Ending Professor Elementals involvement in vCFz
Tonight, we would like to make the following announcement;
Following reviews of your feedback, both via the feedback form we opened, and the responses via social media, we have held further discussions with Professor Elemental, and agreed that it would be for the best to end his involvement with ConFuzzled.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the furry community, particularly the trans and GNC furries for whom this whole situation, we appreciate, was extremely sensitive. Many of you told us you were hurt by our choices in this matter. We sincerely apologise to the trans and GNC members of the furry community for the distress this has caused.
We wanted to investigate this with our own GNC and trans staff, and crew, before inviting you all for your thoughts on whether the event should go on. Our response has been led by our GNC and Trans staff and crew. Our survey was never intended to be viewed as a vote on safety, but an attempt by these staff members to gather your opinions.
Ultimately however we have come to the above conclusion that both ConFuzzled and Professor Elemental are to part ways with no involvement by them at Virtual ConFuzzled.
It was absolutely never our intention to endorse somebody that would make a section of our attendee base feel hurt in this way. We strive to be a place where everyone feels welcome.
We want to be clear that within the entire ConFuzzled family, from the senior executives, right through the entire staff and crew – our views on the furry community are that our values of openness, acceptance, and tolerance are paramount. These are our beliefs – and this is what we would hope to translate into our standards. We fell short of that.
How did this happen? Well, this is something that we will be working on, however it’s already clear that at least two things need to be better in future;
- Taking greater care to spotlight members of the community in our events
- Working to ensure our attendees, including trans & GNC furs, feel safe, and welcome at ConFuzzled
We want everyone to feel they are in safe hands with the convention. That they are respected. That they are attending a furry event that holds true to those values we mentioned above. That means something. It’s important we remember that.
With that in mind – Virtual ConFuzzled would like to arrange an inclusive, furry community diversity celebration at the virtual convention to re-iterate our commitment to being a safe, welcoming and inclusive event for all. We know time is short, but we’d of course welcome any of you who might like to get involved, either in running such an event, or just participating in some fashion. If you would like to be involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime, we’ve got some further work to do. If you want to share further thoughts with us, please contact email@example.com
In parting company Professor Elemental asked us to relay this message.
Professor’s statement – Received at 17:53 Friday 30th April 2021
Hello, Professor Elemental here. A few weeks ago I was booked to play for Confuzzled. I was delighted as I’ve long been an admirer of the furry community and love reaching out to new audiences. Since then, a tweet from two years ago, where I (somewhat misguidedly) shared an article about feminism was used to suggest that I might be a anti-trans or held a point of view that might not align with the convention. While Confuzzled have been in a difficult position and have tried their best to do the right thing, the problem has been somewhat compounded by the convention putting out an email that I sent to them at six am and presenting it as my ‘statement’ on the subject, when in fact it was just my first reaction to what I was seeing on twitter.
So let me be as clear as I can be: I believe with all my heart that Trans rights are human rights, that Trans women are real women, Trans men are real men, that Feminism should not exclude Trans women. I don’t agree the ideas and arguments of so called TERFS, but I do think lumping groups together with names makes it easier to demonise them and harder to have a positive debate. ( I explore that idea more fully here) I certainly don’t have all the answers on this subject. I dont even have half the questions, but I’m trying to listen and learn all the time. I’m a 45 year old cis bloke trying to be inclusive while making silly music and sometimes getting it wrong. Apologies if anyone has been upset by all this, that is never my intention.
As Twitter makes things ever more heated, with great regret, I’m going to bow out of this year’s Confuzzled. The whole point of my music is for everyone to have a good time regardless of anything else and it wouldn’t be possible in the current climate. Thanks to the nice people who lent me their support and thanks to Confuzzled for trying to do the right thing throughout. They are good people and deserve your support.
All the best and have a lovely convention,