Thank you for the question, and for the compliment. I am truly flattered. And I am glad you like the blog!
are great questions—ones that I ask too. My answer comes in
two parts: a direct answer to your question and then more indirect
musings on the topic.
admit that I too find the flip-flopping and plain non-regard towards
Ziam from the big Larry blogs very strange. I have personally never
seen any Larry bloggers explicitly tell other bloggers not to
talk about Ziam. But I do see something like an unspoken yet
understood soft embargo on Ziam, as if it were this forbidden topic
about which only a certain bare minimum should be said. So I get what
I think your questions, why is it bad to talk about it? and why are they afraid?
are real million dollar questions. I can only speculate. I think the
big Larry bloggers don’t want to be wrong and cop to it. These bloggers
are very popular and influential, have become authorities to their many
followers and in the fandom, and have spent a long time saying Ziam
isn’t real. So they stay away from Ziam lest they look into it, and
possibly be proven wrong. I also think the big Larry bloggers have
become an exclusive clique and have a lot of sway in the fandom as
such. And for whatever reason, their clique’s protocols include making
uninformed or disingenuous statements about Ziam, or trumpeting Larry as
this fetishized and exceptional thing whose specialness would be
tarnished by Ziam, rather than as a relationship between two people whom
they admire and are fans of. I suppose that they don’t want to break
their clique’s rules and lose the status that membership in it confers,
so they stay mum on Ziam.
That was the first part. The second
part is that there are a lot of politics behind the Larry/Ziam divide
that, as I often say, go beyond mere “ship wars.” That divide is a very
controversial, touchy topic in the fandom. I have discussed that
before, so read those posts if you are interested. But in short, I
think many of these big Larry blogs have demonstrated that they harbor
unexamined and at times intense racism and Islamophobia toward Zayn, and
by extension Liam, as well as heterosexist assumptions about legible
and “proper” queerness against both of them, which they express in the
form of ignorant or disingenuous statements, double standards and
damaging and at times hateful discourse. I think the fact that Zayn is
Pakistani/British Muslim makes them uncomfortable. I think the fact
that Zayn and Liam are in an interfaith and interracial relationship,
whether they acknowledge it or not, makes them uncomfortable. I think
the fact that Zayn and Liam are generally masculine and do not fit
stereotyped and readily identified, and thus easily fetishized and
romanticized, models of gayness by which they can be made into cute gay pets makes them uncomfortable.
It is unfortunate that these conversations are not had enough in this fandom, because the issues belying them—racism, Islamophobia, heterosexism, among others—extend past the fandom. But you’ve already asked the question, which I think is very important. So, I am glad that you came to my box to ask it.