Nerd Alert (Adventures at Comic Con and Urgent Care)

As I’m writing this I’m laying down amongst an absurd number of pillows, waiting for the muscle relaxants to kick in. You see, dear readers, I have had my first big grownup injury. I think.

There’s a line in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe where Zaphod says “I’m so hip I have difficulty seeing over my pelvis.” Or maybe it’s the first book in the trilogy, I don’t remember. But he says that. Anyway. Rewind. Back to last week. Back to…

Salt Lake Comic Con!

Massive convention of all things pop culture! (I can’t restrict it to all things nerdy, not when there are people cosplaying Minions and massively-endowed migrants from ModelsMayhem are swanning about in painted-on Spiderman suits – sorry no, just no, no, no. But that’s a rant unto itself.)

Competitor for the title of Bigger than San Diego Comic Con! (This is a stupid title, and a stupid – nay, dangerous – quest. More on that in a bit.)

Carpeted labyrinth of panels you’ll walk out of halfway through, unless they’re the celebrity ones, in which case good luck getting in in the first place!

Home of TWO TARDISes, mystery-meat hotdogs (eel? condor? lost children?) and a dealer’s hall that will make you sploosh your undercarriage!

Anyway…

So we arrive Thursday, my BFF/sister and I, and it’s a ghost town. I mean. It’s a decent line and that. But compared to the Saturday crowd it’s deserted.  YES. I hate dense crowds. Plus, this particular venue – the Salt Palace – is kind of a dense little maze, a folded intestine of corridors and escalator-tunnels. With crowds at “fire marshal giving the side-eye” density, I worry that someone will get smooshed. This year there were complaints of people’s service dogs getting kicked/stepped on, in fact. Does someone have to die for the organisers to figure out bigger isn’t always better?

We are cosplaying Miriam Black and River Song, and we chat up the authors for a time, and both end up leaving with new books.

Then we locate Joel Hodgson, also known as the original and superior host of MST3K. And he’s just lovely, frankly. I had heard he was kind of meh, but whoever said that didn’t meet the same person I met last week. Joel FTW.

Fast forward to Friday. Now, yours truly has always had a bad-but-not-quite-bad-enough-to-warrant-intervention back. Mild scoliosis, hyperlordosis, you know. No big. Everyone likes a big ol’ booty that pops. Well, except maybe the owner of said booty, who will more than likely have severe back pain from their lumbar region being about as well-aligned as a Chevrolet Cavalier that’s been used for student drivers.

Friday. Osgood, who keeps getting mistaken for the Fourth Doctor. I’m sure the real Osgood would have been delighted by the compliment, but I was just getting irked. I also was sore. Did my daily stretches, got up, and WHAM.

So I limp and yelp through the next four days till I’m back home, and in the meantime, there’s more Comic Con to be had. Saturday went well, we tried some panels, and some were good and some were dumb. We shopped more, and we rested up for the evening party. The party was not what they sold it to us as, so we called it a night.

The last day went great up until the part where we went to a panel for LGBTQIA representation in fandom. I had been really looking forward to this. I mean, this stuff matters to me. Hell, my first Gallifrey One convention had me ON a panel like this.

I get in there – there’s like – 3 gay guys, one bi girl who says she’s “just an ally,” and one little white girl who ID’s as a “two spirit” and says she’s a man when she works on cars…and she is policing one of the guys’ pronouns when trying to describe the Wachowski siblings.

Mm. Ok. Right away, it sat really badly.

  1. “Two spirit” is a First Nations word for people who are gender non-conformist or queer. It’s oh so inappropriate to appropriate that word for white use.
  2. Check your own words before you police someone else’s.
  3. Presentation != gender, hello, this conversation has been had to infinity and back! Doing auto work doesn’t make you a man any more than folding laundry makes you a dry cleaner. When I feel agender or masculine, it has fuck all to do with my outer activities. I may bind my chest, but I ain’t gonna stop knitting or cooking if I was planning to do that shit anyway! Is my mom a man when she does yard work? Is my dad a woman if he washes a dish? Are these questions stupid as hell?
  4. WHERE WERE THE LESBIANS?

Now maybe I wasn’t in the best shape to start with, what with the constant pain and all that, but the hits just kept on coming.

There was a spirited discussion of an “amazing lesbian romance.” The movie in question? “BOUND.”

Mother. Fucking. BOUND.

The movie that I have had recommended to me by straight men a-plenty because it was great fap fodder.

Because lesbians only exist to be fap fodder for straight men, unless they’re sexless lumps of obese cat lady, amirite?

I expected this shit from straight men, but from my own kind?

So that was strike one.

Strike two was when, every time I tried to bring something up, they looked right at me, then called on the guy in the corner. Same guy over and over. And he even said “I didn’t see anyone else’s hand up. Eventually they started calling on people right behind me, but they kept looking me in the eye before doing so. Like “I see you but I’m not calling you.”

Strike three was looking at their powerpoint slides and realising that most of the examples of representation they had were cis white males.

There were a few males of color, otherwise, it was just their own damn selves being mirrored back on the screen over and over.

I walked out to the doorway, and it was all I could do not to scream something as I did, something to disrupt their self-congratulation.  My sister held me back, then held me as I cried.

A couple of con staffers came over and I told them what was wrong. They gave me paper to write a complaint, and gave it directly to someone who was ostensibly in charge of programming. We’ll see if it goes anywhere…but it really soured me for doing any future LGBT con panels. I can’t believe there’s representation in the wider world if, even in our own narrow world, I can’t find anyone who looks like me.

OH, and they made sure to address trans males but didn’t even talk about trans females, despite the fact that they could EASILY have mentioned the show “Sense8″(also by the Wachowskis) and Samus Aran from Metroid for examples. Hell, I’m half baked on Robaxin and I remembered that off the top of my head.

No excuses, people. Not in the age of Google.

The only funny thing, I think, is that I was wearing my last costume of the weekend that day – Ohila, of the Sisterhood of Karn. Karn, a planet where men are only allowed if the Sisterhood deems it acceptable – otherwise they are set on fire.

I was feeling my Sisterhood that day for sure. I just wish I’d had my spear, peace-bonded or not.

I did get my mystery pain seen to as soon as I got home, and as it turns out, I’ve got a locked up SI joint as well as some locked up lumbar and thoracic joints. Yay for spinal fuckery! But a good crutch, some heavy meds, and an appointment for PT make a world of difference. I’ve also gotten the ok for a sleep study to see if I stop breathing at night often enough to warrant treatment.

The upshot of all these medical shenanigans is that I will hopefully be stronger soon. Stronger, and with more energy to kick some chauvinist butt.

The Sisterhood is coming for you, fuckboys. Gay, straight, other – you disrespect women, you will hear from me.

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