So I was actually looking into going to a “Pagan Pride Day” this year…because they moved the dates back to October — I posted last year here about how I missed it because they had it in August instead of the usual September or October. And this year I was excited, because it’s back in October, which means I didn’t miss it, and I can check it out. I mean, I’ve never gotten a chance to actually go to a physical event and at least see/meet people in the overall community before, so it was looking like it might be a good chance to at least check things out.
I started doing some research into the event, and checking out the people who are running it, and who is sponsoring it and going to be there. Which is where things got a bit hairy/sketchy. And now I’m a bit disappointed.
Because I admittedly have never actually been to local events or part of the physical community, I was a bit unsure. I started looking into the performers, sponsors, presenters, vendors and anyone associated. Because with all the news about people in the community who have done shady/downright awful things and still being welcome, I want to know who I’m dealing with. And also – by going to a public event I believe you are tacitly supporting the people who run it or who are there at it. That is my firm opinion on it; so if I’m going to actually make the effort to go out and attend an event, I want to know exactly who is behind it. For me that means doing due diligence and research into what and who is there and running the event.
And thankfully I’m part of a few great groups on Facebook where I can turn to for good information on community members/organizations (due to my having always been totally isolated from the actual people in my areas my knowledge on this front is admittedly highly limited). And resources on information within the community are a great thing, which I’m totally willing to take advantage of. So I mentioned the name of the local-ish event I was interested in perhaps attending, and who was running it, and got some good feedback on who all has been involved. Because without this type of feedback I would have had a bit of trouble figuring out all the information I need to make a decision.
Turns out that there are some problematic people associated with the local event. Historical points and claims that are sketchy to absolutely untrue. And some past events that I’ve heard from former associates are not good within the community. Some beliefs that I can’t get behind, and people that I guess are not really all that great.
And then just some general academic things that draw my hackles up with lack of information and sourcing. I mean…points on your website against you if you can’t even be arsed to put actual information and not just “title pages”. Which is a major flag for me that I should be suspicious of anything that you’re doing and claiming. I get having title pages and blurbs, totally makes sense. But if you’re claiming a big thing like one of these entities is–then you had damned well better have the web page information up to back it; or links, or a bibliography to cite. Not just a page with titles and no information. That’s suspicious as all hell to me.
Basically, from my information I gathered, I can’t really be comfortable going and patronizing this kind of event. I mean…sure, some of it might have “changed” in the last few years. But, I just really cannot be bothered to associate – especially not considering the problematic information I found all on my own, once the people I was speaking with gave me the key words I needed to do deep GoogleFu.
Which means that I’m shelving my plans on attending a Pagan Pride Day for this year. Maybe next year there will be less problematic entities associated and running it–but for this year, I just can’t in good conscience actually support any of this by attending.∗