The mission of Geeks OUT is to bring a queer presence to comic book conventions. Pretty simple, right? But to be able to raise the funds for a booth at the first New York Comic Con, fundraising events had to be thrown. And thus a community of gay geeks in NYC was born. But what about the rest of the country? In the past year, Geeks OUT has expanded its reach outside of NYC, starting with events in Dallas and a burgeoning community in Chicago that I'm very proud to be coordinate events for (with a kick ass team.) And this past weekend, Geeks OUT has put the mission into the expansion by establishing a presence at the first convention outside of NYC, the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo (C2E2.)
Booth 1180 became the home base for queer geeks at the convention. Representatives from both the NYC and Chicago communities were on hand to talk about the organization, including the Skip Enders Game campaign launching later this fall. We featured some amazing talent at the booth to showcase their work all weekend long, including Tony Breed,Eric Johnson, Philip Bonneau, the Comic Book Queers, and Jay Fuller, who also designed the official Geeks OUT C2E2 T-Shirt!
What was amazing to see throughout the whole convention was how many people stopped by to connect and how many times they came back! I began to see a gleam in the eyes of people who'd never heard of Geeks OUT, the same one I had when I first discovered the organization at their first booth at NYCC a couple years ago: "I'm not alone." That's powerful. In the times between conventions, when all you're focused on is putting on events and having a great time at them, it's easy to forget why we do this. It was inspiring to be reminded of why we do this all weekend long.
What was also inspiring was working with the NYC team on the whole weekend. Finally after months of emails, phone calls, and Google hangouts, we were able to work side-by-side and I got to introduce them not only to my team but some pretty amazing people from the Chicago community. There are seriously no words for how inspiring and amazing it was for both teams to work in harmony all weekend long. We're all very excited for the future of the organization, both national and the expansion, and are looking for ways to continue to collaborate, so stay tuned!
Speaking of expansion, I would like to officially announce some welcome additions to the Chicago events team! First, two wonderful guys who really need no introduction to anyone who's been to the Chicago events, the coolest cosplaying couple I know Mike Gibbs and Elio Oscia. The next guy stepping up is my pal, gaymer and geek extrodinaire Nick Barsuli. They all bring great passion to the team as well as insight into other reaches of the geek community that we currently have need for, so please join me in welcoming them and thanking them for all the work they've done over the weekend and at helping us promote the previous events.
And if you're interested in helping out with future Chicago events, please feel free to drop me a line.
And of course, there was the awesomeness that was Geeks OUT: Mutant High Prom 2013, the party we threw for C2E2. For pictures of the event, click on the links below:
Pictures from the Spin Website.
Pictures from GoPride.com.
And if you weren't able to come to C2E2, check out my queer guide, recaps of days 1 and 2, and coverage on the X-Men and Marvel: Next Big Thing panels. Also, the awesome Prom Booth photos from a/s/l media will be up and posted soon, so make sure to follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook!
Danny Bernardo is the Chicago events coordinator for Geeks OUT and the official geekologist for GoPride. Once when he was asked what superpower he wished he had, he said "teleportation, so when I'm running late and I see the bus or train pulling away from my stop, I can teleport into it." Then he realized if he had that power over time and space, he wouldn't need to take public transport. So he quickly retracted and said "telekinesis." Also, he secretly wishes that every spider that bites him is radioactive. Ok, maybe not so secretly.