Hey SoCal! Over the weekend, QCon championed Southen California’s queer comic book culture by bringing nerd and queer pop culture together to have a geeky, gay old time. Gathered in Plummer Park in West Hollywood, multiple vendors congregated to sell their LGBTQ+ coded art, comics, and other cartoon paraphernalia. As part of our Hey SoQueer Pride month series, photographer Jason Kentaro set out to capture the cosplays, art and showcases of pride presented at the convention.
Have fun viewing the colorful queer art!
Video Games have given us a myriad of heroes over the years, from the Super Mario Brothers to the Final Fantasy XV bromos. But Queer Coded gives us some new heroes, LGBTQ artists.
Sponsored by Joystick, the monthly LGBTQ mixer at North Hollywood’s Player One barcade, the Queer Coded art show explores video game culture from a queer perspective, with 15% of its sales going towards charities of each artist’s choice. Donations will benefit queer-focused organizations such as The Matthew Shepard Foundation and The Los Angeles LGBT Center, as well as general mental health non-profits like The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The need for mental health services is especially crucial for queer youths. According to a national survey conducted by The Trevor Project in 2021, over 40% of queer LGBTQ teens have considered suicide. In this vein, Jeb Whitlock, founder of Joystick and Queer Coded, “gayming” provides a therapeutic experience for troubled queer youth. “I think there is definitely a level of fantasy and otherworldliness that they latch onto,” Jeb told us during a brief respite from his hosting duties at September’s Queer Coded event. “A lot of us, myself included, didn’t always have the most emotionally rewarding time growing up. A lot of us would retreat into these video game worlds to find solace, and I think we took that with us into adulthood.”
Happy Pride SoCal!