Why You Should Attend LGBT-Centric ‘Bent-Con’ Next Year

It’s true; gay people do have an agenda. It’s an agenda that everyone must be informed about, because it’s going to soon make your next door neighbor gay. And the creators of Bent-Con is slowly helping move that agenda along, positioning itself to be a notable force in the nerd-tainment industry.

When I first heard that there was a “gay Comic-Con,” I was a little bit unsure what to think, because I thought Comic-Con (at least, San Diego’s con) was pretty gay as it is already, and not to mention that I rarely ever hear of any gay-centric comic content.

“It’s like Comic-Con, but gayer” is their tagline and really was all that it took to convince me that it’s worth looking at. I didn’t do too much investigating into its history or potential size, because I wanted to go in with no expectations. Although, I did see this trailer before I went to the con:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKOmvGbsWJo[/youtube]

Our other fellow gay writer, Matt Rice, came with me, and of course the first thing we see when we walk into the convention center is Grindr‘s booth, a pant-less Robin, and Artifice, with its comic drawings of naked, sexually-positioned men. “Typical” was the first thing I thought. But I did prepare myself in the case that I walk into a West Hollywood version of Comic-Con.

After taking a gander at the rest of the convention, which honestly took a whole 10 minutes to walk around, I learned that this was only Bent-Con’s second year in existence, and the year before was in a much smaller room than this. It’s about as small as a bridal show, with vendors simply flanked upon black draped walls and six feet tables with the vendors’ names and merchandise lined up on them.

cosplay contestants waiting in line for cosplay show at bent-con 2011

Me, as Pigaychu, with the other contestants

Realizing that there were a few people dressed in cosplay, and learning that there was a cosplay “fashion show” contest happening later on, I decided to switch out of my NR gear and hop into my Pigaychu gear (you can see pictures of it to the left). Everyone had been fairly friendly up until that point, but after I put on my sleazy outfit, I got more attention than necessary, but I knew it was coming.

We ran into a lot of people, particularly Matt ran into a lot of people he knew and had seen from other conventions. Already I could tell that this isn’t just a group of people who simply like to cosplay and be seen, but this is a group of friends who support the industry in any way that they can.

We even ran into Kent Kaliber and Vyxsin from the Amazing Race Season 12, which was pretty gnarly.

Once I had my outfit on, the convention got a little more interesting. Cosplayers always get attention, and it’s partly why I even do it, because who doesn’t like attention?

I even had an old man tell me,

You know, seeing kids playing with Pikachu and other pokémon, I’ve always hated them. But, don’t be creeped out, but after seeing you, I’ve restored faith in Pikachu. I like him again now.

I should have been grossed out, and I was, but c’mon, a flattering comment is a flattering comment.

Matt had also realized that they were accepting contestants for the show, so he excitedly signed me up for it.

The show was put on by Fan Boys of the Universe, and was apparently the first at Bent-Con, which may have explained why things were a little haphazard in its organization. But nonetheless, the contest was harmless and was just for plain fame and fortune; the winning cosplayer, chosen by a panel of judges, won a Kindle Fire. What was interesting that for a gay-themed con, the winner was not the shirtless Kratos from God of War, with his ass crack showing, but instead a thicker girl dressed as the general genre of “Cyber Punk.” I think the judges were trying a little too hard to not seem like they were going to typically choose the popular gay choice.

Other than the cosplay contest and having only attended one of the panels, a small but decent gay blogging panel consisting of Viktor Kerney, Chance Whitmere, and Garon Cockrell (heh, I said cock), the convention overall has a lot of potential. But in order for it to be successful, it needs YOU… yes, it needs people to attend so they can have reasons to be bigger next year.

Attending Bent-Con next year will…

  • promote the “gay agenda.”
  • support the visibility of LGBT themes in the comic and related world.
  • bring a better sense of community in what’s already a close-knit community of nerds.
  • support comic and anime related conventions overall.
  • show everyone that you’re simply a cool person.
  • NOT turn you gay, but may give you reason to be (just kidding).

And to support them, they even had a Kickstarter campaign started which ends in FOUR days from this post, so get your donations in now!

I didn’t attend the Saturday Night Flix After Dark or Sunday, but Matt did go on Sunday, and we’ll post his experience later on that. Enjoy the pictures below!

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