Eager fans crowded the halls and sidewalks outside of the Sheraton this morning as they waited for the Grand Ballroom to open for John Barrowman’s 10AM panel. They packed the room to the brim, eagerly awaiting the antics that were sure to ensue. Barrowman didn’t disappoint, making an explosive entrance, bounding onto the stage wearing a bright TARDIS blue dress and red pumps. He danced around the stage, doing kicks and twirls and giggling the entire time. It truly was a sight to behold!
From entrance to exit, Barrowman never stopped moving for more than a few seconds. His energy infected the crowd, who cheered and hollered and laughed at every opportunity. Fans eagerly lined up behind the microphone, asking everything from his most awkward encounter to what he had on under the dress (so we got a peek at his Superman undies). One daring fan asked him to take a selfie with the crowd. (Which he graciously did!)
About halfway through the panel, Barrowman turned serious as he brought out his sister, Carol Barrowman, his husband Scott, and David Childs from Represent. The four of them talked about their upcoming charity project to aid LGBT+ youth in the foster system. Foster parents often have belief systems that make it difficult for them to deal with LGBT+ kids. These kids end up kicked out of their home and sent to group homes, which are essentially the bottom rung of the foster system.
The goal of Barrowman’s project is to give these kids a home where they can be safe and grow up in a caring environment run by LGBT+ foster parents and heterosexual allies, so kids can enjoy a safe childhood and grow up knowing they matter and they’re not broken.
T-shirts will be sold through Represent to fund the program. The shirts, which the four of them showed off during the panel, read “The world is a dark place. Light It Up.” Officially, the campaign will launch this upcoming Tuesday.
The rest of the panel was just as light as the opening, with John eager to entertain his fans. Whether they knew him from Doctor Who, Torchwood, Arrow, or something else, he gladly answered as many questions as possible and fulfilled any requests he could.
Barrowman’s panel showed just how much he cares about those around him, from the most awkward fans who can barely utter his name, to those in the community who most need support. If you ever get a chance to attend one of his panels or autograph sessions, you won’t be disappointed with the man you encounter.