Have you ever done Speed Dating? Have you ever been to a Comic Con? I was a virgin to both so what better place to pop my cherry than the Magic City Comic Con in Miami, Florida.
I showed up a half an hour before the LGBT Speed Dating session was to take place, still not sure if I wanted to just see what it was all about in order to have some info for a blog or was I actually going to participate in the Speed Dating dating event itself. Finding the sign up booth was easy since I had the Comic Con map in hand and I knew what the organizer looked like. I was received with a very warm welcome as I approached the speed dating booth where Ryan Glitch was sitting dressed in his non-specific Jedi outfit. Not knowing if I was going to participate, I introduced myself as a blogger for Instinct Magazine and proceeded to ask questions about the LGBT Speed Dating.
Ryan had a crew of three people at this comic con, but at the Dallas Comic Con, a larger event, he had 10. Currently, there were 8 people signed up for the LGBT comic con and he liked to have at least 1/2 that number show up in order to run the dating session, 4 for a minimum usually for LGBT and 10 for a minimum for Straight speed dating.
His speed dating straight and LGBT can be held responsible for 74 marriages, 43 engaged coupled, over 100 couples dating and 19 babies and counting. 75 percent of the people that show up to the speed dating event are men and they are the ones that have to pay. I think it was $5 or $10, but I forgot since no one pays to try the LGBT sessions. On the average, the ages were 24 to 36 and everyone has to be 18 plus.
Ryan shared with me that the Comic Cons actually pay him to come to the events and hold the speed dating sessions. He does charge the men, but all proceeds are donated back into the community. He mentioned donating the Magic City proceeds to a women's shelter or an animal shelter. The Comic Con organizers as well give great Facebook presence as well as a great location within the Comic Con. This time though, the speed dating venue was a glass room right off the food court, a very different and very visual location, which may have helped and hurt the numbers of participants. Ryan did state that he makes roughly $1500 per straight session, but loses bout $1500 for each LGBT session.
So did I participate? Yes I did. It was a great group of people and a great experience. Being 41 and older with grey hair, I did not expect to get anything besides inspired by these younger peeps, but I did get two numbers out of it, which was to my surprise. During the session, I chatted with all the participants, which for this session were straight supporters and gay and lesbian and bi individuals. We had straight participants since we only had 12, but it did blossom to 18. Ryan asked the group if we wanted to have a strict LGBT dating experience or a LGBT cuddle buddy session where we could date as well as meet new people. We all voted for the second option.
What was the experience like? Well, like I said, I was amazed that I received two numbers, but I as well was amazed at how great everyone was to talk to. We talked about where we were from, our favorite fandoms, why were we trying speed dating, and why we thought there were a limited number of people trying this out. One of the overwhelming comments was that everyone was surprised there were so little participants since most of the people they meet at a Comic Con are gay.
Thank you Ryan and thank you Comic Cons for hosting such an event. It was an experience I will never forget.
Here was the info placed on the Magic City Comic Con's website about the LGBT Speed Dating Event.
Ladies and Gentlemen…you asked for it… If you're tired of looking for love in Alderaan places, if you're ready to Terminate your single life… then Sci-First Speed Dating is for you! The original Sci-Fi Speed Dating crew will be here, at Magic City Comic Con to help you find love! Signs ups are at booth #609 and at Room 200. This session is for LGBTPG attendees Sci-Fi Speed Dating will be held in Room #200 Check out www.facebook.com/SciFiSpeedDating for more details!