YasuiGetups, on 24 April 2013 - 03:14 AM, said:
Hello, all. This year at ACen, I have a little project that you can very easily take part in, and is guaranteed to make a difference in someone's life!
I'm calling it the Tolerance Police, because it aims to empower people against the sport of trolling and to promote mutual respect within the fanbase.
No matter what fandom you belong to, going to a convention is usually a vacation from the stresses of life and a place where you deserve to have three days of straight fun.
Not everyone, however, is guaranteed this privilege. Deviating from the white/heterosexual/gender-normative/etc. roles society holds dear often leads to people being persecuted- even when they should feel safe and accepted among people of similar interests.
No one who saves their money for a hotel and badge, puts together a cosplay, and counts the days until ACen should have to face snarky comments or rejection just because their cosplay isn't up to someone's taste, or a random troll decides to get vocal about their personal discomfort with crossplay.
As an experienced con-goer, I've seen people's weekends ruined by some passing jerk who decided to take out his hatred for anyone outside the narrow range of 'normal', and sat with people who cried because they felt so alone even among their fellow fans.
Whatever stereotypes exist about your fandom or your group, a con isn't the place where you should have to face judgment.
If you believe that as a subculture we don't have room to exclude or hate others just because of how different we are, here's what you can do:
1) Pledge right now to speak up if you hear someone making hateful comments about another cosplayer's gender, costume, age, race, etc. during ACen. Whether you tell the offender they're wrong for being discriminatory, or just pat the victimized person on the shoulder and say "Hey, not everyone is rude like that, don't listen to them", words are the easiest contribution to someone who's hurting.
2) Get a free sticker from me on any day of the con, and wear it on your badge as a sign of your commitment to promote tolerance!
It really is absolutely embarrass to me that in the United States of America, at a convention around all the amazing geeks and nerds of the comic/anime/gaming world we even have to point this out as an issue.
Ofcourse I'm in, but I'm always in.
Not to undermine the point here but while we are at it can we not shun our peers at the convention for simply not knowing about one particular game/anime/manga, even if it appears to you as being something obvious.
One of the common attacks I hear from people who may not be as fanatical as many of the other people at these convention, for not going to them, is that we often appears to be an overly exclusive group. Isn't the point of these type of conventions to share in the fun of the hobbies we love, and further to show others what and why we love them so much?
Therefore I take this challenge, and I encourage everyone to take it a step further. Reach out to those who ask questions of curiosity. We don't have to like everyone, but let us for this one weekend all be friends of the same community. Honestly, it is for that reason alone that I have been going to conventions for nearly a decade now (this year is year 9).
Honestly, to me tolerance really just seems weak, we really should be fighting for acceptance. But since acceptance must come entirely from within, tolerance will have to do.
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move"