Queer eye for sci-fi

The Gaylaxicon beams into town for three days of intergalactic activity.

Spencer Doar

What: Gaylaxicon 2012

When: Oct. 5-7

Where: DoubleTree Hotel Minneapolis-Park Place, 1500 Park Place Blvd., Minneapolis

Cost: $90

Age: 16+ (or parental supervision)


Started in 1988 and hosted by different affiliates of the Gaylactic Network in cities across the states, the Gaylaxicon is a sci-fi, fantasy, horror and comic convention for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community.

“If we’re not going to do gay panels, no one will,” said Don Kaiser, the convention chair. “We concentrate on panels from a gay perspective, but we aren’t GLBT all the time.”

Kaiser has had his hands full after learning that his affiliate’s bid had won, returning Gaylaxicon to Minneapolis where it was last seen in 2009.

The three-day convention will feature discussions on subjects ranging from the appeal of “The Wizard of Oz” in queer culture to werewolves and sexual identity to the maintenance of furry costumes called Fursuiting 101.

“You have a wide range of acceptance of people,” said Kyell Gold, an author of furry fiction and guest of the convention. “We don’t all like the same specific thing, more the same kinds of things.”

Other events offered include an ever-active gaming room, a cabaret for the costumed to strut their stuff, “Match Game” and a chocolate symposium.

With so much ground covered, the convention lacks the common material that typically keeps the bonds of Trekkies and the like intact. Such a scope makes the inclusivity of Gaylaxicon its most salient point. The acceptance allows for all fans to express their passions without fear or worry.

“I was behind the press table, and someone wanted to know if [my publisher] would publish their story,” Gold said. “After a few questions it becomes clear that the story was fan fiction of ‘My Little Pony’ crossed over with some post-apocalyptic thing. We kind of chuckled about that. But the thing you step back and chuckle about might be really popular tomorrow. And [‘My Little Pony’] has a huge following now.”

The importance of the variety of viewpoints and the content of the material is not lost on Gold, which is why he writes and attends conventions.

“There are people out there who feel isolated, people who don’t think they can talk to anyone, and these books show them they aren’t alone,” Gold said. “That’s the real importance of having a community like this: to reinforce to us that there are other people who are feeling the same things, having the same experiences. And also providing that example for a number of people growing up that this is a world you can live in and be normal.”