(Before you read: I got pretty personal in this post. I could have beaten around the issue, but I have had a lot of people in the past message me that my story is a lot like theirs and if my honesty can help others that are struggling, it will be worth it.)
First off, I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude towards the people that made the convention happen. My experience is just one of hundreds of LGBTQ+ individuals that attended this convention, that is changed their life of for the better. As we all know there is a TON of stuff that has to happen bts, that we don’t know the full extent of, to make conventions happen. Like, I don’t even want to think about all the work it takes. I just want all of the people that had a part in making this convention happen, whether you were a staff member, panelist, guest, volunteer, etc. that your time, effort, and possibly sacrificing parts of your own con experience to make sure people like myself were able to enjoy it is so greatly appreciated.
As someone who has been known in the fandom to analyzed things and can ramble on and on for days, it might be a surprise to you that I am left at a loss for words to write about the convention. I can’t find the words to encapsulate what it meant to me and the feelings I was experiencing –not to mention the complexity of those feelings. I have tried to write this so many times, but then draw a complete blank on how to describe it.
If I had to describe what Clexacon was to me in one word it would be a sanctuary. It was a place where I felt safe and content. I felt hope and peacefulness spreading throughout my body each day I was there. The more I hung out with people, went to panels, or just observed everyone around me walking around the convention, the more and more I felt the weight of all the years of self-hate, repression, etc. lift from my body and a sense of clarity wash over me. I was legit feeling like Alex Danvers as each wave of repressed memory came to the surface and critically looking at my life. Going to the panels was also a big part of that process. I began to look more in-depth at the underlying reason of the severe self-hatred I felt for so many years, years of struggling with anxiety and depression, the eating disorders that almost cost me my life, the purposeful secluding myself from others, and the loneliness I felt even though I was in a room full of people came to the surface. I was trying to process all of these emotions at once and it was very scary. But, it was like a peaceful liberating panic? If that makes sense? It was finally confessing to myself everything that I knew for years, like completely confessing to myself…but then panicking about it. Because, it’s me and I’m a chronic overthinker. Lol. Each day I would get more and more courage to be myself, to push past all the years of internalized homophobia that made me feel worthless and ‘wrong’.
Being surrounded by openly gay people that were authentically happy and full of pride for being part of the LGBTQ+ community was palpable in the air and you couldn’t help but feed off the energy. As someone who unfortunately doesn’t have this is my everyday life, I was trying to soak all of it in and store it in my memories to access it when I went back to my world of homophobic close-minded remarks. Clexacon was a place where I could be my true authentic self, or at least try to be. My authentic self with it came out to nerding about fictional characters, stories, etc. that I can’t talk to people about in my normal life. Also, my authentic self when it came to being part of this community.
Now, onto the convention itself. I was fortunate enough to make it to the Badge Pick Up party due to my flight getting in an hour early, and the wonderful appalachiansprung for picking me up from the Las Vegas airport. I want to take a moment and sincerely thank her for offering to pick me up from the airport and making sure I felt safe. She knew I had massive anxiety about traveling and her compassion and willingness to help me really meant the world to me. She really helped start off my trip to Vegas on a positive note, and without her, I wouldn’t have made it to the Badge Pick Up party, which I actually really enjoyed. I was able to meet my friends I had been talking to online, been mutuals of, knew of, and meet new people. It was just so surreal actually being face-to-face with these people. These people that you are friends with, but society telling you they “aren’t friends” because you don’t physically hang out with each other and it is only online. But these people actually know you better than people in your “everyday life”. For instance, the first person I met was my friend PJ. The weird thing was is that I was in the process of messaging her that I was at the party, and just as I was about to send it, I look to my right and she was standing there next to me, not aware that it was me next to her. I stopped typing and then said “hi” and it was the first of many “omg! You ARE real” feelings I had meeting people throughout the convention. I really REALLY enjoyed talking with the people who came up to me and said they were followers of my blog. Seriously, knowing that there are actual people behind URLS and seeing your faces and hearing your voices was incredible. When I asked the people I met to show me what their URL and icon was, I was able to recognize most of you and your support and kind words meant more to me than I can say.
The convention itself was better than I had expected. It was actually my first ever convention so I don’t really have anything to compare it too, but it was just so wonderful. The turnout was wayyyyy better than I expected. Seeing everyone in the main hall during the larger panels was just incredible, as well as seeing the floods of people roaming around the convention floor. We all know there were people trying to cast doubt on this convention and basically said it was “toxic” and were basically trying to get it canceled. Well, I’m so glad that this past weekend proved them SO SO wrong. It was so cool going up and down the vendor rows and seeing the spectacular artwork. I did only get one piece of artwork from the convention and it was Pappurrcat’s newest Lexa vs. Pauna drawing and she signed it for me (picture at bottom of post). I was not expecting to see @immochiball there! It was such a pleasant surprise to see her there! I really love her Lexacoon/Lionclarke artwork and it was great to show my appreciation for all her hardwork and it was funny that she knew exactly what piece of Lexacoon/LionClarke artwork I was fangirling about. It was so great to meet other talented people in our fandom I’m a fan or and friends of, or became friends of. People like @critter-of-habit , @foomatic , @commanderlexaofthegrounders , @decalexas , @lingeringlilies , @shes-special , @rin-says , @damnlexa, @molliemashstash , @oh-i-got-dibs , and i’m forgetting so many people so I’m sorry if i forgot you! I met sooooo many new people that I just clicked with and they made the convention an even better experience. Many of them in this photo below (but many are missing):
I will never forget the people I was fortunate enough to meet, talk to, and/or hang out with. I loved walking around Vegas with people and exploring places. So, by the end of this convention I have come to realize so many things. Realize so many things about LGBTQ+ issues, the dire need for representation, and about myself. I realized that I’m not alone. Leaving Clexacon was so hard. I already posted that I had a breakdown on the last day after I headed back to my hotel room and had to say goodbye to the people i met. The people I wanted to spend more time, as they were helping me more and more each day with feelings that I do deserve happiness, that I’m not alone, that there is nothing wrong with me, that I have value. This weekend was life changing for me. Even though this post is now close to 1,500 words…I still have not been able to fully express the importance this convention had on me in this post. I’m just so grateful for the experience and the wonderful people I was so fortunate to meet and now call friends.
I do have a few regrets…and one of them is not taking enough pictures. I was kinda mentally preoccupied (if you couldn’t tell reading this post. lol) and forgot.
Its all I can think about as we trek through the woods, wire trailing behind Katniss. All I can think about. How am I gonna do it. How am I going to manage this? No, stop it, you are Johanna fucking Mason, why is knocking one insignificant little girl out so hard for you?
Its because its the Mocking Jay thats all Johanna. Thats all.
I quickly cut off my train thought, breaking the silence.
“Come on, lets hurry up. I want to put as much distance between us and that beach as possible.”
Katniss nods and continues dragging the wire when it catches.
I turn back and my heart sinks.
I hold hope its only stuck on a branch, but then it slacks, and the cut end is pulled back into the dispenser Katniss in dragging behind her.
This wasn’t supposed to happen.
But I think quickly. I must save Katniss, these were the rules. She is the vital organ of this whole operation. Without her, this is for nothing.
So do the only thing I can think of.
I bash Katniss with the metal container in my hand, she falls to the ground with a thud.
I hate doing this already, but I move on.I tackle her, pinning her to the ground. Why is it that this one girl, this one fucking girl can break this lovely facade i’ve made for myself?
“Stay down” I hiss as I dig the point of my axe into her forearm. She screams, and I quickly silence her. I press my lips to hers, effectively silencing, but I nearly forget the task at hand. I pull back, before kissing her again as I yank the tracker out of her arm.
I can feel the muffled yelp against my lips, I wish I didn’t have to leave. I must be going soft, for this brainless girl on fire.
I pull back, wishing I could stay.
She looks around confused, but she smiles at me, I whisper an apology as I look up at Brutus and Enobaria. I press my bloody fingers to her neck, praying she’ll look dead enough for them to pass over, as I sprint away, leaving my mocking jay in the dust.
Next week is #WeNeedLGBTQStories Week, and in honor of this cool thing I’m running, I wanted to do a follow forever list of the best blogs I follow. Partially to make sure everyone who might be interested hears about the event (follow here for updates), but mostly because I want to give back and make sure other people know about all these amazing blogs I follow.
It’s you guys that I turn to when I get discouraged, and your content that helps motivate me and comfort me and bring beautiful queer (and social justice in general) things to my life. It’s you guys that help me survive the invisibility, the queerbaiting, the bury your gays, the general disappointment with popular media, etc. So, thank you for serving up that awesome content and please keep doing what you’re doing. You bring a lot of joy to a lot of people’s days!
Bold names are the ones that I follow every single post and/or just squeal every time they come up on my dash. Everyone on the list is amazing and worthy of a follow. (List below the cut because it’s … ridiculously long.)
The members of Rikleimt hope everyone has been having a wonderful Valentine’s Day. Today we’d like to spread some love to our favorite artists in the fandom. Thank you for keeping Clexa alive with your art.
Which is your fav Lexa and Clexa fanart? I know there are a lot to choose from but which one stands out for you or you're emotionally attached to?
My favorite Lexa fan art hands down this one (it’s been my phone background for almost a year now) it is by @papurrcat :
As for Clexa…this is so hard, but the one that stands out the most to me that gives me feels is this one by @sheep-in-clouds :
But like there are SO MANY I love in this fandom. This fandom is full of so many incredible artists that bless us. Like @immochiball with their Lexacoon/LionClarke that gives me ALL SORTS of feels. Then we have the incredible @critter-of-habit that is so talented and has created amazing scenes with her artwork, like Raven giving Clarke a necklace for the Flame. Then we have @waitingforshow whose comics crack me up and I’m still laughing about Lexa’s obsession with the Pokemon candle. @terra-7 has also created beautiful fan art of Clexa hugging and comforting one another. And I already mentioned papurrcat and sheep-in-clouds, who are beyond talented and have created so many masterpieces. And I KNOW I have forgotten a lot of people. I think we all know how blessed we are to have such talented people in our fandom that create beautiful, funny, moving artwork of Lexa and Clexa.
Basically, I love going into my ‘the 100 fan art’ tag because there are such talented people in this fandom that create incredible artwork.
As I have said many times before, I am poor and lazy so I haven’t done anything yet for any of my followers milestones :Y
BUT!!! here i am with this very modestly photoshopped banner to honor the people i enjoy following here!
If you are not here, it’s bc you’re a porn blog. Or Erica. But if you’re none of those and you are not here, my mistake, then. Tell me and I’ll add you :) I can’t believe I’m following so many wonderful people it took me 3 days to do this post. can u believe this
I’m gonna start with my thanks to all of you for being amazing people and special thanks to those who are tagging along! And even tho I don’t even speak to the 10th of the people I follow, I want you to know that I still enjoy seeing you on my dash. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here :)
Also thanks to edibleoedipalcomplex who is my 300th follower, and to ophexis, who was the very 1st!
If you are in italic, it’s because we’re mutuals
If you are bolded, it’s because you’re one of my favs (and i prob check out ur blog every so often ;P)
I blame critter-of-habit. This is a silly thing that happens in a beautiful alternate universe where Mt Weather was taking out without any breaking of alliances or radiation murders or deaths or sad things at all.
The whole thing had gone wrong right from the start. It was supposed
to be a simple trip to a village about three days out from Polis.
Lexa had suggested that a short trip in the heart of Trigedakru
territory would be a good opportunity to test Clarke’s fledgeling
The list o’ amazingly talented people (innoparticularorder) who take time out of their lives to create. And in doing so, y’all spread happiness across the internet. You folk are hella rad, hella cool and super awesome people that I admire! Thank you for doing what you do, y’all are huge inspirations!!