This is part of a series of profiles of conventions, local to Seattle and across the country, with missions that are relevant to the LGBTQ community.
When I think of Miami, Florida, I think of sunny beaches, palm trees, cocktails and ‘80s TV shows. My mind doesn’t immediately jump to Miami as a destination for gaming, science fiction or fantasy. While there’s clearly an outstanding queer club scene there, there’s also a number of conventions and a strong fan presence.
We spoke to cosplayer Jonathan Stryker about the first annual Out Con, one of the first LGBTQ geek conventions in Florida, happening May 14 of this year. Jonathan saw the myriad of LGBTQ SF/fantasy and gaming conventions happening throughout the country and felt Miami (and Florida in general) had an audience for one as well.
Jonathan’s dream for an event actually started back in 2012.
“We tried to fund a convention with a project called The Cosplay Calendar by creating a calendar with a ton of Florida cosplayers,” he explained. “The Kickstarter didn’t reach its goal, but the dream never died, and here we are today.”
Jonathan feels Miami is a unique destination due to the culture.
“There are so many nationalities and types of people from all over the world that we’ve really grown to love and cherish our differences. It’s an ideal place for an event such as ours.”
I wondered what some of the highlights of Out Con would be.
“It’s one day only, so we really want to pack everything we can in a single day,” Jonathan stated. “Our convention will definitely be something different, with drag queens and shows, cosplay contests, a dance/vogueing contest, and even a strip style show at night. As far as guests go, we plan on having some variety as well, from cosplayers to drag queens to other performers.”
He added, “We’ve recently contacted Miss Prada and he’s agreed to perform his new music at the con, so we’re super stoked!”
Out Con will be an all-inclusive convention.
“We’re definitely marketing it not only at the gay community, but at everyone and anyone that wants to come celebrate and have a good time,” Jonathan emphasized. “Although the con is queer-specific, we want to send a message that we should celebrate sexual diversity, respect and love each other regardless of orientation.”
Jonathan has been thrilled with the overwhelmingly supportive reaction to the convention.
“There’s only been a single inbox message with bible verses, but everyone else has been incredibly receptive and supportive of the entire thing. It’s great!”
If you’re interested in taking a queer geek-infused trip to Miami, check out their website. Feel free to contact them here if you have any questions about volunteering, sponsorship opportunities or anything else about the convention.
Happy convention travels!