Have one handy guide to interacting with me at conventions, totally 110% free of charge.
Overall I am can be friendly but I do not like strangers touching me, especially my hair. If you try to pet my hair or touch my locs without express permission or invitation it will not end well for you. So just don’t, especially if you like having fingers. Spoiler: 99.99% of you will never get that invite, so don’t do it.
Revision #5: It’s 2023, and I’ve started working in the industry as a writer on an announced game. This means no asking me about the game, what I do, details, etc. It also means I’m going to be a lot more closed off with strangers after some conservative blogger took pot shots at me joining the studio. All the other caveats and updates below still apply x 1000.
Revision #4: As I go to more events as we still work through the Pandemic that started in early 2020, and I have become more visible due to the Game Changer documentary and being on many streamed TTRPG shows, as well as Mother Lands RPG; I am even more cautious when meeting people for the first time. If we have never met and you call me Tanya, I will ask that you not do that as I don’t know you. Due to the pandemic, I am even more “no touching!” than I was before and definitely do not try to hug me. Doing so anyway will get security called on you.
Revision #3: After credible threats and chances of physical harm at events in summer/fall of 2019, I am even more cautious of people I don’t know. Especially if they approach calling me by name or attempt to touch me. I do not want or like being touched, hugged or approached in a way that will hem me in by people I don’t know outside of digital spaces. Introduce yourself, and go beyond “I follow you on twitter…” or you may just get a blank stare until you actually tell me who you are.
Revision #2: After being harassed and stalked on Twitch for over three months (end of 2018, into early 2019), I’m right back at being super cautious with people I don’t know. You want to say hi? That’s cool, and I’ll likely be friendly after you’ve introduced yourself.
Revision: Due to the incident (being filmed w/o my consent with intent to intimidate) at PAX East 2016, I am even more twitchy about interaction with people I don’t know at conventions and conferences.
One thing that’s useful for me, is if you introduce yourself beyond “I follow you on twitter/Twitch/BlueSky/IG/Tumblr/Watch a TTRPG show you were on” when we meet. Nothing personal but if that’s all you give me, and we don’t interact often I’m not going to figure out who you are just from “I follow you on twitter!”. Also, words mean things, so don’t say you stalk me on social media. You do that, our interaction will end at that moment.
If we are twitter/tumblr/Online friends but have not met offline, feel free to say hello and if you ask first I’ll likely give you a hug/want a hug. I’m actually quiet and introverted in person so if you see me fleeing for a quiet space, it’s not you! I am likely feeling overwhelmed and need some quiet time. I have a terrible memory so if we have met just once or twice at previous events I might not remember you immediately, please don’t be offended.
I like to take photos, but I will always ask permission before taking them and again before posting them on tumblr, twitter, Instagram, flickr or live vlogging/sharing a video of the thing I’m at. I don’t mind being in photos, but ask me first before posting them online.