badgerbag (badgerbag) wrote in bellwether_talk,
badgerbag
badgerbag
bellwether_talk

A couple of specific incidents from cons

For whatever it's worth I'd like to add a couple of incidents to the mix.

- when I volunteered to run the SF Poetry track for Worldcon in San Jose, I was stalked and harassed to some extent by a guy in the Worldcon community. I think he ended up running that track; I bowed out because I didn't want to deal with him. He heard I was doing the track, was pissed about it, looked me up on the web, called my home number and introduced himself. He talked a lot to me about how attractive I was in the photo on my web site, asked if it was really me or was I "bigger", and then asked if I was married. Then he told me that my credentials to do the job were not good enough and he should be the one to do it. I disagreed with him, but later quit anyway, just not wanting to deal with that sort of person.

- At Strategicon in LA I was taken out of a Cthulhu rpg by the gamemaster. I thought "Oh, cool, I get to know a secret in the game" and figured it was going to be him telling me something in the hallway. Instead he took me across the hall into an empty room. I said some things like "Why do we need to go in here? Can't you just tell me whatever it is here in the hall?" And then I said I was uncomfortable going in the room with him. But....then I went anyway. And he started sort of describing this encounter my character was having with a Cthuloid entity of some kind... And then turned out the lights and I protested and said I was leaving. He told me to wait a minute and this was for atmosophere... and I said again that I was leaving... And then he came up behind me and grabbed me. I struggled free and left. I actually continued in the game, while so furious and freaked out I was trembling. I can't really remember what happened then, (I think some abuse survivor disassociation was in effect) but after the game ended I went to the con organizers, told the story to some people, yelled angrily about it, and I think burst into tears. They ended up throwing that guy out and banning him from future cons. Unfortunately he started showing up at my weekly gaming nights at a local game store; that was pretty uncomfortable but I didn't think I could get him banned from that, so I didn't try.

At another game I was in, the GM took me out of the room, grabbed me around the body from behind, and held a knife to my throat; it was the only time anyone had "live action" incidents in the game. When I explained why this was horrible and inappropriate and actually assault, the guy apologized, but he and the other people in the game still treated it like a joke, and like I was being "too sensitive".

These are not isolated incidents for me - they are in a cloud of other similar incidents in SF, gaming, and working-in-tech incidents I have experienced.
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