I have attended a few cons over the years. Starting with DragonCon in 20–. Having DragonCon be your first experience with a con is overwhelming to say the least. It was huge! Since then I have attended a few very small ones here in Richmond and MagFest at the Gaylord in Maryland. Last year was my first time at Blerdcon and it was a breathe of fresh air.
Blerdcon has only been around for about 3 years, so it’s still small enough where you can get into most of the panels you want to be a part of and nothing feels rushed or overcrowded. The idea of a “blerd” and a con for “blerds” was something that when I saw it made me curious. This is what they say on their website about the concept:
Blerdcon is an event that highlights and celebrates Blerd culture and creates a marketplace of ideas where sharing that culture can take place with proper context, attribution and positivity in an inclusive environment.
Blerdcon is derived from the term “Blerd” which is short for black nerd. Blerd culture encompasses creatives, fans, producers who are and have been contributing to every fandom, but don’t get the recognition or notoriety.
Blerdcon celebrates our connection with LGBTQ, the disabled, POCs and the international community! All are welcome to partake in the experience as we are an open community who love all the same nerddom.
The idea of inclusivity when it comes to fandom is something that resonated with me. My wife and I attended panels with LGBT+ creatives and one focused on the stunt woman and actresses that played the Dorja Milaje in the Black Panther movie. Hearing the experiences of peoples individual journeys was an awesome experience.
Blerdcon was the first big con my wife had ever attended, “I like that it was diverse. There was always something going on. I thought the vendors were good. The dance party was fun and was a great way to celebrate being at Blerdcon.”
This was also the first time I had ever cosplayed. While some of the noise is being drownedout by the more enlightened, racism still exists when a person of color dresses as a character that is traditionally white, they can receive a lot of blow back for the more ignorant. So being able to see so many diverse cosplayers made the experience extremely comfortable and fun.
So we are both super excited to return this year. The guest list for the event is not as star studded as bigger cons as it is still in it’s infancy and still growing. This does provide opportunity for people with in the community to present panel ideas and for a more intimate experience with the guests and con attendees. I’m looking forward to seeing the amazing artwork and creations of the vendors and creators in attendance.
One of the best moments was seeing a blonde haired blued eyed little girl run up to my wife and beg to take a picture with Supergirl. Like that little girl Blercon gives everyone the chance to be the hero they always wanted to be.