Dear friends, we haven’t seen much of each other all March, because FINANCE. But now that that’s behind me, I guess we could have an update of sorts? Right. Better late than never.
ANYWAY: Your weekend round-up is a fangirl, mostly.
GUYS. I want to say a thing or two about fandom. A couple of weeks ago Vulture did a piece discussing fandoms and fanfiction, and despite its hetero x m/m focus (not a single mention of the word femslash anywhere! kami na ang tunay na underground movement?!) and focus on Wattpad as its authoritative source of fanmade content, I did enjoy reading it for this one thing: It mentions KathNiel. -screaming-
Before I go into fangirling full-on I would also like to mention this BuzzFeed article about How One Direction helped this author find ‘her girls.’ It reads like one long grouphug, see excerpts:
The lines between “real” life and internet life have blurred in the last few years in a beautiful way. As girls are making their obsessions known, they are connecting with each other. I’ve come across many teen girls who say that their Twitter friends are their only true friends because no one in their school wants to talk about their fandom. So instead of feeling lonely in their rooms, they’re making Skype dates to discuss what Liam’s tweet really means.
And this ending:
These girls are creating a world for themselves where they feel safe and supported and encouraged to express themselves, and it’s incredible. Why are so many people so eager to mock women for “acting like girls” by expressing passion in fandom, when we as a society allow men to fanboy over sports and superheroes well into adulthood? Why are we pushing girls away from a fandom that is teaching them new talents, how to navigate relationships with each other and the media world around them by telling them their feelings are not valid?
WORD. I mean as a fan of all things — fictional characters, actresses who may either be working together or dating/whatever, musicians, characters with superpowers and sports teams, I can confirm that the obsession is the same regardless of material, so why are some obsessions less valid than others? (Filed under: Very important questions.)
When I say ‘Buffy turned me gay’ I do not mean it lightly — my fannish experience is intimately entwined with my early journey toward self-discovery. In the midst of all that confusion, turning to TV was actually a comfort, and consuming fanmade material was like me confirming that I wasn’t in a void.
I suppose I didn’t really get into the whole fan community thing until I was older. Younger, I didn’t really know what I could bring to the table amid all that ~talent~ (which is why I read the Vulture piece with a brow half-raised because darlings fandom has been magnificent all along and it predates all of us, actually) and I remember having to write fan fiction for my ’04 erotica elective (OF ALL PLACES) and thinking, Ah well, this is doable. Haha. I don’t think that text is floating around the Internet anywhere, though.
Also, I met Andrea because we were both fans of The L Word, that groundbreaking lesbian-centric series in the mid-2000s (medyo nakakaiyak ang description na ito?! I have a handful of younger lesbian friends who have not watched this huhuhu HELLO) and we were also both big Buffy fans, and some nights we talk about Buffy and I’m like, Ah, episode [number] [actual episode title] yan di ba? and I think she loves me a bit more for it every single time. (Some days, I randomly remember things like, “3.14 Bad Girls”, which is what you’d rewatch like 1,000x if you’re a Buffy/Faith shipper, but what the hell.)
After those two, it got kind of hard to find something with actual non-subtext lesbians. And then I found Skins in 2009. tl;dr – It’s actually all Skins’ fault. Suddenly, I was proofreading Skins fiction for grammar and plot lapses and listening to fanmixes and shipping everyone with everyone because damn that fandom was that crazy talented.
Sigh. I will never forgive Skins Fire ever. For every fandom, there is a moment, and that was our fandom’s moment. I was in it when it happened and we were all just… angry. I mourned all the AUs that that ending invalidated. I watched as fandom imploded on various platforms — I got texts in all caps from local friends, I got updates in all caps on Twitter, and gifs of all possible human emotions elsewhere. It was a harrowing time. It was also crazy, true. Have you any idea how insane raw emotions are? Truth be told, they’re glorious as fuck, and the only place I have seen them in their purest form is in fandom.
Bless these people who have shed their walls and allowed me — a total stranger from seven, eight time zones away — to see all that.
And so we all moved on. These days, lesbian representation is somewhat getting better, and for some reason I have managed to build an online network that actually alerts me if there’s a new lesbian in town. (Looking at you, Commander Lexa)
Some days I think about how I’m probably too old to be in this space, but what the hell. Can anybody be really too old for passion?
Yeah. I guess not, too. 🙂
If you have obsessions you’d like to share I’m all ears in the comments =)
I am also on Tinyletter: http://tinyletter.com/lastgirl 🙂