Who We Are
Bent-Con is the world's largest LGBTQ geek event, a mixing ground for fans, creators, industry and allies of the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres, as seen in comics, movies, games, literature and technology, to meet and celebrate their love of the unfettered realms of imagination. We bring together artists, writers, creators, publishers, directors, actors, producers and celebrities with fans, fan groups, collectors and the merely curious.
We joke that we're like Comic-Con, only gayer, but when you look at the collection of humans and aliens and interdimensional beings that join together on our floor, we really are.
What We're Doing
This is the third year of the convention. We launched in 2010, here in Los Angeles, California, more as a whim than anything else. We had 20 vendors crammed into an old storefront and everyone brought books to read, thinking no one would show. 500 people flowed through over the course of an afternoon, hungry for genre media that spoke to them -- or where they could geek out on mainstream movies, books and games in a queer way.
Last year, we exploded in size. We held a larger event, over a weekend, at a downtown Los Angeles hotel. 2000 people beat down the door to see our guests, listen to our panels, view films, dance in our costume contest and celebrate with other members of the community. The founders and crew were gobsmacked. Everyone cried more! More!
This year, after listening to fans, vendors and guests, we're now two and half days long, in a bigger venue still -- the Burbank Marriott and Convention Center -- with the best lineup of guests we've ever put together. Authors Christopher Rice and David Gerrold, actress Claudia Christian, creator Jane Espenson, artist Phil Jimenez, and the legend Wendy Pini are just some of those attending. We have so many more you have to go to our website to see the ever growing Assembly of Awesomeness scheduled to attend.
But with all of this has come growing pains. Lots and lots of growing pains.
Why We Need Your Help
We're a non-profit, a 501c3 foundation -- hey, it's why your donation is tax deductible -- so we aren't in it for the money. Celebrating, showcasing, appreciating and networking are what the convention is about.
But that also means that we do this by the skin of our teeth, with much fretting, no frills and lots of niceities left out for lack of funds. The dedication of our team and volunteers make up most of the slack, but not all of it.
We cut corners wherever we can, do without many things common to other, larger, for profit conventions, and continually remain panicked that our memberships won't cover all the bills.
We'd love for that to change.
What We Want
This year we're looking for helping to pay a host of expenses, big and small, before the con starts and to add back in the box-full of corners we've had to cut out.
Your donations will help us do things like create step-and-repeats, red carpets, internet-wifi, professional grade video recording of panels, internet streaming of panels, scholarships, larger and more numerous meeting spaces, guest services, t-shirts for our volunteers and if we’re lucky for every attendee at the festival, access and opportunity for guests in other countries to attend, advertising -- real blessed advertising. -- signs, individual convention guides, oh, and the event-space rental bill paid off before the con starts.
The Powers That Be with this convention are a determined and dedicated assortment of misfits, characters and broken toys. We're all a bit crazy to put this thing together; with your help, awareness and donations, our crazy will go much further than it has ever gone before.
Yes, that's a Star Trek reference. We're geeks.
Who makes Bent-Con happen?
Bent-Con is a concerted effort by individuals who are themselves a part of the communities they seek to celebrate with the festival. Artists, Writers, Film-makers, Fans and the sort.
Given your established history, why go this route with Indiegogo?
Because we’re committed to having more for the community that nurtures and supports the ideals and mission with this festival. We want to raise the bar on what’s expected, create more variety and challenge ourselves to see if we can continue to both grow and expand Bent-Con’s presence.
Why are you called,”Bent-Con?” Why not something else?
Being “Bent” isn’t straight, being Bent is also different and typically perceived as broken, damaged or not “right.” We wanted to say and celebrate that being different is perfectly okay, acceptable and welcome in this instance. We celebrate Difference.
Is the convention just about comic books?
No! It's about all things media. Comics are where we started, but we've quickly grown to include movies, books, TV, games... even a bit of technology, because our crowd loves the gadgets.
I thought there was a gay convention for video games?
There is! Gaymer Con is getting off the ground in 2013. (We're even showcasing them at our event.) While video and table-top games aren't our main focus as you can't geek out without gaming, too.
I’m not LGBT, can I come?
Absolutely! It’s in our mission statement: LGBT AND LGBT-friendly. Anyone who includes us or simply want to make it known they support, appreciate and celebrate with us are welcome. Even some of our exhibitors and guests are non-LGBT identified. Bent-Con is an educational foundation and we strive to share and include anyone and everyone who shares the same vision.
Why are you segregating yourselves? Isn’t that part of the problem?
Not at all. Bent-Con is committed to sharing and celebrating the contributions of those that are often times overlooked in a mainstream setting. And Bent-Con is simply acknowledging those contributions and celebrating our presence out loud.
Who are the gaylebrities available for lunch?
They include: Justin Hall, Jon Macy, Zan Christensen, Mark Andreyko, Joe Phillips, Phil Jimenez, Patrick Fillion, Dave Davenport, Sean Z., Jeff Krell, Brian Anderson, David Gerrold. More are being added.