The Quirktastic team is super excited for BlerDCon! Check out featured cosplayer and BlerDCon member, CC The Greek and how she got her start cosplaying and what the Blerd movement means to her.
Q: How did you get your start cosplaying?
CC: It was something I had contemplated doing the minute I was introduced to the concept. I was intimidated by the big names in cosplay who have much more resources. One day I was determined to attend a convention and cosplay. I found a Black Widow costume at the last minute at a pop-up Halloween store.
When I went to Baltimore Comic Con in 2015 (my first con ever), I received so much support and attention. People everywhere would stop me and ask to take pictures of me…particular other POC and women. I realized then that I was onto something. There was something significant, something defiant, about me being in my body and doing what I’m doing. If I could have such a profound affect on people’s lives with a rink dink cosplay, imagine what I could do if I put more time, effort, resources, and thought into them.
Q: As a woman of color, what does cosplay mean to you?
CC: Cosplay is a special form of empowerment. You are able to be taken outside of yourself, while tapping into your inner self. Like many other forms of empowerment, you are given the ability to spread that empower others…regardless if he/she cosplays or even recognizes your character. You become a hero by shining your light, for the world to see, in the most unapologetic way. That’s the inspiration I hope to give young girls and women…especially those of color.
Q: How did you get started with BlerDCon?
CC: The concept of BlerDCon was something I formulated in my mind before it ever was. Hilton, a cosplayer I had met at BCC 2015, told me he wanted to meet about a potential business endeavor. Before BlerDCon had a name, we realized we had a similar vision that we wanted to bring to life. He introduced me to the team as it built up and developed. The rest, and the best, is yet to come.
For decades, the world of geekdom has grown and expanded its reach to include more black, Latino, Asian POCs as well as women, the disabled and LGBTQ nerds here and internationally. During this same period, conventions focusing on anime, comic books, sci-fi, gaming and cosplay have failed to incorporate proportional representation reflecting the growing audience of “minority nerds”.
BlerDCon will be the first of its kind to host a traditional convention structure of panels, celebrity guests, presentations, workshops, gaming tournaments, cosplay contests music and dance while highlighting and showcasing the rich diversity of the minority community contributing in those genres!
“Blerd” is shorthand for “black nerd” but is often used as a self-descriptive term for people of all colors within the minority community of geeks.
While Blerd is the organizing principle of this con, we are our expanding our reach to encompass the far corners of diversity that represent the growth population for all that we love about nerd-dom.
Q: What are you most excited about with this con and what do you hope it achieves?
CC: There are a ton of cons, but none on the larger scale that focus on inclusion. I didn’t need to do any market research to know there was a need for a BlerDCon, all one has to do is look out into the crowd of any medium-large con to see the diversity that isn’t represented proportionally in the programming or guest list.
The goal is to create an event that not only can sustain itself, but can transcend its calendar dates to become a year-round movement. The biggest and best annual events become part of our daily and weekly lives. If BlerDCon can spur and inform the ongoing dialogue of inclusion and diversity, it will have achieved its mission.