I’ve been told, as I’m sure others have been told before me and others will continue to be told after me, that I’m a “valuable” and “important” voice in the TTRPG “community” but I’m not entirely sure that’s entirely true beyond a certain extent. Let me unpack why a little.
Whenever I’ve been invited to speak at a convention where I wasn’t recruited by a queer white woman or another person of color, it’s been to speak on some flavor of diversity panel like Women in gaming or Racism in gaming.
Rarely do I get asked to talk about things like the role of food in worldbuilding or bringing horror to a table or Running a successful Kickstarter or any of the skills I’ve developed beyond merely existing and thriving as a queer Black woman.
Along similar lines I’ve not been asked to be involved in the creation of a game from the beginning except by queer white women or other PoC. Stretch goals a plenty, sensitivity consulting too, but usually after the core text is complete and there’s little wiggle room left.
I’ve been asked to help clean up PR messes after conventions I was never even been invited to in the first place, probably because I look like the segment of the convention that was most upset about what had occurred.
Now, a lot of people wouldn’t see what I have to complain about. “You’ve been asked to be on projects!” “You have credits to your name!” and yeah, to a certain extent that’s true.
I’ve made a good number of friends and acquaintances and enough of a name for being good at writing and being tactful when there’s a problem that needs pointing to but that’s not being a “valuable” or “important” voice if I have to keep saying the same things over and over.
How many times do the marginalized voices have to repeat ourselves before we’re actually heard? How long until what we ask actually happens? How long until we’re actually integrated into things and not bolted on afterwards or just doing our own thing separately altogether?
How long until we’re not just your model minorities, the ones you point to when you say “I can’t be __ I have __ friends!” but actual people whose opinions you respect and LISTEN to and ACT ON, not just hear them?