Alt-Right Harassment Marring A Great Convention
I spent two fantastic days at Heroes Con 2019. Unfortunately, it seems there’s a contingent of attendees out to ruin the experience for several creators. It apparently is happening to several artists that are openly LGBTQIA+. It first came to my notice because of a twitter post from Josh Tujillo. Apparently, an alt-right hand symbol is being flashed at creators.
People have been making an upside down “OK” symbol at my table and I honestly don’t know what it means. I vaguely recall it being something right-wing, and I assume that’s true because one of them said they were “Praying for my soul.”
Am I in some kind of danger at Heroes Con?
— Josh@Heroes! AA-813 🏳️🌈 (@losthiskeysman) June 15, 2019
You’ll note that I’m not putting a photo of the hand sign here. It’s in the comments to Josh’s tweet, and I don’t want to inadvertently spread a symbol of intolerance to people that might be riding the fence on this type of behavior.
In the comments, another artist, Emmett Helen relayed that they have also seen the hand sign flashed. A few people have commented that it’s the silly “circle game” many of us played when we were younger. Unfortunately, there’s a pattern of the alt-right and white supremacists using it . Given that it’s being flashed to openly LGBTQIA+ creators, the assumption that this is not a game. It’s also a vagrant violation of Heroes Con harassment policy.
What makes this doubly sad is that it is occuring after a relatively positive and well-attended panel on LGBTQIA+ comics. To the credit of Heroes Con, they have quickly responded to Josh’s reporting of it, but admitted that it is a difficult thing to report. Unfortunately, these people are more comfortable with expressing their intolerance.
This is where we, as fans and attendees come in. If you spot this behavior going on, alert security not to it just going on, but to who is doing it. This type of intimidation cannot be tolerated, and we cannot leave it up to other people to report. If you can take a picture, then do so. The convention floor is a big place, and security can use any help they can get. This doesn’t just apply to this latest rash of bad behavior, as there are groups of people there that have a tendency to draw critique.
If you see harassment report it. If it is someone that you know, then by all means, call them out on it. Comics and collecting are for everyone.
It has been profoundly said, and how true it is, that the only thing necessary for evil to exist is for good people to remain silent… Edmund Burke (1729-1797)