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Name and Identification Policy

The BayCon Science-Fiction Convention is a community effort. As such, we do not sell tickets or admission, instead we sell memberships to individuals who are interested in experiencing what goes on at BayCon and in becoming part of our community. As a member based organization, we require our member's real names and addresses for our records. We reserve the right to require you to show us a photo ID with your name and address before registering you as a member.

This policy does not prevent you from using a fan name or nickname, although it is also our policy that if a fan name is given, the real name will also appear on the member's badge. If you feel this would cause a problem, please come to the Registration desk and ask to see the Registration Department Head.

They just don't fucking get it, do they? I don't fucking want to wear my goddamn name around a hotel for a weekend. I'm not a goddamn hotel employee, I'm not a prisoner, a criminal, or a terrorist, and my real name is not your goddamn business, regardless or whether you call yourself a "business" or a community, and I DO NOT want to be labelled with my real name!

Very few people at conventions know my real name (I wish I could wipe the minds of some who do), and it is unique enough that stalkers and such could use it (yes, from my badge, along with the city of residence), to find me and interfere with my professional life, get me fired, harass me at home or work, and possibly try for identity theft!! It's been tried before! I wish my real name was Jane Smith, then I wouldn't be as worried, but it's not!

To those who suggest that I "change my name", "suck it up, it prevents 'terrorism'", "you're just being paranoid|irrational|silly", or whatever else, GET A FUCKING CLUE!! It's MY name, most of the time I like it's uniqueness because it is memorable in a professional context, and I should be the one who decides if I have to wear it around a goddamn hotel during my leisure time, not some pompous ass prattling on about "member based organization" and "community". You fucking don't need my goddamn real name to accept my membership or admit me to your little community, Mr "MyWayOrTheHighway" Siladi!! Get it through your fucking thick head!! I've been adamant on this for over ten years, and your sanctimonious little "policy" crap is not going to make me willing to wear my name just to make your fascist ass happy!!

Thing is, I'm not the only one made uncomfortable by this, I'm just the only one willing to bitch about it. This aiding and abetting of stalkers and privacy abusers has got to stop. Twenty years ago nobody gave a rats ass about real names on badges and in databases. You could use whatever pseuodnym you wished, and as long as you weren't trying to defraud anyone (by pasing hot checks or use someone else's credit card), it was fine. That is still the state of the law. Pseudononymous speech is still protected by law, and so is freedom of association without mandatory identification.

It's bad enough that the government is making us a database nation, and can "sneak and peak" into computer records and files without telling anyone. Do we have to have leisure organizations enabling, and even aiding and abetting this trend???

Even if I hadn't had problems in the past, even if I didn't know others who are at risk as well, I would still be pissed off.

I shouldn't have to "show my papers" to attend a fucking SF&F convention!!

[Edit: I also don't want to be in yet another file drawer or database that can be stolen, sneak and peaked, or otherwise compromised. I trust fandom, but not that much. Also, other people besides me could be harmed if my real name and pseudonym were casually linked for all to see. Part of how I protect the privacy of others is by guarding my own.]


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 13th, 2004 02:55 pm (UTC)
As you said, you can use whatever pseudonym you choose, and if you pay by cash or money order, who's to know the difference? You have the right to protect your privacy. This would piss me off too.
May. 13th, 2004 02:58 pm (UTC)
Ugh.. I'm not sure it 'prevents terrorism' either- I'm occationally deemed a terrorist, and baycon's not turning me away. Very fussy. I don't mind using my real name, but that's me- I'm very open in that way. I don't think it should be required.
May. 13th, 2004 03:14 pm (UTC)
stepping on the other end of the issue from dubhain
have you considered a fake id?? Downtown areas and swap meets have places where you can get one.

just a thought.

May. 13th, 2004 03:41 pm (UTC)
I have, actually, but I never seem to run into the type of person that sells them.

It would solve my problem, but it would still leave the principal being trampled on....
May. 13th, 2004 05:34 pm (UTC)
It would solve my problem, but it would still leave the principal being trampled on....

and then you wouldnt get to bitch ;-)

but look, have you ever tried not giving your legal name?

I've heard this rant from you over PCon. You went off before you even seemed to have tried not doing it. I know at PCon we dont ask for your id, we ask for your legal name and if you opt not to give it, then ... nothing happens.

I dont get the level of irritation here when you can easily sidestep it.
May. 13th, 2004 06:14 pm (UTC)
I rant on every convention that has this type of policy, and BayCon is the worst. Even if I can get away with using a second pseudonym for my pseudonym, it is a principal. When people didn't ask for my real name, I didn't bitch.

I didn't give my real name at P-Con, even though they "requested it", but it's still a form of lie. My badge name is a pseudonym, and I'm even willing to put it in quotes to indicate such. But lying about my real name being yet another pseudonym is, well, lying. Yes, I can get away with it usually, but...

And, quite frankly, their bit about asking for goddamn ID is WAAAAAAY over the top. I can see it, kinda, for pre-reg, to prevent someone from scamming your badge, but I always pay at the door, in cash. The pre-reg thing could be addressed by having it be either show ID or bring a confirmation card.

Advocating just lying and shutting up does not address the principal involved. It also allows other people to be sucked into the idea that having to identify yourself completely to every tom, dick and harry who wants to know is normal and accepted. Well, I don't accept it, and neither do various others.
May. 13th, 2004 11:36 pm (UTC)
She is sensitive about this, Bella, because her mother was stalked when she was one year old and the family has had a "thing" about privacy ever since. Her surname is rare enough that she could easily be traced and most of the others, and there are three or four root families, in this country are inter-related enough to make it a problem for her.

Your "legal" name should not be required for a con, or any group membership or registration. For an employee where wages are going to be paid and F.I.C.A. taken out, yes, a legal name is required. Otherwise it is really just a matter of satisfying someone's curiousity or ego.
May. 13th, 2004 07:20 pm (UTC)
Not to mention that the authorities just love to arrest people who buy fake IDs, and frequently run stings selling them.

I agree you shouldn't be carded, ravan. Precisely because "real name" identity is a serious thing.

May. 13th, 2004 05:37 pm (UTC)
Most "real world" organizations still don't require a legal name, as long as it's not being used fraudulently. You're not buying a house, you just want to attend a con. I'd be livid, too.

I guess terrorists are fine, so long as they use their real names.
May. 13th, 2004 08:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, shit. Not again.

I have as unique a name as you do ravan, as you know. Even if I had gone back to my birth name it would be unique. I have no idea where my ex is, or whether he has ever managed to get his head together and they want me to put my mundane name and city of RESIDENCE on the badge?? If he's still in fandom, he could find me with little or no trouble at all with just that info. And if he's still unstable, that's the LAST thing I would want.

So what they're saying is that if I am unwilling to be stalked I am not welcome at their convention. Nice to know.

In answer to bellacrow's question about the photo id. I have been to a fan convention within the last 4 years where, when I filled out the form with a variation on my name (my first name with patronymic) and they read my id, they started to change the form to match my id. I demanded the return of my money and left. I will NOT facilitate stalking! NOBODY has the fsking right to insist that I have to set myself up for that kind of danger.
May. 13th, 2004 11:17 pm (UTC)
That is F*ing ridiculous! Hmmmm, how about using your grandmother's maiden name? It is a fairly common name and is really yours too since we remain part of the larger clans of our ancestral history throughout our lives, or you could even go back to your great-grandmother. I don't know if Bill could adopt you when you are this age and he is unable to speak, but you are also considered part of the Johnson clan now too. LOL! and you could list your "home town" as the one where you were born or the one where much of your maternal family lives now (where I am) as you always have a place here and may someday own land here too. LOLOL For your name, I suggest using your first given initial and your middle name, which is a common name too. Since you pay in cash, you could use either Gma's or my addy or use one of the P.O. Boxes in Interlachen for the address, with the L. J. J. name.

Hey, even with a name as plain as mine has become, there are still people who have attempted identity theft and stalking. Those who have not yet experienced it will tell you that you are being paranoid. You might remind the officials that we now have expanded rights to privacy in the good old U.S. of A. now.

Let's face facts. The only possible real reason that a con would want your picture i.d. and your real name and address to register is so that they can either sell your information to get money for operating expenses, or so that they can send you propaganda and registration information all year. i.e. thieir own junk mail --- I call it snail mail spam. If someone else uses your badge, they have to be doing it when you are not able to use it, so even that shouldn't be a big deal. They can provide a sign-up card for those who want to get mailings during the year and keep that as a separate database from convention attendees. They can also provide the option to list your real name and address for their mailing list to get information and invitations and discounts for next year. That way only those who want to get mail will get mail.

I never thought I would be telling you this, Sweetheart, but my motherly advice is to just lie to the mutha's and use first initial, middle given name and my last name and address. I have a BIG mailbox up at the corner *wicked evil grin*.
Love you! Hugs.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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