DISPATCH: SXSW

SXSWHomo’s Co-Coordinator Doesn’t Think SXSW Needs More Events For Queers

Before some SXSW-attending queers created the #sxswhomo Twitter hashtag and SXSWhomo website, LGBT festival-goers had to find each other through winks, nods, and come ons in Austin’s gay bars. And even though the festival’s queer community has become increasingly visible over the last 3 years, SXSWhomo Co-Coordinator Aaron Bailey isn’t sure that the festival needs more queer-centric events. Why not? Let’s talk to him and see…

Last year, SXSW interactive approved a panel about queer blogging and this year the festival included an official LGBT meet-up in their schedule of events. But even though Bailey finds the increase in queer South By events interesting, he says, “I don’t know that [gay SXSW panels and events] necessarily will increase or need to increase. I think it’s about being gay in the larger tech community, the larger film and music community. There are other ways of getting together and networking and making friends outside of the sessions.”

But considering the inclusion of last year’s queer blogging panel and the large number of people turned away from this year’s LGBT meet-up after the room surpassed its 150-person capacity, there’s an obvious demand for more queer events and SXSW will meet it. Plus, so many un-official queer events pop up around the festival that anyone interested participating in the fun doesn’t need to shell out $1250 to buy a Platinum badge—though let us tell you, the platinum badges are pretty nice.