Q: What is GeekGirlCon?
A: GeekGirlCon is an organization that works to empower women and girls to pursue their passions—whether they love science and technology, comics, literature, gaming, or anything else! Everybody is a geek at heart, in one way or another. Our mission is to ensure all these geeks are supported, welcomed, and encouraged to pursue what they love.
GeekGirlCon’s largest event is a two-day convention that gives female geeks and their supporters the opportunity to build a community, share facts and fandom, and learn how they can help promote the role of women and other underrepresented groups in geek culture. We also bring people together through social media and events in the Greater Seattle area. We have a lot of fun doing this, although we aren’t afraid to also tackle some serious topics related to gender equality.
We invite anybody who wants to see more women succeed in geek-related fields to join GeekGirlCon.
Q: Why do you need an organization entirely dedicated to geeky women?
A: When most people hear the word “geek,” they don’t picture a woman or a girl. However, the presence of geek women and girls isn’t new; they have always been at the gaming table, in the library, or in your computer programming class. But this reality is not always recognized or celebrated. And until recently, geeky women and their supporters didn’t have one safe and welcoming place to share their passions, attend panels concerning their contributions to geek culture, and celebrate who they are and what they love.
We think this quote from comic book author Gail Simone perfectly sums up our passion for GeekGirlCon:
“We don’t have to imply that men are bad and all women are perfect. We don’t have to convert every single reader to a female-friendly viewpoint. But I do think it’s in our interests to speak up and be heard in some way. To be silent is to be discounted.”
– Gail Simone
Q: Who founded GeekGirlCon?
A: GeekGirlCon is a community-driven effort, and it started that way as well. We did not have one founder. Rather, the idea to form GeekGirlCon sparked after a panel called “Geek Girls Exist” at San Diego Comic-Con in 2010. A group of us began talking about how we could help ensure female geeks had one safe and welcoming place to come together, examine their role in geek culture, and empower other women and girls to celebrate who they are and what they love. That’s how GeekGirlCon started.
Q: What makes this convention different from all the other conventions and conferences out there?
A: What makes us different is one simple concept: conventions and conferences should include content for less-represented identities; this includes a focus on the contributions of women. Sure, our emphasis is on female geeks. But our real goal is to promote a culture that brings EVERYONE together to share their geeky quirks; celebrate the role of women in science, technology, media, and gaming; and build the next generation of strong, powerful geeks.
Q: What message do you want to send through GeekGirlCon’s efforts and events?
A: The most important thing we want to convey through GeekGirlCon is that geek girls are out there and we support one another. We hope to create a space where women encourage one another, respect one another, and stand up for one another.
When we say anyone is welcome, we mean it! You just have to share our commitment to supporting the achievements of women in geek culture. Whether you know everything there is to know about one thing, one thing about everything, or are just starting out in your geeky journey, you are welcome at GeekGirlCon.
We also believe there is power in numbers (some of us are math majors, after all). If we come together to demonstrate the true number of female geeks out there, eventually the various companies that traditionally market to males—from comic book publishers to film studios—will acknowledge the female demographic as well. We can’t make a difference if we’re silent.
Finally, we want to convey this message to girls and women of all ages: pursue your geeky passions and strive to contribute to geek culture—whether it is getting involved in conventions; using your voice to advocate for causes you care about; or finding a job in something like game design, mechanical engineering, or another geeky thing you love.
Q: Will GeekGirlCon be expanding beyond Seattle in the future?
A: We know there are amazing female geeks worldwide who want to contribute to and join the GeekGirlCon community. And while we are still an incredibly new organization, our goal is to find ways to extend our reach beyond Seattle in the years to come.
Q: How do people get involved with GeekGirlCon?