2019 Panels & Workshops

The panels and workshops scheduled for ClexaCon 2019

Panels have been announced for ClexaCon 2019!

Keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook pages or sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on panel announcements!

BIFL: The Series

Panelists: Amber Rivera, Daren Taylor, Kelsey O’Regan, Anisha Adusumilli, Mandahla Rose, Haviland Stillwell

BIFL was created by and for a wide variety of LGBTQIA+ identities and mental health experiences. The series is about intersectionality grounded in meaningful, real-life situations; both behind and in front of the camera, it’s about our communities being seen and heard. Join some of the actors and creators behind BIFL The Webseries as they discuss the show and answer fan questions!

Black, Queer, & Nerdy Womxn

Panelists: ReBecca Theodore-Vachon, Reign
Moderator: Isake Smith

Living at the intersections of race, gender, and sexual orientation is its own special barrier in fandom culture. The lack of representation, the myriad of ways that folks are asked to ignore a part of their identity, and the subtle and overt violence black queer womxn face both online and in real life is often a deterrent for folks to engage. This panel is an opportunity for Black queer womxn who are looking to build community and begin creating content to share best practices and ask questions. Moderated by cosplayer and co-host of the podcast Cheers & Queers, Isake Smith.

Butch Representation: Invisible Women in Media

Panelists: Heather Currie-Martinez, Jess Harris-Distefano

Follow up to the popular 2018 ClexaCon panel, Invisible Women: The Marginalization of the Female Identified Butch in Queer Media. Heather and Jess will be discussing butch representation in media in 2018: what Producers got right, what they got wrong, and what they can do better.

Coming Out Pod: LIVE

Panelists: Nicole Pacent, Lauren Flans

Cohosted by Nicole Pacent (Anyone But Me) and Lauren Flans (Wild ‘N Out), the podcast “Coming Out with Lauren and Nicole” invites you to attend a LIVE recording with special guest [celebrity]! Coming Out is a weekly podcast where queer folks from all walks of life tell the tales of how they came out to friends, family, and the world at large, and since it’s launch in June 2018, the pod has featured coming out stories from such guests as Stephanie Beatriz, Stevie Boebi, and Natasha Negovanlis. Coming Out was first announced at Clexacon 2018, so this live recording really brings things full circle and gets at the heart of Clexacon’s mission to empower media creators to produce and distribute more positive LGBTQ content.

Crafting the Score-the role of Music in Film and Media

Panelists: Emer Kinsella, Allyson Newman, Carla Patullo, Nami Melumad

A panel of female composers discuss the process of scoring music to film, TV and multimedia projects. Panel will be exploring the vast possibilities of how music can enhance a project, breaking down the steps involved, and best practices for working with composers.

Creating Diverse Stories WIthout Tokenism

Panelists: Victoria Stagg Elliott, Karen Shoffner

Diversity is an admirable goal, but how do you do it well without playing diversity bingo, resorting to tokenism, or appropriating a story that’s not yours to tell? In this workshop, bestselling, award-winning lesbian romance author Elizabeth Andre (in actuality an interracial lesbian couple from the Midwest) will walk you through the steps of diverse storytelling.

Creating Inclusive Books and Podcasts

Panelists: Mona Darling, Angelique Luna, Miko Alicea
Moderator: August McLaughlin

Books, stories and our voices (yes, including yours!) can help change the world. Whether you’re interested in starting your own podcast, penning your first book or strengthening the content you’re already creating, this panel is for you! Our panel of experienced experts will address common myths and concerns about inclusive and otherwise progressive content creation, share their own trials and triumphs and answer attendees’ burning questions.

Death By Avalance: A Legends of Tomorrow Fan Panel

Panelists: Nic H, Cat Zimmerman
Moderator: Ashley Krasovec

Death by Avalance is a live fan video hangout/chatroom hosted by Ash & Nic that follows new weekly episodes of the CW’s Legends of Tomorrow.

While Legends of Tomorrow may be the most ridiculous show on tv, it provides us with the perfect escape from reality without sacrificing character development or underlying, heartfelt storylines.
Join us as we discuss the prominence of strong female characters, positive queer representation and our love for Avalance [the relationship between Captain Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) and Director Ava Sharpe (Jes Macallan)].

Decolonizing Queer Spaces

Panelists: Alexis Sanchez, Holly James, Alyssa Lerner
Moderator: Sam Campbell

With most of the world having been colonized by the west, we are left with only broken remnants of precolonial beliefs. Now that more and more indigenous people around the world are working to reclaim and revitalize their beliefs and ways of being, how can we ensure our queer spaces aren’t forcing western ideals of gender and sexuality onto groups with more nuanced and complex understandings of these topics? We are going to hear from people of different indigenous backgrounds to see how we can make our spaces and education as decolonized as possible.

Detachment: A Staged Reading

Panelists: Christin Baker, Virginia Black, Christa Morris, KT Jorgensen

Come watch a staged reading of a brand new upcoming Tello webseries, “Detachment.”

Drunk Lesbians Watch Live

Panelists: Amanda Holland

From the hit youtube series, Drunk Lesbians Watch Live will be a show where a group of lesbians have some drinks and do running commentary on a lesbian film which is usually awful. It’s like Mystery Science Theater, but gayer!

Escape to Gain Safety

Panelists: Brenna Frandsen, Sam Campbell

Throughout the world LGBT2s+ people are often in places that are unsafe; it is important to always know how to protect yourself. Last year Megan Smith lead the first Clexacon self defense workshop; this year we aim to expand that knowledge and show you all how to be aware of danger, get out of unsafe situations, and escape to gain safety.

Exploring Gender through Cosplay

Panelists: Bari Block, Jess (Calico Queen Cosplay), and Jax (Calico Jackson Photography)
Moderator: Dorian Block

Gender bending has existed in the world of cosplay since the inception of the art and becomes increasingly popular as representation in pop culture becomes more prevalent. MaeBerry Cosplay will explore how to stay on top of the times by respectfully creating convincing and stunning crossplays and gender swapped characters so you can portray your favorite characters no matter the gender or lack thereof.

Fact and Science Fiction Podcast Live!

Panelists: Karly Kownslar

Fact and Science Fiction is a podcast about the real science behind science fiction. This live podcast will dive into superheroes and special abilities using examples from fan favorites such as Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, Black Lightning and more. This podcast is for people who want to know ‘How would it work?’

Femslash Fandom as a Community of Support

Panelists: Brianna Dym, Rae D Magdon, Elaine Venter

Researchers Brianna Dym and Elaine Venter team up with author Rae D. Magdon to explore the ways in which femslash fandom has been a space of safety and support for LGBTQ people. In this panel, we explore how this community has helped those in need while coming out, different careers people have jumpstarted from femslash fandom, and ways in which we can continue to improve the femslash community.

How I Got That Gig: Queer Television Writers

Panelists: Naomi Iwamoto, Christina De Leon, Lauren Moon, Krystal Banzon
Moderator: Stacy Jill Calvert

TV Writers, Christina De Leon (iZombie), Lauren Moon (Good Trouble, Atypical), Krystal Banzon (I Feel Bad), & Naomi Iwamoto (Happy Together) discuss their journey to becoming a staff writer & share their experiences of being the unicorn in the Writers’ room.

The Importance of Queer Representation in Burlesque

Panelists: Silver Kitsune, Royal Tee, Edie Bellini , Evangeline Laveau
Moderator: Candida Valentina

Queer representation is important in all aspects of life but it’s even more important in a sex positive, body positive environment. We will talk about the effects its had on us and our hope for the future. We’ll also talk about body positivity and loving the skin you’re in. Embracing your sexuality and being able to share it.

Invisible Latinx Vol 2.

Panelists: Alexis Sanchez, Vita Ayala, Rebecca Theodore
Moderator: Reign G

In the last year we have seen an increase in Queer Latinx representation with shows like Vida, Claws, One Day at a Time, Pose, and Brooklyn 99. Yet, there are still areas where queer and Latinx identities are still treated as two separate identities; Queer Latinx people being misrepresented or falling into well worn tropes. Exploring Latinx representation through a queer lens, this panel will provide an update on what we have seen change in the past year, and what we hope to see in the future of Latinx representation.

Let’s Get Cliterate!

Panelists: Chelsea Steiner, TBA

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.

Lez Geek Out! Live

Panelists: Lise MacTague, Andi Marquette

Join podcasters and lesfic authors Andi Marquette and Lise MacTague for a live recording session of Lez Geek Out!, a queer feminist podcast. Lise and Andi explore the nexus of popular culture and the queer community in the geekiest ways possible.

Lez Hang Out Live

Panelists: Leigh Holmes Foster, Ellie Brigida

Join us for a live recording of Lez Hang Out! Join hosts Leigh Holmes Foster and Ellie Brigida for the next installments of their “Should’ve Been Gay” series! The “gift that keeps on giving”, help us dream of living in a homonormative world, where all our favorite ships are together, and everyone is just a little more gay.

Living at the crossroads: Intersectionality in Queer Media

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

Open discussion about what it is like living at the crossroads of multiple identities, and trying to find yourself in queer fandom and media. We will be discussing what shows are getting it right, how others can improve, and what we wish we saw more of in queer media.

Marketing and Selling Lesbian Fiction

Panelists: Barbara Ann Wright, Carsen Taite

You’ve written a novel with a lesbian or bisexual protagonist. Now what do you do? Come learn how to market your work and how best to sell it from award-winning authors Barbara Ann Wright and Carsen Taite.

Mother Queerest: Queer Parenting in the Media

Panelists: Tracy Levesque, Jess Harris-DiStefano, Hillary Esquina, Heather Currie-Martinez, April Funiestas
Moderator: Leigh Holmes Foster

Television loves to give queer women a “trying to become parents” story line, but is it at all realistic, or just for sideshow entertainment and to fulfill a diversity checkbox? In reality, most queer pregnancy and parenting portrayed on television is filled with inaccuracies, which actually leads to misperceptions of how queer families are created. Join this panel of queer moms as they discuss the state of queer parenting on television and how it needs to be represented.

Passage: The Web Series

Panelists: Shannan Leigh Reeve, Mandahla Rose, Christin Baker, Nicole Pacent, Jaclyn Chessen
Moderator: Hillary Esquina

Join actresses Shannan Leigh Reeve, Mandahla Rose, and Nicole Pacent, along with director Christin Baker, writer Hillary Esquina, and director of photography Jaclyn Chessen, as they discuss everything Passage. From its inception to the first season release, join us in a discussion as this project comes full circle at ClexaCon. We will talk the pitch to production process, challenges with a low-budget fantasy series, and the importance of creating for the underrepresented.

Podcasting 101

Panelists: Nicole Pacent, Lauren Flans, Karly Kownslar
Moderators: Leigh Holmes Foster, Ellie Brigada

Join hosts Leigh Holmes Foster and Ellie Brigida of Lez Hang Out as they cover the basics of starting your own podcast! Hear the experiences of current podcasters as they talk about what it takes to go from an idea to a fully produced and published show. It’s so important to get more queer voices out there, so come learn more about finding your niche, finding guests, getting equipment to fit your budget, editing tips and mixing techniques to bring your podcast to life!

The Power of Joy in Queer Media

Panelists: Amy Spalding, Britta Lundin, Julia Ember, Jenn Polish
Moderator: CB Lee

We’re here, we’re queer, and we want happy stories. What does joy mean to LGBTQ+ creators and how does it reflect in our work? For queer audiences especially, it is important to have stories that show us getting to be happy—whether that’s falling in love, going on adventures or saving the world. Join writers and creatives as they talk about the power of joy in queer media and what it means to see ourselves happy, loved, and brave on the page.

Problematic Faves

Panelists: Catherine Meushaw, Alexis Sanchez, Reign G.

Loving Annabelle, The L Word, Wynonna Earp, Supergirl, Glee. Going beyond the “guilty pleasure” there are shows and movies that are loved by the queer community, but are also problematic AF. Join us as we discuss why we love these shows/movies so much; why they can be good rep for the queer community, but also why they make us cringe.

Propping Yourself Up!! How to build props to support your favorite Cosplay character

Panelists: Maren Maclean Mascarell, Debbie Esparza
Moderator: Mandy Embry

This panel dives into building props, both from scratch as well as combining found objects. We will be utilizing materials like EVA foam, clay, warbla, and more… Please note, we will be using power tools in the panel.

Queer Fans Deserve Data

Panelists: Tracy Levesque, Mika Epstein

We will tell our story of fandom, passion, code and the desire to see fair and positive LGBTQ representation on television. LezWatch.TV is an online database and queer entertainment news site created by two TV-obsessed lesbian web developers to catalog and document queer female, transgender and nonbinary characters, and their corresponding shows from TV, web, and streaming media with the goal of providing free and easy access to information on the best shows with queer characters and shows in the genres fans want to see. We will also present analysis on the current and future state of representation from the data we have collected.

Queer Girls, Superheroes, and Sidekicks: Who Gets to have Happy Endings?

Panelists: Jenn Polish, C.B. Lee, Erika Turner, April Daniels

From Supergirl to America Chavez; from the pages of novels to the pages of comic books; from Person of Interest to Buffy the Vampire Slayer; queer girls often only get to be superheroes at a cost. In this panel, we’ll explore the subversive nature of queer happiness and the power of stories in which the girl gets the girl and neither of them die. By sharing our own creative journeys and inviting the audience to reflect on theirs, we’ll open up queerly joyful possibilities for all the writers, readers, and Watchers (Buffy pun intended) in the room and beyond.

Queer Lady Business

Panelists: Sally Heaven, Christin Baker, Rebecca Barrick, Ebone Bell, LaShawn McGhee
Moderator: Andi Marquette

What do you do when mainstream companies just aren’t making the content or products that you want? You do it yourself. Join these queer women-owned and queer-women-serving businesses to hear how they started, how they grew, and how they continue to thrive.

Queer Representation in Video Games

Panelists: Heather Currie-Martinez, Elizabeth Vlasoff

Join us once again for a lively discussion of the past year’s queer representation in video games. We discuss what new barriers were broken this year, what games brought new and exciting things to the queer games catalogue, what developers can do to continue to improve representation, and what the fandom can do to ensure a safe and fun experience both on and offline for their fellow video game fans.

Queer Storylines in Therapy: Constructing Your Narrative Through Fictional Characters

Panelists: Mariya Shcherbinina, Marie-Diane Grouchka, Nicole Pacent

Media representation of the queer community has steadily been improving over the recent years – and queer clients in therapy find themselves gravitating toward their narratives in hopes of finding a good example to live by. In this panel, psychologists and media enthusiasts will explain how relating to a well-represented queer character can help develop positive outcomes in therapy, and add to the creation of a well-grounded minority identity.

Queer Women and Trans People in Theatre

Panelists: Haviland Stillwell, Aneesh Sheth, Adriana Chavez, Maybe Burke
Moderator: Maggie Keenan-Bolger

From Sara Ramirez to Samira Wiley, many of our queer lady favs come from the wonderful word of theatre. But the theatre industry hasn’t always been so progressive in their representations of queer women and trans people on stage. This panel will discuss how things are changing on and off-Broadway, where progress still needs to be made, and how other forms of media have influenced those representations and vice-versa.

Queer Women Writers Workshop

Panelists: Kimberly Astudillo Amato, Jenn T Grace, B Danyelle Watkins, K Rocco Shields
Moderator: Robyn Vie Carpenter-Brisco

Get into the minds of writers & publishers to find out what it really takes to be a writer & what options are available for getting published.

Recapping Queer TV

Panelists: Monica Yeater, Valerie Anne, Nic
Moderator: Bridget Liszewski

Join Valerie, Nic, and Monica as they discuss their experiences recapping queer TV shows, their processes, and how and why they broke out of the Twitter character constraints to write about the shows they used to only flail about.

Romance Between the (Book) Covers

Panelists: Melissa Brayden, Carsen Taite, Kris Bryant, Elle Spencer
Moderator: Georgia Beers

Join best-selling LGBTQ romance novelists as they discuss what TV shows and films have influenced their work, where they get their ideas, what trends they’ve seen, what their readers like, and the joys (and frustrations) that can come from writing women loving women as a career.

#SocialMediaBoss: How to Run Social Media Like a Pro

Panelists: Kylee Cline, Dr. Amber Hutchins, Amber Rivera
Moderator: Elaine Venter

Social media is key in communicating to the digital world and connecting your content to your audience, but not everyone has the time to learn all the social media things. This panel of professionals and professors will help make it easier for you to take advantage of social media. From amateur bloggers to advanced content creators, this panel is for everyone looking to make sense of social media and become a #SocialMediaBoss.

Speed Pitching

Panelists: Paige Bernhardt, Zarrie Barrie, Bridget McManus
Moderator: Nancylee Myatt

A fun and interactive workshop/contest geared toward helping writers get their ideas out of their heads and into a successful pitch. Participants at this workshop will receive some helpful pitching tips before the workshop. “Writers,” chosen at random, will have Two Minutes to pitch their idea to the professional writers, creators and producers on the panel.

Strong Women in LGBTQ Fiction

Panelists: Melissa Brayden, Georgia Beers, Carsen Taite, Barbara Ann Wright, Laydin Michaels

Whether it come to matters of the heart, the spaceship, the precinct, or the courtroom, LGBTQ fiction continues to explore the strong female character, and all the ways she triumphs. Join this team of best selling fiction writers for a discussion on all the things that make these female characters pop, sizzle, and deliver the goods.

StyriaTypical – A Carmilla Podcast (live)

Panelists: Belinda D, Angie M

Join us for a live version of our podcast where we will be discussing:
1. All things Hollstein
2. Boots on the bed (yay or nay)
3. Answer audience questions
4. Carmilla Trivia (with prizes!)

Tales of the Black Badge: Live At ClexaCon!

Panelists: Kevin Bachelder, Bonnie Ferrar

Join Bonnie Ferrar and Kevin Bachelder as they record a LIVE episode of their popular Wynonna Earp fan podcast. If you’ve heard or attended any of their previous LIVE Tales Of The Black Badge podcast recordings you know how fun and interactive they are. Learn about the latest news from the Earper fandom and join in on a discussion about Wynonna Earp season 4.