Four years ago, the idea of a comic book convention tailored to the LGBTQ community was a new concept. Flame Con, as it was called, was an optimistic little affair held in Brooklyn at the flamboyant Grand Prospect Hall. This month saw the fifth annual installment of it, in a larger venue in the Sheraton Times Square to accommodate the thousands of attendees.
The stereotypical horny, heterosexual, cisgender male nerd is still a significant part of most pop culture cons. However, geek media has had openly LGBTQ characters for decades, and fans who grew up with those characters are now working in the business, creating characters that represent themselves. Continue reading at GayCityNews.com.
At the stroke of noon on Sunday, June 2, Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” boomed out on the corner of 37th Ave. and 89th St. in Queens. It was a sound check for Queens Pride. New York City was just 36 hours into Pride Month, and the first of our Pride marches was under way. My group, a 90-member LGBT cheerleading team, Cheer New York, was warming up in the street, eagerly waiting our turn to march. This was our first parade of the year but, within a week, we had also marched in the Brooklyn Pride parade, and some of us had traveled to Philadelphia for Philly Pride, to march with a sister team of LGBT cheerleaders. Ultimately, we would lead a 200-member coalition of cheerleaders from 10 cities, for June 30’s NYC Pride March. Continue reading at ChelseaCommunityNews.com.
With WorldPride, the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, and the usual frenzy of Pride month celebrations sweeping over New York City this week, LGBTQ pilgrims are coming in from around the globe, to be part of this truly unique moment in time. Among the notable visitors is His Royal Highness Crown Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil of Rajpipla, Gujarat, India. Continue reading at ChelseaCommunityNew.com.
The tragedy of the annual Toy Fair New York is that most people can’t go. The Jacob Javits Center is crammed full of the coming year’s hottest toys, games, and dolls but the only people who can play with them are toy industry professionals. Plus a few lucky journalists. This Gay City News reporter was among the fortunate few who got to run amok in this dream house, where I learned what the cool kids will be playing with this year. Actually, it isn’t enough to just play with toys anymore. Kids today have to “unbox” them. Among the major trends are products with surprise accessories that are revealed dramatically as the packaging is opened. The “LOL! Surprise” dolls were a hot item this past Christmas, and this year they won the prestigious Toy Of The Year Award in two categories. These dolls come in little balls that are unwrapped layer-by-layer, revealing a series of stickers, clothes, accessories, and — eventually — the toy itself. Continue reading at Gay City News…
The stereotypes of anime fans range from the anti-social, obsessive otaku with his collection of Gundam models to the giggling teenage Sailor Moon cosplayer. To be sure, both of these could be found at the second edition of Anime NYC at the Jacob Javits Center this past weekend. But the anime scene also has a large amount of queer content, not to mention openly LGBTQ artists and fans. Gay City News spoke with some of the creators, vendors, and librarians who are working to bring these interests and artists into mainstream awareness. Continue reading at Gay City News…
Republicans can point out that, under Trump, the economy has seen the longest bull market in history. Meanwhile, a “cultural bull market” of steady social progress has come to an end. With the executive branch in Republican hands for two to six more years, and a conservative majority on the Supreme Court, there is a fierce fight to flip one or both chambers of Congress in the coming midterm elections. Liberals boast of a “Blue Wave,” while conservatives predict a “Blue Bloodbath.” However, of the 35 senatorial seats up for grabs this year, only nine are not currently controlled by Democrats — and Democrats must flip two of them to take control of the Senate. This makes the House of Representatives a more likely path to victory for Democrats. In New York City, a deeply blue city in a deeply blue state, political groups are hard at work trying to influence both the national and local levels. We spoke to some politicians, organizers, and activists about their fight to swing the country, or at least more of New York, to the left. Continue reading at ChelseaNow.com.
It was just a few hours into the first day at New York Comic Con (NYCC; Oct. 4-7). A cheerful PR woman at a booth told me that Thursday at this year’s con was a little more crowded than usual. “But it’s not like Saturday,” she added, with a mixture of excitement and apprehension, “Nothing is like Saturday.” Two days later, NYCC was bursting with so many fans that the Javits Center couldn’t hold them all. As the domain of the Con expands culturally beyond print comic books and their traditional fans, this annual event has also expanded physically, sending waves of nerds all over Manhattan’s West Side. Continue reading at ChelseaNow.com.