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ClexaCon Directors Talk Inclusivity and Lexa’s Legacy [Exclusive Interview]

ClexaCon, Interviews

ClexaCon is the first and largest multi-fandom event for LGBT women and allies, and in April 2018 the second annual convention will be underway. The convention celebrates LGBTQ women and characters in TV, film, web series, comics, books, and more.

In 2016, The 100 was in the spotlight after one half of the canon queer ship “Clexa” (Clarke and Lexa) was killed off, though fans had been promised the character would not die despite the fact that the actress playing her, Alicia Debnam-Carey, was leaving the show.

The death of Commander Lexa struck a chord with many and sparked a movement on social media, including #LGBTFansDeserveBetter and the “Bury Your Gays” trope.

Lexa’s Legacy inspired three women to create a convention that was focused around positive representation in the entertainment industry.

I had a few questions for the team of Directors who run ClexaCon — Ashley Arnold, Danielle Jablonski, and Holly Winebarger (pictured below) — about how the idea for this inclusive convention began and some tips for newcomers attending the event.

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Holly Winebarger (Left), Ashley Arnold (Middle), and Danielle Jablonski (Right)

Tell-Tale TV: How did ClexaCon come about?

Answer: The idea for ClexaCon was to create an event for the community in which we can celebrate the characters and shows we love while providing a positive space to come together.

We received an overwhelming reaction and realized that the larger LGBT+ community was hungry for this type of event.

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ClexaCon Wynonna Earp Panel Photo Credit: Dana Lynn Pleasant
ClexaCon Wynonna Earp Panel (Photo Credit: Dana Lynn Pleasant)

ClexaCon has since morphed into so much more than we had originally imagined. We are currently expecting thousands of attendees over three days along with celebrity guests, panelists, content creators, journalists, media personalities, vendors and artists.

We are excited to share that we are providing a platform for upcoming queer filmmakers to showcase their work. The ClexaCon Film Festival will include feature films, short films, web-based series and documentaries.

Several filmmakers have already confirmed their attendance to present their films and take part in audience Q&A sessions. We are linking content creators directly to their base audience.

Tell-Tale TV: What makes ClexaCon unique?

Answer: At most conventions, you are hard-pressed to find actresses and content that are LGBT-friendly, let alone geared specifically toward LGBT audiences. While there are a couple of LGBT conventions popping up (check out Flame Con in NYC!), there have never been any conventions geared specifically towards LGBT women.

ClexaCon is the first convention that is run by LGBT women for LGBT women. We focus entirely on queer female characters and stories from film, TV, and online while highlighting LGBT actresses and content creators.

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Ali Liebert (Photo Credit: Dana Lynn Pleasant)

This is the only convention where we have the opportunity to celebrate the media we love for an entire weekend with a community of thousands of other like-minded people.

Tell-Tale TV: There is a wide range of panels and workshops. Can you tell us about some of them and why the diverse topics are important?

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Answer: We will be offering a lot of panels and workshops, some of which are returning, including:

  • Tello’s Pitch to Production
  • Writer’s Workshop led by Emily Andras
  • Queer Lady Business
  • LGBTQ Actresses

In addition to those, we will have a larger presence of panels that discuss intersectionality within the LGBT community. Please keep a lookout on our website for some of these announcements!

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Writers Workshop with Emily Andras (Photo Credit: Dana Lynn Pleasant)

Tell-Tale TV: Who are you excited to have back this year and why?

AnswerReturning to our exciting ClexaCon lineup includes Amy Acker from Person of Interest, Lost Girl’s Zoie Palmer (Lauren) and Rachel Skarsten (Tamsin).

Also, Wynonna Earp’s Dominique Provost-Chalkley (Waverly) and Katherine Barrell (Nicole); from The L Word and Skirtchasers, Elizabeth Keener; Carmilla’s Elise Bauman (Laura) and Natasha Negovanlis.

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ClexaCon Carmilla Panel (Photo Credit: Dana Lynn Pleasant)

Tell-Tale TV: Which new guest are you most excited about and why?

Answer: We’re ecstatic to feature a lot of new guests including The Bold Type’s Nikohl Boosheri, Isabella Gomez from One Day at A Time, Dot Marie Jones (Coach Beiste) from Glee.

Also, Chyler Leigh from Supergirl and Grey’s Anatomy, Caity Lotz from Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow, and Erica Luttrell from Steven Universe, Lost Girl, and Dishonored 2.

We have a range of industry guests and voice actors who will be in attendance as well!

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Tell-Tale TV: What tips would you give for a first time attendee?

Answer: Drink plenty of water, wear good shoes, and be prepared to have the time of your life!

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This year’s ClexaCon will be held at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas from April 5th to 9th. Tickets are still available for purchase for the convention, so make sure to visit the ClexaCon website!

Are you going to ClexaCon or have thoughts on the guests who are or are not attending? Make sure to leave a comment below!

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Hillary Esquina

Hillary is television fanatic and spends most of her free time talking about all things television and pop culture, even if it’s just with baby padawan (her son) and her wife. Her current day job is working within 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 show preferences range from Wynonna Earp and Dark Matter to One Day At a Time and Modern Family.

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