Pride, Queerness, and Being a Geek: Thoughts from GeekGirlCon Staffers

While a lot of our content covers the queer and LGBTQIA+ topics at play within our larger community, we thought we’d take a moment, here at the end of June, to do a little Pride round-up with our staff. The work of queer safety, equity, representation, and celebration is ongoing, both a part of our history and our future. We’re committed to those values here at GeekGirlCon, and wanted to share a little bit about how we personally view the intersection of these communities. 

Hanna, Copywriter | @hupptwothree on Twitter and Instagram

Your identity? Bisexual, queer

What does being part of this community mean to you? Being part of the queer community means everything to me. From my relationship with my girlfriend, to my incredibly supportive group of queer friends, to the immediate connections I can make with queer coworkers, to queer media of all kinds, being part of queer communities is a constant source of support, strength, love, joy, and resistance.

Favorite pieces of queer media? Red White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (gay First Son + gay Prince of England = the best romance novel I’ve ever read?!), The Handmaiden (the most incredible Korean historical lesbian psychological thriller, with gorgeous visuals and true romance), Schitt’s Creek (feel good small town vibes, a sweet slow-burn gay love story and “The Best” by Tina Turner—what more could you ask for?), Steven Universe (just watch it, I promise you won’t be disappointed).

Queer love! [Image Description: Hanna poses for the camera with her girlfriend. There is a street and house in the background, and they are both smiling. The picture is black and white.] Source: Hanna Hupp

Jessie, Programming Assistant | @parchmints on Twitter and Tumblr

Favorite pieces of queer media? I’m a big reader and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets to the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz completely stole my breath away when I first read it. It’s an absolutely magical novel, and I think it’s essential reading for any lost kid out there struggling with their identity. Big shout out to Steven Universe too because I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much as when I saw Ruby and Sapphire get married and kiss on Cartoon Network. That was such a historical moment, and I can’t wait to see even more loving representation in future family media. 

Just a flannel-wearin’ bi bein’ extra in Paris, nothing to see here… [Image Description: Jessie smiles at the camera holding a white teacup. She’s wearing wearing a black and green flannel shirt.] Source: Jessie Gaupel

Shannon, Associate Design Manager | @shannon_rene on Twitter, @shannonhargis on Instagram

What does Pride mean to you? I was born and raised in the Southeast United States, so like probably a lot of queer folks (especially those from the South), I haven’t always felt comfortable being proud of my identity. A big part of the reason I relocated to Seattle was to feel not only safer being open but also accepted. To me, there is a big difference between tolerance and acceptance. I have heard plenty of times that I was loved despite my queerness, but Pride feels like a very special time for me because it is the celebration of being loved because of my queerness! It is uplifting to see so many people, both LGBTQIA+ folks and allies, be so publicly open with their support for the queer community during Pride. To me, Pride is a time to feel proud (duh!) and let the world know, “This is who I am, and I won’t be shamed for it anymore.”  

What does being a part of this communities mean to you? Community is so important and takes work. Being a part of GeekGirlCon and the queer community as a whole means being a better, kinder, more understanding, and humble person that is constantly learning and growing. I am a white, cis woman, and while I have faced adversity, I recognize that I still carry a huge amount of privilege. The world has come a long way for the LGBTQIA+ community, but there is still so much work to be done, especially for our trans, non-binary, and PoC family. Being a part of this community means not settling when the fight is done for only some of us, but doing everything I can to make sure the battle is won for all of us.

Also, I think that we are starting to see a lot of geeky communities and places start to be more welcoming to everyone. Things like Introvert Alley, LGBTQIA+ meetups, panels featuring queer creators, queer board game nights, videogame booths at Pride, gender-neutral restrooms at cons, and so on are becoming more common, and I’m stoked to see that. What I love most about GeekGirlCon is its total lack of geeky gatekeeping. If you are geeky about something, celebrate it! It doesn’t matter what it is, there is a place for every person and every interest. 

Favorite pieces of queer media? Well besides being a lifelong Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan (Tara & Willow forever), I think there are loads of phenomenal queer stuff being done in comics right now. Comics are such a great medium because of how accessible they are and how easy it is for creators to get their comics out. And especially now with social media and sites like Patreon, creators can regularly share work and get compensated for their creations (though of course there’s still work to be done here). Some of my favorites are Lumberjanes, Moonstruck, Bloom, Bitch Planet, Motor Crush, Steven Universe (of course), and anything that Kate Leth is doing, and I would definitely recommend any of these to check out. Also, the new Buffy comic reboot is fantastic with having Willow be queer from the beginning and getting to see her queer experience as a high school student fighting the forces of evil.

I think in television and movies we are still seeing a lot of really tragic queer stories, and while I think that’s important, I think now it is even more important to see complex and positive queer characters and storylines! I think Schitt’s Creek is doing a superb job of this with David and Patrick, and I’d love to see more shows and movies follow suit. 

Look! At! All! Those! Buffy! Actors! [Image Description: Shannon sits surrounded by many members of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast. She’s wearing a black long-sleeved shirt that says, “Slay All Day.”] Source: Shannon Hargis

Indigo, Manager of Editorial | @indigoboock on Twitter

Your identity? I never came out as being bisexual, not formally at least. I grew up in a household that was welcoming to the LGBTQIA+ community, although none of my direct family was a part of it. Though, outside of my home, I saw my friends and peers being brutalized. I was scared, so I simply dwelled and remained unlabeled for the better part of my life to date. 

It actually wasn’t until college that I met anyone else who was openly bi, either. I had seen people from outside of the community (and some within) almost mock the concept. If someone was bi then they weren’t fully rooting for one team, they teased, not knowing how far that pushed me back into my shell. Because of this, I viewed myself as being wrong, that I wasn’t whole or that I was too indecisive. I stayed in a relationship far longer than either of us deserved because of my emotional divide, my insistence on being unlabeled. When that relationship ended, I was left dwelling again. But, suddenly, there was a clear path ahead of me. I could be who I’ve known myself to be for a long, long time. But rather than come out, I chose simply to proceed as I had always been, like nothing had changed—because nothing had changed minus the fact that I was very single for the first time in a long time. Except, I chose to be open about my sexuality.

For a long, long time I viewed Pride as being for “everyone else,” and not for me. I celebrated it for my friends, but not myself. But now, at 26, I can. I can be proud and happy. Happy for my friends and everyone else who loves who they love—for me. I try not to criticize myself for how long it took to get to this point, and there’s a whole lot of dirt to be kicked up as I continue to figure myself out, but I couldn’t be happier to figure it out within this community. 

A queer geek in her natural habit. [Image Description: Indigo poses for a selfie. She’s looking into the camera. She’s wearing a white floral top and her blonde hair is loose around her shoulders.] Source: Indigo Boock

Teal, Assistant Manager of Editorial | @ TealChristensen on Twitter and Instagram

What does being a part of this community mean to you? My favorite way to engage with media is critically (of course), which is both because 1. I’m a huge nerd and 2. I’m seeking good representation for the identities and communities that are marginalized by the commercialization and colonization of arts and culture, including queer ones. This approach to media consumption and appreciation is normalized and celebrated within communities like GeekGirlCon and feminist geeks in general, and that’s brought so much clarity and community to my life.

Favorite pieces of queer media? All of my favorite media is queer, but here are some that come to mind right now: Grey’s Anatomy (queer characters and also queerness as it applies to larger interpersonal circumstances like found families and complex friendships between women), Harlots (queer characters suriving and finding each other, sex work, women and queer people caring for each other, generally questioning and subverting patriarchal structures in a historical context), Feminist Frequency Radio (podcast, relevant/pop culture topics, analysis that consistently centers marginalized perspectives). 

Fun fact: I found my “stake” randomly on the streets of Queens a few days before Halloween! Luckily but unsurprisingly, I already had the dress and shoes in my closet. [Image Description: On one side Buffy is crouched down holding a stake and looking past the camera. She’s wearing a short black dress and strappy heels. On the other, Teal’s dressed and posed similarly.] Source: Teal Christensen

We’re only a fraction of GeekGirlCon’s staff, which is only a fraction of our larger community, so we’d love to hear from you. We’re holding this space for queer visibility and celebration, so join us! How do your experiences within the geek and LGBTQIA+ communities intersect?

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Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

Teal Christensen

Teal is a recently-graduated English literature student with more unfinalized future plans than favorite songs from Hamilton. Her main hobbies are reading books, thinking about books, and talking about books.

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