salinea: renee/kate hugging (femslash)
Do you use Boy Words or Girl Words? Or the other words, but I can’t ‘amember them.

I met Alec when he was 3 years old. I was coming over to babysit – I had met some of Alec’s parents (4 of the 7 of them) at a polyamory event. Seven parents, all over the gender and sexuality spectrum. Eleven children, ages five months through 12 years. Two big houses. Alec was the only kid in the living room when I knocked. He full on bounded toward the door.

“Hi I’m Alec are you the babysitter mommy said that we can go to the park if you want to and feed the ducks do you like legos?”

“Yep, hi, my name is Andy.” I said, kneeling down, “Let me talk to one of your parents first, ok?”

While I was saying this Alec was looking me up and down.

“Yeah ok, hey, Andy, do you use boy words or girl words, or the other words but I can’t really ‘amember them?”

I looked curiously at his mom, Amelia, who was busy tiding up the table.

“Oh,” she said, “he can’t remember the word pronouns.”

“Ah,” it clicked, “I use boy words. What about you?”

“I use boy words, too. Do you like legos?”

“Of course I do!”

In that 45 second exchange Alec showed me that he knew more about gender than most adults I’ve met in my 23 years on this planet. Alec was, of course, in a unique spot, having three parents who didn’t identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. But his question, “do you use boy words or girl words or other words” (he/him/his, she/her/hers, some gender neutral option) was really a variant of the “are you a boy or a girl?” that I hear from half the kids I meet. He wanted to know what to call me. I later learned that the kids asked this question of almost any adult who walked into the house, regardless of their gender presentation. They had learned that momma’s friend, who may have long blonde hair and big boobs and be wearing a pink dress, might not use the pronouns she/her/hers. The older kids even occasionally asked a person they knew again if their appearance had changed drastically since they last saw them.
salinea: (Default)
Okay, first I'm feeling much better since yesterday. Hoping it'll hold. Thank you so much to everyone on my flist for being such darlings and comforting me. You guys are the best! ♥ Especially since I know I'm not half as good as you at comforting you when you're feeling down >_>; I'm sorry for that.

Second, I finally got my hands on Pet Shop of Horror (yes, took my sweet time, but it is difficult to find scans of, and it's never been released in France and I don't usually order manga from the US cuz that's kinda expensive) which was indeed as awesome as I was led to believe. Love (as I always do) the whole morality fables / creepy fairy tales / contemporary occult atmosphere and how it mixes domestic comedy. The characters are very much darlings, and the stories are very tight. Of the manga I've read set in the US, I thought it was the most self aware of cultural subtleties and I found the way it lampshades as well as uses (and abuses!) Asia as mysterious/female/magical/suspicious was hilarious. And I really loved the ending, what a perfect fanfic fodder!

Of course as soon as I was finished I was hitting [ profile] rexluscus's tags to find fics and recs (haven't left comments anywhere yet : you know it's funny I never mind leaving comments on old fics but I hate doing it in fandoms which I'm not familiar with yet) and it was midway to reading a (very nice, very much fluffier than what I usually like but still wonderful) fic that it was kinda hit by how much those characters are similar to Damien and Tarrant. At which point I felt stupid because they're very very similar. Like okay Damien's slightly smarter, and Gerald's slightly less gender-ambiguous. Very slightly. Their relationship's different, not domestic at all, and much more bonding over religion and Biblic jokes which, yeah, not so much with Leon/D. Oh, and all the slashy subtext in Coldfire is unintentional *snorts* And now I feel guilty about not having passed the prologue+first chapter of the big Coldfire reread over at [ profile] hunters_forest (althought the discussion appears to be quite lively without me so at least there's that).

And now it's 4am and I should get up early tomorrow to go touring the Marais and then watch anime; and the day after that I have to go to my parents to celebrate the Rosh Hashanah, and at some point between all this I need to find the time to download and watch the last Code Geass episode - AND I DON'T FEEL LIKE SLEEPING, like not at all.

I could talk about the movies I've watched lately. Would you want me to do that?

Oh and I'm vaguely considering trying to do NaNoWriMo this year, hoping it would help curing myself of that dryspell of inspiration.

And I need to get train tickets for the Utopiales which got a very drool inducing list of invited writers. There's Richard Morgan too, I've got half of a mind of taking one of those books he recced to me to have him sign to see if he gets mad or laugh because I'm an ass ; and there's Ellen Kushner (although I already have an autograph of her via the lovely [ profile] generalblossom but now I can get one of her books signed, yay!); and Robin Hobb and Hal Duncan (guess that means I must get off my lazy ass and read Ink).

Actually with that list of writers I hope they're going to at least do one panel about gay and gender queer characters in SFF novels. Would be interesting to see Richard Morgan faced to people like Hal Duncan and Ellen Kushner, especially given how much talks I've seen about The Steel Remains as bold and daring for being a fantasy novel with OMG gay characters and a long and hard graphic gay sex scene, and people asking if it was difficult for him as a straight male to write that. (If so I will totally have to ask Kushner and Duncan if it's difficult for them write heterosexual characters and straight sex!!)

Gahh, I'm so hyper and it's 4am30. When am I gonna be able to sleep? ;_;

I have too many firefox windows opened right now.
salinea: (Default)
Pat from Pat's Fantasy Hotlist (yes, the same who called Priviledge of the Sword chick lit ^^), re-posted a bit of an interview he did of Hal Duncan (who wrote Vellum and Ink - I reviewed Vellum over there - ETA: Hal Duncan also has a blog which you can check out) which really cracked me up :

Previous depictions of homosexual characters in fantasy/scifi books have always been somewhat clumsy and didn't ring true. And yet, instead of trying to get readers to "accept" it, you just went ahead and put Jack and Puck's relationship as a central storyline throughout both volumes. Was that intentional from the beginning? INK contains graphic sex scenes between the two, and I was wondering what sort of responses those sequences generated among readers and critics?

One of my pet hates is the fetishisation you get in certain types of fantasy, particularly vampire fiction, I have to say, where gay equals frilly shirts, sensitive pouts and lingering looks with doe-eyes. Man, at least slash is subversive in applying that aesthetic to straight characters, and at least slash has the guts to get down and dirty. That stuff is just softcore boy-on-boy goth porn. Even when it's not so deeply fetishised, there still seems to be a tendency to stereotype gays as refined rather than rough, fey rather than fiery, cats rather than dogs.

The second problem with gay characters in genre fiction is that they're generally marginalised as subsidiary characters, which smacks of PC tokenism. Yeah, so your heroine has a Gay Best Friend; big deal. So your team of heroes has a tagalong queer; I'm not impressed.

The last problem is that even when you get a fully-fledged protagonist they're generally just not genre enough. By which I mean, the writer feels the need to show that it's "normal" to be gay, so the characters are rendered in a Realist mode rather than as Romantic heroes. They're intelligent, sensitive portraits of gays as "just like everyone else". Bollocks to that. The fetishised gays are annoying. The marginalised gays are frustrating. But the normalised gays are just plain dull. I want a gay character who blows shit up. I want a gay James Bond, a gay Jerry Cornelius, a gay Superman, a gay Indiana Jones, a gay Clint Eastwood in Where Eagles Dare. Achilles wasn't normal. He was an uberfag, dragging Hector's body ten times round the gates of Troy for killing his boyfriend. Now that's what I call a hissy fit!

I see what he means about the first criticism (which one also finds in slash when people speak about "feminization" (sic) of characters), and I think the second exists in a few novels but not that many. I'm not sure I remember any instances of the third in genre fiction, but that may be because of the inherent blandness of such a character type. I actually think that there's a lot of interesting stories dealing with queer themes generally speaking in SFF but that's just IMHO.

It really amuses me when he says slash at least had the guts to get down and dirty ^_^ (I compared his work to specific kind of slash when I did my own review).

salinea: (Default)
[ profile] mechaieh posted a transcript of the sermon she gave at her Unitarian Church on the subject of bisexuality

Here's the blurb :


As individuals whose sexual preferences do not fit neatly within traditional "either-or," "all-or-nothing" beliefs about relationships, bisexuals often face unflattering assumptions about their personalities and morals -- including negative perceptions about their refusal to declare or accept what seems to many to be a simple choice. As individuals whose spiritual needs do not fit neatly within traditional "either-or," "all-or-nothing" beliefs about creeds and covenants, Unitarian Universalists often encounter unflattering assumptions about their personalities and morals -- especially perceptions about their refusal to declare or accept what seems to many to be a simple choice. This morning, we will take a look at how to welcome ambiguity and complexity, and why bearing witness matters so much.

Go read the full transcript here

I find this subject fascinating, not only the topic of bisexuality (which [ profile] mechaieh spoke about wonderfully) , but the idea of comparing sexual orientation with other identity categorizations and when they are or appear too vague, or too "in-between" and the difficulties and prejudices people face because of that.

[ profile] skuldchan's rant about gender identities answering an article about "feminized male" in Japan makes me think along the same way as well.

As humans we tend to think in oppositions. We classify everything around us. Dark or light, female or male, dead or alive, yin or yang, good or bad, old or young, hot or cold, wet or dry etc. Symbolical systems of categorization almost always end up pairing things in opposites.
There's a certain laziness in this way of thinking that often lend itself to easy amalgams. Such as thinking that anything that doesn't belong to one category, must belong to the other one. And that something that does belong to one category, cannot belong to the other.

long rambling that might or might not be relevent )


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