Con Politics and Their Effect
Recently, there's been a lot of talk about Convention politics, whether it's socially liberal or conservative choices on the con's management, or simply a reputation that the con holds in the minds of people of the community, it's important to take a look at how the convention leadership teams in our community affect how we feel about their cons.
"So, what's all the fuss?" You ask. Well, here's the fuss: simple discriminatory actions can completely destroy a con, while friendly policy implementation can launch other cons into the stars. For example, a convention Ryan Kopf is a convention runner who faced rape allegations, and this led to a decline in the growth rate of con attendance in following years. Con-goers who can only afford to go to a few cons a year are also making the decision to not consider any of his cons. He is losing "business" to his competitors because of this. I think it's unfortunate though, that one person's actions can tear apart a community in this way. I'm not going to throw shade at any specific cons, because I feel like even though Ryan may be a key leader in these cons, he does not reflect the good people who are also involved in convention staff. Nor does he represent the community. That being said, it's perfectly reasonable to not want to risk putting money in his pocket by purchasing a badge.
Another issue from the normal world that's oozing into the convention world is transphobia. This is striking because transphobic people are usually unseen in our community. A single transphobic like on facebook from a con administrator can manipulate the fate of a convention. I think the rise of outright transphobia in the United States is unfortunate, but it has also inspired some beautiful initiatives to make everyone feel comfortable at our beloved conventions. An excellent example of this is CoreCon's "I'll go with you" policy, in which if you are not comfortable going to the bathroom at a con, you can ask a staff member (who wears a #I'llGoWithYou button) to come with you to ensure that you feel safe.