Why We Give to GeekGirlCon

GeekGirlCon 2018 at Washington State Conference Center in Seattle, Washington, on Sunday, October 28, 2018. Photo by Sayed Alamy. More info at geekgirlcon.com

We are officially less than one week away from GiveBIG! Mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 8th, or schedule your gift ahead of time here!

For those of you who aren’t familiar, GiveBIG is an annual day of giving, hosted by 501 commons, that benefits local nonprofits like GeekGirlCon. The support generated by GiveBIG helps us at GeekGirlCon create the most inclusive, accessible convention possible, bringing you (our incredible supporters and community members!) more exceptional panelists, exhibitors, featured contributors, workshops, meetups, and so much more each year.

For all of us at GeekGirlCon, this kind of support is personal. As volunteers, we each have our own unique story of why we give and what GeekGirlCon means to us. Read on to hear our stories, and be sure to add your own. This GiveBIG, let us know what the GeekGirlCon community means to you and share your support for our mission.

Alyssa Jones | Director of Interactive Programming

I support GeekGirlCon because…

It’s important to support ALL WOMEN!

Geeks come in every shape, color, orientation, ability, and gender identity

There aren’t enough safe spaces for marginalized geek

And cause it’s a DAMN FUN WEEKEND

Kalyna Durbak | Copywriter

I support GeekGirlCon because I wish such an organization existed when I was younger. GeekGirlCon sends a message to the world that everyone of ALL ages, gender identities, sexual orientations, sizes, abilities, ethnicities, nationalities, races, creeds, religions, familial statuses, physical and mental abilities, alien species, earth species, education levels, science specializations, fandoms, etc., deserve a safe place to be a geekno minimal “Geek Cred” required!

Allison Borngesser | Senior Designer

Because it’s important to hold space for geeks of marginalized spaces, so they can find community, share their stories and feel seen and heard. Watching all our attendees having a good time, learning, and interacting is the most rewarding feeling when putting in volunteer time and working behind the scenes. 

Bonnie Barcellos | Human Resources Manager

I was not encouraged to enjoy geeky things as a child because I was a girl. My parents are amazing, loving people but they held strong views of what girls should do/like and what boys should do/like. I have a memory of my dad and brothers watching a movie – I popped in the room, was told I wouldn’t like it because it was a boys’ movie, and so I left. That movie was Star Wars. Luckily I rebelled as a teen and inhaled fantasy & sci-books, discovered the amazingness of Star Wars and so many other films, and never looked back. GGC celebrates inclusivity and the love of all things geek in such a wonderful way. We provide a safe space for people to unabashedly be who they are, learn new things, and meet awesome people with similar interests. 

I also love our focus on STEM careers for women. Again, that wasn’t an option provided to me. I’m happy in my current career – but if I had gotten more exposure/encouragement in math and science, I would have pursued a career as an economist. I want to provide information and opportunities to women that I didn’t have. GGC does that so well, and it’s an important part of our mission.

Teal Christensen | Copywriter

Something I believe in very strongly is that while virtual spaces can be wildly important, especially to folks of marginalized identities, huge and important parts of our lives still have to happen irl. In order for that reality to be safe and accessible and equitable, we have to do the work to hold space for ourselves and our communities in the physical world. That’s what I think of as the work of GeekGirlCon, and that’s why I support it.

Thank you for supporting GeekGirlCon during GiveBIG, and adding your story to our community of supporters!

Hanna Hupp
“Rock On!”

Join Our Team at GeekGirlCon!

Guess what? You’re in luck! Why? Because GeekGirlCon is looking for amazing, passionate individuals to join our team, and that means YOU!

(Image Description: A gif of the actor Jenny Slate in a TV interview shrugging her shoulders and moving her head from side to side with her arms up. The caption says “Welcome.” Source: Giphy.)

Part of what makes GeekGirlCon so incredible is that we are powered by a team of volunteers. Each of us is committed to making every aspect of our convention and organization as fun, exciting, inclusive, and informative as it possibly can be.

(Image Description: A gif of A group of people wearing coordinating clothes jumping up against a black background. The caption says “Teamwork!” Source: Giphy.)

Currently, we have a wide variety of opportunities to get involved and help out, whether with a larger commitment of a staff role throughout the year, individual event volunteers, or GeekGirlCon Agents and Special Agents.

From Copywriter to Accessibility Manager to Executive Director (wrangling all of the exciting elements that make GeekGirlCon possible!), we have a wide variety of roles to fit your interests, skills, and desired time commitment.

For more information on available positions and detailed role descriptions, check us out at https://geekgirlcon.com/get-involved/volunteer/. Help us make GeekGirlCon ‘18 better than ever by joining our hard-working, fun-loving, tight-knit team!

(Image Description: A gif of David Tennant as Doctor Who looking urgent and yelling. The caption says “Allons-y!” Source: Giphy.)

Hanna Hupp
“Rock On!”

Hey Staffer! Whatcha Geekin’ Out About? An Interview with Kathryn Storm

[Image description: a black and white picture of Kathryn looking at the camera and holding a figurine.]

Here is our latest installment of Hey Staffer! This month, we’re talking to Kathryn Storm, who runs all the video gaming events at GeekGirlCon. Kathryn has been with the organization for several years and geeks out over tech, cosplay, and of course, video games! Read on to find out more and to get a sneak peek of what we have in store for GeekGirlCon ’18!

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

Make the GeekGirlCon Staff Even Better—Join Us!

GeekGirlCon is searching for some new faces to fill a few important roles here behind the scenes at the con. Our staff is filled with exciting, driven, smart, and creative people with a passion for diversity, feminism, and all things geek. The entirety of GeekGirlCon is run by volunteers and we can always use some new energy. If you’re interested in expanding your social circle, giving some time to a great organization and cause, or developing new skills, check out the position summaries below and apply soon! We’d love to have you!

Henry Behrens
“Rock On!”

Ask GeekGirlCon: Do You Plan To Cosplay At GeekGirlCon ’13?


Written by AJ Dent, GeekGirlCon Staff Copy Writer 

Cosplay is a crucial part of the fun at GeekGirlCon, and this year is amping up to be especially costume-filled. With October 19 and 20 less than two months away (can you believe it?!), we GeekGirlCon staff members are getting all our gear ready for the big event. And do we ever love discussing our ideas!

jayne austen

When it comes to her upcoming attire, Copy Writer SG-1 explains, “I’ve never cosplayed at a con before, despite having been to many Star Trek conventions and four years of Emerald City Comic Con. I’ve decided that my first GeekGirlCon is the perfect place for my first cosplay!

I’m going to be Jayne Austen. Yes, I spelled that like Jayne Cobb from Firefly! My costume will be a cross between Regent-era, Jane Austen style—such as Elizabeth Bennett wore in the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice—and Jayne Cobb’s mercenary look from Firefly.

If you want a peek, you’ll have to come find me at GeekGirlCon ’13!”

KayleeThis year’s geek gathering will mark the first cosplay event for other staff members as well. “True confession: I’ve never done cosplay before,” admits Copy Writer Erin Doherty. “And if it involves role-playing the character, I probably never will (I may be a Leo, but I don’t actually enjoy having all eyes on me). However! I do like a good costume now and then, and the upcoming GeekGirlCon will actually be my very first con ever—so it seems like a grand opportunity to have some fun!

I’ve been trying to think of characters that I love that are also low-cost and low-effort. So far, I’m thinking Kaylee from Firefly, in her mechanic coveralls: it’s cute, it’s simple, and most importantly, it’s comfy! Arthur Dent of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame is also simple and comfy, and since it’ll be my first con, it might be comforting to have something on hand that says “DON’T PANIC” written in large, friendly letters.”

Twitter Administrator and Board President Kristine Hassell had a similar disclosure: “Confession time. I’ve never cosplayed before. And I don’t count the star tiara with bracelets when I did my Diana Prince/Wonder Woman spin, I mean real and proper cosplay.

Image 002When fellow staffer and design manager extraordinaire Rachelle asked me if I wanted to participate in her group cosplay this year, it didn’t take much ruminating. I jumped at the chance! What better way to make my cosplay debut, right? The idea was right up my alley: a punk girl biker gang based on the amazing Senshi from Sailor Moon. I am an old-school punk from back in the day and Sailor Moon was one of my first anime series… so yeah! Sign me up to be a Senshi, please!

sailor moonThink Ichiko from Shimotsuma Monogatari meets Malcolm McLaren and Harley Davidson with some Sailor Senshi flavour. Trust me, it’s going to be amazing to see all of us in our gear! Rachelle even designed matching patches for our group to wear on our jackets!

I will be rocking the Sailor Luna cosplay. If you’ve seen Sailor Moon, she was the cat who wasn’t really a cat. I’m not sure if I’ll wear ears so folks will know which Senshi I am, so you’ll have to find me at the convention to find out!”

Mabel PinesFacebook Administrator Anna Daniell is also pumped to cosplay at GeekGirlCon. “I plan on dressing up as Mabel Pines from the cartoon show Gravity Falls. I really like that Mabel is cheerful, silly, and sees the good in everyone. Her collection of sweaters is amazing and she even has a pig named Waddles. (Who doesn’t want an almost-talking, adorable pig named Waddles?!) She is also voiced by Kristen Schaal which makes her six times cooler in my book. (I did consider crossing Mabel with Louise of Bob’s Burgers for a double Kristen Schaal cartoon cosplay, but cosplaying is difficult enough around a volunteer shirt.)

One of my favorite things about her character is how close she is with her brother. Though we are not twins, my brother and I have always been close. A couple years ago we went on a road trip together and every time we weren’t sure where to go or what to do we would exclaim, “Adventure!” and just go with it. I could see my brother and I discovering dinosaurs and fighting gnomes together in a little town in Oregon. First, I just need to find a grappling hook…”

Carmen SandiegodemonaPersonally, I’m having a tough time deciding between characters to embody. As a copy writer for GeekGirlCon, I feel I should rep journalism by donning an April O’Neil jumpsuit. Since I’m looking forward to snapping candid photos of fellow geeks, though, I know I’d enjoy wearing a spy-tastic Carmen Sandiego hat and trenchcoat with camera in hand.

Finally, I’m tempted to go all out and devise a Demona costume to channel my inner gargoyle. Can you tell I dig early ‘90s cartoons and women with strong personalities? To help me decide, I’ve been taking votes on which femme fatale to cosplay. Which one sounds the most fun to you?

AJ Dent
“Rock On!”

Ask GGC: How have you benefited from your time at GeekGirlCon?

Hey readers! Shubz here with another installment of Ask GGC. We asked our staff how their time with GeekGirlCon made a difference for them in their lives outside of our organization. Here’s what they had to say:

Kristine Hassell

“I’ve started getting back into comics and science, two avenues of geekdom that I enjoyed when I was younger, but fell to the wayside when I discovered RPGs, video games, and anime. I’ve also become more vocal when I find things offensively misogynistic or racist. As a female Filipino-American nerd, it’s important to speak up about these things. Being on staff has stepped up my game on many fronts including how to succinctly convey my thoughts in 140 characters or less when needed without textspeak abbreviations! Grammar nerds FTW!” – Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator

Erica striking a pose at GeekGirlCon 2012

“I’ve been an idealist for most of life, and the world has in many ways tried to stop me from believing in the ability to change the world. GeekGirlCon has really proven that through community momentum, we can change the world. When we first started planning for GeekGirlCon ’11, we would’ve been happy if 400 people showed up; but instead we had almost 2,000. And even more for GeekGirlCon ’12. We’ve inspired people, helped build new skills and interests, and fostered women-positive geeky community. We can be the change in the world.” – Erica McGillivray, Director of Marketing

Left to Right: Shubz Blalack, Tammy Vince Cruz, Raye Abellar

“GeekGirlCon changed my life. It opened my eyes, my mind, and best of all, my heart, to an amazing community all working towards a sincere goal. Admittedly, GeekGirlCon consumed me; it consumed my time, my energy, and my life – but it’s all been worth it. I’ve worked with remarkable people, many of which I would consider good friends. Beyond that, the rad folks I’ve had the chance to meet along the way, reinforced that genuine people do exist, and they support what you believe in.

GeekGirlCon pushed me to work my butt off. I’ve produced some of my best pieces for GeekGirlCon. While giving me that challenge, it’s resulted in a rejuvenated design portfolio. I’ve definitely forced myself to learn a lot of better habits when it came to my work – learning communication is vital, especially leading my own team, and overall organization is detrimental to making things run smoothly. I was known as a mute when I was a kid, but helping lead meetings and represent GeekGirlCon helped build my self-confidence, and improve my own public speaking and interaction skills. A lot of these skills I’ve applied to my day job and personal life, and it makes me feel all sorts of awesomely weird – like I’ve definitely stepped full fledge into “grown up” territory. And I’m quite happy with that.

– Tammy Vince Cruz, Manager of Design

Susie and Stephanie cosplaying it up as Hawkgirl and Starbuck, respectively

“Working at GeekGirlCon opened my eyes in so many ways. It opened my eyes to the hundreds of geeky things out there I didn’t even know existed. It opened my eyes to the fantastic community of geeky women and their amazing supporters. And it opened my eyes to the fact that GeekGirlCon is still a needed organization — there are too many people out there who still feel mistreated, misrepresented, and misunderstood. GeekGirlCon staff members bring a range of personalities to the table, which has given me the opportunity to learn and grow in ways I never expected. It has seriously been a gift to be on this staff.” – Susie Rantz, PR Manager

GeekGirlCon is currently looking for enthusiastic and driven individuals to join our staff and continue to make a difference with us. Could that be you? Check out our Open Staff Positions for more information.

“Rock On!”

Ask GGC: What’s your favorite part about being on staff?

Hiya, readers! For this edition of Ask GeekGirlCon, we asked our staff what their favorite part of being on staff was. Here is what some of them shared:

Kristine on the GeekGirlCon clock giving you the updates from the Twitterverse!

“Joss Whedon once said that he was a great believer in ‘found families,’ and I really lucked out with the family that I found in GeekGirlCon. I don’t have to explain my current nerd obsession or be apprehensive about my fandoms — they just get it and then share their own! My co-workers are smart, witty, and all-around amazing people that never cease to inspire me and crack me up. I less-than-three you all.” – Kristine Hassell, Twitter Administrator

Erica with the Chicks Dig Comics Panel geeking out and sharing in camaraderie

“I love being part of GeekGirlCon’s staff because I truly do believe we can change the world or, at least, geekdom. We’ve created a wonderful space for celebrating geeky women of all stripes. The best reward for being on staff is the smiles on our event-goers faces; seeing amazing cosplay; meeting creators, shakers, and makers; and hearing all the incredible stories. We’ve helped women (and our allies) get new jobs, build skill sets, make new friends, and just generally have a safe space to gather.” – Erica McGillivray, Marketing Director and President

Great minds think alike! Melanie with another Princess Peach cosplayer

“My favorite part is being able to look back on GeekGirlCon ‘12 and know I totally made some little geeky girl’s day. :D” – Melanie Werts, Customer Service Coordinator

Are you interested in joining the ranks of our staff? Check out our Open Staff Positions!

“Rock On!”

Ask GGC: Who is your favorite comic book hero?

Hey folks! In celebration of Free Comic Book Day, the GeekGirlCon staff wanted to take a moment to share about their favorite comic book heroes. Here’s what a few of them had to say:

“Peter O’Donnell’s Modesty Blaise is hands down my favorite comic book hero. She is the most complex, sophisticated, skilled and intelligent of all action heroines. As lovely as she is deadly, Modesty is the Princess of Spy-Fi. Whether great friend or shrewd adversary, she kicks ass – backwards and in high heels.” – Jen K. Stuller, Programming Director (See more about what Jen has to say about Modesty Blaise in this blog piece!)

“My favorite comic book hero is Kitty Pryde. Not only was she the inspiration for Joss Whedon’s Buffy Summers, but I could see so much of myself in her character. She came from humble beginnings and entered the X-Men series as a teen. It was incredibly empowering to follow someone who was young and unsure of herself, but could also kick some serious butt. It always thought her ability to ‘phase’ was a great metaphor for our desire as teens growing up to sometimes just disappear.” – Susie Rantz, PR Manager

“I have to admit, I have only read one comic book series ever: Fables by Bill Willingham. I love it, but who I loooove the most in it is Bigby Wolf, aka The Big Bad Wolf. Willingham took this hated character from children’s stories and made him human without sugarcoating his past and what that character is known for. After killing thousands of humans and animals, then fighting in the ‘human wars,’ he ends up being the person in charge of the safety of Fabletown’s residents as their Sheriff. Willingham took the Big Bad Wolf and made him into a loving, caring (okay sometimes his wolf ‘anger’ comes out and he shifts back into wolf form) character you really connect with, which is why he is my favorite comic book character.” – Mel Howard, Customer Service Coordinator

“My favorite superhero is Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk. Unlike her cousin, the Hulk, She-Hulk maintains her personality, brains, and sense of fun when Hulked-out. When she’s not being put in charge of the UN or saving the world with the Avengers, she’s practicing superhero law, being a mentor to the Hulk’s daughter, and probably being a fashionista (all 6’7″ and green). She-Hulk tends to break the fourth wall and talk to her readers and creators. Oh, yeah, she also saved Santa Claus that one time. She-Hulk’s pretty awesome.” – Erica McGillivray, Marketing Director and President

Who is your favorite comic book hero and why? Leave us a comment below!

For more information on participating “Free Comic Book Day” stores, check out the store locator.

Seattle-area stores participating:
5809 15Th Avenue Nw
Seattle, WA, 98107

11232 120Th Ave Ne
Kirkland, WA, 98033

1307 Ne 45Th St
Seattle, WA, 98105

250 Ne 45Th Street
Seattle, WA, 98105

12049 124Th Ave Ne
Kirkland, WA, 98034

115 N 85Th Street
Seattle, WA, 98103

“Rock On!”

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