I don’t have a witty introduction for this.
I wish it wasn’t necessary to say.
Things are (slowly) getting better, yes.
But it still needs to be said.
After the revelations last month (reference one, two), those of us with enough energy, privilege, and resources have to do something. Something that shows both that we will support those who have been harassed and that we do not accept harassment in the places we gather.
So, building on the example of Take Back The Night, as well as #IllRideWithYou and #IllGoWithYou, I created #IWillBelieveYou.
We are members of all kinds of fandom and the scientific community. The struggle of recent years to get harassment policies enacted at our conventions and gathering spaces is starting to show results.
Yet too many people are dismissed, minimized, or outright disbelieved when they are sexually harassed and assaulted.
We are no longer okay ignoring the broken/missing stairs in our communities and lives. No one should have to feel unsafe simply being in a public space, especially those spaces organized around the events and passions we enjoy.
Our pledge, the pledge of #IWillBelieveYou, is that those of us with the privilege and resources to do so will offer to be an ally, an active listener, and to support those who have been hurt by harassers or worse in our communal spaces.
I will be wearing this button to signal my commitment to the above at all public appearances.
I’ll do my best to have them to distribute as well.
I do not make any money off these buttons, nor do I want to. I found the most flexible and inexpensive retailer so that it’s easy and inexpensive for folks to purchase buttons. I have also put up the templates so that you can use another retailer or create them yourself if you like.
I’ve tried to make this as decentralized as I can. This is not about me.
This is about making our cons, conventions, and gathering spaces safer.
It isn’t a perfect solution. But it’s something.
If you wish to order buttons for yourself (or the templates to DIY them), head to https://iwillbelieveyou.org.
And spread the word.