It is correct I have yet to attend a Wikimania conference, but was
planning to after my positive experience presenting at WikiConference
Please note the "Muslim" and "LGBT" are not mutually exclusive. Same
with any other marginalized groups you might name.
FYI my preferred pronoun is "they" not "he".
To clarify what it is I actually asked, here is a copy of my original post:
Hello all. I had a positive experience at WikiConference North America
last weekend, where I gave a talk on transgender issues and
Wikipedia. I'm posting because there's an active discussion in
Wikipedia Weekly on Facebook about choosing a host country for
Wikimania 2018. I am concerned that some of the suggestions are not
taking into account the safety of LGBT+ people; not just those
attending the conference, but also those living in the host country.
As a queer trans atheist in a same-sex marriage, there are a number of
places where I am considered a criminal for just existing or going
about my daily routine. This applies to some parts of the U.S. as
well, by the way; I won't be visiting North Carolina as long as it's
illegal for me to use the men's restroom there. Please keep these
considerations in mind when planning meetups and conferences. Thank you.
- Pax aka Funcrunch
On 11/10/16 12:00 AM, Gerard Meijssen wrote:
You do not get it. Wikimania is first and foremost about spreading the word
about what we do and who we are.
I have read Pax's original post. He did not go to Wikimania. He asks for
consideration that any Wikimania will be in a place where he feels safe. It
is OK for him to ask this but it is not OK for us to give away what
Wikimania stands for.
There is no safe place and in my experience you are offensive by not
accepting that this is the point that I make. There is no perfect place for
Wikimania. Everywhere and always you have to behave yourself cognisant of
where you are. At all times there is one or the other group that will be
Fae, muslims are at a greater risk than LGBT people when they come to a
conference. Particularly women who wear a hijab will always be seen for
what they are. It is not a lie that you do not address the point that I
make. The question is why do we have a Wikimania and is it an instrument to
open up new communities and include them in our movement.
This is the dominant question that should be answered. Relative safety is
On 10 November 2016 at 08:46, Fæ <fae...@gmail.com> wrote:
Yes you are being offensive. You are deliberately painting a picture
that somehow Pax, myself and others are attempting to make out that
safety of LGBT+ Wikimedians is more important than safety of Women
Wikimedians or the safety of Muslim Wikimedians. The only person doing
that is you.
You did the same thing on the 18th of October and it was pointed out
to you that this was unacceptable, yet you are continuing to repeat
it. Stop doing it, it is a lie, and the only person spreading it is you.
Go back and read Pax's original post of 16th October which was positive
about the Wikimania experience.
On 10 November 2016 at 06:57, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijs...@gmail.com>
The notion of offence is one where you take it where there is none
certainly no offence is intended.
When you consider Wikimanias past, we have been to places where there is
"risk". Arguably there has been a risk in going to other countries in the
past. When you consider the events themselves, as a group, we have been
rather isolated in our conference. Many people were exhausted of the
proceedings. Others went partying and came to the conference when they
up to it.
This whole notion of security has been high jacked by LGBT concerns. Let
say that they are real. It would however be a travesty to say that they
the only ones singled out for problems. Ask yourself, how many women
wearing a veil were there at the last Wikimania and at the one before.
Consider the stories about people, third generation Dutch, who are
for refugees and not safe in the streets of the place where I live.
about not standing close to the gap at a railway station because ... They
are as much a reality, they are as real.
So you may find it offensive and it is. People are not safe. But when
stops us from talking about it, when it can not be said that security is
only one concern and not the most dominant one then I take offence. It
means that we can no longer exchange opinions. It means that we are only
concerned with our own narrow interest losing the big picture.
So Fae, take it from me. You are wrong to call me out for being
disrespectful. By calling me out in this way you elevate your opinion and
put me down. Security is a concern but when fear is exchanged for
we will remove the one reason why we have Wikimania in the first place
worldwide conference. It is to go out and show the world who we are and
what we have to offer.
When this is the prevailing opinion of our movement it does hardly matter
that we have Wikipedias in over 280 languages because English and its
culture is the only Wikipedia that counts. Now that is effectively an
existing prejudice that is dominated in much of what I observe we do. It
another argument people feel offended. But hey most of you do not see it
this way because "things trickle down".. As an economic measure it failed
and it is how we ignore the major cultural differences that exist.
Wikimania is not relevant when we do not go out and mingle world wide.
we do not accept the differences that exist and make it our strength.
On 9 November 2016 at 18:28, Fæ <fae...@gmail.com> wrote:
You have posted several emails on the subject which read as
disrespectful, can cause offence and discourage LGBT+ contributors to
this list who may have otherwise openly expressed views. The line of
argument that LGBT+ Wikimedians must expect to be at personal risk
just to attend a Wikimania is repugnant to me, and is likely to be for
a majority of other readers. This point of view runs counter to the
values of the WMF or recognized affiliates.
If you wish to develop a better understanding of how the basic safety
of all attendees at future Wikimanias and other conferences should be
a priority, this may be better done on-wiki rather than repeating your
points on this list.
I warmly recommend a reality check with friends off-list as to what
might be read as offensive, should you wish to continue posting
further emails about this particular topic.
On 9 November 2016 at 16:43, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijs...@gmail.com
What is the point. When not even the USA is "safe", we have to be
realistic. Wikimania is about propaganda for what we do. We have to
and selecting a place is not about you, it is about them. It is about
people we aim to serve.
I made my point before, it did not get any attention then and my
now is that nothing changed. It is only the perception of the USA that
been dented by an unfortunate "democratic" choice by last night's
On 9 November 2016 at 17:27, Pax Ahimsa Gethen <
Gerard, as a queer black trans person who feels unsafe even in San
Francisco (and has felt that way for years), I would really
not pushing last night's election results in my face to make a point.
On 11/9/16 8:24 AM, Gerard Meijssen wrote:
Do you blame me for not feeling safe going to the USA?
On 8 November 2016 at 11:08, Gerard Meijssen <
Not going to North Corolina is absolutely fine with me. We do not
anything by going there arguably not to any state in the United
What Wikimania is, is a platform for propaganda for what we have,
do, who we are and how we do what we do. In many countries
the house hold name it is in the USA.
Wikimania is not aimed for the English Wikipedia, it is aimed to
our movement. Not going to places is similar to saying that those
people, speaking other languages, with an other culture do not
We should go to Russia, India, South Africa, China. The people of
countries should matter to us, the people we could share the sum of
THAT is what we do, sharing the sum of all knowledge.
When the choice of the venue is only about being safe, we should
the USA (I do not feel safe there), we should go to Germany, to
and move the office as well. It is not likely to happen, not what I
If there is one thing about LBGT, it is that that struggle is still
fought. Hiding and keeping away does not work. It does not help the
community. More importantly in this context it does not help the
community. For the latter it is vital to make our message heard.We
share the sum of all knowledge and many people have not even heard
On 18 October 2016 at 16:00, Pax Ahimsa Gethen <
Gerard, this isn't about "holiday destinations", it's about human
and dignity. That's why I emphasized in my original post that I'm
not only about the safety of conference attendees, but also about
living in the host country. The choice of a venue in a location
human rights record reflects poorly upon Wikipedia/Wikimedia and
mission to share knowledge. There's a reason a number of major
pulled their events and funding out of North Carolina after the
restroom laws were passed for example...
On 10/18/16 6:26 AM, Gerard Meijssen wrote:
For me safety is to a large extend secondary to what we aim to
primary goal is to improve on our primary goal and it is
sum of all knowledge". It is not for going to the perfect holiday
On 18 October 2016 at 13:56, Fæ <fae...@gmail.com> wrote:
Gerard, could you provide some tangible examples of how other
aspects of Wikimania would be compromised if there is any
attention paid to the safety of LGBT+ Wikimedians? I cannot
how such a thing could be true.
Based on my reading, nobody in this thread has asked for the
LGBT+ attendees to be "prioritized" over other safety aspects.
don't make it appear as if they have.
On 18 October 2016 at 11:42, Gerard Meijssen <
I do care that everybody can come to places where they are
specific LGBT attention to safety is however on many levels
when we prioritise this over other safety aspects. The big
is that we need to go to places where bringing Wikipedia and
for the most good. It is why I would go to Russia, to China to
Pax Ahimsa Gethen | http://funcrunch.org
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