This resource is an excerpt from my zine, Glitchspiel, which draws directly from Legacy Russell’s manifesto, Glitch Feminism, for its core material.

Buffering is about the work of shelter, safety, and futurity that comes before actual play at the table. Safety tools are vital, but can be ineffective when a bad actor has already been invited or forced their way in. The tools included here are thus concerned with actively dangerous situations in play, not the necessary maintenance of safety at an already supportive table.

I am not a counselor, conflict mediation expert, or self-defense trainer. These are merely tactics that Russell names as explicitly glitch feminist, and which have helped me understand some of my own subconscious responses to harmful scenarios in which I have found myself. Furthermore, the constraints of the business card format render this work something closer to a reminder than a full resource. You can read Glitchspiel for a more detailed discussion, or even better, Russell’s book. It was transformative for me.

I firmly believe that creating buffers for our tables is necessary for the subsequent cultivation of spaces in which flourishing is possible. In Russell’s words, “we do not wait to be welcomed by those forces that essentialize or reject us but rather create safety for ourselves in ritualizing the celebration of ourselves.”

The cover and background image is an adjusted version of this image from Filter Forge, used with permission (CC BY 2.0).

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