Terminus: WisCon 39

Home again, home again.

This year’s WisCon was an absolutely incredible experience.  From Thursday evening’s Geek Karoake to the final conversations in the Lobby on Monday, it was four and a half days of amazing.

For me, WisCon is special- even as far as cons go.  I get to be around magnificent people doing magnificent things, and requiring all of us to do magnificent things.  I get to be around people of my Community, and It’s more than a Con, it’s home.

This year, for the first time at WisCon, I was a panelist on three panels and moderated three more.  It was an amazing experience, and I am both worn the hell out and completely energized to tackle the work laid out for us.  My next post will talk about those experiences.

The Guest of Honor speeches are always a highlight, and Alaya Dawn Johnson and Kim Stanley Robinson continued that tradition this year.  KSR talked about the rise of language as the technology needed to complete the famous equation, as language is the tool of social justice.  As he put it, “we implement justice because it is the right thing to do.”

Alaya Dawn Johnson brought us a clarion call to address the racial inequalities in our society by building mirrors of all kinds, mirrors built to reflect all the trees, all the branches, and all the roots.  As she said, “changing the narrative is no less profound than changing the world”.

We need diversity in our media just as much as need balanced and equal justice in our society.  The two exist in tandem with each other, fulfilling a different part of the same equation- the equation that fulfills the commandment of representation: that tokenization is the chain binding us to the the past, and representation is the mirror that teaches self-worth, equality, and empowerment.  No person should ever think, “where are the stories about me?” If you are someone from the culture of the dominant narrative, it is likely that this concept makes you uncomfortable.  If so, good.  It is when we are uncomfortable, when our boundaries are tested, that we find the capacity for growth.

Thank you to the countless folks that went above and beyond to make WisCon 39 happen- from the pronoun stickers and social interaction stoplight to the dessert salon, A/V, facilities, programming and every thing in between. Thank you for raising the bar again, and thank you for welcoming us home.