TAMPA BAY COMIC CONVENTION UNIVERSAL ZERO-TOLERANCE HARASSMENT POLICY
Tampa Bay Comic Convention is dedicated to providing a harassment-free convention experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, veteran status, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, dress, political affiliation, fandom preference in any area, activity or operation.
We have a zero-tolerance harassment policy and prohibit the harassment of convention participants. Convention participants violating these rules may be issued a warning or expelled from the convention without a refund at the discretion of the convention organizers if they do not comply.
Tampa Bay Comic Convention is committed to providing an accessible environment for all.
Harassment problems often start when an act or comment is defined by the victim as unwelcome and can include:
- Spoken comments, written comments, or displayed images or any course of conduct, related to gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, disability, body size, race, or religion that annoys, threatens, intimidates, alarms, or puts a person in fear of their safety.
- Spoken comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to gender, gender identity, and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion, or political affiliation
- Unwelcome physical contact and/or unwelcome sexual attention
- Deliberate intimidation, body policing, stalking, or bullying
- Unwanted photography or recording
- Sustained disruption of panels, talks, or other events
- Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior
- False reporting for whatever purpose such as intimidation, exclusion, or general harassment of celebrity guests, convention staff, or other attendees.
Exception: The right to free speech is to be respected. Discussion or images related to sex, pornography, discriminatory language, or similar are welcome if it meets all of the following criteria: (a) the organizers have specifically granted permission in writing, (b) it is necessary to the topic of discussion and no alternative exists, (c) it is presented in a respectful manner, especially toward women and LGBTQIA people, (d) attendees are warned in advance in the program and respectfully given ample warning and opportunity to leave beforehand or not attend. This exception specifically does not allow the use of gratuitous sexual images as attention-getting devices or unnecessary examples.
Exception: Fraternization without unwelcome deeds or comments is not harassment.
Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. If a participant engages in harassing behavior, event organizers retain the right to take any actions necessary to keep the event a welcoming environment for all participants. This includes warning the offender or expulsion from the convention with no refund. Event organizers may take action to redress anything designed to, or with the clear impact of, disrupting the event or making the environment hostile for any participants.
Tampa Bay Comic Convention has a no-tolerance policy for serial harassers, which means they will not be invited to attend a convention where they have disobeyed rules absent a convincing set of reasons or a life lesson learned about harassment. The harasser may write an appeal to the committee for reinstitution. An appeal would only be considered with proof of sufficient rehabilitation and restitution. Notification of a harasser’s presence will be required at future events.
CODE OF CONDUCT
All participants are expected to comply with the following Universal Zero Tolerance Harassment code of conduct, which prohibits behaviors including the following:
- Please respect all participants, audience members, staff, and volunteers at all times.
- Please do not hug, touch, kiss, graze, grope, spank, or engage in any activity that may be deemed as harassing to anyone, without first asking for and receiving permission.
- Sustained disruption of talks or other events is not acceptable.
- Please ensure any photography is non-disruptive, and respect the moderator and/or panelists’ wishes regarding the taking of photos.
- Do not touch any part of someone’s cosplay without first asking permission. Cosplay construction can be delicate and much more fragile than it first appears. Remember: “A costume does not imply consent.” Admire the creativity of a costume without touching.
- If people tell you “no” or ask you to leave them alone, your business with them is done. If you continue to attempt to have contact with those people, you may be removed from the premises.
- Do not touch people’s service animals or accessibility devices without their permission. Any animal on site is presumed to be a service animal by attendees and should be treated respectfully as such.
- Do not assume a disabled person needs help. You may offer, but do not pressure a disabled person to accept help. They will ask for it if needed.
- Do not evaluate or comment on other people’s disabilities or access. Not all disabilities are visible.
- The moderator/organizer of any event, panel, presentation, or workshop has the right to ask anyone to leave the room.
- Exhibitors should not use “sexually explicit”, “pornographic” or “indecent” images, activities, clothing/uniforms/costumes, or otherwise create a sexualized public environment. Sexually explicit images in public spaces including vendor booths require a cover for people passing by on the vendor floor and should not be visible to the general public. Customers that are looking for explicit/nude art are free to walk up to the vendor booth and remove the cover and browse the art for sale privately.
Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated at the Convention. If you have been the target of harassment, please read below to learn to who you can report your issue. The sooner an issue is reported to us, the more appropriately we can address it.
We want you to be happy at our event. It is people like you that make our event a better place.
Tampa Bay Comic Convention takes all allegations of harassment seriously. Every report will be investigated by a member of the Executive Team and Committee, and appropriate action will be taken upon completion.
Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. If the behavior does not stop, or if the investigating committee deems it severe enough, the individual may face any of the following sanctions:
- Immediate removal from the convention (without refund)
- Loss of honorarium (for faculty or special guests)
- A prohibition from future involvement as an attendee, volunteer, vendor, programming guest, or any other participant.
- Denial of access to Indiana Comic Convention shows on a temporary or permanent basis
Tampa Bay Comic Convention will make every reasonable effort to protect the confidentiality of all parties involved in investigations of alleged harassment, intimidation, or discrimination. However, confidentiality is not absolute, and those with a legitimate business reason to know and be informed of the allegations will be informed. All parties in the investigation should treat the matter with discretion and respect for the reputations of all involved.
The Tampa Bay Comic Convention Universal Zero Tolerance Harassment policy prohibits retaliation against any member of the community for reporting harassment, intimidation, or discrimination. The sanctions for retaliation are the same as sanctions for any other form of harassment listed here.
Tampa Bay Comic Convention 2023 is July 28-30, 2023 at The Tampa Bay Convention Center