Subtle Forms of Racism to Avoid in SFF

I gave this talk at Eastercon on 20th April 2019.

Hello friends, and thank you very much for coming! I do appreciate it. Before I get started, I’d just like to note that there will be explicit discussions of racism in this talk, so please feel free to step out if need be.

This is my first time at Eastercon – thank you again, this time for being my first audience here – so many of you won’t know who I am. My name is Helen Gould, and I’m a writer, editor, sensitivity reader, speaker, poet, and also clearly a millennial judging by the number of things I do to stay afloat. The talks I give broadly fit into a category of sociopolitical issues in media. My past talks have titles like Wakanda, Africa, and Alternate Futures, Get Out: The Horror of Whiteness in 2017, and Fanfiction and PTSD: Going Beyond The Winter Soldier.

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Intersectionality and safer spaces in the left

I gave this talk for RS21 in June 2015.

This talk is based on the experiences I’ve had, the experiences others have shared with me, and the things I’ve observed in my time participating in activist groups of various kinds.

I thought that first I would define intersectionality and give a bit of the background for anyone who’s not already familiar with the concept, and also briefly talk about what I’m worried is happening to it.

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Get Out: The Horror Of Whiteness In 2017

I gave this talk at Nine Worlds in August 2017.

Hello, and thank you for coming to my talk! Always a pleasure to be at Nine Worlds. I want to make a few clarifications before I begin so that we all know where we stand. 

This talk does have the words “the horror of whiteness” in the title, so I want to make sure you know what I mean by that and that you know that this is not going to be a comfortable talk.

When I say “whiteness”, what I mean is the system of white supremacy that we all live in, you just as much as me.

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I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying: Mass Effect And Relationships

I gave this talk at Videobrains in February 2014.

This talk is about is how Bioware managed to make me cry my eyes out about fictional aliens. And just so you know, when I was writing that sentence my throat got all choked up and I had to pause in the middle before I could continue writing it. But as I have repeatedly said, I’m a fucking professional, so.

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Stale, Male, and Pale: Character Creation and Diversity in Gaming

I gave this talk at Nine Worlds in August 2014.

As you can tell from the title, what I want to discuss is the lack of diversity in race, gender, sexuality, or background from narratives within gaming, and how games that include character creation can change that. I don’t know where you all are in your knowledge of social justice or feminist theory, so I’m going to boil down the relevant parts of my worldview so that my perspective is clear.

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