2018 Panels & Workshops

The panels and workshops scheduled for ClexaCon 2018

We’ve announced our first panels for ClexaCon 2018!

There will be lots more to come so keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook pages or sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date!

2017: A Year in Review

While LGBTQ+ characters have long suffered and been erased in the media, recent TV seasons have been unprecedentedly grim ones for lesbian, bisexual, and queer female characters, unleashing a storm of critique and grabbing the attention of mainstream media worldwide. Two years after the movement demanding positive LGBTQ+ representation was set in motion, the impact can be felt in the new and returning shows, storylines and characters that meant the most to all of you.

Join members from LGBT Fans Deserve Better, together with media critics and fans, to discuss the impact the movement may have had as well as analyze the current standing of LGBTQ+ representation as we review the major highs and lows of queer TV this past year.

Panelists: John Arrow, Valerie Complex, Amanda Holland
Moderator: Jess Kath

Acting In and Directing Sex Scenes

When done well, sex scenes can add a lot to a story – but what does it take to actually film them? Is it as awkward as you’d think?! Join Guinevere Turner and friends as they break down what it really takes to film a sex scene, from the viewpoint of the actors and the director.

Panelists: Christin Baker, Bridget McManus, Guinivere Turner

All in the Family

This panel will examine the power of fandom movements in conversation while examining hashtags, YouTube videos, among other media that dare to question: Are the representation desires of everyone in the ‘queer’ family being supported?

Panelists: Erika Abad, Nicole Espinoza, Ashley Smith

Anyone But Me: Ten-Year Anniversary

It’s been ten years since the groundbreaking web series Anyone But Me made its debut and soonafter became beloved around the world. Now we’re bringing the show’s stars Rachael Hip-Flores and Nicole Pacent together again to talk all things Vivster! Also participating will be producers Susan Miller and Tina Cesa Ward.

Panelists: Rachael Hip-Flores, Susan Miller, Nicole Pacent, Tina Cesa Ward 
Moderator: Reign G.

The Art of Vidding

Vidding has been around since the era of VHS tapes, but in no way has it become a relic of the past. Join us as we discuss what vidding is, what inspires us to do it and how we transform our favorite films and tv shows into an artistic expression of sight and sound.

Panelists: TBA

Attack On Titan

Fans of Attack on Titan (Shingeki No Kyojin) will want to gear up for this! The walls between fan and cast come down as the voice actresses for Ymir (Elizabeth Maxwell) and Historia/Krista (Bryn Apprill), join us to discuss the evolution of their characters and complex relationship – as well as answering your burning fan questions. You won’t want to miss this Titan of a panel!

Panelists: Elizabeth Maxwell, Bryn Apprill

Bias in the Media and Stereotype Threat: You Are What You Watch

The media is a powerful social tool that dictates much of how the world views us as individuals, but more consequentially, how we view ourselves. Consequences of stereotype threat contribute to educational and social inequality. We will explore the dynamics of media bias, especially as to women, and how those portrayals end up shaping our own self-view. Through education of this Stereotype Threat, we will discuss calls to action for those shaping the media narrative on gender and sexuality.

Panelists: Giugi Carminati, Valerie Complex, Mindy Gulati

Bisexual Representation in the Media

Despite making up a large portion of the LGBTQ community, individuals who identify as bisexual are rarely seen in media. When they are, they are often portrayed as mentally unstable, flighty, and unfaithful. These stereotypes are harmful to our community and the way in which we are treated by others in real life. Join us as we discuss the importance of improving bisexual representation and inclusion in television and film and celebrate the positive, well-rounded characters that we are starting to see.

Panelists: Caryn Hayes. Nicole Pacent, Lauren Shippen, Chelsea Steiner, Eden Trevino

Countering the Impact of Heteronormative and Cissexist Media on Young People

Popular culture continues to relegate queer identity to the margins. This panel will explore the existence and absence of queer content in children’s television, films and books, and the health and well-being implications. Panelists will provide examples of quality LGBTQ resources as well as practical suggestions. Rachel Chapman is an early childhood academic, completing a PhD in gender identity formation in early childhood. Roz Bellamy is a freelance writer and a high school English teacher.

Panelists: Rachel Chapman, Roz Bellamy

Creating an Original Web Series

Digital media has become increasingly popular over the past decade, offering easy and convenient access to highly desired, but often scarce, content. Queer fans have found a medium that offers them the privacy and accessibility of enjoying content made just for them. Join Tello Films President and Executive Producer, Christin Baker and Vice President of Development, Bridget McManus as they discuss the creating, filming, and marketing process of a web series. Additional panelists: Jess Harris-DiStefano, Natalie Krikowa and NancyLee Matt.

Panelists: Christin Baker, Jess Harris-DiStefano, NancyLee Matt, Bridget McManus

Creating Your Own LGBTQ+ Representation on YouTube

When you can’t find the LGBTQ+ representation you want to see, you make it yourself. Join YouTube filmmakers Rebecca Shoptaw and Braxie Jacobson – the writer/directors of Middlemarch: The Series and Warmish, respectively, as they discuss the power of YouTube as a platform for exciting new forms of positive LGBTQ+ representation.

Panelists: Rebecca Shoptaw

Creative Activism

The idea of creative activism is to infuse community organising and civic engagement with culture and creativity. This panel explores the role of art (theatre, music, media) in framing our culture’s approach to recognising and resolving social issues, such as those seen in the representation of LGBTIQ people in media worldwide. This panel seeks to engage the audience in discussions of grassroots creative activist projects and approaches including #AllOurLesbiansAreDead.

Panelists: August McLaughlin, Christina Royale

Crossplay!

Learn gender reversal makeup tricks and techniques for your next Cosplay, from theatre and film professionals. Allergy warning: There will be the use of latex in this makeup technique workshop.

Panelists: Amanda Embry, Maren Maclean Mascarelli, Terre Steed

Decolonizing the LGBTQ Sphere: Indigenous Queer Representation in Media

Prior to colonization, various cultures throughout the world held LGBTQ and/or two-spirit individuals as normal, necessary parts of society. While the birth of the LGBTQ civil rights movement has been attributed to the Stonewall riots, what of those who never sought to suppress people commonly identified by the western acronym of LGBTQ? We will examine the portrayal of Indigenous LGBTQ and/or two-spirit characters in media and the effects on the decolonization of the rainbow.

Panelists: Holly James

Disabled LGBT Representation in the Media

Physically disabled individuals are almost nonexistent in the media, literature, and TV. While mentally disabled individuals are poorly represented or inaccurately portrayed, other LGBTQ disability representation is almost impossible to find.This panel will discuss disabilities in the media, literature, and on television.

Panelists: Joseph Dunn, Elizabeth Jeannel, Kirsten Schultz, Annie Segarra

Diversity & Inclusion Today: How to Develop PR Campaigns that Foster an Inclusive Communications Culture

Hacking diversity campaigns. How companies are using innovative PR strategies to build highly-engaged audiences.

Panelists: Robyn Vie Carpenter-Brisco, Mona Elyafi, Annie Hollenbeck

Eden and Jaxx

Eden & Jaxx began their radio show in 2016 where they shared stories and opened conversations about latinidad and LGBTQ experiences within latino families. It later grew into an open forum discussing topical issues regarding mental health, relationships, cultural barriers, and LGBTQ representation in media. They’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Valentina from Rupaul’s Drag Race, and Moises Serrano from the documentary, Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America, just to name a few. Eden and Jaxx are currently in the process of transitioning from radio to other multi-media platforms and will be fully relaunching mid-2018.

Panelists: Jaqueline Serrano, Eden Trevino

Empowerment Through Fandom

Discover the power of fandom and join the conversation on how pop culture helps others learn, grow, and heal from mental health and other inner struggles. Learn how you can keep the conversation going and stay a positive safe space in your fandom.

Panelists: Brittany Dailey, Sally Heaven, Kat Jetson
Moderator: Danielle de la Torre

Fact and Science Fiction

If you like to know more about the real science behind your favorite sci-fi TV, this live show will discuss Gender and Sexuality representation in science fiction, from the 1940s pulps to media today and how media has been influenced by sociological theories of gender and sexuality. Podcast host Karly will discuss examples from Orphan Black, The 100, Carmilla, and more!

Panelists: Karly Kownslar, Michelle Lopez

Feeling Backward: Losing and Memorializing Queer Female Characters

Lexa’s death generated a passionate outpouring of fan response, in significant part because of how that storyline unfolded. However, it also tapped into feelings associated with losses of other queer female characters, linking Lexa’s untimely demise to, for example, Tara’s on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This panel explores these intertextual and often intergenerational experiences of queer female fandom from a fan studies perspective. This panel will dive into fan practices as forms of nostalgia and ways of memorializing characters.

Panelists: Evangeline Aguas

Freelancers Anonymous: How to Make an Independent Film and Not Die Trying!

Freelancers Anonymous is a comedy feature film giving visibility to women and the LGBTQ community working in STEM industries. Directed by award-winning Spanish filmmaker Sonia Sebastian (de Chica en Chica), written and produced by Amy Dellagiarino and Lisa Cordileone (Easy Abby) with cast members Haviland Stillwell and Natasha Negovanlis (Carmilla). Come check out the official trailer and learn more about the story, filming in Chicago and more! Festival screenings/release TBD 2018. https://www.freelancersanonymousmovie.com/ 

Panelists: Lisa Cordileone, Natasha Negovanlis

From Fans to Creators (The Early Early Stages)

The push for better LGBTQ+ representation in the past two years has inspired fans to create and develop their own work. Better representation begins with LGBTQ+ creators. This panel features four women in various stages of their developing projects. Panelists will share the process of creation and how each are going about getting these projects recognized in hopes of inspiring more early stage creators to find their voices and network within the community.

Panelists: Alli Bryant, Hilary Eqsquina, Breanna Hughes, Amanda Moon

Game Changers – How These Outliers Impacted Queer Culture

Before Ellen, The L Word and Orange is the New Black, lesbians found community, companionship and culture—often at great risk. Women lost their jobs, were thrown in jail and kicked out of families when their identities were revealed. Nevertheless, they persisted. Hear the stories of lesbians and lesbian culture that paved the way for where we stand today.

Panelists: Robin Lowey

Gay vs. Straight Bitches

Gay vs. Straight Bitches with Rachel Paulson and Lindsey McKeon examines all aspects of life through the filter of both a gay and a straight woman. They’ll explore important questions such as: “Do lesbians like butt stuff?” “Are you really straight if you’ve done another girl?” And, of course: “Will Lindsey and Rachel ever make out?” All this and double the PMS on every episode!

Panelists: Lindsey McKeon, Rachel Paulson

Gaysian: Queer Asian Representation in the Media

Representation for QWOC is starting to receive more attention, however, representation of any and all Asian ethnicities tend to get lost in these discussions. Since the release of Saving Face in 2004, there has been little to no representation and almost no discussion about queer Asians in the media. This panel aims to change that and talk about how we can get more representation of our community on screen.

Panelists: Chloe Tse
Moderator: Maya Reddy

Girl Ship TV

Girl Ship TV is a YouTube Channel created for queer women by queer women where you are free to ship whatever ship you want without criticism. Shows include: Drunk Lesbians Watch, Project Inferno and Carol’s a Demon.

Panelists: Brittany Ashley, Amanda Holland, Chantel Houston, Elizabeth Mackintosh, James Maple, Nadia Mohebban, Ashly Perez and Mariel Taren

Hollstein

Elise Bauman and Natasha Negovanlis reunite once again on-stage for a Carmilla Reunion and will discuss their web series and movies alike.

Panelists: Elise Bauman, Natasha Negovanlis
Moderator: Dana Piccoli

How to Use YouTube as a Platform 2.0

We’ve all done it while watching our favorite shows, screaming at the screen, crying, laughing, falling to the floor. And we really love to watch other people do it. Join Youtubers as they give pro tips, advice and maybe some blooper stories about filming and streaming your favorite reaction videos!

Panelists: Adrienne Carley, Rin L., Emily Papak, Sofia Rojas, Toni Taiwo, Elke van der Lest

How to Write Cuil

Cuil fiction is a new way to write about relationships, sex, disability, consent, and sexual diversity in fiction that is sexy, real, and unexpectedly surprising. Each series in The Cuil Effect Project has a different style and highlights different aspects of sexuality, traumatic experiences, and vulnerability. They all compare and contrast healthy and unhealthy relationships, reactions, and states of mind. They are tales of growth, acceptance, and integration.

Panelists: Michon Neal

Identity 101: Understanding the Terminology

Gender and sexual identity expression has significangtly evolved over the past decade, but many are still in the dark regarding the terminology used by those who have progressively broken the barrier of defining themselves outside of the antiquated ‘LGBT’ box. This informative panel will encompass all identifying terms, how to respect them and delve into why the word ‘queer’ is no longer taboo.

Panelists: TBA

(I’m Queer and…) Intersectionality and Why it Matters

Intersectionality affects all of us in one way or another, including our way of life, the way we communicate with others and how our environment interacts with us. Join a candid discussion about the multiple threats of discrimination individuals can face when their identities overlap a in number of minority classes, such as race, gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, health and other characteristics.

Panelists: Diane Chen, Valerie Complex, Reign G., Alexis Sanchez, Annie Segarra

Korrasami is Still A Breath of Fresh Air

Korrasami was a groundbreaking event and ship in the wlw fandom in many ways. This panel will discuss the ongoing significance of Korrasami as one of the most intersectional wlw ships in media as well as the Legend of Korra’s staying power in the fandom. Don’t worry, we’ll get to the comics, too! 

Panelists: Apple Cadavona, Valerie Complex, Gretchen Ellis, Kylie Ford, Alexis Sanchez, Griffin Schulman

Labels: Why We Need Them – Or Do We?

This panel will look at how labels effect books, authors, and publishing. Are we facing erasure without them? What does the future hold for a changing demographic and how do we address the elephant in the room.

​Panelists: Nicole Kimberling, Catherine Lundoff, Christine Svendsen

Latinx Representation in the Media: Invisible Latinx – ClexaCon Edition

Queer Latinx representation has garnered growing mainstream attention with the increased popularity of fictional characters like America Chavez and the recent Netflix reboot of One Day at a Time. While television, comics, and films have all increased their number of Latinx characters, how these characters are represented still has many issues. Join the people behind Latinx Geeks and their guests as they discuss both positive and negative portrayals of queer Latinx people across all media platforms.

​Panelists: Mey Rude, Alexis Sanchez

Let them Hear You: Podcasting 101

Your voice is important and needs to be out there, but how do you get from the voices in your head to a fully produced podcast? Panelists will dive into getting started with your own podcast from finding your niche, finding guests, equipment to fit your budget, writing and recording your own theme song and cues, and editing tips and mixing techniques to bring your podcast from your living room to a professional radio ready product. Ellie Brigida and Leigh Holmes Foster, the co-hosts of Lez Hang Out will be leading this panel.

Panelists: Carolyn Bergier, Ellie Brigida, Leigh Holmes Foster

Let’s Get Cliterate

It’s no surprise that the sex ed we get in high school is sorely lacking, especially when it comes to queer sex and sexuality. Join us for this fun, frisky and informative panel as we discuss communicating with your partner(s), our favorite toys and tricks, and take anonymous questions about sex from the audience! NOTE: This panel is for adults 18+ only.

​Panelists: August McLaughlin, Kirsten Schultz, Chelsea Steiner

Let’s Talk About It: A Mental Health Workshop

The first step in stopping the stigma surrounding mental health and illness is by talking about it! Join non-profit Green Ribbon Club’s workshop to learn more about how you can contribute to the conversation. Nikki Daurio, co-founder of Green Ribbon Club will begin the workshop by sharing their OWN mental health stories in the hopes of destigmatizing being open about your struggles. Then join in to win prizes during our mental health trivia game! You’ll get a chance to hear about Nikki’s research at Harvard and learn how to be an mental health care advocate. Use those newfound skills to actually brainstorm five policy changes that would help the community, at the high school, college, and government level. Lastly, have a chance to share your own story and be supported by Nikki, and the rest of our ClexaCon friends.

​Panelists: Nikki Daurio

Lexa’s Legacy

March 3rd, 2016. A devastating day that sparked a community of likeminded fans to find our voice together and a movement to demand positive LGBTQ+ representation was born.

Last year, the Lexa’s Legacy panel opened the first ClexaCon with reflection on the immediate aftermath of that day and the incredible legacy it has left behind both in the fan community and on the media landscape. This year, members of LGBT Fans Deserve Better once again invite you to join us for a discussion and celebration with content creators around the enduring legacy of a character that has inspired the LGBTQ+ community to do and create extraordinary things. Our story is still far from over.

​Panelists: Nicole Espinosa, Rin L., Lynn Sternberger
Moderator: Jess Kath

LGBTQ Actresses

Join us to celebrate the actresses who are loudly and proudly members of the LGBTQ community as they discuss their careers and the fears and realities of being queer and in the public spotlight. Hear about what it’s like to come out in the industry, how coming out and being out has affected the roles and opportunities that are available, what it’s like to portray a queer character as a queer person, and how they feel about the support of our community. Don’t miss this chance to hear from and support actresses at the forefront of LGBTQ visibility in the industry!

​Panelists: Dot Marie Jones, Nicole Pacent, Rachel Paulson, Guinevere Turner, Briana Venskus

Lights, Camera, ACTION! – The Importance of Lesbian/Queer Films and Web Series

An in-depth and intimate look at some of the most popular and influential lesbian and queer women stories from the women who brought them to life. From story conception to fundraising, to production and directing. Get the low down on what it takes to make your captivating creations into reality.

Panelists: Jill Armenante, Elesha Barnette, Christie Conochalla, Marina Rice Bader, Rolla Selback

A Lil’ Laughing Color

A Lil’ Laughing Color is a short creative writing/comedy workshop, which teaches participants joke writing and how to create life affirming comedy. Life affirming comedy assumes our complexity; it is funny without making fun of people, particularly not making fun of already marginalized people or experiences. Life affirming comedy includes performances about things that bring us joy or affirm our lives and the lives of those we love. During our workshop participants will learn a methodology to write jokes, and use instructor, partner, and group feedback to strengthen their writing. After a few rounds of feedback, participants will share their jokes with the group.

Panelists: Chelsea Shorte

Lost Girl

Whether you were aligned with the Light Fae or the Dark, Team Doccubus, Valkubus or Byson, it is hard for anyone to disagree that Lost Girl was a series which quested into new frontiers of LGBTQ representation in mainstream media. It stood out amongst a television landscape that didn’t want to rock the boat, by creating a tempest. Join Emily Andras, Zoie Palmer, Anna Silk and Rachel Skarsten as they discuss what made Lost Girl such an iconic series.

Panelists: Emily Andras, Zoie Palmer, Anna Silk, Rachel Skarsten
Moderator: Dana Piccoli

Making Comics with Lora Innes

The word ‘comics’ is a new term for something people have been doing for thousands of years: telling stories with pictures. Learn how to mine your own life for material to make the kinds of comics that only you can. Come ready to draw! Then watch Lora layout comic pages, explaining the process as she goes. She’ll be working from an original script written by Wynonna Earp creator, Beau Smith, just for this panel— and it’s sure to be WayHaught! Lora Innes is the artist on IDW Publishing’s Wynonna Earp comic book series, and the creator of her own time-travel teen romance, The Dreamer. All skill levels welcome— drawing isn’t as important to making comics as you might think.

Panelists: Lora Innes

Neurodiversity in Writing

When it comes to neurodiversity in the media, stereotypes dominate the field. This program will examine these stereotypes and how writers can overcome them, with a specific interest in queer, neurodiverse female representation. This program will also discuss the challenges of writing with neurodiversity and divulge strategies to increase productivity.

Panelists: Lisa Powell, Kristen Roche

One Day at a Time

Join Actress Isabella Gomez and Executive Producers and showrunners Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce as they discuss the Netflix reboot of One Day at a Time, a show that has successfully avoided conforming to harmful and repetitive stereotypes and, instead, has provided relatable, light-hearted and powerful representation.

Panelists: Isabella Gomez, Gloria Calderon Kellett, Mike Royce

Out in Hollywood: Playing Straight, Playing Queer and the Roles We Didn’t Get

Out, queer actors sometimes find that it is difficult for casting directors to envision them playing straight characters, which are the majority of roles offered today. Join us as Los Angeles-based actors Bridget McManus and Guinivere Turner discuss the challenges of being out in Hollywood and reveal some mega roles they auditioned for, but didn’t book.

Panelists: Bridget McManus, Guinivere Turner

Please Subscribe Below: What it Takes to Become a Breakout Creator on YouTube

Ever wonder why some channels take off and others don’t? Or how to strategically use YouTube as a launching pad for a career in content creation? Join us for an in-depth analysis and candid discussion about the ins and outs of what it takes to make it as a successful creator on YouTube.

Panelists: Jess Harris-DiStefano

Producing a Low-Budget Indie Project

Do you have a story you want to see or share with the world? Making a short film or webseries is a great way to do that. If you are thinking, ‘But I don’t have a budget or even know where to start,’ then this is the panel for you. One of the best places to find stories for our community is the web because no one can tell you ‘no’ or ‘that won’t sell’. This panel will remove the mystery behind producing your project and help you tell your story on a limited budget. We will take it step-by-step with what you need to do and think about when preparing to make your project to actually making it.

Panelists: Christin Baker

Quantify Your Gays: The Statistics of Queer Death in TV

We all know that 2016 saw an unprecedented spike in the number of lesbian and bisexual women killed in mainstream TV, but was it part of a bigger trend of queer death or just a horrifying fluke? Hailing from Otago University, New Zealand, Sage Anastasi presents a groundbreaking look at the statistics of the Bury Your Gays trope. This is a guaranteed arts-friendly talk. No math experience required!

Panelists: Sage Anastsi

Queer & Plus Sized Cosplay

Going to a convention in cosplay can be an intimate experience, especially when it calls into account your body type and sexuality. MaeBerry Cosplay will explore, not only how to create a professional looking cosplay for all body types, but also how to negotiate a convention in it without feeling out of place whether it is in cosplay or crossplay.

Panelists: Bari Block, Salome Block

Queer Lady Business

Queer women haven’t always been equally represented in mainstream queer media or companies, so we made our own. How does a company that focuses on serving the needs of queer women succeed and thrive in this beautiful niche? Join these queer women-owned businesses to hear how they work to stay afloat and grow without being exploitative or seduced by the almighty dollar, and how philanthropy can be part of a successful business model. Come and get all up in our queer lady business!

Panelists: Christin Baker, Rebecca Barrick, Ebone Bell, Sally Heaven

Queering the Room

LGBTQ+ TV creators Britta Lundin (Riverdale) and Lynn Sternberger (The Bold Type) discuss pitching and shaping queer characters and stories in spaces that traditionally lack diversity.

Panelists: Britta Lundin, Lauren Shippen, Lynn Sternberger

Queering Your YA Lit

Young Adult Literature gets a lot of attention in the book world for being an expansive world for and about teens dealing with romance, adventure, vampires, and dystopian futures. But what about the queer girls of YA Lit? What kind of stories do they get to be a part of? What do readers want from them?

Panelists: Audrey Coulthurst, CB Lee, Britta Lundin, Amy Spalding

RED: The Webseries

Join writer Germana Belo and actresses Ana Paula Lima and Luciana Bollima as we dive into the webseries RED. The first Brazilian lesbian-themed series of its kind, RED tells the story of Mel Béart and Liz Malmo, two actresses who meet each other on the set of a short-film and end up bringing to their real lives the love story they portray in fiction as Scarlett and Simone.

Venha se juntar à escritora Germana Belo e às atrizes Ana Paula Lima e Luciana Bollina na discussão acerca da webseries RED. Pioneira na abordagem da temática lésbica na internet brasileira, RED é uma série que conta a trajetória de Mel Béart e Liz Malmo, duas atrizes que se conhecem no set de gravação de um curta metragem e acabam levando para a vida real a história de amor que vivem como Scarlett e Simone, suas personagens fictícias.

Panelists: Germana Belo, Luciana Bollina, Ana Paula Lima
Moderator: Viv Schiller

The Responsibility of Media Makers

As a follow up to the discussion on Ethics and Storytelling panel last year, this panel will discuss the responsibility media makers have regarding the depiction of queer female relationships. We’ve talked about the ‘Bury Your Gays’ trope, but what about sanitizing queer romance or sidelining wlw relationships once they’re canon? What kind of responsibility do they have when handling subtextual relationships like Supercorp and what does that look like? Is there a middle ground between queerbaiting and making subtext canon? Join us as we discuss the ways that content creators can handle our stories respectfully and pay attention to the implications these narratives have, even if they’re not intentional.

Panelists: Elizabeth Bridges, Gretchen Ellis, Bridget Liszewski. Maya Reddy

Safe Place: I’m Coming Out

This discussion will have non-celebrity panelists talking about their coming out experiences, sharing their stories and answering any audience questions. This would hopefully give others a forum to share their stories or at least by hearing other people’s stories, not feel alone in their struggle with their own sexual identity. We want to share our stories and experiences about the trials and tribulations that are sometimes associated with coming out and have an open dialogue so that we can help others in the process

Panelists: Zara Barrie, Krista Freego, Katherine Kleffner, Jasmine Rodriguez, Somer Rutledge

A Safe Place: Self Defense for Women and LGBTQ+ Persons

Sometimes you have to create your own safe place. Being a woman or person that identifies as anything other than heterosexual can put a target on your back. With the belief that everyone should be able to have the knowledge to defend themselves, this panel is LGBTQ+ and feminine version of Mortal Kombat training. Learn simple techniques that will keep you safe in many situations; catered to women and those that identify in the LGBTQ+ spectrum.

Presenter: Megan Smith

Sapphic Fan Fiction: Resistance, Healing, and Community

In this panel on WLW fan fiction — from reading ‘just one more chapter’ until four a.m to re-writing dominant narratives that don’t represent us or give us the happy endings we deserve, we will be taking our participants through the magical not-so-mystery tour of our communities’ fan fictions and beyond. How do we as writers get into the headspace of our most beloved characters? How do we as readers seek and form community amidst media that would rather erase us? And how do our stories affect the world outside the fan fiction community? We’ll explore these issues and more before opening space for an audience-driven Q&A.

Panelists: Carmen Bermudez, Lise MacTague, Rae D. Magdon, Nicole Manders, Jenn Polish

Shoot Reunion

Amy Acker and Sarah Shahi join us on stage for a special Shoot Reunion 2.0!

Panelists: Amy Acker, Sarah Shahi

Speed Pitching

A fun and interactive workshop geared toward helping writers get their ideas out of their heads and into a successful pitch. Having a good idea is one thing, but getting it sold, developed, shot, picked up and on the air is like winning the lottery.  And it all starts with the pitch! 

Imagine this: You step in the elevator and realize you’re sharing it with a person who could help you get your idea turned into a TV series or movie. You have five floors to share your idea and wow them! That’s what’s become known as the elevator pitch. And we want to hear yours and help you with it!

Ticket holders/participants at this workshop will receive some helpful pitching tips before the workshop.  ‘Writers,’ chosen at random, will have three and a half minutes to pitch their idea to professional writers, creators and producers on the panel. The panel will give some helpful pitch and development notes to expand their pitch. Participants do not have to pitch an idea to be a part of the workshop.

Panelists: Paige Bernhardt, Bridget McManus, Nancylee Myatt

Swerve: The Web Series

Join actresses Sharon Belle and Winny Clark, along with executive producer Sheila Allen, as they discuss everything Swerve. From its inception to the latest-released season two, we will dive into a conversation about mental health representation in the media and how Swerve is changing that conversation.

Panelists: Sheila Allen, Sharon Belle, Winny Clarke
Moderator: Dana Piccoli

Tagg Nation Podcast

Ranked Top 10 Lesbian Podcasts on iTunes, Tagg Nation is a weekly podcast show for everyone lesbian, queer, and under the rainbow. It is the podcast show that keeps you in the loop with lesbian and queer news and culture. The show includes three dynamic queer women who discuss LGBTQ culture, entertainment, news and history. Tagg Nation is on top of the most popular stories and articles, as well as hot topics, queer history, and more! Tagg Nation, produced under Tagg Communication, is the brainchild of Tagg Magazine, a publication for the queer women’s community.

Panelists: Ashley Linder, Jade Salazar, Chelsea Shorte

Transgender Representation in the Media

Transgender representation in the media is very much lacking and when it is present, it tends to be problematic, stereotypical and even damaging. Our panelists will dive into how transgender representation in the media can be improved, point out flaws in the current landscape and highlight the shows and creators who are getting it right.

Panelists: John Arrow, Mey Rude

Trigedasleng 101 Workshop

Learn the basics of Trigedasleng, the language of Lexa and Indra, from its creator, David J. Peterson.

Panelists: David J. Peterson

Trigedasleng Genesis

Trigedasleng Genesis: In this presentation, David J. Peterson will detail how he came to work on The 100 and how the creation of his Trigedasleng language came to be.

Panelists: David J. Peterson

TV Production with Vanessa Piazza

Have you ever wondered how a show goes from page to screen? Join Executive Producer and owner of Piazza entertainment, Vanessa Piazza (Lost Girl, Dark Matter) for a workshop on how to turn an idea to reality. Learn about the crucial development processes of drafting, pitching, and packaging a show all the way through to casting, production, and, finally, airing. In this workshop, we’ll create a fake show and go through the process to show you just what it takes to create a successful brands that lasts.

Panelists: Vanessa Piazza

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Queer Representation in Video Games in 2017

2017 was a year of many firsts in queer representation in video games, including some of the first mainstream trans and non binary representation in the video game medium. Many titles have captured our imaginations this year with bigger and better queer representation, but is it the best that we could be doing? From Dream Daddy, to Mass Effect Andromeda, to Life is Strange: Before the Storm, to South Park: The Fractured But Whole and more, this presentation explores the important moments of progress we’ve made in 2017 titles, and why we still have a very long ways to go.

Panelists: Heather Currie-Martinez, Elizabeth Vlasoff

Venice: The Making of a Web Series

Crystal Chappell shares how she created an award-winning webseries with Venice and discusses how you can create your own.

Panelists: Crystal Chappell, Caryn Hayes, Shannan Leigh Reeve
Moderator: Dana Piccoli

Wynonna Earp / WayHaught

A lively discussion about the WayHaught phenomenon, LGBT representation on Wynonna Earp and why this series is so unique in today’s television landscape.

Panelists: Emily Andras, Kat Barrell, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Tamara Duarte
Moderator: Bridget Liszewski

Wynonna Earp Fans Panel

The first Wynonna Earp fan panel at ClexaCon was about building a positive Fandom. Now that Season two of Wynonna Earp is under our belts, let’s talk about how the fandom grew and changed. With more fans and more viewpoints, how did the fandom dynamics change? How did fans handle differences of opinion about the storyline? Is it possible for the kindness message to keep up with the pace of fandom growth? We’ll tackle a series of tough questions head-on, see how it held up, and take stock. Come and Earp it up with us!

Panelists: Kevin Bachelder, Rebecca Barrick, Diana Benitez, Bonnie Ferrar, Sally Heaven, Bridget Liszewski
Moderator: Valerie Anne

Xena, Gabrielle and Their Legacy

It has been 23 years since an aspiring bard ran away with a warrior princess, and our hearts would never be the same. Join us as we discuss Xena and her soulmate Gabrielle’s timeless relationship, how fans made a subtextual relationship become canon, and how the iconic 1990s couple changed genre television and fandom for queer women.

Panelists: Ariel Wetzel