Discussion Panels

These group conversations are the heart of our con programming.

Meta & Multifandom Panels

The majority of our programming is meta & multifandom topics. These whole-group discussions are moderated by one or two attendees. We feature a variety of conversations nominated and voted on by those coming to the con.

To ensure our schedule has a balance of conversation types, we have three categories of panels this year: Meta, Identity/Intersectionality, and Fandom Culture. This will help keep discussions more focused and specific.

Want to moderate a panel that hasn’t been claimed? Email us at tgifemslash@gmail.com and make your pitch for how you’d lead and shape the conversation.

Asian Representation in Queer Media
Moderated by: Apple (CoolAmi69), Cheeky (cheekyanon), & Jaymes (andzegiantpeach)
A panel to celebrate what’s been done well, examine and complicate what’s been done poorly, and to evaluate the lack of what hasn’t been done at all. What kinds of Asian rep in queer media have felt whole, complete, affirming and accurate? What has felt like pandering, or like it did more harm than good? A discussion for those looking to see themselves on screen.
Fruits and Roots
Moderated by: John (jarrow)
All too often we look back at the things we loved as children and go, “HOW did I not realize how gay I was?!” Together we will dig into the past and discuss all the things that made us the flaming people we are.
Gays as Protagonists
Moderated by: Helen (theseerasures)
We always need a straight protagonist to validate us, and therefore we’re always secondary and tertiary characters so we get a quarter or less screen time -- what will it take to break this cycle?
Happy Hour
Moderated by: Gretchen (gnellis)
It can be all too easy to focus on the negatives in representation or the way the world is bringing us down. This panel is a focused place to discuss only the things -- canon or fanon -- that are making our lives happier and richer. Maybe you’ll learn about a new fave!
History is Gay
Moderated by: Gretchen (gnellis) & Leigh (aparadoxinflux)
Our favorite podcasters are back with another in-depth look at our collective queer past! Be a part of a live episode recording and delve into what makes History so Gay.
Intersectionality: What Does It Actually Mean?
Moderated by: Morgan (mcclapp) & Nicole (Coles)
We often end up throwing around the word “intersectionality” like it’s a yard stick one has to meet or get over, instead of a lived experience. What does it mean to champion intersectionality? How do we personally balance the different aspects of our identities? Which parts do we find need the most defending? Which get most overlooked? Which get taken for granted? How does how we wish to be seen differ from how we are actually perceived, and is there anything that can be done to change it?
Moving Beyond the Coming-Out Narrative
Moderated by: Kelsey (goneawayawhile)
For many years, queer storytelling has been preoccupied with one major milestone: coming out, and the potential downsides thereof. Why are we getting tired of it? What lies beyond coming out as a field for rich storytelling? What do we want to see?
Queer Bodies, Identity & Self-Image
Moderated by: Eli (elipie) & Beth (audreyv)
Often, it’s hard to tell where one side of our identity ends and another begins. “Am I single because I’m overweight and ace, or do I lean on those labels as a reason because I secretly fear intimacy?” “Do I lean in on presenting a certain way because it’s my organic style or because I find the signalling more valuable than my personal comfort level?” “Why do I find the idea of other people doing X thing sexy or appealing but have no desire to do it myself or have it done to me?” A panel for self-exploration of all the ways that being bodied complicates and informs our human experience -- whether it be through race, size, ability, body modification, or anything else!
Oh, the Lesbians and Bi Folks Can Be Friends
Moderated by: Kelsey (goneawayawhile) & JJ (dagron01)
Current rhetoric often seeks to remind lesbians and bi folks of their differences, rather than their similarities. What can we do to combat this trend, and show one another support? How can we celebrate what we have in common--i.e., loving ladies?
POC Rep in Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Moderated by: Nicole (Coles)
An exploration of where we’ve been and how much further we have to go. Is representation better or different in a genre context than it is in more mainstream media? Does it go by different rules, or do the same tropes and pitfalls apply? When has it moved the needle forward? When has it failed to do so?
POC Roundtable
Moderated by: Apple (CoolAmi69) & Pooh (rqficrecs)
A place for people of color (POC) to decompress and process individual experiences, at the con or otherwise. Please note: this panel is not open to non-POC attendees. Any individual who identifies as POC (even in part), this space is for you.
Queer Ladies in Gaming
Moderated by: Kell Nico (cactus)
What does good representation of queer identities in a gaming context look like? What properties set us on the right path, and which set us back several steps? Who are our favorites, and what would we like to see in the future?
Queer Public Figures and Their Influence on Popular Culture
Moderated by: Leah (ProfessorSpork)
Like never before, if we look around at the pillars of pop culture, we can see members of our community speaking up, out and proud. How does their presence alter the pop culture landscape? What -- if anything -- do we owe to each other? Where -- if anywhere -- does our need for public role models meet their right to privacy? And where do we go from here?
Queer Women and Femslash in Animation
Moderated by: Ysabella & Apple (CoolAmi69)
When we move beyond live action representation for women who love women, what doors open? Which close? Who--in front of or behind the screen--is doing the most admirable work? What does the future look like?
Shipping Women Over 40
Moderated by: Mallory (GlassesofJustice) & Claire
In a world of high school AUs and twenty-somethings saving us from the apocalypse, we brave shippers take a stand: women over 40 are just as appealing and shippable! Here, we will discuss the kinds of topics and tropes that are more prevalent among older pairings, and why we love them. Come prepared to talk about your favorite Ladies Of A Certain Age.
TGIF/F Reflections
Moderated by: John (jarrow)
Strengthening our con community is important to us; this is an opportunity for attendees to reflect on their weekend and share. We’ll provide six prompts to guide the conversation: 1) A favorite moment of my weekend, 2) A new or strengthened connection I made, 3) A personal resolution before next con, 4) Someone/Something I’m grateful for, 5) What I’m taking away from this experience, and 6) Why I needed this weekend.
The Pitfalls of Canon Relationship Structures
Moderated by: Helen (theseerasures) & Leah (ProfessorSpork)
Why are canon portrayals of relationship drama so predictable and lacking? Why does drama always have to mean cheating or breaking up? Why is it that if there’s good tension before, there’s no tension after. Is it the set-up? Has anyone done it well? Do they have to set up other tensions (there’s tons in relationships), or is the audience so programmed it doesn’t matter? And do queer folks demand more because our internal search makes us more aware of nuance in relationships?
Why Is Nothing Good Enough For Us?
Moderated by: Ashleigh (ratherembarrassing)
It seems as though the tensions between fans and creators get more intense by the month. What is it that makes the queer community so hard to please? Where do we draw the line between demanding what we deserve and acting entitled? How can we build healthy expectations around fiction and representation? What would that even look like?

Single Fandom Panels

Each year, we also feature a handful of panel discussions based around specific fandoms. This is an opportunity to discuss both canon and fanon relationships, dynamics of the show’s universe, character arcs beyond the main pairing(s), and more, all with other people who love it as much as you do.

For 2019, approximately one-third of the panel slots on our schedule are for in-depth conversation of particular fandoms. Registered attendees nominated fandoms and voted on these panel topics in January. Here are the nine that made the cut:

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Moderated by: Ysabella & Leah (ProfessorSpork)
Crazy Rich Asians
Moderated by: JJ
Killing Eve
Moderated by: Mady
Legend of Korra
Moderated by: Mady
Ocean's 8
Moderated by: Mallory (GlassesofJustice) & Alice
One Day at a Time
Moderated by: Mika
She-Ra
Moderated by: Beth (audreyv) & Gretchen (gnellis)
The Good Place
Moderated by: Leah (ProfessorSpork)
The Haunting of Hill House
Moderated by: JJ & Mady