FlameCon’s ‘Transgender Themes In Geek Culture’ Panel

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I attended (and loved) NYC’s first LGBTQ Comic Con, FlameCon! It took place during Pride Month on June 13th at the fancy Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn. Geeks OUT presented the con, which is a NYC based nonprofit dedicated to building a better community for LGBTQ geeks. For more about FlameCon read my recap and check out the amazing cosplay.

My favorite panel at Flamecon was Secret Identities: Transgender Themes In Geek Culture. It was moderated by Charles Battersby (Astonishing Adventures) and the panelist included Jennie Wood (Flutter), Lawrence Gullo (Baritaria), P. Kristen Enos (Web of Lives) and Marguerite Bennett (DC Comics, Marvel and Boom).

Transgender Narrative

Art by Lawrence Gullo

Art by Lawrence Gullo

Transgender narrative was a big part of the discussion. It’s to no surprise that the further a character is from being heterosexual, cisgender and white, the more they are misrepresented… if they are represented at all. A common and inaccurate transgender narrative is, “I am a man, what if I wanted to be a woman?” Lawrence Gullo suggested the following narrative instead, “I am a woman, what if no one believed me and I had to prove it to people my entire life.”

Sci-Fi & Gender

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Science Fiction is known to use aliens and androids as representations of LGBTQIA people instead of actual humans. This not only suggests that the creator views those groups as “The Other,” either subconsciously or consciously, but it also reinforces negative stereotypes about LGBTQIA people. Gullo suggests a way to combat this as a SF creator is to make humans LGBTQIA and gender fluid as well, not just the aliens.

Creators should also stop assigning gender to androids, especially self-aware ones. When you really think about it, it’s completely unnecessary, inaccurate and almost always reinforces gender stereotypes. Assuming that AI would have the same gender notions as humans is more than presumptuous, it’s pretty egotistical.

Positive Trans Media

Connie, Stevonnie and Steven from Steven Universe fan art by Kowskie

Connie, Stevonnie and Steven from Steven Universe fan art by Kowskie

The panel wasn’t only about the negative media representations of trans people. Steven Universe, Dragon Age: Inquisitions, and Saints Row 3 were all praised for being positive trans media.

  • Dragon Age: Inquisitions ran their script for a transgender character, Cremisius “Krem” Acclasi, by trans people and changed it based off their input.
  • Gullo shared an anecdote about his transgender friend who cried when she saw Stevonnie in Steven Universe because she identified with them. Although Stevonnie doesn’t have a gender and Garnet described their fusion as “a conversation”, the character has resonated strongly with genderfluid and trans people. 
  • In Saints Row 3, you can have a male voice actor for a female body and even go to a surgeon and change your sex at any point in the game. It’s completely up to the player.

When In Doubt, Ask

Dragon Age Inquisitions's Cremisius "Krem" Acclasi

Dragon Age Inquisitions’s Cremisius “Krem” Acclasi

Some advice if you’re a cisgender creator nervous about inadvertently misrepresenting a transgender character: When in doubt, ask. It isn’t a creator’s responsibility to make their work diverse, but it is responsible. Jennie Wood summed it up best, “We just want to see ourselves.”

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Girl Gone Geek’s Best of 2014

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Best Use of Boobies and Philosophy in an Anime- Space Dandy

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When I first heard about Space Dandy it sounded a lot like Cowboy Bebop, which is my favorite anime series, so I was all for it. To be honest, Shinichiro Watanabe could make an anime that was just a black screen for twelve episodes I would praise the animation and character development. However, when I saw the first episode of Dandy I thought it was ridiculous. Like really ridiculous. And so was the next one and the one after that… “Well, this isn’t very “Bebopy.” I thought to myself. I wasn’t sure if I liked it. Which made me start to lose faith in Watanabe. Which made me question what was even real. Which made me fall into an existential crisis. But then that crisis was averted when I realized I had to stop expecting Space Dandy to be something it wasn’t. Once that happened, everything changed. By the time the series ended, I loved Dandy just as much as he loves Boobies. (Which is a lot.) When watching Space Dandy, you just have to lose all expectations, relax and enjoy the ride, baby.

 

Best Reason to Call Out of Work- Bayonetta 2

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Dat ass, though.

 

Best Creepy Manga- Nijigahara Holograph by Inio Asano

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My love for Inio Asano grows every time I read one of his messed up coming-of-age stories and Nijigahara Holograph was no different. I dedicated blog posts to Solanin and Nijigahara Holograph because they are that good and I’ll probably do the same for Oyasumi Punpun, which I just finished reading. Asano-sensei is a brilliant storyteller, artist and one of my favorite mangakas. Despite the strangeness and disturbing quality to his stories, there is a unique beauty to them as well. His brutal honesty about humanity forces us to confront things we’re too scared to address. His manga tell us more about ourselves than we may be comfortable with, and with that, he creates a story so beautiful it’s unnerving.

 

Best Love Triangle to Obsess About- Hirunaka no Ryuusei (Daytime Shooting Star) by Mika Yamamori

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I’m a sucker for a shoujo romance love triangle, but throw a sensei up in that triangle and I. CAN’T. EVEN.

 

Smartest Hour On Sunday- True Detective 

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Since time is a flat circle, I can’t wait until my consciousness inevitability experiences True Detective again for the first time.

 

Best Cowboy in Space Movie- Interstellar 

interstellar_2014_movieI was personally offended when I heard some people didn’t like this movie.

 

The Comic That Was So Good It Was Perfect- Saga story by Brian K. Vaughan and art by Fiona Staples

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DUH.

 

Coolest World You Really Like But Don’t Want to Live in Because It’s Pretty Messed Up– East of West story by Jonathan Hickman and drawn by Nick Dragotta

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This was a way for me to dedicate a category to East of West because it’s too good not to mention. Seriously, you should be reading this.

 

Best Eyegasm- J.H. Williams III for Sandman Overture story by Neil Gaiman

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So the real reason Sandman Overture comes out every leap year isn’t because of the creators busy schedules, it’s because if JHW3 releases Sandman Overture art once a month it will literally rip a hole in time and space and the universe will collapse in on itself.

 

Best Reason to Judge a Comic Book by Its Cover- The Wicked + The Divine written by Kieron Gillen and drawn by Jamie McKelvie

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When you first see the cover for WicDiv you’re all like, “Oooh shiny!” So you buy it because you like pretty things and figure if the story is terrible at least it’s pretty to look at. And then you realize you’re a really shallow person and get depressed. To distract yourself from this distressing realization you read WicDiv and everything about it is super cool and yet surprisingly smart. Then you stop feeling sad and shallow and pretend that you didn’t just buy the comic for the pretty cover, you bought it for the smart story. I’ll keep your secret if you keep mine.

 

Best Comic to Read in Public Places- Sex Criminals written by Matt Fraction and drawn by Chip Zdarsky

sex-criminals3Fraction and Zdarsky prove as long as your comic is great, you can make as many sex jokes as you want.

 

The Comic That Will Take Over 2015- Bitch Planet written by Kelly Sue DeConnick and art by Valentine De Landro

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Feminism means equal rights for all women, but more often than not, the fight for equality is separated between white women and women of color *cough cough* “separate but equal”. Bitch Planet is a punch in the face to patriarchy and I’m so damn happy that all women are included. Thank you Kelly Sue and Valentine!

NYCC 2014: Cosplay Roundup

Every year I attend New York Comic Con more and more fans cosplay. It’s tough picking favorites but the ones that made me squee the most were Death from East of West and Steven Universe and his mom as Garnet. Oh and here’s my post about my Sailor Moon (aka Sailor Goon), Space Dandy and Spike Spiegel cosplay.

Anime/Manga

Comics

Movies & TV & Video Games & Podcasts

 

Girl Gone Geek’s Best of 2013

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Let’s just dive right in, shall we?

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Game of the Year- Pokemon XY

I’m 2 badges away from beating the game because I keep getting distracted by Pokemon-Amie (but like, how can you not?!).

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Comic Book Series of the Year- Saga

What praise is left to say about Saga that hasn’t already been said? Saga is damn near perfect.

Runner up: Nowhere Men

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Comic Book Issue of the Year- Batman #17, Death of the Family Conclusion

The entire Death of the Family arc had me stressed. I was so concerned about Alfred’s wellbeing that I would think about him throughout the day and hope he was okay. Scott Snyder sure can come up with some twisted shit, but I love it!

Runner up: East of West #3

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Comeback of the Year- Sandman Overture          

I really just made this category to gush about Neil Gaiman. Sandman is one of my favorite comic book series of all time, so when I heard that he was making a prequel I practically had to call out of work because of the feels. Then! Then! They said that the J.H. Williams III was going to be the artist and I just about fell out of my seat. JH3 deserves an award alone for his imaginative panels in the first issue.

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Author of the Year- Matt Fraction

This guy! Hawkeye is pure brilliance and I was practically buzzing when I read the debut of Sex Criminals. It’s smart, funny, provocative and included a Lolita reference. What’s not to love?!

Runner up: Scott Snyder

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Artist of the Year- Fiona Staples

The characters in the Saga universe are pretty diverse to put it mildly, so it takes someone pretty amazing to make them all blend together. Fiona Staples does just that in a breathtaking way… Even that giant ogre with the dirty private parts.

Runner up: Nate Bellegarde

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Colorist of the Year- Jordie Bellaire

I am a super fan of Jordie Bellaire. From the clean lines of Nowhere Men to the expressive and painterly art of Pretty Deadly and American Vampire Anthology, Bellaire is a master of color.

Runner up: Fco Plascencia

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Show of the Year- Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad was flawless. I have never been this fully satisfied with a show since The Wire. Every episode, scene and line was carefully calculated and is easily one of the best shows. Ever.

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Film of the Year- Gravity

I don’t know what scared me more, The Conjuring or Gravity. It was intense, beautiful and emotional.

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Episode of the Year- Game of Thrones, The Red Wedding

:(

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Anime Series of the Year- Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)

I saw someone on tumblr describe Attack on Titan as the anime that uses blood like most anime use cherry blossoms. Its first season was fully equipped with enough “holy shit” moments to probably last you the whole series. It’s a lot of fun.

Runner up: Another

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Anime Film of the Year- Wolf Children

I may, or may not have cried.

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Fandom of the Year- Welcome to Night Vale

Brilliant, eerie and funny! It’s basically Lovecraft without the stick up his ass.

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TV Special of the Year- Doctor Who, The Day of the Doctor

Clearly, I just added this category so I could add Doctor Who to my list. The 50th anniversary episode was everything I needed it to be.

Sunday Funnies: Return to Animal Crossing

I lost my 3DS a few months ago after I got Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I worry about the well-being of my town everyday.

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[Via Dorkly]

 

Sunday Funnies: The Most Stubborn Pokemon

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[Source: Dorkly]

Etsy Crush of the Week & Giveaway: WetheSciencey

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jamila girl gone geek blog wethesciencey Meteorite Fragment  necklace

“You had me at meteorite necklace”, is how I felt when I landed on WeTheSciencey’s Etsy shop. So I can own a necklace that has a metorite fragment in it? SOLD! Who wouldn’t want to flaunt a bit of space around their neck?! And that’s not it! We the Sciencey’s shop is bursting will all sorts of science and sci-fi items that will have you manically clicking “Add to Cart”. What makes it even better is every month WeTheSciencey chooses a new Kickstarter project to back with a percentage of every sale. It’s a win/win!

The handmade (and space-made) meteorite necklace is just as beautiful as I daydreamed! It arrived in a cute little drawstring bag which includes an informational card about the meteorite fragment history and meteorites in general. The necklace itself includes an 18in silver-color chain with genuine meteorite fragment(s) incased in a glass bottle pendant. My meteorite fragment is a chondrite from fall NWA 869 and was found in 2000 in Northwest Africa. It’s pretty freaking cool.

Oh, and there’s a giveaway! Details below.

Interview with Noah of WeTheSciencey:

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

WeTheSciencey-Mad Scientist Chemistry Cookie Cutter KitI’m Noah, a 23-year old human girl who likes to think of herself as a creator and who is always on the lookout for grand adventures and tea with Jammie Dodgers. That aside, I am a sailor-in-training and I also want to be an astronaut.

Can you tell us the origin story of your shop, We the Sciencey?

One day, as I was sitting in chemistry class and sketching reaction mechanisms, the thought occurred, “wouldn’t it be brilliant to be able to buy things that are …chemistry-y! but beautiful, because there’s something quite lovely about science.” Just look at the stars on a clear night, in place far away from civilisation…it’s science, but it’s beauty. I wanted to make a place where the two could be celebrated together. Science & art. And then, maybe a semester later, I discovered ‘Doctor Who’. It was perfectly inspiring and added the fictional and imaginative side; I loved that I found an outlet for so many things I loved since childhood, and knew others loved as well. I wanted to share it and have been doing so since!

Which have been some of your favorite pieces to make? WeTheSciencey- Doctor Who Whovian Timey-Wimey Greeting Card Set

The Meteorite Necklace is, by far, my favourite piece in the shop. Somehow I always end up day-dreaming and imagining the life of the meteorite and its incredibly epic journey hurtling through time and space. It’s kind of mysterious and awe-inspiring! I also just like the idea of people carrying bits of outer-space around with them. :D

Do you have any (other) geeky obsessions? If so what?

I LIKE CHEMISTRY. And SPACE. Art & design. Anddd…well, lots of things. In terms of science-fiction, I’m definitely a Trekkie-Whovian-type hybrid. I find science fiction to be full of wonder and fantasticalness. If I feel a bit stuck, creative-wise, just watching an episode of Star Trek (original
series mostly) or Doctor Who always jostles my imagination awake again.

If you had to live in a fictional sci-fi universe for a month, which would it be and why?

Definitely the Doctor’s universe. I mean, just. Yes. Just think…the adventures, the cultures, the mysteries, the questions and answers and discoveries and beautiful vastness andandand! *sigh* CAN I JUST GO NOW?!?! >.<

WeTheSciencey- Star Trek Spock Hand StampWhich science fiction tech can you not wait to become science reality?

A replicator! The closest thing I have is the MakerBot Replicator 2 which is a 3D printer. And though, it is pretty freaking amazing, it is limited to creating objects out of 2 varying types of materials and requires a lot of time/learning (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing ;) ). The Star Trek replicator could solve a lot of problems, especially food and medicine shortages. It could also cause a lot of issues if misused. So, while I think it would be a lovely piece of equipment to have in theory….perhaps it might be better that it doesn’t exist. SO. The TARDIS, then. =]

If you were on a deserted island what video game, comic/book, movie, TV show would you bring?

I’d bring: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, A brilliant chemistry textbook so I can invent things to retrofit the island, Space Odyssey 2001, and the Doctor Who series’.

Where do you live on the internet?

You can find the WeTheSciencey shop at etsy.com/shop/wethesciencey and the blog at www.wethesciencey.com. On Twitter: twitter.com/wethesciencey and Facebook: Facebook.com/wethesci. When I’m not blogging on wethesciencey.com, I’m at galaxychild.tumblr.com (caution: it’s mostly poetry with the occasional meandering into things rather spacey and timey).

WeTheSciencey Giveaway!

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Three winners will get one of the items above!

Enter the giveaway:

  • Follow WeTheSciencey on (if applicable):
  •      – Facebook: facebook.com/wethesci
  •      – Twitter: twitter.com/wethesciencey
  •      – Tumblr: wethesciencey.com
  • Answer the following question in the comments section:
  •      Q: Which science fiction tech can you not wait to become science reality?
  • Giveaway ends Monday, August 26th

Giveaway over. Congrats, Kathryn, Jessica, Ada!

 

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