Speaking on the ‘Geeks of Color Assemble: Minorities In Fandom’ NYCC panel was an incredible experience

As seen in a previous post: I was invited to speak at New York City Comic Con 2013.

It was a magical experience.

Honestly, I didn’t think that my panel appearance would be such a good one. That’s not a judgment on the panel’s excellent moderator and panel members; it’s a statement on the absolute insane level of fear that I experienced in the hours leading up to the 6:30 p.m. kick off. I couldn’t sleep. I imagined every possible nightmare scenario, which included stuttering through rehearsed lines, tripping on my way up the stage, tripping on my way down the stage, and being laughed back to the hotel for saying something absolutely nonsensical.

I feel like an idiot now.

The crowd was warm and welcoming, and it connected with the panelists’ tales of hardships/challenges as creators and fans within the geek circle. Yet, it was incredibly positive and acted as a source of strength and camaraderie among the Black, Asian, Hispanic, Muslim, female, and other maligned attendee groups. I knew only a handful of the audience members—big ups to Samara, Max, Patrick, Tony, Isaac, and Johnathan—but there was also a shared connection that I never before felt with a group of strangers. I met a lot of cool audience members and exchanged tons of cards.

It would be incredibly easy to let those potential relationships die, but I’ve connected via e-mail or social media with all the people I met. Change is needed in the sci-fi, comic book, cosplay, and video game industries.

Let’s make it happen together.