Bi/Pan erasure is still erasure.
For the love of all that is holy… IF your canon character has had dalliances with different genders that they seem to enjoy, but you’re shipping them with a same gender character, DO NOT point to the situations where they seem to have feelings for the character of your choosing as proof that they are “gay” canonically.
You can fic ‘em till the sun goes down and up again that they’re gay, gay, gay, never had a thing for anyone of a differing gender. If that’s your headcanon or fanon, I’ll defend it to the end.
But do NOT say that is canon. Not unless the character is like, “Oh, I’m totally gay.” (Eg. Willow, who liked boys but ended up being gay.)
But if a character has never said “I’m gay”, and continues to have tension/relationships/sex/etc with characters of whatever gender, then saying that they are canonically gay is a shitty thing to do. It’s erasing parts of that character’s experiences, and as a bisexual woman, it really pisses me off because I really love to see characters with fluid sexuality. It’s so rare to see positive characters with bi/pan/omnisexual tendencies, and when you ignore their spectrum of attraction, you’re saying that their entire love lives aren’t important.
This becomes increasingly problematic when the relationships ignored include women, which is prevalent in slash fandoms. I love Stiles. Stiles and Derek is an awesome ship. But Stiles is not, never will be canonically gay (until he says he is) because he loves women too. This also applies to Dean, Sherlock, Captain Kirk, Spock, and the list could go ooooon.
I know it seems really stupid in the grand scheme of things. It’s the weakest, silliest thing to complain about when you’re living a queer existence. Ninety percent of the time you’re more worried about, “Am I going to get bashed for holding my partner’s hand?” or “Can I eve get married?” or “Will the government recognise our relationship legally?” and shit like that.
But sometimes, to escape that shit, some of us delve into fandom where people are supposed to be more open-minded and more understanding. And I’m seeing people shipping straight pairings, and people shipping gay pairings, and both of them arguing about which is the more legitimate canonically, and it just reminds me of my days in art school when I was figuring myself out. I was suicidal, because I didn’t know where I fit in. My gay friends said I was gay, and my straight friends said I was probably straight, and nobody said, “Hey, there are *other* options…”
If there had been a little bit of representation for people like me, it might have helped me through that. I mean, the closest I had at the time was Rocky Horror Picture Show, and that movie saved my life for sure.
I hope that teens today have a better range of media franchises to absorb themselves into when the world gets too much. And those queer characters that refuse to fit any label you throw at them, they might mean something to somebody. The fact that they are bi/pan/etc is *important*. It’s not an inconvenience to your character view, or a mistake in writing, or whatever. Every little bit of representation helps. Every little bit of erasure is a straw, or a cut, or a tiny disappointment that builds up into something very ugly and terrible.
If a you are a non-Native and you want to tell a Native who has been on a vision quest that you or someone you know has… don’t. If you are a non-Native who has or knows someone who has been on a vision quest and you want to tell a Native who hasn’t been on a vision quest about it… don’t. Both ways, its disrespectful.
This is in response to meeting one of my college suite mates for the first time. I was telling her I was Cherokee and that I’m from the reservation and in response she thought it would be cool to tell me about how her mother has been to a sweat lodge, a drum circle, and been on a vision quest. I swallowed my irritation as best I could and politely said “That’s not something we really talk about”. Immediately her tone changed to one with negativity and she said ”I was just trying to relate to you”.
WHAT THE FUCK?! I normally am very composed in my posts but I’ve had it! I don’t walk up to white people and assume they’re Christian and start trying to “relate” to them by talking about my mother’s non-White Christian experiences. I am over half Cherokee, an enrolled member, and I have never fucking been to a sweat lodge or on a vision quest. This shouldn’t make me any less Indigenous!
That movie The Road to Eldorado makes the Native priest seem like such a horrible villian while in reality the white men who came to the land are the villians. Why? The white men in that movie came to the people pretending to be gods. Lets think about this… GODS, SACRED GODS WHO ARE WORSHIPPED BY THE PEOPLE! Why wouldn’t the priest be upset to find out that the men were shamelessly impersonating those whom they WORSHIP.
To sum this all up… Non-Natives… please, please STOP TREATING NATIVE AMERICAN TRADITIONAL BELIEFS/RELIGIONS LIKE THEY AREN’T RELIGIONS. These beliefs are as sacred to us as your beliefs are to you.
For the Love of Transmisandry »
Let me paint a picture you may have seen before. A college campus nearby is having some sort of trans event. Let’s say it’s Trans Day of Remembrance. Everyone is crowded around a stage and a white trans man steps up to the mic and introduces “our own awesome trans man poet and activist whatever, let’s worship him, let’s say his name is Aydyn” and everyone claps and cheers and a couple folks in the audience scream out his name.
A white, 20-year-old trans man who is a student at the college walks up on stage, an air of false modesty about him, everyone cheers, maybe someone pulls off some undergarment and throws it at the stage; people are that into him. He performs some fun/funny/clever poem about sex or something light and fun, perhaps with a hint of misogyny that everyone excuses under the delusion that trans men can’t be misogynistic, or maybe that we have the right to be, and everyone kinda laughs and smiles—it’s a fan favorite. Then, he gets a serious face and motions for everyone to calm down. He says a few words about “what today is really about,” and says he wants to take things down a notch. Let’s say that he passes out candles and asks people to light them too.
Aydyn gets all intense and angry and performs a poem about going to the bathroom. He talks about people who get murdered for being trans. He talks about being too scared to go to the bathroom because he’s worried he’s going to get murdered. Maybe he even names some names off of the current year’s “Remembering Our Dead” list of trans people who were murdered. He might artfully go back and forth between exploitatively graphic images of what happened to people on the list and what’s going through his head as he walks into the bathroom (maybe someone even shoves him when he’s in there.) There are tears streaming down his face. Everyone claps for him when he ends on a brave note of how he’s not going to let them bring him down. There is pretty much a line of people waiting to make out with him at the after-party. Aydyn is getting laid tonight for sure.
Two or three other trans men (let’s call them Jaydyn, Caydyn & Gaydyn) who look pretty much like him get up and give almost identical performances. It’s clear that one of the 4 of them is the leader and the others are kind of poseurs, but they’re still all getting laid tonight after such displays of bravery.
Towards the end, the one trans woman the organizers could scrounge up at the last minute, as an afterthought, steps on stage to read a statement prepared for her by the organizers of the event and then read the year’s “Remembering Our Dead” list. She was super excited when they asked her to participate, but they didn’t actually bother to read the speech she wrote before they rewrote their own and they “forgot” to tell her about the after-party until the last minute.
Have you ever been to this event? Cause I’ve been to this event. I’ve been to about a million of them, at a handful of different college campuses across the country. But now I’m burnt out on them, and just avoid them like the plague
As a genderqueer person, I always dread signing up on new websites, and try to avoid the ones that ask for a gender and only offer two options.
Prior to Pottermore’s early opening, I scoured their FAQ and found assurance that the only personal information they wanted was my name, birthdate, and location. Well, come registration, I had to give not only those, but also a gender. And, of course, I had to choose between male and female.
Made me feel as though I don’t belong in the fandom.
This makes me sad. Nobody should feel left out of the fandom.
OP, since it’s a beta, that’s something you should mention in your feedback. I’ll mention it, too, when they send out the survey! And anyone else reading this, you should do the same. The more people we can get to point out a problem, the better chance something might be done to fix it.
Vindication for Half-Black, Half-Hispanic Spiderman Miles Morales
In the wake of the death of Peter Parker, Ultimate Spider-Man is still slinging webs across Manhattan. In the fourth, and final, issue of “Ultimate Fallout” to be released Aug. 3, the mantle of the wall-crawling hero has been taken on by Miles Morales, a young half African-American, half Hispanic.
USA Today reported that the Ultimate Universe of Marvel comics was killing off Peter Parker and having a new Spiderman, the half-black, half-Hispanic Miles Morales, take up the suit. And this has ignited a minor uproar.
Aside from the fact that the response to the “black Spiderman,” has been absolutely thumpingly out of scale and crazy, we hit a larger problem: the problem of The One Who Looks Like Me. The world of comics-readers and toy buyers seems to be divided into two camps. (Forget Glenn Beck – he says he doesn’t care about it anyway.) “It doesn’t matter what the character looks like so long as he tells a compelling story!” some say. “Look,” the others say, “after a certain point, you have to wonder why all the leading roles resemble somebody else and you’re stuck with the sidekicks and Spunky Best Friends and Guys With Lame Powers Who Get Killed Off Immediately. I want a hero who looks like me.”
How do you strike a balance?
Superheroes have long served as a sort of national uber myth. Their deaths and origins and intricate conflicts portray, on a grander scale, and in spandex, all kinds of truths about ourselves that we can only metaphorically grasp at.
Silly man in a suit? Not quite. This matters, viscerally. So the debate has barred no holds, as the comments on USA Today suggested.
For every person who comments something like, “It doesn’t take kids long to realize that all the main characters look like someone else and all the sidekicks and extras look like you. This is a good thing…not saying it’s going to change the world, but it will change some kid’s outlook on the world,” there is someone else saying, “So, why now come out with homie the spider man? Wonder if he wasn’t elected marvel would do this. but at least the comic book character will HELP better than the real life comic elected.” (In humanity’s defense, this has received 15 negative votes.)
There is no limit to the asininity of people on the Internet. One of the laws of the Internet is that the stupider the forum, the nicer the comment, which explains why websites entirely devoted to sexual images of cats have generally friendlier and higher levels of discourse than those for most major newspapers.
But what about the larger question? “What’s next? A Spiderman who is half black, half Cuban gay vegetarian who works as a Community organizer and drives a Prius that practices Tai Chi?”
My answer would be, “Why not?” although I’m not sure about the Prius. Seems suspect. I want a superhero to whom I can relate, after all.
And that’s the problem. What makes a character relatable?