Destielcon

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Convention
Name: Destielcon
Dates: 2014-present
Frequency: annual
Location:
Type: fan run
Focus: Supernatural
Organization:
Founder:
Founding Date:
URL: http://www.destielcon.com/
http://destielcon.tumblr.com/
Original logo by guuarts. 2015 banner designed by TKodami
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Destielcon is a fan-run convention focused on the Dean/Castiel slash pairing.

From the convention website:
"DestielCon is a non-profit event inspired by an online community. This event is a chance for us to come together and celebrate what we have created, from meta to fanfiction, fanart, podcasts, cosplays and more. DestielCon's panels cater to whatever interests are popular among Destiel shippers. This includes sub-fandoms, popular crossover fandoms, publishing workshops, LGBTQA+ topics, and more."

2014

The first convention was held from June 20th-22nd, 2014, at the Holiday Inn & Suites Eastgate, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Approximately 120 fans attended and the convention raised $1000 for Misha Collins' charity.

From an tumblr reblog about the event:

"DestielCon is a chance for shippers to gather in-person and attend a weekend of fun events! Con-goers can attend fan lead discussion panels & workshops, meet up with online friends for social activities, enter fanvideo & cosplay contests, stay up late at a dance party, and join us for podcasts, group pictures and more!"[1]

Vid Show

Convention Reports

"So basically, shippers from all over the USA are gathering in a hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio to discuss Destiel, fangirl, participate in games and panels and discussions, meet a few famous fanfic authors, hit up some vendors for merch and fanart, dance at an angels vs devils themed masquerade, WHILE MEETING OTHER FANS AND WRITING FANFIC AND DYING BECAUSE THESE WILL BE MY PEOPLE."[3]
"I find it pretty interesting how DashCon, a convention for the entirety of tumblr that has been planned for well over a year with committees and the whole nine yards and had some big name guests on their docket, is being a royal fuck up of a con in every respect

Meanwhile, DestielCon, a convention for a very specific ship from one specific fandom and small subset of tumblr, was a very successful nice little convention and I had such a great time and am really hoping it happens again next year

Yeah, I went to the right convention this summer."[4]
"The entire weekend was nothing but positivity towards Supernatural and especially the ship of Dean and Castiel (well, a little critique of parts of the show – no surprises there). I heard absolutely no negativity and, as far as I could tell, everyone felt free to express themselves about any aspect of SPN.

During panels and the Free2b-radio podcast, people discussed their opinions of Destiel and other SPN ships and everyone’s opinions were treated with respect and validity. Some wanted canon Dean/Cas, others didn’t. People expressed preferences for different fics including fluff, dark, canon vs. AUs, sexual vs. asexual, OTP vs multi-shipping and the great thing was that I heard nothing but acceptance and respect for ALL of these various opinions. Even Wincest got a lot of love and respectful discussion at the multi-shipper panel.

Although the one thing I think everyone agreed upon was the awesomeness that is Sam Winchester!"[5]
"It was a very positive setting and some things are quite the opposite to what some people are believing about the con. A lot of people seem to think that the whole con was just about the sexual relationship between dean and cas, and let me tell you this is VERY untrue. I heard a lot of talk of asexual cas in a very positive light and a lot of talk of their relationship that was not sexual. It was such a positive place to be in and I 10/10 recommend it!!!!!!!!"[6]
".....I’m a little confused as to why people who were not at the con feel a need to criticize what went on at the con. The smut panel in particular seems to be getting flack for either A) overshadowing the importance of the romantic aspect of the ship, or B) being alienating to asexual fans. The smut panel was a how to write smut without it being so inaccurate about the realities of gay sex that your reader gets turned off panel. It was late at night after the dance and we were all feeling a little giddy and giggly, so we got a lot of funny soundbites..... And even in the smut panel it was largely agreed that the best smut is the smut with enough plot that you feel the connection between the characters. It was not a yay! smut is the best part of Destiel panel. It was also one panel among many. The con as a whole was pretty much solidly pro romance."[7]
"and my mother got everyone at the ball to sit in a circle on chairs and dance to Mamma Mia sitting down, because [one attendee] couldn’t stand up to dance, and it was important for everyone to be included. (my mother is my hero right next to Misha)"[8]
"Also, while it feels a little crass to talk money, I’m gonna put this out there for any artists who might be on the fence about coming to next year’s convention. The only reason I didn’t make more money here than I did at Midwest Media Expo was my travel expenses. Midwest Media Expo had the artists alley open for all three days of the con and over 1000 attendees. One day at little old Destielcon netted me more cash. One day in which I was missing for an hour to go be a panelist. This con is awesome."[9]
"“When in doubt, porn. When in serious doubt, TENTACLE PORN.”[10]
"“If the Impala had the personality of Crowley’s Bentley the world would be a better place. And all Dean’s tapes would end up as The Best of Queen.”[11]

2015

The second convention was held on July 31st - Aug 2nd at the Holiday Inn & Suites Eastgate, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Approximately 140 fans attended, a 25% increase from the year before.

Programming included the following panels

  • An Asexual Interpretation of Castiel
  • F-Yeah Sam Winchester!
  • Falling in Love in Every Universe: A Discussion of AU’s
  • Surviving College with a Fandom Lifestyle

A list of the 2015 Approved Panels, Archived version.

In addition there was a Destiel Music Video contest, a Cosplay Contest, a game night and a dance party.

Vid Show

Partial list

Convention Reports

"Destielcon so far has been so much more than what I expected.
It’s been a huge brainstorming session of a million fanfic scenarios.
It’s been a frank and enlightening chat about different sexualities and preferences, and the variety of experience.
It’s been a wild masquerade with fantastic costumes and joyful song.
It’s been an academic discussion of text, subtext, intent and interpretation.
It’s been a mutual admiration society of the best kind.
It’s been a shared in-joke among new and old friends.
It’s been an examination of creativity, both the inspiration and the perspiration, the nuts and bolts but also the magic.
It’s been a place where people connect.
It’s been the site of some of the most interesting conversations I’ve had in months.
All this and we haven’t even gotten to the smut panel, y'all. So very much love."[12]
"Puff Ball Madness (from DestielCon 2015) .....a Everything Else by DestielConPlayer Rating3/8"choose your own boredom"based on 17 ratings since 10/01/2015 played 50 times (finished 16)Story Difficulty3/8"trek through the forest"Play Length1/8"Make sure not to blink"Maturity Level2/8"choking hazard for children under 4"Contains content that may not be suitable for persons under age 6. To compare to the movie rating system, this would be G.TagsFantasyHumor This short game was included on the back of the badges at DestielCon 2015, with each badge getting one story moment. Attendees were encouraged to engage with each other to finish their stories. Each story moment was printed several times to make it easier to complete.It is a humorous, cute story (usually) that utilizes a few different fandoms. If we could have made it longer, it would have included more fandoms and characters. Future goals..."[13]
"I finally get it. I finally understand what bugs the haters so much about DestielCon. This is gold.

They keep making the argument “Why can’t you just do that in your pjs over Tumblr? Why can’t you just go out to eat and hang out? Or Skype? You’re paying to see your friends that’s so obsessive and weird.”

They honestly have no earthly idea how many Destiel shippers there actually are. They’re either completely ignorant of it or are choosing to not look into it. Because those suggestions are all fine and dandy when there’s like, fifteen of you or something. Hell even like twenty.

But there’s WAY more than that. There was over a hundred people that came to the con last year, THE FIRST ONE EVER, which is entirely UNHEARD OF when it comes to fan made cons to have those kind of numbers on its first run-through. I don’t know the count from this year’s con, but it’s likely more than last year.

You can’t fucking Skype with over a hundred people at a time. You can’t just go out to eat with a hundred people, especially since they’re scattered everywhere across the country. Those suggestions are absolutely ludicrous to consider when you have THAT MANY people that want to convene and have fun together.

I can’t stop laughing I mean, this is hilarious. They’ve been telling themselves Destiel fans are so small and only 1% etc etc for so long that they literally cannot wrap their head around the fact that our numbers REQUIRE a convention environment if we want to all convene and celebrate with each other at the same time. Like come on. That’s fucking brilliantly ignorant."[14]
"140 this year. And yes, that’s a very, very tiny fraction of the destiel fandom. I’d guess the bulk of the destiel fandom still doesn’t know about the con, and of those that do, even more can’t make it to due to schedule conflicts, traveling expenses, or just being way too far away to be able to consider it. There a plethora of reasons someone might not be able to make it. Then there are some aren’t in to the idea, and that’s fine too.

140 sounds small but in context to other fan conventions, that it only just finished its second year, and other outside factors, that’s huge.

And yeah, I’d like to see a Skype call with 140 people. Epic."[15]
"I’m kinda pumped to just do more fanart panels in general next year. One on fanart’s place in fandom as a whole (we are often so fic focused when it comes to discussing fandom as an entity) Also one that would be more of a how to/intro to art sort of lecture dealy-o. ....So many sweet, thoughtful and insightful conversations over the space of one weekend that I couldn’t list them all if I tried. DestielCon people are the best people. I miss you all already."[16]
"We had so many thoughtful, phenomenal questions and discussions on Cas and angels and gender and sexuality with the audience, many different interpretations of text came up which was beautiful to watch and yeah, the payoff was definitely worth all the research and effort gone into this panel. Everyone was so NICE and did an amazing job, and the experience was so wonderful. I enjoyed being a panelist, and it’s definitely something I’d be interested in coming back to do again next year if opportunity arises!"[17]
"It was super awesome meeting every one of you!!! I got to meet other great(er) artists and hang out with the best people. Seriously, destielcon is so much fun. I’m so fortunate that it’s in the same state I live in or else it’d be hard to get to.

And the vendor table went well! And I do plan on putting up a store by the end of the week so keep an eye out.

Thanks again for anyone who stopped by my table, and thanks to the destielcon staff for putting together something great. :)"[18]
"I just wanted to give a big S/O to all the people at Destielcon. The staff, the congoers, the artists, the guests. Just to every single person I met for making me feel so damn loved. I have never been to a con before where I was so accepted for the complete loud-mouth weirdo that I am; screw that, I’ve never been accepted ANYWHERE like that, and you all just took me in and made me feel like I was wanted. "[19]
"I actually had a really, really great time at the con. I met a lot of utterly amazing people (and found out that I am apparently a lot more well-known in the fandom than I thought I was; I tend to think of myself as a small, little known blogger in a little corner of the Internet) It was one of those cons where the phrase ‘everything went better than expected’ comes to mind. My curse boxes sold out in about three hours (three hours!! .....), so I’ll be making an etsy after GISHWHES and selling them online. I ended up bringing very little back home, which was awesome."[20]
"I am never working the day after destielcon ever again. I went from being in a kind and completely accepting environment to this bullshit and honestly I wish there was a way destielcon was just year-round so I would only ever be surrounded by nice people.[21]
"The panels I was on were lots of fun, and the panels I attended were great, too! The Crumbling Fourth Wall was terrific, lots of excellent discussion and we didn’t even get past the tip of the iceberg on this topic. Honestly, if anyone wants to babble with me about creator/fan interaction, let me know. If you have any actual citations for research on the topic, PLEASE send them my way! There are so many facets to this topic.....

....The Castiel’s Journey panel was so much fun! Lots of very lively discussion! A lot of agreement that we want Cas to have more agency over his life and decisions, whatever choices he makes with that agency. (He should choose to stay on earth with Dean, of course, but if he chooses to go back to heaven it should at least be up to him.) Also, we would literally watch a Castiel spinoff about absolutely anything. But mostly his past (either before he saved Dean or his perspective on past seasons). Or him & Charlie.....

....One thing that surprised me after 221BCon - at that con, the majority of people (that I met) went by their fandom pseudonyms. That’s what was on most badges, on the panelists’ nameplates, what we were calling each other. At this con, there were a lot more people going by their first names, only a small number going by fandom names."[22]
"DestielCon renewed my love for the ship and for the fans I ship it with, it restored my hope, and made me feel like part of something again. There were so many amazing people there and it was such an awesome experience to know we were all there for the same purpose: Because we love Dean and we love Cas."[23]
"Leaving con spaces is always hard. Cons are these wonderful, peculiar liminal spaces. They are rituals of a sort–I’d have to dig out my textbook, but I’m pretty sure they fit the definition. I mean, you go to a specific place, at a specific time. There are clothing options specific to the space (in this case cosplay). It’s a celebration/worship of philosophy or at the very least of what the attendees consider important cultural products. The weekend is intended to foster community and creativity. Yeah, sounds like a ritual to me."[24]
"Inspiration can lead to better ideas for everyone whether fanfic writing, drawing, making props, DMVs, or even the creation/ideas of cosplay costumes. Since Destielcon my brain has been a constant playground for new cosplays for the next few years. Each one is a character that I cant wait to bring to life!"[25]
"I swear one of the rules for even attending Destielcon is that you have to be an open minded and decent person. Because I’ve been to this con two years in a row now and literally everyone I met was so nice. And we have such a wide array of shippers that attend! Wincest, destiel, sastiel, sabriel, megstiel, wincestiel, etc. This has been the only con I have ever been to where there has not been any shit go down. Thank you so much destielcon for making such an open and friendly environment for Supernatural fans. I am so happy that this con was my introduction into the Supernatural fandom! Definitely 100% recommend it!"[26]
"My overall thoughts on Destielcon are that I was expecting one thing and got something a thousand times better.

I went into it worried that I wasn’t enough of a fangirl. I was afraid people would be disappointed in me, but really the opposite happened. The people I met were kind, self-assured, openminded, creative, and welcoming. And so smart! I felt like I was surrounded by scholars whose text happened to be genre television instead of 18th century poetry. They knew their characters, their stories, and their relationship to both. And it all went completely unquestioned—at one point, I found myself sitting in a room with other asexuals like me, and we were discussing the many facets of asexuality, and it was so normalized I could have cried.

I mean it’s really easy to think of fan conventions like this as ultra niche or pathological, or even immature. But Destielcon isn’t really a Supernatural convention. It felt more like an academic convention attended by the most well-read in the field who happen to use two fictional characters as a common language for seeking out friends, exploring gender and sexual identity, developing personal creativity, and engaging in critical analysis."[27]

References

  1. Official DestielCon Tumblr Blog, Archived version
  2. Official DestielCon Tumblr Blog, Archived version
  3. Zhe Awesome - DESTIELCON + updates - Wattpad, Archived version
  4. Evie && Her Cuttlefish, Archived version
  5. Angels Watching Over, Archived version
  6. DESTIELCON!!!!!! - The Elf Queen, Archived version
  7. Just Until Then, Archived version
  8. almaasi.tumblr, Archived version
  9. Just Until Then, Archived version
  10. Angst Reaching Critical Levels, Archived version
  11. Angst Reaching Critical Levels, Archived version
  12. Destielcon so far has been so much more than what..., Archived version
  13. Puff Ball Madness (from DestielCon 2015) > ChooseYourStory.com, Archived version
  14. 'Til Tonight Do Us Part, Archived version
  15. caswouldratherbehere.tumblr, Archived version
  16. Just Until Then, Archived version
  17. For I come to you with burgers, a very long and unnecessarily detailed destielcon..., Archived version
  18. melamuse.tumblr, Archived version
  19. castiel-deans-fuckboy.tumblr, Archived version
  20. Cas Slept On The Couch — Destielcon, Archived version
  21. let's consume copious quantities of alcohol, Archived version
  22. Destielcon Wrap-Up - My fandoms, let me show you them., Archived version
  23. these poor spoopy boys with their spoopy penises and love., Archived version
  24. DestielCon, Archived version
  25. stickfiguredeanmon.tumblr, Archived version
  26. mutat-nilpoj, Archived version
  27. Official DestielCon Tumblr Blog, Archived version