Welcome to Queer Fudanshi! Let’s Talk. Today, we’re going to talk about BishounenCon 2017.
I posted that I was going to BishounenCon a couple months ago, and the time finally came! I’ve got to say, I had a good time. But don’t just take my word on it. Watch this youtube video to see for yourself.
In addition, I wanted to share some extra thoughts I had that I may have forgotten when recording the video or cut out to save time when I was editing.
First, BishounenCon 2017 was small. It wasn’t terribly small, because the convention got a good turn out for a first year run (about 500-something people overall). That said, the convention did have a small feel to it. That’s not exactly a bad thing, there was a sort of homely, family, community feeling that came with it. That said, if the convention gets additional years (which isn’t confirmed yet), then it’ll just get bigger and bigger.
Also, there was a sort of confusion going on with the convetioneers. Mostly, a lot of people were comparing BishounenCon 2017 to YaoiCon when the two aren’t the same convention. BishounenCon is trying to be different and be an LGBT inclusive event that is half Yaoi and half LGBT. Hopefully, in following years the convention will solidify this identity and conventioneers will recognize it.
The location was great. It was in a hotel right on the edge of the two towns Providence and Warwick in Rhode Island. This spot was chosen because it’s a great center for transportation on the East Coast and easy to get to.
I can confirm that. Especially because I stayed with a friend instead of having a hotel room (which is why I carried all my bags with me on Sunday if people who went to the convention were wondering).
So not only did I get to explore the convention, but I explored a little bit of Providence as well. Transportation in Providence is easy and the feel of the city is very arts-y, hipstery, and fun. I even went to a storytelling event with my friend and his wife Friday night (which meant I didn’t go to the “after dark” Bishounen events).
Speaking of, one other difference between BishounenCon 2017 and Yaoi Con is that BishounenCon is trying to be more classy. Not only are the mascots classy (with their suits), but the convention is trying to be a more relaxed event than Yaoi Con.
This was done in a few ways.
- First, instead of a rave night there was a masquerade ball where people decked out in big showy clothing.
- Second, the Bishounens (though they did strip down and even kiss at some points) were pretty chill the entire time. It wasn’t a meat fest, but rather a pleasant (and sometimes steamy) host club.
- Third, there was only 1 NSFW anime viewing (Sensitive Pornograph). I will say that I was in there for a few minutes before heading out. I went because I had 30 minutes to spend before one of my panels started and I left because I felt a little uncomfortable as a gay man in that room full of women squealing over gay porn. That said, when I left there were still 2 or 3 men in the room.
The Dealer’s Room
I forgot to get footage of the dealer’s room at BishounenCon 2017, but I did want to briefly comment.
There was a lot of stuff I wanted to buy. I ended up spending about 60-80 bucks on stuff and I got quite a bit. (Again, check the video). There were several booths there in that room and a lot of different merchandise being sold. Pillow cases with shirtless men on them, books, official manga, doujinshi, indie comics, posters (SO MANY POSTERS), t-shirts, and more.
Next time, I might bring more money.
In addition, the people were friendly and nice. I feel so bad that I couldn’t have just payed them all. Been like, “Hey, you’re a nice person. Here’s some money!”
I specifically remember this man at the Juné table who was good at striking up conversation. He felt natural and honest. (I suppose that’s how he got that job in the first place.) Didn’t hurt that he was also kind of cute (let’s be honest).
Also, there was a person at a book table that went to my writing sex panel. They were very nice and spoke to me for a moment about the panel. Sadly, I wasn’t interested in their merchandise (sorry!).
The women at the Yaoi Revolution booth became my go-to-people. I visited them every day (and bought something from them every day). We talked about a convention happening in Baltimore (which “hint hint” might be my next convention), and talked about BishounenCon.
Lastly, at the Dirty Old Ladies League booth I was drawn in by their pillows. Specifically, the Irish pillow got my attention (but I didn’t buy it ’cause what’s a black guy who doesn’t have an Irish fetish gonna do with a pillow like that?). I was looking at two different pillows, and the vendor was nice enough to let me buy both for $15 when it should have been $20. Plus, the price for these pillows online is $35 without shipping. Great deal!
I had a good time. BishounenCon 2017’s three days went by very fast, and though it was a small convention there was still enough going on that I feel like I missed out on some things. That’s good for the convention and bad for me.
Overall, I would go to another BishounenCon and I hope you guys will consider going with me!