[cw sexual assault and harassment]
If you are a member, big or small, of any international SFF fandom, you’ve either already met Crystal Huff, or would benefit greatly from doing so. I met her at my local literature festival, Bocas Lit Fest, in April of 2016 while she was pushing the bid for the World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon) to be held in Finland in 2017. She has consistently advocated for fandom to be inclusive, representative, and accessible, and has on more than one occasion gone to bat for internationally visible, safe, and respectful SFF fandom wherever she goes. She was one of the folks who encouraged me to seek publication and would, in the year leading up to some of my first non-commissioned poetry sales, personally let me know when SFF outlets were about to open for submissions, ask about my progress, and encourage me to attend cons. Her motivation to make fandom an international space is what got me to my first con – unsurprisingly, WorldCon 75 in Helsinki, which was one of the highlights of my short SFF journey and my even shorter international travel history. She is one of the many new friends in the field that I know I can rely on to take me to task when my language isn’t inclusive, but also be there in the little moments when I or someone else could use a hand, like when she literally helped me find somewhere to sleep for my first night in Helsinki because I got in much earlier than I needed to be.
What I’m saying is, Crystal Huff is a saint of fandom. Fandom can never have too much of those.
It can, however, have far too little, and be in the habit of mistreating the ones that it does have.
Earlier this evening, Crystal wrote this absolutely upsetting blog post about her experience with Arisia, her former ‘home convention’, after it placed her rapist in a position of power at the con for another term.
Read it. Then, read it again. If you’re engaged in that space, there is more than one call to action there specifically for you.
I really just want to add one thing, without the desire to speak over anyone: if we really want to do justice by more fans like Crystal, we have to consider these things before anyone should have to write a blog post, or make a second complaint, and every time that we don’t, we have already let our communities down.