A Woman, a Gamer, and Proud

If the month of June has reminded me of anything, it’s that I’m seen and I’m heard.

The first week we started our D&D actual-play podcast, I got my hair cut for our Fate and the Fablemaidens photoshoot (which was done by the amazing Carsen Heater and is featured above). Becca sat with me while the stylist cut my hair, and we told her how we had just launched this show and were so excited for the local convention – and really everything ahead of us.

As fate would have it, she played D&D too – which only sparked more conversation.

A few months later, I went back to the same salon. The moment I walked in, the stylist looked up and said, “You’re the one with the podcast!”

I blinked. “Yes, that’s me.” To be honest, I was a bit surprised that she remembered.

“It’s been going really well,” she continued. “I listen to every episode! I’ve even gotten back into D&D because of it. But I play with a group of all guys, so it’s so nice to hear a podcast where a group of women play.”

And my heart soared. Not only because she remembered our show – which was thrilling in its own right – but because it made a difference for her. It positively affected her experience in the gaming community.

Today closes out Women in Tabletop Gaming Month and Pride Month. And the whole month has been so uplifting to me. We’re not the only all-women podcast out there, of course, but each one is incredible in it’s own way, bringing diverse dynamics to the table. (I’ll mention some of my personal favorites towards the end.)

And podcasts are just a part of the community! Streamers, crafters, creators in every right have been featured this past month. And being seen, being heard… That’s incredibly valuable.

It should be the norm. It’s not yet, but with events like Women in Tabletop Gaming Month (which was coordinated by David Ginsburg from Tales from the Fandom podcast), the entire community puts forth the effort to make sure women are seen and heard and acknowledged.

I didn’t start my experience in gaming very positively. I am one of the women who has experienced sexual harassment at the table. Thinking about it still gives me chills. Talking about it is still hard. (I won’t go into it here, but I did discuss the situation a bit more in depth with David in this episode of Tales from the Fandom.)

It made me feel like I had to shrink away from something that I loved. I made me feel small. It made me feel like I wasn’t worth hearing or seeing. And other women in the community have experienced similar or worse situations.

My community rallied around me, helping me find a way to feel safe at my table again. They helped me feel safe walking into my friendly local game store again. I’m ever grateful to them for that. But every table is responsible for holding each other accountable and making gaming a safe space so women and other marginalized groups can play with them.

For every table where women feel safe role playing: I’m grateful.

For every adventuring party that stands up for women: I’m proud, and I’m grateful.

For everyone who welcomes and includes and accepts everyone: I’m proud, and I’m grateful, and I believe that’s what gaming should be.

For the community to rally for this past month, to promote marginalized groups and share their voices, share their works, I’m incredibly grateful. Because it’s making a difference for us. It’s acknowledging us when sometimes we feel unseen or unheard. It’s uplifting us when sometimes we feel beaten down. It’s encouraging us when sometimes we feel small. And it’s what community should be.

That’s what gaming should be.

I hope this month has been uplifting to you. I know it’s been so positive for me. And I hope I can make a positive difference because of what I’ve learned. I hope our podcast can make a positive difference by sharing smiles and laughter with all ages. And I hope you can make a positive difference by seeing and hearing everyone you meet.

Happy Women in Tabletop Gaming Month! And happy Pride Month!

******************

For Women in Tabletop Gaming Month, Fate and the Fablemaidens released a Q&A special episode (which I recommend for a behind the scenes look at our show), recorded a Monster of the Week special event podcast with The Beholder’s Eye (which was a break from our normal D&D for an awesome TTRPG we hadn’t tried before), and streamed a special guest panel with The RPG Lab. I also recorded an interview with David, which I linked in the post above.

As for some of my personal favorite D&D all-women actual-play podcasts, I recommend The Venture Maidens, The Broadswords, and WanderQuest. (Plus, I know there are so many more amazing all-women shows I need to hear; I really hope to start those soon!)

I’ll also shout-out The Lovelycraftians, which is a well-produced and mysterious Call of Cthulu actual-play podcast. And shout-out to Prism Pals, an adorable and family-friendly D&D podcast featuring an all-LGBTQ+ cast.

And if you’re interested in finding shows that represent women, non-binary people, LGBTQ+, and PoC, RPGCasts is an incredible research that can help you search for shows by game system, player diversity, and more!

 

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