In honor of Pride Month, I am excited to announce that starting June 1st, 2012, and hence forth, Shuto Con will be an official “Safe Space”, free from bullying and intolerance! A Safe Space is “a place where anyone can relax and be fully self-expressed, without fear of being made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or unsafe on account of biological sex, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, cultural background, age, or physical or mental ability; a place where the rules guard each person’s self-respect and dignity and strongly encourage everyone to respect others.—Advocates for Youth”. In addition to being a Safe Place for our wonderful LGBTA community, our Safe Space will also double up as a Anti-Bullying initiative, being a place that is free of hate speech, judgment, and intolerance.
Why are we doing this at Shuto Con? Ever since I first started our convention, I wanted to create a place where fans of ALL walks of life could get together and celebrate their dedication to fandom without worrying about being judged and harassed by others. Even within our own self-built communities (most notably 4Chan), there is a constant source of harassment that has turned many people away from doing the things that they love, like cosplaying, and I felt it was time to stand up and end the harassment that is being put out by like-minded fans. Even while I attend conventions (including my own), I have heard people speak poorly of others that have made and/or put on a costume of their favorite character, and while they may not have been the “correct” gender, “correct” ethnicity, or perhaps “fit” into the costume like the actual character, I have always thought they were still brave enough to do it, and I applauded them for it. Even our side communities like Furries, BJD enthusiasts, Lolitas, Homestuckers, Yaoi/Yuri enthusiasts, ETC have been insulted or shunned due to their particular love of fandom, and I say it’s time to stop. We are all fans, we are all dedicated, and we should all be understanding and tolerant of each other.
I know making Shuto Con a Safe Space will be a hard fight, and I am understanding of the consequences that we will face by putting this initiative in place, but ultimately I feel that making Shuto Con a Safe Space will be beneficial for our attendees, and will help promote awareness that it is ok to be who you are NO MATTER WHAT YOU CELEBRATE. I am not asking our attendees to change their entire world, but I am humbly requesting that for a short time at our convention, and while posting on anything Shuto Con related, that you keep your hateful thoughts to yourself, and make our convention a truly pleasurable experience for everyone, free from from hate of all kinds.
We will include more information regarding our Safe Space in our program guide, and will have more information on this page.
For more information on Safe Spaces, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safe-space.