In the next month I along with many others will be attending one of the biggest conventions for board games in the mid-west. I, for more than two decades, have been attending conventions that highlight board games all the way to science fiction.

In all those years I have either been there as a consumer, sale person, or a performer. I can only recall one convention that I attended where the main staff were being bigoted towards a group of people.

This convention was supposed to be a celebration of anime & cosplay. The convention was going great, all sorts of people were dressed up in cosplay & having a wonderful time. Now when I say cosplay I mean dressed as characters from all sorts of realities; Doctor Who, anime, & even Furries.

Yes, people dressed as animals were hanging around with Stormtroopers & other fictional characters. 99.9% of the people had no problem with people dressed up as animals. But apparently the group running the show did.

The group in charge of the event just all of a sudden started kicking the Furries out of the convention. Why? Because they hated people who dressed as animals. Truly a sad reason to kick an entire group of people out of an event that they paid to attend. I was disgusted & just could not believe what had happened. This event took place more than a decade ago. Since then I have not witnessed any problems at conventions. So now we fast forward to today….

In the years following I have enjoyed cosplaying, gaming, & just over all enjoying conventions with all people. The diversity of each one of the communities is the one thing that I love.

The gaming community is once again plague with people talking hate towards people in the community that happen to be different. This community in so many ways are as tight as a family. So when a family member is attacked the community has been known to put up their defenses.

It saddens me, as a minister & as a human being that hatred of any type for any one person still exists. I for one will never understand why someone would hate someone that is a different color, religion, or sex than them.  Any type of hate is unforgivable.

So I leave you all with this. There is no room in this society for hate. We have come too far to have a small group of people tear down what friendship & love have built up. We must remain strong & fight back any hatred with intelligence, integrity, & love.

Remain strong my friends.

-Christopher Richter

Twitter: @Boardgaming_FTW