscheduling myself in the hopes of catching all of the amazing panels we have lined up.

That moment when you realize you’ve scheduled yourself to see two (or three…or four…) panels at the same time

In the leadup to #GGC17, we’ve been highlighting the incredible panels you’ll have the opportunity to see, including ones centered around Social Justice, Diversity and Inclusivity, GGC After Dark, and Pop Culture! I couldn’t be more excited about each of those topics, but today I’m here to introduce you to a group of panels that are especially near and dear to my heart: the ones Focusing on Fandom. As geeks, we are basically Olympic medal-ers in fandom, so let me give you a sneak peek at some of the panels that will let you revel in the joy, excitement, and possibility of fandom.

Ever wondered which fandoms and tropes are most popular in fanfic? Are you curious how comments affect an author’s writing skills, or how fans navigate the sexual content in fanworks? Join a panel of fandom analysts, moderated by Ruby Davis, for By the Numbers: The World of Fandom Statistics. This group of amazing analysts will present their findings on these topics (and more!), showcase data visualizations, explain their methods, and answer questions.

A representation of my feelings after Sense8 was cancelled

I personally had a day of mourning when I heard that Netflix had cancelled Sense8, and am eagerly awaiting next year’s two-hour finale special, which will hopefully give us heartbroken fans some much-needed closure. Sense8 has become a global phenomenon, earning itself an extremely diverse and loyal fanbase in only two short seasons. The panel I Am Also a We – A Sense8 Panel, moderated by Meagan Malone, will discuss the show’s successes and shortcomings, with panelists sharing their hopes for the upcoming special.

Me, deep into a binge-watching session of “Sailor Moon”

This year is the 25th anniversary of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, so it’s only fitting that the panel Humans of the Moon Kingdom: 25 Years of Sailor Moon, moderated by Misu Russell, will celebrate the impact that Naoko Takeuchi’s epic manga has had on countless fans around the world. Come discuss the ways you’ve been affected by a cute young girl in a Sailor Suit!

In addition to these incredible panels, check out the rest of our lineup, and I hope to see you at #GGC17!

 

 

Hanna Hupp
“Rock On!”

Join The Discussion #GeekGirlCon

Thanks to the GeekGirlCon GeekGirlCon Super Sponsors

  • SAM
  • EA
  • JONES SODA CO.
  • gay city
  • Microsoft