Well, not so much lesson as observations:
- The first day (Thursday), everyone looked just like me: plump, 40+, white. That lessened slightly over the weekend, and I was glad to see a gender balance after so many gaming cons of being one of like three women in the room. Of course not everyone was plump, but …yeah. The overwhelming whiteness never lessened.
- Speaking of whiteness: in one panel, a panelist stated that he couldn’t handle a media project at all because it featured an African-American character in a historically incongruous setting. In that same panel, we mentioned zeppelins, Frankenstein, future neo-Victorianism and motorcycles that ride between stars. Seriously, the PoC as an authority figure is what’s going to break your suspension of disbelief? Good god. I halfway raised my hand to ask the panelist to clarify, but then put it down again – I was surprised, and then embarrassed that no one else seemed freaked, and I missed out on a chance to be a good ally. Shame on me.
- There was still a point on Saturday afternoon in which I burst into tears and said I didn’t want to go home. My husband smiled at me indulgently; I guess finding a con ‘tribe’ brings that out in a person, that revelation? But – and this is awful, but trufax – it wasn’t about the people. I’m shy as hell; I didn’t actually speak with many people, let alone new ones. It was about an atmosphere of creativity. At one point I sat in a panel with about three hundred other people who want to write. Eager, up-turned faces, all with a story they want to tell. That sense of …gosh, creative acceptance, made me want to give up our fast-paced Bay area lives and get a little house back in Austin and fill it with cats and books and …yeah. Live the dream. Someday.