The schedule of events at ClexaCon is full of panels, big and small, that highlight a variety of topics and issues that impact the LGBTQ+ community. On their Twitter account, they have already shared some highlights from the list of panels, but I wanted to take some time to chat about panels that caught my attention.
As I write this article I don’t know if any of these panels conflict on the schedule, which may mean you cannot attend all of these panels. Previously ClexaCon has shared videos of many of their panels on their website and I hope that this will continue for the 2019 convention. There are two panels focused on creating work that includes the LGBTQ+ communities. Creating Diverse Stories Without Tokensim includes Victoria Stagg Elliott, Karen Shoffner, Rachel Gold, CB Lee and will involve a discussion of how to create stories that include diverse characters without resorting to using tokenism or diversity bingo with advice from bestselling, award-winning lesbian romance Elizabeth Andre. Creating Inclusive Books and Podcasts also examines addressing myths and concerns involved in creating diverse and inclusive content. The panel will be moderated by August McLaughlin and the panelists are Mona Darling, Angelique Luna, and Miko Alicea.
The next set of panels focus on specific populations that exist within the LGBTQ+ community. Decolonizing Queer Spaces focuses on indigenous populations and how to ensure that western ideologies and stories aren’t being forced upon queer spaces. Alexis Sanchez, Holly James, and Alyssa Lerner as panelists and their moderator, Sam Campbell, will share their thoughts on how to promote and preserve the beliefs and ways of people from various indigenous backgrounds. ReBecca Theodore-Vachon and Reign with moderator Isake Smith, cosplayer and co-host of the podcast Cheers & Queers are hosting Black, Queer, & Nerdy Womxn. As part of the description of the panel it states, “This [sic] is an opportunity for Black queer womxn who are looking to build community and begin creating content to share best practices and ask questions.” They will focus on how race is often ignored or told to be overlooked within fandom and pushes to help those who have to deal with the subtle and overt violence black queer womxn face online and in real life, which often makes them feel like they cannot engage. Invisible Latinx Vol. 2 is a follow-up to a panel from 2018 that focuses on Latinx queer representation and how there is still a lack of representation, though there are some positives, and in some cases this representation can fall into tropes. Alexis Sanchez, Vita Ayala, and Rebecca Theodore are the panelists and Reign G is the listed moderator.
Another follow-up to a 2018 panel is Butch Representation: Invisible Women in Media, which includes Heather Currie-Martinez, Jess Harris-Distefano. This year they’ll be discussing butch representation in 2018 and what the media got right and what the media got wrong. The Misconceptions of the Plus in LGBTQ+ will answer questions and fill in the blanks by showcasing voices that can explain the intricacies of being pansexual, asexual, aromantic, non-binary, and disabled transgender. Panelists Alexis Sanchez, Valerie Complex, Diane Chen and moderator Reign G, will be examining finding yourself in queer media when you identify with multiple identities. They’ll be looking at represenation in the media and what else they would like to see going forward. Moving away from on screen representation and onto the stage, Queer Women and Trans People in Theatre looks at how progress has been and can be made on and off Broadway.