First Monday of each month at 9pm (EST).
Each episode, the chat kicks off with a topic and confession* about that topic from one of the hosts or a guest. Here's the line-up. Check back soon. The schedule updates frequently. To join the chat, type #BlerdDating into the search bar on your Twitter page. REMEMBER TO INCLUDE THE HASHTAG #BlerdDating IN EVERY TWEET SO YOUR TWEETS SHOW UP IN THE CHAT.
* Contributors retain all rights to their confession.
NEXT CHAT: JULY 1, 2019 I DATED A MARRIED BALLER (ACCIDENTALLY)
By FILMMAKER Katherine Nero (@CINEMANERO)
DOING THE CONFESSION: Filmmaker Katherine Nero (@cinemanero): Katherine Nero is an award-winning filmmaker who is passionate about movies, politics, history and basketball. Her film civil rights legal drama feature For The Cause is currently streaming on KweliTV and she’s in production on a new feature about teen suicide.
GUEST HOST: Cosplayer and writer TaLynn Kel (@talynnkel) Having been immersed in geek convention culture for over 15 years, TaLynn Kel has witnessed its evolution from a fringe activity frequented by “weirdos” to the pop culture phenomenon dominating so much of media today. Brought to this world through her interest in playful costuming, now known as cosplay, TaLynn jumped in feet first, never imagining that it would become the global spectacle it is today. A casual scholar and professional analytical thinker, TaLynn has watched how popularity, social media, and capitalism have morphed cosplay from “those weird people who play dress-up as superheroes” into a multi-faceted and oppressive culture intent on recreating the traits of white supremacist capitalist patriarchy while claiming to subvert them.
From television, movies, anime, fandoms, and conventions, TaLynn has lent her unique perspective to the many ways that white supremacist capitalist patriarchy continues to not just influence what media is being created, but who creates it, whose talents are recognized, and by whom. Her willingness to intellectually and emotionally engage with media informs her essays, presentations, and panels providing a richer and more contextualized perspective for audiences to consider.
TaLynn has written for Huffington Post, Everyday Feminism, Wear Your Voice Magazine. She has presented her content at MomoCon and Mid-City MicroCon as an invited guest and presented at DragonCon, Atlanta Science Fiction and Fantasy Expo, and QuirkCon. She collaborated with activist/organizer Leslie Mac to create an anti-racism instructional kit focusing on allyship in fandom for The Safety Pin Box subscription service and an anti-racism workshop at GeekGirlCon in Seattle, Washington. In 2019, TaLynn worked with Kecia Stovall to create the video project, The Space Between: Celebrating Black Womxn in Geekdom, and Black Girl Geek Out, a one-day Black womxn-centered, geek event at Stonecrest Library near Atlanta, Georgia.
TaLynn’s cosplay has been featured on NBC, as well as in The New York Times and InStyle Magazine. She has published two essay compilations: Breaking Normal: Essays about My Fat, Black, Geek Life and Still Breaking Normal: A Fat, Black, Femme, Geek Navigating an Anti-Black World, hosts a YouTube show titled Time Out With TaLynn Kel, and co-hosts the New Wakanda podcast with comic creator Dedren Snead. You can read her essays and see her latest works on her website, www.TaLynnKel.com.
GUEST HOST - SciFi Blogger M’Shai Dash (@mshaidash) M’Shai S. Dash is a blogger, digital content creator, and freelance writer from Washington, D.C. She began writing music and poetry as a child, and has recently completed a work of poetry called Woman In Sujud. After appearing in PBS’s Legacy: Black and White in America (2007), she began speaking publicly about social justice issues, the contributions of people of color in speculative fiction, and the power of digital storytelling in a social media driven world. Dash has spoken at the Apollo Theater (2008), Charles Sumner School (2012), Duke Ellington School of the Arts (2012), and Blerdcon DC (2017). She was also a featured presenter for Blogger Week DC at Trinity University College (2017). Most recently, she spoke on a panel about afrofuturism and pop culture at the Bushwick Starr in New York (2018).
Dash writes about race, pop culture, and mental wellness. Her writing has been featured in Blavity, For Harriet, and Madame Noir. Her most recent short stories have appeared in The Scribes of Nyota: Our Voices, Our Imagination, A Compendium, and in the Awakenings Foundation online magazine. She is a currently a staff writer and content curator for BlackSci-Fi.com, and a co-host on Black Sci-fi TV, a public access television show which airs on PhillyCam.
GUEST HOST: Stephanie Williams (@Steph_I_Will) Stephanie Williams, an unapologetic “blerd” blogger, former host of wildly popular The Lemonade Podcast and writer for SyFyFanGrrls and WeAreMayke. She is an avid comic reader, sci-fi lover, and “well actually” slayer. Stephanie can be found tweeting about everything from why representation matters to why Forge was giving Storm the business on that metal leg. Walking in her truth daily and embracing her inner troll.