Full Circle: My ClexaCon Experience

In 2017, I traveled to Las Vegas for the first ever ClexaCon, to see what it was all about.

ClexaCon was named after the fandom ship Clarke and Lexa from The 100, that made global headlines after Lexa was killed after months of empty promises made by the show creator. The fans, outraged, banned together to form the LGBT Fans Deserve Better movement, including a non-profit organization with the same name, and this convention.

ClexaCon promotes itself as the first and largest multi-fandom event for LGBTQ women and allies, and they bring together thousands of diverse LGBTQ fans and content creators from around the world to celebrate positive representation for LGBTQ women in the media.

This was my first ever convention, and what drew me to go was that I had never heard about anything like this before – something solely focused on the diversity of LGBTQ content in the media and the fandom world. Lexa’s death was a major blow to representation and a perfect example of a trend of queer baiting happening on television. I went to convention in hopes to get quotes about why representation matters, but what I left with was so much more personal and has since changed my life drastically.

Me at ClexaCon 2017 in Las Vegas.

While at the convention, I got to hear from a lot of content creators about why they do what they do. At the Wynonna Earp panel, showrunner Emily Andras said “This room is proof that there is an audience for the stories we want to tell. Understand what I want to mean? So don’t let anybody tell you that there’s not an audience for the stories we want to tell cause here we are. And we’re all going to go out and we’re keep telling our stories, keep watching our stories, and that’s how we’re going to win – whatever that means to you, ok?”

Wayhaught Panel ClexaCon 2017. Emily Andras (middle left). Photo Credit: Dana Lyn Pleasant.

Tello films, a production company that produces lesbian focused web-series, and the founder and CEO Christin Baker was also at the event and talked about her focus on creating high quality series, saying, “This means that lesbian/queer characters are front and center in our series and that the stories we tell respect the range and variety inherent in being queer. We were founded on the promise to not kill these character – it was part of our mission statement from the start in 2007 – because we feel it is important for women to see themselves living.”

Queer Lady Business Panel ClexaCon 2017. Christin Baker (far right). Photo credit: Dana Lyn Pleasant.

I left feeling so inspired that I wrote 3 series pitches with a hope that maybe something could happen. I started following tello films and other content creators online to see if maybe an opportunity could arise – and within a few months there was.

Tello’s Pitch to Production contest was started in 2016 as a way to support upcoming filmmakers and writers who want to make content for our community. I was so excited at the possibility that I took one of the ideas from the plane ride home and sent it in.

And to much surprise, I won.

To go from someone who has been writing all their life in books and dreaming about making queer content – to finally have a shot at making a queer driven web series was a dream come true. Our community does not have enough content out there so I am so excited to be able to add to the representation so that more people can see themselves on the screen.

Check out my pitch as a finalist for the contest here.

Over the past six months, I have been in rewrites of the series with Christin and she informed me recently that we will be doing a table read of my script at the panel at ClexaCon!

To have this full circle all because of this one convention leaves me hopeful for the future of queer content and diversity in writers not just for television but for film as well. I will always be vocal for wanting more opportunities for diverse stories from writers like me because ClexaCon proves that there is an audience for them.

ClexaCon 2018 is jammed pack with even more opportunities for people to learn more about the business, content creation, and networking with those in the industry. Not only is it a safe place for being you – but you get to feel inspired!

Make sure to check at tello films at www.tellofilms.com who are a sponsor of the convention. There are also still tickets available for the convention, so make sure to check out their website at www.clexacon.com!

Hillary Esquina

Hillary is tv/film fanatic and spends most of her free time talking about all things pop culture and representation. Her current day job is working in the nonprofit sector, and she is pretty much in love with any show that has strong female characters. Never one to be boxed into any sort of genre, her current favorites range from Wynonna Earp and Dark Matter to One Day At a Time and Modern Family.