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Queercon wrap-up

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  • Queercon wrap-up

    Wow! Five years, and I feel like we've finally reached critical mass.

    A lot of people think that Queercon is all my show. Nothing could be further from the truth. While I had a really awesome idea 5 years ago, I wasn't the only one involved. Queercon would never have happened without a few truly instrumental people who helped take the idea, grow it, and run with it: Euro12, nemo, kM, zac, and noid. These folks have taken care of everything from printing fliers to running the queercon Web site to lugging gear thousands of miles to forcing me to learn how to DJ (which changed my life in an incredibly profound way I cannot possibly begin to express here) to encouraging us to keep the show going when we thought it was a flop.

    For the past several years, Queercon has had a dirty little secret. Well, it's not so dirty, and not so little, and not so secret actually, but reality is what it is. And the reality is, for the past few years, we've only had a party with about half of the people there actually being queer. The rest were our (mostly) straight friends from 206 and 916 and a few other area codes ending with 6.

    Well, this year, for a variety of reasons, none of those guys showed up. There were other parties, other places, and we had no guaranteed audience. We were initially concerned about attenance, but really needn't have worried. 15 minutes into the first DJ set, the skybox was packed with smiling, dancing, gay hackers--the people we throw the party for in the first place! This more or less continued until 2 in the morning through 4 hours and 4 DJs, Evreything went incredibly well... the sound, the DJs, the decorations, the atmosphere... when people left, they were usually holding hands.

    Every year, in addition to work done by the organizers, Queercon requires an army of volunteers to make it happen. I had literally a half-dozen folks from Seattle volunteer to transport various items (mixers, speaker stands, my DJ case, etc.) to and from Las Vegas. More people than I can count helped to carry various heavy things around the Riviera. Another army of volunteers helped to string lights and hang up decorations and make the space look incredibly warm and inviting--such a nice respite from the slot machines of Las Vegas and the computers of Defcon. And the good folks from the Lockpick Village, who didn't realize we were going to use their space, went all out to both clear half of the space and open the closet door 3 times for us because we kept locking it accidentally. Even at the end, when I announced "Hey everyone, it's the best part of the party... CLEANING UP!", several people stayed behind to help. When they finished, the floor was almost clean enough to use as a dinner plate. To everyone who pitched in and helped, THANK YOU! We really can't do it without you.

    But while a show can't happen without volunteers, it also can't happen without people to come and smile and dance and enjoy. I know how hard it is for some of you, and how much you agonize over coming out. One 18yo person told me he'd been trying to decide whether to to attend queercon for months, but finally decided to come. A 19yo told me he'd been looking forward to Queercon all year, because it's one of the few places he feels like he can really be himself. So to you guys, and to everyone else who was there, THANK YOU! You're why we do this every year, and we're looking forward to doing an even better show next year.

    Queercon isn't just a banging dance party. In addition to helping with Club Queercon, Euro12 and nemo put together a nice, mellow afternoon mixer every year. This year's mixer was a smashing success, as always. It was so popular this year, they even put together a spur-of-the-moment Saturday afternoon follow-up at Caesar's Palace.

    If you have any pics or feedback related to Queercon at Defcon 16, please post them in this thread.
    Last edited by tprophet; August 15, 2008, 22:31. Reason: Updated wrap-up with information about mixer
    My Web site is .

  • #2
    Re: Queercon wrap-up

    I saw this thread and wanted to pop in with my own über-thanks to you and all your people in light of the fact that you were all a dream to deal with during the logistics of the evening and next morning.

    Due to some bad intel, we were initially unaware that QueerCon was still on for skybox 212 (which was half of the LP Village) and thus had put on hold all of our previous plans to have that side of the village broken down in advance of your arrival.

    The whole QueerCon crew was so gracious about everything and immediately volunteered to help moving loads of heavy shit (did you see the size of the setup this year in our village?) to one side along with all tables and chairs.

    They were polite and cool-headed the whole time and didn't bitch once about doing basically just grunt work in advance of their happenings (after some of them were likely all showered and dressed for evening parties, btw)

    We were glad that things went so well for them. At first their guests kept trying to get into 211 (the LP Village) but after people started putting up signs all was right with the world.

    Heh, they also were totally cool with the TOOOL people wandering in and out to the restroom / storage area at the back of the far skybox when we needed to clean up or get tools or even our huge air compressor at one point. Just what you want at a dance party, eh? Sweaty, grubby-clothed people covered in sawdust and metal shavings and oil flecks to slip in and out in the margins.

    Overall a totally awesome crew... we thank them for their coolness and promise to stop by for a few drinks and tunes since we hopefully won't be doing construction and fabrication all weekend at DC17.

    P.S. - and yes, we were blown away by how clean the space was the next morning. now if only we could have gotten the air wall opened up again without hotel assistance.

    You rock, thanks for kicking so much ass.
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor