Threat in San Diego: What about Comic-Con?

Posted on 15 Jun 2016 at 1:52pm

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.)

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