Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Voices in the View

Q&A with Edward "Redd" Lynch

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Edward, I'm 25 at the time of writing this, and I am a very openly gay man. Most people in game know me as "Redd". My character is the High Mage of the Nation of Gau Dring, and is an incredibly sarcastic and pessimistic corpse being possessed/animated by the magic of a star in the constellation Ophiuchus.

How did you get into gaming/LARPing and specifically how did you end up being a part of Realms?

Sam Desrocher (Sybil of Invictus) brought me to a practice day of a smaller LARP located in Western Mass in April of 2014 after I had mentioned I wanted to get into D&D and the like, there I met Josh and Rose Fitzgerald and other LARPers who brought me to the Realms. My first event was the Tournaments of Creathorne that year.

Are there aspects of your background or identity that have informed or impacted a character you play?

Due to the fact that my Realms character Redd is more or less my first real LARP character, his personality is kind of an exaggeration of my own, for good or bad.  I'd always been a bit more withdrawn as a person, but through LARPing and meeting a lot of people I've definitely become far more outgoing than I was before.

Are there any difficulties you’ve encountered in LARPing/gaming communities in regards to your identity that you are okay with talking about?

I've not really encountered any difficulties due to my identity, personally. There have been the odd comments here and there when I make some risque comments, typically along the lines of "that was pretty gay" but typically my response is something along the lines of "That's the point." or "...and?"  and that'll be the end of it. But I would not say I've ever really been the target of any blatant homophobia. At least, nothings ever been said to my face.

What is something you think EH’s/GM’s could do to make our games more inclusive?  What is something they should avoid?

EH's/GM's could make the games more inclusive by actively removing and discouraging bigots from those games. They should avoid the logical fallacies of "we have to respect everyone's opinions" and "if we don't allow the intolerant in, it only makes us just as intolerant".

To the first: You absolutely do NOT. Opinions are for things like "I like/dislike coffee, the colour blue, or fish" not prejudice against marginalized groups. 

And to the second; No it does not. The bigoted dislike/hate/target people based on inoperable facts. People don't choose to be LGBT+ or to be part of certain ethnicities. These are fundamental parts of who they are, and cannot be changed. You can and should reject bigotry because they CAN choose to change their view and to not be that way, but actively refuse to learn and grow and change.

As a note as well, being a member of a marginalized community does not excuse you from your own bigotry.

Is there anything else you’d like the opportunity to say to the community?

Yes, overall I would like to say that I love the friends and family I've found in this community. LARPing has honestly gotten me through some pretty rough patches in my life, and I do not joke when I say the community and the people of this game have LITERALLY saved my life several times over. 

I've learned a lot about myself as a person from interactions with people in the community both in and out of game. I've had my viewpoints challenged, and have been forced to grow and change and hold myself accountable for my own biases.

Y'all have made some great strides in the recent years toward being better people, and a better community and I'm happy to have been a part of it, and I'm glad you're still moving forward.
Now in the words of my mentor, "Don't follow, keep up."