ConnectiCon 2015: The Return Home

ctconIf you’re an avid Con-goer like myself, you most likely have that one con you look forward to slightly more than all the others each season. For me, it’s always been ConnectiCon. It was the first three day convention I ever attended and every time my feet grace that overly-red patterned carpet it feels like I’ve returned home. This year was no different.

The first thing I noticed about CtCon 2015 was the more organized line system. Although I was busy supporting my datemate in their panel before receiving my badge, I did notice on my way to the room that the pick-up took place predominantly within the lower lobby of the hotel instead of on the con floor itself. This continued throughout the weekend and kept the flow on the con floor open. Also, lines for autographs were in the dealer’s room this year, which seemed to work out very well, too. Especially considering all the big names that attended this year, like George Takei and Nichelle Nichols.

The dealer’s room for the avid con-goer is always a forest of deja-vu (in a good way, of course). It’s always nice to see familiar faces in the booths along with friends in the Artist Alley. It’s cool to track the progress of vendors and artists with what new merchandise and creations they bring in. It felt more spacious and open in the room this year, which was nice. It was a great atmosphere to decompress in after running from panel to panel.

Speaking of panels, I’ve been on numerous, but had the wonderful opportunity to run one myself this year on transgender metaphors in fandom. It went really well and I would love to run this particular panel and others in the future at the con! The rooms are large, cool and a staff member is always present to deal with crowd numbers, tech and time organization between the previous panel and the next. CtCon is usually very on top of organization like this and it’s extremely helpful to panelists. People who attend panels at CtCon are always engaged and lovely to meet and discuss with. It’s part of the reason why I love paneling at this con.

A panel I attended and enjoyed was the Five Nights at Freddy’s Live panel, which had people playing the game for the first time while the panelist explained the science and game design reasoning as to why it is terrifying. It was extremely educational along with a lot of fun. At the same time the Masquerade was taking place along with a fire work show outside of the con. There always seems to be some event going on that’ll peak your interest. Another plus to this amazing convention.

The one problem about CtCon is finding food, which was something that recently has been solved. With the festival that takes place outside the con’s perimeters, a plethora of food trucks provided cheap meal options throughout the day. A closer Subway opened in the Science Center near the Convention Center along with more restaurant options across the street from the main entrance. And as always, there’s a Starbucks, the Convention Center’s signature $7 chicken nuggets, and ice cream!

The only ongoing issue I have with the convention is the bathroom policy. This probably has more to do with the Convention Center itself and Connecticut’s transgender laws, but it would be nice if the convention would find a way to make the Center more inclusive for the weekend, especially in an environment where so many transgender and gender non-conforming individuals attend. There were once again problems with assigning a gender neutral restroom and transgender attendees getting reprimanded by Convention Center staff for being in the “wrong” restroom. That caused me, as a trans person and boyfriend to another trans person, significant discomfort all weekend. Worrying about bathrooms shouldn’t have to be something I worry about at a convention where people are so open minded. As I said though, this may be an issue the con itself has no control over, sadly.

Although it went by fast as always, I would give CtCon another 9/10 this year, as I do every year, for always being home-like and full of the friends I’ve missed. Yeah, it might not be the world’s largest convention, but if you go, you’ll fall in love with the atmosphere and the people. Definitely go.

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