Growing up in Geekycon- Prologue

Context before I go into describing this year’s convention.

It’s 2011, I’m 11 just for a couple of months more. Living in a foreign land we call Florida, my move-in boxes still taking up half my room. I needed something to do, and with the craze of moving in just as Hogsmeade was opening, I finally took up to reading the series after years of procrastination. I fall broom first into the wizarding world. My move-in boxes are now poorly drawn owl pictures taped on rented walls or handmade howlers sitting on desks. I bought my first customized wand, waiting for it to come in the mail so that my mom wouldn’t see it and throw it away. For a good two months, I might of even believed in the magic a little too much and wondered if it’d come by owl. But the snowy white blur coming through my street wasn’t Hedwig, but a Fedex truck.

It’s 2011, and I don’t know what a fandom is.

It’s 2012, I finally log off club penguin for once and realize the internet exists. Leakycauldron.org was found. Still oblivious to fandom’s existence.

It’s 2013, I find A Very Harry Potter Musical. Sat there astounded,

“Man, these guys love harry potter! If only there were more people like that.”

I was REALLY in my own world guys.

It’s 2013, my first internet friend finds out I’m watching the starkid musical we’ve all come to love, and tells me they met the Draco in it at Leakycon.

“Leakycon?”

It’s 2014, I stumble upon a channel about waffling weird foods. Jackson Bird’s rapid talk about Harry Potter and Leakycon and weird college videos of lightsaber battles was refreshing. A name was sprinkled like floo powder, The Harry Potter Alliance. 
And like floo powder, once I got the word, I was transported instantly.

I bought my leakycon 2014 ticket just because Jack was going to be there, and so was the HPA. I didn’t know what to expect, I never really thought of a harry potter fandom being a tangible thing. So thank you Jack, honestly if I never found your channel I would of never been to this wonderful convention, or be your friend of course. Something 15 year old Riley would of never of guessed to happen. I think it’s cool that we also started transitioning the same time too.

And of course, we all saw the music video recaps or the many instagram posts, to know how my first year at this con was. Full of new experiences. Wizard Rock? Had no idea, but went anyway to the concerts. A snitchwich? I’m hungry, sure why not. A magical tree that sings? Real life Quidditch? Fan activism? The only thing not questioned was the acceptance and respect in any area that had vibrant convention carpet.

Everything was so new, and it stuck to me like peanut butter and golden grahams. People at the HPA were so nice, the staff so helpful, and I felt so safe and wanted even though my insecurities were rising high. Was I really wanted here? Did these people really want to be friends with me? I am not as cool as they were, especially back then. I made my music video recap to deal with it, hoping that at least I could look back to the experience.

With having the most views than any video on my channel, I did not expect everyone else to look back with me.

That video started something. It made me realize I could make things that weren’t just for me. Soon it wasn’t just a video. It was an annual comic book, dozens of drawings for friends, hand sewn squids, and now a literary magazine.

I want to do so much more.