Komiket Organizers Draw Flak for ‘Tone-Deaf’ on Pride Event
Jun 9, 2023   •   Meryl Medel
8List.ph is published by ID8, Inc.
Jun 9, 2023   •   Meryl Medel
In its 8th year, Komiket has grown much to the point that, instead of the usual single event in Metro Manila, there are several events held throughout the year across the country. This includes their first ever Komiket Pride to be held this June 16 to 18 in time for Pride Month. The event is meant to empower comic and art creators who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, but unfortunately, a recent series of now-deleted tweets drew flak from the very community they were celebrating.
In a series of now-deleted tweets, Komiket wrote: “We may not be as big or as successful as the bigger cons but you can certainly judge us based on our track record of the good work we do for komiks creators and the Komiket community over the years. We are a nonprofit organization that aims to help nurture the komiks community.”
This was followed by the tweet that drew much flak from artists and con-goers alike: “So even if you’re there for the stickers, prints, postcards, or crafts, please be more tolerant and accepting of our non-LGBT komiks creators. They are also an underserved, marginalized, and exploited creative sector.”
— nozomi (@letmellou) June 8, 2023
Many creators, con-goers, and supporters found Komiket’s tweet “tone-deaf” and “stupid”. The event they were promoting was supposed to celebrate the LGBTQ+ creators but instead, they drew attention to cis-het people.
1. I thought Komiket Pride was exclusive to support LGBTQ creators
2. Straight people are marginalized????
3. YOU’RE SAYING THIS ON PRIDE MONTH????
I have been nothing but supportive and filled with love for Komiket and the team but this ain’t it. What the actual fuck. https://t.co/XTCs4LzlBB
— The Izzy Comics @ Webtoon (@TheIzzyPeasy) June 7, 2023
it’s so stupid to decide not to fill komiket PRIDE with only LGBTQ+ artists just bc u want to prioritize comic artists. like u literally have 7 other events slated this year for said artists?
— (@AleianaZelin) June 7, 2023
As someone who created a sapphic story close to my heart FOR Komiket, I am very very very fucking disappointed in this statement.
The straights are NOT underserved, marginalized nor are they exploited.
This is not the Pride event you want guys https://t.co/byFTMjiY0u
— ℎ ‘ (@mulberrylotus) June 7, 2023
Isipin niyo you rejected queer creators kasi you want 10% of your merchants to be straight… in a queer event??? Since 2015 this is your FIRST PRIDE EVENT. your ONE PRIDE EVENT and you still want to prioritize making ur cishet friends feel included. Be for real now….
— Watson saw Matt Maltese ✨ (@akosisupertian) June 7, 2023
Macquarie University senior lecturer Dr. Thomas Baudinette commented how Komiket, in their tweet, failed to “acknowledge that the discrimination and marginalization of LGBTQ+ creators are compounded, whereas straight creators still have access to the privilege of straightness.”
this is also not how you handle rightful queries being raised by LGBTQ+ creators who have been denied participation at the event when non-LGBTQ+ creators have. It’s grounded in homophobia as it replicates the structures of exclusion that the LGBTQ+ creators face every day
— Dr Thomas Baudinette (@tbaudinette) June 8, 2023
In support of LGBTQ+ creators, a few non-LGBTQ+ exhibitors have offered their spots at the event, such as Kowtok Komiks and Captain Incooknito.
We’re cool with this. Any takers? https://t.co/DyEuO48zIx
— Kowtow Komiks @ Komiket Pride (@kowtowkomiks) June 7, 2023
It seems no one else is available. I’ve made up my mind to not take part in Komiket Pride so if there’s no one who’ll take it, the table is now vacant. https://t.co/J1EnvmF1xK
— Captain Incooknito (@CaptIncooknito) June 8, 2023
After the backlash, Komiket co-founder Paolo Herras took to his personal Twitter account to issue an apology regarding the remark. “I should have consulted with my team before we put up the message. I was feeling the pressure and made a mistake, some steps were skipped, and for that I’m sorry. But through my own oversight, I didn’t realize the impact on the community and those who didn’t get a chance this year. I understand I have hurt all your feelings, and for that I am truly sorry.”
— Paolo Herras (@paoloherras) June 7, 2023
The official Komiket account then deleted the tweets, issuing another apology. As many con-goers have voiced out the possibility of boycotting the event, Komiket also asked con-goers to continue supporting Komiket Pride creators and exhibitors,
We deleted the post and apologize again. Please continue to support all the Komiket Pride exhibitors who worked hard for the event. Thank you.
— KOMIKET (@KomiketPH) June 7, 2023
While Komiket organizers made a mistake, that shouldn’t stop you from supporting the exhibitors and creators who spent time, effort, and money to produce merchandise for Komiket Pride. Don’t boycott the event. Show up, and show your support for the LGBTQ+ creators.
I hope this issue with the organizers won’t affect your support. At the end of the day, (at least) 98% of the event will be composed of exhibitors from LGBTQIA+ community.
It would hurt us more if our hardly-worked stuff would lead to a decrease in sales.
— jouache #40 Komiket Pride (@jouache_) June 7, 2023
Input your search keywords and press Enter.