Queer Zest Zine Fest Code of Conduct
The Queer Zest Zine Fest Organizers are committed to making this online event a safer space. By using the term “safer space,” we are acknowledging that, as a space where different ideas and experiences are being shared, including some sensitive ones, the space cannot be fully “safe,” but can be made safer by requiring all attendees (tablers, presenters, and organizers) to adhere to our Code of Conduct. This code of conduct applies to all Queer Zest Zine Fest spaces, including but not limited to the Discord server and video, audio, or text chats associated with official video premieres, live streams, talks, and workshops, as well as our social media spaces. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from these spaces at the discretion of the organizers.
General Contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
Organizers will enforce this code throughout the event. We expect cooperation from all participants to help ensure a safe environment for everybody.
The Queer Zest Zine Fest organizers are dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone. We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form.
Some Queer Zest Zine Fest spaces may have additional rules in place, which will be made clearly available to participants by speakers/facilitators of individual spaces. Participants are responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules.
Harassment and other disallowed behaviors include:
- Offensive comments related to gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, romantic/affectional orientation, disability status, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size/shape, age, race, religion, culture/ethnicity, class, educational attainment, employment status, marital status, national origin, or immigration status.
- Queer gatekeeping/policing who is allowed to use the word “queer”
- Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment.
- Deliberate misgendering or use of ‘dead’ or rejected names.
- Sexual images or behaviour in any spaces with minors or outside of spaces that have specifically warned about such content (where all participants have opted in).
- Physical contact and simulated physical contact (eg, textual descriptions like “*hug*” or “*backrub*”) without consent or after a request to stop.
- Threats of violence.
- Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm.
- Deliberate intimidation.
- Stalking or following.
- Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes.
- Sustained disruption of discussion/play/events.
- Unwelcome sexual and/or romantic attention.
- Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others
- Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.
- Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent except as necessary to protect vulnerable people from intentional abuse.
- Publication of non-harassing private communication.
- Promotion of TERF (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminism)/”gender critical” or SWERF (Sex Worker Exclusionary Radical Feminism) rhetoric (it makes the space unsafe for transgender people and sex workers)
- Screenshotting or recording video, audio, or text in any Queer Zest Zine Fest spaces without the consent of everyone depicted. Even if you have permission to record from all depicted, you must also get permission to share any such recordings, publicly or otherwise.
Queer Zest Zine Fest prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. The organizers reserves the right not to act on complaints regarding:
- “Reverse’” -isms, including “reverse racism,” “reverse sexism,” and “cisphobia”
- Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you.”
- Communicating in a “tone” you don’t find congenial
- Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions
If you are being harassed by any attendee or presenter or organizer, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact the organizers at email@example.com. If the person who is harassing you is on the team, they will recuse themselves from handling your incident. We will respond as promptly as we can.
This code of conduct applies to Queer Zest Zine Fest spaces, but if you are being harassed by an attendee, presenter, or organizer outside our spaces, we still want to know about it. We will take all good-faith reports of harassment, especially regarding organizers, seriously. This includes harassment outside our spaces and harassment that took place at any point in time. The organizer team reserves the right to exclude people from Queer Zest Zine Fest based on their past behavior, including behavior outside Queer Zest Zine Fest spaces and behavior towards people who are not involved with the zine fest.
In order to protect volunteers from abuse and burnout, we reserve the right to reject any report we believe to have been made in bad faith. Reports intended to silence legitimate criticism may be deleted without response.
We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse. At our discretion, we may publicly name a person about whom we’ve received harassment complaints, or privately warn third parties about them, if we believe that doing so will increase the safety of Queer Zest Zine Fest attendees and volunteers or the general public. We will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.
Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.
If a participant engages in harassing behavior, organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including expulsion from all Queer Zest Zine Fest spaces and identification of the participant as a harasser to other Queer Zest Zine Fest attendees or the general public.
This code of conduct includes content from the LARP Shack Code of Conduct, which has been used with permission. The LARP Shack code of conduct was adapted from the exemplar CoC at http://confcodeofconduct.com/. This code of conduct is primarily drawn from the Geek Feminism Community Anti-Harassment Policy, which is in the public domain. It also includes elements from the Litchfield County Zine Fest Safer Spaces Policy, which was written by Olivia Montoya (one of the Queer Zest Zine Fest organizers), with help and advice from Brodie Foster Hubbard and other members of the Zine Fest Organizers Facebook group.
Other Community Standards:
The goal of Queer Zest Zine Fest is to create a welcoming, friendly space in which we can have fun, enjoy each other’s company, and learn from each other.
To these ends, at Queer Zest Zine Fest…
- We respect one another. We may have differences, but we respect each other as human beings and listen to what everyone brings to the table.
- We trust one another to be acting in good faith. We all have our own backgrounds and thoughts which might make us react in certain ways. Trust that someone generally is not trying to hurt you as a person. You don’t have to like everyone.
- We step back when we need to. If you find yourself getting annoyed/heated/distrustful of another person, take a step back. Go get some water, take a walk, talk to a friend.
- We listen to one another without assumption. We allow people to speak and make sure that all feel welcome to contribute to a conversation. We pay attention to others and practice active listening and empathy.
- When we disagree with someone, we express disagreement with the idea, not the person and avoid blaming and inflammatory language.
- We do not ask individuals to speak for their perceived social group, and do not make assumptions about social groups they may belong to.
- If the above points appear impossible to honor, a dispute seems intractable or tempers are flaring, it is always the right choice to end the activity. Even if this ends an event.
In general, we ask for people during Queer Zest Zine Fest to aim for dialogue and not debate. This means…
- Dialogue means to listen to, to understand and to avoid interrupting other participants.
- Dialogue means to remain open-minded to the perspectives of other participants.
- Dialogue means to separate what we hear from other persons from our judgement on why this person makes a certain statement. Many misunderstandings are based on the temptation to interpret the motives why someone makes a statement.
- Dialogue means to focus first on interests and needs instead of solutions. Many dialogues fail because the participants rush too early to conclusions and solutions.
If a participant behaves in ways that contradict our community standards, the Queer Zest Zine Fest organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the participant or removing them from the event.
These community standards are adapted from the LARP Shack Community Standards, which have been used with permission. LARP Shack also thanks Norbert Ropers: Basics of Dialogue Facilitation. Edited by Beatrix Austin, Anna Köhler & Anne Kruck. Berlin / Tübingen: Berghof Foundation 2017 for some content.
Accessibility in a digital space looks different than in a physical one. Physical space concerns may be less prevalent, but auditory and visual ones become paramount.
To help maintain this event as accessible as possible, please note the following:
Text Chat Accessibility
- Include trigger or content warnings for common triggers, including, but not limited to:
- sex, rape and/or sexual assault, abuse, descriptions of injuries, pregnancy, medication, religion, fascism, self harm, blood, specific weights of people or discussion of weight loss, queerphobia, transphobia, racism, ableism, sexism, and gatekeeping
- Include image descriptions for images in Discord chat.
- If you need help with creating an image description, contact tech support or an organizer on call.
- Don’t post any NSFW images or discussion outside of the #nsfw channel in Discord. And that channel is limited to discussion of NSFW zines and art. All other policies apply. You may not post images or links to images that sexualize minors.
- No flashing gifs or videos with rapid flashing, as these can be harmful to those with photosensitive epilepsy.
- Avoid large paragraphs of text without line breaks, as these are difficult for some people to read.
Video and Audio Chat Accessibility
- In a video or audio chat, SAY YOUR NAME when you start to speak. I.E. “Amy speaking. Greg, I really love your zine.”
- When possible in a video chat, please run your video with your face visible so that folks who lip read can do so. If possible, make sure your face is well lit and can be seen clearly.
- If possible, select a static and simple background to avoid distractions.
- In audio and video chat, mute your microphone whenever you are not actively talking.
- This is especially important in big groups, but is a good practice whenever you are in a call.
- Mute your microphone if you get interrupted by someone not in the chat.
- Mute your microphone if you are eating or drinking.
- If possible, select a quiet space to call in from, without a lot of background noise.
- If possible, use a headset with a microphone to improve sound quality.
- Warn other people in a video or audio chat with you if you are going to make a loud noise or play a video with sound.
- Include any relevant content warnings.
- Refusal to list content warnings is a violation of our anti-harassment policy.
- Give people an extra second after they stop talking before you jump in and start to speak yourself. There is often a lag over video/audio, and folks end up accidentally talking over each other because of it.
- If someone requests accommodations like for you to repeat yourself, typing something out, or verbally describing the content of an image or video, please comply without interrogating the person requesting it as to why.
Having many axes of privilege ourselves, we are sure this list is incomplete. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and request additional accommodations. We want to enable you to attend this event, but we may not know how to make that a reality without a conversation.
Our accessibility policy is adapted with permission from the LARP Community Organizers Retreat accessibility policy, with input from Acata Felton and Olivia Montoya.