Fandom in the PenguiCon community is a very broad and diverse group of people so it is not unusual to have attendees all over the sexual and gender spectrum. But how represented and included are LGBT and Queer people in science fiction, fantasy, and other fandoms?
April had this to say when we asked her why this discussion is important: “Science fiction and fantasy are areas in which the current struggles of LGBT and Queer people can be explored. But having these scenarios played out in people’s imagination is not enough. Across the country, there are leaders in fandom who are in a position to take a stand against the harassment and discrimination that still exists.”
Are these depictions throughout the fandoms accurate in showing the diversity of LGBT and Queer culture? Does this change as we look at other factors of fandom such as interactions with writers and performers, participation in conventions, clubs, and forums, or awards? And if the answer is “not very,” what can be done to improve this? April sums it up best when she said, “There is not an easy, one-size-fits-all solution for showing leaders in fandom how to be inclusive and respectful of all people on the gender and sexual spectrums.”
Join us for this hands-on discussion where a diverse panel will represent a variety of the gender and sexual spectrum and audience participation will be encouraged.