23 votes

Recruiting for a panel for an LGBT-focused Q&A session on Tildes

Tags: event

A recent conversation resurfaced an idea I've had for a while now, and I've decided to move forward with it.


The Idea: a thread along the lines of "What's something you've always wanted to know about being LGBT but were afraid to ask?" I want to encourage people to specifically ask questions that might be uncomfortable, or questions that might be seen as too forward or invasive in other contexts. Crucially, I also want to have a diverse panel of LGBT people ready and willing to answer those types of questions in the thread. I'm using LGBT here in the Tildes-preferred umbrella manner, so this is open to all who identify with a minority gender identity or sexual/romantic orientation.

The Location: I feel like hosting it in ~talk would be best so that we are visible to people who do not subscribe to ~lgbt, who are more likely to have questions about our experiences.

The Panel: I have thought about just putting up the thread with no preparation and letting people respond as they see fit, but I've always held back because I think it's important to be able to have lots of different voices, identities, and experiences represented. As such, I figure assembling a panel of willing respondents prior to the thread would be good, hence this planning topic! We can list the names and short bios about the panel participants in the top level of the topic, which then lets participants know who is responding to them, as well as giving them the opportunity to ask questions to specific individuals should they wish to do so.

The Time: I am thinking next Monday, Feb. 10 would be a good time to get this up and running, but that is flexible. I expect the thread to be active for about one to three days.


Next Steps

If you are willing to be a part of the panel and answer questions:

  • let me know either by commenting here or sending me a PM,
  • include how you identify yourself,
  • include what your preferred pronouns are, and
  • include a short bio about yourself that will be posted in the thread.

An example of what panelists' introductions will look like in the Q&A thread:

Name Identity Preferred Pronouns Bio
kfwyre gay cis male he/him/they/them Teacher. Happily married. Living in the US, and grew up in a very conservative Christian area. Came out in my 20s and dealt with severe depression and fallout with family.

The bio can include anything you think might be relevant for context, or that you think people might want to ask about.

Signing on to participate in the panel does NOT mean you must answer every question asked. Panel participants can choose which questions they answer, as well as how much they choose to share. Signing on simply means you're agreeing to participate in the topic to the best of your ability and comfort level.

Finally, if you have any feedback or ideas for how this should run, let me know!

21 comments

  1. Silbern
    Link
    Guess I'll start us off! Name: Silbern Identity: Gay male Preferred pronouns: He / him Bio: I'm an early 20's white guy with Asperger's Syndrome studying Computer Science. I come from a military...

    Guess I'll start us off!

    Name: Silbern

    Identity: Gay male

    Preferred pronouns: He / him

    Bio: I'm an early 20's white guy with Asperger's Syndrome studying Computer Science. I come from a military family, so I've traveled a lot and lived in many places that were across the spectrum in gay friendliness. I currently live in Hawaii, which might be relevant both for my answers as well as possible time zone limitations.

    11 votes
  2. Whom
    Link
    Name: Whom (...and Scarlett) Identity: Trans lesbian Pronoun: She Bio: Early 20s, raised in the rural US (Wisconsin) studying English Education. Oh, and white. That's the important bits for...

    Name: Whom (...and Scarlett)

    Identity: Trans lesbian

    Pronoun: She

    Bio: Early 20s, raised in the rural US (Wisconsin) studying English Education. Oh, and white. That's the important bits for context. I'm very familiar with current youth trans culture on the internet (which is so pervasive within the community that it's necessary for understanding what it's like being young and trans), so I'm well-equipped to answer questions relating to that or, of course, the trans experience as I see it. I might also be a decent resource to ask about how mental illness (particularly depression, severe anxiety, and light dissociation) fits into the whole picture.

    10 votes
  3. [2]
    patience_limited
    (edited )
    Link
    I'll raise my hand, with the assumption that "QI" after LGBT is implicit... Name: patience_limited Identity: Queer; intersex non-binary Pronouns: they/them/she/her Bio: Mainly in the sidebar. US,...

    I'll raise my hand, with the assumption that "QI" after LGBT is implicit...

    Name: patience_limited

    Identity: Queer; intersex non-binary

    Pronouns: they/them/she/her

    Bio: Mainly in the sidebar. US, 50's, raised near a university town, married. White(ish).

    10 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      I should have made that explicit. Sorry! My preferred group identifier for us is "queer" since I feel it's the most inclusive term, but here on Tildes I've tried to consistently use "LGBT" ever...

      with the assumption that "QI" after LGBT is implicit

      I should have made that explicit. Sorry! My preferred group identifier for us is "queer" since I feel it's the most inclusive term, but here on Tildes I've tried to consistently use "LGBT" ever since we had a referendum on it. I've edited the post to better convey the message that this extends to anyone under the LGBT umbrella, yourself included!

      9 votes
  4. [9]
    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    You say "conversation", I say "interrogation". ☺ With all due respect to @ThatFanficGuy, I wasn't expecting to be quizzed about the history of gay life in Australia, just by putting my hand up as...

    A recent conversation

    You say "conversation", I say "interrogation". ☺ With all due respect to @ThatFanficGuy, I wasn't expecting to be quizzed about the history of gay life in Australia, just by putting my hand up as a gay man. I didn't dislike the conversation, but I was surprised by it, and I started wondering how far it was going to go.

    However, if I know in advance I'm dobbing myself in for a Q&A session, I'm fine with it. I expect you'll have an over-supply of gay men compared to other LGBT voices, so I'm happy to be held in reserve if necessary.

    7 votes
    1. [3]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      While I'm certainly sensitive to the issue of overrepresentation, I'm also someone who advocates against the idea of interchangeability within identities (i.e. a gay man speaks on behalf of gay...

      While I'm certainly sensitive to the issue of overrepresentation, I'm also someone who advocates against the idea of interchangeability within identities (i.e. a gay man speaks on behalf of gay men, so we really only need one of them, and any one will do). I think your unique voice and perspective are valuable, so I'd love to have you answer questions as well. That said, I don't want to pressure you either, especially since you already ended up in the hot seat a bit earlier, which was what prompted me to start this whole thing up in the first place!

      It's totally your call whether you want to join the panel or not, and I support your decision either way.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        It's not that. I just figured, if you get 5 gay men and only 1 of each other type, then you don't need a 6th gay man drowning out the other minorities. If you want me in, I'm happy to be included.

        I'm also someone who advocates against the idea of interchangeability within identities (i.e. a gay man speaks on behalf of gay men, so we really only need one of them, and any one will do).

        It's not that. I just figured, if you get 5 gay men and only 1 of each other type, then you don't need a 6th gay man drowning out the other minorities.

        If you want me in, I'm happy to be included.

        3 votes
        1. kfwyre
          Link Parent
          Welcome aboard! :)

          Welcome aboard! :)

          2 votes
    2. [5]
      ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      "With all due respect, fuck off, TFG" ;) I'll refrain from quizzing next time. If you have any concerns in the future, you can voice them to me directly, in public or in private. Not like my goal...

      "With all due respect, fuck off, TFG" ;)

      I'll refrain from quizzing next time. If you have any concerns in the future, you can voice them to me directly, in public or in private. Not like my goal is to make the interesting person uncomfortable.

      1 vote
      1. [4]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        I'm not angry. I'm not telling you to fuck off. Note that I wrote this in the comment you're replying to: I also recently wrote this: I'm not upset by your questions. I just wasn't expecting that...

        I'm not angry. I'm not telling you to fuck off.

        Note that I wrote this in the comment you're replying to:

        I didn't dislike the conversation, but I was surprised by it

        I also recently wrote this:

        Posting your opinion in a public forum is an implicit invitation for other people to reply to, and discuss, your opinion.

        I'm not upset by your questions. I just wasn't expecting that level of probing interest in response to a comment where I said "I'm a gay man". And, if I didn't want to answer more questions, all I had to do was stop replying.

        6 votes
        1. [3]
          ThatFanficGuy
          Link Parent
          Understood. I assumed that your expression in the parent comment was that of discontent. It's clear that I assumed wrongly. Still, what I said stands.

          Understood. I assumed that your expression in the parent comment was that of discontent. It's clear that I assumed wrongly.

          Still, what I said stands.

          2 votes
          1. BuckeyeSundae
            Link Parent
            I would say it's also awkward to get name dropped if you're not expecting it. In my experience, a lot of people assume they won't be so remarkable as to be remembered--even when they are. I don't...

            I would say it's also awkward to get name dropped if you're not expecting it. In my experience, a lot of people assume they won't be so remarkable as to be remembered--even when they are.

            I don't think I saw the exchange being referenced here, but I thought I would speak up sympathy for you're feeling a bit put out. I'm a gay man too, and one reason I don't say it as often as I might is because I'm not looking for the conversation that often comes from admitting as much. That isn't to say you're a bad person for being among friends who would ask me questions, it's just that I don't always have the energy for that and so I choose when it's best for me to talk about that stuff. If you choose the same moments I choose, then we're golden. It's only when you choose other moments that I might react poorly, which (again) is not your fault! Just a mismatch of emotional energy to your good natured interest.

            6 votes
          2. Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            Yeah, this is one of those cases where tone doesn't convey well in text - despite the deliberate inclusion of a smiley emoji to indicate a joking tone.

            I assumed that your expression in the parent comment was that of discontent

            Yeah, this is one of those cases where tone doesn't convey well in text - despite the deliberate inclusion of a smiley emoji to indicate a joking tone.

            2 votes
  5. CALICO
    Link
    Sounds interesting. Name: CALICO Identity: Pan & Poly, Male-shaped, Agender, Non-transitioning Trans Preferred pronouns: None/No-preference Bio: Late-20's, military brat, former military, current...

    Sounds interesting.

    Name: CALICO
    Identity: Pan & Poly, Male-shaped, Agender, Non-transitioning Trans
    Preferred pronouns: None/No-preference
    Bio: Late-20's, military brat, former military, current gov't contractor. Historically lived all over the US; in the past 18-months I've lived in three states and two non-US countries—currently Afghanistan. Out where it matters, closeted where it doesn't. Unmarried—probably forever—in a LT/LDR currently with just one person. Shameless hippie, hobbyist, & aspiring author.

    7 votes
  6. Cleb
    Link
    Name: Cleb Identity: Genderfluid (Agender & Femme, also fine with just Non-Binary) Preferred Pronouns: They/Them, She/Her Bio: Early 20s, American, white, closeted in real life. Grew up in very...

    Name: Cleb

    Identity: Genderfluid (Agender & Femme, also fine with just Non-Binary)

    Preferred Pronouns: They/Them, She/Her

    Bio: Early 20s, American, white, closeted in real life. Grew up in very conservative & religious area, still live here. Can talk about growing up like that, my struggle with fluidity/internalized transphobia/gender as a whole, things relating to trans culture on the internet, and any of the other standard fare trans and gender-nonconforming person questions.

    7 votes
  7. [2]
    emdash
    Link
    Why not. I'm mostly anonymous on here, I guess? Name: emdash. If you wanted to find my real name and social media profiles, you probably could, but keep it to yourself and don't be a dick, okay?...

    Why not. I'm mostly anonymous on here, I guess?

    Name: emdash. If you wanted to find my real name and social media profiles, you probably could, but keep it to yourself and don't be a dick, okay?

    Identity: Gay cis-male.

    Pronouns: He/him.

    Bio: Early 20s (wow there's a theme emerging) guy living in New Zealand. Software engineering degree, but I hate the industry, so working on my own business and studying to be a pilot instead (aka the backup plan). I also fly a paraglider for fun. I've always lived in New Zealand, but would love to live overseas. Have the Tinder/Taimi profile tuned to a fine fucking art (IMHO). Out to friends, family aren't informed since I'm not particularly close to them anyway.

    Timezone: The future (aka NZDT).

    Verboten: Only things that are off-topic for me are medical-related (due to the pilot thing).

    6 votes
    1. emdash
      Link Parent
      Oh, and OT: fascinating topic idea @kfwyre. You couldn't run this sort of thing on Reddit without stupid drama or crushing-levels of moderation. Tildes is great :)

      Oh, and OT: fascinating topic idea @kfwyre. You couldn't run this sort of thing on Reddit without stupid drama or crushing-levels of moderation. Tildes is great :)

      6 votes
  8. reifyresonance
    Link
    This sounds fun and like something Tildes would be a good place for! name: reifyresonance identity: transfemme, queer, poly pronouns: she/they bio: 19, living in the southern US. Studied in China...

    This sounds fun and like something Tildes would be a good place for!

    name: reifyresonance

    identity: transfemme, queer, poly

    pronouns: she/they

    bio: 19, living in the southern US. Studied in China for a year and did a field research project on marginalized queer identities in Shanghai nightlife (talked to people in gay bars), so if anyone wants to hear my (white, American) thoughts on that, I'm game :). I also got to help start an LGBT organization at my school there! Spent the last six months or so doing computer programming, and was part of the workplace LGBT affinity group. (Also, general transgender questions.)

    6 votes
  9. ShilohMizook
    Link
    Alright, I'll do it. Name: Shiloh Identity: Bisexual, lean mostly towards guys. Cis male. Pronouns: He, Him. Bio: 17, I go to a Catholic school in Florida, but the people there are pretty...

    Alright, I'll do it.

    Name: Shiloh

    Identity: Bisexual, lean mostly towards guys. Cis male.

    Pronouns: He, Him.

    Bio: 17, I go to a Catholic school in Florida, but the people there are pretty accepting, so I'm out to everyone. My parents try to avoid the subject. I've never actually met another non-straight guy in real life, which has kind of frustrated me, but it's okay.

    5 votes
  10. tindall
    Link
    Name: tindall Identity: bisexual transgender female Pronouns: she/her Bio: Software engineer just getting out of college and into my first long-term full-time gig, at a company making cancer...

    Name: tindall
    Identity: bisexual transgender female
    Pronouns: she/her
    Bio: Software engineer just getting out of college and into my first long-term full-time gig, at a company making cancer screening software. Grew up all over the place (East Coast, then Texas, then California) and I'm now in the Midwest. I care a lot about making the world a gentler and more supportive place for everyone, and I try to apply my skills to do that.

    5 votes
  11. kfwyre
    Link
    Thank you to all of you who have agreed to participate! If there is anyone else here that would like to be included on the panel and hasn't yet signed up, please let me know either by commenting...

    Thank you to all of you who have agreed to participate!

    If there is anyone else here that would like to be included on the panel and hasn't yet signed up, please let me know either by commenting here or by PM.

    The thread will be posted in ~talk this coming Monday.

    3 votes