PRIDE ALLEY 2019-04-10T14:48:23+00:00


Awesome Con is proud to partner with Geeks OUT to present Pride Alley!

A spotlight on queer creators and fans, Pride Alley will unite the LGBTQ activities around Awesome Con through a dedicated section of Artist Alley and three days of panels and special events. Awesome Con is proud of all of our fans, guests, exhibitors, and artists – and as we started to build this year’s event, we wanted to do more and create a bigger platform to better celebrate and educate DC’s LGBTQ community. This is important to us and who we want to be.

And we couldn’t be more proud to ignite this with our friends at Geeks OUT – a diverse and growing organization that rallies, empowers, and promotes the queer geek community. Geeks OUT is behind the awesome LGBTQ convention Flame Con, a two-day comic, art, and entertainment expo showcasing creators and celebrities from all corners of LGBTQ fandom. Flame Con’s been held in NYC since 2015 and invites geeks of all types to celebrate the diversity and creativity of queer geekdom and LGBTQ contributions to pop culture.

We’re honored Awesome Con’s Pride Alley events and artists are curated by the creators of Flame Con, and together with Geeks OUT, we look to promote LGBTQ fans within geek culture –  strengthening geek culture overall, and having lots of fun while doing it! 

Pride Alley Artists

Rage Gear Studios
Simon Graves
Marta Mickelsen
LoveLadyArtist Studio
Dale Lazarov/Sticky Graphic Novels
Joan Comics
Vicious Poodle Pin Up
F.T. Lukens
Thirty Seven Stars
Shelby Wolf Designs

Pride Alley Programming Schedule

Room 152


1:30 PM – 2:15 PM
Fabulous Fictional Females
“Fabulous Femmes in Fiction” features a diverse panel of female writers, artists, and editors. We’ll be discussing the ‘Strong Female Character’ trope, breaking down what goes into telling a great story and sharing our professional experiences in the realms of comics, literature, and theater.

2:30 PM – 3:15 PM
Gender in SFF Fiction: Women & Nonbinary Authors
From the elusive Strong Female Protagonist to LGBTQ representation, and what an individual author’s responsibility is, this panel will explore what it means to be a female or nonbinary author in the male-dominated genre of sci-fi and fantasy fiction. Join this session and meet the authors behind fictional worlds from across the D.C. region.

3:30 PM – 4:15 PM
Diversity Amongst the Stars
From Rey and Rose to Finn and Kaz, the Star Wars galaxy looks more like the world we live in every day. Join us for a celebration of the diverse characters we love and a discussion about how the galaxy has changed over the last few years and where we still hope it may go.

4:30 PM – 5:15 PM
Strengthening Geek Culture
A spotlight on queer creators and fans, Strengthening Geek Culture will unite the LGBTQ and allied creators attending Awesome Con through a panel celebrating the diversity and creativity of queer geekdom and LGBTQ contributions to pop culture. We look to promote LGBTQ fans within geek culture – strengthening geek culture overall, and having lots of fun while doing it! Thanks to Awesome Con for providing a platform for all of their fans, guests, exhibitors, and artists!

5:30 PM – 6:15 PM
Exploring Gay and Lesbian Comic Creators
This panel will explore some of the creators and their contributions to producing gay and lesbian comics and how they have influenced the mainstream comic industry to this day. Some of the creators that will be explored are Howard Cruse (Stuck Rubber Baby), Trina Robbins (Wimmen’s Comix), Alison Bechdel (Fun House), and Joe Phils (Joe Boys) to name a few. With each of the creators, we cover there works and significances of their comics and how it impacts the current comic and manga world today.

6:30 PM – 7:15 PM
Resistance, Feminism, & Fandom
Science fiction is often a form of social commentary, and engaging with sci-fi fandom means voicing that commentary via social media. As women, people of color, and other LGBT+ participants who are quite visible in fandom during this charged era in American politics, we want to discuss our experiences speaking out on various social platforms even when it may not be the popular thing to do.

7:30 PM – 8:15 PM
Fandom and Wellness Podcast
Fandom and Wellness is the podcast that discusses the complex relationships between fandoms and mental health. Are you a geek boss with depression, a cosplayer with social anxiety, or congoer just looking to nerd out and feel less alone? Join us for our discussion on how inclusion in geek fandoms positively affects mental health.


11:30 AM – 12:15 PM
We ARE Gaymers! Be Proud!
For many of us, gaming is a way to relax, unwind, and have fun; and for most of us, gaming has become a core part of who we are. Unfortunately for a few of us, having this passion for gaming has made us come across some negative responses as “That’s for children,”

“You still play with cartoons? Grow up,” and my personal favorite, “Do something productive, that’s a waste of time”… Clearly, we don’t feel that way, but where is that coming from? and how much of it is true? I want to create a discussion where we talk about our experience with these comments and how we dealt with them. Maybe this talk can help others down the road!

12:30 PM – 1:15 PM
All Your Faves are Gay 2: 2 Gay 2 Curious
Last year “All Your Faves are Gay” was a panel and a party. Now we’re back. Come hang out with comic book creators who are and who create LGBTQ+ characters in comics. We’ll talk about everything from doing rep right to what comics’ beautiful rainbow colored future looks like.

1:30 PM – 2:15 PM
Pro Wrestling Connection for Marginalized Fans
Centering women, non-binary, & LGBTQ+ voices in wrestling fandom-these fans have crucial perspectives to share. If you’ve never felt comfortable at a wrestling panel before, this one’s for you.

2:30 PM – 3:15 PM
Crossplay 101
An introductory lecture about what crossplay is and educating how to crossplay safely.

3:30 PM – 4:15 PM
Racism and Stereotypes in Anime
Media reflects how its society views the world, anime is no exception. We will explore examples of racist and stereotypical portrayals of minority group characters and the possible origin of such portrayals. Come join us to critically analyze the media that we love.

4:30 PM – 5:15 PM
Representation Matters, So Make It Good
Stories matter. More diverse media representation is incredibly important, but not all representation is created equal. The result of years of narrative research, this panel lays out a comprehensive and easy to follow guide to creating healthy and compelling queer characters and stories, with examples and suggestions across media and genres. Write stronger characters, tell better stories, and maybe save a life when you join us in making queer lives visible.

5:30 PM – 6:15 PM
The BLERD Panel
Picking up where we left off last year, the BLERD Panel will give the black nerd state of the union with comedy, connection, and community!

6:30 PM – 7:15 PM
Toxic Fan Culture: What Can We Do?
“How dare they! A black Stormtrooper? A female Ghostbuster? That character’s not gay!” Are we too possessive, too entitled, or just passionate? We’ll discuss the behaviors in fandom that create toxic environments and what we can do to create more positive interactions. We can disagree – or even dislike an aspect of a story – without going on the attack.

7:30 PM – 8:15 PM
Marvel’s LGBT Legacy
Celebrating 80 years in 2019, Marvel has a long history of good, bad, and ugly representation, particularly when it comes to LGBTQIA characters. From Arnie Roth to America Chavez, come and find out which heroes got the short end of the stick and which are truly marvels of LGBT representation.


11:30 AM – 12:15 PM
Female Characters in Science Fiction
In movies, television, and books, female characters have often played a role in the science fiction genre. However, their role has changed over the past few decades – instead of just being the love interest or helpless female, they are now often the hero and main character.

Come join members of The Royal Manticoran Navy (“The Official Honor Harrington Fan Association”) and the Colonial Ministry of Defense (a Battlestar Galactica fan organization) as we discuss and explore the role and portrayal of women in the science fiction genre:
Who are your favorite female characters and why?
Do men and women relate to the characters in the same way?
What traits make a good female character?
What makes us appreciate certain characters or dislike characters?
Are female characters simply male characters with a name change?
Are they a reflection of society at that time?

12:30 PM – 1:15 PM
This panel is designed to be a safe space for cosplayers to discuss their experiences with cosplay. Mediated by the panelists, we will be sharing our experiences as well as opening the floor for others to discuss theirs.

1:30 PM – 2:15 PM
Bullying in the Cosplay Community; How To Survive
From trolls in the comment section to actual threats to your safety, we have all been a victim of Cosplay Bullying at some point or another. Come to this panel to hear our stories and learn how to combat the toxic behavior thrown your way.

2:30 PM – 3:15 PM
Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl
Writers of the sci-fi/fantasy media that we consume have mostly grown beyond the normal tropes that female/LGBT characters fell into for so long, but new tropes have arisen in their place. This panel examines what media – TV, film – is succeeding in growing beyond both old and new tropes, and what still needs to find its footing with informed audiences.

3:30 PM – 4:15 PM
We Have Always Been Here: The Women Who Built SF
From Mary Shelley onwards, the history of science fiction and SF fandom is a history built by women — many of whom have since been written out of the narrative. Let’s talk about their contributions as writers, artists, fans, and organizers, without which the history of fandom would look very, very different.