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What Attending Dragon Con Taught Me About Being A Supportive Girlfriend

What Attending Dragon Con Taught Me About Being A Supportive Girlfriend

I dressed up in costume with my boyfriend for Dragon Con and this is what happened

Her Voice

When my boyfriend and I first started dating, I found a stash of comic books in his bedroom. Once I mentioned it, he shared with me all of his favorite comic books, which are the Black Panther,Spawn, The Watchmen and The Punisher, and that he discovered his love for comic books at the age of 9. He also told me that comic books were special to him because they tell a story about heroes who actually have morals and cares. One Day, I decided to surprise him by taking him to a comic book store, and that's when I actually saw how much he really loved comic books.

He was like a kid in a candy store!

Months later, I saw my boyfriend tweet about MomoCon and I had no idea what he was talking about. So I researched it and learned that it is a convention in Atlanta that annually brings together over 65,000 fans of anime, animation, comics, video games and tabletop games.

I felt really bad that he missed it, so I started thinking about other conventions we could go to and I came across Comic Con, but that was all the way in California and we wouldn't be able to make it. Then I came across Dragon Con and remembered that it happens every year in Atlanta. This would be the perfect surprise!

To take things a little further, we decided to dress in character.

I had always wondered what Dragon Con was all about because I would always see people walking around in costumes, but this year I switched places, and I became the “weird" person dressed in a costume walking around downtown Atlanta.

One thing I noticed right away is that there were rarely any people of color in attendance, and there wasn't a lot of women there either.

It didn't dawn on my boyfriend and me that people of color were few and far between until we met a little girl who ran up to me screaming "Mommy! Look, she's a superhero!" Her mother asked if she could take a photo with us, but at first I was so confused because there were thousands of other superheroes around her, so why me? And then I took a second and realized that I was probably only one of the 10 brown people there.

Courtesy of Nia Testamark

I realize now that it is very important for people of color and women to attend these conventions because we aren't as visible in the fantasy, anime and comic book industry. By attending, it will definitely begin to paint a different picture. For some odd reason, casting a black person, a minority or a woman as a comic book character or superhero seems to be so controversial.

For example, when it was announced that Michael B. Jordan was cast in the Fantastic Four as the Human Torch, many people were so upset and distraught just because he was a black man playing a “traditionally" white character. As far as women, well the new Super Girl television show has already received a number of negative comments and it hasn't even premiered. I have no idea why women and people of color playing these types of characters seem to be such an issue, but it needs to change.

One great thing that came out of attending Dragon Con was that it definitely helped change the dynamic of our relationship. This was my boyfriend's first convention and he was so excited that he was able to meet actors, producers and other fans of movies and comic books. He kept telling me how happy he was that I was so supportive and wasn't negative or judgmental about the convention and the other people that were there, and he really liked how open I was to learning about comic books and that I put effort into learning about the character that I was dressed as. I think it added on to the foundation of support and care that we already have for each other because I could of easily dismissed Dragon Con or even just bought tickets for him and one of his friends.

As a girlfriend you should give it a shot and try to learn about his favorite hobbies. You just might surprise yourself like I did and want to do it again. However, if you do try it and you see that it's not for you, then don't consume your entire life with it. Most importantly, make sure that he is a supporting boyfriend of your hobbies and interests.

Have you ever dated a guy with interesting hobbies? How did you show him support?

Nia Testamark is a little person (not literally) with a lot to say. She is a 4'11'' social media lover, media junkie and enjoys blogging on her website Lepetitescribe.com. She is an alumna of Clark Atlanta University and a current graduate student at American University.

Featured image courtesy of Nia Testamark

The Mamie 'Till' Movie Wants To Empower Us

Sitting in the theater getting ready to watch Nopefor the third time, I was excited, like a good film nerd, to see my friend's first-time reactions to the fun UFO horror-comedy. My heart sank immediately when a trailer for the film Till, which follows the life and legacy of Emmett Till's mother, Mamie, started playing first.

My knee-jerk reaction, of course, comes from years of watching film and TV that have exploited Black trauma onscreen and were created with little (if any) consideration for what could emotionally trigger the Black audience. The 1955 murder of Emmett Till is so heartbreaking and inherently violent; would this film make us live through that violence on screen?

Fortunately, no!

This week, before watching Gina Prince-Bythewood's incredible The Woman King, a featurette for Till played in place of a trailer and it soothed my fears.

"There will be no physical violence against Black people on screen," the film's award-winning director and co-writer Chinonye Chukwu says in the featurette. "I'm not interested in relishing in that kind of physical trauma. We're going to begin and end in a place of joy," she says.

Starring Danielle Deadwyler (whose heartfelt performance on HBO's Station Eleven stole the show) as Mamie, Till is a celebration of Mamie's tireless activism which sparked the civil rights movement that continues today and ultimately culminated in President Biden signing the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act into law just a few months ago in March 2022. "Mamie Till Mobley is a hero," says Alana Mayo, president of Orion Pictures, the production company behind the film. "I'm really, really committed to making movies not just by us, but for us," Mayo says in the featurette.

After a private screening of Till, this week, Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, tweeted that the film was "#Powerful" and "a must see."

Mamie's story of courage in the face of unspeakable tragedy deserves to be told--especially as we continue the fight for civil rights today. Knowing that the Black filmmakers behind the film are centering Black joy and aiming for our empowerment through the film makes a world of difference.

TILLis in theaters October 14.

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