Because it’s been a while since I used this soapbox

ETA: Via nineweaving, Readercon’s teen policy is a hotel issue, not a concom one–and a new hotel is being sought out. Which makes me feel better about the whole business.


Nevermind any of the other discussions going on about related matters online … did I know Readercon had an actively teen-unfriendly membership policy? One that requires 14-year-olds to be labeled “ReaderKids” and stay in a parent’s shadow, and that ghettoizes even 17-year-olds with a special “ReaderTeen” membership designation?

Do other cons do this, too? If so, no wonder teens are choosing to gather places other than traditional cons, and no wonder fandom is greying to the point that I’m on its youngish end.

We’re a genre made up of people who were all generally once bright, precocious, passionate, intelligent teenagers. As such, we should truly know better–we should remember better–and should have a lot more respect for those who are there now.

I don’t want to be protected and kept apart from teens at the cons I go to. I want to meet them as equals so that we can engage in conversations together, the same as with everyone else. That equal-footing thing is one of the things our genre always struck me as doing well, both in our stories and outside of them.

There are enough walls between teens and adults in the everyday world–genre fiction, in my experience, in one of the things that best tears these walls down, at least sometimes. We should be embracing that, not putting new walls up instead.

(Link found via shadesong‘s post on welcoming teens to cons rather than alienating them.)

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