If the text is not readable, it’s an email I got after GenCon, shared with permission from the sender.
Holy shit. I just wanted to thank you for being at Gen Con.
It was my first time at the convention, and as a QWoC in game design interested in making my move into indie tabletop games, I attended every single seminar on diversity/inclusivity/safety I could because I wanted to get a bead on where the industry stood on that. In the end, you turned out to be one of the only people on those panels who I fully trusted to be up there, speaking on those issues. You, Eloy Lasanta, and Jerry Grayson. 15 hours of seminars. Honestly, there were more than a couple full panels of white women poorly fielding questions on things like culturally sensitive ways to approach game worlds, and I nearly chewed my tongue off sitting through them.
The rest of the time I spent walking the floor trying to keep my shit together from all the microaggressions I was running into, deciding pretty early on that I wouldn’t be sitting at a table to game this year because I couldn’t trust myself to not contest problematic behaviors. I didn’t realize how much energy I had to budget for this con, I did NOT have enough to risk it.
THANK YOU for being visible, for all the emotional labor you generously endure, and for shouldering such weight from such a widely ignorant industry. Thank you for the few moments of safety I was able to experience this weekend. It really meant a lot to me. I left Indianapolis feeling angry, inspired, and empowered. And I will certainly be back next year, much better ready.
I look forward to catching you at another con sometime, and will be sure to thank you in person!
All the best,
This is important, a reminder of how you can affect someone and not even realize it at the time. That representation matters, that what you say and do, being visible really matters. TY Jayd!
It matters because so many people don’t realize their impact, the weight of their words especially when they are among the visible few POC in #TTRPG spaces. That it matters so much to be seen, and heard. It’s a reminder that we too belong in this space. That you cannot and should not let anyone tell you that you do not belong because you’re black, brown, queer, non-binary, disabled. That you are part of this community too & you matter.
After my second GenCon, and this email I’m renewed in my mission. Especially to show folks they have a place at the table. That they can belong and thrive and be part of this community and not be shoved aside. if you’re reading this, and you never felt like you belong at the table? You’re wrong, you do belong here. You are wanted, don’t let the few, the vocal minority who gatekeep lock you out. You belong. You matter