Next weekend kicks off a super busy month for me!

I’m doing sooo much stuff in April, but it’s cool and I’m excited even if I’m a little tired just thinking about it. That means streams will be sporadic and not on the usual Tues/Thurs/Saturday schedule.

Here’s what I’m up to starting next Friday:

April 1 & 2: Queerness and Games Conference  Los Angeles, CA

I’m doing three things!

1) Gaming as POC: Where the Industry Has Failed Us, Where It Hasn’t and What to Hope For 

2) Microtalks: Out of Sheer Spite

3) Facilitating a round-table on POC in the industry

April 8: GenVidCon, Gender and Videogames  Keynote speaker, San Jose, CA

April 12: Let’s Talk Gaming!  Montreal, CAN

April 17: Guest Lecturer at NCSU

April 18-20: East Coast Games Conference, Speaker in Career track. Raleigh, NC

April 21-23: C2E2, Panelist  Chicago, IL 

My panel schedule for C2E2

29 & 30 April: GX Australia, Boss of Honor , Sydney, Australia

Marking a year of…changes.

Today is the 1 year anniversary of getting canned from my day job. At 1 pm this day last year, I was in tears, unsure about everything. I’d not been back one day from GX3, before I got that call to come into a conference room. Where I was given a bullshit reason & let go.  When I say BS, I mean ex-boss tried to reach back 3 years to justify her actions. If I’d been that bad an employee for that long…wouldn’t I have been gone long before that? Even if she thought she had given me so many chances, or whatever lie she told herself to justify what she did.

No one would let someone in my position screw up that long term & still have a job. Also who cans someone 10 days before xmas? But yeah, I was in tears in a cab that I shouldn’t have gotten but I wasn’t thinking clearly. Was too angry & frankly? Hurt.  It also didn’t help that I’d just got back from a trip, didn’t have a lot of extra money & due to timing? My last check was for 6 days. I had to go through a bunch of hoops with unemployment too. It took a month but finally got that going.

No lie, though I was gonna be homeless once unemployment ran out or before. Those two weeks right after we’re pretty bad.Worse than I let on in public that’s for sure. But y’all came through. People who believed in my work helped me out. Always grateful. I looked for work for a while before I realized I could try to do full time. It had become a second job anyway.

So I did the thing, and it’s worked. Somehow, it’s worked. Patreon is covering rent & a couple bills. Been very lucky to have travel paid.It’s been hard and I’ve wanted to quit so many times over the past year. So many. But I’m still here. I’ll stay here too cause I’m ornery and it’s been too much work put in to give up. Long as I can I’ll fight.

Thank you, every single one of you who’ve held me up when I’ve fallen or stumbled. Who’ve been a voice of reason when I was lost. Thanks to those who pushed against me. Can’t grow without a bit of pain or misstepping. Not perfect & I’m doing the best I can. Thanks to anyone who’s invited me to panel with them or accepted an invite from me to join a panel with me. To anyone who’s taken a pitch and published me.

Thanks to all my Patrons, those who’ve sent some much needed funds my way in the clutch. Or bought me a ko-fi. Thanks for a year of support that I would haven’t thought possible before. For tears, laughter & friendships made & lost.

Thank you. Here’s to another year. Thanks y’all, I mean it from my heart 💜💜

My Day 2 of @GaymerX aka I’m on ALL THE PANELS

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Saturday, October 1

When Fandom Ain’t Fun – A Frank Talk by QPOC 12:00 pm Panels Room B

Queer fans of color are often left out, pushed out and talked over in our chosen fandoms. A lot of times the discourse becomes more about hurt feelings than actually listening to those affected by the racism and racist actions.

(Unofficial description: SALTIEST PANEL EVER)

Panelists: Bianca Anderson, Katherine Cross, D.J Kirkland, Rokashi Edwards, and I’m moderating.

Playing With Pride 2:00 pm Panels Room B

Join us for a group discussion on coming out, finding community, creating avatars, hosting inclusive events, & more. The conversation will also feature video clips of diverse LGBTQ gamers sharing their stories from across the country.

Panelists: Matthew Baume (Moderating), D.J Kirkland, Lauren Comp, and me

Creating Inclusive Gaming Groups & Events 4:00 pm Panels Room A

Want to know how to find inclusive groups for gaming? How do you create your own gaming meet-ups? Many game groups play in public, but they’re not welcoming.

You need anti-harassment policies, a game host welcoming the new players, and relationship building with the business owner. You can do it! Our panelists will give you tips on creating safe & welcoming spaces for new players in public places.

Panelists: Joseph Carriker, Donna Prior, Jessica Price, and me

Gatekeeping and Geek Policing  5:00 pm Panels Room B

Geek policing and gate-keeping happens when someone shows interest in something of the nerdy persuasion, and “true fans” chase them away or “cred check”, especially towards marginalized groups.

You’re not a REAL geek if you don’t like Firefly” “FEMALES don’t like strategy games” “OMG WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU LOVE 4TH EDITION, IT SUCKS”. These are all examples of gatekeeping & geek policing.

Panelists: Donna Prior and Tanya DePass (moderating)

How to Twitch Safely as a POC/LGBTQIA/Female ID’d Streamer 6:00 pm Panels Room C

Streaming on Twitch can be fun, but it can also be perilous for some of us. This panel will bring you some tips and tricks such as using bots, human mods and other methods to make your experience as stress free as possible.

Panelists: Simply Undrea, D.J Kirkland, Carolyn Petit and I’m moderating

Final @PAX West schedule!

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Here’s my final panel schedule for PAX West, which is next week! EEP!

If you don’t see me running around from panel to panel, then I’ll be at the I Need Diverse Games table in the Diversity Lounge.

Diversity Lounge PAX West

As always, have a handy, 100% free guide to interacting with me in meat space at conventions. https://cypheroftyr.com/cypherinteractionguide/ 

Friday September 2nd, 12:30 pm Sasquatch Theatre

Ask the Game Masters

Tell incredible stories. Host amazing games. Strike fear in the hearts of players. Veteran game professionals Tanya DePass (I Need Diverse Games), Amanda Hamon-Kunz (Pathfinder RPG), Ryan Macklin (Dresden Files, Fate), Rodney Thompson (Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars Saga Edition), and F. Wesley Schneider (Pathfinder RPG) answer all your tabletop roleplaying game questions and share tips for taking your game to the next level.

Panelists include:

  • F. Wesley Schneider [Editor-in-Chief, Paizo Inc]
  • Amanda Hamon-Kunz [Developer, Paizo Inc]
  • Tanya DePass [Creator, I Need Diverse Games]
  • Rodney Thompson [Senior Designer, Bungie]
  • Ryan Macklin [Indie Creator, The Ryan Macklin]

 

Friday, September 2nd 4:30 pm Chipmunk Theatre

Challenging Assumptions about Diversity with Data

Gaming has a problem with being inclusive and with diversity. While industry is working on it, discussion can generate an ideological divide. We will start to move beyond this with good, hard data: demographics, how often people have unwelcoming experiences, what impacts that has, and how people have made change. We will involve the audience to check our collective assumptions and see what quantitative empirical evidence says about diversity in gaming and about how to improve inclusivity.

Panelists include:

  • Tanya DePass [Founder, INeedDiverseGames]
  • Trevor Murdock [Founder, Planeswalkers for Diversity]
  • Glenn White [Director of Marketing Infrastructure , EA Games]
  • Matt Baume [Host, Sewers of Paris Podcast]
  • Aurora Walker [Instructor, Ladies Learning Code]
  • Cherisse Miranda

 

Friday September 2nd 7:30 pm Sphinx Theatre

Get your politics out of our games!

We think of video games as an escape from political campaigns and presidential elections, but games have a long history of reflecting the world around us. Come join Aevee Bee (ZEAL), Austin Walker (Giant Bomb), Katie Williams (PC Gamer) Tanya DePass (I Need Diverse Games, Fresh Out Of Tokens), and Zach Alexander (Games and Food) as we discuss the history and future of politics in games.

Panelists include:

  • Tanya DePass [Freelance critic and diversity consultant, #INeedDiverseGames]
  • Austin Walker [Editor, Giant Bomb]
  • Aevee Bee [Editor-In-Chief, ZEAL]
  • Katie Williams [Freelance Journalist, Critic]
  • Zachary Alexander [N/A, N/A]

 

Friday, September 2nd 9:30 pm Chicken Theatre

Sexy or Stupid? The Great Video Game Sex Scene Debate – NSFW Content, 18+ PANEL

Sensual, smutty, or silly? Video game sex scenes are often one or the other… or even all three! Come join a group of game industry professionals as they dim the lights, play some smooth jazz, and offer their expert critique on a few of gaming’s more explicit moments. Then cast your vote for what’s hot and what’s not! DISCLAIMER: actual panel may not involve dim lights or smooth jazz. (Want something a bit more innocent? Check out our companion panel on romance scenes in games)
Panelists:

  • Michelle Clough [Co-Founder, Writer, Editor, IGDA Romance and Sexuality SIG]
  • Chris Avellone [Writer, Designer, Freelance]
  • AJ Glasser [n/a, Facebook]
  • Tanya DePass [Founder, Community Organizer, I Need Diverse Games]
  • Matt Baume [Writer, Filmmaker, Freelance]

 

Saturday, September 2nd 2:00 pm Hippogriff Theatre

Making and Promoting Non-Traditional Characters in Games

Games are finally starting to reflect their diverse players with more types of characters, scenarios, and approaches to gameplay. Whether it’s writing a one-eyed pansexual bull and his trans lieutenant; featuring non-white main characters; showcasing the female option in marketing; creating an entire cast caught in a web of gender, sexuality, and ability; acquiring unusual indie titles; or keeping the conversation going; it’s crucial. Hear from those who did it and how they’ll do it again.

Panelists:

  • Patrick Weekes [Lead Writer, BioWare]
  • Hilary Heskett Shapiro [Sr. Brand Manager, Bethesda Softworks]
  • Miellyn Fitzwater Barrows [Creative Director, Gorgeous Robot]
  • Arden Ripley [Writer/Developer, Date or Die]
  • Steve Gee [Senior Manager, Developer Relations, Adult Swim Games]
  • Tanya DePass [Freelance critic and diversity consultant, #INeedDiverseGames]

 

Sunday September 4th, 4:00 pm Chipmunk Theatre

Git Gud, Ally

Ever wonder how to create and play games your way and still be an awesome ally? Is this even a thing? In this panel, we discuss the awesomeness that is our gaming community and unpack what it means to make it inclusive. What are we doing well and where do we need work? We’ll look at these questions and how it benefits everyone. To follow with a #realtalk Q&A.

Panelists:

  • Tanya DePass [Freelance critic and diversity consultant, #INeedDiverseGames]
  • Kathryn Storm [Interaction Designer, Xbox]
  • Bryce Johnson [Interaction Designer, Microsoft]
  • John Porter [PhD candidate, Human Centered Design and Engineering, UW, UW]

Upcoming Convention Shenanigans…

I’m finally slowing down, a bit on the convention circuit. In a couple of days I’ll be on my way to CONvergence with GeekMelange & JesseLex for a few days of fandom, friends and tomfoolery.

If you like seeing me on panels, or hey just want to see what these are about, here’s a link to my CONvergence panel schedule.  You can follow along via twitter, @cypheroftyr and the official convention hashtag is #cvg2016

I get back for a couple days rest, then Podcast Movement! I’m going mostly because it’s in my city and I don’t have to travel far, pay for a hotel or anything like that. It’s also going to be awesome to go to a convention and not be a panelist. Excited to go and learn from folks, learn more stuff to make Fresh Out of Tokens better for y’all.

That’s it until September 2nd when I head to Seattle for PAX West; where #INeedDiverseGames will join the Diversity Lounge and (hopefully!) I’ll be on panels for  stuff besides diversity 101 chat. I get a couple weeks off, then off I go back to the west coast for GaymerX 4 in Santa Clara.

I’ve got a week or so till I head back to Cali for Big Bad Con where I’m a Special Guest and I’ll be doing some panels, and hanging out with cool folks. Super excited for a panel on the Fake Geek Girl fallacy I proposed.

That will pretty much round out 2016 for my convention attendance, and I start it all over again in 2017 with OrcaCon and my first Guest of Honor gig! ❤

So you want to describe a POC character…

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Ok, so I get asked for advice and my thoughts on a lot of things relating to diversity and representation. Lately I’ve been getting asked about the proper/authentic/least offensive way to describe or write POC characters.

There’s been a tumblr post going around about not using food as descriptors for non-white characters. Some people don’t understand why this offensive and a racist action. There’s so much to unpack in why you shouldn’t use food words as a descriptor of POC characters, that this could be a long post; but here’s trying after a disclaimer.

DISCLAIMER: I do not claim to speak for all POC, all black people, all women. This post is informed both by my personal experiences as a US born and raised black woman who has spent a lot of time discussing, writing about, talking about race, feminism and representation. Do not take this post as your get out of fuckery free card, with the claim a black woman said X so it’s ok! I will not be happy with you at all and woe unto you if you do this and try to use my words as a pass to be wrong.

Take my words as you will, understand that I, as a marginalized person have experiences that you (privileged folks reading this) do not. This is not a time or a place for well, actually in the comments. Nor is it the time or place for countering with your one black friend said Y in response to my Z. So with all that being said, here we go.

So I often get asked about describing POC accurately, authentically and the like.  What follows is an excerpt of an inquiry, with no names attached as the net can be vicious. But I wanted an example. This is a great question, it wasn’t worded in a way that screams EDUCATE ME, (well not to me, but YMMV)

“…on the description of skin color/tone while avoiding anything that might end up being racist. For example, some sites I’ve checked have said to stay away from food related analogies (“caramel colored skin” for example) while others have said that describing it that way is fine. In the absence of using food related descriptors (unless that’s acceptable) what WOULD be acceptable? Or should you always stick to literal colors?”

So let’s break this down. First and foremost, do NOT describe people of colour with food words. Just no, not coffee, caramel, cafe au lait, chocolate, cinnamon, or other descriptors such as that. Let’s leave dusky off that list too, or tanned. We’re not tanned, sun kissed, toasted. We’re lovely, lovely shades of brown, you can use that word as a descriptor.

Why not you ask? I mean people like food right? Well, let me tell you a thing.

Well, to describe People of Color, going forward referenced as POC, emphasis on the PEOPLE part, at the least it is othering non-white characters in your narrative, and at the worst, you are fetishizing non-white characters by giving them exotic descriptors that don’t tell you anything about them besides they remind you of a favorite desert or your am cuppa.

It’s tied in to the dehumanization of people of color in media, in life and history. If you can imagine for a moment,   (assuming you are not a POC and reading this post) how would you feel if you were always described as milky, mayonnaise, mashed potato, and other kinds of food words as stand-in’s for your skin colour? You wouldn’t would you?

I know some white people get bent out of shape when described with such words, even as inoffensive as ‘mayo’. I mean mayo isn’t a great condiment, but no one has died from being called mayo-white. So consider the weight of words, the cultural ramifications tied to describing a POC as sinful as cinnamon, luscious as dark chocolate, or worse, tying food descriptors to moments of intimacy in a work.

I’ve seen too many people describe fair skinned POC (assuming they actually are writing them as a POC) as lapped up like cafe au lait, devoured like a chocolate bar, etc etc. Just stop. Additionally, it’s tired, it’s cliched and shows me you can’t play with words well enough to come up with a new way to describe people. It’s laziness, and if you as a writer can’t come up with something better, it makes me wonder about the rest of your word crafting.

Secondly, there are plenty of ways to describe POC with words like brown, dark brown, light brown, sandy brown, so many words that can be used to describe us that don’t need to be related to food, again it’s delicious but we’re not edible. We’re people, people! That would like some depth in our descriptions.  We’re not coffee brown either, considering coffee can be had from a milky white with enough extra cream to a very, very, dark black. We also don’t taste or smell like chocolate, coffee, or cinnamon. No person does, even if they work in a coffee factory with a chocolate shoppe across the way.

Third, and it might seem repetitive but this is important. Do the work, look to authors you feel have done character description well and learn from how they do it. Look up resources on writing the other, especially if you get a second or hell a third set of eyes on your work and get feedback on the descriptions. Or use Google, it’s there for a reason. It’s a SEARCH engine, so search things. Keep a dictionary and thesaurus bookmarked for your use.

That doesn’t mean use 10 dollar words and three paragraphs to lovingly attempt a non-racist description of your POC characters. A few words will always do instead of purple, flowy, overdone prose.  Lastly, ask a POC to review your work. If you don’t have any POC friends that’s another matter for a different post. But if you don’t have someone you can trust to review your work? Pay someone to do so, because this is one of those free emotional labor things we often get asked to do.

Speaking of resources, here’s a few to get you started:

10 Great Resources for Writing Cross Culturally (which has it’s own listing of good resources)

Relevant to this post: Writing with Color Tumblr: Description Guide, Part I – Food descriptions

Writing with Color tumblr: Description Guide, Part II – Describing Skin Tone

Writing the Other: A Practical Approach- Nisi Shawl & Cynthia Ward

Writing the Other workshops – Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford Brownpaper tickets. Check their sites for up to date schedule and availability

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My @Penguicon schedule!

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April 29th, 7:00 pm – When Being ‘On’ Is what people Expect

A panel where Mark Oshiro (Mark Does Stuff) and Tanya DePass (I Need Diverse Games) speak about the performative aspects of their work, including the need to entertain while doing blind reads and reactions to media and for Tanya; while streaming on Twitch/YT Gaming.

April 30th, 3:00 pm – Creating Safer Spaces

How do we define a “safe space” in fandom and at conventions? How can we work to create safer spaces for all attendees at Penguicon and other conventions, and in our lives outside of fandom? Join a discussion with Penguicon staff (including the con chair) and our guests about how the Penguicon community can work toward greater safety, diversity and inclusivity to make this a space where all feel welcome.

April 30th, 6:00 pm – Diversity in Geek Media

The push for more diversity has become a regular topic in the world of genre media and games, from calling out instances of white-washing and queer-baiting, to protesting the inevitable and often inexplicable deaths of queer characters and characters of color. It’s an exhausting road, but is it actually leading to more diverse and inclusive media?

April 30th, 8:00 pm – Geek Girls are here to stay

Every few years it seems there’s a rash of discussion, usually shocked, that women create and consume all the things long considered the domain of men: science, technology, science fiction, comics, games and more. But women have always been there, from the earliest Worldcons to the Save Star Trek campaign, from fan fiction and fanvids, from Ada Lovelace to Shirley Ann Jackson, from Frankenstein to our awesome slate of Guests of Honor. Will we be stuck having this conversation forever?

May 1st, 11:00 am – Crowd & Alternatively funding your career

Our panelists discuss their experiences using entrepreneurship opportunities like Startup Weekend and Global Startup Battle or crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Patreon, to supplement or make a living, or start a new project.

The full Penguicon schedule is available online, so choose sessions! Hope to see you all there!

ICYMI – I’ll be on the Geek Show – Videogames edition

A NEW CHALLENGER APPROACHES!

…and it is VStheUNIVERSE with their hit variety show “The Geek Show!”

GeekShow VG Ed

Next month the VtU crew are celebrating everyone’s favorite pastime: Video Games!

Join VStheUNIVERSE as they welcome guests Tanya DePass from#INeedDiverseGames and local Robomodo studio developer Josh Tsui as they talk about the current gaming scene! VStheUNIVERSE will also be premiering a brand new video sketch, welcoming a vocal performance by Matt Payne, and giving away some great games from local developers!

As always, tickets are FREE! Show starts at 8PM but get there early to grab a seat and a drink from the bar!

Let’s see how many Bioware Hoodie changes I can pull off in one appearance!

—- VStheUNIVERSE includes:

Aaron J. Amendola
Chris Chapin
Sam Begich

—- and are joined by:

John Craig, Rachel Goffinet, Jessica Kent, & Jamie McCabe

 

Think Galacticon 3 – With notable guests N.K. Jemisin & Adrienne Maree Brown!

Think Galactic is pleased to announce that Think Galacticon 3 is happening July 8-10 at Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL. Notable guests include Nebula-nominated author N.K. Jemisin as well as Adrienne Maree Brown, an activist with an impressive record of social justice advocacy and an interest in how science fiction can inform our ideas about social justice.

Think Galacticon, a project of the Think Galactic Reading Group and Collective, strives to create a space in which leftists and others can discuss politics and speculative fiction in an intelligent, engaging, and fun fashion. There will be multiple tracks of programming that seek to expand the boundaries of typical discussions. We want to explore issues of oppressive hierarchies, confronting topics of race, gender, sexuality, class and more. We are one of many groups that Wiscon has fostered and have a lot of great ideas for a thoughtful and challenging weekend of radical politics and fiction, so we hope to see you come!

It’s currently $40 for a regular membership and $35 for students until 3/31. The price will go up gradually until it is $55 at the door, so get your tickets now! The earlier you get the tickets the more you help us be able to pay for the upfront costs of running a con. It’s a win-win.

We also have youth memberships (ages 10-17) at a constant $25 and supporting memberships for those who cannot attend for $15. As always, you can donate however much you want to make this con happen.

Parents: We will again be having free childcare for children 9 and under, so please sign up your child(ren) for a free membership as well if you are a parent planning to attend.

You can read more about the con here: http://tgcon3.thinkgalactic.org

Programming is created from a bottom-up process much like Wiscon so please suggest a panel, workshop, or other activity/discussion you think we should consider. Here is our suggestion page:
http://tgcon3.thinkgalactic.org/programming/suggest-programming/

We hope to see you in July!
The Think Galacticon Concom

A brief thinky post on the Wiscon situation and disinviting EMoon as GOH

This will be brief and entirely ineloquent because I am sick and cannot brain well. In short, disinviting E Moon as GOH is NOT FUCKING SILENCING HER! Reposting her own words for the world to see is NOT BULLYING HER! All these people whinging about how evil the mean brown people are, how they wheedled the comcon into disinviting her to be GOH need to just shut the fuck up, as in NOW.

I’m tired of people crying about Moon being silenced, and persecuted and all that other bullshit. She shat on the living room carpet, threw a blanket over it and continued to act as if there was nothing there. Her continued silence, refusal to discuss the issue and then the concom taking a while to make up their minds while staying conspicuously quiet is the issue.

I’m sick of people throwing tantrums in the Wiscon LJ comm about how meen this was, and rude, etc etc to disinvite Moon and stamping their feet and saying they aren’t coming now because the Con obviously isn’t for them.

GOOD, I don’t want my con experience ruined by whiny ass people who think its all about them and can’t see why Moon’s screed was so damn problematic. Also, if you can’t realize how much her words hurt our Muslim sisters and brothers, then I suggest you revisit Civics class, Privilege and Classism as well as Racism 101.

Many, many other people have said their piece on why the whole issue and how it was handled is problematic. See the [community profile] wiscon, [personal profile] karnythia, [personal profile] yuki_onna, [personal profile] nojojojo and K. Tempest Bradford sums up my feelings perfectly with You People are out of your Goddamned Minds

More on Moonfail… and how Wiscon has disappointed me

So there’s plenty more going around the web on the lack of response from Wiscon’s concom, especially after the governing body SF3 has suggested that E Moon’s (link goes to the post that kicked this off) GOH invitation be rescinded. There are others who have spoken far more eloquently than I ever could, those that were deeply involved in the whole thing that have stepped away from being on concomm or the programming comm and have said NO to Wiscon because its failing to meet its own expectations by not rescinding her invitation, and by expecting Muslim attendees to be walking teachers to correct her failure to see them as human beings, and in her own words as good citizens. That’s utter bollocks, and imposing an unfair burden on Muslims that would be attending the Con.

The other issue I’m having is seeing how this is affecting so many people, and how little it seems to matter to those who can make the decision to disinvite her. Is the pain of even one member of the community insufficient to move the concom to a decision? Do they need to see people canceling their memberships, their rooms and more declarations of how done people are with Wiscon to be moved to action?  Is it going to come down to money lost versus doing the right thing to get some kind of action to occur?It shouldnt be a matter of just dollar but of sense, and of what the Con supposedly stands for and not forgetting that in the face of controversy.

I’ve only gone to Wiscon once, and I greatly enjoyed it last year. I got to meet many wonderful people who I’ve remained connected to since Wiscon 34. I was afraid to even attend this year post race-fail, and frankly after seeing all of the hemming and hawing on making a decision about Moon’s GOH invitation and the idea that Muslim attendees should be walking teachable moments instead of making Moon see where she screwed up and making her accountable for her words; which are on the internet for the world to see and repeating them is not maligning her, it’s called quoting people I’m angry that I even gave Wiscon this one year of my time, money and experience. I’m disappointed more than angry about all of this.

I hope that Wiscon makes a decision, and soon about rescinding Moon’s GOH status before anyone who cares just gives up and goes away. I know I’m getting to that point and I’ve only gone once but was excited about returning to Madison next May, already booked a room and was planning on how to get there even if I don’t have a job by next spring. But instead I’m going to join the folks sitting, waiting and wondering what is going to finally happen.

Lastly and most definitely not least, I hope that people have not forgotten about Nisi Shawl, the GOH for Wiscon 35. I feel like she has been overshadowed, overrun by the utter fail of Moon’s idiocy and hate speech and forgotten in this. I hope to be there to support and celebrate Nisi as she should be celebrated for all she’s done. It was wonderful meeting her last year and I want to keep her in people’s minds as they make up their mind about attending/not attending/giving up on Wiscon altogether.

In short, I hope there’s some action sooner than later and I can resume plans to attend in good conscience.

Wiscon 2011 and how the emoon situation is making me rethink attending

So, it’s not news about the whole emoon Islamaphobia post that is now shut down by the author. It isn’t news that many fantastic people have written their piece about her idiocy Link Roundup @ karnythia’s LJ and some great posts on this by Asim are here, here, here and response to the Wiscon concom not rescinding her GOH invite is here and now comes the decision by Wiscon to keep her as a GOH. That discussion and the fallout over her remarks is now overshadowing the fabulous Nisi Shawl as 2011 GOH, and it pisses me off that this RaceFail redux 2010 edition is ruining the con for so many before people have even booked tickets to attend.

The whole situation reeks of hatred, vitriol, over the top uber patriotism that we were all treated to immediately following 9/11. I can understand the position that the Wiscon concom must be in, to have to deal with yet another race fail type thing and not just by a panelist or attendee, but having to deal with such remarks by one of the incoming GOH’s has to be hell to deal with. I concede that it’s not an easy discussion… but, and there’s always a but… allowing her to remain GOH, and trying to frame it as a teaching moment does two things in my head (and this came up in conversation with [personal profile] karnythia this evening.

1. It puts the onus for teachable moments on the attendees, to task them with making others understand when they are at the con of their own reasons. I don’t go to cons to be on the hot seat for explaining and teaching others, if I wanted that I’d be on panels (not like panels are all about teachable moments, but you get what I mean I hope!) and I don’t want to spend my time that could be spent at panels, socializing and having a good time at con turn into being a walking ask me board, or the token (fill in the blank) that you can ask questions you may not ask others.

2. The fact that she deleted all the comments and shut down any chance of discourse on that post tells me quite clearly that there is NO INTEREST in dialog or learning from what has happened due to her post, her words that are now out there on the internet for eternity. I don’t see why allowing her to remain GOH is supposed to be some great opportunity for dialog when it’s clear that there is no interest in her part and anyone attempting to dialog will likely be labeled as one of those mean people who just won’t let it go, or just won’t see what she really meant, and stop being so mean to her! [that’s my assumption, since most online interactions about race, and privilege usually go in that direction]

It also makes me feel as if the con does not care about the people that were hurt and offended by her words. The people she painted in such broad strokes as barely civilized and should be grateful for being allowed on the hallowed ground of the USA. I think because she is a professional writer, I think more care should be taken with what you say, online, in text and have the realization that once your post it out there, it’s out there. Considering all the discourse I’ve seen on this issue alone, people have long memories and they won’t forget her words just because the con is next May.

I know I won’t forget this whole chain of fuckery, hate, racism and Islamaphobia that is rearing it’s head, and making me rethink Wiscon. It makes me wonder if the concom holds to the values they espouse and if anything will make them take notice of how this has damaged how some people may think about Wiscon, how it may influence people to skip the con altogether instead of giving any money to an organization that would have her as a GOH, well nothing outside of money. If people start canceling their registrations or skip it all together, would that send a message that is loud and clear or would it be chalked up to those oversensitive people who undoubtedly refuse to dialog, even after all this programming was created to address the issue…

I could go on, but that’s veering off into rant territory and I think this post is barely cohesive as it is because I’m pretty rageful at the disregard for any people who would attend Wiscon, and for those that don’t feel safe now and are already planning other things in place of attending Wiscon.

I’m still on the fence about attending, but I’ll have to climb down one side or the other soon.

For all the people who think POC Fans of Sci Fi didn’t exist until the internet? GTFO of my sci fi you dumbasses

Stolen off LJ from kittie_kattie

I have a new level of non existance: Apparantly PoC didn’t start getting into sci-fi/fantasy until the interent showed us the way. Seriously? What the fuck is that shit?

*~*~* wild unicorn herd check in: “If you identify as a POC/nonwhite person and you read or watch scifi or fantasy, give yourself a name check in this thread.

I am particularly wanting shoutouts from people who do not live in the US and who have still managed to read genre fiction.

I’m tired of people trying to render us invisible unless they have been given a memo about our existences.” ~ delux_vivens.

I’ve failed to effectively discuss RaceFail 09′, and I’m thoroughly, entirely past fashionably late on discussing it, but the sheer stupidity of the idea that POC weren’t fans UNTIL the internet astounds me. Well, not in that I can’t believe it way, but in the someone actually let that come out of their mouth and actually thinks its a plausible explanation? Here’s a newsbite you silly people, just because you don’t see it? Doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Just because you don’t see alot of people of color at conventions doesn’t mean that we are not fans of Sci Fi, etc.

Learn a lesson and realize your validation means fuck all to us. We have been existing and will still exist whether or not you realize it, see it or acknowledge it. I was raised on Star Trek original series, Battle Star Galactica, read comics till I fell asleep, dreamt of traipsing amongst the stars well before some of you probably were around. Stop thinking that if you say something enough its going to become true. Stop thinking we need your hey, I see you there kind of validation to go on with our daily lives.

We don’t need you to co-sign on the fact that black folks like something other than hip hop, malt liquor, soul food and blaxpoitation films.For the last time WE DON’T NEED YOU OR YOUR VALIDATION TO EXIST!

Karnythia speaks up about the Great SF Race Fail of 09′

So folks have had enough of the SF communities epic fail at depicting CoC (characters of color). There has been massive wank, fail and omgwtf is wrong with you fuckers all over the internets. Well LJ’er Karnythia has spoken up about Race Fail 09′. She has encouraged folks to link away so I’m doing that.

For clarity, here’s  a link to the timeline of race fail 09, posted by Karnythia from Rydra_Wong‘s link spam.

Don’t be e-bullies kids… it’s not nice mmmkay? It will also get you kicked in the e-nads thusly.

This is what I had to say to karnythia’s post:

On a serious note, I had never heard of the fuckwads that are primary to this fiasco before this week. Now that I have heard of them? I’ll be even more selective in who gets my hard earned cash for reading material.

I had a chance to catch up on this epic fail of all fails via [info]ryda_wong‘s linkspam, [info]delux_vivens, and other folks and all I got is who the fuck do these people think they are? E-Bullying, making not so vague threats as if you really have the power to do something to up and coming authors? Intentionally “outing” bloggers in some perverse tug of war and power trip? You fail fuckwads, and all you’ve done for me is make me more eager to support ventures like [info]verb_noire, not pay for your shitty writing and keep my money for those who will act as if I’m a person, not the exotic other that you just can’t understand… that you can’t personify as regular fucking people and not these mythical things that you now refuse to deal with.

No loss to us, in case you hadn’t noticed dumbasses. From the bits I’ve read from the principal players? No one will weep if you never write a fucking word again. So take your crappy ass toys and leave, we’ll be over here making progress against your epic fail.

Edited at 2009-03-05 10:23 am (local)

Why defend the Freedom of Icky Speech?

Why defend freedom of icky speech?

This is a bit long. Apologies. I’d meant to talk about other things, but I started writing this reply this morning and got a bit carried away.

I have questions about the Handley case. What makes lolicon something worth defending? Yaoi, as I understand it, isn’t necessarily child porn, but the lolicon stuff is all about sexualizing prepubescent girls, yes? And haven’t there been lots of credible psych studies saying that if you find a support community for a fetish, belief or behavior, you’re more likely to indulge in it? That’s why social movements are so important for oppressed or non-mainstream groups (meaning everything from the fetish community to free-market libertarianism) -and why NAMBLA is so very, very scary (they are, essentially, a support group for baby-rapists.)

The question, for me, is even if we only save ONE child from rape or attempted rape, or even just lots of uncomfortable hugs from Creepy Uncle Dave, is that not worth leaving a couple naked bodies out of a comic? It is, after all, more than possible to imply and discuss these issues (ex. if someone loses their virginity at 14, and chooses to write a comic about it) without having a big ol’ pic of 14 yr. old poon being penetrated as the graphic. I also think there’s a world of difference between the Sandman story-which depicts child rape as the horrific thing it is (and, I believe, also ends with a horrific death for the pervert, doesn’t it?) and depicting child rape as a sexy and titillating thing. I think there is also a difference between acknowledging children’s sexuality, and pornography about children that is created for adults. Where on this spectrum does something like lolicon fall? And, again, why do you, personally, think that it should be defended?

Thanks for reading my ramble, and for being accessible to us, and engaged in things like CBLDF. Mostly, they are a fantastic org., but I’m really on the fence with this case…

Jess

Let me see if I can push you off the fence, a little. I’m afraid it’s going to a long, and probably a bit rambly answer — a credo, and how I arrived at that.

If you accept — and I do — that freedom of speech is important, then you are going to have to defend the indefensible. That means you are going to be defending the right of people to read, or to write, or to say, what you don’t say or like or want said.

The Law is a huge blunt weapon that does not and will not make distinctions between what you find acceptable and what you don’t. This is how the Law is made.

People making art find out where the limits of free expression are by going beyond them and getting into trouble. Continue reading “Why defend the Freedom of Icky Speech?”

It’s shit like the commentary below that makes me go ballistic

With all the miscegenation hoo ha going on in Daily Deviant, some American hating know it all decided to blow their horn on the semantic battle going on in D_D. I can understand if you have issues with American Privilege, but at least come back with a better argument than Americans are all greedy scum who think they can boss the world around!

Some days I want to shake some sense into a bitch

What follows after the jump is their comment and my response. Continue reading “It’s shit like the commentary below that makes me go ballistic”

The Prefects Portrait – by Schoogle Fic Rec

Fic rec:  

The Prefects Portrait by SchnoogleHermione’s quest for a quiet place to read leads to the discovery of a remarkable portrait. The girl in the picture meant so much to so many. She is remembered as a devoted wife and loving mother, but what was she like at sixteen? Will her reappearance change everything?


Not DH spoilers per se, but if you’ve finished DH, then it will make sense. It’s a long read but definitely worth it.

Missing from HP7… a moral struggle?

Missing from ‘Harry Potter’ – a real moral struggle

By Jenny SawyerWed Jul 25, 4:00 AM ET

If literature truly reflects society, then the end of the Harry Potter series spells trouble for us all.

Because, after 10 years, 4,195 pages, and over 325 million copies, J.K. Rowling’s towering achievement lacks the cornerstone of almost all great children’s literature: the hero’s moral journey. Without that foundation, her story – for all its epic trappings of good versus evil – is stuck in a moral no man’s land.

To be clear: This isn’t a critique of Ms. Rowling’s values. It’s a recognition of a disturbing trend in commercial storytelling and Western society.

For those who’ve yet to finish “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” stop reading now: There are spoilers ahead. Continue reading “Missing from HP7… a moral struggle?”

On POC self hatred in fan fiction… a thought sparked by a friends LJ post

My LJ pal Karynthia wrote the post below; and it resonated with me because I’ve finally stopped to think about the fandoms I’m interested in and how the few people of color are portrayed in their respective series. When you dip over to the fanficton section, there’s so much that irritates me. It took Karnythia’s post to spark my interest and thought processes about this topic.

Read and discuss

Dear Who batshit fanbrats,

When writing Martha comparing herself to Rose? You might want to leave off having her hate her skin, and hair, and race as not being good enough to attract the Doctor. Passages like:

It was more than just jealousy, jealousy of this girl, this friend, this lover I knew nothing about. It was the way he said it – the way his voice cracked and his smile slipped and his shoulders slumped, the way that even the turquoise heart of the TARDIS seemed to wane – that told me I would never be able to compete, compete with a name so fresh and chaste and so very English. I didn’t know of course, but it conjured up images of hair dripping over pearly shoulders like honey and a porcelain face, of cornflower blue eyes and damask lips he’d kissed a thousands times.

Catching my own reflection in the polished console – dark and incongruous – I cursed my deep skin and dense hair, the width of my nose and my rusty lips. I hated him for making me do that, for damning a heritage I should be proud of not ashamed of because it made me different. But I would be lying if I said he had been the first man to make me do it; they were always blonde.

People, there’s plenty of room in this fandom for all kinds of shippiness, and crack fic and just about any damned concept. Let’s leave off the tired racist cliches. Because they just make me want to hit you with a nail studded bat.

No love,

Black Who fan who is tired of racist morons in her fandom.