About that judge that made me and my friends dysphoric
I wanna start this off with two things
The first is that the situation has been dealt with. The TOs were notified, tickets have been submitted, and the judge was dealt with.
The second is that all the staff I, and my teammates, have spoken with about this situation have been kind, understanding, and absolutely disgusted that this took place. Every. Single. Judge. agrees that there is still a long way to go for our community to truly be inclusive. But they are listening and working on steps to help us.
That being said, here's a run down on what happened. I'll try to leave out my opinions but they might leak into it.
1. The judge in question, who I'll just call Joe, wanted a photo with our team Girl Power. The 4 of us still there got together, took a selfie with him, and were getting ready to head out. But he asked us if we could talk to him for a moment about Pokemon and Trans inclusiveness. He had me and my teammates step outside the event hall and into an area away from other people. We weren't hidden, just out of earshot from others.
2. It started out positive asking us how judges could do better being inclusive, as well as his background. Joe REALLY wanted us to know that he was on our side and wanted to help. But it quickly devolved into some weird stuff. This included how the online trans community is far too unhinged so it makes all trans people look bad, how trans people should wear pronoun pins to events if they don't want to be misgendered, and finally going around one by one to all of us pointing out why we don't pass for women. 3 out of the 4 of us there were trans and we already deal with dysphoria. Having someone point out each thing individually just to follow it up with "and it's a good thing I can tell too so I can be respectful" was unsettling to say the least. We quickly got out of the conversation.
3. We had plans for a team dinner. We made it clear to Joe that we were leaving. He self invited himself. It was during the short walk to exit the venue that he mentioned he was kicked out of judging for the weekend. He told us some details but out of respect for the parties involved I do not want to speak to it. But we got a good idea that Joe was problematic at this point. He kept walking with us, saying he would drink and party with us. He mentioned being on valium, to which we mentioned drinking while taking valium might not be a great idea cause, well, it isnt. Thats against medical recommendations. We made it clear to him that we were not ok with that to which he responded he was also going to take some oxy. At this point, none of us were comfortable, so we managed to leave him at the venue. We didnt say anything because we were scared. We went to a restaurant about a 10-15 minute walk away
4. About 30 minutes into our meal, he showed up at our table. We were sitting in the basement of the restaurant in a side room, so he would've walked in and looked for us. We proceeded to tell him he should go back to his room as we thought he should rest, a lie to try and make him leave since we did not feel safe. He left the building only to return with 2 more of our teammates who he followed in. Apparently he found us because he was outside our hotel, happened to bump into them, and followed them to the restaurant. Our teammates did not know the situation yet so they just had a conversation with him on the way.
5. I'm not sure what happened from this point. I have PTSD related to stalking/harassment, from an incident at a convention a few years ago, and just shut down. I remember the restaurant security getting involved, I remember was him asking me if I wanted to party with him, to which I just continued staring at the table since I was dissociating, and I remember ordering an uber.
I do think the original discussion was coming from a place of sincerity and a desire to be better. But it got out of hand fast, he didn't listen to our suggestions instead choosing to talk over us, and in the end hurt us. I do think with proper education regarding trans people, he could be a very good ally. Unfortunately for him, it is not our responsibility to educate people who hurt us. It's not our responsibility to educate people that won't listen. It's not our responsibility to educate anyone if we just don't feel like it.
The rest of it I have nothing positive to try and say. I feel immensely uncomfortable, have been having minot anxiety attacks all day, and do think just seeing this judge again would send me into an immediate anxiety attack.
Im sorry this is so long, i just didnt want to leave details out. I seriously want to thank all the judges I've spoken to since last night. You all have been so clear and helpful regarding it. I cant wait for the day that I can play pokemon and not need to worry about this stuff. I just wanna dress up cute, take selfies with people, and declare Blockface for 50 because I messed up my energy attachment.