EDIT: 27 Dec 2014:
Forget what I said
below. Thanks to Janet Province and Dennis Palmer (in particular),
this convention is dead. You should see these two posts for updates:
EDIT: 1 Dec 2014:
learned last night the Board met and dissolved itself. The Chairs
from last year are taking over and reforming everything. This resolves my concerns. I’m not
certain what, if any, role I will have in the new iteration of Context,
but if you’re local to the area and want to help out, I’m sure they
would appreciate it.
Just collecting a few notes, mostly because I (deliberately) left comments on with my last post (and there’s stuff on social media too) and I wanted to keep everything in one place.
I deliberately did not name any names, and haven’t throughout this whole thing. The person who was reported as being a harrasser (and his wife) outed themselves publicly, but I still haven’t named him. There’s one big reason:
I am not out to punish any particular person. My goal is simply for Context (and other conventions) to get their stuff together and provide a safe and fun convention.
I did not (and do not) feel that I could guarantee that at this point.
Perhaps my (and other’s) resignations will be sufficient impetus for Context and other regional cons to take things more seriously and be more transparent.
I kept being told that nobody really cares about harassment policies. That even mentioning that there might be harassment would be a turnoff. That small cons (or ones where there aren’t cosplayers) don’t have harassment problems. That policies should be shorter or less wordy.
My pal Jaym Gates posted this earlier this month:
If you are a congoer, saying things like this publicly is important. Facebook, twitter, blog posts – and contacting the convention organizers directly or using feedback forms – is vital.
Without hearing from the congoers directly, it can seem like those who are advocating change and reform are overreacting, throwing fits, on witch hunts, and so on.
And stop assuming that if you don’t hear about harassment that it’s not occurring. Lack of reporting doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
Regarding my decision to resign: My decision did not come out of the blue. Few people know the full timeline of events or all the things that were said (some of them were not public; at least one person kept saying different things to different people).
I stated my (and several other person’s) boundaries about this issue in a letter to the Board a full month ago. I also alluded to it in this post from the end of October about the difference between threats and boundaries. This is not a new decision. In fact, it’s been delayed a month by last-ditch attempts to see if things could be fixed to a point where I/we felt that our boundaries could be honored.
As I acknowledged in the posts yesterday, I made mistakes in handling the situation. I alluded to that in this post made earlier this week.
Finally, I’m certain that others have points of view different than mine, or see the way things unfolded differently.
I would encourage them to try to understand why I (and others, now) see events so differently than they do. Because that might be the key to starting to really fix things.