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ReggieCon to celebrate LBGTQ History Month by examining relationship representation in media

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On Thursday, Illinois State University will host its second annual ReggieCon panel. ReggieCon is a monthly panel focused on exploring depictions of race, gender and ethnicity in popular media.

This October, in celebration of LGBTQ history month, the panel will feature the graphic novel “My Favorite Thing is Monsters” by Emil Ferris. 

Dr. Scott Jordan is the chair of the psychology department at ISU, as well as a panelist for ReggieCon. For Jordan, “My Favorite Thing is Monsters” was an ideal pick for this month because it highlights the isolation experienced by members of the LBGTQ+ community. 

“It has to do with this othering that transgender, non-white, gender-ambiguous people experience. The book illustrates what it feels like to be that kind of person,” Jordan said. 

Psychology professor Dr. Eric Wesselmann is also a panelist for ReggieCon. For him, celebrating LGBTQ history month is a perfect opportunity to highlight representation in the media. 

“The way I approach it, is looking at media representation as a form of social inclusion, to see individuals who look like them up on the screen, on the pages of a book … it’s a social acknowledgement, and validation of their experience, especially when these characters are created authentically,” Wesselmann said. 

Wesselmann also commented that representation can be highly influential on children’s psychological development. 

“The more individuals they see that are like them, the more possibilities that it opens up for children as they grow, as they develop schema of their place in the world. The more positive representation that there is, the more degrees of freedom they have for development,” Wesselmann said.

Ferris will be in attendance at the event, along with comic scholar from Columbus College Art and Design, Dr. Rachel Miller.

ReggieCon will be hosted at 7 p.m. on Thursday on Zoom. The Zoom link will be posted on ReggieCon’s website, and is free both to ISU students and those interested worldwide. 

This article originally appeared on Vidette Online. It is used here with permission. Read the original here.

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