Keffy

everything i do is so fucking amazing that sparks are going to shoot out of your eyes

Category: Conventions (page 1 of 2)

The Potty Post: Gender-free restrooms at SF&F Conventions

I’ve been to (and peed at) a large number of science fiction and fantasy conventions in the past ten years (oh god, ten???).

I will say that there are two main reasons for “failures” on the part of conventions in this area. One is that society in general is extremely cis-binary, and thus, most hotels, convention centers, etc, are set up with a strict MALE/FEMALE toilet situation. The second is a combination of ignorance and not having thought about whether or not someone who is neither male nor female is going to need to take a piss at some point over a long weekend.

Besides the situation in which someone is not male or female, and thus neither room “fits,” there are also a lot of binary trans people who either don’t pass, or pass weirdly, or pass sometimes, or aren’t sure if they pass, or etc, who are made nervous by the notion of going into one room or the other.

I’m short, fat, and up until last May, had an extremely large chest that I tried unsuccessfully to flatten with binders — and oh, do I have a binder rant, but I’ll get to that later, and won’t be paid for it.

Anyway, even after three, five, seven… years on testosterone, it was questionable as to whether or not I would be perceived as male or female. I got a random smattering of he or she in public, even from people who had known me for years and should have known better. However, I almost never got a non-binary pronoun, since presumably anyone who knows the option exists to just not gender people if you don’t know, also are aware enough to know my pronouns. So, even when I didn’t bind, my hairline marked me as other, and even if my massive chest was clearly unbound and visible, I would still get Suspicious Eyes in women’s restrooms at times. Typically men’s rooms don’t involve making eye contact (that could make you GAY, I guess), but occasionally some cheerful cis man would explain to me where the women’s room was, since I was quite obviously lost.

Gender neutral restrooms would have been much more comfortable if they were available, but if they weren’t, I would frequently make the journey back to my hotel room to use the toilet, sometimes even if it was in a different hotel, if I didn’t feel like dealing with the potential awkward situation.

In any case, some conventions are coming on board with being more welcoming to non-binary people by making gender-neutral toilets available. Some. More would be nice. Add this to your to-do list, along with making sure that your harassment policy is on board, that you have guests who aren’t all white and male, or all white, or all male, and remembering to ask the hotel for fucking ramps for your motherfucking stages.

(Also, I just want to throw it out there that although I’m non-binary, I still use male pronouns and I am not the appointed leader of the non-binary contingent, so others may and will have their own opinions about this stuff.)

 

The naming of the names.

This is not an exhaustive list of the gender-neutral toilet situation at every science fiction convention. Nor is it exhaustive for the ones I’ve been to. Overwhelmingly, though, most of the conventions are in the first category.

Norwescon/Orycon/Most conventions I’ve attended: No public gender-neutral restrooms at all. If you’re not comfortable in either a MEN’s or WOMEN’s room, you better plan on running to your hotel room every time you have to go… which sucks if you’re cheap like me and stay in a different hotel altogether.

Worldcon 75(Helsinki): I did see a gender-neutral toilet. Unfortunately, the one that I saw also seemed to be an accessible toilet, by which I mean, the only accessible toilet? I think? I spoke to several non-binary people who were a bit uncomfortable taking up an accessible toilet, but I spent so much time not figuring out the layout of Messukeskus that I could be wrong, in which case, I apologize.

Wiscon: There is always a gender-neutral toilet on the second floor of the convention, which is not officially a public restroom, but is in one of the meeting rooms/hotel rooms that is rented by the convention. It’s centrally located… but really insufficient in quantity for the number of non-binary people who attend Wiscon. Good, solid effort, but we need more toilets.

Arisia: I attended Arisia for the first time in… uh…I think 2017? I honestly can’t remember if I went this year or last year, though I’m pretty sure it was this year. That just shows you how busy I’ve been. In any case, they solved the problem in the hotel by just labeling both rooms as gender-neutral. This worked fine. I never knew if I was going to end up walking past people using the urinals, but overall, it worked fine. Nobody spontaneously combusted.

I haven’t attended a convention that did this, but apparently at least one person has seen restrooms labeled “urinals” or “no urinals”, which is mostly a good plan, I guess, although I would prefer an explicit gender-neutral tag on the sign as well, otherwise I, personally, would get caught up in assuming cis biological essentialism and guessing that urinals = men’s room. (TFW you don’t agree with a cis-normative line of thought, but fall back on it frequently in a desperate attempt to guess what others are thinking.)

 

Thoughts and suggestions and whatever.

1.) Single-use rooms should always be non-gendered. Gendering these rooms is fucking stupid anyway, because what happens when there’s a line for the arbitrarily-marked women’s room? Cis women will just piss in the other room, anyway, in an attempt to shorten the line, which is only logical. Just. Come on.

2.) Single-use accessible restrooms should be non-gendered, because, hey! People who use wheelchairs come in all the genders of people who don’t. But, the single-use accessible restrooms should not be the only non-gendered restrooms.

3.) Assume that non-gendered restrooms will be used by more than one person. It’s really not just a theoretical exercise. Non-binary (or binary people who don’t “pass” and feel more comfortable not worrying about it) people do come to conventions.

4.) If at all possible, just make all the toilets non-gendered.

5.) Regardless of gender, I want everyone to just stop pissing on the floor, for fuck’s sake.

 

Pee.S.

Finally, if you must gender your fucking restrooms, (which is stupid), can everyone stop using cutesy-ass weird words to denote male and female? I DON’T KNOW, WHICH ROOM IS PRESUMABLY FOR MEN IF I HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN A MOOSE AND AN ELK? IS THIS SOMETHING I WOULD KNOW IF I WAS CIS??? WHY DO YOU FUCKERS HAVE TO MAKE IT SO HARD.

Pee.Pee.S

People in Switzerland Want to Know Who Is Clogging Their Toilets With Wads of Cash

Readercon 2016 Schedule

Hi all, I’ll be at Readercon this weekend (showing up in time for my first panel tomorrow).

My schedule is:

 

Friday:

1pm: Nonfiction for Fiction Writers

2:30pm: Reading

5pm: Clockwork Phoenix 5 Group Reading

6pm: Who Gets to Tell My Story?

Saturday:

12pm: Kaffeeklatsch

3pm: Story Hospital (30 writers can sign up for this AT the convention, signup is at the info desk).

Sunday:

2pm: Ace, Aro, and Age

Brief Emerald City Comic Con note:

I will be helping out at the Clarion West / Clarion table at ECCC this year!

The table is located in booth 2804, which is on the 6th floor, near all the celebrity guests, and some other writers and stuff. Also, I think the University Bookstore will have a booth near there, so if you wander over and happen to find a book with one of my stories in it, like maybe thiiiis one: Wastelands 2, edited by John Joseph Adams, I will totally sign it for you. Or in spite of you, if you get too close. I have a pen.

Emerald City Show Floor: LINK!

If you want to say hi, I strongly recommend trying to meet up with me while I’m at the table to make plans, because we all know that our phones are going to be like super fancy bricks during most of the weekend, right? I will probably get any texts or emails after I’ve left the con for the evening.

I am also in Seattle and thus “around” for most of the rest of the weekend if people want to meet up for dinner/lunch/whatever, but my badge is associated with the table, so I won’t have a ton of time to do things that are actually in the con.

Anyway!

 

I will be at the table at the following days and times:

Friday 3/27: 10am – 1pm

Saturday 3/28: 2pm – 5pm

Sunday 3/29: 10am – 11am & 1pm – 5pm

Come have a chat about Clarion, writing, the sky, science, GlitterShip, the unusual habits of small dinosaurs, etc!

Norwescon 38 Schedule (April 2-5, 2015)

Hey all! It’s almost time for Norwescon again. Whee. I’m on quite a lot of programming this year, so if you want to come see me, there are ample opportunities. (Also if you are going to be at the con and want to get dinner/lunch/drinks/whatever with me, I strongly recommend messaging me ahead of time. I will have access to email and etc through my phone while I’m there, but as you’ll soon see, there are a lot of events to work around.)

This may also TRAGICALLY be my last Norwescon for a while. I’ve received offers to attend PhD programs (in the biological sciences or genetics depending on the school) on the east coast. I’m not 100% sure which school I’m ending up at, but I’ll either be moving to the Boston area, New York City (Manhattan! woo) or Long Island. It’s possible that I will be able to come back for Norwescon. But… it’s somewhat unlikely, because I will either be researching, taking classes, or even teaching. And, to be honest, if I fly back to Washington, I’ll want to be able to come for at least a week so I can, well, you know, visit family and friends. As you do.

Anyway, here’s my super busy schedule, so you can start thinking about what panels you’d like to attend! I’m all over the board, with writing panels, social justice panels, a reading, an INGRESS panel, and even… duh duh DUHHHH a science panel!

THURSDAY:

Ingress: What Is It?
Thu 3:00pm-4:00pm – Cascade 7&8

Writers Workshop
Thu 5:00pm-6:00pm (Only listed so you know I’m BUSY at this time.)

Why Can’t They Get It Right?
Thu 8:00pm-9:00pm – Cascade 3&4

FRIDAY:

Writers Workshop:
Fri 10:00am-11:00am (Only listed so you know I’m BUSY at this time.)

How to Write Vivid Scenes
Fri 11:00am-12:00pm – Cascade 9

Diversity in Spec Fic Publishing
Fri 2:00pm-3:00pm – Cascade 3&4

Writers Workshop:
Fri 4:00pm-5:00pm (Only listed so you know I’m BUSY at this time.)

Denied: A Story of Rejection
Fri 6:00pm-7:00pm – Cascade 3&4

SATURDAY:

#WeNeedDiverseBooks
Sat 11:00am-12:00pm – Cascade 9

Molecules of Life
Sat 1:00pm-2:00pm – Cascade 7&8
YES I WILL TALK ABOUT THE DNA

Autograph Session 1
Sat 2:00pm-3:00pm – Grand 2

Reading: Keffy R. M. Kehrli
Sat 4:00pm-4:30pm – Cascade 1
Keffy R. M. Kehrli

Transphobia: A Panel for Allies of Transgender Folk
Sat 6:00pm-7:00pm – Cascade 10

SUNDAY

Dissecting the Weird
Sun 11:00am-12:00pm – Cascade 5

The Best in Recent SF
Sun 1:00pm-2:00pm – Cascade 10

PHEW! It’s going to be a busy con, but it should be a lot of fun. Also, I will try not to drive everyone nuts talking about the GlitterShip Kickstarter that I’m running – it ends on April 8, which is a few days after Norwescon. I’m kind of boggled at how high the total is so far, since I’m only on day 4 and it’s just crested $3,000.

For more about GlitterShip, check out the webpage!

Thanks for all your support, everyone, and I’m looking forward to crawling back out of the depression cave to make things for you all again.

-Keffy

My Orycon 36 Schedule

Hey all! I will be in Portland for Orycon this weekend!

Schedule:

FRIDAY

1-2pm Publishing Ethics

2pm-2:30pm – MAH READING. I will be reading “She Dances On Knives” unless I decide we need something funny. I’M BRINGING CHOCOLATE.

4-5pm Short stories, Novelettes, Novellas, and the Markets that Love Them

SATURDAY

BARCON ALL DAY

seriously I have no panels. I’m giving a crit at noon, but I’m free otherwise.

***I might escape and go play Ingress just saying

***that’s a filthy lie, I’ll either be studying, freelancing, or reading for Illustrious Feminist SF

SUNDAY

11am-noon Giving Effective Readings

1-2pm Women in SF – I may not be on this panel. I had completely forgotten who was all on it and when it as when Wendy was discussing it on Twitter. But yeah, it’s about women in SF and three of us are guys, so if we can find a more appropriate substitute, I will be giving her my spot.

My Orycon 2013 Schedule

Here’s my schedule for Orycon (Nov 8-10 in Portland, OR):

Publishing Ethics
Fri Nov 8 2:00pm-3:00pm
Liz Gorinsky, Patrick Swenson, Claude Lalumière, Keffy R. M. Kehrli,
(*)Andrew S. Fuller

Crowdfund Your Book!
Sat Nov 9 10:00am-11:00am
Katie Lane, Keffy R. M. Kehrli, MeiLin Miranda, (*)Jason Andrew

Keffy Kehrli Reading
Sat Nov 9 11:00am-11:30am

Reprints
Sun Nov 10 12:00pm-1:00pm
Keffy R. M. Kehrli, Katie Lane, Dave Smeds, Jay Lake

Midi-chlorians? Really?!
Sun Nov 10 1:00pm-2:00pm
Kristin Landon, Edward Muller, (*)Janet Freeman-Daily, Keffy R. M. Kehrli,
Mike Briggs

Gay Lesbian and Trangender Themes in SF
Sun Nov 10 2:00pm-3:00pm
Keffy R. M. Kehrli, (*)David D. Levine, Theresa “Darklady” Reed, GuyAlan
Holady

Worldcon Monday: GET UP! GET UP!!!

GHABRGHgh gh ahrbg blarhg so early…

I have a reading this morning at 10am! COME TO IT!

My flight home leaves San Antonio at around 7pm, so I’ll probably be hanging around the convention until mid-afternoon.

Worldcon Saturday: UNEXPECTED PANEL APPEARANCE.

Today I will be at a panel at noon, and then from 2-4:30pm, I will vanish to critique some people. I was a last minute addition to this panel:

Saturday 12:00 Gender in SF

How has SF influenced and reflected the changes in gender and gender roles over the past half century? As we look back to the work of writers such as Ursula LeGuin and Joanna Russ in the sixties and seventies, what can we say about their impact and that of their heirs today?

Moderator: Vylar Kaftan Participants: Jonathan Oliver, Tili Sokolov, Lezli Robyn, Keffy Kehrli

Theeeen….. PARTIES!!! I should be making an appearance at the Authors with Drinks, and possibly at the Glitter and Mayhem skate party.

(Reminder: best way to contact me during the con is via Twitter, @Keffy.)

Worldcon Friday: WHERE AM I!??!?

No. Seriously, WHERE AM I I HSHGAHA AAAH AAAH AAAAAH AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH oh. I’m just stuck between the bed and the wall. No biggie. I’ll just… hang out and blog here for a bit, I guess.

If you’re at Worldcon, you can see me on a panel at 7pm. If you don’t come to this panel, I will just have to conclude that you don’t really love me. Or that your supposed friends buried you in a pile of barbeque and you’re going to have to eat your way out.

My Dragon Torched the Prince and other Plot Problems
Friday 19:00 – 20:00
How to survive after discovering you’ve painted (written) yourself into a corner….
Stina Leicht (M), Keffy Kehrli, Mary Robinette Kowal, Thomas Olde Heuvelt, Moshe Feder.

THEN PARTIES.

If you’re looking for me at the convention and REALLY can’t find me AND you don’t have my phone number, the best way to get in touch with me is via Twitter. @Keffy. If you DM me, I will get a text.

(If you just at reply me, I’ll probably still see it reasonably quickly, since I’m glued to my fucking phone like the rest of you.)

leveL the Comic (a webcomic!)

I’m writing this IN ADVANCE because today is Thursday which means that I’m flying to San Antonio today*, so I’m probably on an airplane when you’re reading this. Or thinking about getting on an airplane. Or whatever.

In theory, another update for leveL has gone up at http://www.levelthecomic.com/ today. It’s a webcomic by artist Nate Swinehart and is a re-boot/re-imagining of a webcomic that I was reading 5-10 years ago, up until I lost touch with webcomics entirely, buried my own, went to Clarion, etc etc, etc. The previous version had artwork that… well, it was good enough for a webcomic. Ahaha. The original version is still on his site if you want to compare now vs. then art styles.

BUT, he went off and got an art degree. And a job doing artsy things.

And now it’s so pretty. So, so pretty. It’s nice when you’re reading a comic and the characters are expressing awe at something they’re looking at (a landscape, whatever), and you take one look and agree with them. My general response to most of the landscape/cityscape images in this one has been, “Whoooooooooooooooooooooa.”

leveL page 9 thumnail

It’s been long enough that I don’t remember the storyline for the original comic. The current iteration is just getting started, and includes a “utopian” metropolis with a highly stratified class system (hehehehe, smash it!), mysterious dream sequences and BRIGHT PINK SOLID HOLOGRAMS. Or whatever the floating blocks are.

Anyway, I recommend checking it out if you like comics and don’t mind waiting a couple of weeks between page updates. You can follow him at @leveLtheComic if you’re worried about missing updates. 🙂

I love finding out that my internet acquaintances from “back in the day” have been busy making cool stuff.

*The plane gets to San Antonio around 6-7pm TEXAS TIME, so I don’t know. I’ll probably be at the con just in time for the parties. WOOOOooooooo.

Older posts

© 2017 Keffy

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑