My Father’s Day Lament

It’s Father’s Day this weekend in the US, and as I don’t have a father[1], it’s a weekend that I reflect on something that almost happened: a few years ago, I tried to be a father.

Now, I’m glad it didn’t happen, because the would-be mother and I…well, it wouldn’t have been good for either of us. But I still this about this child, and count how old she’d be. (I always imagine her as a girl, and we would talk about girl names.) This kid would be five years old now.

I think about this “quantum daughter” when I’m working on books. And I think about my nieces (actual, real nieces) when I’m working on books. So as I’m working on books in the gaming hobby, I keep in mind that my nieces (eldest is 8, youngest is 2) might pick up books off my shelf while visiting, or ask to see books I’ve made when I come into town. And I think about that with other folks’ kids, boys and girls. Hell, it’s even possible that I’ll have kids in the future.

I want to make books that don’t reinforce hateful bullshit when they look at the art. Further, I want books that make them want to engage in the hobby, not turn them away.

And yet, there are so many damned sexist, racist[2], anti-Semitic, etc. artists and writers in this community.

They are what’s wrong with our hobby. And that’s what I think about every year when Father’s Day rolls around: how people who hate not-white-dudes keep getting work and polluting books that my nieces might open up.

– Ryan

(Since far too many people love to hate on anyone who values women as equals — especially on the Internet where they can do so without fear of physical repercussions — I’ll preemptively turn the comments off this post.)

[1] Yes, biologically I do. But societally, I don’t.

[2] One of my nieces is half-Mexican. Not that that specifically matters in the overall, but that’s what made me realize I really do have a personal stake here.