Last night I had a dream, and it’s a dream that I want to see become reality. It’s one where divisiveness, hatefulness, and petty politics can be overcome by rationality, love, treating each other like humans.
I dreamt that I was at some house party where Kevin Roche, the chairman of WorldCon, was attending with several friends (though this is to you, Kevin, thousands of people are going to read this so I need to define who you are). Dream Kevin immediately panicked just from seeing my face, threatening to call the cops to get me removed, even though it wasn’t his place. But then something magical happened. I stepped forward, palms up, in peace. “Kevin,” I said, “Let’s stop all this. I’m here. Let’s talk.”
Dream Kevin looked me in the eyes, nodded, and called off his friends who were about to try to get me removed.
We had a conversation. I talked about how I’ve only been trying to ensure my own safety because of people on the internet actively trying to harm me, and how I’d never in any capacity threatened to violate any rules at the convention (just like real life). We had the conversation I’ve wanted to since November of last year when I sent this email to you:
A full two months before your epic banning proclamation, where you still haven’t told me the specifics of why I was banned from your perspective, only referencing vague “rules” which apply to no one else, you knew there was danger to conservative authors. You did not reply. I guess it would be admitting there’s a bias issue with the con.
What was my first reaction?
“Kevin, call me.” i attempted to talk. I didn’t do anything wrong. I still haven’t, and you, other than a statement libeling me as if this is some grand crusade for a mostly white Worldcon staff to remove a Hispanic in the name of “racism”, couldn’t be bothered to respond again. There was lots of bothering with removing comments from Facebook in my support so it looked like everyone agreed with this. If you had time for that, why not a call?
Of course, then there was the Hugo Award nominating party on March 31st. I showed up. I was there. I caused no trouble at a Worldcon event. No one tried to bother me. The Worldcon committee (including you) KNEW I would cause no trouble at your event, which makes the defense of what was done to me before very flimsy. But still, I came up to you, I broke the ice quickly. Why couldn’t you take 30 seconds just to talk with me and work out whatever your fears are?
I followed up on the message and received this response (at least you’re responding now!):
Another refusal to talk. Why are you so quick to make public proclamations libeling about “racist bullying” when you won’t stop to take a breath and see what happened? Isn’t liberalism about open mindedness, tolerance, love? That’s what I hear all the time, but it looks to me that the only people who don’t care about race, gender, sexual orientation, or creed seems to be conservatives or libertarians. LibertyCon this weekend had a wide group of diverse individuals and I never even saw the subject broached once. Everyone loved each other. Everyone came together in fandom and fun. This is what WorldCon could and should be.
But the track record’s been very clear: I’ve been to Worldcon, never caused an issue. I went to FogCon this year, where it was very hostile toward me, no issue. LibertyCon had me as a guest along with John Picacio — your worldcon partner and identarian — no issue. Even at your event with the awards, no issue. So you can’t defend even the possibility that you think I would cause an issue. There were issues to my safety that you refused to address by even conversing with me, however?
Let’s change all this. I know you’re in a tough position. You have several folk attending your con who are just hateful, angry people, and you’ve made this a very public mess that if you even talked to me, you’d be seen as a traitor to your political team. I get that. But why be a political team? It’s almost July 4th. We’re Americans. We should be on the same team. It starts with talking like human beings. Let’s see what we can accomplish, Kevin, rather than letting Worldcon continue on a path of hatred that’s telling half the country long term that they’re not invited. It’s a bad business strategy, and I can help. I’ve always only wanted to help.
You have my number, call me.