Fanfiction Fridays: Drag by Pikachumaniac

Star Ocean posterWith the new game coming out soon, I’ve been on a bit of a Star Ocean craze. Star Ocean: Till the End of Time is certainly one of the better games I’ve played for the PS2, but one of the things it lacked was LGBTQ+ representation. Fanfiction to the rescue.

Trigger warning for rape and trauma after the jump.

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Web Crush Wednesdays: What’s Normal Anyway?

what's normal anywayAfter the death of Leelah Alcorn this past month, many people on the internet have been infuriated, and rightfully so, at her treatment at the hands of her parents. Said parents refuse to acknowledge their daughter’s gender and name, and even insist that while they loved their child “unconditionally”, they couldn’t support her transgender identity “religiously”. It’s complete bullshit, and people are calling for Leelah’s parents to be prosecuted and for the conversion therapy groups that she was sent to to be outlawed through the U.S. I strongly suggest you check those links out.

Unfortunately, many people don’t know very much about transgender issues, and transgender visibility is very low in our popular media, though it’s been getting a little bit better in recent years. Many only know what the world transgender means, if that, and so may find it hard to empathize with transgender people and better understand transgender issues. Fortunately, the internet has many resources to help out. Enter today’s web crush: What’s Normal Anyway?

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Sexualized Saturdays: A Genderqueer Take on Slash Fanfiction

A casual search on the popular fanfiction site Archive Of Our Own will reveal a trend that—while unsurprising to the fandom community—would be somewhat baffling to the casual observer. A search of standardized tags on AO3 indicated that nearly 63% of all the romantic and/or sexual fanfiction published there is classified as male/male (i.e. “slash”), compared to about 30% in the female/male category and a scant 6.6% in the female/female (“femslash”) category. Based on a survey of fanfiction.net, another popular fanfiction website, FFN Research estimates that 78% of fanfiction writers identify as female. Myriad explanations try to account for this: the most popular is that girls just like to fetishize gay men, but some contend that it’s partly an empathetic reaction to media dominated by male characters; others speculate that it is a way for women to write romance while removing objectification from themselves. As other LGG&F writers have speculated, the real explanation is probably a combination of these motives, as well as innumerable others.

As a genderqueer person I’m fairly certain that my own experience with slash fanfiction differs somewhat from the norm. Only recently have I begun reflecting on how formative both writing and reading fanfiction was at a time in my life when I felt isolated and frustrated by my own seemingly incongruous feelings. Knowing now that there are a surprising number of people for whom the gender binary doesn’t hold true, I like to think that for some small portion of the fan community fanfiction has been an important tool for self-discovery, as it was for me.

“Maniac” is such a strong word, I prefer “enthusiast”. (x)

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Sexualized Saturdays: Trans, Intersex, and Non-Binary Headcanons

Fanfiction is often used to give representation to minorities that wouldn’t normally be featured in the mainstream media. While this doesn’t always work out, fanfiction in general has done a decent job at providing representation, especially queer representation. And while most fanfiction featuring queer relationships is comprised of slash fanfiction (fanfiction featuring male/male pairings), some efforts have been made to give more representation to the rest of the LGBTQ+ community. For example, last month was Femslash February, which focused on celebrating queer women. Fanfiction authors who wanted more ace representation have started Asexy April. So while the majority of queer pairings in fanfiction are still m/m pairings, there has been a push in the fanfiction community for more inclusion.

Laverne CoxHowever, when it comes to transgender, intersex, and non-binary characters, there is noticeably less representation, both in mainstream media and in fanfiction. Recently, I have seen some more trans and non-binary headcanons, but there are still very few intersex headcanons. Headcanons, for those of you that might not know, are fans’ personal idea about characters which could fit into the existing canon of a show, even if the show itself has little to support the idea. Usually headcanons have some sort of explanation or evidence to back them up.

So to encourage people to write more fanfiction with trans, intersex, and non-binary characters, I’m going to talk about some of my favorite headcanons.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Fruits Basket

A while back, I wrote a Manga Mondays on this series. In short, it’s about a group of thirteen people—one person for every animal in the Chinese zodiac legend—who are cursed to turn into their respective animal whenever they are hugged by a person of the opposite sex. While cute and adorable, Fruits Basket leaves a lot to be desired because it is written from a very heteronormative viewpoint. Not only is it heteronormative, it creates a world in which there is no one outside the gender binary. As far as I can tell, they do not exist in this universe.

fruits-basket--big--7As someone who more or less identifies according to the binary, I don’t often pay attention to whether or not stories are dismissive of people who don’t fit into it. However, Fruits Basket makes it impossible not to notice, since gender and gender roles are both a driving force of the plot and a gimmick to make the story “cuter”.

Spoilers for Fruits Basket after the jump.

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Fanfiction: Not Necessarily a Voice for Minorities

Reading your fanfic!

Reading your fanfic!

Let me start this post by saying that I LOVE fanfiction. Yes, the caps are necessary, because that’s how much I love fanfiction. I can safely say that most of my free time I’m either on Tumblr or reading some sort of fanfiction.

But recently I have been very frustrated with fanfic. After writing about both the lack of lesbian couples in pop culture and about queering straight characters in fanfiction I’ve started to realize something. Fanfiction, which has so often been hailed as a way that authors and readers could write/read about characters of varied genders, races, sexualities, and physical and mental abilities, is not actually an epitome of acceptance and diversity. In fact, in many ways fanfiction has the same sexist, racist, and homophobic issues that the mainstream media has.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Transgender People in Comics

One of my first articles with Lady Geek Girl and Friends focused on the announcement that Alan Scott, the first Green Lantern, would be gay in the New 52 comic series.

At the time, I thought it was a ploy by DC Comics to make money off the LGBTQ+ community. It’s a thought that I still have to an extent. While Alan Scott has been a strong character, I felt that the reveal that Scott is gay, when in the main universe he has a wife, was wrong. I felt it would’ve been better to have a new Green Lantern come out from the beginning, so all the pieces on that Green Lantern would be consistent. It’s a general problem I have with New 52.

I also hoped that there would be a wave of new characters living more diverse lifestyles, especially transgender characters.

And, yes, I am aware of SheZow, but I’m discussing comic books right now. SheZow will be tackled once I can find more episodes of the show.

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