June? Already? Why didn’t anyone tell me? Okay, they did tell me, for nearly 50 years. I’m a calendar and planner guy, so I know that it follows May, it’s got 30 days, etc. I just didn’t track the time like I should.
This post will be a little different in that there are two points I want to cover today.
Point the First, and the far more important, is that June is National Pride Month. I am an ally, and thus I’ll keep this brief: Please make the time and space to really listen to LGBTQ creators, friends, and family. If you fall onto that spectrum, please feel free to use the comments section to “boost the signal.” I see you, and am here for you.
The other thing going on in June is Phoenix Fan Fusion. Now one might (and some likely will) ask “How can you talk about Pride and a convention in the same post?” Lend me your ears – well, eyes – and I’ll explain.
While at Phoenix Comicon in 2014, I first became aware of the Diversity Lounge, a lovely space created for people from all walks to just come in, hangout, decompress, etc. I found a few old friends who were already volunteering there and an appreciation for everything this space meant and stood for.
Fast forward to a couple years later. Open Beta was performing on the Adams Street Stage for Phoenix Comicon 2016, and Erin, Moni, and I made time to drop by the Diversity Lounge to play an acoustic set for a bit, mainly folks tunes and the nerdy, geeky stuff you’d expect to find at a ‘Con. We had such an amazing time, we were instantly hooked, and wanted to volunteer and support this space every chance we could.
Phoenix Gaymers, who had been participating in this endeavour since 2014, began operating the Diversity Lounge in 2017 as “a welcoming and safe space for people of different races, genders, sexualities, cultures, faiths, and accessibility/non-visible/non-apparent needs to meet up, relax, and build community.” Erin & I, in turn, have been happy to volunteer there every year since, with the notable exceptions of ‘20-’21, when the pandemic forced the event (now named Phoenix Fan Fusion) to take a hiatus.
Which brings us to the current day, and the event unfolding before us just 24 hours from now. Phoenix Fan Fusion 2023 takes place Friday, June 2 through Sunday, June 4th, and I am pleased to announce that each day Open Beta will be providing entertainment for the Phoenix Gaymers Diversity Lounge located in the West Building, 1st Floor, Room 104AB. The overall event promises to be a thrill, and the Lounge still provides this much-needed space for folks of all walks to stop in, chill, and take a break from the day as needed. We’ve got many fond memories from years past, and are excited to see what memories may come from this year!
So, if you’re planning on attending Fan Fusion this year, please stop by and check out the space. We don’t ourselves have a set schedule for exactly what times you’ll find us there, but at least one of us will be posting to our Patreon, Facebook, and especially here to keep you apprised. Who knows, you might even catch one or more of us wandering the halls. Me, I’m pretty sure I’ll find myself in a nearby pub at least one evening. 😉
Also, for those wishing to learn more about the Phoenix Fan Fusion Diversity Lounge presented by Phoenix Gaymers, please visit their event page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/295375600586362
Vive le Geek!