Yo. If you're reading this on Friendblab (not that I get the impression that anyone actually reads Friendblab? If they did they would probably have actual members providing their own content with consent, rather than scraping it from users of Dreamwidth and other services), you should know that I did NOT sign up for Friendblab or otherwise authorize them to use my content or impersonate me in any way, and I'd like for them to stop this fuckery ASAFP.

(Don't have any idea what I'm talking about? Check out this post from [personal profile] havocthecat.)
I can't be the only person to think of this, but checking my reading and network pages hasn't turned up much quite like this, so. March 8th is International Women's Day (yes, what, why only one day and why not an International Nonbinary Gender Diversity Day and what about other kinds of oppression and intersection and multiple marginalization and kyriarchy etc., but damnit look at this mess we're in, we have to make the most of what we've got AND fight for more). To mark the occasion, I am declaring this post a commentparty. Post or request fanworks and recs about feminism and women being awesome, share anecdotes, bitch about oppression and whatever (but PLEASE be nice to any other commenters and potential readers--"boo hiss hegemony" is cool but "people who believe X are stupid" gets problematic), hug, have sex for your own pleasure and don't send the tapes to Rush Limbaugh, etc.
1. The breakingest news: As I learned via [personal profile] petra yesterday, Lucy Liu has been cast as Watson in the upcoming American remix of the BBC's contemporary remix of the already-been-remixed-umpteen-billion-times Sherlock Holmes franchise, and some fans are saying that's not acceptable. They're right, it's not acceptable--it's AWESOME. The folks with bees up their butts are trying to argue that making Watson female is somehow homophobic? And they have fragments of a point with the complaint that an opposite-gendered Holmes-Watson pair stand a greater chance of consummating any sexual tension on screen (if this version chooses to go that route, and I really really really hope it doesn't) than their preferred same-gendered pairs and that this is not fair (it's not), but people who whine that this is depriving them of gay television characters or, worse, "artificially" interfering with an otherwise perfect formula for "political purposes" are some unpleasant mix of oblivious and deluded and should recite the chorus to "As Cool as I Am" (thanks [personal profile] kore for posting this lovely recording) as mantra until they recognize that supporting the omission, sidelining, and fridging of female characters in favour of more bromances is active complicity in patriarchal oppression via popular culture.

2. Apparently there exists a movie called After Sex, which is like Young People Fucking in that it features a set of non-overlapping stories about sexual encounters, but different in that it a) has a larger cast (eight sets of participants instead of five), b) has a more diverse cast (including three same-sex participant sets, one set of older participants and one set of teenagers, and many more characters of colour), and c) tells the stories one after the other, like a slate of discrete short films each of which begins shortly following a sexual interaction, rather than weaving the stories together before, during, and after. I don't find it quite as funny, although it does have its moments, but it fits a similar niche of crudely thoughtful sex comedy. The best sequence, and the one that drew my attention to the film, is the one between Kat (Zoë Saldana) and Nikki (Mila Kunis) as college roommates, and (happy day) their full bit including Kat's amaaaazing monologue about her first time with another girl (bizarrely not included in the regular release of the film!) is available for watching right here:


3. I wrote a little Death Proof/The Losers crossover as a treat for the Ante Up Scramble and discovered in the process that it was the germ of a much bigger story that I did not have time to write then but still really want to. I signed up for [livejournal.com profile] crossbigbang as an incentive to finish it (although I might drop out of that and take the idea to the rumoured upcoming Losers Big Bang instead), but I'm blocked from getting started because I'm stumped on setting. Basically, I need a place (city/region) that provides a reason-for-being-there for both the gang from Death Proof (Kim, Zoë, Abernathy, and Lee--so, filming something) and the Losers (including Aisha and Roque, in this story neither dead nor treacherous, and their famblies--so, heistifying something), but I can't decide on where and what because I'm waffling on whether to set it more in the "real world", where Zoë Bell is Zoë Bell-muse-of-Quentin Tarantino, Clay smokes [some actual cigarette brand], and it becomes somehow relevant to the plot that Jensen resembles Chris Evans, or, as I'm leaning towards, in a sort of meta-fictional world that draws fake pop culture from various sources, where QT is perhaps manifested as Chester Rush, Clay smokes Red Apples, and it becomes somehow relevant to the plot that Jensen resembles Lucas Lee. The latter is inherently more hilarious and potentially a lot more fun and easter-eggy, but it's also more work for me because I have to decide not only how to weave together different fictional Hollywoods, etc., but also what "real world" pop culture icons to retain or fictionalize/satirize (for example, Pam Grier as Foxy Brown--keep or rename?). Either way I'm stuck deciding how closely I want Lee's career to mirror Mary Elizabeth Winstead's. I dunno. Any suggestions for filmable stories that require stunt women and driving that would help me narrow down shooting locations, as a starting place?
Damnit are there no reasonably well-known horror movies of the 1980s left that have not yet been remade or sequelified? I feel like The Thing was the last one and that remake was seriously underwhelming (digital Thing, not nearly so squicky--maybe it's scary in 3D?), even with Mary Elizabeth Winstead going all Ripley.

[community profile] ante_up_losers is live! There are about 40 new stories in the exchange and scramble (treat) collections. I ended up finishing my assignment (somehow one of the longest stories I've ever posted, no really how did that happen? and probably never going to be as popular as the one I wrote last year) and four treats for different recipients (all below 1000 words each, mostly nearer the lower end of the rating scale, exhibiting a range of moods and 'ships but mostly talky gen fluff, one crossover that I am maybe not-so-casually considering expanding, to the point of checking [community profile] fandomcalendar for Big Bang events that I could count it towards); you can try to identify them, if you want, before the reveal on Tuesday.

Anyway, continuing from last post, trying vainly to show some fucking restraint damnit, more opinions about media!

Feature Films B: Captain America vs. X-Men First Class, and also Muppets )

Music )

Television Series: Ongoing )

Television Series: Premiering pt 1: Arctic Air )

Television Series: Premiering pt 2: Bomb Girls )

Television Series: Premiering pt 3: House of Lies )

Stay tuned for Festivids recs, if you, y'know, care.
You may recall that my main excuse for going to the States in April was to present a paper at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association national meeting in San Antonio and that I presented in the Romance area because one of the area chairs specifically recruited me because she's been looking for fellow kinky/kink scholars. I'm glad that I did because the trip was great overall (I haven't written up highlights because I've been too busy since then being broke and breaking up and I don't want to think about how much money I spent buying presents for a man who whined at me the entire time I was gone and for weeks leading up to cancel/come back/never leave again, and then spent a bunch of my money on alcohol and lied to my face about it) and all the people I met (mostly romance scholars) were marvellous, but presenting in that area was hella awkward because I don't know squat about romance genre or scholarship. I found out after submitting that there were other areas I that might have been a more "logical" fit, depending whose logic you use, like "Eros, Pornography, and Popular Culture" or "Gender and Sexual Identity", but after attending their panels I'm not sure that would have been a huge improvement.

After this year's conference, Sarah (Romance chair) suggested to me and another grad student I didn't meet in Texas that we put together a CFP and submit it to the area master, asking for a couple of kink/BDSM panels in the new "New and Special Interests" stream (a testing ground for nascent research areas, to save them for creating new areas that don't draw crowds or last more than a year). We haven't got as far as a CFP yet, because the other student contacted the area master to ask for timeline clarification and got summarily brushed off: "he pretty much flat out told me that kink/bdsm belongs in queer" ( = "Gay, Lesbian, and Queer Studies" area)--which is just fucking wrong. I know so many people on each side of the "kink = queer" equation who not only disprove it but who would be shocked and furious to hear it so stated (I happen to be both kinky and queer, the same way I happen to be both Canadian and mad--there's some correlation there, but it's not really as strong as some people claim).

I'm pretty incensed about this and want to do everything I can to push for a dedicated kink studies panel, as well as encouraging more kink-related presentations in other areas (Sarah wants enough presenters for a BDSM romance panel, for example, and the Gay, Lesbian, and Queer area chair is quite willing to take in strays as well) both in general and as a fall-back if we can't get a panel all for us (demonstrating demand by widespread infiltration!). I therefore humbly ask everyone reading this to consider presenting on kink (or on any other topic--I'm specifically fishing for kink presenters but it's a big fun geeky nerdfest/nerdy geekfest with dedicated streams for all sorts of media and popular culture interests) at the next PCA/ACA national meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, April 11-14, 2012 (actually a week earlier than usual, or at least than last year; the website is wrong), or pass the word along to people you think might be interested! The deadline for submissions won't be until December 15, 2011, and you do not need to be an academic formally studying whatever you're presenting on to present on it; scholars presenting on hobby projects/personal interests, professionals (especially writers), and "educated laypeople" were all thick on the ground in San Antonio. Boston! Nerds! Springtime! Activism! Kink! Fun!

I'll be back with a CFP for kink studies soon, I hope, or if not with links to other shiny and potentially relevant subject area calls. In the meantime, it would help if any of y'all who might be even just a little tempted could let me know so I can use that interest to leverage the area chair into reconsidering his misinformed flippancy.
Oh, /o\ .

There are so many things I've wanted to post about but haven't allowed myself to sit down and write, and some of them may still get posted evenutally but today there is only one thing I can talk about, because today has gone like this:

*wake up*
*evict cat from comfy perch on my bladder*
*go to the bathroom and have a shower*
*turn on the computer and read about Jack Layton's passing*
*cry forever*

You guuuuuuys I am so sad and so scared and my heart is breaking for all of us but especially for Olivia and his family and then I read the goodbye letter he wrote two days ago and I can't, I just can't. The sun is beaming bright outside but it feels like a mockery. I never met him personally but I know a lot of people here in Ontario who did and who confidently attest that he walked the walk he talked. I'm going to the gathering at City Hall at 4pm if I can manage to stumble my way there through the blur of my tears, and put my hope in the axiom about shared pain etc.

As [personal profile] zingerella said earlier today in another forum, "I've said fairly often that the best friends are the ones who show you your better self--the parts of you that are stronger, braver, more honest, kinder, more generous--and help you to be that person all the time. By that metric, I think Jack Layton was a pretty good friend for a country to have."
This has actually been in the works for a while now—decades if we're talking about keeping a mental association web for this trope, and at least a year composing a playlist with intention to share—but the announcement of the new "danger" square and increased scope for fandom-nonspecific works in this year's [community profile] kink_bingo told me it was time.

The songs and lengthy (very lengthy) analyses in this post contain death; non-consensual sex and violence, occasionally graphic and mostly directed at women; and some oblique talk about ableism and mental illness.

Download songs individually, or get all 32 tracks in one convenient .zip


Polly, Pretty Polly, will you come along with me? )
Before we are married, some pleasure to see . . . )
So I've been watching Lost Girl, right? And it's still cheesy and ridiculous but mostly, apart from the absurd fat-hate in the second episode, it does a pretty good job of avoiding fail (at least it tries *so hard* that I want to offer it a Milkbone and a scratch behind the ears). In particular, the series' dedication to sex positivity and female sexual agency--manifested in the premise of a female protagonist whose supernatural abilities and, often, survival depend on feeding off others' libidinal energy but who is not reduced to a victim or an addict but who actively enjoys sex and whose choice between a prospective male love interest and a female one was, for as long as the angst-hungry machine of genre TV narrative conventions allowed, "both"--is pretty exceptional. This is why the appalling, and appallingly cliched, kink negativity in last week's episode was not just disappointing but actually surprising. summary of offending incident = spoilers )

This bothers me enough for what it is in itself (a baldly pathologizing sentiment); it bothers me more for what it is in the context of a media meta-narrative (bad guys = perverts & vice versa, lazy storytelling); and it saddens and confuses me because of its program-specific context (Bo is supposed to be such an ambassador for broad sexual appetites, and she suggested a safeword prior to enjoying a raucous one-night-threesome in a previous episode; why is she so down on this? why doesn't she distinguish between what the baddies are doing in the club and consensual SM?). The part that actually rather hurts me, though, is that this time they're not just maligning abstract concepts to which I have an intellectual affiliation. They're doing it to actual, local, human communities that I and many of my friends belong to.

I know Lost Girl doesn't claim to be set in Toronto. The characters have mostly accepted that they're in Canada, I think, after the whole "across the border" execution issue, though the series is still faking up details & aiming for Generic North American City, Unspecified Region, Fictionworld. But come on, who do they think they're fooling? They may not be as explicit as Flashpoint (which, for all that they may have dodged actually using the word "Toronto" until--I think?--the second season finale inside not!Maple Leaf Gardens, never really pretended to be anywhere else: within the first sixteen minutes of the series, we're shown the inside of the Spadina-University subway line, with stop announcements; Timmie's cups; Canada flags, "Metropolitan Police" badges and red trouser stripes; Ontario license plates on familiar EMS vehicles; and, oh yeah, throbbing luminescent cock of our nation, the CN Tower), but the locations are easy for anyone to recognize who knows what they're looking for (like that walk'n'talk down Queen West at the end of the pilot, hello!). Which means that goth club is supposed to be a Toronto goth club (it isn't, not a real one; the interiors are mostly The Opera House with some overstated set decoration and I dunno about the alley), and the shit they're saying about kinky people they're saying about Toronto kinky people.

Now, I'm not saying that all the goths or all the kinksters or all the dwellers of the overlap in this or any city are good and loving people. There are far too many folks who fit those bills for me to vouch for them all personally, and there are certainly some dense and unpleasant specimens in the sub-clusters of people I have actually met. But it does smart more than usual when TPTB aren't thumbing their noses just at people who like the same stuff you like but at you and your friends, more specifically (and maybe I'm spoiled not to have encountered this before, it's never occurred to me to ask people who live in big American cities where ALL THE TV happens). I'm sure it wasn't personal, just another symptom of how much many people think they know about kink and how little they care that there are actually millions of people in the world who do choose to do it and deliciate in it.

I'm not even sure where I'm going with all this tealdeer anymore, except perhaps to put it out there: Hey TV-making people? We're here, we're queer (well, some of us), and we'd be happy to look over your scripts and tell you whether they're bullshit before you hurt us by putting them on all those screens.
You know this meme:
1. Reply to this post and I'll assign you a letter.
2. List 5 songs that start with that letter.
3. Post them to your journal with these instructions.

[personal profile] curgoth gave me the letter "T"

I delayed a bit on posting this, given that apparently at least one of the people I didn't realize was still reading my journal(s) thinks I yammer about politics (or particular political issues) far too much. I am willing to have that conversation but not here and not now (yes, passive-aggressive statement is passive-aggressive). For now, this is my journal and I will post what I want and given the situation that I am living just blocks west of, I feel this is plenty appropriate. Here's the Three Times Too Long, Too Political playlist: )
I can figure out how to upload all files in a .zip, if there's a desire. zips ahoy! I hope. Somebody lemme know if that worked?
AAAAARGH I had this thing like 3/4 written in the text box with my last post then decided to make it separate and public and cut it but didn't paste it somewhere else to save it and then I copied another URL and now it's gone, gone into the capricious aether. Dagnabbit. Time to start again.

It's an exciting time for reproductive justice (i.e. activism oriented toward sexual and reproductive rights, sexual and reproductive health and social justice) right now, particularly here in Canada; unfortunately the news is mostly grim.

Clusterfuck #1: Premier Dalton McGuinty's provincial government promising a lovely (in theory--practice depends on teachers) new sexual health education plan for the province, and then backing down under pressure from a coalition of shrill people (who, I conclude, must really love STIs, unintended teen pregnancies, hate crimes, stupidity or all of the above). More current word is that the curriculum is being "reworked". To express your support for the complete (i.e. sexual health and all) curriculum, please write to Minister of Education Leona Dombrowsky.

Clusterfuck #2: Harper's federal gubbermint cutting off funding to humanitarian projects that provide abortions to women in developing nations, claiming that "Canadians want to see their foreign aid money used for things that will help save the lives of women and children in ways that unite the Canadian people rather than divide them." I'm about ready to get smashy on these Conservative lunchboxes, I really am. You know what, Mr. Dead-eyes McMurdering Genocide-Denying Oilguzzler? I'm a Canadian, and I want to see my foreign aid money used for things that will actually help save the lives of women and children, including access to safe hassle-free abortions (but then I'm the kind of freaky radical who wouldn't vote for you for a bucket of diamonds and puppies, so I suppose my opinion doesn't count). For this one write to your MP and the BPM.

Without downplaying the seriously skeezy colonial implications of condemning in "less-developed nations" practices which are legal and even covered under provincial medical insurance here in Canada (not that I imagine the Tories are happy with this situation, but women here are possibly harder to push around), I want to remind readers that the fight for abortion access "at home" is far from over. For just a few examples, this excellent article covers obstacles to accessing abortion services in Canada, particularly the Maritime provinces, as well as documenting the struggles of reproductive justice activists protesting campus presentations by the headsplodingly noxious and evil anti-choice "Genocide Awareness Project" which uses giant billboards to "graphically compare the victims of abortion [i.e. fetuses, which must be kept alive until parturition but apparently no longer because in no place do they or many other anti-choice groups, so far as I can tell, advocate any kind of post-natal health care] to victims of other atrocities, such as Jews in the Holocaust" (WTF I don't even!) at Canadian universities. Yes, this is from 2010--22 years after the Canadian supreme court cut the law against abortion.

Clusterfuck #3, slightly less about reproductive justice and more about sexuality and education: Music teacher fired from Catholic school in Vancouver, apparently for being a lesbian. She took a short leave to spend time with her partner and their new baby and was prevented from returning to work, reportedly because of complaints from parents fearing she might "influence" their daughters. A-can I get a "*headdesk*"?

ETA: not a clusterfuck: my friend, writer and sex educator Andrea Zanin, is doing some research in preparation for a new workshop, and if you perform or receive cunnilingus (or analogous acts for men and women of trans experience--see survey) you can help by sharing your experience here.
Jeepers, that whole fan survey thing has BLOWN THE FUCK UP in the most wicked way possible--the survey's been taken down after the "scientists" Ogi Ogas and Sai Chaitanya Gaddam had their asses handed to them by fandom and by the IRB they apparently never consulted. This essay by sympathetic-non-fan academic N Pepperell is loaded with links, including to screencaps of the final wtfNO! that happened when the "researchers" responded to complaints that their use of the word "transsexuals" was unclear and othering by replacing it with "shemales". And of course, because fandom is awesome and occasionally evil, the internet is now filling up with badfic, art and macros enthusiastically slashing Ogas and Gaddam in terrible wonderful ways (which is immature, yes, but also funny).
Y'know what? I'm retracting my categorical endorsement of the parody fanworks. I'm not at all surprised that it's happening (you crap on someone else's lawn and keep doing it even after they've told you to stop, you've no right to be indignant when they set their dog on you) and some of what I've seen is clever or entertaining, but I don't want to encourage it because soon this will be getting more attention than the stupid survey and we will look like jerks--not to mention, some of the tactics used to "humiliate" the poseur!scientists are totally uncool (ascribing to them desires like rape fantasies, transvestism, tentacle or furry fetishes, or poking fun at imagined physical characteristics; I haven't yet seen it but I'm sure there's stuff saying they've got STIs or are secretly involved in sex work). It's uncool not because it's "mean" to them (crap on lawn, get mauled by terrier) but because using any of these things as punishment, to try to shame someone for misbehaviour, reinforces stigma around these desires, identities and circumstances and has the effect of shaming all the people who DO live with them, secretly or openly. I'm trying not to play that game. If anyone can show me works that don't do this, I'm happy to look at them, but I'm not supporting the rest.

In other news, the for-points round of Kink Bingo is now closed, and the amnesty period for completed works that didn't fill a bingo and for works completed after deadline/between rounds will be opening in a few days (remember, if you signed up you need to post at least one fic/vid/drawing/whatever in order to be eligible to participate again next year). I am proud to have finished one bingo and two postage stamp stories, all of which are posted here with a "kink_bingo" tag. I don't expect to be writing much for the next little bit while I recover, prepare for the new school year, and catch up on all the awesome stuff other people have done for KB (expect recs).

I'm NOT signing up for "heroes_bingo", not even linking to it, although I'm eager to see what people make for it. My objection isn't that they're copying KB's idea (it's a good idea, it should be copied, though giving credit would be nice) but that they, like cliche_bingo (which I think may be the more direct intellectual progenitor?), are copying a lot of the prompts without identifying them as kinks and with no recognition for the consequences of their selections or the gravity of that action (defining what is and isn't kinky, calling these things clichés or just--what? titillating? the positive spin would be to say that not marking them as kinky de-marginalizes them but that's not the vibe I'm getting) for people who actually practice these things outside of fiction or even (what a thought!) self-define as kinky. I'm reluctant to participate in the latest heroes kink meme (beyond feedback and the few prompts I've already left) for related reasons: the fact that anonymity is not only allowed but subtly enforced as a norm discourages people from owning our desires, even if we only desire these things in the "distanced" way of fantasies, and it reinforces the shame we've already got piling on us, telling us we're sick and deviant and wrong. You know what? I am deviant. I'm deviant because I try hard not to deny that I like this stuff--reading it, writing it, watching it, doing it--even when I've got people everywhere including the fucking internet telling me to.
I'm not sure by what routes this thing is circulating or whether it's found any of my flisters yet, but if you run into a "fan fiction survey" with a big fancy banner? DON'T FUCKING TOUCH IT.
Eruthros explains why. Basically, they don't care what your answers actually mean to you, their study is designed to say exactly what they already think they know and to undo any of the good subversive political work fancreativity may be doing and force everything into nice, binary, biologically reductionist boxes. Dunno about you, but I try not to be a tool of my own oppression kthxdie.

PASS IT ON!
This Land Is Whose Land?
Race, Place and Genre: Situating “Folk” in Folk Festivals 1

It's been over a month since this year's Winnipeg Folk Festival, and I still have a stack of other things I Should Probably Be Working On, but if I leave this any longer it's not going to get written, and I need to write it.

Bird's Hill Provincial Park, 30some km NE of Winnipeg. A beautiful summer night on the Canadian prairies; stunning crayon-box sunset giving way to night's chill and stars almost as numerous as the mosquitoes (but theorizing “nature” and materiality of place is another conversation). It's getting near the end of the Mainstage concert, Thursday night at the 36th annual Winnipeg Folk Festival.2 I'm sitting at my grandparents' tarp, next to the mid-audience sound tower. King Sunny Adé and His African Beats have just left the stage, and I'm already mentally blogging (a couple of people on my friendslist had recently posted about size positivity, and apropos of that discussion I wanted to salute the two beautiful women dancers/hand percussionists whose enthusiastic performances were definitely a highlight of his set and possibly the whole weekend). Then, while the stage crew sets up for night's headliner Xavier Rudd, Vance Gilbert comes out to do a short set (in festival patois, a “'tweener”) and comments after his first song about how kind it was of the festival organizers to put all the Negroes on the same night. There's an audible hiss as thousands of hippies and seasonal wannabes draw a shocked breath. I wince, not because I'm scandalized by the suggestion but because I'd been thinking along similar lines when I read the schedule a few days earlier. It's not technically true, this year (Oumou Sangaré was on Mainstage the following night and Burning Spear on Saturday), but it's far from a spurious accusation.
read more . . . )

double-posted from [livejournal.com profile] thegiantkiller
I was going to link to these two news stories with the tag "two steps forward, one step back", but no. Fuck that. Neither event deserves that kind of trivialization:

The New Delhi High Court has just repealed the portion of 150-year-old law that criminalized gay sex between consenting adults.

Police in Fort Worth, Texas, assaulted patrons during a raid on a gay bar, arrested seven and put one in the hospital with a brain injury; the police chief is defending their actions on the grounds that those evil gay people "touched and advanced" his officers.

Yes, I'm re-posting these links on my fan-journal as well as my more comprehensive life-journal. What do repealing laws and police violence have to do with fandom? [livejournal.com profile] rm explains more thoroughly and eloquently here, but the short answer is because queer people are real. This may be a shocking idea for some people in itself; they may be further shocked to realize that things that affect queer people in courts, streets and bars do, in direct and roundabout ways, affect queer people in fiction, both canon media and fan-produced. Here's an even more shocking idea: it works the other way too.

I find [livejournal.com profile] rm's post especially resonant right now because I just got an eyeful of the astonishing rudeness it catalogues at Toronto Pride. I'm not calling the whole weekend rotten, it was a nice opportunity for social fun with friends, but the not-good was pretty fucking infuriating. I've already complained about some of the hideously bad behaviour I witnessed at the Saturday Dyke March on my other journal (armies of cismen leering and snapping photos of bare-breasted marchers, cat-calling and gesturing at us to flash, even running from the sidelines into the march to get their pictures taken with the pretty boobies), but that was only one stinging blow in the barrage of acting-like-a-decent-person!FAIL. It's been a few years since I went to Pride in Winnipeg but from what I remember the marcher-spectator ratio was decidedly left-heavy; not so in Toronto. Here tens of thousands of tourists and locals line the parade route to take pictures of or with the freaks who prance and snog for their entertainment (often running up to people, especially the extravagantly costumed but also random couples and anyone who looks "authentically gay", posing next to them long enough for a friend to snap the photo, then running away again without speaking) and to applaud themselves for applauding our bravery. Fuck off! I had tea with a friend last night who complained that every year around this time he has to put up with jokes about "how come there's no straight pride?" His response (as close as I can recall) is, "What have you got to be proud of? You're not doing anything! I'm not proud of being queer. I suck cock because I like sucking cock; I eat ice cream because I like eating ice cream. I'm not proud of doing things I like, and I'm not proud of liking them because I can't change that. What I'm proud of is doing them even when it's not easy, when it's not safe, and by my perseverance working to make it a little safer, a little easier." That's the labour of love, and that's what Pride ought to be about.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that this kind of creeptastic behaviour bubbles up in fandom as well as in "real life", not least because fandom, online interaction, the wired world, is a meshwork of people, every bit as real and, in its own way, material as the "face-to-face". But as someone who is queer in that face-to-face world, having this kind of bullshit follow me into fandom, which I was pleasantly accustomed to thinking of as a mostly pretty safe and friendly space, populated by mostly relatively aware and open folks . . . that hurts, and not in a good way.

This is a Thing this week because of a vid awards community that excludes slash content because the moderator thinks it's icky and doesn't want to watch it (but she's not homophobic*, oh no! she just shut down debate so I couldn't chew her out even if I thought it would do any good). It's been able to become a thing, as Thingswithwings so cogently articulates, because of the insidiousness, the casual violence of heteronormativity in the perpetuation of a system in fandom and in media more generally that aligns het and gen to the exclusion of slash, that insists that homosexuality is the exception which must be vigorously marked out and circumscribed from the heterosexual rule, that leads to the automatic and universal conflation of "queer" with "sexually explicit", that permits things like April's Amazonfail! and prohibits the possibility of a gen/slash classification.

To ground this personally, in my own face-to-face experience: I'm kinky, poly and bi. Most of my friends are one or more of the above, and all have stories about being read and treated differently in different contexts, especially depending on whether they were out with (someone assumed to be) their same-sex or opposite-sex partner. My current main squeeze (that is, the only quasi-local person with whom I dally semi-regularly) is a bisexual man, and it pisses me off that we get to pass the het-gen security check together as long we keep our mouths shut about the other crushes we harbour. In Winnipeg I dated a couple--he's straight, she's bi--and was astonished at the reactions we got when we all went out together. By day strangers assumed we were some combination of het couple and close friend or relative (and she and I were once taken for sisters while on a date with each other), while at night even friends would pat him on the back, as if he was the only one who could benefit from this arrangement (this leads to another rant, which I'll spare you for the moment). I suppose I'm almost lucky that I wasn't asked more often what we did together in private; the whiplash I got watching the queerness of my relationship and contextual identity get alternately shoved under the rug and yanked into the spotlight was bad enough.

What makes me happy is that, once again, fans are not just taking this quietly, or bringing homemade hummous to the pity party, but are taking up that labour of love, working to make things better, everywhere. Right now the gesture I'm happiest about is [livejournal.com profile] queerlygen (on DW, Queerly Gen), which is looking to be a lovely happy wonderful radical necessary thing, and I am excited to watch it grow.



*remind anyone else of how to tell people they sound racist? I'm probably late to the party on this one, but it's a good one to go back to.
theleaveswant: text "make something beautiful" on battered cardboard sign in red, black, and white (beach boys)
( Jun. 27th, 2009 12:55 pm)
This Sunday marks the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, and the 39th anniversary of the first Pride marches in L.A. and New York. It's Pride weekend here in Toronto right now, and in a number of other cities around the world.

I want to mark the occasion in fandom as well.

You can help in two ways: first, by leaving me some shiny queer drabble prompts, and second by spreading the meme (if you're so inclined). Now come on Fairies, hit me with your rainbow magic wands!
.

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theleaveswant: text "make something beautiful" on battered cardboard sign in red, black, and white (Default)
roses, bruises, 'bout your shoulders

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