There have been a lot of discussions floating around online about diversity. I wanted to collect them in one place where I could go back and refer to them later. Some of these are about representation of self, some in literature, and some with representation/presentation at cons. I’m posting in the rough chronological order in which I read them.
Vajra Chandrasekera: Which This Margin is Too Small to Contain
Some thoughts on “diversity” in sf/f and discovering that I’m apparently a “writer of colour” and all that. I never actually use these words myself, whether to refer to either myself or anybody else. Though at the same time I don’t object to their use to refer to myself or anybody else either. It’s complicated. I do periodically worry at the meanings of these words, and I guess I’ve been saying stuff like this for a while now:
I have no problem with strategic essentialism in other people, but it's a tauntaun skin I'd rather not crawl into, if you know what I mean
— Vajra Chandrasekera (@_vajra) November 17, 2014
Daniel Jose Older tweeted up a discussion on diversity being an issue of honesty in literature.
Kate Elliott’s piece Diversity Panels: Where Next?. This was in response to her experience at Sasquan, the most recent WorldCon that was held in Spokane.
Tobias Buckell added Some Thoughts on Herding POC Writers into Diversity Panels.
Annalee’s Diversity Panels I’d like to see is a nice response to Toby, looking forward to panels she’d like to see at cons.
Michi Trota has this one: Diversity Panels are the Beginning not the End
Recently I attended Wizard World Chicago, and for the first time since 2012 when I started doing convention panels, I wasn’t on a single panel specifically focused on diversity–related issues in geek culture. It was an odd feeling, sitting in the audience of a panel about racism at one of my two home cons, rather than being up on that podium.
I’d be lying if I said that didn’t involve more than a small amount of relief.
After dozens of cons and countless panels critically analyzing, explaining, and arguing for the need for greater inclusion and better representation in geek communities, it feels like I’ve spent a lifetime talking about these issues. It can be exhausting, and sometimes all a nerd wants to do is nerd out over the fandoms and activities she loves. It was a refreshing change to instead be on panels where I got to show off my nerd trivia knowledge, talk about why I adore the animated DC universe more than the DCCU, and host a discussion about what goes into being a nerd organizer.
This piece includes links to the storify of Rose Fox’s tweets in response to the Wired article about the Hugo debacle this year.
L.E.H. Light writes No More Diversity Panels, It’s Time to Move On
I suggest a different assumption: that the majority of attendees at these panels are either PoC or allies who understand and accept the basic premise that diversity in the things we love makes them better, more interesting, more complicated, and more beautiful. That White people and Black people are there for the same reasons: nerd stuff, and we want to talk about those things together. And anyone who doesn’t agree can go to another panel. I promise, someone somewhere is discussing something else.
I hope you will take the time to read at least these few posts and see this is part of an ongoing conversation, not just a single observation or moment in time. If there are links to posts I’m missing, please let me know.