Hot on the heels of PAX comes another of the PNW’s most prominent geek gatherings, GeekGirlCon 2017. Ever since the first con in 2011, GeekGirlCon has focused on inclusivity in geek culture, emphasizing and centering the contributions of geek women.

The organization has grown quite a bit since then, and has had to weather some growing pains as a result. Still, the con provides an excellent opportunity to hear the voices and share in the experiences of geeky folks who are often otherwise overlooked in the big national conventions.

This year’s 2-day schedule is jam-packed with panels, events and meetups, so we’ve picked out a selection that go a little further down the diversity path, addressing race, gender, and/or sexuality in the world of geek pop culture.

As always, this is curated, not comprehensive. You can check out the full schedule here. All of the panels/events listed require GeekGirlCon passes, which can be purchased here.

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Saturday, Sep 20

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10AM: Black Cosplay Magic: Cosplayers of Color Talk

Our panelists will celebrate WOC cosplayers by discussing what inspired them to start cosplay, what it’s like to BE a woman of color cosplayer, and what they felt like when they wore cosplay for the first time. Let’s create a space that encourages other POC to jump into cosplay!

Kristine Hassell, Sistah Geek, Risha K, Tansura Thomas

10:30AM: Dissecting Disney: Race, Gender, Sexuality in Children’s Film

How can we still love Disney films while finding them problematic? Join University of Washington Tacoma students as we break down the classic princesses, some popular hits like Zootopia and Moana, and even some Disney flicks you might not have heard of! Films will be analyzed through an intersectional lens.

Ariel Wetzel, Larissa Bokoni, Theo Calhoun, Kiona Jones, Joshua “Rocky” Marks, Ashley Primer

11AM: Looking Past the Male Gaze: Sexuality in Video Games and Comic

Do you find that the graphic or digital worlds you love just don’t quite get you? Can’t identify with Ezio Auditore’s or Bruce Wayne’s playboy love life? Let’s talk about sex…uality in comic books and video games! There are gaps where there should be representation for relationships not seen by the (generally) default male gaze of many comic books or video games. We’ll look at who is trying to shrink those gaps and how we can tell more inclusive stories. Come share your favorites!

Megan Spurr, Stacey Weber, Hannah Craig, Joshua Neal

12PM: Here Come The “Bla-takus”: Being Black/POC in the Anime Fandom

This panel will discuss what it’s like being a black person/POC in fandom, especially in anime fandom. We will talk about issues of representation, what it’s like to be the fan who likes the “foreign language” cartoons, our experiences as black/POC cosplayers, and how anime and manga have influenced us.

Rabecca Rocha, Camille Duale, Isabela Oliveira, Kristine Hassell

1PM:Talkin’ Trek: An Exploration of Cultural and Racial Stereotypes in the Star Trek Universe

Although Star Trek is highly regarded as very progressive and inclusive science fiction, the show often depicts and perpetuates negative stereotypes of minorities. We’ll discuss the problematic racial and cultural stereotypes seen in these three Star Trek series: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager.

Rian Roberson, Poliana Irizarry, El Sanchez, Elly Bangs

1:30PM: #BlackWomenDreaming: Building a Creative Community

Join women writers from as we discuss how we built a digital creative community that encourages each member’s unique endeavors. We’ll talk about the importance of open creative spaces and give tips on how women can actively, consciously support other women creatives, regardless of media.

Leslie Light, Lauren Bullock, Nicole Homer, Izetta Thomas, Carrie McClain

5:30PM: Women of Color Meetup hosted by Black Girl Nerds

Join Black Girl Nerds, a community of black women journalists, social media curators, gamers, podcasters, vloggers, and content creators with a passion for all things nerdy, to get to know each other, form bonds, support each other, and build a stronger community in an inclusive space focused on racial equity.


Sunday, Oct 1

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10AM: Diversity in D&D: A Conversation with Game Designer Jeremy Crawford

Roleplaying games let you walk paths of high adventure in someone else’s shoes. In the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons, the game’s writing and art appeal to players as diverse as its characters. Join Jeremy Crawford in a conversation on diversity in D&D and other roleplaying games.

Jeremy Crawford

10AM: Can’t Nerf This! Diversity in Overwatch 

With over 30 million users playing in the video game world of Overwatch, the Blizzard game is making international headlines for its inclusion and diversity of various characters represented across the globe (and moon!) Overwatch is bursting with creative heroes set in an imaginative world with a vast array of real-world attributes. The game is created by a developer team who communicates with their user base and claims to always strive towards diversity and inclusion. But how do they stack up against other game developer teams? How successful are they in their message? What pitfalls have they already stumbled upon? With 25 current heroes how do the characters’ gender, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, country of origin and sexuality effectively showcase a diverse and relatable cast? We’ll look to dive deep into video game history on representation and how Overwatch is acknowledging the importance of a modern take on diversity, inclusion and representation.

Elizabeth Barlow

11:30AM: ¿Cómo Se Dice ‘Nerd’?

This panel will explore the intersection of latinidad and geekdom. Let’s start talking about what it means to identify as a “Latinx nerd” through language, nationality, race, and history. How does this influence the way we interact with our fandoms, hobbies, and geekery? Submit questions to @comosedicenerd, hashtag #GGC17.

Sylvia Artiga, Tristan Tarwater, Isabel Ann Castro

2PM – 3PM: LGBTQ+ Meetup

Get to know other LGBTQ+ geeks in this Meetup hosted by Gay Niven.

5:30PM: Lilith’s Legacy: Bringing Sexuality & Gender Identity from SF Literature to the Forefront of Game Development

Despite the treatment of female characters in early science fiction literature, a rich track of memorable women’s sci-fi developed. Now, games address gender through sci-fi, from “Mass Effect” to “Fallout.” We’ll examine gender diversity in games as opening up the “boys club” to all those wishing to play.

Alexandra M. Lucas, Sonia Michaels

5:30PM: Do Black Heroes Matter?

Popular media has had a problem with the representation of black people for many years now, with the comics industry reflecting the same issues. But with the popularity of the Netflix series Luke Cage, the Black Panther comic and the Black Lives Matter movement, the subject of characters on TV is becoming an important topic of discussion. The panel will discuss the roles of black characters on TV, how it reflects back to our everyday lives, and how it affects real life.

Isabella L. Price, Tansura Thomas, Uhura Jones, Kristine Hassell