2018 Panels & Workshops

The panels and workshops scheduled for ClexaCon 2018

Panels have been announced for ClexaCon 2018!

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2017: A Year in Review

While LGBTQ+ characters have long suffered and been erased in the media, recent TV seasons have been unprecedentedly grim ones for lesbian, bisexual, and queer female characters, unleashing a storm of critique and grabbing the attention of mainstream media worldwide. Two years after the movement demanding positive LGBTQ+ representation was set in motion, the impact can be felt in the new and returning shows, storylines and characters that meant the most to all of you.

Join members from LGBT Fans Deserve Better, together with media critics and fans, to discuss the impact the movement may have had as well as analyze the current standing of LGBTQ+ representation as we review the major highs and lows of queer TV this past year.

Panelists: John Arrow, Leah Bartels, Amanda Holland, Chloe Tse
Moderator: Jess Kath

Acting In and Directing Sex Scenes

When done well, sex scenes can add a lot to a story, but what does it take to actually film them? Is it as awkward as you’d think?! Join filmmakers in the business as they break down what it really takes to film a sex scene, from the viewpoint of the actors and the director.

Panelists: Marina Rice BaderChristin Baker, Bridget McManus, Mandahla Rose

All in the Family

This panel will examine the power of fandom movements in conversation while examining hashtags, YouTube videos, among other media that dare to question: Are the representation desires of everyone in the ‘queer’ family being supported?

Panelists: Erika Abad, Nicole Espinosa, Desire Galvez, Ashley Smith
Moderator: Steph ‘Orange’ Ray

Anyone But Me: Ten-Year Anniversary

It’s been ten years since the groundbreaking web series Anyone But Me made its debut and soonafter became beloved around the world. Now we’re bringing the show’s stars Rachael Hip-Flores and Nicole Pacent together again to talk all things Vivster! Also participating will be producers Susan Miller and Tina Cesa Ward.

Panelists: Rachael Hip-Flores, Susan Miller, Nicole Pacent, Tina Cesa Ward 
Moderator: Reign G.

The Art of Vidding

Vidding has been around since the era of VHS tapes, but in no way has it become a relic of the past. Join us as we discuss what vidding is, what inspires us to do it and how we transform our favorite films and tv shows into an artistic expression of sight and sound. After the panel, join us in the Vidding Lounge where we will screen fan vids created by our panelists.

Panelists: John Arrow, April Funiestas, Juls K., Alice Stevens
Moderator: Nicole Espinoza

Attack On Titan: Yumikuri

Fans of Attack on Titan (Shingeki No Kyojin) will want to gear up for this! The walls between fan and cast come down as the voice actresses for Ymir (Elizabeth Maxwell) and Historia/Krista (Bryn Apprill), join us to discuss the evolution of their characters and complex relationship – as well as answering your burning fan questions. You won’t want to miss this Titan of a panel!

Panelists: Elizabeth Maxwell, Bryn Apprill
Moderator: Valerie Complex

Behind the Badge: Alex Danvers

Who is Alex Danvers? Daughter, sister, agent, fledgling lesbian? We are sure you all have your theories. Chyler Leigh will share some of her thoughts on who Alex is, what makes her tick and what it is like to play a woman discovering her sexuality while trying to juggle family, career, love and the fate of the world.

Panelists: Chyler Leigh

Behind The Voices

A face can convey a thousand emotions but how do you manage to bring a character to life with only your voice? Join Elizabeth Maxwell, Bryn Apprill and Erica Luttrell as they give tips and experienced advice on the art of voice acting

Panelists: Bryn Apprill, Erica Luttrell, Elizabeth Maxwell
Moderator: Steph ‘Orange’ Jay

Bias in the Media and Stereotype Threat: You Are What You Watch

The media is a powerful social tool that dictates much of how the world views us as individuals, but more consequentially, how we view ourselves. Consequences of stereotype threat contribute to educational and social inequality. We will explore the dynamics of media bias, especially as to women, and how those portrayals end up shaping our own self-view. Through education of this Stereotype Threat, we will discuss calls to action for those shaping the media narrative on gender and sexuality.

Panelists: Giugi Carminati, Mindy Gulati

Bisexual Representation in the Media

Despite making up a large portion of the LGBTQ community, individuals who identify as bisexual are rarely seen in media. When they are, they are often portrayed as mentally unstable, flighty, and unfaithful. These stereotypes are harmful to our community and the way in which we are treated by others in real life. Join us as we discuss the importance of improving bisexual representation and inclusion in television and film and celebrate the positive, well-rounded characters that we are starting to see.

Panelists: Stephanie BeatrizCaryn Hayes. Nicole Pacent, Lauren Shippen, Chelsea Steiner, Eden Trevino

Black Lightning

Is that the roar of Thunder or the sound of Black Lightning fans going crazy for Nafessa Williams joining us at ClexaCon 2018? Nafessa will be giving insight on how it feels to have become an instant icon, what she feels her character brings in a time of desperately needed diversity and hopefully, some thoughts on what may be to come for this powerful character.

Panelists: Nafessa Williams
Moderator: Kia Barnes

ClexaCon Film Festival Filmmakers

Join filmmakers from the 2018 ClexaCon Film Festival for a discussion about their experiences producing independent films, submitting to film festivals and how they are getting their films to audiences around the country and the world. You might even hear some behind the scenes stories about the films screening at this years film festival!

Panelists: Giovannie Espiritu, Mary Rachel Gardner, Cristina de Leon, Alyssa Lerner, Elisa Oh, Caitlin Stickles
Moderator: Stacy Calvert

Countering the Impact of Heteronormative and Cissexist Media on Young People

Popular culture continues to relegate queer identity to the margins. This panel will explore the existence and absence of queer content in children’s television, films and books, and the health and well-being implications. Panelists will provide examples of quality LGBTQ resources as well as practical suggestions. Rachel Chapman is an early childhood academic, completing a PhD in gender identity formation in early childhood. Roz Bellamy is a freelance writer and a high school English teacher.

Panelists: Elaine Atwell, Brittany Ashley, Roz Bellamy, Rachel Chapman, Amy Spalding

Creating an Original Web Series

Digital media has become increasingly popular over the past decade, offering easy and convenient access to highly desired, but often scarce, content. Queer fans have found a medium that offers them the privacy and accessibility of enjoying content made just for them. Join Tello Films President and Executive Producer, Christin Baker and Vice President of Development, Bridget McManus as they discuss the creating, filming, and marketing process of a web series. Additional panelists: Jess Harris-DiStefano, Natalie Krikowa and Nancylee Myatt.

Panelists: Christin BakerPaige Bernhardt, Jess Harris-DiStefano, NancyLee Matt, Bridget McManus

Creating Your Own LGBTQ+ Representation on YouTube

When you can’t find the LGBTQ+ representation you want to see, you make it yourself. Join YouTube filmmakers Rebecca Shoptaw, Braxie Jacobson, Diane Chen and Christie Kerr – the creators of Middlemarch: The Series, Warmish, Here We Wait, Dog People and Merry Maidens, respectively – as they discuss the power of YouTube as a platform for exciting new forms of positive LGBTQ+ representation.

Panelists: Diane Chen, Braxie Jacobson, Rebecca Shoptaw

Creative Activism

Creative activism is the idea of infusing culture and creativity into civic engagement and community organizing. This panel of creative professionals explores how art, theater, music, media, and more frames and informs our cultural approach to recognizing and resolving LGBTIQ social issues. The panel seeks to engage the audience in insightful discussion about grassroots creative activist projects that help shape how our community is represented through the media worldwide.

Panelists: Ashley Linder, Elizabeth Mackintosh, August McLaughlin, Cristina Royale, Rolla Selbak, Ji Strangeway
Moderator: Kia Barnes


Learn gender reversal makeup tricks and techniques for your next Cosplay, from theatre and film professionals. Allergy warning: There will be the use of latex in this makeup technique workshop.

Panelists: Andy Cahoon, Amanda Embry, Maren Maclean Mascarelli, Terre Steed

Decolonizing the LGBTQ Sphere: Indigenous Queer Representation in Media

Prior to colonization, various cultures throughout the world held LGBTQ and/or two-spirit individuals as normal, necessary parts of society. While the birth of the LGBTQ civil rights movement has been attributed to the Stonewall riots, what of those who never sought to suppress people commonly identified by the western acronym of LGBTQ? We will examine the portrayal of Indigenous LGBTQ and/or two-spirit characters in media and the effects on the decolonization of the rainbow.

Panelists: Samantha Campbell, Holly James-Kill, Marcella Kwe, Celina Phair

Disabled LGBT Representation in the Media

Physically disabled individuals are almost nonexistent in the media, literature, and TV. While mentally disabled individuals are poorly represented or inaccurately portrayed, other LGBTQ disability representation is almost impossible to find.This panel will discuss disabilities in the media, literature, and on television.

Panelists: Joseph Dunn, Elizabeth Jeannel, Kirsten Schultz, Annie Segarra

Diversity & Inclusion Today: How to Develop PR Campaigns that Foster an Inclusive Communications Culture

Hacking diversity campaigns. How companies are using innovative PR strategies to build highly-engaged audiences.

Panelists: Robyn Vie Carpenter-Brisco, Mona Elyafi, Annie Hollenbeck, Patricia Rae, Susan SurfTone

Doccubus & Valkubus

At ClexaCon 2017, Zoie Palmer and Rachel Skarsten drew in wall to wall crowds for their panel discussing the dynamic of Dr. Lauren and Tamsin as love interests for Anna Silk’s character, Bo in Lost Girl. Now, we get to see the object of Lauren and Tamsin’s affection in the mix as Anna joins them on stage! Bring your finest fan questions and get there early as this one is bound to be not only epic, but magical.

Panelists: Zoie Palmer, Anna Silk, Rachel Skarsten

Eden and Jaxx

Eden & Jaxx began their radio show in 2016 where they shared stories and opened conversations about latinidad and LGBTQ experiences within latino families. It later grew into an open forum discussing topical issues regarding mental health, relationships, cultural barriers, and LGBTQ representation in media. They’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Valentina from Rupaul’s Drag Race, and Moises Serrano from the documentary, Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America, just to name a few. Eden and Jaxx are currently in the process of transitioning from radio to other multi-media platforms and will be fully relaunching mid-2018.

Panelists: Jaqueline Serrano, Eden Trevino

Empowerment Through Fandom

Discover the power of fandom and join the conversation on how pop culture helps others learn, grow, and heal from mental health and other inner struggles. Learn how you can keep the conversation going and stay a positive safe space in your fandom.

Panelists: Brittany Dailey, Sally Heaven, Kat Jetson
Moderator: Danielle de la Torre

Fact and Science Fiction

If you’d like to know more about the real science behind your favorite sci-fi TV, this live show will discuss Gender and Sexuality representation in science fiction, from the 1940s pulps to media today and how media has been influenced by sociological theories of gender and sexuality. Podcast host Karly will discuss examples from Orphan Black, The 100, Carmilla, and more!

Panelists: Karly Kownslar, Michelle Lopez

Feeling Backward: Losing and Memorializing Queer Female Characters

Lexa’s death generated a passionate outpouring of fan response and tapped into feelings associated with the losses of other queer female characters. In this panel we reflect on LGBTQ representation throughout history and take a closer look at the grieving practices of Clexa fans in the aftermath of Lexa’s death. We will also explore the ways in which Clexa fans linger in the past and live in “queer time”. This panel takes an academic approach to issues in LGBTQ representation, queerbaiting and queer female fandom.

Panelists: Line Boye Danielsen, Evangeline Aguas, Morgan Clapp

Freelancers Anonymous: How to Make an Independent Film and Not Die Trying!

Freelancers Anonymous is a comedy feature film giving visibility to women and the LGBTQ community working in STEM industries. Written by and produced by Amy Dellagiarino and Lisa Cordileone (Easy Abby) with cast members Haviland Stillwell and Natasha Negovanlis (Carmilla). Come check out the official trailer and learn more about the story, filming in Chicago and more! Festival screenings/release TBD 2018. httpss://www.freelancersanonymousmovie.com/ 

Panelists: Lisa Cordileone, Amy Dellagiarino, Natasha Negovanlis, Haviland Stillwell
Moderator: Chelsea Steiner

From Fans to Creators

The push for better LGBTQ+ representation in the past two years has inspired fans to create and develop their own work. Better representation begins with LGBTQ+ creators. This panel features four women in various stages of their developing projects. Panelists will share the process of creation and how each are going about getting these projects recognized in hopes of inspiring more early stage creators to find their voices and network within the community.

Panelists: Alli Bryant, Hillary Esquina, Breanna Hughes, Amanda Moon, Karina Regan, Beth Ryne
Moderator: Dr. Elizabeth Bridges

Game Changers – How These Outliers Impacted Queer Culture

Before Ellen, The L Word and Orange is the New Black, lesbians found community, companionship and culture—often at great risk. Women lost their jobs, were thrown in jail and kicked out of families when their identities were revealed. Nevertheless, they persisted. Hear the stories of lesbians and lesbian culture that paved the way for where we stand today.

Panelists: Kathy Belge, Robin Lowey, Charlotte Robinson

Gay vs. Straight Bitches

Gay vs. Straight Bitches with Rachel Paulson and Lindsey McKeon examines all aspects of life through the filter of both a gay and a straight woman. They’ll explore important questions such as: “Do lesbians like butt stuff?” “Are you really straight if you’ve done another girl?” And, of course: “Will Lindsey and Rachel ever make out?” All this and double the PMS on every episode!

Panelists: Lindsey McKeon, Rachel Paulson

Gaysian: Queer Asian Representation in the Media

Representation for QWOC is starting to receive more attention, however, representation of any and all Asian ethnicities tend to get lost in these discussions. Since the release of Saving Face in 2004, there has been little to no representation and almost no discussion about queer Asians in the media. This panel aims to change that and talk about how we can get more representation of our community on screen.

Panelists: Diane Chen, Nicole Espinosa, Chloe Tse
Moderator: Maya Reddy

Girl Ship TV

Girl Ship TV is a YouTube Channel created for queer women by queer women where you are free to ship whatever ship you want without criticism. Shows include: Drunk Lesbians Watch, Project Inferno and Carol’s a Demon.

Panelists: Brittany Ashley, Amanda Holland, Chantel Houston, Elizabeth Mackintosh, James Maple, Nadia Mohebban, Ashly Perez and Mariel Taren

Happy Wife, Happy Life

If you have a happy wife chances are good that you will live a happy life! The hilarious talk show Happy Wife, Happy Life will give you (unofficial) marriage advice from two couples to help you have a very happy life! Join Bridget McManus, Karman Kregloe, Cat Davis and Kristen Smith as they answer the tough and not-so-tough relationship and marriage questions. LIVE TAPING

Panelists: Cat Davis, Karman Kregloe, Bridget McManus, Kristen Smith


Elise Bauman and Natasha Negovanlis reunite once again on-stage for a Carmilla Reunion and will discuss their web series and movies alike.

Panelists: Elise Bauman, Natasha Negovanlis
Moderator: Dana Piccoli

How to Use YouTube as a Platform 2.0

We’ve all done it while watching our favorite shows, screaming at the screen, crying, laughing, falling to the floor. And we really love to watch other people do it. Join Youtubers as they give pro tips, advice and maybe some blooper stories about filming and streaming your favorite reaction videos!

Panelists: Adrienne Carley, Rin L., Emily Papak, Sofia Rojas, Toni Taiwo, Elke van der Lest

How to Write Cuil

Cuil fiction is a new way to write about relationships, sex, disability, consent, and sexual diversity in fiction that is sexy, real, and unexpectedly surprising. Each series in The Cuil Effect Project has a different style and highlights different aspects of sexuality, traumatic experiences, and vulnerability. They all compare and contrast healthy and unhealthy relationships, reactions, and states of mind. They are tales of growth, acceptance, and integration.

Panelists: Michon Neal

Identity 101: Understanding the Terminology

Gender and sexual identity expression has significangtly evolved over the past decade, but many are still in the dark regarding the terminology used by those who have progressively broken the barrier of defining themselves outside of the antiquated ‘LGBT’ box. This informative panel will encompass all identifying terms, how to respect them and delve into why the word ‘queer’ is no longer taboo.

Panelists: Sam Campbell, Somer Rutledge, Kirsten Schultz, Megan Smith

(I’m Queer and…) Intersectionality and Why it Matters

Intersectionality affects all of us in one way or another, including our way of life, the way we communicate with others and how our environment interacts with us. Join a candid discussion about the multiple threats of discrimination individuals can face when their identities overlap a in number of minority classes, such as race, gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, health and other characteristics.

Panelists: Diane Chen, Valerie Complex, Reign G., Dr. Rebecca Hall, Alexis Sanchez, Annie Segarra
Moderator: Kia Barnes

Invisible Women: The Marginalization of the Female Identified Butch in Queer Media

Queer female characters in media are written and portrayed in a way that purposefully distances them from being ‘butch’ so they aren’t perceived as too masculine, or that they are ‘just trying to be men.’ This stems from and reinforces internalized “butch” phobia in the LGBTQ community. Female identified butch women are out there, but they are glaringly omitted from queer media. Common queer characters are more likely to be femme or trans than a female-identified masculine-presenting individual. This panel will discuss this controversial topic within current TV shows and movies with audience participation and shared experiences.

Panelists: Jess Harris-DiStefano, Heather Currie-Martinez

It Takes a Village: Allies in the Media

Discussion on the importance of media support and how allies can help further the conversation.

Panelists: Steph Ouaknine, Gloria Calderon Kellett, August McLaughlin, Mike Royce, Chloe Tse
Moderator: Ebone Bell

Korrasami is Still A Breath of Fresh Air

Korrasami was a groundbreaking event and ship in the wlw fandom in many ways. This panel will discuss the ongoing significance of Korrasami as one of the most intersectional wlw ships in media as well as the Legend of Korra’s staying power in the fandom. Don’t worry, we’ll get to the comics, too! 

Panelists: Apple Cadavona, Valerie Complex, Gretchen Ellis, Kylie Ford, Alexis Sanchez, Griffin Schulman

Labels: Why We Need Them – Or Do We?

This panel will look at how labels effect books, authors, and publishing. Are we facing erasure without them? What does the future hold for a changing demographic and how do we address the elephant in the room.

​Panelists: Nicole Kimberling, Catherine Lundoff, Christine Svendsen

Latinx Representation in the Media: Invisible Latinx – ClexaCon Edition

Queer Latinx representation has garnered growing mainstream attention with the increased popularity of fictional characters like America Chavez and the recent Netflix reboot of One Day at a Time. While television, comics, and films have all increased their number of Latinx characters, how these characters are represented still has many issues. Join the people behind Latinx Geeks and their guests as they discuss both positive and negative portrayals of queer Latinx people across all media platforms.

​Panelists: Mey Rude, Alexis Sanchez, Annie Segarra
Moderator: Alexis Sanchez

Legends of Tomorrow

When it comes to kicking ass, these two legends are flying high at the top of the pack. Caity Lotz and Maisie Richardson-Sellers take a break from saving the world to give us insight on what it takes to portray superheroines forging a glowing future of strong women in a typically male-dominated comic book universe.

​Panelists: Caity Lotz, Maisie Richardson-Sellers
Moderator: Jess Harris-DiStefano

Let them Hear You: Podcasting 101

Your voice is important and needs to be out there, but how do you get from the voices in your head to a fully produced podcast? Panelists will dive into getting started with your own podcast from finding your niche, finding guests, equipment to fit your budget, writing and recording your own theme song and cues, and editing tips and mixing techniques to bring your podcast from your living room to a professional radio ready product. Ellie Brigida and Leigh Holmes Foster, the co-hosts of Lez Hang Out will be leading this panel.

Panelists: Carolyn Bergier, Ellie Brigida, Leigh Holmes Foster, Dana Piccoli

Let’s Get Cliterate

It’s no surprise that the sex ed we get in high school is sorely lacking, especially when it comes to queer sex and sexuality. Join us for this fun, frisky and informative panel as we discuss communicating with your partner(s), our favorite toys and tricks, and take anonymous questions about sex from the audience! NOTE: This panel is for adults 18+ only.

​Panelists: Zara Barrie, August McLaughlin, Kirsten Schultz, Chelsea Steiner

Let’s Talk About It: A Mental Health Workshop

The first step in stopping the stigma surrounding mental health and illness is by talking about it! Join non-profit Green Ribbon Club’s workshop to learn more about how you can contribute to the conversation. Nikki Daurio, co-founder of Green Ribbon Club, and Zara Barrie will begin the workshop by sharing their OWN mental health stories in the hopes of destigmatizing being open about your struggles. Then join in to win prizes during our mental health trivia game! You’ll get a chance to hear about Nikki’s research at Harvard and Zara’s engagement with fans and followers who feel like they’re understood after reading her articles. Use those newfound skills to actually brainstorm 5 policy changes that would help the community, at the high school, college, and government level. Lastly, have a chance to share your own story and be supported by Nikki, Zara, and the rest of our ClexaCon friends.

​Panelists: Nikki Daurio, Zara Barrie

Lexa’s Legacy

March 3rd, 2016. A devastating day that sparked a community of likeminded fans to find our voice together and a movement to demand positive LGBTQ+ representation was born.

Last year, the Lexa’s Legacy panel opened the first ClexaCon with reflection on the immediate aftermath of that day and the incredible legacy it has left behind both in the fan community and on the media landscape. This year, members of LGBT Fans Deserve Better once again invite you to join us for a discussion and celebration with content creators around the enduring legacy of a character that has inspired the LGBTQ+ community to do and create extraordinary things. Our story is still far from over.

​Panelists: Nicole Espinosa, Rin L., Chandler Meyer, Lynn Sternberger
Moderator: Jess Kath

LGBT Fans Deserve Better Presents: TV Scoring

Join LGBT Fans Deserve Better as they present a demonstration of their TV Scoring System, a tool designed to evaluate the quality of LGBT Representation on primetime television shows. Using objective criteria and categories, including screen time, tropes, and more, the system establishes a ranking of shows with the best – and worst – of LGBT representation.

Panelists: Shelbie Cohen
​Moderator: Jess Kath

LGBTQ Actresses

Join us to celebrate the actresses who are loudly and proudly members of the LGBTQ community as they discuss their careers and the fears and realities of being queer and in the public spotlight. Hear about what it’s like to come out in the industry, how coming out and being out has affected the roles and opportunities that are available, what it’s like to portray a queer character as a queer person, and how they feel about the support of our community. Don’t miss this chance to hear from and support actresses at the forefront of LGBTQ visibility in the industry!

​Panelists: Stephanie BeatrizDot Marie Jones, Nicole Pacent, Rachel Paulson
Moderator: Brittany Ashley

Lights, Camera, ACTION! – The Importance of Lesbian/Queer Films and Web Series

An in-depth and intimate look at some of the most popular and influential lesbian and queer women stories from the women who brought them to life. From story conception to fundraising, to production and directing. Get the low down on what it takes to make your captivating creations into reality.

Panelists: Elesha Barnette, Christie Conochalla, Marina Rice Bader, Rolla Selbak
Moderator: Steph Ouaknine

A Lil’ Laughing Color

A Lil’ Laughing Color is a short creative writing/comedy workshop, which teaches participants joke writing and how to create life affirming comedy. Life affirming comedy assumes our complexity; it is funny without making fun of people, particularly not making fun of already marginalized people or experiences. Life affirming comedy includes performances about things that bring us joy or affirm our lives and the lives of those we love. During our workshop participants will learn a methodology to write jokes, and use instructor, partner, and group feedback to strengthen their writing. After a few rounds of feedback, participants will share their jokes with the group.

Panelists: Chelsea Shorte

Lost Girl Reunion

Whether you were aligned with the Light Fae or the Dark, Team Doccubus, Valkubus or Byson, it is hard for anyone to disagree that Lost Girl was a series which quested into new frontiers of LGBTQ representation in mainstream media. It stood out amongst a television landscape that didn’t want to rock the boat, by creating a tempest. Join Emily Andras, Erica Lutrell, Zoie Palmer, Vanessa Piazza, Anna Silk, Rachel Skarstan, Emmanuelle Vaugier as they discuss what made Lost Girl such an iconic series. 

Panelists: Emily Andras, Erica LuttrellZoie Palmer, Vanessa PiazzaAnna Silk, Rachel Skarsten, Emmanuelle Vaugier
Moderator: Dana Piccoli

Making Comics with Lora Innes

The word ‘comics’ is a new term for something people have been doing for thousands of years: telling stories with pictures. Learn how to mine your own life for material to make the kinds of comics that only you can. Come ready to draw! Then watch Lora layout comic pages, explaining the process as she goes. She’ll be working from an original script written by Wynonna Earp creator, Beau Smith, just for this panel— and it’s sure to be WayHaught! Lora Innes is the artist on IDW Publishing’s Wynonna Earp comic book series, and the creator of her own time-travel teen romance, The Dreamer. All skill levels welcome— drawing isn’t as important to making comics as you might think.

Panelists: Lora Innes

The Making of Coach Beiste

One of the most genuinely loveable characters on Glee was Coach Beiste. Always there with sound advice, inspiration and a fair amount of vulnerability. Join Dot Marie Jones as she shares what it was like to play such a multi-faceted character, which songs she wished she could have performed and more!

Panelists: Dot Marie Jones
Moderator: August McLauglin

Neurodiversity in Writing

When it comes to neurodiversity in the media, stereotypes dominate the field. This program will examine these stereotypes and how writers can overcome them, with a specific interest in queer, neurodiverse female representation. This program will also discuss the challenges of writing with neurodiversity and divulge strategies to increase productivity.

Panelists: Gretchen Ellis, Kylie Ford, Lisa Powell, Kristen Roche

One Day at a Time

Join Actress Isabella Gomez and Executive Producers and showrunners Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce as they discuss the Netflix reboot of One Day at a Time, a show that has successfully avoided conforming to harmful and repetitive stereotypes and, instead, has provided relatable, light-hearted and powerful representation.

Panelists: Isabella Gomez, Gloria Calderon Kellett, Mike Royce

Online Harrassment and Safety

Online safety and online harassment are issues that all social media users should be aware of and be prepared for. Join queer members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to talk about how to stay safe online and what you can do if you find yourself being harassed by another social media user.

Moderator: Michelle Tavarez, Jessica Wert

Pitch to Production Presented by Tello Films, Part 1

Participants at this workshop will receive some helpful pitching tips before the workshop. ‘Writers,’ chosen at random, will have three and a half minutes to pitch their idea to professional writers, creators and producers on the panel. The panel will give provide helpful development notes to expand their pitch. (Attendees do not have to be a part of the contest to attend workshop)

A fun and interactive workshop geared toward helping writers get their ideas out of their heads and into a successful pitch. Having a good idea is one thing, but getting it sold, developed, shot, picked up and on the air is like winning the lottery. And it all starts with the pitch! Tello Films and ClexaCon strive to support upcoming filmmakers and writers who want to make content for our community. Finalists will move on to Pitch to Production Presented by Tello Films, Part 2 for chance to win a production deal with Tello Films.

Panelists: Zara Barrie, Paige Bernhardt, Bridget McManus, Nancylee Myatt

Pitch to Production: Presented by Tello Films, Part 2

Finalists chosen from Pitch to Production Presented by Tello Films, Part 1 will have the chance to pitch their ideas to Christin Baker, Bridget McManus and Vanessa Piazza.

One winner will be chosen to work with Tello Films on development and pre-production of their series. The grand prize is either $1,500 to go towards the production budget and a 6-month distribution deal on tellofilms.com OR a $100 stipend if the winner chooses not to move forward. (Attendees do not have to be a part of the contest to attend workshop.)

Panelists: Christin Baker, Bridget McManus

Please Subscribe Below: What it Takes to Become a Breakout Creator on YouTube

Ever wonder why some channels take off and others don’t? Or how to strategically use YouTube as a launching pad for a career in content creation? Join us for an in-depth analysis and candid discussion about the ins and outs of what it takes to make it as a successful creator on YouTube.

Panelists: Jess Harris-DiStefano

The Politics of Representation

The way our community is represented in media impacts how we view ourselves and how others view us. This, in turn, has a direct connection to the creation of laws and policies that affect our communities at every level of government. Join content creators, lawyers and members of the legislative branches of our government in a discussion regarding how the images we see on our screens, as well as the stories that are told, can affect politics and law – as well as how improving representation can have a positive impact on the future.

Panelists: Giugi Carminati, Candace Gingrich, Holly James-Kill, Maya Reddy, Jade Salazar, Susan SurfTone

Poor Queer Representation in the Media and How it Affects Mental Health

We love our queer characters. We see ourselves in them, we empathise with their lives. With the limited representation we have on screen, it is inevitable that we bond on a deep, emotional level with these characters. When they are happy, we are. But when they are, frequently, put through one harrowing event after another, it can affect the viewer deeper than we may realize. Explore the ties between Queer representation in the media and how it affects mental health.

Panelists: Zara Barrie, Nikki Daurio, CB Lee, Jenn Polish, Annie Segarra, Eden Trevino

Producing a Low-Budget Indie Project

Do you have a story you want to see or share with the world? Making a short film or webseries is a great way to do that. If you are thinking, ‘But I don’t have a budget or even know where to start,’ then this is the panel for you. One of the best places to find stories for our community is the web because no one can tell you ‘no’ or ‘that won’t sell’. This panel will remove the mystery behind producing your project and help you tell your story on a limited budget. We will take it step-by-step with what you need to do and think about when preparing to make your project to actually making it.

Panelists: Christin Baker

Quantify Your Gays: The Statistics of Queer Death in TV

We all know that 2016 saw an unprecedented spike in the number of lesbian and bisexual women killed in mainstream TV, but was it part of a bigger trend of queer death or just a horrifying fluke? Hailing from Otago University, New Zealand, Sage Anastasi presents a groundbreaking look at the statistics of the Bury Your Gays trope. This is a guaranteed arts-friendly talk. No math experience required!

Panelists: Sage Anastsi

Queer & Plus Sized Cosplay

Going to a convention in cosplay can be an intimate experience, especially when it calls into account your body type and sexuality. MaeBerry Cosplay will explore, not only how to create a professional looking cosplay for all body types, but also how to negotiate a convention in it without feeling out of place whether it is in cosplay or crossplay.

Panelists: Bari Block, Salome Block

Queer Black Representation in the Media

The black community has a long tradition of having to carve out its own niche in mainstream culture. With the queer community, it seems to be no different. Why is this? This panel will be a discussion on the state of representation of black people in mainstream queer culture, as well as avenues to find more queer black representation across all media platforms.

Panelists: Ebone Bell, Valerie Complex, Reign G., LaShawn McGhee
Moderator: Kia Barnes

Queer Lady Business

Queer women haven’t always been equally represented in mainstream queer media or companies, so we made our own. How does a company that focuses on serving the needs of queer women succeed and thrive in this beautiful niche? Join these queer women-owned businesses to hear how they work to stay afloat and grow without being exploitative or seduced by the almighty dollar, and how philanthropy can be part of a successful business model. Come and get all up in our queer lady business!

Panelists: Christin Baker, Rebecca Barrick, Zara Barrie, Ebone Bell, Sally Heaven, LaShawn McGhee

Queer Women of Color Representation in the Media

While media coverage and on-screen portrayals of LGBTQ issues have improved substantially over the past few decades, representation for queer women of color is still lagging far behind. Join us to discuss where we stand and how we can develop, empower, and support more diverse voices from our communities through an intersectional analysis that can change the narrative across all media platforms.

Panelists: Dr. Erika Abad, Stephanie Beatriz, Dr. Rebecca Hall, Holly James-Kill, LaShawn McGhee, Chloe Tse
Moderator: Ebone Bell

Queering the Room

LGBTQ+ TV creators Britta Lundin (Riverdale), Vanessa Piazza (Lost Girl, Dark Matter) and Lynn Sternberger (The Bold Type) discuss pitching and shaping queer characters and stories in spaces that traditionally lack diversity.

Panelists: Regina Y. Hicks, Britta Lundin, Vanessa Piazza, Lauren Shippen, Lynn Sternberger
Moderator: Chelsea Steiner

Queering Your YA Lit

Young Adult Literature gets a lot of attention in the book world for being an expansive world for and about teens dealing with romance, adventure, vampires, and dystopian futures. But what about the queer girls of YA Lit? What kind of stories do they get to be a part of? What do readers want from them?

Panelists: Audrey Coulthurst, CB Lee, Britta Lundin, Amy Spalding

RED: The Webseries

Join writer Germana Belo and actresses Ana Paula Lima and Luciana Bollima as we dive into the webseries RED. The first Brazilian lesbian-themed series of its kind, RED tells the story of Mel Béart and Liz Malmo, two actresses who meet each other on the set of a short-film and end up bringing to their real lives the love story they portray in fiction as Scarlett and Simone.

Venha se juntar à escritora Germana Belo e às atrizes Ana Paula Lima e Luciana Bollina na discussão acerca da webseries RED. Pioneira na abordagem da temática lésbica na internet brasileira, RED é uma série que conta a trajetória de Mel Béart e Liz Malmo, duas atrizes que se conhecem no set de gravação de um curta metragem e acabam levando para a vida real a história de amor que vivem como Scarlett e Simone, suas personagens fictícias.

Panelists: Fernando Belo, Germana Belo, Luciana Bollina, Ana Paula Lima
Moderator: Viv Schiller

The Responsibility of Media Makers

As a follow up to the discussion on Ethics and Storytelling panel last year, this panel will discuss the responsibility media makers have regarding the depiction of queer female relationships. We’ve talked about the ‘Bury Your Gays’ trope, but what about sanitizing queer romance or sidelining wlw relationships once they’re canon? What kind of responsibility do they have when handling subtextual relationships like Supercorp and what does that look like? Is there a middle ground between queerbaiting and making subtext canon? Join us as we discuss the ways that content creators can handle our stories respectfully and pay attention to the implications these narratives have, even if they’re not intentional.

Panelists: Elizabeth Bridges, Gretchen Ellis, Bridget Liszewski. Maya Reddy

Safe Place: I’m Coming Out

This discussion will have non-celebrity panelists talking about their coming out experiences, sharing their stories and answering any audience questions. This would hopefully give others a forum to share their stories or at least by hearing other people’s stories, not feel alone in their struggle with their own sexual identity. We want to share our stories and experiences about the trials and tribulations that are sometimes associated with coming out and have an open dialogue so that we can help others in the process

Panelists: Krista Freego, Katherine Kleffner, Jasmine Rodriguez, Somer Rutledge

A Safe Place: Self Defense for Women and LGBTQ+ Persons

Sometimes you have to create your own safe place. Being a woman or person that identifies as anything other than heterosexual can put a target on your back. With the belief that everyone should be able to have the knowledge to defend themselves, this panel is LGBTQ+ and feminine version of Mortal Kombat training. Learn simple techniques that will keep you safe in many situations; catered to women and those that identify in the LGBTQ+ spectrum.

Presenter: Megan Smith

Sapphic Fan Fiction: Resistance, Healing, and Community

In this panel on WLW fan fiction — from reading ‘just one more chapter’ until four a.m to re-writing dominant narratives that don’t represent us or give us the happy endings we deserve, we will be taking our participants through the magical not-so-mystery tour of our communities’ fan fictions and beyond. How do we as writers get into the headspace of our most beloved characters? How do we as readers seek and form community amidst media that would rather erase us? And how do our stories affect the world outside the fan fiction community? We’ll explore these issues and more before opening space for an audience-driven Q&A.

Panelists: Carmen Bermudez, Lise MacTague, Rae D. Magdon, Jenn Polish


Heroes don’t always wear capes. Shethority aims to turn every woman into a hero, for others and for themselves. Empowering women through shared stories, support and inspirational guidance, Shethority was formed by Arrowverse heroines aiming to make the world a better place, one stronger woman at a time.

Panelists: Chyler Leigh, Caity Lotz, Maisie Richardson-Sellers
Moderator: Dana Piccoli

Shoot Reunion

Shoot, we did it again! We are bringing back Amy Acker and Sarah Shahi for more! At ClexaCon 2017 they left the audience begging for more and who are we to deny them. Amy and Sarah will share more of their incredible insight into these two complex characters. We could go on and on about Root and Shaw, but really, we just want the panel to start already! Is it time yet? How about now?

Panelists: Amy Acker, Sarah Shahi
Moderator: Dana Piccoli

Staged Reading of Passage: Tello’s 2017 Pitch to Production Winner

Join us to hear a staged reading of Tello’s Pitch to Production winner Passages. Tello Films is currently developing this story and it is now time for one of the most important parts of the process – hearing it out loud. Join us to listen and give feedback to this web series, the actors and other individuals involved in its development. Because it is critical to hear the project out loud before going into production, this is the time to discover places where the dialogue doesn’t work and/or where plot points are fuzzy and need tweaking. This is usually a closed process done with a small group but to encourage folks to make their own content, we are bringing this to you to show you part of the exciting process that is story and script development.

Panelists: Christin Baker, Gloria Bigelow, Cat Davis, Hillary Esquina, Karman Kregloe, Rachel Paulson, Kristin Smith, Briana Venskus

Steven Universe: Behind the Voice of Sapphire

Erica Luttrell voices the compassionate and level headed Sapphire in smash hit Steven Universe. Join her as she discusses one of the most diverse and fan adored animations currently in circulation.

Panelists: Erica Luttrell
Moderator: Jenna Buffum

Swerve: The Web Series

Join actresses Sharon Belle and Winny Clark, along with executive producer Sheila Allen, as they discuss everything Swerve. From its inception to the latest-released season two, we will dive into a conversation about mental health representation in the media and how Swerve is changing that conversation.

Panelists: Sheila Allen, Sharon Belle, Winny ClarkeKisha Tapangan
Moderator: Dana Piccoli

Tagg Nation Podcast

Ranked Top 10 Lesbian Podcasts on iTunes, Tagg Nation is a weekly podcast show for everyone lesbian, queer, and under the rainbow. It is the podcast show that keeps you in the loop with lesbian and queer news and culture. The show includes three dynamic queer women who discuss LGBTQ culture, entertainment, news and history. Tagg Nation is on top of the most popular stories and articles, as well as hot topics, queer history, and more! Tagg Nation, produced under Tagg Communication, is the brainchild of Tagg Magazine, a publication for the queer women’s community.

Panelists: Ashley Linder, Jade Salazar, Chelsea Shorte

Tales of the Black Badge: Live at ClexaCon!

Here’s your chance to watch Bonnie Ferrar and Kevin Bachelder record an episode of their popular Wynonna Earp podcast Tales of the Black Badge LIVE. If you’ve listened to any of their podcasts you know how important Earper feedback is to the show so the ClexaCon audience will have an opportunity to be a part of this fun and interactive experience!

Panelists: Kevin Bachelder, Bonnie Ferrar

The Sun: Trans Representation in an Independent Film

Join filmmaker Renae Nobles and trans actress Abbey Sophia Alley as they discuss the process of creating the independent film, The Sun.

Panelists: Abbey Sophia Allen, Renae Nobles

Transgender Representation in the Media

Transgender representation in the media is very much lacking and when it is present, it tends to be problematic, stereotypical and even damaging. Our panelists will dive into how transgender representation in the media can be improved, point out flaws in the current landscape and highlight the shows and creators who are getting it right.

Panelists: Abbey Sophia Allen, John Arrow, Kristen Galiano, Mey Rude

Trigedasleng 101 Workshop

Learn the basics of Trigedasleng, the language of Lexa and Indra, from its creator, David J. Peterson.

Panelists: David J. Peterson

Trigedasleng Genesis

Trigedasleng Genesis: In this presentation, David J. Peterson will detail how he came to work on The 100 and how the creation of his Trigedasleng language came to be.

Panelists: David J. Peterson

TV Production with Vanessa Piazza

Have you ever wondered how a show goes from page to screen? Join Executive Producer and owner of Piazza entertainment, Vanessa Piazza (Lost Girl, Dark Matter) for a workshop on how to turn an idea to reality. Learn about the crucial development processes of drafting, pitching, and packaging a show all the way through to casting, production, and, finally, airing. In this workshop, we’ll create a fake show and go through the process to show you just what it takes to create a successful brands that lasts.

Panelists: Vanessa Piazza, Zoie Palmer

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Queer Representation in Video Games in 2017

2017 was a year of many firsts in queer representation in video games, including some of the first mainstream trans and non binary representation in the video game medium. Many titles have captured our imaginations this year with bigger and better queer representation, but is it the best that we could be doing? From Dream Daddy, to Mass Effect Andromeda, to Life is Strange: Before the Storm, to South Park: The Fractured But Whole and more, this presentation explores the important moments of progress we’ve made in 2017 titles, and why we still have a very long ways to go.

Panelists: Heather Currie-Martinez, Elizabeth Vlasoff

Venice: The Making of a Web Series

Crystal Chappell shares how she created an award-winning webseries with Venice and discusses how you can create your own.

Panelists: Crystal Chappell, Caryn Hayes, Shannan Leigh Reeve
Moderator: Dana Piccoli

Vidding 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Making Fanvids

Have you ever watched a fanvid and thought, man, I want to make something like that! Then this is the workshop for you! Join April Funiestas, aka foomatic, for Vidding 101, a workshop on how to transform your dream vid idea from concept to reality! We’ll discuss vidding history, fanvids and copyright, sourcing your material, editing techniques, and more! If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to create a fanvid, this workshop is for you!

Panelists: April Funiestas


Who doesn’t want to be alone with WayHaught? Katherine Barrell and Dominique Provost-Chalkley take to the stage to talk everything from lesbians to unicorns. Just them, you and a packed audience in our main stage panel!

Panelists: Kat Barrell, Dominique Provost-Chalkley
Moderator: Dana Piccoli

What the Ancestors Taught Me: LGBTQ+ Aztecs and Coming Out

Join us to explore contemporary Chicanx Muralism as a form of media representation, discuss Pre-Colonial attitudes toward queerness, and contemplate/create inclusive talking points from a Decolonial framework for the coming out/presenting process. Presented by Lainie Escovedo

Panelists: Lainie Escovedo

Where are Older LGBTQ Characters?

Where are older LGBTQ characters in TV and film? Why don’t we see LGBTQ characters of different ages interacting? Why is is important that LGBTQ people of all ages see themselves represented as complex characters on screen? Join us for this discussion and bring examples of characters you’ve seen and loved.

Panelists: Marina Rice Bader, Shelbie Cohen, Linda Crist, Braxie Jacobson

Wynonna Earp

A lively discussion about the Wynonna Earp phenomenon and why this series is so unique in today’s television landscape.

Panelists: Emily Andras, Kat Barrell, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Tamara Duarte
Moderator: Bridget Liszewski

Wynonna Earp Fans Panel

The first Wynonna Earp fan panel at ClexaCon was about building a positive Fandom. Now that Season two of Wynonna Earp is under our belts, let’s talk about how the fandom grew and changed. With more fans and more viewpoints, how did the fandom dynamics change? How did fans handle differences of opinion about the storyline? Is it possible for the kindness message to keep up with the pace of fandom growth? We’ll tackle a series of tough questions head-on, see how it held up, and take stock. Come and Earp it up with us!

Panelists: Kevin Bachelder, Rebecca Barrick, Diana Benitez, Bonnie Ferrar, Sally Heaven, Bridget Liszewski
Moderator: Valerie Anne

Xena, Gabrielle and Their Legacy

It has been 23 years since an aspiring bard ran away with a warrior princess, and our hearts would never be the same. Join us as we discuss Xena and her soulmate Gabrielle’s timeless relationship, how fans made a subtextual relationship become canon, and how the iconic 1990s couple changed genre television and fandom for queer women.

Panelists: Linda Crist, Rebecca Hall, Jackie Larson, Kelly Peters, Ariel Wetzel, Aphrodykee