Experiences A clarification

Jannah

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Yes, title is pretty self-explanatory. I'm sort of confused about something. I notice a lot of interest checks have listed in the rules basically to not be a bigot.

Firstly, I'd think that being a decent person would just be common sense so it seems a little redundant to list it. It leads me to assume that players have actually had bigoted encounters on this site. Can anyone testify if that's actually a thing here?

Secondly, when it's listed is it referring strictly to OOC encounters or is it towards IC stuff too? I ask since I have written some pretty awful characters in that sense (racist, homophobic, anti-semitic, you name it). I don't go out of my way to do so, but if it fits the storyline and my partner is comfortable with it then I will.
 

divine comedy

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i think being a decent person is common sense too, but it isn't for a bunch of people on this site. i've had the unfortunate luck of meeting some of those people. from outright refusing to roleplay with my trans oc, to misgendering my nonbinary oc on purpose because 'there are only two genders'; i've even encountered a guy who tried to turn my lesbian character straight. a while ago, i saw someone spouting bigoted nonsense on their interest check as well.

personally, i'm against bigotry ooc only. i don't mind if ocs are bigoted so long as i discuss it beforehand with my partner and we're both comfortable with it. some people may feel otherwise and i totally understand their point of view. i know a lot of people use roleplaying as an escape/a way to forget about reality; if you've dealt with any sort of bigotry in real life, i get why you wouldn't want to write about it during your free time for fun.
 

Jannah

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i think being a decent person is common sense too, but it isn't for a bunch of people on this site. i've had the unfortunate luck of meeting some of those people. from outright refusing to roleplay with my trans oc, to misgendering my nonbinary oc on purpose because 'there are only two genders'; i've even encountered a guy who tried to turn my lesbian character straight. a while ago, i saw someone spouting bigoted nonsense on their interest check as well.

personally, i'm against bigotry ooc only. i don't mind if ocs are bigoted so long as i discuss it beforehand with my partner and we're both comfortable with it. some people may feel otherwise and i totally understand their point of view. i know a lot of people use roleplaying as an escape/a way to forget about reality; if you've dealt with any sort of bigotry in real life, i get why you wouldn't want to write about it during your free time for fun.
Ah, makes sense. Unfortunately I assumed that was the case if players feel a need to put it in their interest checks. I personally only play cis characters (couldn't do anything else proper justice) so maybe I have just happened to avoid it because of that.
 

Crenando

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I knew a guy who was banned for trying (and mostly failing, he sucked at it) to insult me and my friend, among other things. He might've gotten away with it but he brought race into the situation.

Edit: I just realized me and the guy who was discriminated talked about this in another thread in greater detail.
 
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cloudyskies

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It’s happened, unfortunately. I’ve never ran into anyone on this site that was an outright bigot, but there were a lot of subtleties that made me uncomfortable, (like attempting to use slurs and such). I think I should be able to play lgbt characters no problem, especially if it doesn’t effect the actual plot at all. I just don’t see why it would be a problem.
 

Jannah

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It’s happened, unfortunately. I’ve never ran into anyone on this site that was an outright bigot, but there were a lot of subtleties that made me uncomfortable, (like attempting to use slurs and such). I think I should be able to play lgbt characters no problem, especially if it doesn’t effect the actual plot at all. I just don’t see why it would be a problem.
I will admit that I have used slurs in RP's where they fit the plot/setting, but like any other potentially triggering content it is something I will talk out with my partner to ensure they're okay with it. Some of my characters are just that sort of asshole. However, if I happen to be playing with a partner who is not okay with that sort of content then I'll simply not play characters who are bigoted assholes. I try to be respectful of everyone's boundaries, despite enjoying some darker themes. For me, writing is a way to explore some of these social issues in a safe environment where I'm not actually directly harming others. I'm fascinated by trying to figure out how a bigot's mind works and why they think the way they do. Through writing I'm able to do that.

That being said, I know others don't always feel the same way I do about writing. For them, writing is precisely the opposite: a form of escapism. I get the impression that you're one of those who uses writing as a form of escapism, which is perfectly valid! We all need our escapes when real life becomes too overwhelming (mine happens to be video games and books).

I guess what really matters is being able to know where to draw the line. I would never want to make any of my partners uncomfortable and I trust that if I unknowingly said or did something in a RP that did make them uncomfortable then they would tell me. I have really only been in one sticky situation like this. On another site I had a character with a super dark backstory with loads of triggering content. A person who was uncomfortable with those particular triggering themes and didn't tell me wanted to write with the character. Needless to say things did not end well. The RP was simply stopped right there. I was fine with that as I didn't want to intentionally make anyone uncomfortable, but I think it was a learning experience for both of us that partners should communicate their triggers immediately before even delving into the RP.
 

cloudyskies

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I will admit that I have used slurs in RP's where they fit the plot/setting, but like any other potentially triggering content it is something I will talk out with my partner to ensure they're okay with it. Some of my characters are just that sort of asshole. However, if I happen to be playing with a partner who is not okay with that sort of content then I'll simply not play characters who are bigoted assholes. I try to be respectful of everyone's boundaries, despite enjoying some darker themes. For me, writing is a way to explore some of these social issues in a safe environment where I'm not actually directly harming others. I'm fascinated by trying to figure out how a bigot's mind works and why they think the way they do. Through writing I'm able to do that.

That being said, I know others don't always feel the same way I do about writing. For them, writing is precisely the opposite: a form of escapism. I get the impression that you're one of those who uses writing as a form of escapism, which is perfectly valid! We all need our escapes when real life becomes too overwhelming (mine happens to be video games and books).

I guess what really matters is being able to know where to draw the line. I would never want to make any of my partners uncomfortable and I trust that if I unknowingly said or did something in a RP that did make them uncomfortable then they would tell me. I have really only been in one sticky situation like this. On another site I had a character with a super dark backstory with loads of triggering content. A person who was uncomfortable with those particular triggering themes and didn't tell me wanted to write with the character. Needless to say things did not end well. The RP was simply stopped right there. I was fine with that as I didn't want to intentionally make anyone uncomfortable, but I think it was a learning experience for both of us that partners should communicate their triggers immediately before even delving into the RP.
This I agree with, but my problem here was that this occurred ooc—and I don’t think certain slurs should be used unless the person who said it is part of that group. It’s a different opinion based on who you ask. I understand they can be used in different contexts, and a character that’s just an asshole is fine imo, as long as the actual player isn’t bigoted. To me it was just a red flag. I don’t mind touching on real world topics in rp, actually.
 

Jannah

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This I agree with, but my problem here was that this occurred ooc—and I don’t think certain slurs should be used unless the person who said it is part of that group. It’s a different opinion based on who you ask. I understand they can be used in different contexts, and a character that’s just an asshole is fine imo, as long as the actual player isn’t bigoted. To me it was just a red flag. I don’t mind touching on real world topics in rp, actually.
Well, yea, that's a given I think. Context does definitely matter. It's not something I would just throw around lightly, even within a fictional story.
 

nerdy tangents

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Also just to throw it out there bigotry isn’t just “I used a slur and that was bad.”

My experience on this site has been more of the “those people make me uncomfortable” type of bigotry. Which is pretty much an instant “well thank you for letting me know, good luck on your searches (and block this person).”

Because the whole “uncomfortable” thing is just the “polite” way of being a bigot. Or more realistically it’s the way to be a bigot where you get to gaslight people by saying “I can’t be a bigot I didn’t use a slur. I just said a group of people existing makes me uncomfortable. It’s my personal opinion.”

Course they never like it when you are like “well then I find the fact that you don’t like people of color or LGBTQ people uncomfortable.” It’s never a two way street.
 

Haro

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Firstly, I'd think that being a decent person would just be common sense so it seems a little redundant to list it. It leads me to assume that players have actually had bigoted encounters on this site.

Yes, there are a handful of members who do not support LGBTQA+ causes. I do not think it's common place here but it is a thing for a few people. (I said LGBTQA+, I'm not talking about people who won't do specific gender pairings).
 

Jannah

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Yes, there are a handful of members who do not support LGBTQA+ causes. I do not think it's common place here but it is a thing for a few people. (I said LGBTQA+, I'm not talking about people who won't do specific gender pairings).
Yea, I'd like to think people who only write MxF pairings are not necessarily homophobic. Some might be, sure, but most of the time it just comes down to personal preference I think. I usually do MxF pairings myself. Not because I hold any particular malice towards LGBTQA+ people (hell, I'm not even hetero myself), but because it's simply what I prefer writing and it fits best with the types of stories I do.

Additionally, a lot of people, myself included, will only write cis characters because they don't want to misrepresent the trans community and their struggles. I tried to write a trans character once. It was...not good. The character was nothing but a bunch of tropes and stereotypes because that's really all I know when it comes to transgenderism.
 

nerdy tangents

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So in my experience the issue is people use “I am uncomfortable” to police what their partners write.

Like it’s fine if you as an individual don’t want to write a LGBTQ+ character. It does not prevent your partner from writing one however.

For instance with MxF, there is nothing to say one character can’t be bisexual, pansexual, biromantic, etc. Like just because you want to pair a cishet female with a masculine identifying person does not automatically mean that your partner has to write a cishet male for you.

Because then it becomes more about you being uncomfortable with LGBTQ+ people existing in any capacity. Not so much you not wanting to write them personally.

Now I wouldn’t say it is inherently bigoted to want to write cis het characters yourself. But when your only comfortable with your partner writing cis het characters you are entering murky waters.
 

Walliver

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As someone who has written two bigoted assholes (one being male and the other female), I’ve got a fair amount of experience on this topic. The “don’t be a bigot” is probably about OOC, but even then, you encounter problems. I’ve had heated arguments about race and the LGBTQ+ community, and no one was impartial in the argument. The problem comes when you try to define the difference between a heated conversation and actually bigotry. Or the fine line between your character being a bigot and those habits in your own life.

I am “uncomfortable” writing some kinds of characters, because I have seen people write POC or LGBTQ+ characters and write them in a very bad light, and I don’t want to do that. That’s not to say I won’t play diverse characters, people of color, etc., but I’m not going to play them as often as the characters I have experience with.

So if it’s a matter of writing and representation quality, I believe “I am uncomfortable” is an okay excuse. But policing what your partner does...there’s no excuse for that.
 

Jannah

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As someone who has written two bigoted assholes (one being male and the other female), I’ve got a fair amount of experience on this topic. The “don’t be a bigot” is probably about OOC, but even then, you encounter problems. I’ve had heated arguments about race and the LGBTQ+ community, and no one was impartial in the argument. The problem comes when you try to define the difference between a heated conversation and actually bigotry. Or the fine line between your character being a bigot and those habits in your own life.

I am “uncomfortable” writing some kinds of characters, because I have seen people write POC or LGBTQ+ characters and write them in a very bad light, and I don’t want to do that. That’s not to say I won’t play diverse characters, people of color, etc., but I’m not going to play them as often as the characters I have experience with.

So if it’s a matter of writing and representation quality, I believe “I am uncomfortable” is an okay excuse. But policing what your partner does...there’s no excuse for that.
My personal rule I follow myself is that if I can't represent something accurately without resorting to stereotypes then I won't write it. For this reason I only write cis characters. I will write characters from some ethnic backgrounds, but not from others. For example, I will write Koreans since I'm familiar enough with the culture. I will not write any Indigenous people, though. I don't know enough about the cultures.
 

Jannah

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So in my experience the issue is people use “I am uncomfortable” to police what their partners write.

Like it’s fine if you as an individual don’t want to write a LGBTQ+ character. It does not prevent your partner from writing one however.

For instance with MxF, there is nothing to say one character can’t be bisexual, pansexual, biromantic, etc. Like just because you want to pair a cishet female with a masculine identifying person does not automatically mean that your partner has to write a cishet male for you.

Because then it becomes more about you being uncomfortable with LGBTQ+ people existing in any capacity. Not so much you not wanting to write them personally.

Now I wouldn’t say it is inherently bigoted to want to write cis het characters yourself. But when your only comfortable with your partner writing cis het characters you are entering murky waters.
While I do primarily write MxF romance not all the characters in said romances were hetero. Most were, but I do try to change it up occasionally.
 

Walliver

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My personal rule I follow myself is that if I can't represent something accurately without resorting to stereotypes then I won't write it. For this reason I only write cis characters. I will write characters from some ethnic backgrounds, but not from others. For example, I will write Koreans since I'm familiar enough with the culture. I will not write any Indigenous people, though. I don't know enough about the cultures.
I understand that mentality. That’s why I usually only write American or Hispanic people, or cisgender folks.
 

Jannah

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I understand that mentality. That’s why I usually only write American or Hispanic people, or cisgender folks.
As mentioned in my previous comment the one time I tried to write a trans character it was a disaster. The entire character was one huge trope and just very badly written.
 

birth of venus

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as a poc part of the lgbt+ community, i can sadly say yes, i have witnessed and experienced a surprising amount of bigotry on this site. it sucks, but the internet doesn't surprise me. i think a lot of folks (especially folks who are not minorities, or at least have never had these experiences before) don't really understand what bigotry looks like. sometimes it's not blatant stereotypical racism or homophobia, it's small comments, micro-aggressions, or unnecessarily shared opinions that show some of their true thoughts. i've been told as a nonbinary person that my identity doesn't exist, is just for attention, etc etc. i'm latinx and i've seen horrendously racist tropes written for hispanic/latinx characters. in group chats for roleplays, i've been ridiculed and condemned for rightfully pointing out bigoted language and behavior. it's exhausting and sometimes i'd point it out, but other times i simply block and move on. i'm an adult and capable of deciding what's worth my time, and sometimes you sadly have to acknowledge that there are people who won't change out of their ignorant views in life, and move along to ensure your own peace, sanity, and even safety sometimes. so yeah, i think it's a safe assumption to think that if someone lists "no bigots" in their searches, they've probably had to deal with it. big sigh
 

Jannah

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as a poc part of the lgbt+ community, i can sadly say yes, i have witnessed and experienced a surprising amount of bigotry on this site. it sucks, but the internet doesn't surprise me. i think a lot of folks (especially folks who are not minorities, or at least have never had these experiences before) don't really understand what bigotry looks like. sometimes it's not blatant stereotypical racism or homophobia, it's small comments, micro-aggressions, or unnecessarily shared opinions that show some of their true thoughts. i've been told as a nonbinary person that my identity doesn't exist, is just for attention, etc etc. i'm latinx and i've seen horrendously racist tropes written for hispanic/latinx characters. in group chats for roleplays, i've been ridiculed and condemned for rightfully pointing out bigoted language and behavior. it's exhausting and sometimes i'd point it out, but other times i simply block and move on. i'm an adult and capable of deciding what's worth my time, and sometimes you sadly have to acknowledge that there are people who won't change out of their ignorant views in life, and move along to ensure your own peace, sanity, and even safety sometimes. so yeah, i think it's a safe assumption to think that if someone lists "no bigots" in their searches, they've probably had to deal with it. big sigh
Ngl, I am white and cis so likely just don't notice these things. I am disappointed to know it's a thing on this site, though. Most members here seem like pretty reasonable and level-headed people.
 

Hootle

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Writing is an art form of expression a way to share experiences with your readers through the perspective of your characters. There are a lot of different race/ethnicities/sexualities that I am not familiar with. However, that does not mean I won't make characters from them. This where research comes in. If you truly are dedicated in making a character all that you want them to be, there are plenty of tools that can help you without having to fall back on stereotypes. I believe you should be writing to tell a story or invoke a feeling or idea in your readers. You shouldn't feel afraid to write a character that happens to be another race or ethnicity just because of what others might think. Your character should be so much more than just their race after all is the story really about their ethnicity or sexuality? Really?
The only time you should worry is if you can't even bother to do any type of research at all and resort to those oh so annoying stereotypes. Then that's on you with the heat you may get, but yeah.
 

Jannah

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Writing is an art form of expression a way to share experiences with your readers through the perspective of your characters. There are a lot of different race/ethnicities/sexualities that I am not familiar with. However, that does not mean I won't make characters from them. This where research comes in. If you truly are dedicated in making a character all that you want them to be, there are plenty of tools that can help you without having to fall back on stereotypes. I believe you should be writing to tell a story or invoke a feeling or idea in your readers. You shouldn't feel afraid to write a character that happens to be another race or ethnicity just because of what others might think. Your character should be so much more than just their race after all is the story really about their ethnicity or sexuality? Really?
The only time you should worry is if you can't even bother to do any type of research at all and resort to those oh so annoying stereotypes. Then that's on you with the heat you may get, but yeah.
I agree, but often times I'm too lazy to do the proper research so I just don't write those characters lol.
 

birth of venus

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Ngl, I am white and cis so likely just don't notice these things. I am disappointed to know it's a thing on this site, though. Most members here seem like pretty reasonable and level-headed people.
yeah that's understandable and a good thing to acknowledge. it really does suck, but i am happy to say that my positive experiences definitely trump any shitty thing i've heard and seen on here. i've made a lot of meaningful friendships and ran a ton of awesome rps, this site can be so much fun! it's just disheartening at times that i feel like these experiences are unavoidable. /shrug
 

Hootle

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I agree, but often times I'm too lazy to do the proper research so I just don't write those characters lol.
Hmm 🤔
So what's the difference of doing some proper research for a character of a different race/ethnicity/sexuality and you trying to figure out how a bigot's mind works and why they think the way they do? Both roads lead to some research.
 

Jannah

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Hmm 🤔
So what's the difference of doing some proper research for a character of a different race/ethnicity/sexuality and you trying to figure out how a bigot's mind works and why they think the way they do? Both roads lead to some research.
Hmm...fair point tbh. Haven't really thought about it that way.
 

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