A this point I’d just like to take a little moment to say that you don’t have to do anything. By this, I mean that I all too often see people who are new to the scene getting bullied into doing things they don’t want to do. At the end of the day remember that you are an individual with your own will and agency, and your decisions should be respected.

This means that you don’t have to play with someone just because they ask. Even if they’re well known and well respected in the scene, you should feel perfectly at liberty to say no to them, and even tell them if you find their approach or their behaviour offensive or upsetting.

Similarly you don’t have to conform to the norms of the scene that exists in your area. If the munch nearest to you is very formal and you find them unfriendly… well, why not start your own that is a bit more inclusive? If it’s comprised entirely of old people who prey on younger folk or make them feel uncomfortable, why not found a group for young people in your area? The scene is comprised of people, and at the end of the day you can determine the kind of thing you want to see in your area.

If starting something new and changing the local scene doesn’t sound like your kind of thing, then you can always travel a little further afield to find a scene that does suit you more. The kind of community available does vary immensely with distance, and so don’t feel trapped into a scene that you don’t enjoy, when other options might be just around the corner.

Similarly on a more macro level, don’t be bullied into behaving a certain way by anyone. Although it is respectful to find out how people like to be addressed, nobody can force you to speak to them a certain way, nor should they pressure you to use a certain title or mode of address when you haven’t even really met them.

The long and the short of it is that you should behave in a respectful way. But also that everyone else you meet should behave in a respectful way towards you. The fact that you’re new to the scene is no excuse to treat you like dirt – in fact it’s even more reason to behave in a kind and friendly manner towards you.

You don’t have to dress a certain way. You don’t have to speak a certain way. You don’t have to play a certain way. And if anyone offends you, ignore them. Turn around and find some better people. The scene can be unfriendly to newcomers, but it shouldn’t be – and you’ll help yourself and others that follow you if you don’t tolerate rudeness – no matter who it comes from.


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