Skepticon 7 was pretty fun!

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Before I go on about my weekend, just wanted to take a second to acknowledge that Darren Wilson is not being indicted for shooting and killing Mike Brown. Which is super shitty and terrifying. And now, back to being privileged…

So, yes! This past weekend, Skepticon happened. It’s the second one I’ve been to, the first being back in 2012. Apparently I took no pictures except a couple selfies of me being pretty before the prom Saturday night, which is classic Me. XD

The venue was different than the last Skepticon I went to. The Oasis Convention Center via the Ramada is a pretty nice place. The tables for various groups were constricted to a relatively small hallway thing though, which was sometimes less-than-comfortable, but otherwise the hotel experience was lovely. (My hubby and I actually stayed across the street, but w/e.)

There were lots of amazing talks and workshops, some of which will be available to watch on the internets. There are only four at the time of this posting, but time inexorably marches on. I didn’t see all of them, but I did thoroughly enjoy the ones I caught.

There’s always room for improvement, but I like that Skepticon tried to include more minority speakers than is typical at many atheist conferences. They also started out the weekend with signs on the bathroom doors within the convention center that explicitly stated that each bathroom was gender neutral. From what I heard, the hotel has rules against having things on the walls, and possibly something about Missouri laws and bathrooms? I haven’t looked into it further at this point.

It’s always lovely to see old friends, to meet people you’ve known online for forever, and also chat with new people. Plus, the hugs are great. Hugs are possibly one of my favorite parts of conventions in general. I’m a cuddle fiend and hugs are basically the next best thing.

TL;DR, it was a lovely time.

The only thing that kind of sucked for me was being misgendered a lot. It’s pretty much to be expected, but that doesn’t stop it from bothering me. Saturday, I grabbed a nametag and below my name wrote “they/them <3”. I’ve been meaning to buy a pronoun badge tag thing for a while but I’m a procrastinator! I tweeted about it on the #sk7 tag, which sparked a conversation about pronouns. Then someone mentioned it to the organizers, who I’m told are considering how to implement a way for attendees to state their pronouns for other people’s use. Which is awesome and actually kind of unexpected, mainly because I forget that I’m an adult and people take my opinions seriously now.

I also forget that I’m a person with a platform sometimes? A person at con told me they recognized me from somewhere, and I noncommittally said that I’m around at places. People often tell me I remind them of someone, so I didn’t think about how I write for a blog and people read it. Eventually we ended up in the same area again and they told me they recognized me from my picture here. I’m silly.

Basically, Skepticon is a great convention. The organizers are awesome, the speakers are awesome, and the attendees are awesome. I would love for more people to come hang out next year. <3

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Skepticon 7 was pretty fun!
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2 thoughts on “Skepticon 7 was pretty fun!

  1. 1

    Heh, I was the one that recognized you.

    It was pretty good. The workshop and talk spaces were better than the Expo center, especially if attendance goes up in the future. Expo center had a better vendor area, though. More space to move around and the tables/chairs to sit down and socialize.

    I haven’t been to any other atheist/skeptic conferences, so I can’t really compare personally, but I did notice the diversity in speakers and topics. It’s not the cis white male dominance that I’ve heard. Guess I got lucky that I ended up here when I couldn’t afford Connecticut. Local conference is free and cares about diversity.

  2. 2

    I am the one who brought it to the attention of the organizers, and I am happy that they said that they will look into what they can do about it.

    As a white heterosexual cis male, I am probably as privileged as can be, which means that I have to work on my blind spots, of which non-standard pronouns is probably the biggest one at the moment. Any tool which can help people like me not making other people uncomfortable is certainly welcome. It shouldn’t be necessary, but unfortunately I, and many others, need to work on these things.

    The willingness of the Skepticon organizers to consider these things, is a major reason why I support them, and why I traveled there from Denmark this year (and hopefully will next year as well).

    BTW, we briefly said hi at Skeptiprom (I didn’t quite look my avatar, as I currently am spotting a fairly large beard), but I didn’t actually realize who you were, so I couldn’t express how much I like your writing.

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