The Mexicanx Initiative was a scholarship fund started by artist John Picacio to bring more Mexicanx representation in science fiction and fantasy to Worldcon 76. The scholarship was awarded to 50 people of Mexican ancestry and, let me tell you, those 50 people made a HUGE impact. The Mexicanx Initiative made Worldcon 76 a powerful experience for me because I got to see myself represented on those panels, in those stories, in the language, the idioms, the anger at the injustices of deportation, criminalization, forced separation and herding of children from their parents, and so much more.
Nerve-wracking. Empowering. These are the words I would use to describe my experience moderating my first Worldcon panel, What Turns People Onto Horror. So, why these words? Let's start with the "nerve-wracking" bit, which mostly stems from social anxiety and imposter syndrome. I was a speaker on just such a panel, Imposter Syndrome: You DO Deserve To Be Here (which I'll write about in a forthcoming post). Knowing that my insecurities were not going to vanish just because I wanted them to, I set out to make sure I didn't let them get the better of me.