Conventions can be a daunting space for anyone--the crowds, the overwhelming amount of events -- but they can be even more so when you're a woman navigating a traditionally male-dominated space.Thankfully, the folks at this weekend's Florida Supercon have put together an impressive and inclusive line-up (and a great con-wide harassment policy) capable of making even first-time female congoers feel right at home. You can find some handpicked highlights after the jump.
Cosplay, Cosplay, Cosplay!
Screw Halloween. This is your moment to let your geek flag fly -- and enjoy the added bonus of having people actually recognize where your nerd niche outfit is from. Whether it's store-bought or handmade, there's nothing like embodying your favorite character, showing love for your fandom of choice, and having other fans share your enthusiasm.
If you want to try your hand at competition, the Thursday night competition focuses exclusively on women as characters, and they take both store-bought and handmade costumes. It's also a runway competition, which means there are not pre-judging hoops to jump through. You can even sign up online in advance. Give it a shot!
There are also myriad panels for all level of cosplayer to improve their craft, including discussions on body image--a pretty hot topic. Underdogs of Cosplay focuses on issues facing plus-sized cosplayers and showcases examples of fuller-figured badasses getting it done and winning awards.
Speaking of finding role models...
Find Inspiration From Fellow Women
In a world filled with boob armor, harassment, and calling out "fake geek girls"(read: the Internet), it's hard to find a beacon of hope in all the muck. But there are tons of women in the industry who've kicked the doors down and challenged the status quo, and Florida Supercon is a great platform to meet them and hear their experiences.
Can we talk about Nichelle Nichols for a second? Her role as communications officer Uhura in Star Trek launched countless women's careers in STEM fields. She was a commanding presence on a starship in an era where the roles for women of color on American television were more likely to be the help than the heroine. Her cultural impact is huge, and her Q&A is not one to be missed.
The Women Behind the Camera panel, hosted by women filmmakers, will discuss all the highs and lows of being a woman in the film industry. If you're into comics, a similar panel discusses being a woman in the indie comic world.
Seeing all of these kickass women might just inspire you to...
Contribute to the Geekiverse
At Florida Supercon, you can meet your favorite celebrities and have a party around your fandom of choice, but it's also a great place for those who are also looking to get into the industry.
There's a whole "So...You Want to Be..." series of panels aimed at giving tips to would-be voice actors, professional cosplayers, and comic book creators. If you're a comic book gal, Marvel Comics' Manager of talent Relations is going to be there to potentially review your portfolios.
Who knows? In a few years, people might just be cosplaying as something you created!
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Just. Have. Fun.
Florida Supercon is going to be chock full of vendors, artists, video games (both retro and new), and a million other things to do. Take some time today to check out the schedule and customize it to your heart's content. And give yourself plenty of time to explore! Between the rich schedule and emphasis on keeping people happy and safe (there's even a panel on con etiquette), this year's Florida Supercon is a geek girl's paradise.
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