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Queer Lady Business Panel, ClexaCon 2018

(Christin Baker (Tello Films), LaShawn McGhee (Revry), Eboné F. Bell (Tagg Magazine), Sally Heaven and Rebecca Barrick (Fangirl Shirts))

ClexaCon, the annual convention dedicated to improving the portrayal of LGBTQ women in media, hosted almost one hundred panels over a three day period. Artists, writers, actors, producers, and their fans gathered in Las Vegas the first weekend in April to talk about stories made in our own image. For those of us who couldn’t attend this year, Tagg presents a sampling brought to you in a Panel Highlights series.

Kia McCall-Barnes (comedian, host) mediated a panel with LGBTQ business owners bringing much-needed services to our community. Christin Baker is the CEO of Tello Films, a company that produces and distributes films with a lesbian focus. Beside her, Rebecca Barrick and Sally Heaven co-founded Fangirl Shirts, offering t-shirt designs that celebrate the joys of being a fangirl. LaShawn McGee is the CPO for Revry, Inc., a media network with inclusive queer content for the community. And last but not least, our very own Editor-in-Chief, Eboné F. Bell representing Tagg Magazine!

All of the women were keen to highlight the power of the LGBTQ lady community. “One of the most loyal audiences you can have are queer fangirls, honestly,” said Barrick. “When you can find people who actually watch the same shows that you do, for the same reasons that you do, and who love the same characters that you do, then that’s ultimately where we find the connection, not with customers but also with friends.”

Baker eagerly added to the point. “Advertisers want to lump all the LGBTQ people in a single group, but we don’t spend money like the guys do,” she said. “We are discerning customers. If you want our money, you will have to earn it.” After a pause, she laughed and added, “But we’ll give it to you for the next fifty years if you do!”

Bell added that it’s much easier to promote and support queer lady businesses than we might originally think. “For example, like us on Facebook,” she said. “That can make us money, because I can go to advertisers and say, ‘We have 10,000 followers, you should advertise with us on social media.’”

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t spend money on the media and companies run for and by us, as McGee was quick to add. “It’s worth paying for when it speaks directly to you!”

This is part of an ongoing conversation about how we find and support LGBTQ businesses, both locally and nationally. To see products that speak to our needs and find content that shows our own faces, we need to make sure that creators can bring them to us. In short, support queer lady businesses!

Come back on Tuesday for our next ClexaCon Panel Highlight: Responsibility of Media Makers!

Read last week’s panel series highlight: “Bisexual Representation in Media” >>






Kate Rue Sterling
Katherine Weinberg (she/they) is a bisexual freelance writer based in Las Vegas. When not saving the world through her work in the solar energy industry, she writes for various queer-friendly publications, focusing on the unique experiences of Southern Nevadans.