CONvergence, Anime Detour, and Safe Spaces

Would anyone be interested in a gender safe space at Anime Detour or CONvergence?  There was a good deal of brainstorming in that direction on Sunday and I want to poll the tags on tumblr or whatever I’m doing to see what the response is.

Some ideas that were had:

  • Room party?

  • Mentoring/education/conversation on trans* umbrella ideas, etc. (that’s a big etc. by the way.)

  • Safe Space on the balcony, monitored and protected by room party hosts

  • More casual socialization in the main room

  • IDK what else

I’m pretty sure I’d feel like a total shit if I set up a safe space that wasn’t actually safe after all and someone got threatened or hurt. I feel like when that push comes to shove we have con staff and security to rely on, and our own solidarity (in this hypothetical room party). I really want to provide a place for people who are questioning or curious to ask questions without judgement and another place where people can go when they need to be out and can’t be out in public, somewhere where people will respect their pronouns and not misgender them or harass them. People who are at risk for these things should still be able to go to con and enjoy con, dammit! And I do have mixed feelings about this and I am scared of doing it wrong but I have 20 people I met at con TODAY who are behind something like this and I think we might be able to make it work and that would be so awesome.

I know that as a trans person I am probably experiencing a focus here that may lead me to discount other reasons to have a safe space at these cons, and I know that the cons themselves have taken steps to provide such spaces where they can.  I think a dedicated safe space run by fans could be hugely meaningful and I am not hidebound into it only being about gender expression and safety.  Safe space is safe space and I get that!  Safe for all identities!

With the discussion I’m seeing around the “Costumes are not Consent” posters I’m hoping there’s space for this dialogue to happen.