September 30, 2016


If you're looking for an overview of XOXO 2016, email me a mailing address at feiya dot wang at gmail and I'll send you the zine I made. And while you're waiting for that, you could check out the collection of overviews gathered by Tantek Çelik, the #xoxofest hashtag on Twitter, or read my XOXO 2015 overview.

For the rest of this blog post, I'm going to ramble on a bit about a few moments of my XOXO experience that stuck with me.

Bathroom Splinter
While washing my hands in the bathroom, I noticed Alex Swast waiting off to the side and from the ongoing conversation, it turned out that a XOXO volunteer had gotten a splinter in her thumb and Alex was keeping her company while she tried to get it out. I was wearing a pin that had been gifted to me by Jenn Sandercock, for her Order of the Oven Mitt edible game and it happened to be a brooch-type pin. I offered to let her use it to perform thumb splinter surgery and she was able to successfully get it out! It was a somewhat surreal experience, but I was happy to have stopped and been able to be of assistance!

Got "Recognized" by a Stranger
While I was waiting in the coffee line at one point, Dee Del Rosario came up and introduced themselves saying that they knew me through a mutual friend and that we had common interests that they'd like to pick my brain about! I was incredibly surprised that they had been able to pick me out of the crowd, but they said that our mutual friend had shown them some of my wedding pictures! It was a pleasant surprise and while I didn't get to talk to Dee much at XOXO, it was great getting to make that connection.

Homestar Runner
I was pretty excited to see Homestar Runner live and they did a puppet Strong Bad and live singing and music of the Trogdor episode, however, there were some transphobic jokes in some of the episodes that were shown that were incredibly out of place and not in the spirit of XOXO. I was disappointed that the Andys didn't call it out; I think it would have been good to publicly denounce it.

I really latched on to the pin trading, even though I've never traded pins before and it was fun having a quest of sorts. The best moment however was near the end of XOXO, when I was feeling somewhat despondent that I would ever secure a joystick pin, one of the most hotly guarded pins. My partner, Pat Kemp, had a few days earlier lost his Spry Fox bear pin and we went to the lost & found to see if someone had turned it in. Not only had someone turned in the bear pin, but when I spotted the joystick pin on the lanyard of a volunteer behind the booth, he very very graciously offered to just give it to me! I'm a completionist, so it was really amazing and I felt so happy. Thank you volunteer.

#ladies Meetup
I had a great time at last year's #ladies meetup and this year was no different, we were much more spread out, but I really enjoyed talking with Jena Pyle, Kara Sowles, & Rachel Nabers, who I had met last year. I was really anxious to go to the meetup because I found I had all these questions I wanted to pose to the women about the women's group that I had been organizing and how to re-energize it. But the really lovely part of it was afterwards, when Rachel and I walked back to Revolution Hall and had a fabulous heart to heart about a variety of topics.

I'd love to share the fun little zine I made about XOXO with you. Just send me your mailing address via email at feiya dot wang at gmail or DM me on Twitter! I promise I won't do anything with the address besides mail you a zine.