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OMG Wiscon

OMG I'm going to Wiscon.

See, here's the thing about me and conventions. Typically, we don't get on well. I'm a deaf, disabled introvert; generally there are far too many people, panels are set up so that I can barely follow anything that's going on, and I run out of cope long before I've seen half of what looked interesting in the program. And that was before my back was injured.

I did make it to Confluence last year, but that was my local con, so I pretty much showed up, hung my art, looked around the dealers room, attended one art workshop, and left.

I also went to Crucible, but as a speaker - again, I pretty much showed up, did my thing, and left. Not out of lack of interest, but lack of spoons and the non-lack of a rambunctious little boy.

So why am I doing this to myself?

Well, I'm hoping this one will be different. First of all, it's a feminist con, which means attendees and conrunners alike will be more conscious of Wheaton's Law and have better procedures for dealing with violations thereof. They also take intersectionality seriously, so if I need a better seat in order to be able to hear a panel or to not die of back pain, for example, I'm reasonably sure I can make that happen. There will be a bunch of people there that I adore (shadesong! s00j! catvalente!), which is the biggest thing that has made the rare con fun for me in the past. And it's also, quite simply, business. There are several panels that will be directly applicable to me and my work as a social justice artist, in addition to showing in the art show.

I'm going alone, so I won't have Aiden as an additional drain on my energy - though I think the turning point of deciding that yes, I was going to do this, was when I found out they had child care for the entire weekend for $1. Now that is putting your money where your values are!

I'm splitting a hotel room with three very nice women I've never met from Livejournal. I'm flying, since there were no tolerable alternatives. I'll be opting out of the scanners and hoping the nice TSA operative assigned to pat me down doesn't fucking punch me in the labia. At least I managed to avoid flying through O'Hare. Every flight I've taken through there in the last 10 years has been delayed, and now it seems they're developing a reputation for abusive TSA.

Tentative Schedule
Here's the stuff I really, really, really want to make it to - experience tells me that I'll probably make it to about a third of this. But I can hope, right? There's, remarkably, only one timeslot where I'm completely torn as to which to attend. Disability vs. Belief Systems. That's just cruel!

2pm: arrive at Madison airport
I should use the afternoon to sleep as much as possible! Art show setup may be today, or it may be Friday; info I've got so far has been unclear.

1pm-3:45: Gathering (icebreakers, clothing swap)
4-5:15: Forging a Path to Your Audience Through the Internet
9-10:15: Wiscon Tips
8:45-late: Social Media Party

10-11:15am: Story in the Object - cross-medium conversation between artists and writers
1pm-2:15: Traveling Fates Concert
2:30-3:45: Beyond Etiquette: Disability panel
2:30-3:45: Belief Systems
4-5:15: Slacktivism
9pm-late: Fairyland party

10am-11:15: Rape panel
10am-11:15: What is Queerness? (if I just can't deal with the former)
1pm-2:15: Invisible Disabilities
2:30-3:45: Reproductive Justice
4-5:15: Madness in Fiction
8:30-9:45: GOH Speech
10pm-late: Genderfloomp Dance Party

10am-11:15: Creating Comfortable Space
2:30pm: be at airport for 4:05 flight home


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 29th, 2011 09:01 pm (UTC)

(There'll be chairs in the front row of each panel marked with blue tape for you.)
Apr. 29th, 2011 09:28 pm (UTC)
Have a good time! I just have to say, I adore the word "Genderfloomp."

Also, regarding the TSA pat down--it's my understanding that they run their hands up the inside of the passenger's legs "until they meet resistance." I don't know about you, but when I stand in a normal stance--not intentionally widening my stance--my thighs meet. I've read accounts of pat downs from non-skinny people stating that the agents did not push past where their thighs met. It doesn't make the process less degrading, but it lessens the chance of getting punched in the labia! *boggles*
Apr. 29th, 2011 10:07 pm (UTC)
That hideous TSA story is sadly an inevitable result of the almost total lack of resistance to these supposed "security measures". I'm afraid I disagree with the poster though - people *can* refuse to fly, and the abuses of the TSA will continue until a much greater number of people refuse to do so.
It's nice that so many people are angrily supportive enough of her story to say things like they would have punched the TSA agent for doing that, but these days that is probably a trip straight to Guantanamo or some shit. Guh. At any rate I hope your flight is uneventful in the extreme.
Apr. 29th, 2011 10:45 pm (UTC)
There is a difference between people being able to choose to refuse to fly and "don't fly" being the knee jerk response to these invasive security measures. There are a lot of people who can refuse to fly, but, as the author pointed out, many people are required to fly as part of their job and many others have family too far away to go by car/bus/train unless you can afford several weeks off of work.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


firesea: self-portrait
Heather Keith Freeman
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