Team Blog

Notes from the ClexaCon Team

October 15, 2020

The US Elections are only weeks away and we are urging our United States ClexaCon community to VOTE! We cannot stress how important this election is, not only the race for president but for your state and local elections as well! 

There are many ways you can help over the next few weeks including volunteering for phone banking, writing letters (yes, the paper kind!) and texting!

Here is a list of some resources to help Queer the Vote!

You can also encourage US citizens to vote by:

Writing Letters

Phone banking:

Text Banking

Happy Voting!

Team ClexaCon

 

September 1st, 2020

Hello ClexaCon Community! 

First, we are so, SO, excited to announce that we have confirmed dates for ClexaCon in 2021! That’s right! Please mark your calendars for April 15-18, 2021 at the Tropicana! We have been busy working to confirm featured guests for next year so that we can bring you together with your favorites in LGBTQ+ representation, as well as on the search for new talent to bring to ClexaCon, and we could not be more excited for 2021. It takes a while to confirm guests, but we will start sharing confirmed guests as soon as we can. 

This brings us to our next exciting news! While the pandemic certainly caught us by surprise, we are resilient as our community is strong and with careful planning, we have worked out a solution to bring you the opportunity to receive refunds, exchanges, or to donate your 2020 purchase to the ClexaCon scholarship fund. The following is a breakdown of all your options for your ClexaCon 2020 purchases:

Apply your 2020 purchase to 2021

All purchases made for ClexaCon 2020 will automatically be rolled-over to ClexaCon 2021. If you are planning on attending in 2021, you do not have to do anything at this time and your purchase will be good for all 2021 experiences you originally purchased for 2020. While all our featured guests expressed their desire to return in 2021, if anyone has to cancel due to scheduling conflicts we will automatically refund any experiences (autographs, meet-and-greets, photo-ops, etc.) purchased for that guest specifically. Everyone who holds a ticket to ClexaCon 2020 will be gifted entrance to Ascension because we cannot wait to celebrate together again in 2021! All ClexaCon 2020 ticket-holders who attend ClexaCon 2021 will also be entered into raffles for additional perks like autographs, room upgrades, and more at the badge pickup party in 2021. Any ClexaCon admission tickets not used by 2023 will be refunded at that time. 

Request a refund

We know that many in our community will be unable to attend ClexaCon 2021 for a myriad of reasons, and for many, a future exchange is not a viable option. For those of you who need a refund of your ClexaCon 2020 purchases, we will be opening a refund request window from September 1, 2020, to September 15, 2020. After that request window closes, we will begin processing refunds on an ongoing basis until all requested refunds are completed. Our goal is to have all refunds completed as soon as possible, and no later than the end of ClexaCon 2021.  

Exchange for a future ClexaCon event

If you are not able to attend ClexaCon 2021, but you would like to retain the value of your purchase, don’t fret! You can let us know you’d like to hold for a future event and you will be able to exchange your purchase for any ClexaCon event through 2023. Any purchases not redeemed by the end of 2023 will be automatically refunded at that time. This is a great option for anyone who is unsure which year they would like to attend as you have the added refund guarantee if you do not use your purchase. 

Donate to someone who would not be able to attend otherwise

Our last option is a great way to support ClexaCon’s mission to connect and empower our community. Since the beginning of ClexaCon, we have awarded 28 roundtrip flights to ClexaCon, 46 recipients have been awarded lodging at ClexaCon, and a whopping 353 passes have been awarded. We have received such wonderful feedback from scholarship recipients over the years that we want to keep on giving! With your support, ClexaCon 2021 could be the biggest year yet for scholarships. If you have any questions about this option, please let us know and we are happy to help answer any questions you may have!

Please follow this link to submit your request to refund, exchange, or donate your purchase.

Waitlist for top-tier upgrades and experiences!

If you do not currently hold Lextra, Heda, VIP, or Cocktails for Change tickets, you can sign up to be added to the waitlist for those tickets. These requests will be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

You can also sign up to be among the first notified if we release additional autograph, photo-op, or meet-and-greet opportunities. To sign up for the waitlist, follow this link: Apply for Lextra, Heda, VIP, or Cocktails for Change waitlist

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New Leadership for ClexaCon 2021!

We are pleased to announce two new members of the leadership team who have been brought on in to help guide ClexaCon in the years to come.  Our new Executive Directors — Stacy Jill Calvert and Kimberly Hooper — joined us in their new roles in May of this year, taking over for Danielle Jablonski and Ashley Arnold who have helped guide the organization since 2016. They join our current Directors Heidi Leung and April Funiestas who have been with ClexaCon since 2017 and 2018 respectively. 

ClexaCon is a passion for us all, and we want to see it grow and evolve as we expand programming with an eye toward inclusivity and representation of our entire community. We feel that our community has a strong desire to celebrate positive representation in entertainment, and ClexaCon’s growth into the largest, most diverse celebration of LGBTQ+ women, trans, and non-binary representation in entertainment is a testament to the strength of our community. We want nothing more than to continue growing, celebrating, and having a positive impact on entertainment at large. Danielle has this to say about Stacy and Kimberly: “I’m excited and encouraged for the future of ClexaCon to be handing over the leadership reins to Stacy and Kimberly.  They are passionate about our community and bring a broad range of experience with ClexaCon, event management, and LGBTQ+ media to the table. I can’t wait to see where they will lead ClexaCon and the wonderful things ClexaCon can achieve under their direction.” 

Stacy and Kimberly will be guiding us through upcoming changes as we continue to bring you all that you have grown to love about ClexaCon and our amazing community over the years. Please join us as we officially extend a warm welcome to both Stacy and Kimberly — and read on to learn a little more about them!

Stacy Jill Calvert — (She/Her/Hers)

Stacy brings her passion for all things film, television, and fandom to the team and will be focused on expanding programming and ensuring diverse voices are heard in all aspects of ClexaCon. 

She has a true connection to the spirit of ClexaCon – our community and fandom – having been involved in ClexaCon since year two, and the Programming Director for the well-respected ClexaCon Film Festival since 2018. Stacy’s work and dedication can be seen in the recently produced ClexaCon Virtual Film Festival that brought together amazing films, panels, and discussions in May. “Cons and Fandom have been a giant part of my life for many years,” said Stacy, “and I am so excited to team up with Kimberly to lead this organization and continue to be a part of this amazing community.”

Stacy comes to us with an extensive history in events, marketing, and the entertainment industry.  We are excited to see how Stacy brings her passion for LGBTQ+ film and representation on-screen to help grow ClexaCon’s impact on appreciation and positive representation of the LGBTQ+ in media. 

Stacy originally hails from the Chicago area but has called Los Angeles her home for 15+ years. She identifies as a Queer Jew, loves board games, geeking out about genre film and television, and someday might beat her wife at Uno.  Stacy is also a  filmmaker and her latest short film, The Bra Mitzvah, is currently making the rounds on the film festival circuit. 

Stacy graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale with a BA in Radio-Television, an M.S. in Professional Media & Media Management and an MFA in Media Arts. 

Kimberly Hooper — (She/Her/Hers)

Kimberly is a first-generation Cuban-American artist and professional in the tourism and entertainment industry. She joins the team with a long history of working in the hospitality industry as a Regional Manager for Kaman’s Art Shoppes, Inc. managing artists at events and accounts throughout the West Coast and MidWest. 

She brings her passion for people and a service-first approach to operations, focusing on creating the best experience out there for both internal stakeholders and customers alike. Kimberly spent many years working at the Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, where she earned multiple honors for Sales Achievement, Operational Excellence, Philanthropic Endeavors, and is a four-time recipient of the coveted Valued Partner Award. In her spare time, Kimberly loves playing video games (don’t get her started on Horizon Zero Dawn!), reading, and spending time with her family and friends. She also volunteered with Aids/LifeCycle for several years before taking the plunge and participating as a cyclist in the annual San Francisco to Los Angeles ride. 

Kimberly has been at every U.S. ClexaCon as an attendee or as a vendor and so brings experience from both perspectives. “Joining the ClexaCon family at this level has already been such a joy,” said Kimberly. “I’ve met the most amazing, passionate professionals within and outside of ClexaCon and I’m already learning so much more about our fandom community. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of us!”  We are excited to see what her business and organizational experience brings to the ClexaCon experience! 

Kimberly graduated from CSU Fullerton with a BA in Communications, Entertainment and Tourism, and a minor in Business Administration.

Thursday, April 13, 2020

Dear ClexaCon Community, 

It is with much care and consideration that we have decided to make a statement regarding the news of racism within another, unaffiliated, queer fandom event which was recently shared by Youstina  (You//stina) on Twitter. We take this news to heart, and it is a reminder, especially considering our own past, to check our policies and make sure they support our larger vision of being a welcoming place where our entire community feels safe, respected, and part of the family. 

 In light of recent events and in a continuous effort to be transparent, we’d like to reiterate the ways we are continuing the work of creating a diverse, inclusive convention for everyone in our community. It is with this accountability in mind that we would like to share some of our ongoing and new strategies to accomplish this:

  • Actively seeking to bring more diverse voices to the table in positions of leadership and power. This is a huge priority for us.
  • This includes growing our network of organizations we work with to better engage with our diverse audience, helping to make sure we have a broad spectrum of interaction and representation.
  • Annual inclusivity training was started in 2019 for our leadership team and inclusivity training is planned for all volunteers before and at our conventions.
  • Review and implementation of updated protocols should a complaint ever arise within our ranks. 
  • This includes clear expectations that all members of our team, regardless of role or history with the organization, can expect to be held accountable should they ever mistreat any human in the ClexaCon community. No one is immune from being held accountable.
  • Anyone who violates our code of conduct and is not accountable will not be allowed to continue having a seat at the table.

We are committed to taking lessons learned from history, our industry as a whole, and our own past, and continuously striving to be a better ClexaCon for our entire community. We hope that you will continue on that journey with us. 

ClexaCon Directors
April, Ashley, Danielle, Heidi, Kimberly & Stacy

 

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Room Deposit Info

Hello ClexaCon Community!

It has been a while since we have been able to connect with you regarding our favorite event of the year – ClexaCon Las Vegas — and we are excited to be able to offer you lots of updated information very soon! 

We have heard from a handful of you that you have yet to receive your refund for your hotel reservation at the Tropicana. We were able to get in touch with the Tropicana and we will be working with them to make sure your reservation was refunded. If you think that you did not receive your refund, please go to this link and complete the required information. We will just need your name, email address, reservation dates, and reservation number.

By completing the form at the link provided we will be able to communicate with the Tropicana on your behalf to ensure that your refund gets processed 

Thank you, and we look forward to sharing more information with you very soon!

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Squad Festival Photo

We are excited to announce a new partnership with SheFest San DiegoVegas Women’s Fest & the Sum of Us Festival to bring you a one-day free virtual event called SQ:UAD Fest!

Join us at www.squadfestival.org on August 15, 2020, from 10am-10pm PT for a full day of workshops, panels, and other creative sessions that provide an opportunity for a virtual community of authentic connection for queer womxn, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and trans folks.

Tickets for this event are free, and donations are accepted. Register now and reserve your space for this amazing event!

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SAVE THE DATE
September 2020 

PubCon 

Join us during the month of September for a virtual celebration of literature by and for our ClexaCon Community.

Authors from Bold Stroke Books, Sapphire Publishing and more will join us for a series of free panels, workshops and readings!

PubCon-SavetheDate-Twitter

February 18, 2020

By Dana Piccoli

ClexaCon is more than just fandom: it’s also about friends and found family

I often say that ClexaCon is my happy place, a queer Disney World of sorts. A place where all my favorite people are gathered, from friends I’ve made over the years on Twitter and finally get to meet IRL, to creators and actors I admire who have made a huge impact on LGBTQ media. The energy of creation is abounding and it fills my tank for months to come. I’ve also been attending ClexaCon with a group of my best friends since year one. We might not always get to spend as much time as I’d like together, but I love watching them do their thing, and they are always making sure I actually stop and take a moment to breathe (and eat!) What’s really wonderful about this part of ClexaCon is I get to see it over and over again with other friends. People connecting with new friends and sharing something together in real time. Laughing while wolfing down pizza together in the courtyard. Excitedly awaiting for photo ops with their favorite stars. Thoughtfully building a gaming world and playing into the wee hours of the morning with people who were strangers the day before. 

All these moments, these important pieces of who we are, are what ClexaCon is to me. Yes, ClexaCon is a con. It’s about panels and photos and all those wonderful con things, too. But what makes ClexaCon truly special, is we get to be a part of people connecting. Fandom might bring us together, but it’s who we are that connects us far beyond those four days in Vegas. 

ClexaCon has changed my life in so many ways, but more than anything, it’s the new friends and found family I carry with me into my everyday life. 

Making friends can also be a nerve-wracking experience, so I love that ClexaCon has opportunities like speed-friending that help break the ice. Sometimes, all you need is a little help. So this year, I encourage all of you to start new conversations and meet new friends and found family. Sign up for speed-friending. Introduce your old friends to new friends. Bond with strangers over your favorite shows or games. Heck, even ask me when you see me walking by to help introduce you to a new group of folks. 

In a world woefully short on happy places these days, let us help make ClexaCon one you can count on.

June 24, 2019

By Team ClexaCon

Happy Pride Month! As we plan for ClexaCon 2020 we’d like to share with you some things that we’re excited about, some important dates that are coming up and some of the changes we are planning for next year’s event.

A couple of things we’re excited about:

  • Our featured guests for 2020! We’ve started announcing some guests and will have more to announce in the coming weeks and months. We are looking to confirm new guests, favorites from past events, more LGBTQ+ identified guests and more diverse guests. If you’re interested in learning more about the guest process you can see this FAQ. 
  • Even more workshops and networking events for LGBTQ+ creators. One of our goals is to increase opportunities for LGBTQ+ creators and help ensure that more LGBTQ+ people have the opportunity to tell their stories. We’ll be bringing back the Creator Lab in 2020 with even more opportunities for people already creating content and people who would like to start creating content. We’re also happy to be continuing to provide day-long workshops during the year such as the one recently held at YouTube Space L.A. 

A few changes & improvements for 2020 (more to come):

  • Diversity and Inclusion training for our year-round team and for volunteers on-site
  • Improved volunteer training and resources
  • Pronoun pins available at registration and other locations during the con
  • Adjusting the layout of the exhibitor hall to increase flow of traffic to vendors/artist alley and adding signage
  • Working with security to develop a plan for 2020 that includes bag check at the main panel room (we’ll continue to have 24-hr security on site)
  • Continuing to provide free water stations throughout the convention but adding more signage 

News and Dates: 

  • The official room block is now open here. The room block has the cheapest rates available for the Tropicana and gets you a discount of over 50% off the nightly resort fee. The room block is tiered – once the first tier sells out the prices increase for tier 2 and then tier 3 so the sooner you book your room the cheaper the rates.
  • July 1: Scholarship applications open
  • July 21: Convention tickets on sale (3-day, VIP, Heda, Lextra) (details here)
  • August: Panel submissions open, Volunteer applications open, Vendor applications open (exact dates TBA)
  • September: Film Festival submissions open

We’ll be posting other updates over the coming months as we prepare for ClexaCon 2020. We hope to see you in Las Vegas in April!

 

 

April 24, 2019:

Dear ClexaCon attendees and the larger LGBTQ+ community:

We want to thank all of you for supporting us on our journey of creating an event for our community that we felt was needed and hoped would be a place for all members of our community to come together to celebrate our favorite LGBTQ+ stories and fight for better representation across all media.

We appreciate everyone who has trusted us by attending and supporting our event in any way. We are a very young convention and realize that we have a lot to learn as we grow and try to accomplish our goal of being a safe, welcoming space for all LGBTQ+ people and putting on a first-class event of which we can all be proud.

We stumbled at this year’s event. While we improved on some of the issues from our previous events, we struggled with others, and for that we deeply apologize. In particular we’ve heard many issues about the vendor floor and intend to work hard to ensure that none of those issues happen again in the future. We want to assure you all that it will be a priority for our team to ensure that any vendors who place their trust in us by attending a future event will feel welcome and supported. As we move forward we will keep everyone updated through our website so that you can see the steps we are taking and give your input.

It is also a priority of ours to ensure that all members of our LGBTQ+ community feel welcome. There is absolutely no place for any transphobia, biphobia or any other harassment or negativity at our event. We will be working on improved processes for reporting harassment and enforcing our anti-harassment policy. It’s also important to us that everyone involved in ClexaCon – our team, our volunteers, hotel staff, etc. – understands the importance of using correct pronouns and gender-neutral language so we’ll be implementing new training for everyone on the team to address this. Pronoun pins or stickers will also be available for free at all future events.

This year we also re-worked our accessibility policy. While we believe it was an important step in the right direction we also realize that there is more that we can be doing to make ClexaCon more accessible. We will continue to work with people with accessibility needs as well as accessibility advocates to improve accessibility at the convention for all attendees.

ClexaCon has been a labor of love for us since the beginning and we hope that you’ll give us a chance to make changes and improve the event in the future. It’s important to us that our event is inclusive, accessible and supports everyone in our community. We want to make an event that all of us and all of you can be proud of.

If you wish to send feedback or have questions at any time please contact us at [email protected]

Best,

Ashley, Danielle, Heidi & the ClexaCon Team