DIVERSITY & ACCESSIBILITY
(EVER EVOLVING - SO SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
International Puppy and Handler Weekend (IPAHW) is committed to making its events a safe and welcoming environment for all adults (18 years and older). IPAHW wants each attendee to understand that diversity and inclusion are active choices and not just passive assumptions.
Our space is open and welcoming to all Human Pets, Trainers, Handlers, Owners, Admirers, and those expressing curiosity about the scene in a respectful manner. In order to achieve the reality of inclusion, several concepts must be considered and several must be actualized.
These concepts must be present and adhered to in our events, feeders, staff, volunteers, educators, judges, titleholders, and contestants.
We know that unity comes from creating cultures that support and affirm access to inclusive and diverse spaces, so be sure to check your run books for shared values and a pronoun communication guide.
Together we’re continuing to create something excellent in pet play communities around the world.
Inclusion & Diversity Policies and Agreements
IPAHW affirms an inclusive, diverse pet player community. We are committed to building inclusive spaces and events. We are participants in the ever-evolving leather and kink communities which values authenticity, sovereignty, and joy. We believe it is our duty to actively work toward greater inclusivity within our communities. Toward that end, we affirm the following policies and commitments and ask that you do the same:
I understand that IPAHW is and must be intentionally inclusive and affirming. All people have inherent worth and the right to choose to participate regardless of perceived or actual personal qualities, orientations, or associations.
My attendance and participation supports and affirms inclusion. I understand that if my actions(digital or in-person) are found in violation of this I will be dismissed from this event. _____
We respect and welcome all persons regardless of color, ethnicity, age, ability, religion, size, class, perceived or actual sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
My attendance and participation supports and affirms respect. I understand that if my actions(digital or in-person) are found in violation of this I will be dismissed from this event. _____
We strongly reject any form of exclusion or marginalizing of people. Racism, classism, sexism, enforced heteronormativity, and ableism are not tolerated. We affirm our commitment to cultivating inclusive people and groups that support all members of the community.
My attendance and participation supports and affirms Anti-racism and Tolerance. I understand that if my actions(digital or in-person) are found in violation of this I will be dismissed from this event. _____
Spaces we host and control are safe and consent-based spaces. Unsafe behaviors and words that target or marginalize people including but not limited to racism, sexism, ageism, classism, transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia, ethnicism, sizeism, ableism and other prejudicial and discriminatory behaviors will not be tolerated.
My attendance and participation supports and affirms safe and consensual communities. I understand that if my actions (digital or in-person) are found in violation of this I will be dismissed from this event. _____
Please see our Code of Conduct for more information on how to actualize these values you’ve agreed to uphold. We welcome feedback from our community to help us continually act in the service of all community members, and we are committed to listening.
As part of acting in alignment with our core values, IPAHW is committed to taking actions toward decolonizing our actions, events, and spaces.
We recognize we are operating on lands and using resources stolen from the Indigenous peoples of Indiana. Specifically, we would like to acknowledge that we are on the ancestral lands of the Miami, Shawnee, and Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo) tribes, with many more Tribes and peoples being present.
Equity and Accessibility
As much as possible all IPAHW events, communications, policies, and procedures will support and affirm equity and accessibility for its members to pet play information and resources.
Where needed and possible we supply language, transportation, space accessibility, pronoun anti-racism and inclusion resources, guidelines, and training.
Joy and Sovereignty
Pet play, along with any other types of play, are activities that should bring you happiness. We see modern pet play as a true expression of joy. We feel this is a critical value to support in times like these and encourage all to remember this value in their daily life and play.
The concept of sovereignty guides us in policy creation and attendee relations. Sovereignty means that each person is the property of one's self, expressed as the natural right of a person to have bodily integrity, and to be the exclusive controller of one's own body and life.
IPAHW uses personal and group autonomy and sovereignty to guide its rules and policies.
As much as possible we ask that our attendees use gender- and role-neutral language. This is done so that everyone feels welcome to participate regardless of gender, gender expression, relationship status, or role.
For example: we say “Friends and Family” , “All Ya’ll” , “Critters and Comrades” , “Paws and People” (We also encourage and endorse creative alliteration )
We do not say “Ladies and Gentlemen” or other gender exclusive statements when addressing groups. IPAHW welcomes everyone and using gender and role neutral language as our default helps build safe spaces and encourage the values of equity and accessibility.
Pronoun Flags (still reviewing this idea and all other possible ideas and options - stay tuned)
We use color flagging to communicate pronouns regardless of headspace or proximity. (i.e.- people in altered headspace can be properly identified non-verbally or if they are across the room). This small act and invitation cultivates a culture that is pronoun-aware, which in turn creates safe spaces for our friends and family.
We are committed to communication of pronouns and we have adopted a color flagging system to help with this. Due to Covid-19 we’ve changed the bandana to a colored mask so that we can be safe and communicate necessary information. When you see color bandana mask, please know they mean to communicate the following:
There are also badge pronoun flags (He/She/They and “My pronouns are…” ) available at registration that adhere to your badge.
Helping Paws Desk
Our help desk is staffed 9 am -6 pm at registration. For after-hours serious or emergent concerns please message either of the Diversity & Inclusion Coordinators via the contact information in their bios.
Get your pronoun flags, bandanas, or help with moving supplies here. Your Diversity & Inclusion Coordinators and/or Volunteers will be available to help with all your accessibility needs or questions.
We will also have a schedule of all Safe Space and Social meetups at IPAHW, as well as contact information for POC, BIPOC, Trans, Queer, Women, and other minority groups available in Spanish, French, and German at request.
American Sign Language interpreters and Mobility assistance is also available here.
Code of Conduct
IPAHW wants each attendee to understand that consent, inclusion, and safety are active choices and not just passive assumptions. To help with this understanding, we have put together a few basic guidelines and things to consider:
Always ask for permission to touch people and/or their property.
To help make things easier, IPAHW has provided two color-coded wristbands. Green means 'hugs and social touching is ok.' Red means, 'ask before any physical contact’.
If someone is without a wristband or their wristband isn't visible, always assume that verbal consent is required.
Sexual or suggestive contact should always be negotiated.
This space is provided to help all in attendance to explore and enjoy the Human Pet scene. Those who share our space need to be aware that there may be blatant displays of kink and sexuality. If this kind of open environment is of concern, we would recommend that you not attend.
If you have concerns about consent or possible violations, please contact the Helping Paws desk or Safety staff at X platform
Discriminatory behaviour will not be tolerated.
Do not shame the interests of others (sexual or otherwise) in word, action, or behaviour.
Do not shame people’s bodies or self-expression in word, action, or behaviour.
Do not photograph anyone who has not given you express consent. Do not tag people on social media without their express consent. There is an event photographer who will be taking photos and doing their best to blur out those who do not consent and those that don’t wish to have their photos taken which will be wearing a red lanyard and badge.
Be mindful that not everyone has the luxury of having home and work lives that are safe from discrimination.
If you accidentally snap someone in the background, crop or edit them out.
If individuals or groups are found in violation of the Code of Conduct or the Diversity & Inclusion Policies after investigation by IPAHW Executive Staff/ Board of Directors they will be immediately dismissed from the event without refund.
If you have ANY needs or concerns not addressed here please go to the Helping Paws desk. They are empowered to do everything to make this the best IPAHW yet. You can also contact L.T. or Mx. T. on any of the platforms listed on their bios.
We care about you. IPAHW cares about you. Have a wonderful weekend and PLAY!
Helping Paws Manual
(Host Helping Paws volunteer orientation- some basic sign and correct mobility assistance-like leading the blind/sight impaired or proper lifting)
2 hour shifts from 0900 to 1800 Thursday-Sunday
Lifting and carrying luggage, supplies, or items to and from guest rooms, vendor hall, contest hall or social rooms.
Guiding sight or mobility impaired guests to and from rooms and around the event spaces.
Providing or Selling Pronoun badge flags and hankies.
Connecting attendants with translators or translated documents.
Connecting attendants with diversity & inclusion safe spaces, socials, and programming.
Connecting attendants with Safety Staff or Coordinators when necessary
Volunteers - Caressa
Safety - Exec Coordinators, all coordinators, specified appointed staff
BootBlacks - Mickey
Diversity & Inclusion- Mx. T and LT
Contest - Pup Kona (stage crew - KLAMP)
Vendors- Lady Eos
Your 2020 Diversity and Inclusion Coordinators are Leftenant Fox and Mx. T. Their main goals are to advocate for the under-represented in our community and to identify and dismantle any inequalities found within IPAHW policies and actions.
Leftenant Fox (L.T.)
Species: Red Fox (Koharu), Scottish Highland Pony, Grey dun (Ash Firemane), Trainer, Handler, Owner
Social: Fet, IG as Leftenant Fox, Telegram as LTFox
I am a PolyamQueer sadistic switch. My journey started at the Salt Lake venue The Menagerie, in 2014 and joined the pet play community in 2016. I held the inaugural Ms. Leather Salt Lake, UT and co-created organizations and clubs in Montana, Utah, and Washington, that focus on inclusive, empowered play. I’ve also taught on the national stage at over a dozen events with classes on boot blacking, massage, trampling and pet play.
Species: Carebear Lycan
Social: FetLife MxTNoir
Mx. T (pronounced Mix Tee) is a non binary, Afro-Cuban, queer, feminist, polyamorous Leather Daddy and pup Handler. They are most passionate about building community and sacred spaces for QTBIPOC that is inclusive to all. Mx. T is the creator of the Kinky Kiki, a social and educational meetup that centers QTBIPOC and their unique experiences with kink/BDSM and former co-organizer of Florida Fetish Rendezvous, a monthly leather event that is affirming to queer, trans and gender non conforming people.
They are the Brigadier General for House of Noir, a Woman-led, Black, Queer, Leather house. Mx. T serves on the board of the South Florida Kennel Club as the Educational Director, is the Diversity Co-chair for International Puppy and Handler Weekend, the Assistant Producer of the inaugural Wilton Manors Mr. Eagle contest, Executive Producer of the WM Ms and Mx title and an Associate of Onyx Deep South.