My Experiences with SayNoToRage

(Update: Had to remove screenshots of emails, will post in the Twitter Thread.)

I want to make sure it’s clear that what I’m about to share isn’t something I’m sharing for revenge or because I want someone’s career ended. I don’t care in the slightest what this person does with their life as long as they do it away from me. I have no ill will, only a desire to not have to interact with them ever again.

I’ll just lay out my experiences, and y’all can make of them what you will.

Basically, several interactions with Lono (SayNoToRage) left me feeling violated and uncomfortable and the below messages should help explain why.

[email deleted, will share on Twitter]

The contents of the letter are as follows:

Lono,

The night of the movie with the summit group (4/24/18), you made me incredibly uncomfortable several times. I’ve been basically stewing in my feelings of how to react or respond to the events of that night, and that caused some other memories to surface which lead me to this moment here.

I’m not sure how vivid your recollection of the night went, so I’m going to share my memory of how things went down. What you said and did bothered me a great deal. It started very minimally, with you reaching out and stroking my hair once at dinner when we were discussing our hair cut stories. I don’t particularly enjoy people invading my personal space without asking, and that includes my hair. I would also suggest not doing this to other women either, as most women don’t like when people touch their hair or faces. Seriously, just ask first. It was especially close because much of my hair was behind my shoulders at the time, so you had to reach to the back of my neck and pull some of it forward. You were sitting to my left, and you used your right hand to reach around my neck to grab my hair from the base of it to pull it all around to the front, dragging your thumb across the back of my neck while you did it. It bugged me, but I ignored it, as I didn’t want to seem hyper aggressive over something that plenty of people may not find as bothersome as me. You mentioned while you were playing with your own hair that you do that a lot when drinking, so I just assumed you were being extra-familiar because you’d had a few beers during dinner.

On the way back to the hotel from dinner, I shared my vape with you and a few others. When we got to the hotel, I was on the phone with my boyfriend away from our group, and I noticed you had turned yourself around in your seat (approximately 10–15 feet away) to stare at me. I thought maybe you were trying to get my attention for something, but that wasn’t the case apparently. You were just straight up staring at me and smiling for several minutes while I was on the phone. After I ended the call and sat down across from you again on the couches with everyone else, you turned and started staring and smiling again. At one point I even said, “What’s up, Lono?” to see if you were staring for a reason and you just said “Nothin’” and continued staring and smiling at me while I attempted to converse with the other people sitting around us.

When we were outside waiting for the buses, you were staying super close to me, like shoulder to shoulder touching consistently. I kept deliberately stepping away and soon enough you’d be right there next to me again. You said at one point that you were feeling pretty high, so you wanted to stay close to me. I said ok, because I thought you were just getting paranoid or sketched out from smoking too much and didn’t want to ditch you if you were feeling stressed.

When we sat on the bus together, that’s when things crossed a major line for me. The little things here and there may seem insignificant but paired with the weird behaviors and body language and the fact that it was dark on the bus, it really stuck out to me and made me feel incredibly uncomfortable. I realized partway through the trip that I was heavily leaning out into the aisle to avoid touching shoulders with you, yet I kept feeling your shoulder touch mine. I looked over, noticed you were literally leaning into my seat, and physically pushed you back into your own seat by the top of your shoulder. I said clearly “Hey, look, you have your own seat, if you lean back into that we can both sit up straight without touching shoulders”.

You smiled at me and immediately leaned back into my seat and said, “I don’t mind.”

I responded: “I do mind, you’ve got plenty of space over there.” Then, I pushed you back again in the same manner.

You leaned back into my shoulder AGAIN after that. I pushed you for a final time and held you firmly in your seat by your shoulder, nearly at arm’s length, to try to make my point very clear. You just kept staring and smiling at me during this. I had to tell you that I was claustrophobic (which I am) and that I was having a hard enough time being in a dark, packed bus, but without my personal space I get way more anxious and stressed way faster.

You finally seemed to get the idea, so I removed my hand from your shoulder and sat back in my seat again.

What happened next was worse. You started rubbing up and down on your pant legs with both arms, and sort of fidgeting/stretching out in your chair. You told me: “Sorry, I get really liberated when I’m high or drunk.” I responded and said: “I don’t even know what that means, but ok man, have a fun night.” You repeated yourself: “Yeah I’m just letting you know that I get really, like, awakened.” I once again responded dismissively, trying to make it clear I had no interest in wherever this conversation was going.

You leaned in, “Yeah it’s just that when I get high or drunk I get really liberated…sexually…”

I immediately leaned away from you even further and said, “Ok, whatever, I don’t need to hear about that, I don’t care about that, it’s not my business, feel whatever feelings you’re feeling but keep me out of it.”

You responded with “I’m just letting you know ahead of time because…” and I cut you off and said again “No, I don’t care. You don’t need to let me know, keep it to yourself.”

You tried again to repeat yourself by saying something like: “I’m just telling you just in case…” and then I made myself much clearer and even a bit louder, I’m honestly pretty sure the people sitting behind us heard all of this. I said: “I do not need you to tell me anything just in case, there is no just in case, this is going nowhere, do not tell me these things they have nothing to do with me. Keep it to yourself and keep your hands to yourself.”

After that you sort of held your hands up like you were trying to make peace and stopped talking. I turned away from you and tried to talk to anyone and everyone sitting around us, so I wouldn’t have to speak to you again for that bus ride. When we got to the theater, I was so grateful to be off that bus with you I practically ran when I saw Liz walking ahead. I went up to her and said, “I’m sitting with you, ok?” When she saw the look on my face she asked what was wrong and I told her that you had been acting weird and made me feel incredibly uncomfortable on the bus, so I wanted to avoid you for the movie. I did not have any intentions of sitting next to you for a long movie in a dark theater.

For the next probably 30 minutes, while we waited in line and as we approached the theater doors, Liz and I switched spots and moved ahead in line whenever we could to keep me as far away from you as possible. It was strangely hard as it seemed like you were really working hard to be next to me. I was so glad I didn’t have to sit near you during the movie. Just walking past you with my popcorn was awkward enough as you stared at me through that as well.

After the movie you came up to me outside the hotel and said “I’m feeling better now. I don’t smoke as often anymore.” Not really an apology, but you clearly saw that things were weird and wanted to bring it up to me in some way. At least that’s what it felt like to me. I was pretty dismissive and just said you were cut off from using my vape again before walking away.

So, if you’ve read all of this and felt that none of it was wrong, or maybe that it wasn’t that bad, let me give you a little perspective. Here’s how the rest of MY night went after that.

I went up to my room and FaceTimed my boyfriend to talk about our days. I was only halfway in the conversation because I was replaying the events of the night trying to figure out if I was blowing things out of proportion or not. I thought about telling him what happened and how it made me feel, but I was worried he’d be upset and then he’d have a bad night’s sleep because he’d be stressed worrying about me. I decided not to tell him that night. I thought about hanging up with him early at one point, so I could write down the details of the night faster because I didn’t want to forget any of the important details because I knew I couldn’t let this go. It didn’t matter, I haven’t been able to forget them since.

When we hung up, I tried to sleep. I used my CBD oils, hit my vape, tried to meditate, everything I tried got me nowhere. I just kept repeating those events over and over and thinking “What if I had responded this way?” “What if I had just tried to be nicer?” “Was I blowing this out of proportion?” “Why does this bother me that much?” “What’s going to happen if I bring this up to him?” “Is this going to happen again if I see him tomorrow night?” “If I get angry because he pulls some shit again, is it going to alienate me from my friends here?” “Will we be stuck in a zone where now I have to avoid some of the people I like in order to avoid him at parties?” “What if he tells everyone else a different version of the events and they all hate me?” “What if he tells everyone else and they all agree that it’s nothing and I’m just being over dramatic?” and so on, and so on.

As I was considering my potential next move and was thinking of confronting you publicly the next day (by pulling you aside in plain sight of the others at the summit), it occurred to me as I did this, that it wasn’t the only time you’ve crossed a line with me. I already had an idea in my head that you were not to be trusted in certain situations, and I basically ignored it and tried to give you the benefit of the doubt. The first time I met you, at Goth’s house party before DCC, I was leaning up against a counter talking to someone in the kitchen, when all of a sudden, I felt two arms slide around my waist, directly underneath my breasts. Because it was SO close, I thought it was my boyfriend at first until I looked down and noticed your arms. I had been leaning forward on a relatively high counter, so my shoulders were forward, and my backside was pushed out a little. You had come up behind me and completely wrapped yourself around me, then put your head on my shoulder super close to my face. I remember very forcefully removing your arms from around me and stepping aside and saying “Woah, no.” It made me incredibly uncomfortable. I couldn’t get (and now can’t again) the mental image or the discomfort of it out of my mind. The feeling of looking down and seeing your arms where they were not wanted made me feel violated. Your arms were touching my breasts, your groin was pressed up against me, your head was on my shoulder and none of that was ok.

I remember when that happened I was upset, yet after pulling you off me and moving away, I decided to try to stay calm about it because it was in my best interest. I was the newcomer at Goth’s house. You were a “big streamer” to me and had already been friends with those guys who were even bigger names for a long time. If I became upset and made any kind of scene, I imagined I would be the one leaving feeling embarrassed. I justified your behavior every way I could in my mind to avoid issue. I didn’t even tell my boyfriend about it until a couple of days later because I was worried about how he’d want to handle it. I didn’t know if he’d be mad at you, want to hit you, or think I was being crazy. When I did tell him, he was bothered but he promised me not to do anything about it. I basically told him I handled it by pulling you off me and saying a clear “No.” and we didn’t need to make waves. Years later, this had all been reduced to a general feeling in my gut that told me to keep an eye on you. These recent events paired with that first encounter have lead me to believe that you’re totally aware of what you’re doing, but that you maybe don’t realize just how bad it is that you’re doing it. I think you’ve been deliberately attempting to “seduce” female broadcasters (and who knows who else) every time you attend an event that awards you moments of alone time with one of us.

I don’t know if I believe this is malicious predatory behavior, or if it’s simply ignorance as to what’s appropriate and what isn’t. I’ve spoken with two other women about how those encounters went, and to my surprise both responded with experiences of their own. Liz shared with me two experiences: one, where at a Christmas party two years ago, while sitting alone with her you told her that when you drink you get “inappropriate”. Another experience was when you were intoxicated and were telling her repeatedly throughout the evening how you would like to have sex with her then boyfriend. She felt totally uncomfortable in both situations. Also, if you know that when you drink you get “inappropriate” why the fuck are you still drinking at these events?

Another female broadcaster shared her story with me, that I agreed to keep private. She said you were making repeated advances under the premise that they were all in jest, but that the vibe was weird, and you were alone at night at the time.

Both women said they were alone when these experiences happened, that they felt incredibly uncomfortable during them, and they subsequently chose to avoid you as much as possible at future events.

So now, here I am, writing a letter to you on my Sunday evening, instead of cleaning and chilling after two weeks of travel, because all I can think about is that you’re probably trying shit like this every chance you get. I’m thinking about how many times you said things that made me believe you were attempting to justify your future behavior. It stuck out so much that I avoided you the entire evening because I did not want to see what the fuck you meant by “sexually liberated”. If you don’t believe that any of this is as big of a deal as I’m now realizing it is, all you need to know is: you have made me and other women feel uncomfortable repeatedly by your sexual advances or innuendos or whatever the fuck you want to consider this. You touched me very inappropriately without my consent the first time I met you. I should have said something then, aside from “Woah, no.” I regret that now. I’ve been attempting to tell myself this whole time that I was going to talk this over with you or send you this message and then attempt to stay “friends” with you. But today, while talking to Liz about how I was nearly finished writing my letter to you, it hit me how upset I am over this. That’s how I know it’s not just a bunch of little things. There was some weird intent behind all of it that I could feel yet I’ve been attempting to justify it and stay “friends” with you to avoid causing a stir. Fuck that.

Maybe I’m wrong about your intentions. Maybe they’re not predatory as I feel they are. Initially, I had thought I wanted to go about this in the least hostile way possible to preserve our “friendship”, but I’m not interested in pretense anymore. I would like you to stay away from me. We were never close enough friends for you to feel that it was appropriate for us to converse the way that you tried to, or for you to touch me the way that you did. We don’t chat regularly, we never exchanged numbers, we’re “friends” in the professional sense. I don’t even know your wife or kids’ names. These are the things that stand out to me when I try to justify your behavior as that of a person who just thought we were close enough to act however you pleased. I’ve been stuck losing sleep and obsessing over this bullshit for days now, and I’m done with it. You’ve responded to a couple of my Twitter posts since returning, and it just brought me right back into this same uncomfortable series of thought processes. No more. As I said, maybe I’m wrong about your intentions, but I’m not going to be sticking around to see where this goes.

I think you honestly need help, not just because of this but because of some of the things you said at dinner regarding your mental health. I suggest that you seek that help. I also suggest that you stop smoking and drinking since you are clearly aware that you “can’t” control yourself when you do. Please, go find a professional to work through whatever it is that you’re going through. Do some reading on the concept of consent. Think about how your actions might impact the women who you’re around when you do shit like this. I’m honestly so angry that my St. Jude summit trip was tainted by this entire encounter. I’m angry that I’m angry at myself for not acting sooner when it’s your fucking fault for behaving in a manner that was clearly unprofessional at the very least. The VERY fucking least. I’ve been sitting here blaming myself for my discomfort when it’s your fault in every way. You are an adult. You have a family. You should fucking know better, intoxicated or not.

I will be sending a message to Zach at St. Jude, and to the guys who organize GuardianCon. I am simply going to be sharing my experiences with them, to ensure we are not near each other any time soon or in the future. I do not want to be around you in any capacity. I honestly don’t know if you’ll ever fully realize how much all of these “small things” have impacted my mental health. I am SO fucking mad at myself for “allowing” it to get to this point. I’m stressed because I have no idea where this is going to go or how much it’s going to continue to affect me and my life. I don’t know if my friends will believe me and my feelings or if this will all seem silly to them. I should have brought up how weird I felt after you pressed yourself up against me at Goth’s house the first time. I’m not making that mistake again. I keep wondering if you’ve made other female streamers feel this way, and similarly powerless afterwards because they believe you’re a big name and as such you’ll be believed over them if it comes to it. The thought bothers me a great deal.

I hope you find the help that you need to address these issues before something worse happens, if it hasn’t already.

Please do not contact me again.

-Snaps

After I sent him the formal letter telling him I didn’t want to hear from him ever again — even if it was because he wanted to send me an apology he continued to contact me and pursue additional opportunities to talk to me.

This was the email I received in response to mine:

[email deleted, will share on twitter]

He also sent another message on June 13th, 2018:

[email deleted, will share on twitter]

At GuardianCon, after the incident that started all of this, he was told he wouldn’t be getting a streamer badge so he couldn’t get into the private areas where we would all hang. I was told he couldn’t be banned from the event, but that he wouldn’t have access to those spaces and if I needed any support I’d have it. Somehow, he managed to get a creator badge anyway. The GC staff had my back and got me a higher access badge so I could still have a separate space where I could feel like I wouldn’t run into him, and that was that. We didn’t want to make a big deal out of it and do anything at the event which might pull focus from what we were there for, to raise money for an amazing charity and be together as a community.

I was preparing for my meet and greet at the DCP booth when staff approached me to tell me that Lono was already there, and had somehow managed to book his meet and greet for the same time as mine. I had reserved mine and announced it before he booked his, to the best of my knowledge. I have no idea if he saw the announcement and booked deliberately or not.

The events at GC tend to be pretty inclusive, so although I was frustrated when it seemed like I couldn’t just enjoy myself without seeing him looking at me, I wasn’t surprised to see him everywhere we went. I was glad he didn’t approach me, but he did approach some of my close friends. Their feedback on how he approached was that it felt “manipulative” and like he was trying to endear himself to them. The rest of the event went well despite me feeling like I had to work extra hard to avoid him.

Now jumping to last year’s GC, he went, yet again, without a creator badge but did his best to hide it by continuing to remove his regular pass. Once again, I felt like I couldn’t escape him, but it wasn’t a huge surprise because everything happens on the same resort so it’s only natural we’d cross paths. The fact that he went, despite knowing he made so many women uncomfortable, was frustrating, but from his responses to me I have a hard time believing he thinks he’s done anything wrong.

One of the nights, I was upstairs inside the resort having some drinks with friends and meeting folks from the community, when I noticed him arrive with some people. They went off to a separate part of the bar where I couldn’t see them, so we continued on. I was in the middle of having a conversation with someone when I noticed him approach our group. We were relatively spread out, but I think it was pretty clear that it was all one group. He started off on the outside of the group, but within my eyesight. Probably under 10 feet away. I immediately got distracted and frustrated, because it felt like he was just inserting himself into our space and getting closer and closer. I tried to continue on with my conversation but I was incredibly distracted, even after trying to use the person I was talking to as a human shield to block my view of Lono.

My friend approached Lono and tried to get him to leave the area, because he could tell I was getting upset, but Lono declined. I was doing my best to ignore him until he approached my boyfriend. Straight up, that pissed me the fuck off. I immediately excused myself from my conversation and walked over and told him to get the fuck away. I loudly reminded him that I had told him to leave me alone, and that leaving me alone means staying the fuck away from me, my boyfriend and my friends. We left the bar and went to the pool bar instead.

That was my last run in with him, and from what I understand, he is no longer welcome at GCX events in the future.

Please don’t harass him on my behalf, I’m not sharing to attack, only to speak my truth. I’ve been feeling weighed down by this for a while now, and I’m just glad it’s out.

Be kind to each other.

-Snaps

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