So, ClexaCon happened this past weekend. I’m exhausted, happy, and full of plans for the future post Clexacon, but mostly exhausted to be honest. I slept until 11am this morning after a full travel day that started off with me sitting in the airport all day Monday for an 11:30pm flight to Chicago. I then had a longer layover that it would have taken to drive home (if I had a car). But I’m back home at least. And my cats have not left me alone since I walked in the door. It’s always nice when someone misses you that much.
I don’t have enough words to say just what a safe, welcome, and beautiful atmosphere pervaded ClexaCon. Walking into the convention hall, it struck me that I’ve never been more comfortable as myself. A giant room of 1,600 queer women and their allies will do that to you. You just know that no matter who or what you are, or what you like, everyone will accept you. All of us in that room loved the media and characters in focus. We all have faced marginalization (or care about it happening to others). We all belong together. So much diversity and yet so much togetherness. It’s what true community is all about.
More than anything, I came away with a stronger sense of focus. I went to ClexaCon with the intent to discern if media criticism and fighting for representation of queer women and other forms of diversity was going to be my career. I came away more convinced than ever that I need, want, and can do this. The collaborative energy and community conversation encouraged me. I’m not in this alone, we’re all in this together, and we can do this if we fight with and not against each other.
My “Ethics in Storytelling” panel, which has been my baby for the past year, was a roaring success. The conversation between Heather Hogan, Elizabeth Bridges, and I flowed effortlessly. The audience asked great questions, and we began something I hope to continue fostering in the coming months and years.
My goal? To create a foundation from which and a paradigm within which to speak against the problematic system that prevents diverse stories from being told by those it affects most: the communities themselves. Because that’s what ethics in storytelling demands. In order to speak to the system, we need a solid foundation to force it to pay attention to us. As marginalized communities have had to learn over the millennia of human history, the cry “this is wrong” is most effective if we can add “here’s why and here’s how we fix it”.
As a community of queer women, we must advocate structure for creating media and art centered around collaboration. Telling diverse stories is not enough. We must create space for marginalized voices to tell their own stories. We must explain the history of and undermine the system of storytelling the exalts a typically cis, het, white, privileged male perspective and put something more equitable in its place.
In short, I hope to make something fundamentally feminist with my Ethics in Storytelling series. I hope to grow it into a movement that is both iconoclastic and generative. I also got a lot of great ideas for upcoming topics and (hopefully) some collaborative partners!
Let’s keep this story going!