Many times, when I ask people to consider adding or including LGTQI in their RPGs, I get back the argument “everyone’s welcome at my table”. I even hear that when I am trying to talk about having more LGBTQI in the books, not around the table. And yet, it invariably comes up.
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Firstly, are you being honest here? Because I sure as hell wouldn’t welcome just anyone at my table. Heck! A few days ago I told someone he was not welcome at my table and would have to find another group to play in.
Because he is an asshole who thinks women are not equal to men and decided to vote in the elections for an extreme-right nazi-like party that would strip me from my rights. Rights that guy enjoys together with every single straight person in the country.
I don’t play with assholes and there are assholes aplenty around.
But I find it interesting when people tell me “everyone’s welcome at my table” as if that were a way to show how open and progressive they are.
The thing is, the sentiment is lovely. Truly… To think there is a world out there in which everyone is welcome because there are no differences, no exclusion, no discrimination, no oppression… but that is not the world we live in. It would be great, but it is not so.
When someone is promoting the idea of something in particular, to come up with “but I am all encompassing” only serves one purpose: To stop the conversation.
It’s like me saying I like Chinese food and you jumping with “I like all food!”. Or saying “Black Lives Matter” and someone saying “but all lives matter”.
It just stops the conversation because it replaces the original point and changes it for something else.
So, instead of that, I am going to suggest something else. When you want to show people that you are truly inclusive, rather than deviating the conversation into something that erases the original point, why not tell me about the time when you welcomed some LGBTQI person at your table? Or when you played a gay character?
Why not, instead of shutting me down, inadvertently as it might be, you show me how I am welcome at your table?
Because that, my friend, is how the true length of inclusivity is measured.
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