My First Alt-Culture Convention was BlerdCon!

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. 

The Highlights:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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?

https://www.quirktastic.co/post/blerdcon-2017

http://blacknerdproblems.com/is-blerdcon-the-black-nerd-turn-up-weve-always-dreamed-of/

https://theundefeated.com/galleries/the-costumes-of-blerdcon-2017/?ex_cid=story-facebook

-T

Resistance: A Poem

I simply do not write poems anymore, but for some reason, these last few days have been getting to me, and the only way I can process the tragedy and pain over the course of the week is to write. 

For Alton, for Philando, for them all, for the many who survive to witness the violence against black bodies...

Be everything you were meant to be

Before the world put its mark on you

Be the one who laughs the loudest,

Teeth shining, unashamed

Laugh in their faces, all of them

Be the joke teller, the joke lover

Feel the laughter from your belly and expel it like a gift

 

Be the one who sings songs like a child in the choir

Excited by the sound of your own voice

Sway so boldly you lose rhythm
Sing the songs only you want to sing

Repeat them, belt them, write them down

 

Be the one who dances

Be at the center when you do

Let them see you move with joy and feeling

Dance until your feet scream, till sweat glides down your face

Let them envy you

 

Be the best lover for yourself

Enjoy yourself every time you see her

Hug her, kiss her, and tell her she’s beautiful

Sit with her quietly on a dusty porch

Braid her hair and tell her secrets

 

Be the one who speaks the clearest

Speak with confidence and do not falter

Be the code merger and do not switch

Use as many big words as you would like

And use the smaller, silly ones too

 

Be part of neither this world nor that

Be above them both like the star you are

Exist in one piece with all of your might

Be the one who reflects the sun, and the moon

Claim the universe as your own.

 

Be the earth beneath your feet

Be and love the roots of the trees

Feel feelings, even pain

But when you feel, feel completely, genuinely

Without fear of attack or expectation of praise

 

Be without the stain of the world that taught you fear

Wash it off, scrub, reject

Be big, for there is no such thing as too big a spirit

Don’t let them tell you that you were made to be small.