Wednesday, August 25, 2010

When Fiction Comes To Life

 Fiction comes to Life – Literally

So far we have explored several real life topics related to our slash stories, but this time we are going to look at a slightly reverse angle.  Slash fan fiction has had an impact on real life.  Its readers have become invested in the gay community, and the industry has even recognized slash is a fact of life.

What effect has slash had on the gay community?  Well, according to the author of the following article, the answer is “plenty”.   

Has Slash Made the World Better for Gay Men?  

I saw myself in pieces of that article.  Prior to slash fan fiction, I could have been best described as ‘neutral’ in LGBT issues.  I was not opposed to any of the issues, but I was not a champion of them either.  I didn’t even understand the difference between civil unions and marriage equality.  Prop 8 was off my radar.  I certainly did not think I would find the slash lemons appealing… (Oh my, how things have changed!)

My first slash fan fiction was “All I Ever Knew” by manyafandom. Not only did I enjoy it, I found myself addicted.  I sought out more stories.  I became informed and aware of the issues.  I sought more knowledge, and I learned the truth!   I went from just merely ‘neutral’ to protesting NOM, and contributing to several organizations that address LGBT concerns.  

Even more interesting, I heard my mantra repeated over and over as I read slash reviews and comments on the forums.  More and more women who were not aware that they would enjoy slash were now converts, and were now fully supporting the LGBT community.

Slash authors:  You have been changing hearts and minds!!

So, in the real world, what does the industry think of slash?  Well, I haven’t heard anything negative.  I would guess that anything that draws attention and keeps the fans interested is going to be tolerated at least, and embraced at best.  Fan fiction was embraced and incorporated into the story as evidenced in these two clips from actual episodes of “Supernatural”, where in the first clip Sam and Dean discuss slash, and in the second clip Sam and Dean meet a fan fiction author:

Were you one of the ones converted by slash?  If so, what story popped your slash cherry?  Has it changed your attitude and/or involvement in LGBT issues?  Please leave a comment!


Posy said...

I read my first slash story in the middle of the night with my husband sound asleep beside me. I read the first few chapters with my fingers over my face, afraid that someone was going to find out what I was reading and enjoying.

Obviously that has changed. Sketchbook Revelations wasn't even my first story idea. In fact, I haven't taken my first idea and written more than four chapters. I was originally going to write SR for the TwiSlash One Shot contest but had a friend talk me into expanding my idea. Thank god!

When I write, I truly enjoy looking at complex social issues through a character's eyes. I think this allows people to get past their own prejudices and put on "new glasses" to examine the world. We fall in love with characters. We fall in love with story lines. And because of this, we are able to look at issues like medical rights for gay partners, the struggles of coming out, marriage equality and so much more. I recently wrote a story about a very effeminate gay man because of all the "straight acting" stuff that I hear gay men talk about. Now even gay men are dictating how other gay men act.

I think having the forum of fanfiction has been so freeing for me. I've been able to look at the world differently. I've seen through my own writing and the reviews I've received that I've aided, in some small way, the way that others think about the glbt community. That right there is reason enough for me to continue to write. And I learned so much!

It sounds trite and cliche, but honestly, if I can change one mind through my writing, I will do it as long as I can. And when my best friend asks me why I insist on writing slash, I tell her, gay men deserve to have their story told (even if by a straight woman. haha) and this is a place that I feel like I can actually make a difference. Small as that difference might be, it at least feels worth while.

naelany said...

I know what you mean! It's amazing to hear back from readers, saying they never would have thought about something you wrote with regards to GLBT. It might be a small influence we render as fanfiction authors, but at least it IS a difference we're making.

And like you, I try to do things that are related to life through their eyes - unfortunately, there is a difference due to the lack of equality.

Thank you for reading, and commenting, Posy!