Jan. 24th, 2016

kiki_eng: striped mug held by a woman wearing a sleeveless top (Hawaii Five-0) (mug held by Kono)
[personal profile] calvinahobbes prompted me with this after I'd put people talking to me about femslashy things on my wishlist for [community profile] snowflake_challenge. February is coming, which means that, as I have for the last six years, the only fanworks that I'll be consuming or creating are female-centric ones, and since I'm a shipper there's a lot of femslash in that - Femslash February.

I tend to read more slash than anything else during the rest of the year. I like reading a lot of variations of the same story told over, and over. There's more slash so there are more variations available to me there and the size of slash fandom makes it easier to find works. I have deep roots there and I realised back in 2010 that it was really easy for me to read slash, but that I wanted to read more stories about women. Cutting male-centric fanworks out of my life completely was the easiest way, for me, to make sure that I consume fanworks about women. So, I sort of live in my own self-created fannish lesbian utopia for a month. Since I've started doing that the amount of fanworks I read about women has gone up in the other months, too; it's been a success for me, and I've made some really cool discoveries because of it. It's led me to all kinds of canons and there are all kinds of awesome femslash fanworks.

I need stories about women in my life. I need stories about queer women in my life. I am a woman, and I am queer. Those stories can be like water. Sometimes I'll run into a queer woman who will say something like, "It's a piece of shit, but it's got lesbians in it, so I'll be watching it." ...and, oh man. There's a Star Wars gif going around tumblr of Rey abruptly stopping when a ship is blown up in front of her, saying "the garbage will do" and abruptly turning and heading toward the Millenium Falcon; it's captioned with something like "when you have read all the good fic about your OTP." ...and that's it, it's that feeling, only I feel like very few of us have ever gotten used to consistently good content, we just want to see queer ladies represented and we don't have a whole lot of choices. I have watched some terrible, terrible media because of this.

Representation is so important. There's a quote by José Esteban Muñoz: "Heteronormative culture makes queers think that both past and future do not belong to them. All we are allowed to imagine is barely surviving in the present.” Stories are how we tell each other about our past and our future. Erasing queers from histories, from stories, can make it feel like we're not supposed to be here at all.

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