Nimona’s Triumph: Celebrating the Journey & Universality of Queer Themes 

By: MJ Martinez
Nov 29, 2023

A last-minute invite from Geeks OUT’s Vice President, Kevin Gilligan, led me to a special screening of Netflix’s Nimona. As a former board member myself, to leaving Geeks OUT entirely, and then transitioning to a social media coordinator a few years later, the night became a reflection of growth and celebration, not just for me, but for ND Stevenson and the dedicated individuals who worked so hard to bring Nimona on the big screen. 

When I first watched Nimona earlier this year at home, I was bawling my eyes out. It stayed so true to the original graphic novel! Nimona was that character I resonated so deeply with (yes, surprise, I’m trans).  Seeing Nimona animated and brought to life – made me so emotional. It was very much “We did it! We made it!” – a sentiment that echoed throughout the night. 

Following the screening, at a panel discussion with ND, the Directors, Producers, and Nimona’s Voice Actress offered insights into the journey of making Nimona one of the most-viewed animated movies of the year. Directors Nick Bruno and Troy Quane shared the struggles of maintaining Nimona’s authentic narrative, facing off against the Big Mouse and navigating a global pandemic. 

It was a powerful reminder that the queer fight isn’t a solitary one – it’s a collective effort. The fight to be seen, to exist is always happening, its with our community, our peers. 

Producers Karen Ryan and Julie Zackary, discussed the transition from Blue Sky Studios to Netflix and the hurdles they overcame to make Nimona a reality. They all kept emphasizing the joy they experienced in keeping Nimona true to it queer trans narrative and the victory of breaking into the mainstream. 

The reception afterwards provided a chance to connect with everyone involved. I’m terrible at networking, so I spent most of my time listening to Kevin speak. And hearing how ND remembered Geeks OUT from NYCC and being a Special Guest at Flame Con 2018 during the Lumberjanes and She-Ra buzz, reminded me of when I first connected with Nimona, which was at MOCCA Fest, in like 2015? Seeing ND’s own journey and evolution fills my queer little heart with hope. 

In conversations with Tony Morrision, GLAAD’s Director of Communications and the night’s panel moderator, the veil of networking lifted. We chatted, shared tea, and embraced our queer joy without hesitation. There was safety, comfort – a future I never envisioned for myself as a child.

Seeing Nimona again that night reminded me of my own personal growth from self-destruction to self-acceptance. Geeks OUT introduced me a community that had such a profound impact, showcasing a future that is queer, geeky and beautiful. Nimona’s triumph goes beyond mainstream recognition; it shows us that the queer and trans narratives are universal. You are not alone, we’re here, we’re queer and, you know, get used to it. 

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