i am looking forward to “elementary” but mostly i am looking forward to seeing what a fandom built largely upon spite will be like
some interesting fanfiction i’ll tell you what: “and then sherlock placed his lips upon joan’s, who was a woman and also lucy liu. and they kissed. with tongues. neither of them were benedict cumberbatch at all.”
Hi :) I was just wondering when you started to realize that you're bi. I think I might be and I just have no idea who to even ask about anything and you seem awesome :)
Aw, anon, I hope I can help! The thing is, I’m a kind of strange case - although, well, isn’t everybody? But for me…bisexual is a convenient term for what I am, and I’m comfortable using it when I come out to people, but it doesn’t cover the full picture. Sometimes I think I might be demisexual - at the very least I have a very low sex drive. I can find people attractive for purely physical reasons, but I’m much more romantically driven than anything else.
All this is to say that there’s a very blurry line between people I want to be friends with and people I’m interested in, so it took me a really long time to figure out what I was interested in at all. I’ve had a pretty much lifelong habit of developing crushes on people I’m friends with, since it doesn’t take much for my platonic feelings to flip over to romantic, and actually it’s pretty rare that my crushes don’t start out as platonic. So there was this long, confusing period through most of my high school years where I would find myself questioning almost all of my friendships, especially the ones with girls. It took me a long time to start to understand what it was that I was actually attracted to - to be honest, I didn’t really feel comfortable with the term bisexual at all until this year, and I’m nineteen now.
I’m still figuring it out. It’s a process, and I doubt it ever really ends. Right now bisexual works well enough, but maybe in six months it won’t! My advice to you, anon, is to not let yourself get bogged down by labels, and to trust your instincts as much as you can. It’s much easier to determine “I am attracted to this person” than to say “I am attracted to girls.” Sexuality isn’t binary - hell, gender isn’t even binary - and the best thing you can do is to just follow what feels right. There’s no reason to force yourself into a box you don’t feel comfortable with, even if our society is constantly telling us otherwise.
I hope that helps you out a little bit! I know it took me a long time to convince myself that labels weren’t hard and fast and necessary, but you have to just keep telling yourself that. Your sexuality doesn’t have to be a crisis if you don’t want it to be. :)
“Oh, it’s coming on Equinox, lost my headlamp, lost my scraper
In puddles of mud — my heart’s like to flood
But waking up’s easier now the clocks are set for sunlight
Just get me to June, I’ll be over you soon”—“Equinox” (x)
So you’re in the One Direction fandom, and somewhere along the way you’ve started actively shipping some combination of the boys. Maybe it’s Larry Stylinson. Maybe it’s Ziall. Maybe it’s an angsty adventure in Liam/spoons.
Whatever your pairing/s of choice may be, the moment you start publicly shipping them is the moment you are even more responsible for your attitude toward the LGBTQ* community than you were in the first place, and that’s a considerable amount of responsibility.
See, despite the fact that the days of AIDS being called “the gay cancer” while the gay community wasn’t being helped much and the days of Stonewall riots are long behind us and we’re in an age of increased LGBTQ* activism and awareness, the entire community is still widely oppressed and stigmatized.
When you’re consistently blogging about gay couples on a public forum, you’re representing some facet of that community. It doesn’t matter if you’re straight and cis as the day is long. People will see your words and relate them directly to the community.
While many slashers are hesitant to take on this responsibility, it should be noted that 1) it shouldn’t be a responsibility so much as automatic, common courtesy and human decency and 2) you are appropriating the LGBTQ* community for your own enjoyment and are therefore 3) you are expected to at least be aware of the basics.
It won’t take much. I mean, yeah, it can be difficult sometimes— you’ll be changing the way you think, the way you see the world, and the way you interact with the shipping community and your ship/s of choice— but it’s also vital and much less difficult than you’re making it for LGBTQ* Directioners and the image/progress of the community at large.
So here’s what you have to do, allies/shippers/Directioners:
Educate yourself. Research what it means to be an ally. Read up on LGBTQ* history. Become familiar with terms. Think lots and lots. This blog is going to consist mostly of commentary in re: issues with this within the 1D fandom, so a lot of this stuff will be addressed on here in relatable terms. I’ll also be linking to resources and further reading. I hope it helps.
Actively change. Take your newfound knowledge and apply it to yourself. There’s a chance that at least some of the things you do as a shipper are problematic, homphobic, offensive, or otherwise detrimental, and that needs to change. This doesn’t make you homophobic or offensive or a bad person, because we’re all part of this society and we’re all subject to the conditioning it’s pushed upon us. It just means that change is necessary and, yeah, you might have to stop using a few words/terms and thinking more about the implications of what you say. It’s worth it. Trust me.
Spread the word. Educate others. Speak up. Lead by example.
Let’s hope that this is where change begins.
Perfect post, really.
It’s interesting to me that this doesn’t happen automatically.
I discovered slash fanfiction when I was maybe thirteen, through the Twilight and Harry Potter fandoms, and living in an accepting but fairly tight-lipped family, this was my first real exposure to the LGBTQ* community. And, yeah, I was a kid, and I was still figuring myself out, and I’m aware now that I was seriously fetishizing gay men for a while there. But still, just having slash in my life really pushed me towards being an ally (and, eventually, figuring out that I was on the queer spectrum myself). When the GSA was passing out little rainbow flag pins, I thought about Remus and Sirius and pinned one to my sneaker with pride. When I heard kids using derogatory terms in the halls, I remembered reading fics where a character I loved had to face being called those same words, and I felt sick to my stomach. I never had to police my own behavior; I very easily found communities of older, smarter fans who set a positive example for me.
Why is it so backwards now? Maybe I was lucky on some level, but I feel like as the internet is changing, so is the organization of fandom. The One Direction fandom is a good example of this, because a major portion of it is this huge bubble of fans who have suddenly sprung up, kids who haven’t lived quite long enough to know better yet. They’re feeding off each other, and the same avenues and hierarchies that I found in my first fandoms don’t seem to really exist. I mean like, the way it used to work is that you had to find fanfiction to get into these fan communities. You’d join the major livejournal community, or find the most popular stuff on FFN, and pretty quickly you’d start to find the popular BNF writers, who were usually a little older and more experienced and generally better at what they were doing than newcomers. Then maybe you’d write your own fic, and start making friends with people, and kind of work your way through the fandom like that. I’m not saying that problematic shit didn’t happen, but it wasn’t as easy to perpetuate, because there were a lot of respected people at the top who knew more about what they were doing.
Now, though, we have tumblr, and you don’t even need to read fanfiction at all to join the fandom. You just get an account and start searching things you like. Maybe you’re new to this, and you search One Direction on a whim, and you just start scrolling through this chronological list of everything people are saying, and who knows what you’ll stumble upon first? There’s no hierarchy, and the majority of the fandom doesn’t seem to be listening to those of us trying to get all this offensive shit to stop.
Seriously, One Direction fandom? It’s time to start listening to somebody. We live in a world where we can say something about a celebrity and have them see it seconds later. If you put it on Twitter, there is no more fourth wall. And you know what, same with tumblr. I’m not even all that old, and I didn’t have anywhere near this level of visibility when I first found internet fandom. I don’t think it’s wrong to ship the boys as long as we’re not actively waving it in their faces, but it is wrong to let ourselves be seen saying problematic and offensive things in reference to these boys. They don’t deserve that, and this fandom should know better.
I know I’m preaching to the choir here, considering the people who are actually going to see this, but it’s interesting to me. I never had to actively educate myself - my experience encouraged my exploration of the LGBTQ* community naturally. But I guess the systems are changing more than I realized.
RIGHT SO, a couple of people wanted jaime’s first trip to an amusement park. this, naturally, thrilled me, because i am A ROLLER COASTER FANATIC, so without further ado, here is that story!
okay, so when jaime is like ten, he gets slightly obsessed with roller coasters, right? and this is 95% tony’s fault, because upon making the discovery that there are video games that let you like, build your own amusement park, he promptly designed one that would use actual engineering principles to let you design roller coasters and gave it to the kid. as a result, jaime has talked about NOTHING ELSE for like six weeks, and also has designed a number of roller coasters with that video game that made even natasha make a “um, i am pretty sure that is a recipe for disaster” face.
Yeah, some folks inherit star spangled eyes / Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord / And when you ask them, “How much should we give?” / Oh, they only answer, more
Trouble - Cat Stevens
Trouble, Oh trouble, move from me / I have paid my debt / Now won’t you leave me in my misery
Degausser - Brand New
When we were made we were set apart/ Life is a test and I get bad marks /Now some saint got the job of writing down my sins /The storm is coming, the storm is coming in
Modern Man - The Arcade Fire
In my dream I was almost there / Then you pulled me aside and said you’re going nowhere / I know we are the chosen few / But we’re wasted / And that’s why we’re still waiting
When We Were Younger - You Me At Six
When I was younger, I never thought / When I was older, I’d fight your wars / I’d do it for you / When I was younger, I only dreamed / That when I got older, you’d be proud of me
My Country - tUnE-yArDs
At the Salvation army making us all stand in a line /While mommy and daddy make up and try to make up their minds / Oh the shame I felt when those histories mention my name / If only I could forget, but memory’s my favorite thing
Fail Better - Clock Opera
Oh, no matter / try again and fail again, fail better / heaven is never closer, never further away
The Nearness of You - Glenn Miller Orchestra
I need no soft lights to enchant me / If you’ll only grant me the right / To hold you ever so tight /And to feel in the night the nearness of you
Sorry for my shitty art, but photoshop and I are not buddies
Oh my god, I finally did a fanmix that wasn’t genderswap
Sorry that this fanmix is basically FEELS and is therefore the least coherent thing ever, but there is a NOT ENOUGH BUCKY problem that I feel the need to personally solve.
Also I got sappy at the end.
And, yes this whole thing is Steve / Bucky and it kind of gestures to a bunch of the post-Civil War Captain America stuff (it was initially kind of Natasha heavy, but who knows what happened there and I also hope that the thread of “both Bucky and America itself have fundamentally failed Steve, in Bucky’s opinion” is clear- I feel like it isn’t and I am convincing myself of things, but IDK it is supposed to be)