Out Con is set to return to the Miami Airport Convention Center this Saturday, August 4, and it's expected to attract queer fans of nerd culture from across South Florida. From its sass-packed cosplay contest to its cornucopia of anime illustration vendors, last year’s Out Con left many attendees wide-eyed and wanting more.
“People are drawn to the free atmosphere that is Out Con,” says cosplayer Jonathan Stryker, who started the convention three years ago. “The shows and events that go on are really unique compared to other cons as well. I mean, we have a drag show and a strip show!”
Out Con’s reputation has grown via word of mouth. This year’s LGBTQ-oriented shindig is poised to draw the largest turnout yet. All vendor and artist tables are already sold out. "I'm most excited for the turnout. There are always new faces and new people that come to the event and are completely taken aback by the overall atmosphere," Stryker says.
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When it comes to uniting the gay and geek communities, this Miami-based convention does it best. Stryker tells New Times that he and his crew have been fine-tuning the event.
“This time around, we perfected everything to amplify the Out Con experience," he says. "We took what we learned from the first two years and made sure this third year is perfect." As the convention becomes more established, attendees can expect more vending booths and more "geektivities." On the schedule this year are lip-synch battles, K-pop showcases, and a performance by Yas!, the Miami-based LGBTQ improv group. And don't forget the cosplay.
"The contests also get better every year, so I can't wait to see what people bring to the stage," Stryker says. “People just feel really comfortable being themselves there.”