Exploring LGBTQAI+ representation in geek culture

What does it mean to be queer in fandom? Why is it such a big deal when characters come out? What do all those letters actually stand for? This year's track aims to explore LGBTQAI+ representation in video games, animation, comics and more, with an LGBTQAI+ 101 for anyone seeking a general introduction to queer fandom. Plus the return of the Bifrost cabaret!

All in Connaught B; Bifröst in County.



Sing Your Queer Little Heart Out - LGBTQ+ representation in music – Friday 10:15 – 11:30 pm

Music is a fantastic avenue for telling stories. In just a few short minutes you can tell an emotionally charged narrative using words, inflection, emotion and musical pacing. In this panel we will be playing snippets of tracks from various artists and discussing lyrics that have helped to promote LGBTQ+ representation in popular culture. From Gerard Way and the Hormones to Transgender Dysphoria Blues, Macklemore to Hetrosexuality is a Social Construct, we're covering our favourite examples of music that make being LGBTQ+ feel a little more supported by the world.

LGBTQ+ 101 – Everything you need to know about basic representation in media – Friday 1:30 - 2:45 pm

So, you want to write a story, song, comic or other piece of media that's full of interesting, well-written LGBTQ+ characters, but you're worried you might do something wrong when it comes to proper representations of under-represented groups. Well, this is the panel for you. This is where we run down the basics of what to do and what to avoid when writing characters who are gay, trans, bisexual, pansexual, non binary, genderfluid or anything in between.
Laura Dale

Video Games – let's talk about good LGBTQ+ representation in video games – Friday 3:15 – 4:30 pm

So, we all know that video games more often than not screw up issues of minority representation in video games. That's old news: nobody needs to wallow in that any longer than we already have. Today's panel is about the times when video games get LGBTQ+ representation right. From the indie revolution and how lower barriers to entry have allowed minority creators to tell their own stories to the newest examples of AAA games that get things right, this panel aims to be a celebration of all things positive in video game representations of LGBTQ+ characters.
Gemma Thompson, Katherine Cross, Maki Yamazaki


It's mini talk time – A selection of smaller solo LGBTQ+ talks – Saturday 9:00 – 9:45 am

When we were planning out this year's LGBTQ+ track, we had the amazing problem of having too many things we wanted to discuss and too many great speakers we wanted to give a chance to speak. This slot is a chance for us to knock out several smaller solo talks in one go. Expect multiple speakers, each giving 10-15 minute talks on aspects of LGBTQ+ representation that matter to them.

Night Vale and natural gay relationships
The Indie Revolution – technological barriers and minority creators
Bisexual erasure – with Mike Brooks
Queer Coding in Villains

So Close, Yet So Far – near misses on LGBTQ+ representation, and where they fell apart – Saturday 1:30 – 2:45 pm

It's pretty annoying when you get invested in a story in spite of negative portrayals of LGBTQ+ people in it. It's possibly even more annoying when you get invested in a show, celebrate what looks like it's going to be a really positive LGBTQ+ portrayal in it, let your defenses down and BAM!, they go and ruin it somehow. This panel is a chance for us to discuss our biggest representation near misses, where they went wrong, and where they almost got things right.

Fanfiction – Saturday 3:15 – 4:30 pm

For years now, fanfiction has been closely intertwined with LGBTQ+ representations. In this roundtable discussion, our panellists will discuss writing gender and sexuality from an outside perspective, the role queerbaiting plays in sexuality flipped fiction and what fanfiction can tell us about audience demand in media. Also, we answer audience questions about all things LGBTQ+ in Fanfic.

Bifröst Cabaret - Saturday evening, County

Thor and Heimdall have used the Tesseract's power to rebuild the Bifrost Queer Cabaret. It will be MC'ed by Sally Outen of Lashings of Ginger Beer Time, featuring radical inclusive movement school Irreverent Dance and the vibrant acoustic folk of Playing Rapunzel, as well as Taylor Switch, Emily January, Amazing Stace and A Mere Kat. Named for the shimmering, burning rainbow bridge of Norse legend, Bifröst is an unforgettable night of pop, rock, and fabulosity under the glittering chandeliers of Commonwealth West. Join us afterwards for All The Dancing, led by DJ Riotstar of Choose Your Own Adventure fame, and DJ Scattermoon.


Comics - where are all the LGBT heroes? - Sunday 10:00 – 11:15 am

Comic books have for the longest time been a bit of a straight men's club. Straight men, saving their underpowered partners from harm with the goal of a hetrosexual relationship dangled as the heroes reward. In this panel we want to look at the comics that first started to break this mould, the comics that pushed for greater LGBT diversity in the medium and the stories that made the biggest impact on the general comics audience.

Cartoons and LGBT Representation – Sunday 5:00 – 6:15 pm

In Western Cartoons, explorations of sexuality and gender have had a mixed history. With the recent growth of visible diversity within constraints seen within western cartoons aimed at a teen audience, this panel aims to look at how portrayals of sexuality and gender have evolved over the years.