Episode 7: Inclusion vs exclusion

Episode 7 is about inclusion vs. exclusion. Can we exclude people if we claim to be inclusive? Is there such a thing as exclusively inclusive heathenry? Listen to Rich, Frigga and Jochem discussing these issues.

The Wyrd Thing Podcast – Episode 7 – Inclusion vs exclusion

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00:09 Rich

Hello and welcome to the Wyrd Thing podcast, episode 7: Inclusion versus Exclusion. I’m your host, Rich Blackett, and joining me this time is Jochem and Frigga.

And I believe, Frigga, you had something you want to say on this topic, to sort of kick us off.

00:31 Frigga

Yeah, the reason for today’s topic is that I struggle with it, and I would like to discuss it with you guys. First, I would like to share with you some of what is in my mind on this, knowing that I cannot express myself exactly as I would like to be, being a perfectionist. I am rather sensitive to language and often take what is said literally. I’m aware of this, and most of the time I can make a translation, but I seem not to be able to do it with this. Talking about excluding people evokes resistance in me. And don’t get me wrong, I’m the first to confront people if they behave in a racist manner, or behave in a disrespectful manner towards women or LGBTQIA+ people, and I will kick them out if needed. There are always boundaries. But talking specific about excluding people feels to me like a slippery slope, on which I deem it unwise to tread myself, and as Heathens. For example, a question that today’s topic raises for me is whether it is legal to exclude people because of their political ideas or membership of a folkish organisation. Or, if we do so, do we exactly what we don’t want to do: exclude and discriminate? I’m a frith-weaver, and frith and being inclusive means to me zero tolerance for racism, discrimination, hate, harassment and physical or mental violence.

I’m aware that I talk from being a white privileged woman, and I learn from the Wyrd Thing podcast meetings that I made all the mistakes and more that should be avoided if one really wants to be inclusive. One of my mottoes in life is, if you decide that you do the right thing, you always should check with yourself if it’s really the case. Always examine your true motivations and look in a mirror, and having a mirror held up to you. And I always say, talking with people instead of talking about people.

And thinking all this I guess my actual question is, should we speak about excluding people, or should we talk about behaviour? Our own, and of our fellow Heathens?

03:24 Rich

Well there are certainly some deep thoughts and food for thought there, I would say. What are your thoughts, Jochem?

03:33 Jochem

Well, I think I very much agree with what Frigga said, and I think the question, the last question, has its answer inside it already. I agree we can’t exclude people on political beliefs or disability or any of the well-known grounds that in many countries is the first law that we don’t discriminate against all these issues. So I would say we can’t do that either because otherwise we would be discriminating against people that we accuse them from discriminating against other people. So that would be weird, to say the least. But the question of Frigga said, or should we look at behaviour, and I think that is the answer to this question. I think every event should have a code of conduct, and I think most larger events have. So when you book for an event, you are asked to agree with the code of conduct; and that’s the legal frame you need to keep a good and safe event, I would say.

So if people violate the code of conduct, you can warn them once, maybe even twice, and at the third time they will have to leave. So then you don’t exclude people but you indeed exclude certain behaviour that you don’t want on this particular event. And I say particular here because in theory you could have different codes of conduct for different kinds of events. In a smaller event, certain things may not be tolerable but in a larger event would be tolerable, or things like that. It’s just to say that it doesn’t need to be written in stone, it can change, if you like.

06:11 Frigga

And I don’t think, it’s not only for events, but also for organisation and you have your, is it only code of conduct or by-laws wherein you, written down also these kind of things; and I fully agree it’s not written in stone, I think you again have to look at it every time again.

06:33 Rich

I think this raises a couple of interesting points. The laws or by-laws, or codes of conduct are only as strong as they are enforced. There are certain places or groups that may have publicly said “Well, no, we don’t believe this”, but the actual practice what they do is quite different. Whether that’s because they’re covertly racist or bigoted in some way, or whether it’s just because they’re incompetent, that’s another different thing, because people can, “Oh, we have the rules there, therefore we’re inclusive; yep, job done.” That sort of, you know, yeah, that’s naive but that’s a very common thing where you say well we have this thing now, we have a policy, we have solved it, inclusivity. You see that with governmental organisations.

07:25 Jochem

I laughed because when we talked about this in the preparations of this episode, one of the team said that they went to an event where the code of conduct clearly stated that everyone is welcome, and they came there with their partner, and it’s a same-sex partnership, and one of the organisers said, “What made you think same-sex couples are welcome here?” And then they indeed mentioned the code of conduct, which stated everyone is welcome, and so, yeah, everyone but not everyone was welcome, it turns out.

08:09 Rich

Oh, wow, that’s… That must’ve been horrible to experience. To turn up, yeah, well everyone’s welcome, fantastic – but not you. “What?” That’s horrible to think about that.

But I think, going back to what you were saying about people who are excluded because of political beliefs: for some people they do have this bigotry as part of their political beliefs, I think there’s layers of nuance there as well. It’s horrible to think about but there are some people with some political or religious belief or whatever that they have a certain perspective that certain people shouldn’t be part of Heathenry. And that’s not a matter of… well, it is bigotry, but they would view it as a logical political belief, however abhorrent. And I have encountered that before. It is, obviously, out there. And I think to say that we can’t exclude because of the political belief… I think it has to be defined very carefully. Because if somebody says, “Well, my political belief is… I don’t know… white supremacy, so you can’t exclude me otherwise you’re the real racists” – that kind of spurious argument; you must’ve seen that around. But I think the common thing I’ve seen is, we only include other people who are inclusive. Which is, perhaps too broad? I don’t know what your thoughts on that are?

09:40 Frigga

I don’t want to become an exclusive group of inclusive… something along those lines; and I do agree about the nuances and this is why you always need to have a dialogue on this, you always need to keep on talking about it; because of course there are people I say I rather won’t have them around, but yet, and you get to by-laws, code of conduct, as long as they behave, and then I’m talking about events. And I think you have to, up to a certain level, make a distinction between groups and events, because an event’s often more open, and I have been organising events where I knew that people were a member of a folkish group, and then again, as long as they behave in a respectful way, they’re welcome. And it’s also, I mean of course you have the hardcore people who are very inward-thinking and you have totally no contact with them, and even then if they behave according to the code of conduct I think you can’t deny them access.

But on the other hand, if people show up and you get into a talk, maybe you can open up their minds, and I have seen that happening, where a girl was a member of the AFA, and we start talking, and then actually she started thinking, okay, what is the rules, and… AFA doesn’t call it a code of conduct… Actually because we had criticism she really started looking into it. “Oh, is this what I became a member of?” And then she said, “I have to look into it more thoroughly and probably I will leave.”

11:48 Jochem

That’s interesting.

11:50 Frigga

And that is also why I say as long as there is dialogue between people and you’re really listening to one another.

11:59 Rich

I think the situation where you have the dialogue is also important, I think. I spoke to somebody who works in helping people leave the extreme far-right – he was part of that and has completely turned his life around… He said that depending upon how long and how embedded they are, it can take anywhere between a week or so of talking to a year of kind of getting them to unpick what they think and what they believe, and to see it and essentially bring their perceptions in line with reality. It’s not trying to make them, oh, now they’re super left-wing; no, just to sort of make them understand the way the world really works rather than how it’s been distorted for them. So I have seen people who, like you say, Frigga, have, a couple of conversations has changed their mind. That’s fantastic to see that; where people don’t understand the groups they’ve joined because the groups tend to – I think the phrase is – ‘hide their power level, where they don’t have a big banner on the side of their organisation saying, “Come and join the racist Heathens, we’re all bigots here.” No-one ever does that. Be helpful if they did, but they don’t. And when people understand really where the group is coming from then they normally, nine times out of ten are horrified, and say, “Well, I want nothing to do with that. I had no idea.” Which is great to hear that – that they haven’t joined it because it was bigoted, they just joined because they thought it was Heathen.

So I think you’re right, Frigga, in some ways it’s very difficult to sort of draw a harsh line between certain groups and certain things, because there are people in various groups or certain belief systems which are abhorrent and awful and what-have-you, but then there are the many, many people below them, you know, in the hierarchy or structure, who probably aren’t really aware of what the real ethos and sort of mindset of the group is.

13:58 Frigga

To me here there is a difference between the group and the member. The group I can say no way: the way they operate or the way they show them to the world, but I get back to, my approach is, I want to always see people as people, and to make a distinction between the group and the people, because otherwise you forget that there are individuals and individual people we are dealing with.

14:38 Rich

So if we talk about those are the sorts of people we don’t want to include in terms of, it’s obvious the bigots and people like that. But how do we make people who we do want to include feel included without tokenism, because that’s always a tricky one, isn’t it?

14:56 Jochem

I think it’s important to be explicit, not stating what I said in the example before, we include everyone, but be specific. Queer people are so used of being excluded that a lot of them won’t feel safe if they aren’t mentioned explicitly. And of course we all would like to have a world where we don’t need to make that explicit because of course if you state everyone, queer people are included too. But reality at this moment is that it isn’t obvious yet. And therefore, we need to be explicit about who we include. Or maybe not because Frigga and I are making a course of not including or excluding people but including or excluding certain behaviour, so to be explicitly that we don’t exclude on sexual orientation or gender identity, stuff like that.

16:10 Frigga

And I think it’s walking your talk. It’s showing, if I talk for my group in the Netherlands, we from the beginning, and it’s nearly thirty years now, twenty-four years ago, I’m nearly thirty years a Heathen, we have been clear on, we had a code of conduct, and we always have been clear where we stood on certain things, and so we had never problems. And I had discussions with people. So I think a lot is in how you express yourself to the world, and what you see now on Facebook is when it is Pride Week, or Transgender Visibility Day, that individuals and groups show on Facebook the rainbow flag and stuff, you know, have beautiful images of rainbow hammers. I think that is also a very important way because then you show it, and you show you’re being an ally. You want to be an ally, and, yeah, that’s for me also a very important part of it: besides just saying it, really show it.

17:22 Rich

I know that when we did something similar by posting… not just changing our logo to a rainbow logo; but we did that, to be fair… But we also started to post various academic papers and references to do with queer people in the past, and so on; and it was really interested because we posted it on the public page as well as our private group, and anybody who gave it a frowny face, or any sort of abuse is, “Oh, well, they’re no longer following us, that’s good”. But equally we saw people who we’d never heard of go, “Oh, I’ve never heard of you guys – this is great, fantastic, you earned yourself a follow.” And we shared it to other groups and, because they weren’t members of the group we didn’t have to debate who we booted off the public page and things like that, which is fun.

Being as explicit and open about it as saying you know here’s our logos now changed to a rainbow logo; and here’s something that’s like, queer people in Heathen, or Viking times, for want of a better word, that kind of stuff… I don’t know… I’m aware that there’s an awful lot of people, whether they’re queer or not, read the pages, but don’t comment in case they get harassment. I actually met one at a government event, because I worked for the civil service, and I got chatting with somebody, and I said, “I manage a Facebook page, and it’s all a bit weird, you probably wouldn’t know it” and the person said, “Oh, well, which one?”, and I said which one, and they paused and laughed, and reached under their collar and took out a Gungnir that they were wearing round their neck. And I said, “Oh, you’re a member?” And they’d actually been a member of the group longer than I had. But they don’t comment, they never click on anything – they read everything, but they don’t want to out themselves as queer, or gay, I mean I won’t identify them; but I’m aware there’s a large number of people who read stuff and take away point of view from it. So it’s not just the people clicking Like or giving an emoji reaction – there’s a larger proportion of people as well.

So I think it’s important, I think you’re absolutely right that not just being visible but being explicit about the language. It’s not just, “Oh, we include people”, “We include gay people”. You know, whoever you are you are welcome here around our fire, or whatever [language you want to use]… I think that’s vital to be as… Because what you and I might mean by ‘inclusive’ somebody else might not. And yes it is very much about, it might seem going a bit too far in some cases, but I think if you’re not clear then you’re unclear. It’s open to interpretation, it’s as simple as that.

20:11 Jochem

It has so much to do with being a minority that is excluded by default, that at this stage it is so needed to be explicitly included. For example, I have worked in the deaf community for fifteen years, and that was in a time – and in the Netherlands where I live it’s only changed recently – is deaf people are so used that there won’t be sign-language interpreters present that they will assume that any event is inaccessible for deaf people unless explicitly stated differently. And most hearing people aren’t aware of this. So if they organise an event that is accessible for disabled people in general, sometimes they don’t even explicitly state that there is a sign-language interpreter present because, yeah, that is logic, isn’t it? And for them it is, but for deaf people it isn’t, so that is one of the reasons why it is so important to be explicit about it.

Coming back to Heathen groups or Heathen events, so many people, for example again disabled people, we are so used that we can’t access events because it isn’t accessible, or queer people are so used that it isn’t safe to be openly queer, that they won’t feel safe, or won’t feel welcome, unless stated explicitly, welcome, etc etc etc.

22:16 Rich

So in terms of, that’s obviously saying that in the organisation; but things… I think we’ve talked about this before… is it a matter of, at your event you put up a flag to make it visually, so people don’t even have to ask, they see the flag, oh, okay; I mean they don’t even have to have the embarrassment, so, “You are queer-friendly?” “No, we’re not”, or “Yes, we are”… No-one wants to have that conversation. But if there’s the flag there this isn’t a symbolic gesture.

Jochem 22:48

Yep, maybe that’s my personal issue; but I have seen rainbow flags a bit too many, and to me it isn’t enough to just have a rainbow flag on certain days. Like Frigga said, you have to walk the talk.

23:08 Rich

But what I was thinking about was at an event. You’re at an event, you’re wandering round and you see various stalls, for example, or, you know, various different groups, would that… What visual language would you, sort of, say…

23:23 Jochem

A rainbow flag is a common way to make visible that you’re queer-friendly, and still I have doubt in me, and I, because I have been to too many places where they say they are queer-friendly – and they are gay-friendly, indeed – but ‘queer’ is more than being gay. It’s LGBTQI+.

23:55 Rich

It’s why we use QUILTBAG, isn’t it?

23:57 Jochem

Yes. I love the term QUILTBAG, it’s so much easier to say. I am trans, and that means that I need different things than gay and lesbian people, because my issue is not about sexual orientation but it’s about gender identity. And that’s a completely different thing… Or not completely – we can talk about that in another episode… [laughs] And seeing a rainbow flag, in my experience it often means “We are gay-friendly”. And that is great, but, again, being queer is more than gay only.

24:42 Rich

So as well as that, I’m just wondering what other language or visual things could people do to kind of make it clear that they are an inclusive group. There’s probably no real answer to that.

25:00 Jochem

I don’t think so also because inclusivity is so broad? Is that a good word? It’s about… Here today we have talked about political issues, we have talked about QUILTBAG, we have talked about disability – we didn’t talk about colour or race or social status or income… I don’t think there is one sign that says, “We welcome human beings in all their diversity.”

25:41 Rich

I have seen a flag that did try to do that. It got a bit complex.

25:47 Jochem

I can imagine.

25:50 Rich

I mean when you get to issues of intersectionality, queer people of colour or trans people of colour, and from a lower social status then you get into very… ‘interesting’ is the wrong word, but there’s a lot of other things to consider; and how you deal with that, and how we make people feel included in situations like that is perhaps a challenge for the future. It shouldn’t be a challenge for the people – it should be a challenge for the organisers. It shouldn’t be them having to push their way in – it should be us making space. Or maybe a bit of both, I don’t know. I know there was another podcast I did a while ago where this guy, he said, “No, don’t wait for them to make space for you: take up space.” He was much more fervent about that, and he said you should go forward and say… not quite “We’re here, we’re queer”, but almost that, that sort of point of view . Not everybody would be comfortable doing that; it can be very dangerous doing that. But I think where we’ve seen people who’ve been pioneers of these sort of situations, they’ve made huge inroads, but also they’ve possible criticism, so it’s a tricky road to walk, I think.

27:10 Jochem

I think it’s a bit of both. If we sit still and wait until organisers of events or organisers within groups are opening the world for us, we can wait a long time. So I think we should ask or even demand for space as well, exactly as you said. Not everyone is an activist, and not everyone is able to or willing to or has the guts or the means or the energy to do that. And for some it’s not always safe to bring themself in the picture everywhere.

28:11 Rich

There’s also the – if we bring it back to Heathenry, and we can ask Frigga about this – about adapting or refining or clarifying the language used in rituals so there’s not always sort of heavily gendered, perhaps? Is that a way to help people feel more included? It’s not really something I can give an opinion on, but I have seen people have asked for that, for things to be slightly changed just to be, so that the language is broader, rather than saying, ‘the mead maidens’, or whatever, we might say ‘the mead carriers’, so anybody could take it. Is that a sensible thing to do, to adapt things?

28:59 Frigga

Yeah, because it… Of course I can only speak from being a woman and disability… If you are acknowledged, if it is shown that you are seen, and that you are part of it, it makes a lot of difference. And to me, I think that language in rituals can be part of it. That it’s just making the effort to show that you are aware. I’m working on a ritual, Flame of Frith ritual, which exists already for a couple of years, is indeed looking now at where can I change it into more gender-neutral, and one of the things is I always called upon the Seiðr Fathers and the Seiðr Mothers, and I added now the Seiðr Siblings and the Seiðr Elders. So simply everybody can choose. And I think there are a lot of tiny little things which are rather simple to do, which I think can make a lot of difference, and then you actually, in my opinion, start walking your talk.

And another tiny little thing I was thinking about is online. I learned, and this was in Extinction Rebellion, that most people, if we are in Zoom, or any other platform, next to their name write their pronouns. Which also makes visible that you are aware that there are people with other pronouns, and you can approach people with the pronouns they wish to.

30:39 Rich

Yeah, I think that’s quite a good way because, particularly with the most recent explosion in online life, because of covid and lockdown and people replacing face-to-face meetings with virtual meetings, I’ve seen a huge growth in people putting pronouns in all kinds of different, in Discord servers and other places; even on news programmes. I saw an interview, or some… was it an entertainment programme, and it had various different people on, nothing political, nothing like that, but after everyone’s name it had their pronouns. That’s interesting.

31:15 Frigga

Yeah, I saw it on an online news site in the Netherlands, and they were talking about which way the person see themselves, but they first used it in neutral pronouns; they explained beneath that if they know their pronouns they will use the pronouns they prefer, and they explained it why, and yes, this is so needed. And I hope they will explain this again and again as long as it is needed.

31:50 Rich

Because I think I saw it, I’m sure it was something like ‘Dancing on Ice’ or ‘Dancing With The Stars’, one of those kind of shows, so nothing political at all, it was just “Yes, here’s so-and-so, he’s a dancer” and he/him, she/her, or she/they, or whatever it had, and not that I watched very much but I was flicking channels and thought that’s interesting. There’s an even deeper sort of thing to this, that changing the way you use language can change the way you think, in some theories. You’re aware of the Sapir-Whorf theory, that if you learn another language, you learn another way of thinking. Now it sounds sort of spurious, but there is some evidence to that.

32:34 Frigga

Language is so important. It is the way that we communicate. That’s why I started with, I’m very sensitive to language. And it is one of the ways I use with a lot of things, if I need to change my way of thinking, that I start looking at my language: what words do I use? And how can I say things in a different way? How can I express myself in a different way? It works for me pretty well.

33:04 Jochem

I agree with that, and on the other hand, I have seen the opposite being true as well. I have seen so many people focusing on certain words, and it’s not the word itself that is the problem but it is the connotation that society has with a certain word that is the problem. Again, I have seen it in the deaf community. It used to be ‘deaf’ – that suddenly was wrong. Then it was ‘auditory challenged’; then that was wrong. Then it was ‘auditory disabled’; that became wrong. And now it is ‘deaf’ again.

33:47 Frigga

Yeah, I can relate to that too, because I really, really, really dislike ‘different abled’. Screw you: I’m disabled, and I’m not going to lie about it, or make it whatever because healthy people enjoy that more. I often think that it is healthy people who invite these kind of things. Or ‘mentally challenged’, and I’m also, “How DARE you?”

34:16 Rich

There’s at least a reasonable suspicion that an awful lot of that politically correct language, in the very earliest days, was actually written by satirists. Which is a really interesting thing to think about. One of the first books I ever saw on politically correct language was clearly a joke book, but what was surprising was the number of words – and this is an old book I saw, I came across it again quite recently; you know, sometime in the nineties this was published – and what was interesting was the number of things in it which I thought, well, I use that. And I don’t mean that as a joke now. So to say “mentally challenged” was a very, sort of, was a satirical way of saying “He’s a stupid person.” “Ah, he’s one of the mentally challenged people.” It’s just a way of, sort of, making fun of someone without saying the words, you know, that sort of style of humour; or talking around, you know. And some of that did become used in a serious way, so it’s very confusing. A short person will say “height-restricted” – which sounds funny, but also you can see how that would be used in a sort of cruel way in certain contexts as well, so it’s, it is very much a contextual sort of thing, because these things which are, or perhaps were designed to be more respectful, originally, or certainly less cruel.

35:48 Frigga

Yeah, and that’s why I said, I often think that they were invented by healthy people. Talk with people instead of about people, or for people. Because, about the “different abled”, most people I know who are disabled don’t like it, because it doesn’t say what it is.

36:13 Jochem

The extra thing with disability is that it’s often seen from a medical perspective, like we are broken people and we need to be fixed. While, and that is I think the good thing of the Treaty of the United Nations about disabled people, that it clearly states, indeed, we have to talk with people and not about them. And they are seeing it from a Human variety perspective. So we are not broken any longer, but we are people who like to participate.

36:59 Rich

Yeah I think this is similar, I’ve seen similar descriptions in friends of mine who participate in discussions around autism and ADHD and ADD, and I can’t remember the precise language so I’m not going to get into it, but it’s something along the lines of, it is not a disease that needs to be cured, it’s not a condition, because that implies that there’s some sort of impairment, so the use of language around autism is… I won’t say ‘fraught’, but people are fighting to use certain kind of words, so that people’s perception of it is embedded in the language, rather than saying that people who have it are broken or are bad in some way.

37:48 Frigga

I’m not a broken version of you.

37:51 Rich

Yes, exactly.

37:53 Frigga

I’m somewhere in the autism spectrum as well. Neurodiversity is also something, you can’t from all the different whatever it is know exactly how to deal with it, but at least you can be aware that there is neurodiversity and realise if you talk in a way that with some people it not working, and maybe if you do it in a little slight different way then suddenly you have this great interaction with one another.

38:25 Jochem

I’d like to go back to your question from a while ago, Rich: you asked us how to make it visible that you are open to all kinds of people. Within my pagan organisation, when we organise any event, we make sure to be explicit about in what ways we are accessible for certain disabilities, and we always add a line “If you have any other issues please ask us.” We may not be able to cater for everything, but at least we can talk about it, and try to meet each other somewhere in the middle.

39:14 Frigga

Talk with each other, have this dialogue, and I think that is for, when you talk about inclusivity, for all the aspects of inclusivity, keep on talking. Listening to one another.

39:31 Jochem

And in that way, of course, it’s vitally important to talk with people instead of about people. But it’s also a way to make it a joint responsibility. It’s not the responsibility of my organisation to make it accessible for everyone; nor is it the responsibility for a disabled person to fit into boxes so they can access an organisation or an event. I think it’s a joint responsibility.

40:14 Frigga

Yeah, and if you talk about this, if I know an organisation or event is handling it in this way, then if I can’t make it, I will not feel excluded. Because, you know, there are always boundaries somewhere, it’s not possible. And then I can be, you know, disappointed that I can’t go there, but I won’t feel excluded.

40:41 Rich

I think it’s going to be a growing challenge as communities get bigger, and also older, because increasingly we will have a much bigger, older pagan/Heathen community who aren’t able to get to events. At the moment people attending virtual events is a small minority, but as time goes on, we’re going to see whole communities of older people, perhaps their only means of community is going to be online. And what that means for a future, as I’ll probably be part of that in about twenty years’ time… But that is something that is going to be happening, and how that, how we can replace and build on that.

41:26 Frigga

Not for the future, it’s already happening. And not only for people growing older, it’s also money-wise. I mean I can’t afford everything, and then it’s great that there are opportunities online.

41:39 Rich

I mean, I’ve heard of groups talking about doing audio recordings at sacred spaces and making that available. Is that going to be something that people want? I don’t know. Or setting up permanent video cameras at certain places.

41:49 Frigga

I have asked for one event, if I most likely can’t join, if I could give a workshop online. To be at least part of it.

42:03 Rich

Well I mean, we’re almost there. I did give a presentation to a group from an office in England to an event in Germany, with just a tiny little tripod, and my phone on a little stand, so we are getting to that stage where it is that phones are so powerful, with wi-fi and broadband, it’s all powerful, that it is within reach of not just powerful tech companies but also average users. If you’ve got even a reasonable basic phone, you should be able to communicate and even build a community into all kinds of things just from your phone, potentially. So although there is many negative things to do with social media and things, there are huge communities out there which you can build and be a part of and feel included automatically in some of those places.

I’ve said this many times on this podcast and other places, that a lot of online communities, particularly in the newer social media places like Twitch and Discord, and TikTok, even, the number of people of colour, or queer people or disabled people is much, much higher. Much higher certainly because it’s more visible but people are more because they’re younger people, they’re more comfortable about being more open. In some cases alarmingly open. There’s a guy who has all manner of particular disabilities, but he makes hilarious videos I’ve seen which I can’t even repeat here… But there are some people being deliberately open about, or in some cases because they can hide their real identity they can feel safe to express themselves fully. And that level of inclusivity is amazing to see, but how that will carry over to the real world, or offline spaces, I’m not sure.

I hope it will.

44:09 Jochem

Yeah, it would be great. Time will tell, I think.

44:17 Rich

Indeed. So I think we’re drawing to a close now. Frigga, do you have any final thoughts?

44:25 Frigga

No. I’m tired. [laughs]

44:32 Rich

It’s fine, we can edit this out.

44:34 Frigga

No, I don’t say it to edit it out, it’s actually just me being, it’s my chronic fatigue – we are talking for how long? And a lot has been said, and it has been interesting, and I’m getting my batteries going. I want to talk with you more but I think it’s a good moment to…

44:58 Jochem


44:59 Rich

And that’s all for now on the Wyrd Thing podcast. Thank you once again to Jochem and Frigga. And if you want to find out more about us, you can find us on thewyrdthing.com, and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @thewyrdthing.

See you next time.

[end tune]

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