• Kimberly

QFX Staff Interview: Ria

Name: Ria

Pronouns: She/Her or They/Them

Position: Assignment Ninja

Hogwarts House: Ravenclaw

Twitter: @rialize

Instagram: @rialize

Hi Ria! Before we get into it, tell us a bit about yourself.

My pronouns are She/Her or They/Them. I’m the oldest of 4 siblings and am a second generation Filipinx American on both sides of my family. I’ve lived in many parts of the Bay Area and have moved a total of 11 times, however I feel like there is still more to explore. I have 2 dogs: Aiko (my yorkie terrier of terror) and Appa (my sweet and mopey terrier). Boba, Cider and Water are my drinks of choice and in no particular order. I read (a lot) of comic books, fanfic, YA fiction and the occasional motivational books. I also love concerts, museums, Funko POPs, spinners, enamel pins and naps. I love to travel and working on that long list of places to visit. I’m hoping Australia, Bali or Greece is next on that international list. My Monday through Fridays are spent managing space on campus with my amazing team, the Space Squad, at one of the Bay Area tech companies. My weekends are spent with self-care and spending time with my family and close friends. They are everything to me and have been such a light in my world when I didn’t know I needed it the most. Hmm.. I’m also an introverted-extrovert that loves to laugh at ridiculous things and not stress over things that our out of our control. That’s energy we could use on other aspects of our life, you know? :)

How did you get involved with QFX?

I previously worked with the QFX Directors at another convention and we worked really well together. So, I’m glad to join the team and see what amazing event we can provide for everyone.

There are a ton of conventions out there, some that do cater to the LGBTQ+ community, how do you feel QFX is different?

It’s the intention, execution, passion and ever present vibe that you can feel from the teams interaction with our social media followers.

Of all the guests that one could possibly ask for, who would you love to see or meet?

The Unholy Trinity of Glee: Dianna Agron, Naya Rivera and Heather Morris. Yes, I chose the trio because no matter how the show was executed, I still love those three.

QFX has made it quite clear they are all about diversity, inclusivity and accessibility. What does this mean to you?

It means that all the work that we do is motivated and executed by these values. That we are trying our best to collaborate our ideas within our team so that we may deliver an event that you can be proud of.

We’ve all heard the phrase “representation matters”, but it can ring hollow in our current times. What do you feel or think when you hear it?

When I think about “representation matters” I think about all the comic books, movies and shows that I’ve seen. There are so many questions about my identity and the lack of seeing it in the things I watched, that I didn’t want the default of what I saw to be the same in our future. We deserve to see ourselves in what we watch because our world is so full of life, love and culture. Our children deserve to see themselves and their friends in the things they watch. We deserve better, they deserve better.

If we were sitting in your living room, wanting to watch a show or movie, what are the top five you would recommend we binge?

Shows: One Day at a Time, Legend of Korra, Lost Girl, Lucifer and Queer Eye.

Movies: Captain Marvel, RENT, Crazy Rich Asians and Pitch Perfect (all 3).

Your twitter profile says you’re a “SpinNerd”, how did you get into fidget spinners?

I knew someone who works in the mental health field and they had shared with me different ways to calm me and my anxiety. I’ve tried “thinking putty” and that feels gross, so no. I’ve tried the fidget cube and that was too overwhelming with all those different sides, so no. I’m a pen-spinner and what pulls me in is the balance, so spinners were the winners. Then I watched YouTube reviews on different styles and learned a ton about metal types, makers in the spin world and met others in the spin community.

How many fidget spinners do you own? Which one is your favorite?

23 at the moment, that’s not counting the 4 I plan on selling/trading in the community. Trying to pick a favorite of my children? Oh, I don’t know! I do have 2 favorite makers that I have multiple spinners from. One is ZeroFeud, one in aluminum, one in stainless steel and three in titanium. The other one is Pose Blades, one in zirconium and the other one is a custom Captain Marvel design in stainless steel.

Name one thing you do (hobby, quirk, or something else) that people might find odd?

I feel like my interests in collecting/trading/selling spinners would be the one. Or if you can count eating Pho once a week with my BFF and laughing until we’re in pain—a hobby… haha, then sure!

To game or not to game… Do you? If so, which systems and what is your favorite.

To game! I’m an occasional gamer on my PS4. My current favorites are Overwatch (catch me playing against AIs LOL), Lego Harry Potter (because it’s cute!) and Tetris Effect (because I love puzzles).

I saw you have a running list of all the ways people have misspelled your name. How many are you up to and which is your favorite thus far?

It’s up to 30 and it’s WILD. “Petra” is probably my favorite because I haven’t figured out how they got there. Like, did they swipe-text my name or did they do this on purpose? LOL.

You’re a Ravenclaw, but that’s Universal/WB. I have to ask what Disney character would you be?

Hmm… Merida from Brave or Nani from Lilo & Stitch.

Excellent choices! Final question, what do you hope people who attend QFX leave saying or feeling?

My wish is that people leave feeling like they got more out of their experience than what they intended on when they arrived. That not only were they proud of being in this space that we’ve created, but also that they have joined in as one of many voices in the fandom community that want and need to be heard.

That’s it for another staff interview. If you want to know more about Ria’s fidget spinner collection, see what new contortions of her name have come up - follow her on Twitter: @rialize.

**Until next time, this is Kimberly “no way in hell or Hogwarts” Amato, signing off.**

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