City Pages, the main Twin Cities weekly alternative paper, has published a pretty important article about harassment that’s gone on at the Source. As unfortunately all too common in these kinds of situations, it’s meant massive disruption for the person who has to call out the problems, but very little disruption for the people causing the problems. I’ve previously praised the Source pretty highly. I think I probably have to rescind that, until there’s evidence that they’ve thoroughly turned things around there.
It’s also worth noting that City Pages doesn’t have a great record here themselves; they tend to report on fandom as if Convergence was the only con in the Twin Cities, and they tend to focus shallowly on the “sex and drinking, whoo!” aspect of Convergence at that. Maybe this article is evidence that City Pages’ reporting on fandom has turned around. Let’s hope.
City Pages has a long history of facilitating commercial sex with minors through non-policing of its Back Pages feature, while running attack articles against organizations working to promote and advance Minnesota’s Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth /No Wrong Door legislation and system of care.
Nevertheless, it seems clear from content published on Twin Cities Geek that the Source allowed a range of harassment and abusive behaviors to occur, and that an even bigger problem was that someone in management (Hans) appears to have been one of the worst offenders as far as transphobic behaviors.
Hans has stepped down, and the remaining management, Patrick, has committed the store to a new course. There is already evidence of some of the needed changes, including a more diverse staff team, and an area showcasing comics by LGBTQ and POC creators. More changes are promised to be on the way, including diversity training for staff, more accessible front doors and restrooms, and a standard of content for the whole store (staff and customers) – not just for gamers in the game room.