Tonight the the latest convention I attended came to a close and as I drove home a thought came to my mind. I thought about all the people that attend these events and why they go.
I'm pretty new to the whole "convention" thing. I attended my first one back in 2012 and I loved it--LTUE in Provo. Everyone seemed to have a good time. There were a few costumed attendees, but it's not really a cosplay convention, even though some choose to express themselves that way.
Fast forward a year and the big boys came to town. Comic Con fever hit Utah and I was fortunate to have attended all three, plus Salt City Steamfest twice and LTUE another time. This last event, the Utah Winter Faire had people from all over come to sell their wares and enjoy themselves.
So, as I drove home, I wondered why all the people who attend these things seem to have a blast. I know why I'm there--I'm there to get my name out, make contacts and find out how to be a better writer. But others who come, who pay the entry fees and for parking and for food, they come for different reasons.
But one thing I believe binds them all together is that they come to a place where they feel safe. They feel at home. They feel normal. And even though they know that people who do not enjoy dressing up in Victorian dresses or corsets or in armor or as any one of the many Dr. Whos still make fun of them. They do it either behind their backs or to their faces, but when attendees come and gather with others who do enjoy all those things, they feel safe, and they're willing to pay the price of tickets, travel, food, and costumes to feel that way.
I know some who look at the people who attend these conventions and think less of them. I hope I never do because when it's all said and done, they're the ones enjoying themselves and having a great time--something I like to do, too.
A Winter Faire with tales of lore
Assembled knights and ladies fare
We gather all in fields of grey
To cheer and dance and merry make
We sing a ballad for all to hear
Of thanks we give this winter day
For magic, charms and spells anon
To you who labored for us all