It’s taken me a while to write this post, because I’ll be honest – it’s almost impossible to put how I feel about the Ice and Fire Con family into words.
Last year I wrote a very heartfelt entry about “my” convention – “Ice and Fire Con: A Goal, A Reality, A Lifestyle”. Now, I put the “my” in quotes because let’s be honest, it’s never been “mine”, at least not outside of the fact that I’m one of the original founders and, of course, a current organizer.
And no, I didn’t do it on my own. There were two other founders who have long since moved on to other things, because that’s what happens when life takes hold of you. There are an additional two prior organizers who are also no longer involved, because sometimes what’s best for an organization as a whole doesn’t quite work for everyone involved. For my part, there are no hard feelings – how can there be, when this thing that we worked together to create and build is still here, still thriving, still growing?
Honestly, while I did found this convention, the family that has sprung from it is still beyond my comprehension. Ice & Fire Con absolutely would not exist in its current and most amazing form without my good friend and fellow organizer K-K, who saw our Reddit post way back in 2012 and decided to take a chance on the first-ever North American ASOIAF/Game of Thrones convention. Who eventually became one of my best friends, then a volunteer, and finally, an organizer.
Ice & Fire Con couldn’t be what it is without our awesome volunteers, either, and it absolutely wouldn’t be the same without every single person who attends. When I say that we’re a family, I don’t say that lightly, and I’m not sure I can really express how true it is. In fact, even when I go to other conventions, I’m generally more excited about seeing my Ice and Fire Con family (a.k.a. “IaF fam”) than I am about anything else.
We are, in so many ways, a very diverse group, but our differences are never problematic – they are honored and appreciated. I am personally very proud of the inclusive, non-judgmental, and *safe* community that we have fostered, and like the mama bear I am, I will do everything in my power to protect that. (Pause to insert “BEARS” chant here)
It’s not just the success of Ice & Fire Con that brings me joy – it is the community, the *family*, that it imbues in me, and hopefully in others, as well.
We are extroverts. We are introverts. Some of us have been bullied. Some of us have been disrespected. But at Ice & Fire Con, we are, as one of my absolute favorite attendees pointed out, “kings, queens, warriors; dangerous, powerful, beautiful, perfect.”
At Ice & Fire Con, we are family.
I would say “let the countdown to Ice & Fire Con 2018 begin”…but let’s be real, it started when we parted ways on April 30th of this year.