By Guest Contributor Christina Xu
A few weekends ago, I trekked out to Seattle for the first ever GeekGirlCon, a convention “dedicated to promoting awareness of and celebrating the contribution and involvement of women in all aspects of the sciences, science fiction, comics, gaming and related Geek culture”. Regina Buenaobra, a Filipina-America community manager at ArenaNet, had asked me to speak on a panel about race and gender in geek communities way back in May.
In her initial email to the panelists, she wrote:
The main reason I’ve sought to try and put together a panel like this is because the voices of POC should be heard in fandom circles, and there isn’t enough of this happening at larger nerd-oriented conventions. Since GeekGirlCon is a new convention, if they accept the submission, it has the potential to help set the tone of what kind of panels may appear at future incarnations at the convention.
Our panel was incredibly ambitious; we were promising to cover an impossibly enormous topic (race AND gender in ALL geek communities?) and, after Racialicious Editor-In-Chief Latoya Peterson canceled, we were left with an ironic lack of racial diversity among the panelists (though we were split between Filipina-American and Chinese-American). It took us a bit to get going, but by the end I was pretty pleased with the ground our panel had covered.