GeekGirlCon 2019: Girls can be themselves and celebrate what they love
GeekGirlCon board president Sharon Magliano Feliciano geeks out with her kids at Arcane Comics.
PHOTO: JOSHUA HUSTON
“My mom will tell you that I’ve been a geek since day one,” says Sharon Magliano Feliciano, GeekGirlCon board president. She dressed as Spider-Woman for her second Halloween. On her fifth birthday, she had a Pac-Man party. When she was 8, Star Trek: The Next Generation debuted, and she became a self-identified geek for life.
“I immediately fell in awe and wonder of the Star Trek world, where people were going on big adventures to, basically, make friends,” says Feliciano. In a way, she’s been on a similar journey — building communities, connections and friendships — ever since. Today, Feliciano supports a global community of women writers at the nonprofit Hedgebrook. She also co-owns the geek hangout Arcane Comics in Shoreline.
GeekGirlCon is an annual celebration of female geeks. It empowers women and girls to pursue their passions, and it’s coming up Nov. 16-17 at the Washington State Convention Center. Feliciano hopes to encourage more children and families to attend.
“If you’ve never been to a convention, GeekGirlCon is a good one for beginners,” says Feliciano, who has been bringing her own geeklets, Nate, 19, and Kitty, 12, to the convention since they were little.
“My daughter’s favorite is still the DIY Science Zone,” she says. “Scientists from all over the world are there to help families do hands-on activities. You might extract DNA from a strawberry. Or design and fly paper airplanes.”
The two-day program is packed with meetups, family-friendly science and art, gaming, cosplay and other events that honor women’s contributions to geek culture.
Here’s a small sample of this year’s entertainment: music from folk-pop duo The Doubleclicks; a presentation about diversification in gaming with I Need Diverse Games founder Tanya DePass; a creative performance by Seattle-based “goddess of electronic psychedelic soul” SassyBlack; and a kids cosplay celebration, where mini-geeks can win prizes for costume craftsmanship and stage presence.
Passes for GeekGirlCon are $50 for the weekend, $35 for a day and $15 for kids ages 6-12. It’s free for children 5 and younger.
While the convention celebrates feminism, you definitely don’t have to be a girl — or a geek — to attend.
“Dads, brothers, gender-nonconforming, big geeks, little geeks, and even the not-so-geeky are welcome,” says Feliciano. “GeekGirlCon is for everyone.”
Like her favorite Star Trek worlds, Feliciano hopes that GeekGirlCon will be a place for your family to make new friends and build community. “Come and be yourselves,” she says. “This is a place where being yourself is joyful, and where we can all unabashedly celebrate the things we love.”