Con Reports: Mo*Con V

Well, here I am after doing a 16-mile bike ride to the Capital and back. I’m sore, I’m achy and my butt hurts. Perfect time to finally get to my con reports, right?

Back to back cons. Wow. I truly must be insane. Actually, it wasn’t bad. I had planned it that way. And both can be summed up with one word:

Incredible.

Mo*Con first.

I met Maurice Broaddus at Wiscon last year and had been completely unaware of his work. Luckily, I scored a copy of Dark Faith.  I’ve never been to a horror convention before. But when I saw the topic for this year’s Mo*Con, "Homosexuality, the church and the arts" I had to go. I thought Madcon had been an extremely small con. Well, Mo*Con’s smaller. It took place at the bottom of a church basement. There was only three panels. And we all left the church around 8:30ish.

But ahh…the conversation. And the food! Mo*Con was sort like a pre-con party held in an really, really, really far hotel room. I didn’t do much that Friday because most of that time was spent in Chicago construction, and I was also visiting my former boss. I spent Saturday morning with a friend of mine, then headed to the church to hear the main panel mentioned above. Mainly it was several panelists talking about their experiences in the church. All their stories were interesting, though the stories I found most interesting was comic book illustrator who grew up in a fundamentalist church and became gay, and the pastor who grew up gay and became hetero. Maurice also spoke, and he had a line that deeply impacted me: "If I’m a Christian, the first thing you should receive is my love. Period."

After the panel, I asked Maurice if he had considered bringing in a Christian panelist who was against homosexuality, and he said he had. "But then, we wouldn’t have had an open discussion. It would have been more of a debate. This wasn’t the type of panel I wanted. This way, people would be more vulnerable, more open, to sharing their experiences."

Is it possible for Christians and LGBT to have open, honest, vulnerable discussions with each other, even those who have differing opinions without privilege lording over the conversation?  Thinking about it. But that’s a blog post for another day.

Anywho, what made Mo*Con well worth it was what happened afterwards, when we hung out at Maurice’s house. I got to hang with horror writers Chesya Burke and Lucy Snyder, and and meet editors from Apex Publications and Coach’s Midnight Diner and Relief: A Christian Literary Expression. We talked about the upcoming Festival of Faith and Writing. I also got to learn about Worldcon, which is coming to Chicago next year. Looks like my 2011 is shaping up to be a busy time.

I really liked how Mo*Con melds horror writing with spiritual matters. Definitely adding it to cons that I plan to go to when I have time. Plus, they feed you. A definitely plus in my book.

Next report: Wiscon. Right now…bed.

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