In the corner of my "Facebook" eye, I came across an event called BlerdCon. The whole idea seemed amazing. A convention for people who self-identify not just as nerds, but also people of color, and other marginalized people too. There was nothing else quite like it I thought. And it was local as hell and affordable. I decided that if ever I started down a path of attending conventions, the path would begin here. So I came, I cosplayed, and I learned a lot about nerd sub-cultures.
I cosplayed. I decided to attend the three-day convention as Michonne from The Walking Dead! And people thought it was pretty cool. I sucked at posing in character though.
Black Girl Gamers panel. If you ever want to see black girls and women brag about how awesome they are at gaming despite the setbacks they endure for both being people of color and women, man, this panel was it! The last video game I played in earnest was Final Fantasy VII, but I really enjoyed watching a panel of black women gamers talk about themselves and moments of triumph. Their determination to be the best in the field as well as their pride astounded and amazed me.
Blerdlesque panel. There was a panel about cosplaying and burlesque, y'all. Imagine Poison Ivy dressing down to her skivvies on stage to music. I loved listening to current black women burlesque dancers and their experiences in the industry. I even networked a bit, so you might see me on the stage one day... :P
The arcade games provided by MAGFest. Playing pacman and other nostalgic games for free was a great way to kill time between workshops and panels.
The merchants. I basked in the number of creatives, entrepreneurs, and artists that came out to sell their products and services that weekend. There's so much talent in the DMV!
The fellowship! Walking around and seeing people who in some way or another felt just like me when I was little: awkward and even anxious about being Black and being a nerd, liking things that Black people aren's supposed to like, reading things Black people aren't supposed to read. We understood each other, and took each other seriously. The positivity and spirit of respect in the place was insane.
Here are some cool write-ups about the convention. And yes, I'll be back next year. Next stop, New York comic-con?