Caveat the First: I was not at Pantheacon. Instead, I lost five pounds in 24 hours due to food poisoning.
Caveat the Second: I do not self-identify as pagan.
Oh, how this makes me itch in funny places. I know all too well about being excluded by those who consider themselves also excluded. And it leaves me sad, tired, and not a little bit bitter. Granted, my issues fall along disability, rather than gender, lines. But I cannot help but wince a bit at this.
As I’ve mentioned before, I once had a middle-aged transvestite man point and laugh at my visible disability. And I was gobsmacked that somebody who has likely been harshly judged for their external presentation did not see a problem with harshly judging how I present. Compounded by the fact that this happened at a science fiction convention — a space that itself purports to not only be inclusive, but a haven for those excluded by majority culture.
I’ve seen statements that people need to “toughen up” and not be so sensitive about this. For myself, that’s about three steps away from being told it is my job to be a poster child for disability or chronic pain. And if you don’t know my thoughts on that by now, you need to go back and read this blog from the beginning.
When I am simultaneously told that X space is a big tent, yet that I need to stand outside because there’s no room for me, it leaves me sad, tired, and not a little bit bitter and confused. When it comes from people who simultaneously trumpet about how they are excluded by mainstream society, this only compounds it.
And I just don’t understand it. Seriously, use small words. Make me smart. Because…I’m at a loss to understand how a space claiming to be inclusive is OK with excluding.