Ready to get your gay geekdom on?
Okama Con, one of South Florida’s only LGBT anime conventions, will hit the Miami Airport Convention Center on Saturday, Jan. 14.
“The (convention) scene deals with so many geeks and people that are ‘standouts’ to begin with that putting focus on a marginalized group and creating a convention centered around LGBT+ is a great way of letting everyone out there know that it's okay to be different,” said J Stryker, founder of OUT Con and Okama Con.
Okama, Japanese for “gay” or “cross-dresser,” hints at the convention’s purpose of celebrating LGBT culture within the anime scene. The event promises panels covering trivia games, dealing with bullying and more.
In addition, the con will feature local drag queens like Naomi Wynter, Lucianna Havanna Lords and Hinez Dupree. Costume, strip and lip syncing contests will also be abound.
Stryker will take experiences from his previous event OUT Con, which he launched in May of last year.
“It was scary,” he said. “It was going to be the first gay convention in Florida pretty much so I had no idea how it'd be received … It was greatly received, however, and I learned a ton so I'm excited to put everything I learned from OUT Con and step it up with Okama Con. It'll definitely be a lot more organized and will do my best to make it more enjoyable for everyone.”
When asked about homophobic remarks or threats leading up to the day of Okama Con, Stryker noted the local reaction was relatively typical.
“We've had the occasional bible nut send us bible quotes and whatnot. Also someone trying announce that convention should celebrate everyone and not just a single group of people when we've been very clear that everyone’s invited. But yeah, nothing out of this world thankfully. Really proud of the community for how receptive it's been and all the love we've been getting.”
And most of all, Stryker is excited to see community reaction.
“I think it's going to be a dark horse. South Florida had yet to see an event like this so I think it's doing a great job in standing out and making people view the convention scene differently. “
Tickets are $12 for general admission, with a special deal of two tickets for $22 available. For more information, visit OkamaCon.com.