Ignis: The only way I like men is if they’re the only way I like my coffee. Strong Ignis: *eye contact with Gladio* Ignis: Very strong. Ignis: *brings cup up to his mouth* Ignis: Ridiculously strong. Ignis: *sips from his cofffee never breaking eye contact* Gladio: I’m not sure if this should flatter or scare me.
Sorry for the late post. Lost my original post, so here is the do over of my thoughts and observations.
My first Con and honestly did not know what to expect. So glad I went and now can cross this off my bucket list. Almost did not make it as a 100’+ tree came down in my yard a few days before but I was determined and with a little luck, made it happen.
Much has already been said about the panel so I won’t rehash too much. The lines. OMG the lines. They were as terrible as everyone said, but in the end definitely worth it. A man next to me and all alone said he came for his wife who hated crowds. Ahhhh. He also came for the games at the con but still! I was impressed. The first pic shows the sea of people there. Unbelievable. It also shows my empty seat far right in the FIRST ROW!!! The second shows how close the first row was to the stage. Yeah I was star struck. Sam was very playful and his accent amazing, and the kilt twirl a er um…visual treat. Cait was all legs and more legs and beautiful skin. I found myself mesmerized by them and not even wanting to look at the large screens but to just watch them in person. Figured I could see the tape later but could never really look at them real time probably ever again. Unfortunately my iPhone pics are crap, but @sileas84 had some good pics. Many touching moments and then it was over too soon. I remember being surprised it was mainly made up of audience questions.
Then over to get my first photo which was with Sam. It was very disorganized, the lines were too long and it started to heat up with all the bodies. Fun talking in line with others and listening to the conversations of this diverse fandom. Yep some scary. Finally to the front of the line and a quick peek in the small mirror showed that the rain, the lines and now the heat had me looking my absolute best, but hey, it was only Sam! My first glimpse of him, he was wiping the sweat from his brow (hey I’ll throw that rag away for ya 😜). It was click, next, click thx you verra much and I was quite honestly a little speechless (so not me). He of course has a smile and a big hello for everyone. He was skinnier than I expected from his VF pic but honestly you just can’t imagine how handsome he is in person. Sucks the air right of out of ya. No lie. In my last 10 seconds with him, I thanked him for something and then remembered I had brought a gift. I tried to give it to him, but a handler whisked it and me away as I heard him say “for me?”. Smooth Perri. Not.
Then off to stand in line again for pic with both Sam and Cait. More conversations with new friends in line and lots of positive reinforcement that I am not nearly the most crazy fan out there. Seriously. My girlfriend was with me in all three pics, but in this next one, I did not get to say anything to Cait as I was next to Sam and she was next to Cait (ok yeah I told her where to stand). Again very rushed, but Sam makes a point to say to me “thank you for the gift”. I fell over that he remembered it was me and that he had not said thank you before I was pushed out for the next person. It was genuine and I was impressed. I looked to see if the gift was still there in that area (I had put it in a distinct blk/wh polka dot nylon bag) and not seeing it, I asked the handler who said it had already been taken upstairs. Not sure what that means exactly…
Back in more lines for last pic with Cait only. Feet are screaming at me by now. But heck, now I get to meet Cait! I have to tell you I was not prepared. Guys I was gobsmacked by the man that is Sam Heughan, but I was blown away by the devine human being that is Caitriona Balfe. She is charming, engaging, warm, friendly and immediately puts you at ease not to mention drop dead gorgeous. What a treat. Who could not love and admire her. In my 5 seconds with her I think I thanked her for a bunch of stuff that I hope made sense and then she said she liked my bag. That jogged my memory to tell her that I had left a gift for her in an identical blk/wh polka dot bag earlier with Sam and to look for the bag that matched her socks (she must like polka dots) and again I was sent on my way.
All in all the photo ops were worth the wait to meet SC up close but I was oh so glad my autograph session was the next day as I am sure my dogs would not have survived another 69-90 min line. All I could focus on was getting to my room and the bottle of wine we had the forethought to have waiting for us.
Then time to go meet the other ladies from Tumblr and swap stories and down a few margaritas. What a hoot! This by far was one of the highlights of the trip. To finally meet some of you was very special for me. Having only found your blogs about 10 months ago, I felt kind of like an outsider going in but your warm reception touched me greatly. You guys are the best and we can never underestimate what we have here. I hope we can meet again someday and can be joined by others that missed this current meeting. As Val offered her place in NY, Christine hers in Hawaii, I offer mine in the wine country of Sonoma CA for a future get together or anyone that is here for a visit. Muah my lovelies.
Next morning off to more lines to get my autographs. This time I notice a couple of chairs inside the room, so I ask if I could sit down there until my spot in line gets to the front, and to my shock they said yes! Of course, it was 12’ away from Sam and for 30-45 mins I had the absolute pleasure of watching Sam be gracious and charming with each and every one of his fans. What a treat that seat was! Then it was my turn and Cait was first up. I had a few moments to chat with her and to my surprise actually got tongue tied a bit. She was beyond gracious and then they moved me along to Sam. I remember his hair still looked wet… oh sorry. When I figured out how to make words come out of my mouth again, I asked if he would sign in a darker color than Cait did and would he also write my name and showed him how it was spelled. Of course his handler said “No names, signatures only”. Whatever. So I thanked him again for his portrayal of JAMMF and for his charity work and told him I was a first time peaker. Then he reached out to shake my hand in goodbye and said “thank you Perri”. What??? He just said my name. Yeah I heard him. Ok now I am dead. I literally floated out of there, forgetting my backpack on the chair and my girlfriend is laughing at my obvious fangirling. But I didn’t care. Nope. Nada. Not one iota because I got to meet and talk to Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe! Later that night, to my absolute delight I see that he did slip my name in there! Sometimes he just does what he wants. Ahhhh.
So that is my story. I am so glad I went and I have two big takeaways from this experience.
1. What we have here with each other is special and if we ever get the opportunity to meet with one another, we gotta make it happen. I will treasure always my time with you ladies. I love you 😘
2. I now feel differently about Sam and Cait. Before they were the wonderful stars of my favorite TV program. But now, now they are very special human beings to me and I feel very protective of them. It is hard to explain. Much more than just stars of the program who do wonderful charity work. Now they are multidimensional x 1000 and so deserving of respect and space to live their lives. Interestingly, I do not even feel I need anything further from them. I don’t need to now where they are or what they are doing. Meeting them and talking with them albeit briefly, changed my perspective somewhat. I know what I saw and I know what I felt. I am of course interested if they want to share, but most of all I want to give them their space and hope that all their dreams and aspirations come true. We always comment that all of their friends have nothing but good things to say about them and know I know why. Because they really are all that and more.
PS. If I ever figure out if they actually received the gift I’ll let you know because I said it was from all of us. 😘
Over the past few days I have seen an overwhelming amount of discourse complaining about the fic Dirty Laundry by @gibslythe that is a Voltron college AU fic featuring Lance x Keith. I’m going to address these concerns, and the frankly ridiculous nature tumblr has of attacking things that get popular.
So first of all, Dirty Laundry has gotten an unprecedented amount of attention in a tiny timeframe. It’s gotten so popular it has it’s own tag. And of course, as what happens when things get popular, they go under a lot of scrutiny.
Claim 1: Dirty Laundry is written by a white girl. She has no place writing this story.
This is completely and utterly false. In Dirty Laundry, Lance and his family are Mexican-American. Now, there would be a problem here if the story was about the struggle of being a Mexican-American. Or even if the main theme of the story was the Mexican-American story. But it’s not. Dirty Laundry is a romantic comedy about two boys falling in love. One of those boys just happens to be Mexican-American. The Mexican story should be written by Mexicans. But anybody can write a story with Mexican characters. It’s about diversity. If we could each only write exactly what we are, all the stories in the world would be… boring. And diversity is a good thing. Getting in a mindset to write something other than what you are is healthy.
Especially since it is now so popular, and everybody is aware that the author is white, as well as having disclaimers in the fic, you are aware you are consuming media created by a white person. If you don’t like that, create some yourself! Encourage your latinx friends to write some too! PoC authors are just as important as PoC representation, so get on that folks.
Claim 2: Lance is Cuban, and the author wrote him as Mexican. This is erasure and racist.
So there is one line in Voltron that hints at Lance being Cuban. It’s in Episode 4 when he says “There’s only one planet in the world that has Varadero beach, the pizza shack, and my moms hugs..“ So he said that he loves Varadero beach, which is in Cuba, but loving a place doesn’t mean you’re from there. Granted, the reference to his mom does seem to suggest Lance is Cuban. But nothing is confirmed. Headcannoning Lance as Mexican-American is not bad, or inherently racist, especially since nothing has been confirmed. Cuban Lance is great. Mexican-American Lance is great.
Claim 3: There are harmful “ugly” tropes in Dirty Laundry.
This one is hard for me to find, so I’ll address all the accusations I’ve seen made.
The large family: the author of Dirty Laundry is not the one who came up with this. It’s from the original Voltron content that Lance has a big family, the author of Dirty Laundry just put names and personalities to all the faces.
Also, how is having a big family a bad thing? I could see it might be troubling, especially if they were seen as poor or there were negative gendered stereotypes that can come with having a large family, but the author’s rendition of the Sanchez family have a big house, land, animals, and own a successful business. They’re not poor by any means… Also, in the fic it’s Christmas, so all the family is coming home to visit, they don’t all live there. My family does this too. Not a problem.
Autistic child: This one I just can’t believe. In the latest chapter (Chapter 9), there is an introduction of an autistic child, Alexei. Now Alexei is a young kid. And autism is a spectrum. There is no set way for an autistic person to “act.” People are complaining because Alexei told everyone she had sensory issues, while very carefully pronouncing it, as well as announcing to the family she is autistic at the dinner table. Like, guys… she’s 6. And kids with special needs, whatever they may be (like allergies) are often taught to memorize a phrase to help them express this. For a child to do that is not unheard of. Also, how dare you people claim she’s not “autistic enough.” Stop with this. Also, the author has plenty of experience with autism, and is capable of portraying it correctly. There is currently a total of one (1) chapter with Alexei. We barely know anything about her. She was barely introduced. Let’s all take a minute to breathe before we jump on the “ableism” witch hunt.
Lance referring to himself as “President Taquito” in the group chat: guys, this is Lance we’re talking about. The kid is a dork. He’d probably giggle at that. Also, taquitos aren’t a commonly appropriated Mexican food by white people. Like if he was President Nachos, or taco, quesadilla or fajita then I could see a problem. But flautas and taquitos aren’t really as well known, at least here in Texas.
Homophobic/biphobic men: Lance’s dad, Jaime, is having problems accepting his son’s sexuality and does say some harmful things. But he does seem to genuinely love his son. Maybe people are complaining about the men of this fic not being accepting of Lance’s sexuality? But his older brother Danny is a grown, married, man with a child. And he’s completely fine with Lance’s bisexuality, and when confronted with the fact that his own son “wants a boyfriend” and claims Keith is his boyfriend, Danny’s only worry is that Keith is much older than Mateo and that he hopes it’s not serious. Also, Benji is completely fine with Lance’s sexuality. So… I don’t see the problem here?
La chancla: So la chancla has become a common latinx joke that is rooted in a common shared experience in the latinx community. Because in the recent past, corporal punishment was widely accepted in the world at large and in the latinx community. Is this somehow making light of abuse? No. No one in Dirty Laundry is abused, nor is it made light of. UPDATE: Important note: Mexican characters and Mexican people can joke about Mexican culture. White people, fans and characters included, should not.
So in conclusion, I can’t find anything that screams racism or terrible. All I see are original, thought out, and well-planned characters.
Claim 4: Dirty Laundry is terrible and racist and I’m going to go yell at the author.
Okay, how fucked up are you? First and foremost, the author is a minor. If you are comfortable with being a terrible person and harassing a child, then congratulations, you are a horrible person and stay away from me. Secondly, let’s pretend this was a problematic fanfic, even though I can’t find a reason it would be. The instant somebody with goodhearted intentions makes a mistake, y’all all want to burn them at the stake. Seriously. Save your efforts for actual racism, and for terrible unapologetic people. The author has been made aware of the few people who are complaining’s concerns, and has made every effort to address them.
Claim 5: Latinx people don’t like Dirty Laundry.
Here is a list of people and posts of latinx people who are fans of Dirty Laundry.
If you’re not latinx, then you are not qualified to claim it as misrepresentative or appropriative. You have no right to speak over latinx people, and I am aware that includes me. The majority of people who have problems with Dirty Laundry are white or other minorities.
Conclusion: Stop harassing a minor for a piece of fanfiction. If you don’t like Dirty Laundry you have two options: don’t read it, or make a polite–or at the very least intelligent–post about what you find so wrong with it with proof and references.
UPDATE: to express your support for @gibslythe, post in the tag #dirtylaundress. Especially if you’re latinx and/or autistic, we want to hear from you. It’s time to spread some love now. Let’s undo a bit of the damage.
As a fandom, we decide where to go from here. The latinx and Mexican communities have been doing a great job of verbalizing their support, please continue to do so. I am now asking you, not to turn around and harass these people. They did a terrible thing when they started this, yes. But they apologized. Don’t turn into the bad guy by doing the exact same thing.