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Creating a safe/diverse community space

NullzoneNullzone Registered User regular
I've had this idea for a bit over a year now to start a chapter of the Lady Planeswalkers' Society. It's something I feel I'm particularly empowered to do in this area, being that I am connected to a majority of the gaming/comics/hobby shops (as in, I know the staff and/or people who are friendly with the staff at 6 of the 9 stores in the greater region I can think of), enjoy Magic (on a level a bit higher than your kitchen table player, but perhaps less than your typical tournament goer), have experience with event management and administration, and (in my opinion) a reasonably high level of social awareness. However, I'm keenly aware of the fact that, at least outwardly, I appear to be a white male...which creates its own series of approachability/safety perception issues thanks to Magic's public image and demographics; I don't actually *identify* as male though, instead preferring a more genderfluid ID - I'm often wearing skirts, makeup, and heels, for example.

How is best to approach this sort of situation? Are there steps I can/should take to mitigate concerns ahead of time? Should I attempt to engage someone else as a leader, with me providing the 'behind the curtain' aspects to keep things running? Safe spaces matter to me, and the last thing I want is to seem like it's just another day ending in Y where a white dude tromps in on something that isn't theirs.

tl;dr- How can I help create a community space that encourages diversity and that diverse/marginalized groups feel comfortable entering when I don't appear to be part of the target demographic (or worse yet, appear to be the privileged majority)?

Posts

  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    Do you know any women who would be willing to sit and table and be visible with you? I'd imagine the main goal of Lady Planeswalker Society (I've seen them at cons but don't know much about them) is to show that women play Magic and to provide a place where women could learn Magic from other women. So if you look male, that would be a non-starter: you need some women to actually serve as teachers/role-models.
    But maybe ask a female Magic-playing friend to help table and don't necessarily task her with leadership if she doesn't want it; some people really don't enjoy organizing.
    Hmm, what else...try to avoid even the slightest bit of condescension. I know I'd respond ok to a pitch of 'avoid the sleazy loser dudes, get to meet the other cool women gamers in your area' and would immediately shut down at any sort of 'learn this game in a non-intimidating environment!' pitch. But that's just me.

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
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  • GnizmoGnizmo Registered User regular
    Recruiting a diverse leadership and base is the first bit but sadly hardly the hardest. Cracking down on the bullshit will be the hard part. Have clear, concise rules that put down any kind of ism. This will not be obvious as to what it is, so listen to what those who come have to say. They tell you something is a shitty thing to do then trust them it's shitty. Don't let it become a cool kids club where you banish for no reason, but trust me when I say that will be a secondary concern sadly.

  • ElfWordElfWord Registered User regular
    Any time you're creating a community group formally, it always works best if you already have informal connections to people who are likely to be its first members. So yes, approach some friends you think would be interested and acquaintances in the hobby who know you and get them on board before you announce / formally create the group. It will help with both the perception issues and provide some social proof that there's at least a small group of people participating already. It's also an important test before going to all the work of creating the group identity / content / marketing / events / etc -- if you can't actively convince some people you know even casually to participate, passively-recruited strangers definitely aren't going to.

    I also think one of the best things you could do is prominently define who your chapter is for in a way that includes both who you appear to be and who you are, so that people who don't know you aren't automatically wondering "what's that person doing here?" at an event. "A group for women, genderfluid, and female-identifying... [people who love this hobby and want to etc]" would be one way to frame it.

    Star Wars fan, Battlestar crewman, Fantastic GM. Frequent lurker, occasional adventurer.
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  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Nurse, Veteran, Army Mom, Ficus, Space Dad, Survivor Contestant God Bless This Mess Registered User regular
    Change it to queer positive or something?
    Either way, it is an awesome idea.
    My boyfriend and I could not bear regular FNM because of the anti-inclusivity.

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    Change it to queer positive or something?
    Either way, it is an awesome idea.
    My boyfriend and I could not bear regular FNM because of the anti-inclusivity.

    I have feedback in the running of a magic space

    Could you, if you want, give some examples of the conduct you mean and maybe thoughts on what you'd like done?

    Geth
  • TinaGregsonTinaGregson Registered User regular
    To be honest, it's going to come off as a bit creepy if you are a dude trying to recruit more ladies to your game. You need to get to know them as people, and try not to think of them as a group to be recruited for its own sake.

  • ArchArch Neat-o, mosquito! Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    ElfWord wrote: »
    Any time you're creating a community group formally, it always works best if you already have informal connections to people who are likely to be its first members. So yes, approach some friends you think would be interested and acquaintances in the hobby who know you and get them on board before you announce / formally create the group. It will help with both the perception issues and provide some social proof that there's at least a small group of people participating already. It's also an important test before going to all the work of creating the group identity / content / marketing / events / etc -- if you can't actively convince some people you know even casually to participate, passively-recruited strangers definitely aren't going to.

    I also think one of the best things you could do is prominently define who your chapter is for in a way that includes both who you appear to be and who you are, so that people who don't know you aren't automatically wondering "what's that person doing here?" at an event. "A group for women, genderfluid, and female-identifying... [people who love this hobby and want to etc]" would be one way to frame it.

    I think this is the best suggestion. I also have to say that I love this idea, in general. I hadn't heard of the Lady Planeswalker's society, but the little I just read about them sounds great!

    I'm a dude, but...pretty social justice-y (for anyone remotely familiar with my post history at all, this is unsurprising), and I've been super put off by playing most tabletop games outside of my friend group because of how unsafe they are as spaces...and I'm not even a woman, or really any of the other acronym letters.

    Elfword has the right of it though- the first step is to find a few people who will be there as "token" members, if nothing else. Maybe they are women (queer, nonbinary, etc) who aren't super into Magic, but want to learn, maybe they are individuals who actually wanted a safe space for the hobby they are passionate about. Maybe there's other options I haven't thought about- but the point is that the first step is making sure you'll have at least a few bodies at your events, in order to encourage participation (and just visibility for visibility's sake.)

    Interested to see how this turns out!

    EDIT: DANGIT I DIDNT REALIZE THIS WAS A NECROPOST

    I just got excited at the idea :(

    Arch on
  • TinaGregsonTinaGregson Registered User regular
    That's fine Arch - it's clearly of continued interest - the thread would be locked if people were not suppsoed to post!

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    Go look at what happened to all the other threads you necroposted this afternoon.

    bowen wrote: »
    The bacteria in your poop exist everywhere.
  • TinaGregsonTinaGregson Registered User regular
    Closed means closed - open means open!

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    And "Warnings" mean "Stop doing this shit".

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • TinaGregsonTinaGregson Registered User regular
    Hi see317 - that sounds a little rude - do you want to try to say that again in a way that's a little less confrontational?

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Tina, why are you even here if you are going to ignore the community and admin rules?

    Enc on
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Hi see317 - that sounds a little rude - do you want to try to say that again in a way that's a little less confrontational?

    I've already overstepped my bounds. But obviously being polite hasn't worked, getting a warning from the board admin hasn't convinced you to let sleeping threads lie.

    I'm not an admin or mod, but I've been here for long enough to know that if you keep dredging up months or years old threads, you're going to be banned.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • TinaGregsonTinaGregson Registered User regular
    You know, you might want to think for a minute about what I'm saying - there isn't a community or admin rule about positng in a post that isnt locked! Thinnk about it - it's clear that it s easy to lcok a post, and clear that there is interest in older posts. Some people have their undies in a twist about something that, at best, doesn't matter, and at worst shuts down valuable conversations -
    if a post was closed - it would be closed!

  • InxInx Registered User regular
    Hi see317 - that sounds a little rude - do you want to try to say that again in a way that's a little less confrontational?

    Let me try.

    You've been warned by the mods to stop posting in threads that have not seen recent activity - this is called "necroposting", and it's been explained to you multiple times that necroposting is generally frowned upon here.

    While you have a clearly strong opinion of what threads you should and should not be able to post in, the fact of the matter is that you're just wrong. Posting in a thread that hasn't seen ANY activity in MONTHS is something you should not do.

    It doesn't matter if threads don't auto-lock, even if you think they should. Don't. Do it. You've received at least one warning from the moderation staff that I've seen. That should have sent you a clear message.

    Please listen to the community you've joined and kindly cut it out.

  • TinaGregsonTinaGregson Registered User regular
    Thanks for your perspective Inx, let me try to understand what's important to you here, and why it's important to you to control what other people discuss.
    It seems like it upsets you a lot if people pick up a thread of conversation that was started a long time ago - I don't really undertstand why that matters to you, but if it's important enough for others to want to discuss, it creates a very unsafe space for them when you try to shut down that discourse.
    Likewise, when you use a term like 'community' specifically to exclude certain people who you want to imply are not welcome that's also not creating a safe place. It's ironic, in a post about creating safe spaces that you want to shut down...
    Perhaps I am not understanding your point though?

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Tube's word is law. This isn't a democracy or a place with a constitution. Life is perilously unfair.

    You were told to knock it off. Do so or you'll likely be permabanned at this rate.

  • TinaGregsonTinaGregson Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Who or what is Tube? Perhaps you would care to address the questions I brought up?

    TinaGregson on
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Tube is the person who posted last in the "My wife is an asexual" thread, the one with the shiny "admin" indicator under his name. He runs the board. He told you knock it off.

    Note: he's also the person who wrote the rules.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Well, I'd love to infract you all for feeding a troll, but this is help and advice and you all sure tried.

    Seriously though, you can just report it now. <3 you guys.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    see317Shadowfire
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