Friday, October 29, 2010

A stranger in a strange land (Yaoi-Con, Day Zero)

October 28th, 2010

I'm going to Yaoi-Con.
There's a part of me that winces, just a bit, when I say that out loud. We all know that there are certain stereotypes and assumptions made about specific fandoms and yaoi is definitely one that comes off as a bit... strange. I mean, it's basically gay anime/manga made for women, it's the equivalent to the romance novel; only gay.


In Japan, the genre is referred to as "Boys Love" and manga/anime made for gay men or gei comi is yet another genre unto itself. My introduction to yaoi came by way of my best friend Carmen who will be my tour guide, and yours, on this little adventure in San Francisco.


It's always a good sign when you meet fans in the airport and while I was desperately trying not to lose my mind from the squalling child seated next to me, who seemed to delight in screaming in my ear much to the amusement of his parents, I meet Amanda. This is also her first time to the convention and we chat about what we're going to do, which panels we we're going to see, what anime series we like and which ones we hate. At the end of the flight we exchange contact information and agree to hang out at some point.

After running around SFO, picking up luggage and looking for ground transportation to the hotel we boarded the shuttle to the Hyatt with a group of other women. You always wonder if people are headed to the same event. They proceeded to have a very loud conversation about having sex with their stuffed animals, so naturally, I assume that they are.

While checking in at the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame I looked around to see clumps of people in the lobby: brightly colored gelled up and spiky hair, cat ears and tails, people videotaping puppets in various poses by the azaleas. It always amuses me when I see how some fandoms intersect and I see people on the couches with the Nintendo DS's and PSP's, I see Pikachu backpacks, Castlevania t-shirts and Phoenix Wright cosplayers and the con hasn't even started yet.

Nothing happens today, opening ceremonies aren't until tomorrow afternoon and so all you can do is peruse the list of events and try to pick things out that you would like to attend. There's a reason why this convention is only open to people aged 18 and older, you have panels called "BDSM 101," "Flogging 201" and "Mpreg and why we love them;" among others. There are two gaming panels which interest me that involve Phoenix Wright and WoW, it's not entirely clear how they intersect with yaoi but I'm sure I'll find out.

But for now, all I can do is have a relaxing night in the city and take in some sights. Good food, friends and conversation. Tomorrow is a new day.

3 comments:

  1. Holy cow this is gonna be something!

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  2. I am both intrigued and frightened!

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  3. So was I, I didn't know what to expect but well, you'll see what's to come. lol.

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