As the days get longer and summer approaches, we are also coming upon convention season: specifically, geek-themed gatherings like Comic Con and Anime Expo. But even with all the choices out there, how many are a safe space for other types of outsiders?
The Mary Sue recently ran a piece discussing this very issue. The article talks about a Tumblr titled Queer Geek Spaces, which encourages LGBT people of all types to talk about their experiences at conventions.
Not all experiences are positive, especially when they talk about what it was like back in the nineties. One entry, Charles’ Story, recounts someone who was actually thrown out of a convention in 1993. His crime? Cosplaying as Catwoman.
According to Charles himself, “the story made some waves at the time. Society was quite hostile to transgender people in those years, and the geek scene was no better. Artists and writers were very accepting – but convention organizers, fans, and the companies themselves were generally not.”
Since then, however, he reports that things have changed greatly, and conventions seem to be much more accepting of things like crossplay (cosplaying as a character of another gender).
In recent years, most queer fans’ experiences seem to be generally positive. Conventions are becoming more inclusive not just because of their administration, but because of other fans. It’s become more understood that gender doesn’t have to be a factor in choosing one’s costume, which is a great step towards having more safe spaces for people who are non-binary to begin with.