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)?