Why We Need Geek Girl Con

130304-geekgirlcon-logo-01I was going to write about our weekend at Geek Girl Con.

I was going to write about how exciting it was to be at our second convention; to share our excitement about Paris in the 20th Century and introduce the world to the gangster platypus. I was going to write about reconnecting with friends, making professional connections, and the excitement of tabling next to Egypt Urnash.

But I can’t.

I have tried time many times over the past three years to explain why I love Geek Girl Con so much. I have talked rhapsodized about the plethora of panel options which are some of the most varied and entertaining ever found at a convention. I have talked about meeting the likes of Scott Westerfeld, Jill Thompson, and Renae DeLiz. I have told people that there are things for everyone in the family to do, and that you don’t have to be a girl to enjoy them. In short, Geek Girl Con is a great show.

But that’s not enough.

There is another, far more important reason why I can, do, and will continue to support Geek Girl Con. It is because GGC is the kind of place where this would never happen.

Geek Girl Con is a completely different experience than any other con I have ever attended. When I visit comic cons (or car shows, or tech shows), between the “booth babes” and the people just looking for attention, more skin is on display than at a Victoria’s Secret fashion show. All the women parading around and posing provocatively only re-enforces the stereotype that comics (or cars, or tech) is for men and women are for decoration. And when people believe that is true, they begin to act accordingly. That is why this group of jackasses thought it was just fine to be inappropriate with the cosplayers.

Geek Girl Con puts it right out in the open that this is a convention where girls (and women) are welcome. They are not at the convention to be decoration. This convention is for them to express who they are, explore their interests, and enjoy the company of like-minded individuals. This is a convention where they can see a wide range of professionals, creators, and community members who represent, inspire, and believe in women of all ages. It is the kind of convention where Kelly Sue DeConnick can talk about creating comic books and not be “Smurfette”. It is the convention where all people can go and expect to be treated like people, not an afterthought.

People like my daughters.

So that is why I love Geek Girl Con. I love it because on the three hour car ride home, my daughters talked about all the exciting panels they saw, the amazing cosplays, the games they learneds, the concerts they saw, and the friends they made. They talked about how their eyes were been opened to new possibilities. And they talked about how they can’t wait to go back next year.

Those are the things we should talk about after every con. Hopefully other conventions will take a cue from Geek Girl Con and start to look at ways to make everyone feel like everyone belongs and that everyone should be able to have a fun and safe time.

Until then, Geek Girl Con 2014 is just a year away. I’m already in line.

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2 Responses to Why We Need Geek Girl Con

  1. Sarah says:

    We are nowhere near Seattle, but this post makes me want to make the trip for Geek Girl Con 2014!

    • Brian Gardes says:

      It is well worth the trip! I spoke to one woman at he con who flew out from Chicago just for one day of the show and then was taking an early flight home so she could be at work Monday morning. She told me it was totally worth it! That is a testament to how awesome the show is.

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