For the month of June, the Reno Geek Girls are celebrating the contributions of LGBTQ characters and storylines within our beloved fandoms. This is our first time at Biscotti’s inside the Peppermill Spa & Casino, but with their amazing tea selection and speedy service, we will definitely be back!
Because we tend to hop from fandom to fandom and go off of on tangents at the non-fandom-specific brunches, here is the recap by category:
Janet, a new member whose geek love is all things anime, is a fan of the Disney Renaissance. She has two degrees in animation. Julie shares that her first experience with LGBTQ characters and/or storylines was the romance between Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus. This is a couple recognized in manga and anime but was misrepresented as cousins in the American dubbed version on Toonami in the late 1990s – one of the most egregious incidents of erasure of LGBTQ characters. Vanessa, proudly presenting Star Trek, brings up a positive note of progress: the confirmation of the relationship between Korra and Asami on the Legend of Korra.
Several of our brunchettes read fan fiction and agree that fandoms can be either a blessing or a curse…sometimes both! Ami brings our attention to asexual (lack of sexual attraction) and aromantic (lack of romantic attraction) characters. She talks about how this is represented in fandoms and pairings with her OTP Sherlock/Watson. Danielle’s favorite pairing is Steve/Tony from the Marvel fandom. Angela chimes in that she only accepts that in the comic-verse because…well, by this point, we all know how she feels about MCU’s Captain America (yep, still salty). Janet is part of the Oh My Goddess fandom and commissions art for her favorite pairing.
Ami and Nuriko are fans of the Sherlock Holmes, Jeeves and Wooster, and Hercule Poirot novels. Deciphering gay coding (when characters or relationships are given traits associated with LGBTQ people without explicit confirmation) is key when reading works written in eras when LGBTQ characters and relationships were considered abnormal. Cathy recommends Kushiel’s Legacy, a fantasy series based in an alternative Europe where sexual identity, expression, and orientation are fluid. Clara lists Mercedes Lackey and Robert Jordan as two of her favorite authors who include LGBTQ characters in their fantasy series.
Paola is a fan of Netflix, two of her favorite shows are Sense8 and One Day at a Time, both with positive portrayals of LGBTQ characters. Rocking a Golden Girls shirt, Cathy proudly represents the show that’s ahead of its time with progressive outlook on LGBTQ rights, AIDS crisis, and same-sex marriage. Riverdale is critiqued for the show runner’s choice to change a canonically asexual character, Jughead, to a heterosexual character. Angela lists Queer as Folk (US) as one of the shows that has had a great impact on her, particularly because of its fearlessness back in the early 2000s AKA the dark ages of DOMA and DADT. She also gushes over Brooklyn 99, possibly the most progressive sitcom. If you’re not watching it, you should! After all, this is a show that both Luke Skywalker and Alexander Hamilton watch and got picked up literally one day after its cancellation.
Last but not least, we spend some time gushing over these LGBTQ trailblazers – actors Neil Patrick Harris, Sir Ian McKellen, and George Takei; scientists Alan Turing and Sally Ride; and cohosts of Buffering the Vampire Slayer podcast Jenny Owen Youngs and Kristin Russo.
A handful of Geek Girls have plans to see Ocean’s 8 after brunch, our first movie date of the year. We’d love to have more social events, so if there’s a movie you want to see or a convention you want to go, reach out and let us know! Special thanks to Vanessa for getting the tickets ahead of time and Angela for organizing the event (though a scheduling conflict got in the way of her going).
Our next brunch will be Gamer Girl July! Stay tuned for more details and we hope you can join us!