Crystal Huff, a friend of mine, just posted this.
It’s long, and it doesn’t make for very fun reading, as it’s the story of how — after more than a decade of close involvement with Arisia, not just as an attendee but as staff — she has ceased to be involved, because the con has twice now elected Noel Rosenberg as their president, despite knowing that he raped her.
I’m not going to recount the whole story here, because Crystal has done that herself, and you should be reading her words instead of mine. But I do want to say this:
I went to college in Boston. At the time I didn’t really attend cons, so I never went to Arisia, but I heard about it, and the things I heard were good enough that it’s long been on my list of “I should think about trying to go there some year.” Unsurprisingly, this is no longer true. Not only because Rosenberg is in a position of authority, but because — as you will see, when you read Crystal’s post — Arisia’s leadership as a whole has done an abominable job of handling the entire problem. They have not followed anything resembling best practices for addressing such reports, up to and including publicly disclosing Crystal’s name without her permission.
This is not a con I can trust with my safety, or that of anybody I know. So while I did not have any existing plans to attend Arisia — just a vague “ooh, I should do that someday!” intention — I now have very firm plans not to attend. Not this year, not next year, not any year until and unless this is made better. And if you’re an Arisia attendee, I encourage you to rethink that plan.
Apparently we can’t stop this kind of crap from being swept under the rug at the level of the Supreme Court. But we can still make a change on the ground, and we should.