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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
So here's what actually happened. 
4th-Oct-2014 03:01 pm
Knowing is half the battle
I wasn't going to write any further on this, as the Twitter stuff has degenerated into... well, no one there's interested in truth.

But the Readercon Safety Committee contacted me last night asking for my account of events, so I've written it up. Where it says "see attached screenshot", I haven't included the screenshots here because they identify various people. I've redacted the names in this account as well, where they are not clearly publicly identifiable by public Twitter posts. I feel for the people who've been dragged into this, and I don't want to exacerbate the pressure they must already be feeling.


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Going purely chronologically:
* On July 9th, a discussion occurred on Twitter: https://twitter.com/shadesong/status/486949700591828992 The key aspects here are that I asked if I could get in on learning makeup skills, one person said “This sounds like a convergence of awesome waiting to happen.”, and another said “MAKEUPS PARTY I'm bringing my Galaxy Chic and Electric palettes and my aggressive lipsticks”. The thread continues, including responses from Natalie Luhrs. In every tweet, my handle is included, which would tend to mean, by common online etiquette, that I was considered part of the conversation.

* We continued to discuss the makeup party here: https://twitter.com/shadesong/status/486950994438144000

* Once everyone arrived at Readercon, we all touched base a few times regarding when we might have time for this, given that we all had full schedules and some prior dinner plans.

* The evening of July 11, one person tweeted at me, Natalie, and another to try to schedule the party; we were unavailable that night, and made plans in person to convene the next night. https://twitter.com/shadesong/status/487743868881100800

* The evening of July 12th, [ROOMMATE] texted me “I am returning soon with chocolate.” And “I am hereeeeee”. I responded with “Paying for dinner!” [ROOMMATE] responded with “Sweet. If you can, let the others know room 620? I do not have contact info.” (See attached screenshot.)

This, so far, is to establish that there were plans for a small makeup party and that I was definitely invited to it, as were others.

We arrived at room 620. Either [ROOMMATE] or [A], I’m not sure which, had additionally invited [B]. In her post on this matter, Natalie says “And they told me that there was a knock on the door, the acquaintance — Shira Lipkin — opened it, asked if the people knocking could come in–my roommate assented, not knowing how many people there were–and then apparently there was a crowd of people in the room.” The only time I opened the door to a knock at this juncture was for my husband, Adam Lipkin, and our friend [C]. Adam was bringing me the bag of makeup and nail polish I’d left in our car; I asked if they could come in to say hi to the others. They stayed only for a few minutes.

After they left, [B] mentioned that she’d just been “at [D]’s room” and that he had interesting booze there. I said “Well, let’s bring [D] up! I bet we can get him to try some makeup!” [ROOMMATE] and I both knew [D] from Wiscon, and assumed that that’s who [B] was talking about, not knowing that there was someone else at the con with a similar name. Everyone agreed that [B] and I should go get [D].

As it turns out, the person in question was [E, not D]. I didn’t know him, but I did know [F], who was also at that party. [F] and I got to talking, and it was agreed that if he got his eye makeup done, his friend [G] would as well. [F], [E], and [G] came up to the room with us; [E] brought a bottle of Barenjager. As I returned to the room, I asked [ROOMMATE] and [A] if this was okay, and they said yes.

Given that the room was on a party floor and our laughter was quite audible, we did get some people knocking on the door. When the people knocking were friends of the original group, I let them in (examples: [H] and her partner [I], and [J]). When they were unknown to us, I apologetically told them that this was not an open party. They were usually looking for the ChiZine party down the hall, which I gave them directions to. I was the person responding to knocks because [ROOMMATE] was doing people’s eye makeup and [A] was doing their nails. At no point did I prop the door open or invite anyone in from the hallway; I only responded to knocks on the door, and only because I was the most mobile person of the original group.

Eventually it was collectively decided that we were done and should see about other parties; we wandered the 6th floor a bit, and most of us ended up in the hotel bar’s dance party.

I don’t recall whether I saw Natalie again at the con. I had friendly conversations with her on Twitter in the months after the con, and I asked her and the others via Facebook message on July 25th (see attached screenshot) if they were looking for roommates for Capclave, so clearly I didn’t know she was upset with me. The first I heard of any of this was October 1, via Twitter.

That was also the first time I’d heard that it was her room. Given the communication prior to the gathering, I had assumed it was [ROOMMATE]’s room.

Because the only information I have about this is Natalie’s blog post and subsequent tweets, I don’t know if I’ve covered the entire breadth of her complaint. Please let me know if you have any followup questions; I will be glad to answer them. Thank you for your rigor in investigating this matter.
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Comments are closed because this ridiculousness has already taken up too much of my time. Thank you, drive through.

EDIT as of June 7, 2015: The Readercon Safety Committee has decisively found that I did not violate the code of conduct in any way. It has been noted that Natalie Luhrs abused the system to harass me.
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