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[Recap] DragonCon 2017: Be a Hero, Not a Villain

 

DragonCon is over, but the memories live on. For many, those memories are spectacular. They will always remember the camaraderie, the helpfulness of people, the panels, the shows, the celebrity interactions, the parade and the cosplay. For some, it was a once in a lifetime experience, and others can’t wait for next year.

To see some fabulous memories of this year check out the rest of our Dragon Con Coverage:

Cosplay Photos – Dragon Con 2017 (part 1)

Cosplay Photos – Dragon Con 2017 (part 2)

Cosplay Photos – Dragon Con 2017 (part 3)

Cosplay Photos – Dragon Con 2017 (part 4)

Unfortunately others will be walking away from the one of the worst experience of their lives. These are the people that saw the other side of DragonCon and will never return to see the good side. These are the people that experienced the assholes and jerks, the rude and the crude.

Atlanta, GA had a lot going on over the long weekend which brought in hundreds of thousands of people. DragonCon alone was expected to see 82,000 people. On top of that there was the Chick-fil-A College Football Kickoff games College Football tournament which pulled in around 75,000 people. This was also the Atlanta Black Pride Weekend which has attendance numbers estimated at around 200,000.

The problem is, that when you have that many people all there to celebrate something in their own ways, there will be conflict. On top of that you have the ones that are just there to create conflict and ones who are there to take advantage of the situation.

The BAD

Drunken idiots, sexual harassment, thievery, molestation, and spiked drinks were just some of the minor issues encountered at DragonCon over the weekend. The worst in my opinion was when somebody decided it was a good idea to throw chairs from a 10th floor balcony. Three people were reported as injured and luckily none of which turned out to be life threatening.

Chairs tossed from the 10th floor

“…earlier two guys got into a fight in front of the elelvators. Started as a slap fight.”

“We had someone who did not have his sword peace [sic] tied thrown out of a panel tonight and escorted off in a shoulder lock…”

“A bottle of wine, a bottle of gatorade were also thrown from up above in the Marriott…”

“…..at the Marriott two elevators have been pooped in, one elevators been pissed in…”

“…..Had a bobblehead and a jet prop lifted”

“…my badge was cut right off…”

“ …SOME <&!@@#$%*> STEALING MY FLASK OUT OF MY POCKET”

“…Someone threw a glass bottle…”

“…Multiple glass bottles thrown, one hit my friend, at least one chair thrown, but reports of more, and other items as well…”

“Around midnight someone threw a full bottle of wine onto the Marriott floor. My friend got hit by shattered glass and it cut her ankle….”

“……started throwing glass bottles off the Marriott pool level on Friday night directly into the crosswalk every time people started to cross the street….”

“Someone threw a wine bottle that hit a lady and she was bleeding…”

“A man pressed up against my backside …”

“…my drink was spiked..”

“Some drunk asshole grabbed my lekku and stuck it in his mouth and bit the tip. I felt so violated.”

“Riding in a marriot elevator last night some girl was puking her guts out. It was around 9pm.”

“Someone threw up on my shoes and splattered my costume in the Marriott last night while I was trying to make my way to a panel. Not my favorite moment of the Con.”

“Soooo many people ignoring or neglecting to see people with disabilities because their immediate wants and needs were more important than being a decent person.”

“A guy asked for a pic of me and MY DAUGHTER and put his hand on our BUTTS!”

You shouldn’t have to encounter any of that when all you want to do is hang out, meet new people and share your hobbies. I have no idea what possesses people to do stuff like that, it is wrong.

The UGLY

When situations get bad, people can get ugly. They start tossing blame everywhere. They never think that it is their fault. It is always the other side / race / color / interest / sex / belief / team /age group that causes the problems. It is NEVER their  side / race / color / interest / sex / belief / team /age group because they would never dream of it.

Guess what folks? We are ALL human. All humans make mistakes and frequently those mistakes get compounded by alcohol, excitement, heat of the moment or the simple desire to be noticed. Then add in the herd mentality and you have a pending disaster of elevating and compounding mistakes. People tend to be sheep and those sheep meekly follow along with whatever the majority around them are doing.

Don’t be one of the ugly. Don’t throw accusations at other groups. Don’t follow along blindly. Don’t stand back and watch things happen. Stand up, speak up and do something about them.

We don’t need more ugliness in this world.

The Good

Human hero shield
..wondy, cap and Indy made a human shield to protect the crowd

But like everything there is also the good. There are those that stand up against the bullies, the thieves, and the molesters. There are those that help others when they need it, turn in lost items and give a shoulder or hug to a stranger in need. These are the heroes of the convention.

“…at DragonCon you don’t make friends, you make family. This woman was an older lady and in perfect General Organa cosplay and I look at her and look up and wave at my eyes like maybe I won’t cry and she holds open her arms, rueful sweet smile on her face, and goes “do you need a hug from space mom?” And I really did. 
We live in a world where, even though the geeks kind of rule, we still get ridiculed for our feelings, but everyone at DragonCon gets that because they have those feelings too. I work 40 hours over 4 days and I won’t ever regret it because I love seeing how happy people are. My people.”

“Sure the con has it’s negatives, but there’s also the fact that you CAN bring up the “nerdiest”, more unconventional loves you have with nearly anyone around you, and not only not get judged, but have a conversation about it. 
I love that, despite the creepers and too-drunk jerks, for the most part, I can form a friendship with nearly anyone I meet. In fact, I did! 
There’s a shared camaraderie there that’s difficult to find, even at other conventions.”

“Around 3AM Thursday night/Friday morning, a gentleman in front of the Marriott Atrium ballroom collapsed and was receiving chest compressions ….. he was treated by other Con guests until the EMTs arrived….”

” To the person who returned the instax camera. Thank you SO MUCH! I can’t even remember where I lost it on Saturday and was really bummed but when I found it at the lost and found the next day I was so happy!!! You are an amazing awesome person and I love you.”

“My niece set hers<badge> down just a few minutes after we picked ours up Thursday morning. Didn’t realize she didn’t have it on her until she was back at the Hyatt giving blood. But thankfully she had attached it to her previous years badges already (which had her “if lost, please call” info on them). Some awesome soul found it and immediately texted her. We had a bad half hour there where we were worried it was gone, but that is WAY better than having to have bought a new badge.”

“To the guy who let me sleep in his hotel room Saturday night…I drank WAY too much (again, for reemphasis: wayyyyyyyy) that night. I woke up around 4 AM still drunk, still sleep deprived, and very confused.

I don’t know or remember the circumstances in which we met or how I ended up in your room, but I know that I left without saying thank you or even goodbye.

I know how I get when I drink so even if the original idea was a hook up (which would be very possible that I destroyed by immediately passing out), the fact that I woke up fully clothed and in my own bed is cause for a thank you on its own.

What I’m trying to say in tl;dr speak is: from the bottom of my heart, thank you. It warms my heart to know there are still good guys out there. Thanks so much!”

“Found a wallet over in gaming (America’s Mart) Name ————-. Wallet is en route to Marriott Security.”

“Just found a badge for “Dale” along with other personal items. Going to take it to security as we head back to the Marriott but let me know and we can get it to you directly if needed right away.”

“I was adjusting my costume and it tore open at the front. A stranger and his friend instantly surrounded me with cloaks and started asking passerbys for pins. I never got a chance to thank you for saving me from public humiliation”

“Thank you for the hug when I needed it”

“Someone shattered a wine bottle on the pavement, injuring one woman and three superheroes instantly formed a human shield”

“,,,there was no way that my wheelchair would get in that bathroom and a group of young girls instantly came forward to help me.”

“The Jesus freaks just about had my girlfriend in tears (we’re gay) when this young girl started singing and drowning them out. She was the most beautiful sound I heard all weekend”

The unsung heroes also include the Sentinels of Themyscira, the volunteers who handled the celebrity lines as smoothly as they could, security who were on continual patrol and the emergency responders.

These are the heroes we need at all conventions, not just DragonCon. Try to be the good at every con. Offer help when needed, give thanks to those that help and stop idiots. Act, don’t observe.

Take a look at the character you are portraying? Are you a hero? Then be one!

If you are a villain….then show us their lighter side…

 

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