The Best LGBTQ+ Focused Panels at SDCC@Home 2020 – Thursday & Friday

LGBTQ+ Panels SDCC@Home 2020

SDCC@Home 2020 is just a couple weeks away and with the schedule posted online, let’s look at some of the LGBTQ+ content coming our way!

With the pandemic in full swing, conventions are getting cancelled or moved online around the world.  SDCC is no different.  This year we’re going to experience what’s been dubbed ‘SDCC@Home,’ and it looks like we’ll be getting a lot of interesting panels, including many quality LGBTQ+ geek culture focused ones.

As a warning, this is not an exhaustive list of every LGBTQ+ panel for Thursday and Friday.  There are a few focused on specific properties or creators, or a few that may briefly mention the topic in the scope of their content, that I haven’t included here.  I’ll be specifically highlighting the LGBTQ+ panels that tackle the subject more broadly across specific genres, mediums, or sub-topics within wider geek culture.  And there’s quite a few cool ones to keep an eye on!

We’ll be covering Thursday and Friday in this post, but stay tuned over the weekend for more LGBTQ+ panel highlights for Saturday and Sunday!  Those schedules will be released over the weekend and we’ll be sure to comb them for similar content.  And if we didn’t cover something you’re looking forward to, feel free to comment. As I said, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but a highlights reel.  So feel free to tell us your personal favs even if they fall outside the scope of what we’re highlighting here. 

LGBTQ+ Content on Thursday July 23rd

LGBTQ Characters on Television – What’s Next? / 5:00 pm-6:00 pm

Jamie Chung (Once Upon A Time), Jamie Clayton (Roswell: New Mexico), Wilson Cruz (Star Trek: Discovery), Tatiana Maslany (Perry Mason), Anthony Rapp (Star Trek: Discovery), J. August Richards (Council of Dads), Harry Shum, Jr. (Shadowhunters), Brian Michael Smith (9-1-1: Lone Star) discuss the past, present, and future of representation of LGBTQ characters on television in a Q&A session moderated by Jim Halterman (TV Guide magazine).

This is an incredibly stacked cast of well known LGBTQ+ actors who play LGBTQ+ characters on television.  I’m most excited for Jamie Clayton, who is here representing Roswell: New Mexico but is most well-known in my circles for Sense8, and Anthony Rapp, who has made history on Star Trek: Discovery, but has a long history in the LGBTQ+ community going all the way back to the original Broadway run of Rent.  Both have already been very outspoken on the topic, and I can’t wait to see what they say here.

There are also notable allies, such as Tatiana Maslany, whose portrayal of both the lesbian clone Cosima and transgender clone Tony on Orphan Black have been highly praised. Orphan Black has become a favorite in the LGBTQ+ community as a result.

Howard Cruse: The Godfather of Queer Comics / 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Howard Cruse, widely recognized as the “godfather of queer comics,” passed away on November 28th, 2019. He left behind a remarkable legacy as the creator of Gay Comix, Wendel, and Stuck Rubber Baby (back in print from First Second Books in a 25th Anniversary Edition). Howard Cruse not only broke open doors with his prodigious talent, but he held them open for those who came after him. Join Prism Comics and moderators Justin Hall (No Straight Lines, professor, California College of the Arts), Jennifer Camper (Juicy Mother, Queers & Comics Conference organizer) and Karen Green (curator for Comics and Cartoons at Columbia University) for three panels discussing Cruse’s life and work featuring creators who worked with or knew Howard – Trina Robbins, Denis Kitchen, Roberta Gregory, Robert Triptow, Diane DiMassa, Robert Kirby, Ivan Velez Jr., Rupert Kinnard, Ajuan Mance, Steve MacIsaac, Tara Madison Avery, William O. Tyler, and Andy Mangels.

For more about Howard Cruse please visit http://www.howardcruse.com
For a historical tribute to Howard Cruse written by Andy Mangels please download the Comic-Con 2020 Souvenir Book.

Shudder: Horror is Queer / 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Discover why horror cinema is (and always has been) queer with Sam Wineman (The Quiet Room), director of Shudder’ s upcoming documentary on LGBTQ horror film history, and a panel of leading voices: Nay Bever (co-host, Attack of the Queerwolf podcast), Bryan Fuller (creator, Hannibal), Don Mancini (creator of the Child’ s Play franchise), Lachlan Watson (actor, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) and, serving as moderator, writer Jordan Crucchiola.

If you know me, you know my eyes zoomed in on Bryan Fuller’s name and haven’t been able to let go of this one.  I’m a lifelong Fannibal and will jump at the chance to hear more about Hannibal whenever I can.  But credit where credit is due, the rest of this panel is pretty awesome as well.  I’m particularly happy to see Lachlan Watson on the list.  Like Hannibal back in 2015, The Chilling Adventure of Sabrina has unfortunately been cancelled right before the con, but I’m looking forward to what Watson has to say about representation regardless in the horror genre. 

LGBTQ+ Content on Friday July 24th

Lights, Camera, LGBTQI-dentity! Never Alone / 10:00 am – 11:00 am

YOU have the starring role in your own hero’s journey–but the spotlight can be lonely. And Pop Culture Hero Coalition (@SuperheroIRL) stands united as you meet allies, mentors, and opposition along the way. If you’re isolated and away from your usual support systems, connect with Ru Paul’s Drag Race contestants Pandora Boxx, Jackie Cox, and Silky Nutmeg Ganache, who will bolster your identity with their hard-won stories of resilience–and explore our interactive comic book, Lights, Camera, LGBTQI-Identity! Never Alone, which features these Queens as mentors for LGBTQIA youth. We wanna “stand with you on the mountain” and celebrate your identity with multi-award winning vocal artist Darren Hayes (Savage Garden). And proclaim love & inclusion with iconic NOH8 Campaign Founders Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley. Featuring Lights, Camera, Identity! Never Alone artist Mr. Loki and author Raymond Litster, along with Coalition founder Chase Masterson (Star Trek: DS9, Doctor Who: Big Finish). “Pop Culture Hero Coalition is using Comic-Con’s massive influence to spread its anti-bullying message.” CBS News

This is a much broader look at what life is like for those of us who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community as we navigate pop culture spaces.  It’s not always easy, but with more visibility among both fans and in the content we consume itself, we’re beginning to realize we aren’t alone.

TOKYOPOP: Manga for Everyone / 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Kae Winters (marketing), Stu Levy (CEO and founder), Lena Atanassova (editor), and Janae Young (editor) discuss TOKYOPOP’s latest manga lineup with titles for kids, teens, adults and ongoing initiatives to highlight LGBTQ+ stories and titles by women and people of color.

I tend to talk about queer anime and manga titles A LOT.  I have an episode of the Queer Geek Cast dedicated to that topic, and do a panel at KawaiiKon every year about it too.  So, needless to say, I’m really excited to see what’s in store coming from TOKYOPOP.  I’m particularly happy to see that they are focuses on titles by women and POC.

So those are the highlights from Thursday and Friday.  In a couple days we’ll go over the new content for Saturday and Sunday, so stay tuned!

Author: Angel Wilson

Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.


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