A couple of months ago, I went to GaymerX in Santa Clara, California to experience what it would be like to go to a quiltbag** convention. While Chicago offers many events for queer nerds, such as the Welcoming Community, I haven’t yet found a queer convention near Chicago.
GaymerX was such a delight to attend and volunteer at. The convention had a lot of aspects that other conventions had (i.e. panelists, vendor hall), but everything was focused around the quiltbag community. The nerd trivia was run by a drag queen. The comic books and video games featured queer heroes and heroines. There were panels were on romance and relationship in video games and there was a Pokemon Go meetup.
The other wonderful thing about this convention was that it was very knowledgeable and respectful of their community. They had pronoun ribbons for people of various genders and gender neutral bathrooms. They had a quiet space and a safe space for attendees if they needed to relax or vent.
Conventions in Chicago seem to be picking up on this trend for the past couple of years. C2E2 this year had gender neutral bathrooms and a bunch of quiltbag panels. Pocketcon focused on underrepresented groups and bringing those voices to attendees. I also definitely know a lot of queer men, women, and otherwise identifying nerds who attend and participate in conventions in Chicago.
While Chicago holds many options to experience quiltbag spaces, it would be great to see a convention like GaymerX in Chicago. For now, there are three options, GaymerX East, GaymerX West, and GaymerX Australia. That’s right, Australia. If anyone is interested in this event, check them out here. They’re awesome!
**Nerdmunity uses the word quiltbag because it hopes to be more inclusive of all spectrums including “intersex” and “asexuality”. It also invokes the image of an adorable patchwork of sexuality. It’s also a lot easier to say than “LGBTQIA.” Say that ten times fast. I’ve tried.