Web Crush Wednesdays: The ‘Other’ Love Story

Web Crush WednesdaysIt’s quite difficult to find stories set in non-Western settings in mainstream media, and LGBTQ+ stories are even more rare. So, today I want to share with you all a little gem of a webseries called The ‘Other’ Love StorySet in India in the 90s and featuring two young women falling in love, it’s sweet, tender, and, yes, sad, but beautiful.

Some spoilers below.

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Sexualized Saturdays: More Happy Than Not and the Dangers of Compulsory Heterosexuality

more-happy-than-not-tc-coverI typically don’t like to read sad books. So from the get-go, I was leery of a book titled More Happy Than Not, as anything with a name like that promised to be bittersweet at best. While I wasn’t wrong in this first impression, I don’t regret having read it. More Happy Than Not is a beautifully told story about regret, memory, and queerness in the very near future, and contains an important message about the damage compulsory heterosexuality can do.

Major spoilers for the story below the jump, as well as mentions of suicide and violent homophobia.

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Oh, My Pop Culture Religion: Praying the (Metaphorical) Gay Away: Internalized Religious Homophobia in Genre Fiction

It’s often hard to be religious and queer. At least, depending on the religion. Many segments of Christianity as well as other mainstream religious schools of thought put queerness firmly into the realm of “abomination”, to some degree or another. A popular mentality in many conservative Christian sects is that queerness goes against the natural order set into place by God when He created Adam and Eve as partners, making same-sex attraction “disordered”. This often translates to an understanding of queerness as either a mental illness, which could be healed with prayer, or a vice that, like a desire to gamble or steal, can be resisted through faith-based strength of character. While this attitude is not representative of all religion, nor, in Christianity’s case, true to Christ’s actual teachings, the fact remains: it’s damn hard to be religious and queer.

And while it remains hard to find good representation of queer characters, and good representation of religious characters, you’re more likely to catch a Mewtwo at your local grocery store than you are to find a meaningful and balanced representation of someone who ticks both boxes.

Instead, we often see religious characters in genre fiction who, while part of a societal out-group that could stand as a metaphor for queerness, are not actually queer themselves. Furthermore, they often believe or have been taught to believe that this otherness is, yes, an abomination, leading them to make terrible choices based on their internalized hatred of themselves or others like themselves. Perhaps God has singled them out as martyrs, challenging them to live a godly life in spite of their inherent (ungodly) differentness. Unfortunately, these portrayals do nothing but serve the tired stereotype that closeted individuals are often responsible for anti-queer hate crimes, rather than dealing with the more realistic issues surrounding internalized religious homophobia.

Trigger warning for discussions of self-harm and suicide after the cut.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Bisexuality in Lost Girl

Lost-GirlLost Girl may not be the greatest show out there, but it had quite a lot going for it with the intricate urban fantasy world of Fae and lovable characters, quite a few of whom are LGBTQ+, B in particular. The representation wasn’t without its problems, of course, as in any other show, but over the course of it, we were introduced to Bo, Vex, Tamsin, and Mark, all of whom are bisexual main/recurring characters with compelling character arcs, including the female protagonist. And, sadly, you hardly ever see this much bi (or even generally queer) representation in fiction that’s not specifically LGBTQ-themed.

Spoilers for the concluded series below.

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Harry Potter and the Lack of True Intersectionality

I was into a lot of geeky things as a kid, but Harry Potter was my number one fandom, and back then, the Harry Potter stories could basically do no wrong. Now, as an adult, I realize that there are definitely things in Harry Potter that were problematic or simply things that I think J.K. Rowling could have done better, both from a writing and from an intersectional feminist perspective. We have already discussed on this site how problematic it is that many of the characters that are analogous with discrimination are all white, cisgender, heterosexual, and able-bodied, and relatedly, recently I have been seeing a lot of racebent pictures of Harry Potter characters in the fandom. It seems the two most popular are Black Hermione and Indian or biracial Harry, both of which I love, but it got me thinking about the lack of any real discussion on the intersectionality of discrimination in Harry Potter.

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Fanfiction Fridays: The Hustle by anamatics

She doesn’t even hear the bell ring at the door until the cook clears his throat loudly and Angie looks up.  Her breath catches and she has to swallow down her blush.  Her hands still, she forces on her best smile.

“English,” she whispers.  It comes out a hoarse croak.  Peggy Carter’s right eye is a livid black and blue, and she’s got a bandage around her hand that looks nasty and is still a bit stained with blood. She hasn’t been home the past few days, telephone conference in DC, she’d explained loading up her suitcase while Angie leaned against her open door and watched her movements with the lazy appreciation that a gal sometimes has for a friend.  “What happened to you?”

Peggy slumps down into Tito’s vacated stool and Angie turns and collects the tea things without a word.  She sets the milk and sugar that Peggy usually turns away down before her and gives her a look, the kind that Angie’s got to remember for auditions.  The one that brooks no argument at all.  “Thank you,” Peggy says weakly.

Tea softens her.  It makes her seem less brittle, less like she’ll fall apart if Angie touches her.  Peggy’s shoulders hunch forward and she holds the tea before her, two sugar cubes deposited in when she thought Angie wasn’t looking and far more milky than it usually is.  Angie fists her hands in her apron so she doesn’t reach out and press her fingers to Peggy’s temple and smooth her hair into something less bedraggled looking.  Anything to make her look less like she hasn’t lived through a war and a half, and that she’s still fighting.

“You gonna tell me what happened?”

“You know I can’t.” Peggy replies, her eyes shifting down, guilty.

“Won’t here or you ain’t gonna?”

“At home, Angie, please.”

Angie’s missed her.

It’s been a solid six months since the last time we recced a Cartinelli fanfic, so I feel totally within my rights bringing you all another one. The Hustle is set in those glorious post-Season-1 Angie-and-Peggy-in-domestic-bliss days—except their domesticity isn’t exactly as blissful as anyone hoped.

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Not Very Logical: Vulcan Society is Sexist, Racist, & Probably Homophobic Too

I’m on something of a Trek kick right now, and I have a lot of feelings about Vulcans. While in the Star Trek universe Earth is supposed to be a utopia where everyone is equal, other species in the Federation are extremely far from a utopia. Though Vulcans are humanity’s biggest allies in the Federation and profess a philosophy of stoicism and logic, I have found them a bit illogical. Mostly because I don’t think a society with such extreme prejudices is logical.

spock

pic via driverlayer

So let’s talk about everything that is wrong with Vulcan society, and thus everything that is wrong with our own.

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