I’ve spent a long time as a fan in queer female fandom spaces, but as a creator-fan hybrid I now feel like an intruder in the only online space that’s ever welcomed me. I have witnessed first-hand the rise and fall of listservs and Live Journal as places where queer women gathered to discuss their favorite shows. I know a lot of fandom history, and when I comment on the events in fandom, it still comes from my position as a fan rather than as a creative. I do not speak for the community of writers so responsible for the strife of queer female fandom, but as a consumer of media aimed at queer women which claim to represent people like me. This colors how people view what I have to say, because in their eyes I am a creator; I am a part of the problem, rather than perhaps an imperfect solution to some of the woe.
There is a whole new generation of young queer creatives just now pushing into the writing scene. More and more, networks, writers, and producers are paying attention to what the fandom says and to what they react to.
I often wonder: is it valid to be both grateful for the acknowledgement of fan desires within the creative side of television writing and a little horrified by the amount of entitlement that getting something they want seems engender within fans? Am I valid in feeling trapped by this feeling of wanting to be the best possible arbiter of representation and knowing that I can never be perfect because the perfection demanded by the queer community isn’t achievable? Does my voice even matter in fandom circles anymore because I’ve “crossed over” to the other side? Am I allowed to continue to speak critically about representation in shows that are not my own because I haven’t “fixed mine yet”?
I struggle with this, because I see how trolls on twitter and tumblr have reacted to folks like me speaking out about problems we see in our fandom community. We aren’t allowed to criticize fandom, because we’re no longer seen as truly a part of it. As creators who can’t always live up to fandom’s oft unreasonable standards, we’re now considered just part of the problem. We can’t critique behaviors and call things out within this community that should also represent us because when we do we’re hurting a community that’s smarting from a year that was, by all accounts, god-awful for queer female representation in popular media. The problem is that in refusing to look at ourselves, and saying that everyone outside the group is to blame, we are sticking our fingers in our ears and refusing to look at what’s wrong with us.
Reuniclus loves Squish!! I have no idea how you made a Gastrodon so dang precious, but it’s very effective! You’re stylization goals!! Whenever someone talks about wanting to draw a certain Pokemon, but it’s too detailed/not cute enough/too weird, I immediately think of Squish–the epitome of adorable. And look at those wiggly ears, they’re so good!!