2021 Panels, Workshops & Podcasts

The panels, workshops & podcasts scheduled for ClexaCon 2021

Check back soon for an updated Panels, Workshops & Podcasts list! In the meantime, check out the amazing variety of topics that are usually covered at a ClexaCon event.

2020 Panels, Workshops & Podcasts

10 Years of Queer Representation on Warehouse 13

Panelists: Miranda Butler, Jillian Nusbaum

The panel will discuss how diverse and intersectional fan readings of queerness shaped the fandom and evolved in the ten years since the first season of Warehouse 13 ended. Topics include Bering and Wells, queer artifacts, demi, ace, and trans character readings, Steve Jinks, and more.

14 Steps to Successfully Self-publishing Your Fabulous Novel

Panelists: Victoria Stagg Elliott, Karen Shoffner, Anne Hagan, E.A. Kafkalas

Self-publishing on retail platforms such as Amazon has become a powerful way for writers to get a wide array of wonderful stories out to the world and make money doing it, although it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. There’s lots of information and misinformation about the best way to self-publish. A panel of experienced self-published authors will cut through the noise and tell you what you really need to know and do to successfully self-publish your fabulous novel without spending a lot of money or wasting time on stuff you don’t need.

Amber Benson: Tara Maclay and the Legacy of Buffy

Panelists: Amber Benson
Moderator: Princess Weekes

Lesbian relationships had been addressed on US television before, but none made a greater impact in the early 2000s than Buffy’s Willow Rosenberg and Tara Maclay. Though revered and heralded as TV’s first long-term lesbian relationship, they were not immune to the BYG trope, and Tara’s death would echo years later with the loss of Lexa. In a TV landscape that offered few lesbian characters, Tara Maclay was a beacon for many women who were desperately searching for representation in the nineties. Amber’s portrayal of the quiet yet powerful witch continues to endure and cross generational boundaries; no matter how old we are, we can all find a piece of ourselves in Tara Maclay.

Aromantic and/or Asexual Meetup

This is a safe space to discuss asexual and aromantic identities and experiences. Whether you’ve identified as ace/aro for awhile or you’re new to the journey–or even if you just have questions and want to learn more–come connect and make new friends!

Balancing Your Dream Job With Your Day Job

Panelists: Karina Regan, Hope Cronin, Amanda Moon

While we would all love to jump straight into the media and entertainment industry, however, reality is many of us are forced to work a day job while simultaneously chasing our dream and life becomes an overwhelming balancing act. Join us for some pointers on how to find that balance and cope with the stress of it until your sole focus can be your dream job.

Badass Boundaries: Conversations about Consent for Creative Projects & Social Interactions in a Post #MeToo World

Panelists: Erin Tillman, Jimanekia Eborn, Cassie Brighter , August McLaughlin, Justine Cross

With the fierce momentum of the #MeToo movement, it has become clear that the conversation around consent is in the process of major evolution. The Dating Advice Girl and author of the Consent Guidebook, Erin Tillman moderates a panel of experts from ranging from professional dominatrix, therapist, to sexuality podcaster. This panel will discuss consent through the Basics of Boundaries, Digital Consent, The Assumption of Consent and the Pop Culture Connection, How To Have Productive Consent Conversations, and Holding Others Accountable, and Enthusiastic Consent. Note: While the conversation surrounding consent can be triggering, this is meant to be a productive conversation of how we can all improve and be empowered together, not traumabond.

Bad Romance: How Media Can Show Us What NOT To Do In Our Own Relationships

Panelists: Rachael Rose, Liz Powell

Edward and Bella, Lloyd Dobler and Diane, Allie and Noah, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy – romance is a huge force in the arts and media. Yet, how many of these relationships actually include dynamics we would, or should, want to replicate in our own lives? When we look at the examples that have been framed as the epitome of romance, we see iffy consent practices, control issues, deceit, and other problematic elements. Should these really be the examples we aspire to? Where can we turn for examples of love that we would actually want to emulate, especially if we’re queer? Join Dr. Liz Powell and sex educator Rachael Rose to discuss how love stories in the media impact and shape our lives, what this means for folks who aren’t well represented, and how we can work to create fictional relationships that more closely reflect the values of healthy real-world relationships.

Bi+ Representation in the Media

Moderator: Jen Richards 
Morgan Riedl, Laura Madalinski, Kelly Haas, Emily Goss, Heidi Lynch, Princess Weekes

Despite bi+ people making up one of the largest portions of the LGBTQ community, bisexual representation is still rare in media. When bi+ characters do exist, 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 bi+ representation and inclusion in television and film and celebrate the positive, well-rounded characters that we are starting to see.

Building Diverse Characters In Your Novels (Thursday Writers Lab)

Panelists: Patricia Evans Cox, Sarah Turtle and Virginia Black

Diversity comes in many shapes, sizes, genders, and abilities. How do authors build authentic characters that reflect the broad spectrum of the LGBT community? We’ll tackle issues like cultural differences and sensitivity, stereotypes, and how to navigate the rich possibilities—and pitfalls—of writing inclusive, genuine characters.

Building Intimacy In Your Novel Without Using Sex (Thursday Writers Lab)

Panelists: Sarah Turtle and Patricia Evans Cox

Sex is great—and fun to read (and write!)—but we all know that sex doesn’t always equal intimacy. You’re not just building intimacy between characters; you are also creating an intimate relationship between the characters and the reader, and you don’t want to cheat her out of an emotional investment in your novel. Let’s explore how to craft compelling scenes that engage the reader and bond the characters together—without throwing them between the sheets.

Building Tables: Queer and WOC Representation in Gaming Media

Panelists: Kandi J. Williams, Unika C, Kalia G, Katie L, Cristi M, Darcy R

Breaking down barriers in the tabletop gaming and video gaming world for queer people and women of color. Don’t wait for a space at their table, build your own. Join us as we build our own table to create content with diverse cooperative storytelling, creative problem-solving, and community for those who want to embrace their nerdiness.

Carmilla Fan Meetup

Moderators:  Zett Stai, Heather Vogt

Let’s keep Carmilla alive and inspire Shaftesbury to make #MoreCarmilla. Despite no new content recently, the Carmilla fandom is still going strong. New Creampuffs are still being created today. Meet other Creampuffs and share your love for this tiny journalist and her broody gay vampire.

Cartooning 101: How to Thumbnail Comics

Panelists: June Kim

Have you ever tried to draw that one amazing fanfic scene in your head, got stuck because you couldn’t figure out how to translate it to comics?
This workshop will focus on basic of thumbnailing; how to layout panel and plan storytelling with images, and artfully control the reader’s experience.
Participants will draw a collaborative comic, followed by a short lecture.

Chemistry Class (the Sexy Kind)

Moderator: Carsen Taite
Panelists: Georgia Beers, Melissa Brayden, Fiona Riley, Elle Spencer, KC Richardson

You can’t create a hot female couple without perfect, sexy chemistry. Join these best-selling romance writers as they discuss the importance of chemistry and the formulas they use to get it just right, keeping their readers turned on and turning the pages well into the night.

Clexa Roundtable

Panelists: Spencer Madison, Sara Canetto, Bri Brown

An intimate session between members of the community and panelists, discussing the importance of Proper Representation the impact of Clexa, and how Showrunners can do better in the future for the LGBTQ community.

ClexaCon Collabs: How to Make Queer Content With Your New Best Friends

Moderator: Renee Santos
Panelists: Kristina Pupo, Elishia Constantine, Jorie Burgos, Ana Paula Teixeira 

Every creator needs a producer, every writer an editor and every woman, a BFF. Clexacon is the perfect place to find your creative team and take your vision from paper to production. Two Queer women share their success story of how their Clexacon meet-cute developed into a strong creative partnership yielding a podcast, and the production of a pilot for their series, Out in Love. With tips on long distance pre-production, team building and nailing creative chemistry; learn how to take your new connections to the next level and build your own queer empire with a little help from your friends.

The ClexaCon Film Festival Filmmaker Forum

Moderator: Stacy Calvert
Panelists: Chanel Glover, Cameron Laventure,Winny Clarke, Kayden Phoenix, Gretchen Wylder

Join filmmakers from this year’s ClexaCon Film Festival and learn about how they brought their projects to life.

Communication in Post-Connecting all the pieces together

Panelists: Emer Kinsella, Jaclyn Chessen, Meaghan Wilbur, Wendy Engelberg

Wondering how to navigate the post process for your project? Hear from the perspectives of composers and editors on how important it is to have conversations earlier in the process and how your post team should be in contact to all best serve the vision of your film/project.

Crafting the Queer Supernatural

Panelists: Nell Stark, Robyn Nyx, Brey Willows, Barbara Ann Wright, Missouri Vaun, Sheri Lewis Wohl

Demons, time-travelers, witches, vampires, and were-panthers are only a few of the supernatural beings featured in the work of these LGBTQ+ panelists. We’ll discuss world-building strategies, the ins and outs of not-quite-human character development, and how to make time-honored fantasy and paranormal tropes fresh in new contexts.

Creating and Consuming Fan-Art

Panelists: Braxie Jacobson, Abbie Bosworth, Chloe, Foley, Krysta Parisi

We’re bringing together a broad group of humans of all sexualities, gender non-conformities, and art mediums to discuss how consuming and creating Fan-Art has helped lead us to where we are today, and it’s role in a community like the LGBTQ+ community!

Crewing Up (Thursday Creator Lab)

Panelists: Jaclyn Chessesn, Caitlin Combe

What to know and look for as you crew up your project.

Crisis Communications: The Hallmark Channel PR Nightmare & what to learn from it

Panelists: Mona Elyafi, Rhonda Marable

The case study of the Hallmark Channel’s removal of the same-sex Zola ad. How the Network got into a PR nightmare. Why was it a self-inflicted crisis. The powerful role of social media in driving the narrative & galvanizing call to actions against the channel. The inevitable repercussions within today’s culture of inclusion. The BIG message and lessons learned from this fiasco.

Define Relationship: The Undeniable Queerness of Killing Eve

Panelists: Candice Jones, Terrance McDale

Killing Eve is not only one of the best shows on TV, it’s one of the queerest. We make the case for Villaneve, discuss season 3 developments and address why queerbaiting was never relevant to this subversive series.

Directing Sex Scenes

Moderator: Lily Richards
 Christin Baker, Jessica Clark, Emily Goss, Nicole Conn

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. This is always a super popoular panel so don’t miss it!

Earper Meetup

Join other Earpers to chat about everything Wynonna Earp!

Escape to Gain Saftey: Situational Awareness

Brenna Frandsen, Sam Campbell

When you feel unsafe do you: talk on your phone to appear busy or avoid eye-contact with a person to avoid being singled out? These things make you a potential target. This year we are discussing situational awareness and how to protect yourself from attackers.

Fandom, Fairytales and Fiction

Panelists: Rachel Spangler, Georgia Beers, Rae D. Magdon, Nell Stark, Barbara Ann Wright

From fan fiction to feminist fairytales, everything is fair game when drawing inspiration for contemporary queer authors. Come find out who your favorite writers fangirl over and how those influences shape the stories we love to tell.

Fat and Queer: Where Are We?

Panelists: Beth Burnett, EA Kafkalas, Aurora Rey, Shawn Marie Bryan
Moderator: Rae D. Magdon

Fat Queer representation matters. Where are we in the popular shows and books? This discussion with fat queers will address the importance of seeing ourselves in popular media.

Felicia Day: All In A Day’s Work

Moderator: Dana Piccoli
Panelist: Felicia Day

Felicia Day has played a pivotal role in some of televisions most beloved sci-fi and fantasy series, from her days as a Potential in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to the brave and quirky lesbian Charlie on Supernatural. She’s also created an empire of nerdom that includes a hugely popular Youtube channel, books, podcasts and video games. We’ll talk about her role in changing the landscape for women in geekdom, playing a beloved lesbian role, and more.

Filmmaking on a Small Budget

Panelists: Sierra Schepmann, Lisa Tom,  Alyssa Appleton, Christine McAuliffe, Laura Madalinski

Join a crew of indie filmmakers as they share tips and knowledge about creating your own content on a small budget.

Finding the Queer in Fantasy

Panelists: Alex K. Thorne, Karen Frost, Jenny Spanier

The fantasy genre has always been a space to explore new worlds, concepts, and identities. From lesbian necromancers to bisexual queens, we’re seeing more and more queer characters in mainstream fantasy media. We’ll be discussing queerness in fantasy, with a focus on our favorite books and tv shows.

For the Love of the Trope

Panelists: Georgia Beers, Melissa Brayden, Carsen Taite, Elle Spencer, Kris Bryant

Enemies to Lovers, class difference, boss/subordinate. From Xena to Carmilla to Batwoman, all good romances–TV, movies, books– have a trope. Join these best-selling romance authors for some fun conversation as they discuss their favorite tropes, which are most popular with readers and why, what’s trending now and more.

From Chakrams to Subtext: The Legacy of Xena

Panelists: Kathy Tu, Sarah Caitlin Williford

The Legacy of Xena – In a time of heteronormativity on television, a queer community cried out for a hero. Xena was exactly that for a generation of lesbian, bi and queer women. Arriving at the dawn of the internet and a time of tremendous growth for the LGBTQ community, Xena changed the media landscape and created fan communities that still thrive today. Take a look back at the series, the subtext, the love, and the fandom that paved the way for many to come..

From First Glance to First Kiss: How to Establish Tension in Your Romance Novel

Moderator: Georgia Beers 
Fiona Riley, Melissa Brayden, Kris Bryant, Julie Cannon, Elle Spencer

Have you ever been so sucked into a romance that you couldn’t turn the page fast enough or gotten to that first kiss quickly enough? Do you *live* for the lead up and the tension? The world’s best-selling Lesfic romance writers want to share their secrets, tips, and the process behind building the tension that ignites the page and fans the flames of their characters’ road to romance and journey to the bedroom (or kitchen counter or their boss’s desk or, well, you get the idea).

Game Changers – How These Outliers Impacted Today’s Queer Culture

Panelists: Robin Lowey, Eliza Karlson, Mariah Hanson, Shirin Etessam

Award-winning author Robin Lowey (Lesbiangamechangers.com) and filmmaker Eliza Karlson (karlsonstudio.com) will discuss Game Changers, a graphic novel style history book and subsequent video interview series that features living lesbian heroes who made (and continue to make) a huge impact on today’s queer culture. Learn about LGBTQ history and enjoy a colorful and fun filled presentation including giveaways and raffle prizes. Game Changers won the best LGBTQ book at the New Generation Indie Book awards.

Gentleman Jack and the Impact of Queer Representation in Media: A Live Podcast Event by Shibden After Dark

Panelists: Mary Schwartz, Leanne Mertzman

When co-hosts of the Shibden After Dark podcast sat down to watch a television show called Gentleman Jack, they had no idea that a period drama about noted diarist and entrepreneur (and lesbian!) Anne Lister was going to be the most validating thing they’d ever seen on television – after all, this woman lived two centuries before them, in England, on an estate filled with farm animals and coal pits. But 8 episodes and one podcast later, Leanne and Mary had found that thousands of people across the world were having similarly enlightening experiences after watching this show and wanted to discuss, debate, and unpack every minute of dialogue in the show and every line of Anne Lister’s 27-volumes worth of diary entries. So how is it that a pair of lady-loving-ladywomen from the 1830s has managed to change the lives of so many women in 2019? – join us for a live broadcast of Shibden After Dark as we find out why.

Get your Pitch Deck Together (Thursday Creator Lab)

Panelists: Jane Clark

You have a nice body of work, your reel is solid and you are ready to pitch to investors or to producers, but what do you do? This panel will help you think about your pitch deck, what things need to be part of it and what are a few need-to-know things to get you ready for your pitch.

Happy Wife, Happy Life

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

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.

How to be a Drag King

Panelists: Morgan Blackwell, Desiree Dieno, Tierney DeZarn, Gavin Davis, Kingsley Hines

All drag is valid! This class focuses on transforming into a Drag King and helpful hints for success.

How to be a White (Passing) Ally

Moderator: Sam Campbell
Katelyn Amalfitano, Brenna Frandsen

A panel to discuss the ways white ally’s can support communities of color without centering whiteness. Because People of Color too often have to carry the burden of educating white folks, our panelists are white and our moderator is indigenous. We aim to help answer questions you may be too uncomfortable to ask people face to face.

How The Heck Do I Finish?

Panelists: Rae Magdon, Anne Hagan, Justin Miller, Cheryl Head, Jess Harris-DiStefano, Pony Gayle

It’s a question that has tormented aspiring content creators for ages:‌ why can’t I actually finish my projects? This panel of accomplished writers, artists, podcasters, and producers will discuss the techniques they used to cross the finish line and release their work into the world.

How to Take Your Queer Web Series from the Page to the Screen

Panelists: Heidi Lynch, Perrie Voss, Charlie David, Kanchi Winchmann

Come chat with some of the team behind the new queer web series Avocado Toast the series about the journey they have taken to bring their web series into fruition. From writing to funding to production to distribution we will give you the tools to start your journey too.

I made my project now what? (Thursday Creator Lab)

Panelists: Shirin Papillon, MarieAnn ONeil, Marina Rice Bader

SVOD, TVOD, AVOD- these are common terms used to describe the different business models that you can choose for your finished project. There are pros and cons to each and this panel is here to unpack your options

The Importance of Queer and POC representation in Burlesque

Panelists: Candida Valentina, Silver Kitsune, Evangeline Laveau, La Reina, Adriana Luce, Royal Tee

Queer and POC representation is important in all aspects of life but it’s even more important in a sex positive, body positive environment. We will talk about the effects its had on us and our hope for the future. We’ll also talk about body positivity and loving the skin you’re in. Embracing your sexuality and being able to share it.

Inclusive Language in Podcasting (and Other Spaces): Why and How?

Panelists: Laurel Elizabeth, Amanda Law, Erica KD, Morgan Spatola

Amanda and Laurel, co-hosts of a queer podcast (Very Gay, Very Ladylike the Podcast) discuss the why and how of using inclusive language in podcasting and other spaces. This panel will include discussion on why inclusive language is so important, some self-disclosure about their journey and growth in this area, and discuss how to check yourself and how to replace language that is not inclusive.

The Ins and Outs of Making a Short Film: The Bra Mitzvah

Panelists: Stacy Jill Calvert, Kelly Weinhart-Henry, Jaclyn Chessen

Are you ready to make your first short film? Want some free words of advice before you start? Come join the crew of the new short film, The Bra Mitzvah, where you will get a sneak peek at the film followed by a power session of tips and tricks to make your next project shine.

Is Patty Mayonnaise Black?

Panelists: Madin Ray Lopez

A discussion on the representation of black queer women in 90’s media.

Jaime Murray: Warehouse 13, Defiance, Spartacus and finding a home in queer fandom

Moderator: Dana Piccoli
Jaime Murray

Ally actress Jaime Murray has played some of our favorite queer heroes and villains, including the haunting Stahma Tarr in Defiance, the social climbing Gaia in Spartacus, and the beloved H.G. Wells in Warehouse 13. We’ll talk with Jaime about her storied career as a fan favorite and being embraced by queer fandom.

Janet Varney gives voice to The Legend of Korra

Panelists: Janet Varney

Janet Varney brought the bisexual avatar Korra to life in The Legend of Korra and became a part of groundbreaking animated history. The out bisexual actor shares her thoughts on the importance of Korra, and the impact its had on the industry and fans alike.

Journey to the Latinx Queer Representation in Media

Panelists: Sara Mota, Kayden Phoenix

This Panel will analyze representation in four tv series: Vida, One Day At a Time, Amar a Muerte and Las Estrellas. It will focus on discussing how the Movement that emerged on social media after Lexa’s death may or may not have affected Latin American and Latinx Queer representation, the strengths and weaknesses of these portraits and what they mean for the Latinx Queer Community.

The L Word Legacy

Moderator: Dana Piccoli
Panelists: Katherine Moennig, Leisha Hailey

No other show quite captured queer women’s attention like The L Word. Featuring the first ensemble cast of queer women, The L Word was a trailblazer for LGBTQ+ representation in media in the mid 2000s. Unapologetic and unbashedly queer, the show’s unforgettable characters titillated our tv screens every Sunday night and opened the doors for the future of queer television. The cultural impact of the show has even birthed a successful reboot, The L Word: Generation Q. Come celebrate the show with Kate Moennig and Leisha Hailey, and relive some of its greatest moments!

Lesbianage: The Romantic Spy Thriller in Film

Panelists: Nicole Conn, Jane Clark, Sheryl Wright, Lissa Forhan
Moderator: Melissa Price

Step aside, James Bond—she’s not your Bond girl. Crafting an epic female spy is more than “spies, lies, and quivering thighs.” Some of today’s most respected and talented women in film discuss the intersection where Intrigue meets romance. Join us for the ride in filmmaking, producing, episodic teleplay, and writing.

Legal Update on Anti-Harassment and Inclusion in Film and Television: Lessons from Hollywood North

Panelists: Michela Fiorido, Jessica Fairbairn, Alyssa Paez, Kacey Krenn

This panel explores some of the most pressing and complex legal issues affecting LGBTQ+ individuals in the entertainment industry including hiring for diversity, transgender privacy rights and maintaining a respectful workplace in shows where the creative content is sexually explicit in nature.

Let’s Talk About (Writing) Sex

Panelists: Jaime Clevenger, Radclyffe, Nell Stark, Rachel Gold, Sandy Lowe, Aurora Rey

How do writers use sex to strengthen a novel or a short story? Can erotica go deeper than sex to show us truths about our characters and ourselves? Let’s discuss these questions as well as when and how consent is implied, how toys come into play, and the role of gender dynamics as part of sex play.

Lez Hang Out Should’ve Been Gay Live

Panelists: Elle Brigida, Leigh Holmes Foster plus guests

Join Lez Hang Out hosts Leigh and Ellie, along with some fun guests, as they talk about the movies, TV shows, or ships that CLEARLY should’ve been gay. They’ve covered favorites like Bend It Like Beckham, Bring It On, and Wonder Woman, and frequently call their ‘Should’ve Been Gay’ series “the gift that keeps on giving!”

LGBT+ Representation in the UK

Panelists: Rachel Maidment, Kate Jones, Saski, Alexandra D’Sa

Exploring Lesbian culture in the UK media. From current favourites such as Gentleman Jack and Killing Eve to the first Lesbian kiss on UK TV in Brookside. Along the way we will look at other favourites such as Bad Girls, Lip Service and Sugar Rush.

LGBTQ Documentary: Celebrating Our Diverse Culture

Panelists: Betsy Kalin, Chris Chew

At a time when we have the tools for storytelling as well as the means of distribution in the palms of our hands, learn the skills to make documentaries that celebrate our diverse culture. The award-winning panelists will give you expert advice on media creation so you leave inspired and motivated to produce your own content. A married filmmaking team, they will also screen excerpts from their documentaries, ‘Chained!,’ and ‘Fans at ClexaCon: Hearts on Fire.’

Legendary Ladies: Talking LGBTQ Representation in Legends of Tomorrow with Caity Lotz, Jes McCallan and Maisie Richardson Sellers

Moderator: Princess Weekes
Panelists: Caity LotzMaisie Richardson-Sellers & Jes Macallan

Legends of Tomorrow has become one of the most LGBTQ and queer-fandom friendly shows on TV. Join allies Caity Lotz (Sarah Lance) and Jes McCallan (Ava Sharpe) and out queer actor Maisie Richardson Sellers (Charlie) to talk about the wonderful and sometimes wacky world of Legends.

Lexa’s Legacy

Panelists:Dana Piccoli, Princess Weekes

The death of the character Lexa on The 100 was one of many queer female character deaths in the 2016-2017 season. Together they marked a turning point for LGBTQ+ fandom and finding a voice for our community to push back and demand better representation on TV. But the character of Lexa had arguably the largest impact, igniting a passionate fan base that led to the creation of ClexaCon as well as organizations like LGBT Fans Deserve Better and a massive fundraising push for the Trevor Project. Each year we look back at the legacy of Lexa and all that has been achieved since that episode.

LGBTQ Actors

At every ClexaCon since year one we have made a point to highlight the actors who are loudly and proudly members of the LGBTQ+ community. Come and support members of our community making a difference in front of the camera and hear them 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!

LGBTQ+ Voice Actors and Characters

Moderator:  Caitlin Clear
Panelists: Dianna Conley, Valerie Rose Lohman, Jamee D Thompson, Allegra Clark, Sarah Grace Wright

Video Games and Animation have increasingly allowed opportunities for LGBTQ+ people to portray characters with varying genders and sexualities. In this panel LGBTQ+ voice actors, and actors who play LGBTQ+ characters share how these characters have grown and changed over the years and why representation in voice acting matters.

Looking Through A Rose-Colored Queer Lens: The Role of Subtext Today

Panelists: Sarah Kennedy, Carolyn Bergier

With growing queer representation in the media, is there still space for the grand LGBT+ tradition of seeking and celebrating subtext? Would Xena: Warrior Princess still be the fan-favorite it was among today’s queer audiences or would it be trashed for queerbaiting? Where do ships like Supercorp or Faberry belong in this greater conversation?

Mapping Your Genre, Story, Characters, and Book (Thursday Writers Lab)

Panelist: Isabella

Learn how to brainstorm your genre, characters, story, and series using mapping techniques. Handouts will be provided while we go through guided exercises that will help you build your world, your characters, and your story in a way that can invigorate your writing.

Marginalization Where You Least Expect it: Navigating Issues in a Close Knit Community

Panelists: Candida Valentina, Evangeline Laveau, La Reina, Adriana Luce, Nick Flair, Silver Kitsune

We’ve all been in a place when or where we didn’t feel “Queer” or “Black” or “Latin” or anything enough to fit someone else’s perspective of what or who we should or should not be, but honestly, it’s not about someone else’s perspective. It’s about finding and owning our own. We would like to discus how do we approach this and come together as a community without shunning our fellow LGBTQIA+ POC family.

Marvel’s The Runaways

Panelists: Lyrica Okano, Ariela Barer, Clarissa Thibeaux

As we say farewell Marvel’s Runaways, join us to celebrate the actors who gave us amazing LGBTQ+ representation on screen! Join Lyrica, Ariela and Clarissa as they discuss the show and the impact it has had on them as actors and the response they’ve received from our community.

Natasha Negovanlis and Elise Bauman: Carmilla and beyond

Moderator: Kathleen Harquail
Panelists: Natasha Negovanlis and Elise Bauman

Take a look back and towards the future with Hollstein themselves, Natasha Negovanlis and Elise Bauman. The out actors will talk about the impact of Carmilla, the series and the film, plus the art of creating their own projects and material.

Not Your Mother’s Lesbian Fiction

Moderator: Melissa Brayden
Panelists: Rachel Spangler, Cheryl Head, Rachel Gold, Lynn Ames, Barbara Ann Wright

If you think lesbian fiction is old-school and/or outdated, think again. Come hear how these current best-selling authors are addressing many of today’s hot-button issues including climate change, erasure, transphobia, women of color, etc.

Notes From The Hostel, A Marvel’s Runaways Podcast: Live

Panelists: Youstina Anis, Nadia Tursi

Notes From The Hostel is a podcast where a west coast twitter stan and an east coast fandom noob recap every episode of Marvel’s Runaways in painstaking detail. Join Youstina and Nadia for a live recap which will feature important discussions about MILFs, trademark banter, and live questions from our audience!

Pitch it Real Good – Bold Strokes Books

Panelists: Radclyffe aka Len Barot, Sandy Lowe,  Barbara Ann Wright, Victoria Villasenor aka Brey Willows, Carsen Taite

There’s an art to pitching a novel and getting it right can be the difference between an outright rejection and getting your work into the hands of an acquisition editor. We’ll give you pointers on how to distill the plot, the premise, and the characters of your work into a quick and captivating presentation designed to get your manuscript reviewed by the top LGBTQ publishing house in the market. Highly recommended if you’ve signed up to pitch your novel during the Pitch it Forward panel.

Origin Story (Thursday Creator Lab)

Panelists: Nicole Conn, Wendy Jo Carlton, Christin Baker

Meet professionals in the industry who are working in the industry and how they got to where they are. Then a Q&A about specifics around their craft and what tips they have for you to uplevel.

Podcasting 201: The Next Steps

Moderator: Eboné Bell
Panelists: Elle Brigida, Leigh Holmes Foster, Carolyn Bergier

In Podcasting 201, the hosts of Lez Hang Out and other panelists will teach you about monetizing your podcast, putting on live shows and growing your audience. This is for the podcaster who’s already learned the audio basics and wants to learn how to fund and grow their show.

Power in Perversion: A Beginner’s Guide to BDSM

Panelists: Mistress Justine Cross, Jordan Wolan

Excited by the BDSM but don’t know where to begin? Learn the the importance and meaning behind the motto “safesane and consensual”. We will cover the basics of BDSM such as scene negotiations, consent, aftercare; review toys, implement some demos and answer all your kinky questions.
(This panel is 18+)

Power Up Your Writing! (Thursday Writers Lab)

Panelists: Isabella

Learn how to power up your writing using action-packed verbs and potent synonyms. Is your writing moving forward or is it stuck in neutral? Effective use of action, beats, and rhythm can help get rid of that sagging middle. We’ll talk about defining your theme and arc with high-impact terms that will keep your book on track and your characters focused. Did you know that most strong, tightly written, coherent, and successful narratives can be described in just one crucial thematic word? Yep, one word! In this workshop, learn how to identify and distill the essence of your novel and start Powering It Up.

QPOC Meetup

Come and meet with other QPOC to make friends and talk about issues related to representation of our communities in media.

Queer, A History: Creating Legitimacy Through Representation

Panelists: James Holbrook

As long as there have been women, there have been queer women. So, why is it so difficult to find our history? By creating media that shows queer history, we can find ourselves in the past and feel more grounded in the present. Let’s discuss Queen Christina (the 1933 movie and the 2015 movie The Girl King), Dickenson, and Gentleman Jack to look at the ways in which these representations help us connect.

Queer Books are Lit: a Millennial Perspective on Media

Moderator: Barbara Ann Wright 
Ashley Bartlett, Nicole Disney, Jane Esther, Sandy Lowe , Fiona Riley

As millennial queers, we came of age when positive(ish) queer representation was suddenly present in movies, television, and music. Why did we choose literature and how did the broader media landscape influence our novels? Join this group of young authors as we discuss ever expanding queer media and why we chose traditional publishing to tell non-traditional stories.

Queering Pop-Culture with Dana and Ian

Dana Piccoli, Ian Carlos Crawford

Dana Piccoli (writer/critic/Fairy Gaymother) and Ian Carlos Crawford (writer and host of Slayerfest 98) are obsessed with queer pop culture. When the two met on Ian’s podcast, they instantly clicked and formed a fast friendship based on mutual Buffy feels. The two pals have launched a new podcast all about queer pop culture, from movies to tv, comics to webseries. They will be joined by special guests while reveling in the queerest of culture, and can’t wait to bring it to you live at ClexaCon.

Queer Networking: The In’s, The Out’s, and The How To’s

Moderator: Dan Owens
Panelists: Lauren Flans, Avon Rogan,  Lanie Cabalda, Spencer Madison, Greetje den Holder

Join us for an hour to discuss the importance of networking within our Community. Are you an Actor? A Podcaster? An Artist? Are you wondering how to network with others to potentially work with them professionally? Or maybe just an introverted queer wondering how interact online with our community! We have the answers!

Queer People of Color Representation

Moderator: Caitlin Clear
 Alexandra D’Sa, Kathy Tu, Princes Weekes, Eboné Bell

While media coverage and on-screen portrayals of LGBTQ issues have improved substantially over the past few decades, representation for queer people of color, especially in non cis-men centered media, 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.

Queer Representation: The Psychological Impact of Seeing Ourselves in Media

Panelists: Lauren Chapple-Love, Dr. Tanisha Ranger, Dr. Christina Patterson, Precious Love-Chapple, Elizabeth Grace, Sunshine Collins

Depictions of LGBTQIA2 individuals in media has many impacts, many of which positively affect our psychological wellbeing. Join our panel of Psychology experts to discuss how seeing ourselves depicted in stories has shaped our worldview.

Queers Take the Stage

Moderator: Maggie Keenan-Bolger
Panelists: Dana Piccoli, Diane Chen, Adriana Chavez, Nina Yasick, Donnie Cianciotto

Rent…Fun Home…Head Over Heels…queer cis women and trans people are slowly but surely making their way to Broadway and beyond- but representations are still few and far between. There are even fewer queer cis women and trans people recognized for directing, writing, choreographing and designing the shows we see. Join some of your Broadway and community favorites to discuss why this might be, and maybe even listen in a song or two.

The Renaissance of Queer Comics

Moderator: Gandara Gallishaw
Panelists: Becca Bastron, Maia Kobabe, Meredith McClaren

In the last few years, there has been a surge of queer comics and fiction coming out of the publishing world. Join us as we explore the past and present of queer storytelling, and what the future has in store.

Representing Polyamory in Media

Panelists: Laura Madalinski, Kelly Haas

Polyamorous and ethically non-monogamous relationships are becoming more visible in mainstream media and society, and yet the depiction of them in film and television is often negative. This leads us to believe that there is something shameful about them instead of celebrating these relationships as valid expressions of love. Join us as we discuss why positive representations of polyamory and ethical non-monogamy are necessary as well as the importance of being able to view ourselves on screen the way we view ourselves in our communities.

Screenwriting Basics (You Can Do It!)

Panelists: Wendy Jo Carlton

Writer/Director Wendy Jo Carlton (Good Kisser, Easy Abby, Jamie & Jessie are Not Together) introduces workshop participants to the basics of telling (or adapting) engaging stories in the screenplay format, including writing exercises, story development techniques, and a focus on female and LGBTQ lead characters and stories. Focus will be on short film scripts due to time limit.

Season of Love

Moderator: Bridget McManus
Emily Goss, Jessica Clark, Sandra Mae Frank, Laur Allen, Janelle Marie, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Christin Baker

Join the full cast and director of Season of Love to talk about the creation of the first queer women’s holiday romantic comedy feature film!  

Shoot: Reloaded

Moderator: Dana Piccoli
Panelists: Amy Acker

Amy Acker is back! Hear from Amy as she discusses her character on Person of Interest and the impact it has had on her career. Amy last joined us in 2018 so join us in welcoming her back and see if she misses the show as much as we do!

Shortening the Road to Publication

Moderator:Barbara Ann Wright
Panelists: Radclyffe, Kimberly Cooper Griffin, Nell Stark, Georgia Beers, Victoria Villasenor

You wrote a novel, now what? Come hear the president, editors, and award winning authors of Bold Strokes Books spill the secrets about how to get to the top of the slush pile.

Social Justice in Queer Media

Moderator: Melissa Brayden
Panelists: Beth Burnett, Virginia Black, E.A Kafkalas, Kris Bryant, Amelea Sutherland

In a political climate where LGBTQI2+ rights are moving backward, how can media effect real change? There’s no question that media often influences societal bias. It is our responsibility to educate and teach acceptance. In some cases, this means opening up real conversations about transphobia, homophobia, mass shootings, and mental health biases. In other cases, media creators can effect change by simply showing marginalized people as living, breathing human beings with real lives and real problems. It has always been the job of artists, filmmakers, and writers to be the voice of the voiceless and that need is greater now than ever before. Join this panel of writers and filmmakers for an honest conversation on our responsibility of showcasing social issues whether to bring them to light or to attempt to solve them.

Shut Up and Take My Money!

Moderators: Leigh Foster, Ellie Brigida
 June Kim, Nicole Conn, Amanda Holland

Come hear from some of the queer content creators who are out there creating authentic queer content in a variety of forms. Learn about their experiences, the joys and challenges of bringing queer content into the world, and how consumers of that media can best support and champion them! What steps can we take to help sustain and enable “boots-on-the-ground” queer creators in getting their work out there? How can we ensure that our money, time, and voices go the furthest toward empowering our own community?

Stories That Stretch – Sequential Storytelling

Panelists: JD Glass, Kris Dresen

If you thought writing a story could be complex, try a series in any medium! How does that break down, and what are some methods to create a story that continues in intriguing increments? Whether on the page page, on the screen, or on-line and the various flavors of format, how does a story break down to come together to form a series, and what are the steps to bring it there?

Supergirl Escape Room

Alexis Jabour, Virginia Mulky

You are, Red Daughter, pride of the Kaznian army. Your training is almost complete, but to prove you are ready to stop the capitalist monster of the US, you have to solve one last puzzle. Who is Supergirl and what is her relationship to Lena Luthor?

Supercorp Trivia Challenge

Moderators:  Alexis Jabour, Virginia Mulky

The Music Meister wants to try fixing Kara’s love life again, but needs YOUR help. Use your Supercorp knowledge to finally get these two clueless lesbians, Kara and Lena, to realize they’re in love.

Trans Meetup

Come hang out and make some friends as we share experiences and discuss trans representation in media: the good, the bad, and everything in between.

Trans Representation in Media

Panelists: Cameron Laventure, Devin Mendelson, Jett Garisson, Shaan Dasani

The impact of visibility in the media is undeniable. Perceptions are formed through what we see and hear. With diversity on screen beginning to rise, Trans representation is still battling to be given the equal footing it rightfully deserves. Shows such as Pose, Sense8 and Supergirl are leading the charge with Trans talent in roles in front and behind the camera. Join us as we discuss the impact these stories can have, share your favorite characters and debate what needs to be done to get better all round representation on screen for the Trans community.

True Love & Happy Endings

Panelists: Marina Rice Bader, Kathryn Trammell, Jane Clark

With diversity-driven romantic comedies dominating both the digital (Netflix’s “Falling Inn Love”, “Always Be My Maybe”) and theatrical (“Crazy Rich Asians”, “Love Simon”) spaces, where are the happy, fall-head-over-heels in love endings for queer women? It’s been over 13 years since the last big-screen queer women’s romcom, “Imagine Me & You”, and narratives with similarly uplifting stories of true love and hilariously happy endings are needed now more than ever for our community. In a time when romantic comedies are evolving, we will explore what the new WLW rom-com might look like: Do we leverage pre-existing, time-honored tropes or do we make our own? What is the Gay Grand Gesture? The Queer Meet-Cute? And how do you make an old genre, known for its formulaic approach, revolutionary for a new era?

Where Everybody Knows Your Name: Writing Queer Communities

Panelists: Ashley Bartlett, Melissa Brayden, Maggie Cummings, Radclyffe, Aurora Rey, Carsen Taite


As queers, we’ve spent our lives carving out safe places to thrive in a world that, while changing for the better, doesn’t always welcome us. Maybe it’s time for a different approach. Join these best-selling queer authors writing about tight-knit communities where the status quo is LGBTQ for a discussion about writing the world the way we want it to be.

Whiskey Springs – From Book to Screen

Panelists: Nancy Ann Healy, Annie Tedesco, Cristen Coppen, Jill Smith, Tiffany Phillips, Dana Jamison, Kimleigh Smith

Visit with the colorful residents of Whiskey Springs, Vermont. Learn how we are bringing the popular JA Armstrong book series to life on the small screen. 

Women in Action

Panelists: Nicole de Meneses, Kaleen Mayhew, Katie C Frimodig

A panel that breaks down the nuts and bolts of choreographing, blocking and filming a fight scene from start to finish.

Working with Producers (Thursday Creator Lab)

Panelists:Rocco Shields, Lily Richards

You have written your project and want to make it happen, collaboration is the key in this industry and producers at the center of this collaboration. When creative visions are at stake the emotions can run high, get great insight from industry pros how to work with producers, networks and directors to get the best result for your project.

Your Editor, Your Best Friend (Thursday Writers Lab)

Panelist: Heather Flournoy

Red ink. Drill sergeant. Hijacking your words. Changing your vision. Working with an editor can seem downright scary if these are thoughts that come to mind when you think about revising your writing. Fear not, as this workshop will dispel the common misconception of “Editor As Enemy” and instead highlight the partnership between you and the person who most wants to see you shine: your editor. Surprise! Together we’ll unpack and clarify all aspects of the editing process, like determining what kind of editing you need, choosing the right editor, and what to expect from the editing relationship. We will also cover several key elements, tools, and techniques that will assist both you and your editor in transforming your draft into a polished manuscript. Editing is necessary—but not necessarily evil. Come learn how the right editor is not only your best friend, she is also actually on your side. 

You’ve Written a Novel…Now What?

Panelists: Tina Kakadelis, Regina Kakadelis

Got a manuscript that’s finished and not sure what to do with it? This workshop is here to help! We have experience in self-publishing and traditional publishing, and we’ll walk you through the next steps for both paths. You’ll also complete activities that will prepare you for getting your book to your target audience. Come work with us!

Yuri 2020

Moderator: Gandara Gallishaw
Panelists: Gabrielle Magabilin, Zett Stai, Lindsey Duncan, Jove

We will be discussing iconic past yuri anime, current yuri anime that will be released in 2020, and the future of yuri. Subtext romantic relationships and displays of affection have been a constant theme in yuri anime but with the constant popularity of lesbian relationships portrayed in recent media, such as Citrus and Bloom Into You, maybe we’re one stop closer to having more anime created targeted towards the LGBT community rather than heterosexual males.