eumelia: (queer rage)
[personal profile] eumelia
This post touches an important pan-fandom subject and as such I think it should be read far and wide, so please, spread this link around! Thank you in advance.

[livejournal.com profile] verasteine has written a parallel post of her own regarding being straight in fandom.

Something has been weighing on my mind for a while now.

It’s not a new thought, in fact I’ve written and discussed this before, because it is a pervasive issue and it touches me again and again in fandom.

Slash fandom is not a place without problems, this we all know, as fans, but this one particular issue is one which I’m finding harder and harder to let go as time goes by and I’m wondering if other fannish queers and/or queer fans feel it as well.

I’d like to state that I’m very aware of how problematic the use of “queer” is as a word – because while I personally identify with it strongly, it is a word with a traumatic past and not every QUILTBAG person sees it as a reclaimed word, as such, please bear with me regarding its use in this post.

Things are not as they once were, over the past decade the media landscape has changed in a way I still find hard to describe, I’m sure you who are older than I feel this even more acutely.

I don’t want to talk about the canon queer characters, relationship and storylines, because you can critique those from here to high heaven from our perspective and that has been done.

I want to talk and ask you, my fellow queer fans, about the ambivalent feeling I get from slash fandom as a queer fan.

Slash isn’t queer fiction, but it is queered fiction and a lot of the time, the idea that gay people exist within a larger cultural context is either forgotten or exploited. Forgotten in the sense that a lot of stories write the two men as though there isn’t an entire gay history and culture that informs on how these relationships are constructed.
And they are exploited in the sense that some aspects of gay culture are used to differentiate these two guys from those other queers, because they are the strange and the freakish, whereas the two guys are in love.

There are of course the instances in which authors try to be inclusive of queer culture, but due to the stereotypical way it is depicted in the media the image of effeminate men being “less than” masculine men gets perpetuated in fic.

The coming out process and the whole notion of being queer in public is, at times, reductive and lacking in the narrative complexity that informs our own queer identities. Not to mention the use of the work “queer” itself without any acknowledgment that hey, for a lot of these guys, it would as bad as the f-word (no, not “fuck” or “fellation”).

There are times where I will be thrown out of a fic that deals with homophobia, but succumbs to gender stereotypes, because the relationship becomes yet another reflection of heterosexual and heteronormative models, only with two dicks.

And of course, the ever popular of putting “slash” or “m/m sex” in the warning part of the header.

There are other issues and other instances, some of them too numerous to recount, and yes, fandom can’t but reflect the larger straight assuming culture from which it emerges. But QUEER PEOPLE EXIST in slash fandom and I’d like to hear our voices with regards to how these narratives and stories are written. Because even though this isn’t gay fiction, I am a part of this creative and transformative culture that takes from my sexual culture and doesn’t seem to realize that that is what it does.

Do other queer fans and/or fannish queer fans feel this way? Are there areas in slash fandom you feel more welcome and included? What other issues have you felt that corresponds with being queer in fandom, if at all?

Date: 2012-01-16 07:51 pm (UTC)
naraht: (Default)
From: [personal profile] naraht
One question: why shouldn't slash fiction be queer fiction? I agree that the vast majority isn't, but is it possible that the two circles could overlap? I wonder about the idea of that as a goal.

Date: 2012-01-16 10:13 pm (UTC)
naraht: (Default)
From: [personal profile] naraht
Good to hear. I've heard too many people arguing that slash is definitionally not about queer experiences, which I think is true for certain definitions, but it's also very dispiriting. We can but try.

Date: 2012-01-16 10:11 pm (UTC)
dharma_slut: They call me Mister CottonTail (Default)
From: [personal profile] dharma_slut
Well, now we are queering the reasons why people write slash in the first place.

Slash did not develop in a queer environment, yanno?

Here's my theory about the first thirty years;

For many (generally straight) women, slash was a tool to explore the parameters of their own desires, minus the baggage of being the lesser, weaker sex in our culture. The mechanics of male sex weren't nearly as important, despite all the attention paid to it all-- as that.

Once slash hit the internet though, the audience began to expand, and gender-troubled folk found that slash could be used to explore other things-- like interior identity. And it can be a good tool in the hands of a good writer, of course.

But one cannot expect good work from every writer. Nor can one expect every writer to share our aims and interests. We can promote our goals, but to prescribe them-- that's a futile endeavor.

Just my opinion.

Date: 2012-01-16 10:29 pm (UTC)
dharma_slut: They call me Mister CottonTail (Default)
From: [personal profile] dharma_slut
Sorry! deleted... to re-write;

That's what I meant by "promoting" I suppose.

Forgive me for lecturing about feminist theory, because of course you know that.

Date: 2012-01-17 12:13 am (UTC)
dharma_slut: They call me Mister CottonTail (Default)
From: [personal profile] dharma_slut
It's not only *your* home, though. It's more like an apartment complex, with a mixed tenancy. Your apartment is home to you,yet you share an address with people whose apartments are inhabited quite differently. You moved in (as did I) because the neighborhood seemed pretty decent on the whole and the architecture was congenial, and you found some neighbors like yourself that had moved in as well.

I could expound on the metaphor further hehehe

Date: 2012-01-22 02:38 am (UTC)
dolores_crane: Harry and Snape looking happy with text 'OTP' (Default)
From: [personal profile] dolores_crane
Once slash hit the internet though, the audience began to expand

Just a side note to emphasize that there've been queers writing slash from the start. (Joanna Russ was writing K/S in the 70s.) We don't need to write ourselves out of history!

Date: 2012-01-22 02:57 am (UTC)
dharma_slut: They call me Mister CottonTail (Default)
From: [personal profile] dharma_slut
Hee! I didn't know that! What did she explore in those stories, do you know?

Personally, I started writing something like slash, when I wrote sequels to the Rocky Horror Show, with new additions to the family... Including myself. Frank put me on the slab and gave me a button that could change my body from male to female at his whim.

Wish I still had those old notebooks...

Date: 2012-01-22 03:02 am (UTC)
dolores_crane: Harry and Snape looking happy with text 'OTP' (Default)
From: [personal profile] dolores_crane
Actually, her theory about it is fairly similar to your own take on straight female slash writing - that m/m is a way for women to explore sexual agency. There's a blog post on her essay on K/S here.

Date: 2012-01-22 03:04 am (UTC)
dolores_crane: Harry and Snape looking happy with text 'OTP' (Default)
From: [personal profile] dolores_crane
Also I too wish you still had those old notebooks!

Date: 2012-01-16 11:00 pm (UTC)
from: (reading and tea)
From: [personal profile] from
Hello! I came here via my network.

I have wondered about some of the points you mention in your post. Slash fandom seems to me to be driven by different non-normative desires that may overlap one another. Sometimes I'm strikingly reminded of the situation by fanworks through which one driving kind of desire offends or exclude others.

I remember, too, a petition drive in a sci-fi fandom meant to persuade the creators to make a m/m pairing be canon. I noticed at least two kinds of visibility and representation as the participants' goals. One was the visibility and representation of queer characters and relationships. Another was the visibility and representation of fans of m/m relationships. The two, to my mind, were arguably motivated by queer desires, and each could confront the other in highly explosive ways, whether positive or negative.

As for my own experience, I get very nervous about fanworks featuring a canonically bisexual character. I also feel excluded when the idea of 'I'm not gay, I'm just gay for you' is handled in a way that denies the existence of bisexuality or the fluidity of what we think of as sexuality.

I'm going to subscribe for the fangrrl commentary. :)
Edited (grammar!check fail) Date: 2012-01-16 11:04 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-03-22 01:56 pm (UTC)
feanna: The cover of an old German children's book I inherited from my mother (Default)
From: [personal profile] feanna
I too remeber that campain and I can definitely get why it came off as offensive, though I can also see the perspective that says that this particular ship had a long history of putting queering of the source in a more official context and was also a reaction to openly sourcing from all the OTHER (hetero) parts of fandom for the remake, but I'm also pretty sure that lots of people did not really see this as the main reason to complain and that there was a fair amount of them only there for the shipping, which is totally not ok. But I really don't mean to dig up old hurts, esp. when I basically agree with you.

Date: 2012-01-17 02:52 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: Gabby Sidibe dancing (Gabby Sidibe)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
I think it's really fascinating that you're a bisexual woman referring only to male slash! Femslashers exist! I'm a lesbian who writes femslash het, slash and gen, and I've found the femslash writers to often have the most queer (and most integrated) approach to writing GLB characters (I haven't found any group particularly better with trans characters).

I do get that sometimes it's great to write a world where there's basically no homophobia, or at least only from the Bad Guys, and I'm totally happy with that in some canons, especially SF or fantasy. It's quite distancing to have a real world-style fic (especially in a canon like, say, The Good Wife, which has a major bisexual-or-possibly-lesbian character, several lesbian supporting characters and one gay supporting character and talks about real-world reactions) where the non-sexual parts of queerness are removed or glossed over.

Date: 2012-01-17 07:20 pm (UTC)
oaktree: a woman blows soap bubbles (Default)
From: [personal profile] oaktree
Very interesting thoughts. As a queer person in fandom (I know, you're shocked) I agree with you for the most part, and applaud you for saying so well what continues to need to be said.

I'm not really sure how I feel about the queer/queered dichotomy— on one level, I see the act of slashing as queering media (and very much enjoy doing it), but I also find it problematic for the reasons wrote about here. On the other level, I don't see that slash (f/f, m/m, or anything else) is inherently political, and there's a lot that, as you said, just reifies heteronormative/sexist gender dynamics with more dicks.

I don't think I see myself as a queer woman reflected in slash fandom much more than I do in the mainstream media, unfortunately. There is, as we all know, such a disproportionate amount of m/m to f/f slash out there. Why this is I couldn't say (at least not without resorting to the "most slash fiction writers are straight women" fallacy).

Anyway, I'm sick (AGAIN) so forgive me if this comment is a bit rambling and less-than-sensical. You're inspiring me to write more meta... I haven't done anything in a while. Anyway. Thanks for the food for thought!

Date: 2012-01-17 10:58 pm (UTC)
oaktree: a woman blows soap bubbles (Default)
From: [personal profile] oaktree
Fair enough, your post just reminded me of that essay.

Femslash is definitely its own animal; I don't think you've "sinned" by failing to mention it here (it probably deserves its own essay); and I absolutely agree that slash, like anything else, should be examined closely and critiqued politically.

My first comment was not meant to be critical of your post... it's more that you reminded me of all these other things to think about :)

Date: 2012-01-17 09:59 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] pfg
To the points themselves: yes, I agree. Fandom will always have its mindless slash, and that's fine, but for those of us who are actually queer, it has a bit more meaning than "let's fuck between the times we beat up supervillains!" And it would be nice to see that explored more.

As a queer kid, the first time I had any idea that there was something wrong with my conservative far right family's homophobia (and not with me) was when I was reading a Star Trek fanfic dealing with homophobia.

Ignoring our cultural struggles is pretty much the equivalent of dumping on all the queer activists and others who have given their lives and struggled for equality. It also ignores the struggles of people right now in the present. I know it's a flawed project, but there's a reason that the "It Gets Better" project exists.

Mostly, I am happily waiting for queer_fest, the one time of year that rest of slash fandom doesn't make me roll my eyes.

Date: 2012-01-18 02:27 am (UTC)
ithiliana: (Eowyn 1 (ithiliana))
From: [personal profile] ithiliana
I'm glad I followed the link here! I'm just going to babble for a while, since you asked for feedback.

A few background notes: I'm 56, was active in Star Trek fandom in the late 70s (zines!), dropped out of fandom to write my dissertation, and then found myself in LOTR online fandom in 2003. Although there must have been some slash under some of the tables at the cons I was at on the west coast in the late 70s, I never heard about it (possibly because I was hanging out more with the male nerds). I learned about slash from reading Russ, and Lamb and Veith; I liked the idea intellectually, but never liked it enough to try to read it until 2003 when I found myself totally turned on in every possible way by some good LOTR fic. I can call myself a slasher (as I have called myself bisexual, as I now call myself queer), but I have no interest in most slash (I do have friends who love slash, even if they don't know or love the canon).

With that in mind: in some ways I don't feel the media landscape has changed that much (for example, with regard to women: Cagney and Lacey was incredible -- I could not stand even five minutes of Rizzoli and Isles--could be my prejudices--I have not seen any great expansion in women's roles that strike me as any more progressive than, say, GOLDEN GIRLS or MURDER, SHE WROTE -- in some ways I don't see as wide a range of women characters as in past decades--although there are a few more roles for women of color). And bisexuality is not exactly out there that I've ever seen! There are more gay characters--but they seem to be mostly white men, in mostly sit coms and realistic dramas -- I am a stone sf fan (with a little less passionate love for mysteries) (and am also an English teacher which means I know a lot about the canon and the challenges to it--as a result of being an sf fan since grade school, I ended up with a strong interest in marginalized literatures, and define more as a critical theorist and creative writer than traditional lit prof). So the various shows featuring (what I perceive to be mostly very young--and that's an issue too!--featuring very conventionally and heternormatively pretty--slim for example--gay and lesbian characters are of absolutely no interest to me). It's always been easier to find multiple queernesses in sf/fantasy (or at least I've found it so).

The incredible sexual turn-on that I found as I discovered LOTR slash AND began peri- menopause at the same time is impossible to describe. That's not to say all slash is good, or all LOTR fic is good (I read good gen, good het, and damn some amazing Femslash in LOTR--it's LOTR, and I've been queer for Eowyn since I was 10). It's to say in some ways I thought I either had a very low libido or was asexual (a concept I learned about through fandom) UNTIL I found that specific kind of slash. So….the discussion about being a queer fan in slash fandom….doesn't quite work for me, because I don't, and have never seen a unified slash fandom (and there are some slash areas in some fandoms I won't touch with a ten foot pole due to my own squicks). (If it comes to that, LOTR fandom is split among different sub-groups as well, and Hobbit Slash is different from Elf Slash is different from Manslash is different from Interspecies slash--which was my main thing at the start, i.e. Frodo/Faramir).

I like the idea of slash as a queered fiction, and have used that terminology myself. A lot of slash is heteronormative (and classist, and racist). (I am remembering Alexander Doty's note in his book on queering film that "queer is not automatically progressive"). There is a lot to deal with in the idea of "Queer fiction" (in the same sense of Lesbian Fiction--and "Women Writers"-- a course I have taught. My students are shocked when the women turn out to include black women, lesbians (of different ethnic groups), and most of all OMG science fiction!). The designation is based on identities of the writers, not the genre conventions--and that identification is vital in the process of making marginalized literatures visible, but at some point….the intersections are important as well.

I'm not interested in a queer (or lesbian) (or gay) fiction that's not also (and more importantly to me in some ways) sff. I don't want to read realistic or naturalistic "litfic," and the "gay history and culture" (and there is more than just one of course, but I know that it's impossible to always qualify) has no part in any slash I love because, well, LOTR isn't set in a contemporary setting. The only way I can connect with that issue is that some of the LOTRiPS is of course set in the here and now--but even then, as I've said in the past, I write bisexual characters, male and female, not gay men. I don't think I'm a part of your sexual culture (though I don't know for sure since you don't give many specifics)--I'm queer. I'm a pagan (animistic). I'm rural. I'm against marriage. I don't want children. I am a nerd and have been for about half a century. I'm fat. Some of these aspects of my identity are, I guess, part of something that might be called "gay culture" though I resist that term because for me, it's male (and I dislike "lesbian" being subsumed into gay--which it mostly has been in my perceptions). But while I can easily identify as queer (mostly because of my queer relationship with a woman--neither of us are lesbians), I do not and have never identified as part of a gay culture. I don't even think I'd call myself part of a queer culture because that implies a more coherent set of boundaries and definitions than I'm comfortable with.

So, I'm not quite sure--but I plan to subscribe so I can read the responses you get because I'm sure they will be fascinating.

Date: 2012-01-18 06:10 am (UTC)
elspethdixon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] elspethdixon
I'm not interested in a queer (or lesbian) (or gay) fiction that's not also (and more importantly to me in some ways) sff. I don't want to read realistic or naturalistic "litfic," and the "gay history and culture" (and there is more than just one of course, but I know that it's impossible to always qualify) has no part in any slash I love because, well, LOTR isn't set in a contemporary setting.

I'm personally interested in more genres than SFF, but I agree with your points about genre playing a major role in the kinds of queer fiction queer genre fans want to read (naturalistic litfic in a modern setting is well down below non-fiction, epic fantasy, space opera, mysteries, and swashbuckling costume drama on the list of "things I'm going to want to buy from a bookstore") and about real life "gay history and culture" not applying equally to all fandoms' canons, especially when those canons are second-world fantasy settings or the distant future and the societies being depicted are completely made up.

I also think that fanfiction ought to be considered as something slightly separate from pro fiction with queer characters, in that fanfic authors have to work with the original canon (for a value of "work with" that can include "telling canon to go fuck itself" if we feel like it, but reacting against canon is still being influenced by it) while professional/original fiction writers don't have that limitation.

Date: 2012-01-19 04:23 pm (UTC)
ithiliana: Image shot from ground up through branches of tulip poplar tree, green and gold and blue. (Default)
From: [personal profile] ithiliana
Sorry, really quick reply from work--I hope we can talk more!

I would argue that pro writers are often influenced by and reacting to pre-existing works of pro fic -- that's different in magnitude/scope from fan fict writers re/vising (or not!) the canon, but it's on a spectrum--and of course some professionally published fics are transformative (parody) (THE WIND DONE GONE! THE WIDE SARGASSO SEA), but even beyond those obvious examples, "reacting against genre conventions while still being influenced by it" is a real thing (despite the idea, esp. in the anti-fanfic circles that "original" fic is totally pristine, new, original never thought of before--which is SO not true).

I teach creative writing (and allow fanfic) but even those students who have never heard of fan fic start by writing incredibly derivative works based on what they're read....they're not pro authors, but I bet every pro author starts out more or less the same way!

Date: 2012-01-18 12:23 pm (UTC)
ithiliana: Image shot from ground up through branches of tulip poplar tree, green and gold and blue. (Default)
From: [personal profile] ithiliana
In the part of the U.S. where I was, at the time when I realized I was bisexual (Seattle, WA), there was a huge amount of sexuality policing (this was during the 1980s, when the reality of AIDS was becoming stark and horrendous)--and specifically 'lesbians' and 'gay men' in the rhetoric of the culture of the time/place excluded bisexuals from being homosexual--the rhetoric very much made it impossible to be both.

I was denied membership to a lesbian group because I identified as bisexual, but my friend who identified as lesbian (despite being married to a man and having sex with him) was not. A woman who had more sex with women in her past than I have done in my whole life said that she wasn't bisexual because she'd had more sex with men, and it took a 50/50 split....so, the two might not be mututally exclusive, but I've never met anyone who identified as both, and I've not seen much out there in what I've read that allows for it. So I'm interested in those constructions -- but I think we're at the heart of the ongoing problem--the idea of who defines identities. My experiences in the activist groups in Seattle during the 1980s burned me out so much I've refused to get involved with any group focusing solely on sexuality--I left the whole scene in disgust when the gay men who ran the Sexual Minorities Center denied a bisexual support group I was in a meeting room because bisexuals weren't sexual minorities....so, yeah, it's complicated and immensely context bound.

Date: 2012-01-18 03:28 am (UTC)
pocketmouse: Bare feet dangling over rippling water, reflecting the greenery around (feet-water)
From: [personal profile] pocketmouse
I really don't know how to frame this thought wiggling around in my head, but I feel like there's an assumption of one 'queer' culture, or at least of one 'gay' culture, one 'lesbian' culture, (or to be a little fairer, put racial and regional qualifiers in front of that). But that assumes that the authors of fic or the readers are taking part in that culture. Think of kids who are just coming to terms with their sexual identity, and using fandom and fic as an explorative tool. Or just people like me, who identify as some flavor of gay/queer/bi/lesbian/ace (and no, seriously, fandom's obsession with sex when you're ace can be -- OMG), but don't date or go out or interact with anyone along that axis, do we count as part of that culture? Because a lot of the time, the way these discussions go, I don't know if we do.

(And, on an entirely different note, I'm not sure why this is a sister discussion with one about being straight in fandom when that other discussion has entirely different questions that would be just as relevant to ask queer people!)
Edited Date: 2012-01-18 03:28 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-01-18 04:23 am (UTC)
raine: (Default)
From: [personal profile] raine
Here via network. I'm bi and I write stories about people; but as a reader, I don't always want to read an informed perspective in my slash fic. A lot depends on the characters and fandoms involved, and sometimes a PWP is exactly the brain candy I want to write/read. Also, I'm a very action-oriented writer: if it doesn't impact the plot in some fashion, I probably won't put it into the story. I understand the desire to want a bit more history and realism in fic, but I am not sure the inclusion of such is always appropriate.

Date: 2012-01-19 11:43 am (UTC)
amadi: A bouquet of dark purple roses (Default)
From: [personal profile] amadi
Can you give an example of what you're talking about? Because I'm trying to suss it, and really, I can't.

But then, I've gotten pretty far away from stories where the character's queerness is an issue. I find most of those types of stories are overwrought and unrealistic and just cringe-inducing.

Date: 2012-01-18 05:12 am (UTC)
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
From: [personal profile] icarus
Then you should write your own stories. Have them reflect queer experience.

Date: 2012-01-18 07:59 am (UTC)
naraht: (Default)
From: [personal profile] naraht
And get out of slash fandom as well, I presume.

Date: 2012-01-18 08:10 am (UTC)
naraht: (Default)
From: [personal profile] naraht
So... what's the alternative for those of us who are uncomfortable with slash fandom as it currently exists? Keep our heads down, write fiction, and never talk about the things that bother us?

Date: 2012-01-18 08:22 am (UTC)
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
From: [personal profile] icarus
If the result you want is stories about what you want, then write them.

That's what I did.

This is my last reply to you. In my experience, when someone starts replying to me in two different places, they're pissed off and just want to fight.

Date: 2012-01-18 08:32 am (UTC)
naraht: (Default)
From: [personal profile] naraht
I already write the stories that I want to read, but I'm also concerned with having a fannish community that I can feel a part of.

You're welcome to reply to me or not as you choose.

Date: 2012-01-18 08:18 am (UTC)
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
From: [personal profile] icarus
It seems that's ultimately what you want: stories that communicate queer experience.

That's what I did. When I got sick of little girls writing men badly on ff.net, I showed how to do it. I started writing my own stories. With men. Acting like men. If I had a bee in my bonnet about writing queer experience, I would do the same.

Date: 2012-01-18 02:18 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (archimage juri)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
One reason I started writing fanfic again 11 or 12 years ago (after my angsty fling with self-insert Pernfic and parodic Star Trek/Star Wars fic during my adolescence) was because I was tired of slashfail -- I was tired of reading about two girls or women getting together as if they were the first to have the idea in the whole wide world, because it just doesn't happen like that. I was also tired of the lesbian literary cliches that were rampant in the femslash I read. I am a fan of queer female characters in SFF, and femslash is one way I can get that... when it's not done badly. Given that femslash, a much smaller percentage of fic, has these problems, I can only imagine how m/m slash magnifies it (and adds its own problems of anatomy and portrayal to the issue).

So yes, hi, I'm a dyke who like my queer SFF, and I feel ambivalent too.

Date: 2012-01-19 03:16 pm (UTC)
sevilemar: Rock On, Dean Winchester! (dw_tardis_schnee)
From: [personal profile] sevilemar
In my mind, fanfiction per se has nothing to do with representation or politics; when you write fanfic, you share fantasies, erotic or otherwise. What I think makes it political, and highly so, is the automatic policing that's going on in fandom. Certain fandoms, certain pairings, certain types of fanfic, certain kinks, certain views of characters and relationships, certain themes and discussions, in short: certain types of fantasies get a huge amount of people involved and it's easy to find what you're looking for. Others don't. That's why it's really hard to find, say, any No.6 fanfic, let alone in German and about Nezumi not being able to live like he always did because he's not that fit anymore, without it becoming h/c and/or about sex and/or romance.

What I'm saying is that by sheer number of people interested in one thing and not the other, the other becomes hard to find. And it really doesn't help to say "You just have to write it yourself, then!", it really doesn't. Not all of us in fandom are writers, or want to become one. Not all of us have the time or the inclination to shout our desires from the rooftops in the hope that somebody, somewhere might share them or know where we can get fic.
[I apologize for the mansplaining, but sometimes I need to get the basics spelled out in detail to remind myself of what we're dealing with]

I am asexual and identify as queer. I was involved in slash fandom (m/m) long before I knew these two labels exist; it was (mm-slash) fandom that eventually pointed me to the resources I needed to name and contextualise the things I've struggled with since I was eleven. So yes, I feel very strongly about mm-slash and slash fandom. But the more I allow myself to accept that yes, I really am different and yes, I really am allowed to want the things I want even if nobody else does, the more frustrated I get with mm-slash fandom (Sherlock, in particular).

It is as though I have to wade through endless meaningless, even hurtful prompts on the kink meme to find one or two I really want to see filled. I post my own, but they don't get filled. I have given up on keeping track on AO3; too much, and too hurtful or frustrating. These days, my only interaction with the fandom I loved passionately ever since it exploded in Sept. 2010 is through recs and reccing communities. I read ace fics, but only when they're recced by someone I trust.

The other day, I devoted three hours to find something fannish for a BBC radio play called Marlowe's Diaries (by Roy Kendall, 1993), which was the first really queer thing I noticed as such in my life. I went through all the fannish resources I have at my disposal, even tried to google it various times. The only thing I found was the audio-mash-up-crossover I did with Sherlock in 2010.


So for me, it definitely is true that the more I embrace my different/other/queer desires online and irl, the more I feel unwelcome and unwanted in the very place that helped me accept them in the first place, i.e. mm-slash fandom.

Date: 2012-03-22 02:26 pm (UTC)
feanna: The cover of an old German children's book I inherited from my mother (Default)
From: [personal profile] feanna
I think it's DEFINITELY good to discuss how much slash supports actual queerness and how much it's about appropriations of queer things for basically straight fantasies. I also think it's interesting to think these issues in realtions to worlds where this division (straight/"other") might not even exist or be drawn along much different lines. Which again comes with the problem, that we are all from THIS world.

But to answer some of the other things you asked: I definitely feel that there are some corners of fandom that are more queer than others. These can overlap with slash famdom(s - MANY of those around) in many different ways. The way I interact with lj is that I tend to follow less communities and more personal journals. So I follow authors I like directly. There ARE quite a few lesbians/queer people(/explictely queer friendly straight people (who've obviously put some though into it)) out there writing slash and if they are popular writers (subsets of) communities tend to form around them. Some of those are more focised on the queer aspects and less on slash/specific fandoms and some are less connected to one person and more fandom specific. I think there were some great fics written in SGA, during a period of a few month (or a bit longer) that explored gender and it's implications on sexuality.
Which is one reason that I do think that starting these discussions can also be valuable in ingfluencing the content that will be produced. Because so much of fandom (though in my personal experience it has been less so in the last year or so, which makes for less wank but also less interesting thinks, but I might just be missing stuff) is about interacting in many forms. And if somebody reads a fic (or meta, or whatever) that inspires them to think anbout something, who can say that a fic won't be the result of that.

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Eumelia

June 2015

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V and Justice

V: Ah, I was forgetting that we are not properly introduced. I do not have a name. You can call me V. Madam Justice...this is V. V... this is Madam Justice. hello, Madam Justice.

Justice: Good evening, V.

V: There. Now we know each other. Actually, I've been a fan of yours for quite some time. Oh, I know what you're thinking...

Justice: The poor boy has a crush on me...an adolescent fatuation.

V: I beg your pardon, Madam. It isn't like that at all. I've long admired you...albeit only from a distance. I used to stare at you from the streets below when I was a child. I'd say to my father, "Who is that lady?" And he'd say "That's Madam Justice." And I'd say "Isn't she pretty."

V: Please don't think it was merely physical. I know you're not that sort of girl. No, I loved you as a person. As an ideal.

Justice: What? V! For shame! You have betrayed me for some harlot, some vain and pouting hussy with painted lips and a knowing smile!

V: I, Madam? I beg to differ! It was your infidelity that drove me to her arms!

V: Ah-ha! That surprised you, didn't it? You thought I didn't know about your little fling. But I do. I know everything! Frankly, I wasn't surprised when I found out. You always did have an eye for a man in uniform.

Justice: Uniform? Why I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. It was always you, V. You were the only one...

V: Liar! Slut! Whore! Deny that you let him have his way with you, him with his armbands and jackboots!

V: Well? Cat got your tongue? I though as much.

V: Very well. So you stand revealed at last. you are no longer my justice. You are his justice now. You have bedded another.

Justice: Sob! Choke! Wh-who is she, V? What is her name?

V: Her name is Anarchy. And she has taught me more as a mistress than you ever did! She has taught me that justice is meaningless without freedom. She is honest. She makes no promises and breaks none. Unlike you, Jezebel. I used to wonder why you could never look me in the eye. Now I know. So good bye, dear lady. I would be saddened by our parting even now, save that you are no longer the woman I once loved.

*KABOOM!*

-"V for Vendetta"

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