I love science fiction conventions, one annual convention in particular, and will probably keep attending them for the rest of my life. They're not just an event to me, or a gathering of friends. To a large extent it feels like family; people I may only see that one weekend for the entire year, but with whom I immediately pick up where we left off as if time wasn't an issue. They mean a lot to me, these conventions. They have a big problem, however, and we all need to fix it.
It is not okay to harrass, stalk, grope, incessantly chat up, romantically badger, touch inappropriately, touch without permission, or in any other way make another fan feel sleazed onto, uncomfortable, upset or threatened. (Yes this is not a science fiction convention issue - sexism and sexual harrassment happens everywhere. I am choosing to fight the battles here, other people can fight them in other places.) I have friends - good, close, wonderful friends - who have been inappropriately touched at science fiction conventions, or harrassed, or stalked from room to room, or just constantly chatted up as if saying "no, go away" for the fifteenth time didn't mean what my friends said it meant.
Once or twice I've seen this go on and I've actively intervened. Too many other times I have turned a blind eye, or politely tried to avoid the situation, or delicately try to dismantle the problem without offending the harrasser. Sometimes they've been sleazy people I've never liked. Sometimes I've known them. A few times they've been exceedingly close friends. I want to apologise for that, and I'm promising here and now that I'm not going to do that again.