eumelia: (Default)
In my previous post regarding the Lammy Awards I was very fuzzy on where I stood regarding the fact that non-queer authors were now disqualified from submitting their work for the award.

The way I roll, I think stories should be honoured first and foremost. Just this evening I was talking to my older sister and she was telling her kids how their dad was seeing the same Moon in India right now (because that's where he is) and it slipped out of my mouth "Because all times are now and all places are here. And that's why even fictional people are real" h/t [livejournal.com profile] rm.
My sister agreed with me whole heartedly and it began a whole discussion with my seven year old nephew about the veracity of Vampires and Werewolves.

My concern, first and foremost, is the policing of identity. We live in such fluid times, it causes problems.
I know I prefer to my Lesbian Friends and Sisters when it comes to political identification and queer social gatherings... I'm also wary of the fact that if I ever date a man (cis man specifically, whether he is queer or not), that I will be viewed as though I'm betraying some kind of identity promise.

That's a Queer concern.

So are the Lammy Awards.

When I first read about the Lammy Awards change, the people who were raising alarms and concerns were people who are openly queer.
Later on, as I read more on the issue I encountered the voices of straight authors who write same-sex romance, specifically m/m. Professional Slash authors, as they've been dubbed and like most Slash authors they are Straight.
Straight Cis authors who write LGBTQ characters, I thank you for writing awesome people with which we can fall in love, identify with and celebrate.
That doesn't mean you get to say that by taking Orientation into account you are being oppressed.
You are not, because you have straight and cis privilege.
By bringing up the fact that you're a member of another oppressed community you're derailing and playing the Oppression Olympics.

Stop it, just... no. Your entitlement and privilege blindness is showing by demanding to be recognised in an Award that is about celebrating our lives and stories. You happen to write people who could live our lives, and that's great, I love reading and knowing stories like that, that still doesn't entitle you to come into our space and trample all over what we (or the Lambda Literary Foundation, rather) built so that our status and visibility could be elevated.

I'll not be writing any more about this, but I wanted to get my piece out there. I wanted to say, this is a queer concern, about queer visibility, queer identity and queer story telling. As such, it's not about straight cis people.

The end, ces't tout.

Now I have to decide whether I'm going to write about Rape Culture, or about the fact that my Identity is flaunted as propaganda in order to deflect criticism over the human rights violations my country commits on a daily basis.

Any takers?
eumelia: (Default)
The Lambda Literary Foundation, for those of you who do not know, is an American LGBT Literary that works to raise the status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender authors, who are marginalised, in the literary world.

Awesome says I.

An organisation that works to elevate the visibility and merit of LGBT(Q!) authors is good.

The Lambda Awards (hereby known as the Lammy's) though, are about the stories. Or at least, that's what I (and probably many others) thought.

However, the new guidlines contain within them a new rule, which is a source of contention:
The Lambda Literary Foundation (LLF) seeks to elevate the status of openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people throughout society by rewarding and promoting excellence among LGBT writers who use their work to explore LGBT lives.

As such, it should be noted that the Lambda Literary Awards are based principally on the LGBT content, the gender orientation/identity of the author, and the literary merit of the work.

Let's get one thing straight (laugh it up); queers having our own space, our own awards and our own rules as to who applies, is not a bad thing.
Really, it's not.
The problem is, who decides.

The Lammy's guideline specifically states:
As to what defines LGBT? That is not up to anyone at Lambda Literary Foundation to decide. The writers and publishers are the ones who will be doing the self-identifying. Sexuality today is fluid and we welcome and cherish this freedom. We take the nomination of any book at face value: if the book is nominated as LGBT, then the author is self-identifying as part of our LGBT family of writers, and that is all that is required. There are many permutations of LGBT and they're all welcome as that LGBT term we've all adopted makes clear.

Okay, so they accept anyone who ID's as part of the LGBT(Q damnit!) family. And if that bisexual cis woman who is married to her straight cis male husband of such-and-such years submits an award. Sure, of course she's eligible.
But wait, no she doesn't, she doesn't live the "lifestyle".
An exaggeration?
Not so much, when that kind of thing happens all the time, you're not queer enough if you have het privilege.
Is it stupid? Of course it is, but whoever said marginalised groups were good with the whole acceptance thing.

Honestly, I don't think it would go that way, I'm also obviously being satirical here. I mean, it could, but I'm trying for optimism here. LGBT(Q) authors having their place and awarding those of us who wrote a story in which our portrayal brings us and the characters in the story alive is a very good thing.
Telling people that who they are may not be enough in order to be eligible for the award is not the way to go.

The main problem that came out of this whole thing is that the change in the guidelines came with such short notice.
The notice of the change came out September 25th, submission begins October 1st and ends December 1st.
Yeah, no matter how you look, that is short notice, especially when it's effective immediately.

I say my opinion is fuzzy, the "litmus" should be for people to be able to say:"I'm queer", accept that statement at face value and move on in order to read a good book or story about people who are like me (potentially). But queer isn't a visible thing, our statements of who we are, are under constant attack because we are marginalised, because we are not "normal", because if we really wanted to and tried hard enough, we wouldn't have to be marginalised, now would we.

I'm getting frustrated from all this thinking about which box we're supposed to fit into. Sexuality is fluid (not for everyone!), but it better remain in that little bowl.

Regardless of how us queers feel about the change in the guidelines, which is not clear cut at all, here is one thing I have to say about those straight authors, who are yelling at the Interwebs, about being marginalised because the Lammy's changed the rules on their gay romance.

Shut up.

No, really. Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

I've had it up to fucking here with stupid straight people appropriating my space, in order to promote an agenda that has nothing to do with actually being queer, and has everything to do with "but I want to play in this sandbox too".
Yes, well, at the moment you are peeing in it, because the attitude of entitlement is not the one members of the LGBTQ family who happen to be cis and straight should be throwing around.
You feel strongly about your portrayal of gay characters, that's good, I feel strongly about it to.
Saying that because you feel excluded from a prize, you are oppressed is irksome, irritating and shows that you are so privilege blind that you really have no fucking clue what homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, etc actually causes the psyche of a person who does deal with these prejudices and hates on a bloody daily basis.

God, am I the only one who had a flashback to the trek stupidity a couple months back.
Seriously, peeps, what the fuck?!

On that, I'm not so fuzzy headed.

A thanks to [livejournal.com profile] rm, [livejournal.com profile] kynn and [livejournal.com profile] vashtan; their posts really enabled me write this post in a (hopefully) semi-coherent way.
Their own opinions and fact finding skills were extremely helpful.

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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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