So this past weekend was Hypericon. One of my favorite cons, it’s special to me because I get to see many of my loved ones — family, really — and it is always the perfect way to kick off summer. Great food, great friends, sci-fi, cosplay, what more can a guy ask for?
Sadly I wasn’t able to attend this year. One of my closest friends is undergoing chemotherapy so I’ve been staying with him and helping him out.
Nevertheless, I couldn’t let this year go by without commemorating Hypericon. And what better way to celebrate the con than by sharing one of the most cherished moments I’ve had as a professional author.
From left: Yours truly, Mage TeeVee, and Cass Teague
It was two years ago and I was helming a diversity panel. While I was speaking, the con’s photographer, a tall handsome older white gentleman meandered throughout the room and snapped some shots.
Later that weekend while grabbing food from the greenroom, I ran into the photographer.
Photographer: I only caught some of your panel, but I really enjoyed what I heard and what you discussed.
Denny: Oh thank you very much for telling me that.
Photographer: A few years ago I was hospitalized for an extended period of time. As you can imagine, my beard and hair grew to a considerable length. When they finally released me, I drove myself home and on the way, I got pulled over by a cop. I wasn’t speeding or anything. But because I drive a very nice car and had a disheveled appearance, they thought I must’ve stolen the car. The officer held me forever and ran my plates and once he was convinced the car belonged to me, he finally let me go. What I went through is only a tiny fraction of what minorities go through everyday. I can’t begin to imagine what it must be like for you.
Denny: Thank you for sharing your story. I truly appreciate it.
As I’ve stated in the past, the work I do is to enlighten, empower, and entertain others. If I can do all three simultaneously, it’s a good day. But being reminded that I’m making a positive difference, no matter how small, is also pretty awesome. And for that I’m both humbled and grateful.