Speaker Code of Conduct

Each of our speakers are asked to read this code of conduct before participating in Playground. We are sharing it with you in the interest of transparency and freedom of information.


Playground was created with the intention of developing a safe(r) space where people from all walks of life could join and discuss the various aspects that make up the amazing rainbow of human sexuality. While recognizing that many of our attendees consider themselves as members of more than one community – while others may not feel a part of any – we pride ourselves on providing content that attempts to unite, rather than divide. As conference organizers it is our responsibility to bring together presenters that reflect the diversity and varied interests of our growing audience. We started with 80 people in 2011 and grew to over 250 people in 2014. In 2015 we are heading to beyond 300 people.

To that end, it is important to us that our speakers are familiar with our audience before they share their lectures, workshops, and panel discussions. We recognize that our speakers are one of the larger reasons that Playground exists, and that your donation of time and energy is important. We want Playground to be a place where you feel comfortable sharing your knowledge, advice, and in some cases, personal stories, and so we have some guidelines that we ask all speakers to abide by.

1. Demographics – Welcoming vs. Alienating

Our audience is full of people of ALL genders, races, body types, and sexualities. When developing the materials for your presentation, please consider that you may be speaking to a wide range of participants. Saying that, we do encourage occasional “niche” presentations and understand that some content will only be applicable to a smaller percentage of our audience. This is perfectly acceptable, as long as you are clear from the beginning about who may / may not benefit from attending your session.

2. Language – What Does This Mean to You?

There are a lot of buzz words out there when it comes to sexuality. Some of our attendees are well versed in these terms and expressions, while others may be hearing many things for the very first time. As there are some words out there that can be interpreted in multiple ways, we ask that you ensure your attendees are aware of the meaning that you are personally attaching to words and phrases while delivering your presentations. We also ask that you share your plans with us ahead of time, so that we can discuss the general direction of your presentation to be sure it is in line with our mission and values.

3. Pronouns

We ask all attendees to try and not make assumptions about another person’s gender. We have created space on our name badges for people to list their preferred pronouns. If you are unable to see someone’s badge preference or are not sure how to refer to them, please always ask and respect their response. If you mis-gender someone accidentally, take a moment to politely, and potentially privately, apologize. Here is a guide that may be of use: http://the-toast.net/2014/03/26/how-to-apologize-for-misgendering-someone/

4. Safe(r) Space

Some of the content that will be discussed at Playground can be triggering for audience members. We ask that all attendees be aware that we are trying to create a safe(r) space for everyone and ask that everyone display empathy and respect if somebody needs to take time alone or has a sensitive question or comment. There is a large lobby on the ground floor that many people use for time away from the event and we have volunteers that can help with any issues that may arise. To read our anti-harassment policy, please visit: http://playgroundconf.com/?page_id=34

5. Doxing and Outing

There are many people who come to Playground as an escape from their every day life. Many people choose to not use their real name and we consider this chosen privacy an absolute right at Playground. If you know someone personally, but aren’t sure if they are comfortable going by another name or sharing personal information about themselves, please always verify with them first.

There will also be people you choose to talk about who have not consented to having their information shared in front of a room of people they cannot be there to see. Please be cautious and considerate when creating your presentation materials and conversations and do not “out” someone who cannot be there to defend themselves.

6. Stay In Your Lane / Don’t Yuck Someone Else’s Yum

We can’t all possibly like or dislike the same things. We can’t all possibly have the same lived experiences. And we can’t all possibly have the same privilege in our personal and professional lives. When you are at Playground we ask that you remember the amazing diversity that makes up not only our audience, but the world of sexuality and beyond. Be thoughtful and considerate in your language and remember to be kind to one another.

Any speakers found in violation of our code of conduct will not be asked to return to Playground and, depending on the incident’s severity, may be asked to leave the event immediately.