Rosilyne Bean wrote from New York Comic Con 2017:
New York Times tech columnist and book review editor Jude Biersdorfer hosted this year's Queer Pop Culture panel at NYCC. She was joined by several artists, activists, and cosplayers in discussion of their experiences and work in the community.
David Barclay Moore was there to discuss his novel The Stars Beneath Our Feet, published by Penguin Random House. The novel, which has just received a six-star review, has a target audience of readers 10-99. It follows a 12-year-old boy living in Harlem who is grieving his recently deceased brother. His mother's girlfriend gives him a box of LEGO, which he uses to process his grief. The novel focus heavily on issues faced by people of color and people living with autism. You can purchase his book now, both in stores and online.
Pearl Love is an Asian transgender woman who works as a social worker for the Trans Latina Network. She was recently the victim of a violent attack by a passenger on board a New York City train. Fortunately Love was able to take a video of the abuse she suffered, which provided the evidence she needed to put the woman behind bars for six months following the unprovoked hate crime. Unfortunately, Love says she is used to being the subject of abuse by complete strangers. She shared the video and story of her experience to try to raise awareness about the struggle that trans people go through every day.
Heather Hogan is the writer and senior editor of popular lesbian-oriented website Autostraddle. She discussed the TV reboot of shows Roseanne and Will & Grace. When asked if it would be better to create new material, rather than rebooting older shows, Hogan responded:
"It is great to reboot older shows as long as they are willing to come into 2017. The creators need to take the old material and adapt it to current representation and diversity standards, while making sure there are LGBTQ and people of color both on camera and behind the scenes."
James Reese and Anthony Grillo are the co-owners of Muscle Geek Physique, a fitness program that provides customized physical training and meal plans for those who would like to be cosplay-fit. They are known for their Power Rangers cosplay and their recent cosplay proposal video, which you can easily find online.
They discussed some of the hateful messages that they often receive online. When asked how they feel when they receive this hate speech targeted towards them, they had a surprising answer. They said that for every negative comment, the LGBTQ community showers them with so much positivity that they are able to brush off the negativity very easily. When asked about their wedding planning, they responded that they are focusing on their work right now, so to anticipate a long engagement.
Baltimore Russell is an actor, novelist, and producer. He is the co-author of Awakening: Children of the Solstice Book 1, a book about superheroes trying to save the world. The book has a high focus on diversity in both sexuality and color. You can purchase his book on Amazon, and he will have a new book out in February next year. Russell also works with website Total Geek Live, which you can check out online.