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by Hedgebrook Staff

GeekGirlCon art by Tatyana Vogt

Since 2011, autumn has heralded a major event in Seattle: GeekGirlCon. For two days, self-proclaimed geeks from all over the country join together to celebrate their love of all things geeky, often in costume. While the event is meant to provide a safe space for women and girls to feel empowered and uplifted, it is open to everyone, regardless of gender identification.

The GeekGirlCon mission statement declares that the organization “celebrates and honors the legacies of under-represented groups in science, technology, comics, arts, literature, game play, and game design. We do this by connecting geeks worldwide and creating an intersectional community that fosters the continued growth of women in geek culture. GeekGirlCon provides a safe space to spark conversations around social justice while encouraging unabashed geekiness.”

At the forefront of the organization is Sharon Magliano Feliciano, President of GeekGirlCon’s Board of Directors. Sharon’s geekiness extends outside of GeekGirlCon, and she can often be found in Shoreline, where she co-owns Arcane Comics. Those of you here at Hedgebrook might recognize her as our own Assistant Director of Development and Outreach.

GeekGirlCon board president and Hedgebrook Assistant Director Of Development & Outreach Sharon Magliano Feliciano geeks out with her kids at Arcane Comics. Photo: Joshua Huston for Seattle’s Child

Of her participation with both women-focused organizations, Sharon has said, “At the intersection of my work with Hedgebrook and my work with GeekGirlCon is the need to create safe spaces for women and under-represented voices. I feel so grateful to work with two amazing feminist organizations that encourage folks to express themselves bravely and authentically.”

While public geek culture has, historically, been male-dominated, and the stories in comics, video games, and science fiction have often catered to the male-gaze, this is beginning to change. In a world where interest in women’s stories and perspectives is growing, places like GeekGirlCon offer opportunities not only for life-long female fans to geek out together, but also for “geeklets” to explore the world of geekiness without judgment or bias. Sharon has been bringing her own children to GeekGirlCon since its inception, and the warm, open atmosphere is not only welcoming for parents, but, perhaps more importantly, shows their children, who will write the stories of the future, what an inclusive and accepting world looks like.

At the heart of GeekGirlCon is the belief that a more diverse and innovative geek fan-base not only exists, but should have a gathering space in which to celebrate their geekiness and creativity. A space that can spark new ways to look at stories and new platforms for building and sharing them. A space that advocates for the exploration of more inclusive and feminist storytelling. A space where women feel comfortable geeking-out and empowering each other.

We at Hedgebrook can’t wait to see the enthusiasm that emerges from this year’s GeekGirlCon, and are eager to support Sharon’s work as she looks to how our planet can represent itself in the future.

Hedgebrook Staff
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