duskpeterson: An apprentice builds a boat as a man looks on. (Default)
duskpeterson ([personal profile] duskpeterson) wrote2010-01-17 03:27 am
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The m/m fiction versus gay fiction battle

Parental guidance is recommended for this post; NWS links ahead.

I'm having a hard time figuring out what to say about this m/m fiction versus gay fiction debate going on. (See the posts linked from mm_fiction_news and metafandom.)

See, this is me.

And this is me.

And this is me.

And this is me.

And this is me.

And this is me (scroll down to "True Tales").

I'm all over the place, in terms of literary communities. And I haven't even shown you the links related to my interfaith news reporting, history articles, and children's nonfiction.

As for women versus men? Straight versus gay? Not gonna go there.

So I'm a bit uncomfortable with this drawing of battle lines between genres and between genders and between sexual orientations, as though all of us belonged on one side or the other. I don't want to have to stop being this, just in order to be able to be part of this.
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[personal profile] linkspam_mod 2010-01-20 03:35 am (UTC)(link)
Your post has been included in a Linkspam.
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[personal profile] crabapplered 2010-01-21 09:59 pm (UTC)(link)
I think that's what's made me the most uncomfortable about some of people's posts: the insistence that you must be One or The Other. And I find it especially odd because Slash fic and Slash culture is a place where there have been serious efforts to teach people that folks aren't just one or the other. That things are fluid and sexual identities can shift, can be more then just straight or gay.

Mind, this isn't to say there aren't corners of slash that aren't rigid and very black and white. I came into slash via old-school yaoi which still had things like the "height rule", so I'm familiar with the crazy that blooms and lingers. But that crazy is slowly being eroded and beaten back, discouraged and countered by people willing to teach and show. Fanficrants @ lj alone has enough lube rants, position rants, relationship dynamic rants, stereotype rants and unpleasant historical fact rants to sink the Titanic as the message is spread again and again. Like all cultures, the slash one is still growing and changing, and what it's changing into is something I find positive.

I didn't get talk about bisexuals or pansexuals or asexuals in straight fic or gen fic. I didn't get mentions of transexuals or intersexed people either. All of that came from the slash culture, the one that's been really getting into swing these past seven or so years. The slash corner started insisted on painting people as three dimensional and independent of set definitions, on wrapping the sexuality around the character and not vice versa. To write characters who were queer, and not queer characters, which is a big difference, and one I personally enjoyed. It encouraged a blurring of lines, again something I find extremely pleasant and also very socially healthy.

I don't like that this dialogue has resulted in trying to shove people back into boxes, where you are either a straight woman or a gay man. I don't like that the general message I'm getting seems to be attempts at constructing definitions of what a proper "gay experience" should be in a fic, instead of pushing for people to take into account how being gay might affect certain situations.

If a sexual culture is threatened by a blurring of the lines, by opening dialogue about how sexuality is fluid, by allowing people to play with identity issues and discover for themselves where they might fit . . . then I don't know if that's a culture I want to protect. Be it hetero or gay or generally queer.