thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
posted by [personal profile] thefairymelusine at 09:00am on 20/01/2010 under , , ,
 A large amount of curry, some cake, the prospect of a Pride social today and new piercing and some hugs have made things better. As has the fact that [theboyinsearchofaname], a fairytale with a trans protagonist and various queer and genderqueer characters, is going well. I've now got the basics of nymph/dryad/ghilie-dhu reproduction down in notes, a Zeppelin with a green room which is full of greenery, and a dryad counselling/crisis/support service in the story itself. I'm fairly sure my lack of sleep shows, as shown by the fact that I just tried to type shoes rather than shows, but I'm enjoying this. 
thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)

This is a birthday post for

[personal profile] azdaja_dafema

 on the treatment of Andrew in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Seven especially.

Now I have a shiny new issue of the so far very mixed Season Eight in front of me, and this may remedy the problems I raise in this article, as it has Andrew on the cover.

 

There are many issues with sexual politics, especially treatment of queer issues, in Buffy. I’m going to shy away from the big one (end of season six, particularly with Willow and Tara) for the moment. First, I’d like to talk about the series a little.

 

Buffy was hugely important to me in secondary school. The first friend I made I made because I watched Buffy (we later fell out). The lovely

[personal profile] azdaja_dafema

 I talked to more because of it. My mother thought that I thought I was gay because Willow was. Now the slightly more embarrassing admissions: my diary aged 11-14/15 was addressed to Willow. I used to make up conversations with Andrew in my head to let myself go to sleep during season seven (when I was 15).

 

One thing you might notice is that Willow and Andrew are both queer. Another thing you might notice is that Andrew, possibly the only clearly queer male character in the show, is not a serious character. His sexuality is heavily implied but not stated and is clearly linked to his “camp” persona, which could be fine. Only it’s not, really.

 

I identified with Andrew. It helped that both the girl in whom I was interested and my family very clearly identified me with him. I identified with the camp squee over comics, the pedantry over Stephen King adaptations, even, earlier in the series, the desire to be a supervillain. That could be fine apart from moments when the character is taken seriously, and the plot around the murder of Jonathan. It was possible to do really good things, like the treatment of Faith after she killed someone, with the character. Instead, with Andrew, it seems to be treated as a) he’s a joke but b) he’s also evil and did really bad things, which are inextricably linked to his queerness.

 

Cast your mind back now to me, at 15, watching Buffy. The Willow/Tara storyline and treatment of that, showing a functional queer relationship, had been important to me as a positive queer role model. That’s one of the problems I have with season six. Now they get to showing a gay man, and it’s not that he’s shown as being in love/infatuated with/attracted to someone who is evil, because there are amazing things that could be done with that. It’s not even that he’s shown as in awe of Warren, and completely uncritical. It’s when we get to season seven, and even the episode where he’s central (Storyteller) treats him both as a joke and as someone whose point of view is invalid, and reminds us that he’s a murderer. I think there are ways that the writers could have handled it better, while essentially doing the same things. I think they could have treated his sexuality as real, for one thing. After all the Buffy/Angel angst, and Tara being written out before Willow went evil, in the Dead/Evil lesbian trope, I think they could have taken a male queer character seriously. I have straight male friends who complain that Xander is treated as a joke after the wedding episode. I’m not sure I agree.

 

Because, as I said before, Andrew is the only queer male character in Buffy, and his campness, his sexuality and his crimes are all bundled together, and mainly in the form of comic relief. So I really wonder, considering Buffy’s fling in season eight, whether lesbianism is okay because it’s cute or attractive to male audience members, but male homosexuality is at worst a threat, at best not to be taken seriously. Given Buffy is the show that gave me Willow and Tara when I was thirteen, delayed their first onscreen kiss until a point where it was unsurprising, and emotional, and not the most important thing going on, this really makes me sad.

 

As does Andrew continuing to be a joke character in the comic, which may be remedied in the issue I have in front of me, but also may not. Anyway, enough of that for the meantime, hope I did actually touch on the sexual politics enough, will try and post more about Buffy and sexual politics (why hallo there, biphobia) soon.
thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)

Probably ridiculous spec fic by numbers, and mostly me wanting to write the happy place, and because I thought I should do Outer Alliance's other suggestion

 

Ruins of Westminster Cathedral, 2372 )
thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)

And further to the theme of Coming Out Day, a loud slam poem about self defining and roles.

“Is it just assuming a role?” she asks

Why yes, but for heaven’s sake

Not just gender but all identity’s performative

And I’m sick of being forced

Into being faux (or assumed) heternormative

Normative at all in fact, I don’t want

Unbroken skin, brown hair, or not

To have my mother in a whirl

Because you say it’s a role,

But all of me is, is many

And always will be, my own silent soliloquy,

For when there are no words,

When a fuck you, or an identity, gives me

Hope, or purpose or just something to be

Something to feel I am, for others

So that I can be there, to be loved

Or hated, or ignored, but without that

All the lies and rumours and hostility

Is true, and not in the way that I want

So this, all this, the style, the actions, the loves

Are all just me, roles, but what I want

And should, and need to be, complete

Imperfect, changing, and essential


thefairymelusine: Knight in Circle (knight circle green)
Today, I think, is Coming Out Day, and the Outer Alliance have asked people to write about their coming out stories. I remember being dragged to a discussion group once which was discussing the fact that in terms of mainstream literature, quite often gay people only seem to exist in terms of coming out, and the emphasis that is put on that as a single action.

I can't speak for everyone, or indeed anyone other than me, but for me coming out has never been cut and dried. Being twelve and confessing to friends and my mother that I might be attracted to girls (and being told that it was a phase) went on for about four years, until I was finally comfortable enough to just be open about my sexual orientation in a way that made me feel I didn't still need to come out, although in certain circumstances I still did. Then, a while later, I started my first serious relationship, which happened to be with a man, and had to negotiate a strange sort of re-coming out, or trying to reinforce my queerness while acknowledging this relationship. And later still various other comings out, as bisexual-queer, as polyamorous which would be irrelevant were it not included in this coming out again as attracted to and having relationships with women

I will probably always have some people to whom I have to come out as queer, and that frustrates me. There are some ways I will probably never come out fully, for example I can't imagine coming out as polyamorous in certain circumstances. And the response has switched slowly from "is it just a phase" to "do you really want to put that label on yourself", and most of the time I do, because of the echoes I have of being sixteen and at summer camp and able to be myself, able to make jokes about my take on the world.

And I am aware I'm privileged. I am aware of all the areas in which I can come out, in which I am safe and unthreatening, in which I am in environments which are at worst unwelcoming, but not threatening, and that possibly my comings out don't matter.

And finally, I should use this day to say something, about my current coming out, and exploration of gender, and I have come over just as coy as I always do in these matters. I am starting to identify as genderqueer, and to present as male some of the time, and realise that I don't really think of myself as female, although I don't have a problem with female presentation, I just don't want it to be the only option. And I don't know whether I think of myself as male either, I just know that throughout my teens I thought of myself as a courtly lover, and still kind of do (which brings it's own bundle of problems with gender roles and sexism) And telling you this is probably self indulgent, and unimportant, but I thought I should. Because coming out is always about being allowed to show an aspect of yourself, to be more yourself, and it is mostly coming out about identifying as me, not a woman or girl or even courtly lover.
thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
Okay, so I have had a fail few days mostly, and while there is much awesome stuff, there are still some things with which I'm having problems.
There is some stuff that I am trying to leave behind with which I'm having problems. The therapist I saw for the last while wasn't big on talking about these, even when it was suggested. In other ways he was good. There is hardly any psychology in Coventry. But here is some stuff. So I'm going to talk about it here. It's under a cut, if you don't want to read. I may do a few other of these. And given it is teenage queer angst, you may not want to read.

Teenage/school queer and weird angst )



Music:: The Legend of Mr Gordo
thefairymelusine: (Harvey Dent)
New Start
Okay, on Thursday I start my new job. It is a cool job, it is in an area in which I want to work, with links to other ones. I've spent this evening, and much of the last few days, going through practical things big and small, and also small head clearing things. And have managed to ritualise this as a new start. Not completely new, there are awesome continuations, but this will be my year of giving a damn and not, of trying to live to my principles, challenge and question my prejudice and preconceptions, be loud, be considerate. And this is what I want to stick by:

I will improve at calling people out, male and female, queer and  not, left and right wing on their use of  casually sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, classist, or ablist comments (thank you the F-Word) and language, and do so when I like and respect the person in question, and do so in a polite manner. And I will listen if people do the same to me.

I will read more widely and be more politically, socially and professionally aware, especially in the fields about which I want to write. (And especially in terms of mental health activism

I will make the most of creative and professional opportunities.

I will, most probably, compromise or adjust what I say (i.e. not say things) around people or audiences, I am never going to stop doing this, some of it is courtesy, some of it is being sensible, some of it being appropriate and some of it self preservation. But I'm going to do it in those circumstances and not as a default reaction or because I don't want to be confrontational.

The same applies to presentation.

I will stop listening to people who tell me that I will be pigeonholed if I mention being affected by issues.

I will be aware of my privilege as well as that of others.

I will abandon my intellectual snobbery regarding education and what subjects, disciplines, forms of education and degree classes/grades are acceptable/respectable.

I will not be an intellectual snob in reverse.

I will undoubtedly fuck up at some point and in some way, but I will acknowledge my mistakes and learn from them.

And I shall be willing to be persuaded, while also willing to argue back.

And two things for  [livejournal.com profile] secondterminal (1) and [livejournal.com profile] amagiclantern (2)

(1)I shall respond to the term "facebook rape" by directing the person who makes the comment to the issue of Dinosaur Comics I now cannot find, and for which searching makes me feel wrong.

(2)and, as I said earlier I am going to dress and behave like an angry queer feminist genderfucking office worker in my early twenties, to do a symbolic "fuck you" to my mother and school and retail jobs, and because, to quote xkcd, "we're the grownups now and we get to decide what that means"

Also this year needs a name. Although I'm quite tempted by the Century of the Fruitbat.







thefairymelusine: line drawing of a knight lying by a bank of flowers (Default)
posted by [personal profile] thefairymelusine at 01:21am on 07/05/2009 under , , ,
This is more directly personal than most of my Queer Knight stuff, in that it's more about me than about an issue. But I have a play on in a rehearsed reading on Sunday. I have booked tickets for my parents. The play is apocalyptic late adolescent lesbian romance. A lot of it is based on me at sixteen or seventeen, and a friendship I had then. I have shown this play to a great many people, I have tried to show it to my parents but I am still worried about them seeing it.

I am out to both my parents. I'm out as gay/lesbian rather than queer or bisexual, because that's generally how I self define, and self definition is important, damn it. (I am moving more towards queer as a definition, because I like what I percieve as the lack of assumptions attached to it) My mother doesn't believe me, and hasn't believed me since I started going out with my boyfriend. My father appears to have forgotten I ever came out. But the play is very much focussed on female relationships and sexuality,  while being quite mild. Given the last time my mother came to see any work of mine we had a somewhat awkward conversation, as I'd quoted her in the play and we ended up pretending I hadn't, I forsee a slightly awkward conversation about it.

I am very annoyed at myself for being worried about this. I'm out, it shouldn't be an issue, and even if I wasn't (either out or queer) there'd be no problem with my writing a play with lesbian romance if it was written with a proper view of the characters as people. My parents, or for that matter my boyfriend's parents, shouldn't have an issue with it and if they do I shouldn't let them. And the play is very very tied up with who I am now, and I would like to be confident about that, and like them to see it, because I would really like them to accept me as various things ( a writer with potential, an adult and just who I am). I'm being stupid and angsty about this for various reasons, and I, as I am with mental illness, am not adopting the "well, fuck that" attitude that I believe I should.

More on the sexuality thing later. The actual parental reactions may be on the Other Blog.

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