kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Sanctuary: Henry and Big Guy comfort)
In the last couple of minutes I've seen two different people assert (in relation to the Sanctuary Cage Match thing) that Helen is bisexual. Where are they getting this? Was it actually on the show and I missed it somehow, or is it word of producers who are too chickenshit to depict queerness on the show but want the cred anyway god, or is it fanon?

I'd very much like Sanctuary to have canon queer characters, preferably more than one, but I'm wary of fandom's tendency to assert things as canon that . . . aren't.
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (DAAS: Paul oops)
I have a cold and feel icky. But this, from the November 10 2008 episode of Good News Week, cheered me up immensely:

click to read )

nooooooooo

Jul. 11th, 2010 03:49 pm
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
I just watched DS9 3x14, "Heart of Stone."

spoilers )
kindkit: Man sitting on top of a huge tower of books, reading. (Fandomless--book tower)
I've finished The Naive and Sentimental Lover and will write up a real post about it when I'm less tired.1 The book turns out to be vastly more self-aware about its homoeroticism than I had expected, and it also features a good deal of ironic humor. I offer the extract below the cut for your delectation.

clickety click )
kindkit: Man sitting on top of a huge tower of books, reading. (Fandomless--book tower)
I've been reading lots of John LeCarré recently; I've finished the Smiley books and am now cautiously branching out into the others.

The Honourable Schoolboy didn't do much for me, perhaps because I found the protagonist, Jerry Westerby, both tedious and unsympathetic, and Smiley and co. were barely in it (although it was interesting to see them in a near-antagonist role). Smiley's People wrapped up the Smiley-Karla relationship in a moving, if not always believable, way.

After finishing those, I went back to the early Smiley books, Call for the Dead and A Murder of Quality. Call for the Dead amped up the general aura of m/m homoeroticism in Le Carré's work with major plot spoilers for both books and Tinker, Tailor under the cut )

Today at the library I picked up Our Game (1995), The Secret Pilgrim (1991), which I'm nervously looking forward to because it features Bill Haydon backstory, and Le Carré's only "mainstream" novel, The Naive and Sentimental Lover (1971). I've skimmed through some of the last, having heard about it, and it looks to be in the running for "most homoerotic novel ever written about two ostensibly straight character by a non-LGBT identified writer." Seriously, folks. It features two men who call each other "lover," say "I love you," sleep in the same bed, kiss, and yet never have sex because they are Not Queer. I will definitely be posting about this one once I've read it properly.
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Time machine)
Wow, "spreadsheets" sounds really naughty when put into that kind of context. Which is apparently what it takes to make me learn how to create one. For some years I have diligently avoided acquiring this skill, but then I got the urge to keep track of every queer character in Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey and Maturin novels. After some wailing and gnashing of teeth (because Excel could not be more user-unfriendly unless it started punching the user in the face), I have a multivariable comparison that's confirming some of my theories about queerness in the Aubreyverse. It's not done yet, though (I'm only a little more than halfway through my re-read of all 20 books) so it'll be a while before I post more about it.

But I can say (unrelated to the spreadsheet, which only deals with characters O'Brian identifies as queer) that the re-read is going far to convince me that Stephen Maturin is at least a Kinsey 3, possibly 4 (3 = 50/50 bisexual, 4 = slight preference for the same sex). more under the cut )

history?

Mar. 11th, 2010 09:46 pm
kindkit: Text: im in ur history emphasizin ur queerz (Fandomless: Queer history)
Does this supposedly vintage photo of two men holding hands on a beach look photoshopped to anyone else?

To me, the sepia tone implies a much older image than the haircuts and clothes, which look no older than the 1960s and possibly much more recent than that. (You could see guys dressed like this by a Minnesota lake any summer, although they probably wouldn't be holding hands.)

ETA: In browsing back through the site, I found a couple of posts mentioning the fact that they do "digitally restore" their images (with inclusion of the original images for comparison). The restored images all feature sepia tone even when the originals don't. *frowns*

It's still a cool picture, but the attempt to make it look more "antiquey" irritates me, as does the fact that all these historical images are being posted with no indication of provenance or date. I recognize some of the images as taken from books, too.
kindkit: Text: im in ur history emphasizin ur queerz (Fandomless: Queer history)
The New York Times discusses a new poll about repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". When the poll was worded as asking whether "gay men and lesbians" should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, support for repeal was over 10% higher than when the wording was whether "homosexuals" should be allowed to serve.

"Homosexual" has long been a problematic word due to its association with medical discourse that categorized same-sex desire as deviance and sickness.1 At this point, I think it's become something very like a slur. Anti-gay folks make a point of using the term "homosexual" instead of "lesbian and gay." Some of you may remember a story in which a news service associated with the American Family Association renamed athlete Tyson Gay as "Tyson Homosexual" because the site's filtering software automatically changed the word "gay."

My own least favorite use of "homosexual" has long been as what I've nicknamed the pejorative of specification. As in, "Mary then began a homosexual relationship with Lisa." There's no need for the adjective "homosexual" (it's obvious that the relationship is between two people of the same sex) except to imply that it's not quite the same thing as a real relationship. Just like, say, a "woman doctor" isn't quite a proper doctor.


1In the first draft of this post I said the word originated in medical discourse, but I had the nagging feeling that was wrong. Double-checking on Wikipedia reminded me that the first known use of "homosexuality" occurred in an 1869 German pamphlet protesting an anti-sodomy law. So it began as a term some LGB people picked for themselves, but was appropriated by medicine and psychiatry for purposes that were often virulently homophobic.
kindkit: Man sitting on top of a huge tower of books, reading. (Fandomless--book tower)
I finally read Havemercy, by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett, which for some reason I didn't hear of until recently despite it being a fantasy novel with m/m romance written by people with fannish connections.

Havemercy is hard for me to comment on in a way, because there are things I love about it, but objectively it's not a very good book and in some ways it's quite a problematic one.

spoilers under the cut, including a fairly major one for a character-related revelation that occurs about two-third of the way through )

You know what I'd like to see in 2010? Not just more published sff that features queer characters and relationships (both f/f and m/m) but better queer sff. Stories that actually reflect on queer experiences beyond sex and romance (or that explore what a world that doesn't discriminate against queer people/relationships might be like), stories that innovate in more ways than just queer inclusivity, stories that don't rely so much on convention and cliché (especially conventions borrowed wholesale from the heterosexual romance genre). Sadly, given how few books are being published these days, I doubt 2010 will be a breakthrough year in that regard.
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
I have a feeling this is going to be all over the internet within hours: a gay author of LGBT-themed books was unable to include the word "gay" in his author profile at Amazon.com. It was flagged as "potentially inappropriate" and he wasn't able to post the profile until he removed it. Click here for his account of the incident.

People are, not surprisingly, outraged.

However, I would bet money, if I had any, that what amazon.com was trying to flag was the use of "gay" as a pejorative (as in "that's so gay"). But whoever did the programming fucked up, which isn't surprising at all because it's damn hard to screen for a word that can be used both positively and pejoratively. Not coincidentally, author profiles are a new feature and thus exactly where horrible glitches are most likely to occur.

I believe this is an accident for one simple reason: Amazon.com isn't affiliated with the Christian right in any way that I know about. (If someone has evidence to the contrary, please link.) Nor have I heard of any pressure campaign by the Christian right against Amazon.com trying to get them to remove LGBT content. Amazon.com has no reason to alienate LGBT customers.

This fuck-up, like the previous delisting of LGBT books, is more easily explained by stupidity than by malice. A probably well-intentioned fuck-up makes more sense than a conspiracy (by a major international corporation serving a customer base that, I imagine, includes more LGBT people than Christian fundamentalists) to secretly make gay books and authors invisible. Especially in the absence of external pressure to do so.

Unless I see convincing evidence to the contrary, I'll continue to think that Amazon.com needs better website maintenance and oversight rather than that it's anti-gay. Especially since Amazon.com is considered a highly progressive company on LGBT employment issues.

*****

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