Threat in San Diego: What about Comic-Con?

Screen shot 2016-06-15 at 1.48.39 PMEarlier this morning, I came across a news report for San Diego Lesbian and Gay News about a posting on Craigslist threatening an Orlando-style attack on San Diego’s LGBT community. Once police were notified, they began an investigation, with the FBI lending a hand, and notified officials at Craigslist, who promptly deleted the threatening post.

The San Diego mayor and police chief reassured the city that police and city officials have seen no credible threat to the LGBT community there, but that security had already been strengthened in response to the Orlando shooting. I have absolutely no doubt they are taking the Craigslist threat seriously, and no doubt they are taking every step possible to make their city and its LGBT community as safe as possible.

But I also want to remind folks to keep in mind the safety of our nerd community, too. As my partner pointed out to me after I posted the blog about the Craigslist threat. Comic-Con International, the largest comic con in the world, takes place July 21-24 in San Diego, and the con will be brimming over with LGBT nerds and non-LGBT nerds who are staunch allies of the LGBT community.

Let’s make sure they’re safe, too.

Last year at Comic-Con, my partner told me, cosplayers re-enacted a gay wedding scene from a comic book (The X-Men #51 comic maybe? I don’t know). And a special effects artist from the web series Con Man surprised his boyfriend with a proposal on stage during a discussion of the series, earning wild applause and cheers from the capacity crowd.

My partner also reminded me that it was the nerd community that staged an uprising of sorts in 2013, boycotting a much-anticipated story arc in DC Comics Superman series after finding out that an anti-gay writer named Orson Scott Card had been asked to write it. DC eventually put Card’s Superman story on hold indefinitely. And that same year, an LGBT group called Geeks OUT! proposed a boycott of the movie adaptation of Ender’s Game calling Card’s view anti-gay, causing the movie studio Lionsgate to publicly distance itself from Card’s opinions.

As my partner explained to me, “Nerds said having someone who’s anti-gay write a comic book stood in direct opposition to what they believed. They celebrate diversity, and comics feature people that are shunned by society for being different, where mainstream America seeks to destroy them.”

She told me that nerds understand because the bigotry and bullying aimed at LGBT people mirrors what the nerds went through in their youth, being bullied and made fun of. Besides, she said, a lot of nerds are LGBT themselves.

So hey, San Diego, keep the Comic-Con safe for us. (Oh, and just so you know, I use the word “nerd” because that is the word that my spouse and both of our sons use to describe themselves and others like them.)

—  Tammye Nash

In light of flooding, HavenCon suspends Indiegogo fundraising

Screen shot 2015-05-26 at 2.31.35 PMA week ago we posted this blog saying that the folks behind HavenCon, Texas’ first and only LGBTQ gaymers convention, had announced plans for the second annual con in 2016 and had launched an IndieGoGo page to raise they money they need to stage the convention.

Today, HavenCon organizers have announced they are talking to IndieGoGo to close the page and refund contributions so far, in light of the weather-related disasters — flooding, tornadoes, etc. — plaguing Texas.

Rather than try to explain it in my words, it’s easier to just share theirs:

Important Announcement RE: Texas Floods and HavenCon Indiegogo Contributions

Published on May 26, 2015 by Shane           

Hi Haven friends, just so you are all aware. I have contacted Indiegogo to see about refunding current contributions and closing our fundraiser.

I think right now human life and safety are a higher priority and I want people to be able to help those in need first.

This does mean that we might not be able to secure the venue in time for next years event.  But we will be speaking with them to see if we can have an extension on when that is due.

If we are not able to get that extension, we will cancel 2016 and aim for a relaunch in 2017.  Either way, we will keep you all updated.

Please hold any contributions you were considering donating at this time.

Also, any funds raised from our t-shirt campaign will be donated to local organizations to assist those in need during this time.

Thank you!

XOXO

Shane

—  Tammye Nash

WATCH: X-Men ‘Born This Way’ parody

“X-Men, baby, we were born this way!”

As Arnold Wayne Jones noted in his review earlier this year of X-Men: First Class, filmmakers for the X-Men series of movies have never shied away from very obviously drawing parallels between the movies’ mutants and LGBT people in real life. Apparently the non-gay X-men fans have made the connection, too.

This morning my 14-year-old son came into the living room with a big grin on his face, telling me that he had just found a video on YouTube in which a bunch of X-Men fans had made a parody of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.”

“It’s hysterical!” he told me.

This is the same son who, when I took him to his first Comic Con here in Dallas when he was 12, heard angels sing and saw the celestial light. I will never forget the look on his face when he turned to me and said, “My people! I have found my people at last!” He also, by the way, happens to be a big Gaga fan, too, and he is quite smart. So when he told me the video was funny, I decided it was worth looking up.

So I found it and watched it, and you know what — he was right. It’s funny and quite clever. So I decided to share it here with you so you can judge for yourself.

—  admin

RCD’s Phelps clan fundraiser may have set record

Counterprotesters braved the rain outside Resource Center Dallas — and the donations poured in. To view our slideshow, go here. And to watch our video, go here. (Eric Dickson/Dallas Voice)

Resource Center Dallas has now brought in about $9,600 for “Hell Freezes Over,” which reportedly makes it one of the top-grossing Phelps clan counterprotest fundraisers of all time.

According to RCD’s Rafael McDonnell, a New York visit from the crazies at Westboro Baptist Church once netted $10,000 for an LGBT group. Phelps-a-thon.com, a website that tracks fundraising around the cult’s pickets, reports totals from $250 raised at a JCC in Indianapolis to $4,500 for Driving Equality during a Boston visit.

Before the group arrived at Resource Center Dallas, the agency had collected about $5,000 for “Hell Freezes Over,” designed to raise money for a new ice maker. During the rainy half hour the clan spent outside RCD on Friday, another $2,700 poured in. Donations collected later at Congregation Beth El Binah, the Phelps clan’s intended target, as well as money sent over the weekend, increased the total. Another $1,800 is pledged but not yet received, bringing the Resource Center total to $9,600.

In addition, the target of the Phelps clan’s first picket on Friday, the Dallas Holocaust Museum, raised money, gained new members and set a one-day attendance record.

With the museum’s total, fundraising for Dallas may have surpassed the New York total. The museum’s development department says they will update us later today.

In their quest to always find new and bizarre targets, the cult recently announced they will picket Comic Con in San Diego on July 22. The reason? Idol worship.

And the reference to the group as a cult, rather than a congregation, refers to a quote from an interview with Nate Phelps in April with the Canadian news show “The Standard,” where he called his father a sociopath and Westboro Baptist Church cult-like.

—  David Taffet