Joss Whedon, a pillar of modern science-fiction and creator of such cult-classic TV shows as “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” and “Firefly” once said: “The greatest expression of rebellion is joy.”
This could practically be the mantra of the all-diverse, all-inclusive Universal Fan Con, which met and exceeded it’s Kickstarter goal well under the Jan. 12 deadline.
Universal Fan Con was a convention created by several extraordinary geeks of color, including Jamie Broadnax, creator of Black Girl Nerds.
Noticing the “diversity” at some cons was simply a scapegoat for tokenism in the form of a single diversity panel, Universal Fan Con creators Jamie, Robert, Chauncey, Rob and Aeris set out to create a Fan Con for literally everyone. Every geekdom, every fan base, every color, orientation, gender, and level of ability. Promising to make this Con accessible to people with disabilities while focusing on highlighting women and being LGBTQIA+ friendly, this con is going to give other cons a run for their money, and their fan bases.
The creators note in their Kickstarter video that diversity, the strength of all fandoms, the crux of our collective and wonderful weirdness, seems to be under assault these days. As demagogues and racists come out of the woodwork, (and are actually elected to office) Universal Fan Con is a beautiful rebellion against homogeneity. This convention looks to become a great big diversity-celebrating, patriarchy-smashing nerd bash to fly in the face of racism, homophobia, ableism, sexism, and general xenophobia.
Universal Fan Con cannot come soon enough.
(But for the record, it’s coming April 27-29, 2018 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Yes, you read that right: we’re going to have to wait more than a year, but that just means you have more time to get your cosplay ready!)