By Laura LaVoie
I spend Labor Day weekend every year in Atlanta, Georgia, enjoying an event called Dragon Con. If you’re not familiar with it, let me try to describe it to you. It is similar to ComicCon, but different in that it is run by fans and volunteers, not the entertainment industry. Dragon Con spans five hotels in downtown Atlanta, covering about a square mile. There is programming, parties, concerts, and costumes galore. For the last couple years, about 55,000 people attended the four-day convention.
There has been some buzz in the Geek community about Geek girls. Are we real? Are we fake? Really? Does it matter either way?
There have been incidents of inappropriate touching at Cons around the country,and even a behavior known as “slut shaming.” In spite of what some members of the Geek community believe, Geek girls have been around since the inception. Reading comics or enjoying Star Trek are not activities that require a penis.
I am a Geek girl. I have been for as long as I can remember. This has been pointed out to me all my life, and yet now, when Geekiness is becoming sort of popular, I suddenly have to prove my Geek credentials.
And that is why I love Dragon Con. While I know there have been issues at Dragon Con with small-minded individuals, for the most part, this Con is made up of fans who simply want to come together and have a great time. No surprise that some of these fans include NotMoms.
Here are some things that my co-NotMoms and girl Geeks of various backgrounds had to say;
Cindy from Michigan said, “Dragon Con meant to me that I could be free to be a character other than myself. Also, to share in something I enjoy with friends and strangers that are also interested in science fiction, fantasy, comics, and the rest.”
Jill Valuet, a NotMom blogger profiled here last June, said, “Dragon Con is a chance to indulge in all things Geekery for me. It’s where I can watch celebrities speak about my favorite games and shows, a place to hang out with like-minded people and a chance to dress up in crazy costumes.
“I always come home with my imagination brimming with story ideas, costume ideas and new friends. It’s the perfect place to let my Geek flag fly proud.”
Asheville podcaster known as Plucky McFeatherton said, “Dragon*Con is a
vacation, a spectator sport, an endurance test, and an adventure. I come back simultaneously exhausted and energized. There’s nothing like it.”
And, Heather from Minnesota said, “For me, Dragon Con is my favorite event for celebrating all sci-fi and fantasy fandom. If you are passionate about a TV show, comic, video game, movie, book, or even an internet meme, you are likely to meet a new friend here who is also passionate about the same thing.
“I love attending panels and seeing the celebrities. However, for me the most fun is to meet up with my good friends and hang out. We have a great time people watching, and this year we got to all dance together at the 80s Dance party. There is a definite feeling of being loved and accepted by everyone at the Con. I think that is what keeps us all coming back every year that we can!”
Dragon Con, and Geek culture in general, brings people together to celebrate their independence and their differences. That’s a sentiment familiar to readers of The NotMom, where we say all the time that although being childfree or childless is not one-size-fits-all, it’s the many things we have in common that make us eager to find each other and connect.
Image Caption: Heather as Princess R2D2, and her Momfriend, Princess C3PO