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The dark side of open source conferences

The dark side of open source conferences

Posted Dec 1, 2010 22:30 UTC (Wed) by maco (guest, #53641)
In reply to: The dark side of open source conferences by storner
Parent article: The dark side of open source conferences

I suspect there may be more LGBTQ folks in the FOSS community than women (usually estimated 10% of population are gay, but even if only 5% of men in FOSS were gay/bi, that'd still be twice as many as the estimated number of women). I also think that many of the sorts of things that happen to us (the grabbing, leering, propositioning, etc) are exactly the sorts of things a homophobic straight man would *not* want to do to you--it'd make him look like what he despises.


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The dark side of open source conferences

Posted Dec 1, 2010 23:56 UTC (Wed) by sealne (subscriber, #58884) [Link]

I have lost count of the number of times that the homophobic comments at FLOSS conferences (maybe one day I'll make it through an event without this happening) have forced me to leave a conversation or social event.

The worst part is when it is people you consider friends that nearly have you in tears with their hateful comments and then claim that its all just a joke.

The dark side of open source conferences

Posted Dec 2, 2010 3:49 UTC (Thu) by vaurora (guest, #38407) [Link]

I agree, homophobic comments and "jokes" are incredibly common at FLOSS events and create a really unpleasant and uncomfortable environment for everyone. One of the joys of writing this policy was the hope that it could be used to discourage gay jokes, and fat jokes, and racist jokes, and all the other crap that makes me furious and angry but happens so often that I can't fight it all by myself.

I strongly encourage conference organizers to explicitly call out sexual orientation as one of the sources of harassment they will not tolerate. It is included as one of the options in the policy.

Thanks for bringing this up.

The dark side of open source conferences

Posted Dec 2, 2010 4:36 UTC (Thu) by maco (guest, #53641) [Link]

To clarify, I don't at all doubt that there are homophobic comments, only that there would be negative events with sexual overtones (such as requesting or forcing a sexual act) by a homophobic person. I strongly *hope* that there are not violently homophobic incidences occurring at conferences, as these are the sort of physical dangers I perceive to be the problem for members of the LGBTQ population.


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