This weekend was GeekGirlCon (GGC), a convention dedicated to empowering geeky women, girls, and other underrepresented minorities. In many ways it resembles the larger Emerald City Comic Con that takes place in Seattle every March — there are great panels on interesting topics, tons of cosplay, and an entire huge floor of vendors selling awesome, geeky stuff. But the reason Daniel and I have attended GGC every year for the past 4 years instead of Emerald City Comic Con is because of the amazing diversity of people and specific focus on empowering women.
The vast majority of GGC attendees are women or enbys of all ages. And while there are a lot of white people present, there are a good number of people of color and the number keeps increasing every year. Of the sessions I attended, all but one of the panels had a person of color (most more than one POC). And only two had a guy on them and the guys were out numbered by women 3:1. GGC is one of the very few places that I as a gay white cis male feel like a minority and yet I still feel very welcome as a gay geek.
The vendor floor is awesome and full of great purveyors of Fun Geeky Stuff. We bought two new books from Blind Eye Books, a publisher of books with LGBTQ+ protagonists, and two more copies of the Dream Like a Girl poster for our nieces who don’t yet have one. While the vendor floor is wonderful, the real reason we attend GCC is because of the sessions.
Yesterday Daniel and I attended a session hosted by a panel of librarians and an archivist talking about library science careers and how one gets into it. Today we attended a session about museums and how fictional portrayal of museums differ from real life and how museums are changing to meet a modern world.
And probably my favorite session of the weekend was titled Careers at NASA: From Mission Operations to Public Engagement where 6 women scientists from Goddard Space Flight Center talked to a room full of girls and young women about how they found their way into NASA. The women talked about things they struggled with along the way, what a typical day looks like, and what they’re most proud of. Most importantly, these women made being a scientist and engineer relevant and accessible. This, to me, is the core of why GCC is awesome: it inspires young women and lets them know that they, too, can do amazing things!
It was a great weekend and more awesome sessions than we could attend. We’re already looking forward to next year!