like its not even a matter of being gay at this point

I love Hamilton, but something about the way white fans engage with the musical really bothers me: a lot of them are posting in the tag about the actual, historical revolutionaries and founding fathers in a way that makes them seem like funny, sweet, good people. They weren’t. I don’t just mean “Jefferson was a piece of shit”: none of them were good. Every one of their asses saw black people as inferior, even if not all of them supported slavery. All of them participated in genocidal policy against indigenous peoples. If you’re watching/listening to Hamilton and then going out and romanticizing the real founding fathers/American revolutionaries, you’re missing the entire point.

Hamilton is not really about the founding fathers. It’s not really about the American Revolution. The revolution, and Hamilton’s life are the narrative subject, but its purpose is not to romanticize real American history: rather, it is to reclaim the narrative of America for people of colour. 

Don’t romanticize the founding fathers and the revolution. They’re already romanticized. It’s been done. Your history books have already propagated those lies. The revolution is romanticized as an American narrative because it was a revolution lead by and for white men. Their story is the narrative of the nation and it is a narrative from which people of colour are utterly obliterated. 

Do you understand what it’s like to live in a nation where you are made marginal and inconsequential in the historical narrative that you are taught from your first day of school? In the Americas, to be a person of colour is to be made utterly inconsequential to the nation’s history. If you are black, your history begins with slavery, and your agency is denied; they don’t teach about slave rebellions or black revolutionaries. You learn about yourself as entirely shaped by outside forces: white people owned you, then some white people decided to free you and wasn’t that nice of them? and then you’re gone until the civil rights movement. That is the narrative they teach; in which you had no consequence, no value, no impact until less than a century ago. If you are indigenous, you are represented as disappeared, dead, already gone: you do not get to exist, you are already swallowed by history. If you are any other race, you are likely not present at all. To live in a land whose history is not your own, to live in a story in which you are not a character, is a soul-destroying experience.

In Hamilton, Eliza talks, in turn, of “taking herself out of the narrative” and “putting herself back in the narrative.” That’s what Hamilton is about: it’s about putting ourselves in the narrative. It puts people of colour in the centre of the damn narrative of the nation that subjugates them; it takes a story that by all accounts has been constructed to valourize the deeds of white men, and redefines it all. 

Why was the American Revolution a revolution? Why were slave revolts revolts? Why do we consider the founding fathers revolutionaries and not the Black Panthers or the Brown Berets or any number of other anti-racist revolutionary organizations? Whose rebellion is valued? Who is allowed to be heroic through defiance? By making the founding fathers people of colour, Hamilton puts people of colour into the American narrative, while simultaneously applying that narrative to the present. Right now, across the United States, across the damn world, people are chanting “black lives matter.” Black people are shutting down malls and highways, demanding justice for the lives stolen by police, by white supremacy. And all across the world, indigenous people are saying “Idle No More,” blockading pipelines, demanding their sovereignty. And “No One is Illegal” is chanting loud enough to shake down the walls at the border; people are demanding the end of refugee detention centres, demanding an end to the violence perpetuated by anti-immigration policies. People of colour are rising up. 

…And white people are angry about it. White people are saying “if blacks don’t want to get shot by the police they shouldn’t sag their pants”; saying “get over it” about anti-indigenous policies of assimilation and cultural genocide and land theft; Jennicet Gutiérrez was heckled by white gay men for demanding that president Obama end the detention of undocumented trans women of colour. White people see people of colour rising up and they tell us to sit down. Shut up. Stop making things difficult. The American Revolution was a bunch of white men who didn’t want to be taxed, so white history sees their revolutionary efforts as just; they killed for their emancipation from England; they were militant. That, to white people is acceptable. But those same white people talk shit about Malcolm X for being too violent–a man who never started an uprising against the government leading to bloodshed. Violence is only acceptable in the hands of white people; revolution is only okay when the people leading the charge are white. 

Hamilton makes those people brown and black; Hamilton depicts the revolution of which America is proud as one led by people of colour against a white ruling body; there’s a reason King George is the only character who is depicted by a white man. The function of the visual in Hamilton is to challenge a present in which people of colour standing up against oppression are seen as violent and dangerous by the same people who proudly declare allegiance to the flag. It forces white people to see themselves not as the American Revolutionaries, but as the British oppressors. History is happening, and they’re on its bad side.

So don’t listen to or watch Hamilton and then come out of that to romanticize the founding fathers. Don’t let that be what you take away from this show. They’re the vehicle for the narrative, and a tool for conveying the ideologies of the show, but they are not the point. Don’t romanticize the past; fight for the future. 

hugealienpie  asked:

I see prompts are open yay! Please tell me all about Ford finding out about Bitty and Jack.

Ooh, this is interesting, because I don’t feel like it’d be an announcement, but just something Ford finds out when Jack visits or the like. I mean, it could go the other way, like Lardo could be, “heads up, Bitty’s dating our ex-captain” and Ford would be like, “okay? why are you telling me?” (She’s a theatre background, what is a Bad Bob to her?) I think she’d be pretty chill with it, and coming from theatre, like being gay is not an issue, esp in college (and even at the professional level) and esp if we go with the oft reblogged “Ford is gay” headcanon.

But here is a small fic that is only half based on the above…

Ford double checks the dozens of pages Lardo has given her for the upcoming roadie. She thought dealing with dressing room allocation was hard (and it is, one hundred percent) but figuring out room allocations is somehow worse, particularly when she’s new, and hockey players are more superstitious than the girl who played Johanna in Sweeney.

“So, who was it I’m meant to pair Oliver with?” Ford asks, grabbing for the red pen she’d stuck into her bun earlier. She comes out with a green one. It’ll do.

“Wicks. But really, he’d be fine with any of the guys in his year.”

Ford makes a note on one of the pages. “Okay, then I think I’m–Oh, shit.”

“What is it?” Lardo looks up from her sketchbook.

Ford double checks through all her sheets before she says anything. She’s not worrying, because there’s no time for that, she’s just already hating the amount of extra work she’ll need to do to fix things.

“I’ve left Eric, um, Bitty,” Ford corrects herself, still getting used to hockey nicknames, “off the rooming list.”

“Oh, that. Nah, you’re good.” Lardo goes back to her drawing. “He stays with his boyfriend when we’re playing up there.”

“Boyfriend?” Ford double-checks.

“Yeah. He’s in Providence. And he’ll drive Bitty to the games and practices and stuff. Should’ve emailed you that. My bad.”

“That’s fine.” Ford grabs another pen from her hair, forgetting she already has one in front of her. It’s red this time. “Just thought I was going to have to redo an entire afternoon’s worth of work.”

“Right,” Lardo says. “I can see why the minor freak out.”

“Excuse you, I did not freak out.” It’s half a lie. Ford has so many notes on these sheets, but she’s not freaking out, she’s managing. It’s all part of it.

Lardo looks up and smiles at her. “Knew you’d be fine at this.”

Ford takes the compliment with a gracious nod, and goes back to ticking off the rooming list against the team names. All accept Eric.

Keep reading

 all right, folks—as promised, here are my thoughts on russian homophobia and what factors have shaped it to be how it appears today. please keep in mind that while i did put in hours of research into this and speak partially from experience as someone who grew up in a homophobic russian household, i am by no means an expert and for brevity had to simplify some issues/concepts. 

to begin with, russia wasn’t always so violently homophobic. the russian empire was generally more or less tolerant as far as persecution goes until peter the great began to westernize and discovered that the west was generally opposed to same-sex relations. even then, the crackdowns were fairly mild, and the government generally stayed out of such matters. even towards the end of the 1800s, the tolerant attitude prevailed, and alexander ii’s reforms actually spurred the development of a lgbt+ by promoting freedom of press and abolishing serfdom, which created an influx of peasants to the cities, where they lived in close quarters and without many women around. as you can imagine, this resulted in a rise in same-gender relations and even marked the beginning of the first urban lgbt+ communities. while homosexuality was still illegal, cities teemed with discourse on the matter, which was potential enough. (this period can also be noted for the emergence of lgb+ writers and artists, such as mihkail kuzmin, marina tsvatayeva, and numerous others [but that’s for another post])

at this point, most of the opposition to same-sex relations stemmed from orthodox christian values, which marked homosexuality as sin (along with many other carnal sexual acts) and biological arguments that used early endocrinology and psychology to argue that homosexuality was unnatural and must be treated. however, it is vital to note that at the same time, some scientific circles also promoted tolerance on the basis of same-sex attraction being a natural variation of human biology, which was incredibly progressive for its time. while not all views were positive (in fact, some actively pathologized homosexuality, much like western science), it is important to note that there was discussion.

the first shift came with the 1917 revolution and lenin’s regime. while lenin decriminalized homosexuality (as well as many other things, such as abortion and prostitution), the regime also limited freedom of the press and speech, which stunted conversation about same-sex desire. 

what truly demolished the russian/soviet lgbt+ community was stalin’s regime, which coincided with wwii and rise of fascism. in response to wwii, a wave of hypermasculinity and patriotism shook the nation through propaganda to encourage men to be strong, hard working, and loyal to the country—male homosexuality, which was seen as effeminate and weak, had no place in such a society. what officially led to the recriminalization, however, is the alleged nazi infiltration of moscow’s gay circles, which led stalin to pass a law banning male homosexuality. by this time, homosexuality came to be associated with bourgeois decadence and aristocracy, which clashed with soviet proletarian values. weimar germany’s infamous tolerance of same-sex relations also influenced the association of fascism with homosexuality (nevermind that hitler’s regime was violently homophobic, as well). a popular slogan was: “destroy the homosexuals–and fascism will disappear”

stalin’s strict repression had the most profound influence on the lgbt+ community—it erased its history by silencing literature and arts and prevented lgbt+ people from being able to find each other and create opposition. this lasted for decades after stalin’s death, which, to the average public, made same-sex attraction and gender nonconformity apprear nonexistent within the soviet union.

that is exactly why the 80s and 90s, when gorbachev’s reforms allowed lgbt+ individuals some freedom to gather and converse (thus gaining visibility) came as such a shock to the straight russian public. it seemed that “the gays” appeared out of nowhere—and since the period is also marked by the fall of the soviet union and introduction of western capitalism—seemed a product of western infiltration. since the west, especially america, had a visible lgbt+ community by then, it only seemed logical that lgbt+ russians are brainwashed by the west. another wave of hypermasculinity spread through the country once the soviet union collapsed, leaving the nation in crisis. all these reasons, in addition to the old religious and biological arguments, played a role in cultivating the very specific strain of homophobia in russia today.

because of this association with the west, it is incredibly difficult for activists to achieve anything, and in some circles even prompts discussion of whether it is truly worthwhile and beneficial. a quote by a russian lesbian haunts me in particular: “the problems for lesbians only start when they fight for their rights. because now the russian public knows the word. they know that lesbians exist.”  

violence, financial insecurity, and psychological damage awaits anyone who is outwardly gay or associates with lgbt+ organizations, which makes it hard to gather collective action. funding for organizations is also low; if you lose your job because you’re lgbt+, it’s unlikely that you’ll have money to contribute to organizations. for many people, the costs of associating with an lgbt+ organizations outweigh the benefits.

that is why financial support rather than demonstration and protest is potentially more important to russian activist efforts. western demonstrations, such as those following the sochi olympics, only further solidified the connection of homosexuality and the west and made russia retaliate further against lgbt+ people. if you want to help, i think the best thing to do is stay informed, spread awareness, and contribute financially if you are able to. local efforts, such as those by the russian lgbt network, are in many cases better able to provide the specific aid that is required (for example, by evacuating gay men at risk in chechnya, or by assisting with legal issues). 

only by understanding russia’s complex history and unique political and social climate can we cater our activism to be effective at helping lgbt+ russians.

sources/additional reading

my inbox/IM is open to anyone who wants any further insight, discussion, or clarification! (please do be mindful, however, since this is a highly sensitive topic for me)

Friendship Comes First:  What (Good) Fanfiction Can Teach Us About the Romantic Subplot.

I love all forms of storytelling:  television, books, movies, you name it.  As long as it’s quality, its ripe for the picking.  

It’s so easy for me to become engrossed in the lives and psychologies of fictitious characters, to care for them as though they’re people I really know.  Which, on some metaphysical level, I suppose is true, but that’s a topic for another essay.

However, in the midst of all my possibly Asperger’s-fueled hyper-fixation and nerdery, there’s one inevitable aspect of seemingly every plot to which I will almost always role my eyes and click the fast-forward button:  the goddamned romantic subplot.

So many times have I seen the exact same variation of romantic love between fifty homogeneous couples, and each time, I failed to see the appeal:  in books, the smirking, obnoxious male love interest will woo the object of his desire through flagrant disrespect, the same toned bodies will copulate furiously on my television screens (typically at the exact same moment my parents or small siblings will walk into the room), the same vapid, flirtatious stares and generic dialogue will be exchanged. 

But where’s the basis for it?  Yes, these people are stressed to be attracted to one another to the point of obnoxiousness, but do they even like each other as individuals?  Are they even friends?  Is there any three-dimensionality to their relationship besides sizing each other up and deciding to bump uglies? 

Simply and also sadly, the answer is very rarely.  And so, it seemed to me that romance was not my cup of tea, both in the fictitious world and out of it.  Or so it seemed.  

Because it was then, at approximately seventeen, that I discovered a remarkable phenomenon that would change my life forever:  fanfiction.  

Never before had I been so enraptured in the relationships of fictional characters, and I was baffled as to why.  Yes, I’ve read a tremendous deal of fanfiction that is, in fact, book quality, but as an avid bibliophile, I was perplexed as to why I’d never been so captivated by the romantic endeavors of a published author as I was by the passion-projects of writers not much older than I was.     

After a lot of time, careful consideration, and the illuminating words of some of my fellow bloggers, however, I believe I can finally put words as to why. 


1.  Give your characters a narrative purpose (besides being The Love Interest.) 

Do you ever wonder what inspires Supernatural fans to tirelessly churn out fics about their favorite human-on-angel pairing?  I have, and this is someone who’s a proud proponent of the stuff.  

The sheer magnitude of free literature available, constantly repositing the pair in all manor of situations and walks of life, is absolutely baffling, and undeniably impressive.  Indeed, some of the best works of romantic literature – and yes, I do consider fanfiction to be a form of literature – I have ever come across were starring none other than this specific pairing:  from the infamous Twist and Shout (which I don’t recommend if you ever want to listen to Elvis Presley music, visit a beach, or feel joy ever again) to the charming Have Love, Will Travel (probably my personal favorite), some truly beautiful love stories have blossomed from a pairing that has never even been confirmed onscreen to have romantic connotations.  

Perhaps just as baffling is the other end of the spectrum:  Lisa Braeden.  Lisa, for those unfamiliar, is basically posited as the love of Dean’s life, with whom he lived for a year before being forced to give up his dream of a family life and return to full-time demon busting.  They’ve canonically kissed, had sex, shared a bed, and everything typically associated with an onscreen couple.    

Yet comparatively no fanworks exist about them.  When Lisa does appear in a fic, she is usual Castiel’s rival for Dean’s affections, or simply a hapless bystander. 

Why is this?  Well, a disillusioned observer might point to straight women’s apparent predilection towards fetishizing male homosexuality (I, for the record, am not straight myself;  I’m a proud bisexual who, thus far, has only dated women.)  I’m inclined to retort that this isn’t giving female fans nearly enough credit. 

For starters, remove all context from each relationship and examine them with a critical eye:  on the one hand, you have Castiel, Dean’s angelic savior from forty years in perdition.  Castiel is clearly fascinated with Dean, appearing in his bedroom, somewhat suggestively (advertently or otherwise) inquiring about his dreams, watching him sleep, routinely invading his personal space, and ultimately rebelling against heaven in accordance with Dean’s wishes. 

On the other hand, you have Lisa, a perfectly nice character who’s introduced as “the bendiest weekend of (Dean’s) life” and…well, that’s about it.  She’s later shown as a sort of amalgamation of Dean’s subconscious desire for a mother figure and normal life, but she, as a character, remains somewhat underdeveloped and hollow. 

You can’t expect fans to hold the two relationships to the same caliber and then cry internalized misogyny and fetishization of gay and bisexual men when they don’t.

The fact of the matter is, onscreen “friendships” are typically much more developed, much more three-dimensional, and much more ideal of what a truly epic romantic plot should be.  A character with a clear place in the narrative and three dimensional characterization all their own will almost always be more charismatic than a character who’s introduced as exclusively The Love Interest.  

This is not to say that what makes fanfiction so great is that it sexualizes or romanticizes friendship.  In fact, I’m inclined to believe it’s the other way around.  

Which brings me to my next point…

2.  Make sure your characters are friends.

It’s a romance for the ages.  A love like no other.  They’re soulmates, yin and yang, a match made in the stars.

But do they enjoy each other’s company?  Laugh at each other’s jokes?  Take part in each other’s interests?  Are they even friends?  

The sad fact of the matter is, romance and erotica are, as a whole, starved for values of friendship and camaraderie. 

This is something I realized only after my love of fanfiction took root, when I tried to return to my normal sources of adult entertainment (romance, erotica, and porn) and found them, by comparison, almost bafflingly lacking in warmth and camaraderie.  

What I think makes fanfiction so addictive is the fact that it’s built upon the established relationships of two or more characters (the Onceler and company notwithstanding) who, typically, care for one another as friends and compatriots.  

Look at some of the internet’s favorite pairings:  Dean Winchester and Castiel remain a classic.  Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers are always crowd-pleasers.  Kara Denvers and Lena Luthor are seeing a rise in popularity.  We all know Sherlock has somewhat fallen from grace, but the union of its two main characters still retains a devoted following.

This is no accident:  despite lacking onscreen confirmation, these characters have proven themselves to care for one another as more than objects of their sexual desire.  They’re friends, with relationships based in loyalty and warmth that are, unfortunately, sorely lacking in typical fictional romances.  

Once you get a taste of this brand of friendship-infused romance, in fanfiction or otherwise, it’s hard to go back.  

This isn’t just limited to quote-unquote “fanon” couples, either:  couples such as Mulder and Scully, Bones and Booth, Yuuri and Victor, and Ladybug and Chat Noir can all attribute their popularity to this strong basis in friendship, camaraderie, and mutual respect.

This is also the leading cause as to why the formerly booming 50 Shades franchise, and other arguably sexist, abusive dynamics, are struggling at the box office.  

Which reminds me… 

3.  Make sure your characters are equals. 

Unless you’re writing a Lolita-esque social commentary, it’s probably your best bet to keep your characters on fairly equal ground. 

I mean this in every sense of the word, too:  I have a difficult time getting invested in a romance when there’s a pretty blatant power imbalance, which oftentimes occurs due to the implicit sexism of the entertainment industry.

Disproportionately young actresses are assigned as love interests to much older men, such as Emma Watson’s twenty-something-year-old character lusting over a man almost twenty years her senior in Irrational Man.  

Physically mediocre or average-looking male characters are frequently pared with stunningly beautiful women who like them because they’re “nice,” fueling the existing mentality of all self-proclaimed “nice guys” who think society owes them a hot girl.

Furthermore, @popculturedetective just released an amazing video explaining the “Born Sexy Yesterday” trope, in which hopelessly naive, beautiful women are seen swooning over their more savvy male lovers.  (Found here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=0thpEyEwi80)

I love Splash and the Fifth Element as much as anybody, but both films incorporate all these tropes in ample proportions, and it’s frankly ridiculous. (On the topic of Splash, however, I’m greatly looking forward to a subversion of this trope in its remake, starring Channing Tatum as the titular merman and Julianne Belle as his human love interest.) 

On the other hand, you have fanfiction.  I’ve read numerous essays professing that fanfiction is becoming increasingly popular due to the fact that same-sex relationships tend to be implicitly devoid of these sex-based imbalances, and I’m inclined to agree.  

However, I’ve read others stating that male-male pairings tend to be so popular because male characters are typically more well-developed by writers, making it perfectly understandable that fans would be more invested in a possible romance between two characters of equal multidimensionality (see point 1) than one that is sorrowfully underdeveloped.  I’m inclined to think that this theory is even more on point.   

Because look at some of the successful onscreen relationships I listed prior:  we root for Bones and Booth’s inevitable union the same way we swoon over slowburn fanfiction, delighting in Mulder and Scully’s banter and craving their interaction.  

These are, in my opinion, some examples of straight couples done right, because they’re portrayed as friends (see the previous point), and just as importantly, as equals.  

Last, but certainly not least, the male characters in both pairings are depicted as having nothing but respect for their female compatriots, depending on their intellectual know how and not being ashamed to say so. 

A more contemporary example that gets this wrong?  Well, not to offend any fans of the pairing, but Mon-El and Kara, a la Supergirl.  Mon-El was, at the beginnings of his arc, consistently disrespectful towards Kara, putting her down and insulting her in the very same episodes in which her female compatriot – Lena Luthor – is shown vocally admiring and praising her.  

Mon-El has since improved on his behavior, but the damage is done:  I still have a difficult time seeing him as a likeable character, much less a suitable love interest for my beloved Kara.   


These are just a few recommendations, based on the ways in which my somewhat obsessive love of transformative literature (i.e. good fanfiction) have helped me as a writer and helped me view the implicit problems with mainstream romance with a more discerning and critical eye.

Here, I could provide a counterpoint with the recurring problems I’ve noticed in fanfiction, or I could go into some recomendations for writing explicitly gay and lesbian relationships.  Both of these, however, are topics worthy of another essay.

Disclaimer:  I am assuming that any and all readers are trying for an enjoyable, healthy romantic subplot with equally charismatic, consenting, and likable characters.  Dysfunctionality can be just as interesting from a literary standpoint, but again, this is a topic for another essay.


There will be essays like this published at least once every other week, so be sure to follow my blog and stay tuned for future writing advice and observations! 

Moonlight and Racism

So, I decided to read some comments on different articles for Moonlight, which I instantly regretted because people are shitty. 

But there were comments that caught my attention. There were lot of people (who identified as gay, or black or POC, or whatever) who simply couldn’t understand, or relate to the story at all, and believed that it detracted from the overall film. 

But, that’s kind of the point of Moonlight. 

One of the things I loved about Moonlight was how it handled race as well as sexuality. If you’ve seen it, you know it has an all black cast. So, there isn’t a white (or nonblack) character around for audiences to project onto. And because all of these people are of the same race and live in the same conditions, they don’t need to translate any part of their experience for one another. The characters are black people living in an impoverished neighborhood in the American south (Miami Florida). Drugs are a natural part of the environment, and for many people it’s the only way they can make a living, because business in America don’t want to invest or place high end jobs in black neighborhoods. The people use AAVE without stopping to translate it for anyone. There are after school activities for kids to go to so they don’t get into trouble. Many kids spend time at home while their parents are away working. Hell, I remember taking a bubble bath with dish detergent.   There is the rough language that black boys constantly use (even when they’re with their friends) to make themselves to seem bigger, tougher and stronger. There is a run down feel to everyone in this movie (from Juan to Chiron to Teresa) and this comes from over work, constantly worrying about dangers in your neighborhood, and looking over your shoulder for cops or gangsters. The same run down feeling is shown in the setting as well. It’s obvious this town is in a constant state of construction (take the old house Lil’ hid in at the beginning of the film).  

And then add this with the main character’s sexuality, and how he (and the movie) navigate that. Despite Chiron’s sexuality, his experiences are strictly structured through an African-American lens. He doesn’t stop being black just because he’s learning about his sexuality. He doesn’t stop using AAVE just because he’s attracted to a man. He doesn’t stop going through the world as a black man, conditioned to be hyper masculine in a poor town just because he falls in love with Kevin. This film makes no apologies for its blackness. And the racism it deals with? It’s subtle and systematic.. 

When people think of racism in the movie, they think of something that’s easily recognizable (think slave movies, white people with whips, or segregation signs). But what’s interesting about Moonlight is that the racism these people deal with (the town that’s in constant construction, the drugs on the streets,) are all real aspects of systematic racism that black people have to live under. It’s not an easily identifiable constant that can be punched out, or reasoned with. It’s in the fabric of Black American life, and most people miss it unless you’ve lived under it.  And let’s be real, many white people (white gays included) wouldn’t pick up on it. 

And it’s so funny that people in the black community believe that once you come out as gay, suddenly you’re no longer black. It’s like…no. Our skin color’s still the same. We still lived under the same racial conditions that ya’ll lived under. We still dealt with the same white washed history, and have the same distrust of the American legal system. And with white gays, a lot of them expect us to stop being Black when we come out. We’re supposed to somehow shun our Black heritage (or at least downplay it) when we enter LGBT spaces. We’re not supposed to talk about race in the LGBT community because “We’re all gay!!!! Race doesn’t matter!!!!!!” Or we’re not supposed to question why so many white gays have no problem saying “I’m not into black guys.” And when we do interrogate them further on it, all they can say is “It’s just a preference” and expect that to be the end of it.

So yeah. This movie is beautifully authentic, and I love it for that reason. 

Jake English fucking loves booty shorts, guys. Also: Dirk Strider.

I really could not believe it when I heard some people say Jake wears booty shorts because Dirk is a Predatory Gay and made him do so, but here we are. In any case, it took me forever to realize this, so it’s worth pointing out.

Jake uses his clothes to express his inclinations more than maybe any other one of the kids. Jake himself foreshadows his future inclination towards gear that shows off his ass…ets:

Frankly, I don’t think much else needs to be said there? There’s a canonical reason Jake dresses the way he dresses, and that reason is that Jake likes tomb raiders and sexy-looking action heroines, and he wants to be a sexy action hero and look sexy doing it. That’s really all there is to it.

…Or it would be, except that unlike Jake’s relationship with fighting, Jake actually experiences struggles and complications relating to looking sexy, and becomes insecure and vulnerable due to the way people treat him as a sex object.

It’s no surprise this happens. Jake has a list of sexual/romantic voyeurs and aggressors, and his discomfort and trauma in this area is an integral part of his character. 

Early on, Obviously, there’s the AR, who’s lasciviousness is so well-documented I don’t think it’s worth repeating here. 

But Dirk breaks it down nicely for us. Dirk himself makes no appearance on this list, seeing as he had no control over the AR and never even remotely speaks to Jake that way when they talk to each other.

Brobot is often accused of being a sexual aggressor as well. This belief is based on two quotes from the story:

This one, from AR. The thing is, AR is known for being pretty hyperbolic and overly sexual about pretty much all situations–kind of like a 13 year kid would be, you know? 

What Jake himself says about the Brobot’s actions is much more indicative of the nature of the Brobot’s actions. Specifically:

Jake describes the Brobot as tender. And Tender is a specific word with specific, almost memetic meaning in Homestuck:

A meaning that only a juvenile teenager LIKE the Auto-Responder would consider sexual. Or at least, someone similarly trapped in immaturity.


Yeah. I know fanon is really pervasive about this idea that the Brobot was on the list of sexual aggressors, but the only real implication the canon itself makes is that it was doing tame proposals and handholds like this. That’s what Jake is referring to. It becomes problematic for him, but only because of the AR’s taunting and the fact that he and Dirk can’t figure out how to talk about it. 

Brain Ghost Dirk makes some comments to this effect, however–likely reflecting the way the AR has messed with Jake’s head and successfully made him conflate the way the AR sees him and the way Dirk sees him. Even after the AR stops being an active presence in Jake’s life, it still makes its impact known through BGD’s characterization. 

We also have no reason to believe Dirk even knows Brain Ghost Dirk exists, let alone has any active say in what he says or how he acts, either. BGD is, after all, predominantly Jake’s brain–and thus a reflection of, at best, how he THINKS Dirk sees him. 

Note how even though Jake fully expects Brain Ghost Dirk to make lascivious and leery comments to him, he never expects Brain Ghost Dirk to try to touch him in a way he doesn’t want to be touched. On top of that, In fact, Jake makes a point of noting that Dirk is more conscientious towards him than either the AR or Brain Ghost Dirk:

And then, of course Jane literally threatens Jake with sexual slavery (while corrupted by an evil supercomputer):

So yeah, Jake is pretty uncomfortable with being seen as sexy by the time Aranea gets to him. It wouldn’t be unreasonable if the idea of being seen as sexy–or even just wearing short shorts–was ruined for him completely.

It wouldn’t even be unreasonable if his image of Dirk was tarnished, even though Dirk wasn’t really responsible for what was happening any more than he was. 

But different people respond to trauma differently. And once Aranea objectifies him completely and renders him a tool–literally lightning him up and making it so ALL EYES are on him right when Jake feels most exposed and vulnerable, Jake responds in a pretty peculiar way.

With his Hope powers unlocked, Jake could theoretically do anything. Send hordes of angels to attack, make himself invisible, bring Grandma back from the dead…given what Jake actually ends up doing, it doesn’t make much sense to imagine arbitrary limits on his power. Because what Jake does when he needs to feel safe is make his imaginary friend real.


Again: Making something fake real is, by definition, pretty much the hardest thing to do–both in real life, and to convey compellingly narratively. 

Even Jake teleporting his grandma from the past and reviving her to come protect him would be more reasonable a storytelling move than Jake being able to create matter and a personality out of thin air. You would only need Time and Space powers to theoretically pull of that absurd feat, so it would technically be possible to accomplish.

Making your imaginary friend real, though? That’s completely impossible for everyone, everywhere. Except for Jake English. 

But Jake English can do anything, which means what we actually does reflects not only what he wants, but what he wants MORE than anything else possible to him. 

And what he wants is Dirk Strider, coming to his rescue and keeping him safe from his latest aggressor. Kinda like Brobot always protected Jake from feeling unsafe when he was threatened:

Brain Ghost Dirk even calls himself Jake’s boyfriend, and this is after Dirk broke up with him and he worried about not being able to love anyone:

And right before Dirk breaks them off, while Jake is in trickster form and completely uninhibited, he confesses feelings to Dirk and makes a point to note he was willing to be romantically involved with him:

And luckily, as for his relationship with his shorts, Jake had a good pal give him some advice and boost his self-confidence:

And over the course of [S] Credits, Jake apparently patches things up enough with Dirk that they’re living together and can comfortably fight for fun like he always wanted. On top of that, he’s recovered his confidence in his image enough that he can act out the sexy superhero fantasy he loved so much:

Both his relationship with Dirk and his relationship with his body are sorted out, and Jake’s now happy and comfortable with himself. How it happened, exactly? Who knows–there’s as many different ways it could’ve gone down as you can imagine. But the fact is, it did. And it was laid out this way from the beginning. 

What’s the exact nature of Dirk and Jake’s arrangement? Not really relevant. What we know is that they’re living together, that Jake was always willing to have a relationship with him and that never stopped being a thing, and that Jake trusts Dirk with his safety over literally anything else.

What we know is that they’re best friends and mutually romantically interested in each other, whether or not they decide to pursue that. 

We also know Jake always liked dressing sexy so long as he was safe and didn’t have to worry about people dehumanizing him. And in this new world, he can do that as much as he wants, too:

Anyway Jake English is the best character in Homestuck and he’s happy with his boyfriend Dirk canonically, and he’s also happy and comfortable with his body while doing it because that was never the issue when he was with Dirk.

Tomorrow I should be following this up with one last Jake post–this one talking about how Jake is way way smarter than everyone thinks he is. You know. Except for Dirk, who explicitly knows Jake is smart. 

After that, we can move on to Roxy. If you’re interested in my writing, I’m also working on a youtube series aiming to make Homestuck understandable to a broad audience you can find here. Next episode should be dropping before the end of the weekend. 

See you again soon. Keep Rising. 

Love Conquers All (On Sherlock Season 4)

I’m currently re-watching Season 4, simply just to indulge myself, and mainly because I personally loved it. I thought I was done expressing everything I have to say about the matter in this post, but there has been an unending sh*t-storm still looming over S4 that has gone beyond what I had expected. Not to mention that things I’ve seen on Twitter earlier regarding the so-called Norbury movement.

I am not dismissing the fact that this season had its flaws, but there’s a significant meaning to it all that some people are dismissing because they’ve been blinded by their own illusions that I would want to highlight. For someone who had cried over and mulled over these episodes more than the past 3 seasons, this season gave my love for existentialism a baseline that tugged at the heart – the very reason why I wanted to talk about it.

Originally posted by esterlocked

Just a brief explanation, existentialism is the belief that life has no meaning in general. To quote Moriarty, “Staying alive… So boring, isn’t it? It’s just… staying.” However, what I like about it is the idea that society or any other factor is not responsible for giving life it’s meaning – it is solely up to the individual to discover it on their own.

With that said, I think this is why this season resonated with me so much, and I find the chaos in some parts of the fandom frustrating, especially to the point that the writers are being attacked for this. So as usual, I have to say something about it. Because instead of writing articles for work, I’m thinking about Sherlock.

Anyway, I’m just gonna go ahead with my point.


The Six Thatchers : Horrors Of The Past

This may be my least favourite among the three, but the message of this episode is clearly simple: we all have horrors that will come and haunt us in the future – and how we face it all comes down to the path we choose. 

We live hundreds, and even thousands of roles throughout our lives. And we all have our past; things that we regret, hate, cringe at, miss, still believe in, etc. But whatever that past might be, what I got from TST is that you can never run from your past as it catches up to you, but it is one facet of your life does not completely define you.

Originally posted by akajustmerry

Death has been played with through the past seasons that it seemed all too mundane to us now, in terms of the context of the show. But S4 is here to correct this notion in Mary’s persona. With Mary saying that Mary Watson was the only life worth living, it showed that we get to choose which part of our lives we live out the most.

Same with John and his ‘cheating’. To be fair, I’m pissed at the fact that this was completely out of character. But when the series culminated, I understood why they have to do it. We saw what we wanted to see in these characters as they were presented to us – John was supposedly honourable, kind, and courageous, but what is this? Who is this new John? 

This is where I head to my next point. 


The Lying Detective : Being Alive And Human

This episode made me cry buckets, to be honest. And it is because this is all about changing what you know about these characters and seeing them all in a different light. 

Here we see a Sherlock not led by the mind but the heart, a John who was weak against temptation, a cheater, someone who looked jealous from having the spotlight all on the detective – it showed that no one is ultimately good and that someone’s facade is not who they entirely are. It shows that everyone has their ups and downs because that’s what humanity is about. It illustrated that everyone was capable of being angry, desperate, conceited, weak, lonely, alone, etc. It highlighted how these characters are broken – especially Sherlock – and how redemption can mean so much more to a person. 

We all have our flaws, our downfalls, our agonies; but who are we really, at our most vulnerable? And who are the people willing to believe in us even if we’ve shown them our true, and sometimes, faded colours?

Originally posted by halloawhatisthis

“Taking your own life. Interesting expression, taking it from who? Once it’s over, it’s not you who’ll miss it. Your own death is something that happens to everyone else. Your life is not your own, keep your hands off it.”

This is a plea. That shutting down and ending your life is and should never be the answer. This is one of the most beautiful pieces of dialogue I have ever heard, and it’s a very upfront message about warranting a value on your own life. And for people to threaten the writers of the show that they are the ones who caused the lives that are put in the line or the self-harm that will happen due to their distaste for TFP is devastating to me.

And yes, there have been people tweeting Mark and BBC that they are and will be responsible for these lives, which is just unfair.


The Final Problem : On Love And Redemption

I’ve seen people questioning why Benedict said ‘love conquers all’ in one interview before the season aired. There has also been statements that this season will be ‘groundbreaking’, which others failed to see why, leading to the claims that the showrunners are queerbaiting.

Now, every single show, every single actor, not just in Sherlock, but basically everywhere, is being put in the microscope because they need to identify with something, and that they need to represent a cause — which I get! I advocate for this! But, just when the world is being careful about mixing up their characters or when they are inserting a gay character just because now, society is demanding them to, Sherlock had already presented that years before (note that some TV shows only became more open to having gay characters around late 2014, early 2015-ish onwards because people are becoming more vocal about it as inspired by those bold enough to make a first move, e.g. Glee). 

Here, we have an openly gay character (which is still another topic of debate but I stand by it when I say Irene used the term gay loosely), had openly gay actors play brilliant and unstereotypical roles, and for God’s sake, Mark Gatiss is a gay man who is behind this brilliant show, and  that’s the very reason they passed it off as normal. They didn’t do it in a way that we always have to be reminded that the character is gay, that there has to be a sex scene just to prove that they’re gay… it’s just there – again, as one facet of the characters. Sex, as something that has been explicitly expressed in the show, isn’t the only thing that defines a character or their relationships with someone else, and I appreciated that. They had a story to tell – the story of these characters as a whole and not just one side of them. 

And personally, I did see why they made their claims as indicated by my chosen title. When this season ended, Sherlock who claimed to have never been attuned to his emotions, had his eyes open and had embraced that he was also human, flawed, and is capable to love IN ALL FORMS. 

Originally posted by fangirlhani

He learned to value his life because of what happened to Mary, he had admitted that he also succumbs to his impulses with Irene Adler (texting or beyond that, depends on what you want to believe), he fully realised that he would never ever want to hurt and make Molly feel like she’s being used by him because she’s his friend, he was able to extend a more human side of himself to John more than he did before, he finally understood and accepted Mycroft’s intentions and actions which I think mended their relationship significantly (this one hits me to the core so much), and lastly, he discovered that if he was left in the air in isolation, he might have ended up like Eurus, which is why he never wanted to make her feel alone again. 

To me, it is groundbreaking because it left that cliche of someone running off into the sunset in the end and it’s all butterflies and rainbows. They wrapped it up with the characters still broken, but living through it day by day because someone chose to love, accept, and help them heal despite their flaws. 

It is what it is, they keep on saying, because that’s how life is. It can be unbearable and it can most certainly be shit, but in the end, whether you ship Johnlock, Adlock, Sherlolly, Sheriarty, Mollstrade, Mystrade, etc., if we all let love – self-love, romantic love, familial love, platonic love – all kinds of love in our lives, it will help us conquer all, within and beyond this show. 

We Are Young: Chapter 3

Throne of Glass High School AU

Summary: Senior Rowan Whitethorn is new to town. It doesn’t take him long to get use to a new school, make new friends, even join the local hockey team. But it also doesn’t take him long to meet sophomore and figure skater Aelin Galathynius. And it doesn’t take him long to realize one thing; he can’t stand her.

Previous Chapter | Next Chapter 

——————–

Elide sat perched on the footsteps of the house. The morning sun beamed down on her, the sky a crystal blue. A light breeze picked up, blowing around her hair as she pulled her jacket tighter around her. They were only a week or so into October, and the wind definitely held that harsh, autumn bite. But today, it was chillier than normal. She’d definitely be warmer if she were to just wait inside. But being inside would mean a higher chance of seeing her uncle. And she wasn’t in the mood to start her day off by having a lovely chat with Uncle Vernon. Especially on game day.

After going through her normal, quiet routine of getting ready for school, Elide had made her way downstairs. She prayed to every god she knew that it would be one of those mornings where her uncle was passed out. Thankfully, her prayers were answered.

When she made it to the living room, she found Uncle Vernon asleep on the couch. A half empty bottle was clenched in his hand as he snored loudly. Not wanting to risk waking him and getting yelled at this early, Elide went outside. Which is how she found herself sitting on the front steps of her parents’ old home.

She didn’t remember them well, her parents. They died when she was young. She grew up with her Uncle, who was always a cold evil bastard. But when his business burned down years ago and he last basically everything, that’s when the drinking started and things got worse…

Keep reading

so i’ve been making monthly fic recs for a full year now! that’s so insane to think about honestly. thanks for all the support! my first monthly fic rec was for april 2016 and it had 10 fics on it. now they have upwards of almost 30 fics. that’s character development. anyway…

here are a bunch of fics I’ve enjoyed and loved reading throughout the month of march. I recommend that you read these great fics in april, if you haven’t already. 

(all fics with a star are my favorites and if there are two stars then it was a favorite favorite)


1. Perfect Storm (80k)*

What do you do when your best friend asks you and your (now) ex to be the best men at his destination wedding? You can either tell him the truth, tell him you’re not together anymore, and deal with the consequences, or you can pretend you’re still together and roll with it, just pray you don’t spiral. Fake it ‘til you make it. You know, for the sake of the wedding.

Harry and Louis choose the latter.

2. The Night Sky is Changing Overhead (124k)**

Harry is a tattoo artist, Louis is a drama professor, and they meet during an argument at a café.

3. All I Wish Not to Remember (71k)**

What happens when all you had, all you loved, all you held dear is viciously ripped away from you? When your inner core, once filled with love and hope and light, blackens to raw, dark hatred?

What happens when your soul is hopelessly consumed and no matter how hard you try, no matter how hard you attempt to shake yourself out, to rid your tormented mind of the opaque feelings that plague you, all you can see, all you can feel, all you can want is…

Revenge.

A modern adaption of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. A tragic tale of timeless undying love, merciless revenge, and selfless sacrifice.

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captainhouliouniverse  asked:

I had a question regarding the mixtape. When I saw the scene my brain didn't go to the Dean MADE Cas a mixtape scenerio. It went to Dean GAVE Cas one of his mixtapes. And I can't decide if the latter holds the same value. I saw it as it was a tape that Dean made for himself many many years ago, and it has been in the Impala with him on every adventure, and through everything, and its part of him. I wondered what your thoughts were on that secenerio and if it still holds the same weight?

Hi! Since the show does not explicitly tell us which it is, we can only speculate. I’m personally really on the fence about it, because honestly if he actually painstakingly made a mixtape for Cas…I mean it just boggles my mind. I just can’t believe how overtly romantic a gesture that is. I want to believe, sure, but at the same time I’m so used to SPN keeping us on our toes, keeping everything between Cas and Dean juuuuuuust enough in the subtext so that we can’t truly point at any moment and have everyone agree that it’s romantic (I mean, there have been plenty of romantic moments, but a casual viewer won’t be convinced because they are (or in Cas’s case his body is male at least)  two dudes *shrugs*).

But if Dean made this mixtape from scratch just for Cas? And wrote tracks as tra xx? Yeah I have no idea how you can explain the gay away there.

But I guess that’s partly the reason why they left the origin of the tape vague. They could’ve had Dean say “I made it for you - it’s a gift. You keep those” and we would’ve 100% known for sure. But they didn’t so we can only guess.

That being said, if this is actually a tape that Dean had made ages ago for himself, that still doesn’t diminish the romantic and deeply personal nature of the gesture. As @mittensmorgul points out in this post:

And someone like Dean who has a shoebox full of his favorite tapes in the car, and who has lived on the road most of his life, would get that. Those tapes are HIS ENTIRE LIFE.

Can you see the symbolic weight of him just ~giving~ one of those to Cas?

Like some metaphorical piece of himself?

Because that’s the narrative weight that tape carried. No matter how you try to explain it away, there’s no reading of the symbolism of that tape that isn’t coded romantic. Period.

I agree 100% with this :) Therefore it kinda doesn’t even matter all that much which one of the two scenario’s it is. End result is the same.

Dean gave his heart to Cas. And refused to take it back.

I’m emotionally exhausted and angry: Why Sense8 being cancelled is not about losing a good TV show, it’s about what that says about the current state of the world.

[READ ON MEDIUM]

My list of favorite shows (other than sense8) includes things like Torchwood and Agent Carter, so clearly I have a thing for doomed TV shows and I’m not new to the feeling of betrayal and lost that comes with your average cancellation, but I believe that sense8 is not your average situation and that’s why it has been trending worldwide on twitter for 8+ hours and it made so many people deeply upset.

Sense8 being cancelled is the entertainment industry equivalent of Trump winning the elections. In Freema Agyeman’s words: ‘A real kick in the teeth for everyone who is striving to make TV more representational & inclusive’. And, because that’s the way media works, a direct reflection of what’s going on in the rest of world right now. And it happened in the fucking first day of pride month, no less.

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Just a Memo - Boyf riends

Title: Just a Memo

Word Count: 1822

Pairing: Jeremy Heere x Michael Mell (boyf riends/Meremy)

Warnings: None unless you consider dorks being dorks objectionable

A/N: This originally started out as a headcanon so the writing style is more informal-ish towards the beginning.  Also this is my first piece of actual fanfic ever so bear with me here. :’D


Jeremy still sometimes hears the Squip talking in his head.  It’s so faint though, that he’s not really sure if it’s just his own thoughts or if it actually is the Squip.  Either way he doesn’t tell anyone.  Maybe, he thinks, it’ll just go away on its own.  No, the voice says, It can’t be gotten rid of that easily.  But nevertheless, Jeremy continues to live as though there weren’t possibly the ghost of a half-mad supercomputer embedded in his brain.  

One day he notices his left hand moving of its own accord (to do what, he had no idea) and flips the fuck out— but regains control of it immediately after panicking and flailing it around for a second.  This type of thing starts happening on occasion; usually just small actions probably meant to inconvenience him.  That time he caught himself aiming a crumpled ball of paper at the back of a teacher’s head was one of the more notable ones.  Oh, and that time he poured a glass of water on himself probably qualifies as well.  

Jeremy realizes that he really can’t deny the Squip’s presence at this point, but it hasn’t tried to do anything super malicious, so he decides to wait things out before taking any drastic action.  One day he sees his hand reaching for a pen on its own.  Normally he’d jerk it back on reflex and that would be it, but he decides to leave it alone and see what happens.  His hand picks up the pen and starts writing on a scrap piece of paper.  Definitely not his handwriting, he notes with a mix of apprehension and curiosity.  Then it stops.

Y O U R  F L Y  I S  U N Z I P P E D

Jeremy hurriedly looks down.  Shit.  

After remedying the situation, he stops for a moment to direct a mental ‘thank you’ at the Squip.  Hell, that’s probably the nicest thing it’s ever done for him.  And so it continues.  Every so often he’ll notice his nondominant hand moving of its own accord, writing a helpful (or not-so-helpful) suggestion courtesy of the Squip.  The notes are brief— no more than a sentence or two.  He’ll usually follow them if the advice doesn’t seem too fishy.  

One day Jeremy’s at the school library with Michael, both of them studying for an upcoming math test.  Well, Michael’s the one doing most of the studying.  It’s not for lack of trying on Jeremy’s part, it’s just he keeps finding himself distracted by Michael.  It’s not his fault that Michael bites his lip in the cutest way when he’s figuring out a tough problem, or that the sunlight dancing across his face makes him look like some kind of angel, or that his hair looks so incredibly soft and touchable that Jeremy really wants to run his fingers through it.  Man, he thinks, some girl’s gonna be so lucky to have him someday.  

He shakes his head and turns back to the study guide for what must be the fifth time when he finds his hand moving to write a note from the squip.  It’s become a common enough occurrence that he’s not too fazed by it, but he’d really like to make some headway on this problem, so he’ll just check the note once he’s finished.  His Squip-controlled hand sets down the pen and taps on the desk impatiently.  In a minute, Jeremy thinks.  But the Squip isn’t having it apparently, because it slides the study guide off the table.  He curses under his breath and reaches to pick it up when the Squip suddenly forces him to wipe something else off the table.   It’s the note.  

A S K  H I M  O U T  A L R E A D Y.   

What?!  Jeremy has to stifle a snort.  He’s obviously not gay, as evidenced by his massive crush on Christine.  The Squip must be more broken than he thought.

His hand snatches a pen off the table and scribbles on the back of the note.  Jeremy thinks he can almost hear an exasperated sigh in the back of his mind.

Y O U R  O B L I V I O U S N E S S  I S  K I L L I N G  ME.

Jeremy’s face reddens a bit as he crumples the note and resumes studying.  But he still can’t concentrate, thanks to the Squip’s comment.  So what if he thinks Michael’s attractive?  Doesn’t mean he’s gay.  It’s not like he wants to make out with Michael, or hold hands with him, or cuddle with him, or…

Fuck.

Well it doesn’t matter either way.  Michael’s probably straight as a board, and even if he weren’t, he could do so much better than Jeremy.  Not that he’s jealous or anything.  Just stating the facts.  Jeremy’s a just another hopeless nerd, but Michael’s so cool in his own way and he doesn’t even know it.  Guys like him are cool in college.  Guys like Jeremy just fade into the background.  But regardless, he has a math test to study for.  

Less than ten minutes later he finds his hand moving to write another note.  He considers jerking it away but can’t bring himself to do it.

“Dude!  You never told me you were ambidextrous!”  Michael practically jumps out of his chair in excitement.  He leans across the table to get a better look at Jeremy’s squip-controlled hand, which suddenly stops writing and moves to cover the note.

“What— oh,” Jeremy freezes up.  Sure enough, he’d been working a math problem with his right hand while the Squip wrote a note with his left, “Uh, yeah… I guess it just never came up?  It’s really not a big deal.”  A light blush dusts his cheeks as Michael picks up his hand and stares at it in amazement.  Jeremy figures it’s probably best to just let Michael believe this whole ambidextrous thing instead of telling him the Squip is back and has taken to spontaneously writing notes of advice with his nondominant hand.

“Not a big deal?!” Michael cries, “Are you serious?  Only two percent of humanity is ambidextrous, you happen to be one of them, and you’re telling me that it’s not a big deal?  It’s freaking AWESOME!”

“If you’re about to say we should celebrate this by getting stoned in your basement, I’m gonna have to pass.”  Jeremy deadpans as he gently removes his hand from Michael’s.  Have his hands always been this soft?  

“GASP!” Swooning dramatically, Michael clutches his chest and falls back into the chair “I AM HURT.”  

“I’m sure you’ll survive.” Jeremy says with a laugh.  Even if the Squip were right about him liking Michael, he decides it wouldn’t be worth risking their friendship.  The pain of losing moments like these greatly outweighs the possible benefits of confessing— BUT there’s nothing to confess so it doesn’t matter anyway!  He glances toward Michael, who has gone back to his study guide and is doing that cute lip biting thing again…

… Okay so maybe there’s a little that could possibly be confessed.  

Michael gestures towards the note currently covered by Jeremy’s Squip-writing hand. “So what were you writing anyway?  With that hand, I mean.”

Jeremy freezes.  Just when he thought he was in the clear too.

“How do you even take two sets of notes at once?” Michael muses, “That’d have to involve some serious parallel processing capacity on your part.”

Shit-shit-shit-shit-SHIT.  Jeremy lifts his hand slightly so he can see the note.  Maybe it’s nothing he’d have to worry about Michael seeing?  Yeah, he can probably just write it off as a note to himself for later on.  It’s probably nothi—

I  R E A L L Y  L I K E  Y O U  M I C H A E L.

Oh fuck.  

“Uh— it’s nothing,” Jeremy says a little too quickly.  He’s sweating bullets.

“Oh?”  Michael raises an eyebrow, “Well if it’s nothing, then I’m sure you won’t mind if I just—” he moves to snatch the note but Jeremy slaps his hand back over it.

“I-It’s just a memo,” he stutters unconvincingly as his face turns bright red.  Is the Squip seriously trying to set them up?

“Just a memo?” Michael grins wickedly and slaps his hand over Jeremy’s own to wrestle for the note, “Gee, you’re awfully cagey about it for being something that’s ‘just a memo’.”

“AUGH— Come on man!”  Try as he might, it’s a losing battle.  Jeremy’s left hand seems to be actively betraying him as he struggles to keep the note away from Michael.  Goddamn Squip is probably laughing it up right now.  They grapple a few more seconds before Michael emerges victorious with the note.  Jeremy’s face falls and he can feel a pit forming in his stomach.  There’s only seconds until their friendship is ruined.

“AHA!” Michael raises it high in the air like a victory trophy.  “Time to see what dark secrets—” his triumph turns to shock, and his lips part in an ‘o’ shape as he stares at the note. “…Oh…”

“I-It’s not what you think!”  Jeremy laughs nervously, knowing full well there’s no way out of this.  He’s awaiting Michael’s response like a prisoner waiting for execution.

“You sure about that?” Michael begins, blushing hard, “Because, I mean, this seems pretty…” he searches carefully for his next words, “…straight-forward.”

Jeremy’s sure there’s nothing he could do to make this any worse.  But naturally he finds a way.  “…Pun intended?”  He buries his face in his hands as he realizes what he just said.

Michael just stares at him for a moment.  His expression is unreadable.  Then he starts to laugh softly, in that way Jeremy always thought was so cute but now couldn’t be more worrying to hear. “Oh my god… Jeremy.”  He sighs as though he’s been holding his breath for a long time, “You big dork.”  He says as his face breaks into a smile.  

Jeremy looks up.  His heart is racing a million miles an hour it’s pounding so loudly he’s sure Michael can hear it.  “Wait, you’re not…” he trails off.  Mad?  Straight?  Interested?  He’s not sure what he’d prefer at this point.  It feels like he’s floating, ready to drop into freefall or soar into the sky at any moment.

Michael grins, “I really like you too.”

His heart soars.

“I have for a while now.”  Michael admits sheepishly,  “I just thought you didn’t, uh, swing that way.”

Jeremy melts right then and there.  He’s pretty sure he would’ve passed out if he hadn’t been sitting down.  God, how didn’t he see it before?  He can hear a faint “I told you so.” in the back of his mind but he doesn’t care.  Michael likes him too and that’s all that matters.  Jeremy gathers his courage and straightens up, a look of intense determination on his face, “D-Do you wanna maybe finish studying back at my place?”  

Michael takes his hand. “I’d like that.”

in which Eliza Danvers fucks up the Sawyers

AKA, turns out Alex gets it from somewhere


Maggie never expected it to actually happen, but she’d thought about it sometimes, daydreamed about it. But even in her wildest dreams, in her wildest most vengeful daydreams of running into her parents again, it never happens like this.

She used to dream about seeing them in the crowd for her high school graduation, or her college graduation, or her academy graduation, or her ceremony when she made detective, and they’d sob with regret and shame and she’d be magnanimous but a little cold. Or she’d see them as she sauntered down the street, hand in hand with a gorgeous woman. Or she’d run into them back in Blue Springs, after she just bought the town with all the money she won in the lottery and painted every street in rainbow colors.

But as each occasion passed without word from her parents, without seeing her parents, without hearing that they missed her or regretted what they did to her, those types of dreams faded. Now she thinks less about them groveling and admitting their faults and begging her to forgive them and more about turning her nose up at them, fucking them up with her disinterest and casual disdain.

Hey, a girl can dream, right?

In her daydreams now she’s with Alex, and she looks great and happy, and Alex looks just as beautiful as ever, and, depending on her mood, she and Alex either make out while pointedly ignoring them, or Alex yells at them, or – and she’s never admitted this to anyone – sometimes Alex wails on them.

But she’s never had a daydream anything close to the way it actually turns out.

Because she and Alex are out in Midvale visiting Eliza, and Kara is there too but had to run off on Supergirl duties, so it’s just the three of them today. And they’ve just finished a delicious brunch at Eliza’s favorite restaurant and they’re walking along the beach, and Alex is holding Maggie’s hand and is gently keeping her thumb moving, swiping up and down Maggie’s skin at the cadence of their feet in the sand. And Alex and Eliza are nerding out about something that Maggie can’t possibly follow, and Maggie is just watching the love of her life and watching the ocean and listening to the waves and feeling the sand between her toes, wet and cool and firm, and feeling the sun on her face and listening to the birds, and she’s so perfectly content.

They’ve been passing other people walking the other way on the sand, and Eliza usually raises a hand or smiles in greeting, but Maggie hasn’t been paying attention. But they must be approaching a couple, and Maggie’s been looking out at the ocean or over at Alex, so she hasn’t seen the coming. So when a surprised voice from right in front of her says, “Magdalena?” her first reaction is startlement.

But her second is fear.

Deep, cold, powerful, abject fear.

Her third is disbelief.

Her fourth is fear again, harder and faster and more urgent.

It’s all she can do to grip Alex’s hand, her soft grip turning into a vice, holding herself up and holding herself together only through the connection of Alex’s skin on hers, Alex’s fingers up against hers.

“Mom?” The word slips out of her without her permission. It’s not how she wanted to open, with a painful gasp that’s as much a word as a whisper as a plea as a cry. She hates herself for how vulnerable she sounds, how young she sounds.

How vulnerable she feels. How young she feels.

But in one way it’s a good thing, because now Alex can identify the threat that’s in front of her, and she seems to grow in physical size as she turns her head away from Maggie, fury and protectiveness swelling her body. She doesn’t release her grip on Maggie’s hand – she, somehow, impossibly, tightens it – but she takes a step forward. She isn’t blocking Maggie from their sight, but she’s clearly standing between them.

She’s full on Agent Danvers now, and she doesn’t need her gun or her tactical vest, because when she spits, “You have some fucking nerve, speaking to her,” it’s so clearly a threat.

And she can so clearly follow through on it.

But Maggie isn’t sure her parents have even noticed Alex. Her mother is staring at her face, and her father is looking at their hands, still joined, his lip curling up in something that looks suspiciously like disgust.

“I see you haven’t changed,” he says, and it’s the first time Maggie’s heard his voice in over fifteen years, and it nearly shatters her.

Alex is raging, taking another shuffle forward, her bare feet doing nothing to temper how ready for a fight she looks. She points a finger at them, and her shoes are still hanging from her hand, but she’s still terrifying. “You don’t get to talk to her. Ever. She is fucking perfect and you don’t deserve the right to even look at her.”

Alex is shaking, and Maggie is genuinely concerned she’s going to get physical. Maggie drops her own shoes, using her free hand to pull on Alex’s arm, tugging her back a step, into herself, turning her to face Maggie. “Baby, it’s okay,” she says as softly as she can. “It doesn’t matter.”

Alex opens and closes her mouth, clearly at war with herself. She wants to throw down for Maggie, clearly, but she can see that Maggie doesn’t want her to, and she’s stuck.

Her desire to keep Maggie safe, to keep her out of danger, to wrap Maggie up in her arms and shield her from the world seems to be winning out. She drops her shoulders, just a centimeter, and Maggie can see her eyes starting to clear, just the smallest amount.

But before she’s completely disarmed, Maggie’s father opens his mouth again, his voice cold and hateful. “You continue to disgrace your family, walking around like that where anyone could see you.”

And Alex is whirling back around, but she’s still tethered to Maggie, so she’s not as quick as she’d usually be.

But Eliza isn’t tethered to anything, and Maggie had forgotten she was there, and Maggie has never thought of her as particularly combative or badass – tough, sure, with what she’s been through – but never aggressive.

But, it turns out, Alex may have gotten it from somewhere.

Because Eliza has stepped forward, and she’s made a noise that has turned everyone’s attention to her, and she’s pointing her finger at him, and her voice is commanding and sharp and furious. “You have no right to speak to my daughter that way.”

And everyone stops for a minute, and it seems like even the waves have stopped crashing. Maggie can hear her own heartbeat as that word settles.

Alex is frozen in place, still a half-step in front of Maggie, still gripping her hand. Maggie wonders if she’s going to charge in, but she seems to waiting, just like the rest of them.

It’s Maggie’s mother that breaks the silence. “Magdalena is our daughter,” she says. Her voice is soft but firm, and Maggie wonders if her mother still loves her.

But Eliza is not having it. Her finger is still pointed, but now it swivels to Maggie’s mother. “You gave up that privilege the day you abandoned her when she was a child.”

Maggie’s father gets aggressive right back. “Don’t talk about things you don’t understand.”

And Eliza laughs, actually out-loud laughs. It’s cold and angry and hard and scornful. “What don’t I understand? What’s it’s like when your child tells you that she’s gay?” She motions behind her, to where Alex is still standing, completely still, clinging to Maggie’s hand. “I love my Alexandra even more since she told me, since she brought us Maggie.”

He sneers at her. “This is a family matter.”

And Maggie hadn’t realized that Eliza had been holding anything back, but she must have been, because she shifts into another gear entirely.

She doesn’t take another step, she doesn’t move her body at all, but somehow she’s towering over him. The next words she says come out in a snarl, and they’re territorial and predatory as hell, and Maggie’s parents both take an involuntary step back.

“Maggie is mine,” Eliza snarls. “Mine, and Alexandra’s, and Kara’s. She belongs to our family.”

Maggie’s parents both sputter, and Maggie and Alex both seem to be holding their breath.

But Eliza isn’t even close to done. She speaks clearly and firmly, each word landing like a punch, leaving no room for argument or disbelief.

“Blood doesn’t make a family. Alexandra and I have known that since we adopted her sister when she was a teenager. Kara is just as much my daughter as Alex is, and Maggie belongs to us now. You don’t just get to claim her because of blood when you’re the ones who tried to destroy her. Maggie is perfect. She is brilliant and kind and that is despite you, not because of you. She’s a Danvers, she is my daughter, and you will never speak to a member of my family like that again, or so help you god, it will be the last thing you ever do.”

Maggie’s parents stand, shell-shocked.

Eliza turns away from them, like they don’t even matter. “Come on, girls,” she says, suddenly back to being the sweet woman Maggie’s always known. “Let’s keep going.”

Alex looks at Maggie searchingly, clearly trying to see if Maggie wants to stay and talk with them. But Maggie just shakes her head a little bit.

What else could she possibly say?

Even in her wildest, most private dreams, she was just trying to prove to them that she’d survived and flourished on her own, without them. That they hadn’t crushed her into dust.

She never even imagined that she’d have a family to show them, that she’d be claimed not just by Alex or a faceless hot woman, but by a mother who loves her and chose her and wants her.

So the three of them pick up their shoes and set off down the sand, this time with Maggie sandwiched in the middle. And Alex still hasn’t let go of her hand and is walking as close to her as possible, hip to hip. And Eliza wraps her arm around Maggie’s waist and just holds onto her as they walk.

And, for the first time in over fifteen years, Maggie lets herself lean into a mother, and she rests her head on Eliza’s shoulder, and Eliza kisses her head softly.

“I love you, Maggie. I am so lucky to have you as a daughter.”

And Maggie just nestles a little closer to them both, safe inside of her family.

How Yosuke Hanamura broke my heart

It’s incomplete, but I had to get this out of my system:

How Yosuke Hanamura broke my heart

Persona 4 is a funny game. It is also a long game, and that allows the social simulation aspect of it to really work, allows you to feel at home with the characters, through charm and repetition - grumpy Dojima, overly energetic Chie, confused heart of gold Kanji. Through little bits of interaction, day by in-game day, you at some point start to realise that when this is over, you might actually miss them. All of them. 


And then there is Yosuke. 


You play Persona 4 as Souji, a quite detached guy moving in from the city, hand on his hip, jacket slung over his shoulder, and while you, the player, grow fond of the game’s characters, Souji always feels like he doesn’t quite belong. He is the leader, the one who pulls the strings, the one grown up far beyond their age, with the world’s weight on their shoulders. 


You juggle realtionships, help people out, they call you senpai, sensei - and then there is Yosuke. 


Yosuke, who somehow, magically, manages to transcent Persona 4’s charming but game-y relationship system and becomes something else. Yosuke, who calls you Partner, and rings you up at night asking about your dreams or which girl you like. Yosuke, who does and says so many silly things that you never quite know what to expect - Yosuke, who ultimately breaks the boundaries of Persona 4 and makes Souji/Yosuke the most unexpectedly real-feeling relationship within a video game that I’ve ever encountered. 


I don’t know what I thought when I first laid eyes on him, it’s likely that it was something along the lines of “Hey, this is quite cool-looking for an anime video game guy. Nice headphones.”


Then, in quick succession, things happened that made it clear that Yosuke was many things - heartbroken, repressed, funny, lazy, loyal, competitive, insecure, reckless - and that there was something building between him and Souji that seemed like a stunningly natural depiction of friendship. Somehow, this is rare - a video game showing two guys becoming friends, a process that just like falling in love requires making first moves, and opening up, and getting comfortable with each other. It seemed like Yosuke was the person in the cast that always wanted to know a little more, the one to push Souji a little bit, willing to ask stupid questions just to get a reaction, and unlike the other characters, he seemed to always act out of a desire to be level with Souji, to break through the calm, collected, leader-shell of his and address the human being inside. 


Now, that alone would be a remarkable thing for a video game to depict, and worthy of high praise. What complicates things is that Yosuke, no matter how much he might deny it, seems like the most obvious case of a closeted gay person the world has ever seen. 


When I started playing Persona 4, I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting myself into, through reading about it and actually having played a bit in the past. I also knew about the game’s realtionship system, and was aware, or thought I was, that you could only get romantically involved with girls. Thus, when the game started to tease the possibility of a gay option, I raised an eyebrow, then another one, and then I lost my marbles. 


When it started, the closeness between Souji and Yosuke had already been established, and since I’m a sucker for guys not actually hating each other, I started to favour Yosuke a little bit - choosing him to eat lunch with on the roof, studying together, spending afternoons at the Junes food court, talking in the soft glow of the sun on the Samegawa river bank. When Yosuke asked which girl I liked, I chose “neither”, cheekily, thinking I was playing the metagame, when the next midnight channel story twist came up, I bet each time that Yosuke would be the one to call Souji, outraged, worried, flustered, and each time when the phone rang and it was indeed him, I smiled to myself. But surely it was all in my head - I was starting to ship it, but it was just a fun little thing to do, to spare a thought here and there and layer it on top of these two characters whose interactions I enjoyed way more than expected. 


Then, these little moments started happening - the group sitting together at Junes’ and Yosuke remarking how good Partner is with his hands, a comment that might not even have stuck out so much if weren’t for the fact that immediately after saying it, Yosuke became a hot mess of backpedalling embarrassment. His insistence to know whether Souji had a crush on somebody, and who it was, despite the awkwardness. His remarks about inviting a third person to their activities, “or else people might think we’re gay.” And ultimately, the sheer time the game devoted to the Souji/Yosuke relationship - way more than any of the other characters got.


Persona 4’s social link system is fairly rigid. You choose to spend time with people, and if things go well, and even sometimes if they don’t, it raises your relationship level with said person, allowing you to climb the social link ranks, which has gameplay and combat benefits and also allows you, in some cases, to pursue a romance. What is remarkable about Yosuke is that the game spends a significant amount of time showing interactions between Yosuke and Souji outside of this system, building their relationship beyond the confines of you walking up to a person after school and answering “yes” to their proposal of hanging out. This not only serves to create a markedly more natural and complex relationship, it also sets Yosuke apart from the other characters - he is the one to choose to interact with Souji while the other characters can only wait to be chosen. 


And then Kanji entered the picture, Yosuke freaked out completely and I looked on, amazed at the fact that this game would dare to introduce a gay character, who, despite being closeted, met up with dates after school and whose dungeon was, of all things, a gay bathhouse, with sexual content that wasn’t even the slightest bit concealed. Of all the characters, Yosuke reacted most strongly to this, outright refusing to enter and making a big fuss about being afraid of Kanji taking advantage of him. 


It culminated in the camping trip - Kanji, Yosuke, Souji sharing a tent - a scenario that could have been used very easily for a gay romance movie of questionable quality, full of the usual tropes of late night talks, denial, confrontation and very real confusion on my part of where exactly this was going - the game laid on the armored gay homophobia on Yosuke so thick that it seemed almost impossible to read what was going on in any other way. Combined with the unusual qualities that had been established in the realtionship before Kanji joined the group, it started to feel like an entire plot was going on behind the scenes, inexplicit yet persistent and increasingly impossible to ignore. 


A few in-game days after that camping trip, Yosuke broke another boundary the game had set up to this point - he visited Souji’s home. More importantly, his room, a place that up until then you, the player, had always been alone in. The conversation that followed, in that intimate space, can’t adequately be described as subtext anymore, it’s text, and very gay text at that. I was streaming the game at the time, and I bet if that session’s video was still up, you’d hear my breath hitch when Yosuke, no homo Yosuke, asked about Souji’s porn stash and teasingly, suggestively stated he’d find it while Souji was out of the room. That was only the top of the iceberg, the whole scene and its context hit me like a 10 ton truck - could it be real? Was there really, explicitly something going on? The fact that I, after learning through research that there was no gay option, felt the need to double check after that scene, to make sure there wasn’t one, should speak volumes. 


That’s when I learned of the fact that Yosuke very likely was a gay option, that there were unused text and voice lines left over on the game’s disk that turned the inexplicit explicit, both in english and japanese, suggesting the developer changed their mind after the localization was done, i.e. very late in the game’s development. Only, they had ripped out very little, leaving in tons of sublte and not so subtle parts of the relationship, and that was when I realised that Persona 4, beyond being one of the best games I have ever played, would also have the potential to make me very sad, and very angry.


It wasn’t just that gay rights had been dear to my heart for as long as I could remember. It wasn’t just that the progression of Souji and Yosuke’s relationship eclipsed any other possible pairing in the lineup by miles in terms of complexity and depth and just feeling right. It was the loss of an incredible story being told, a story that would have been unique in the history of video games - the story of two fully realised, multi-faceted male characters that you, as a player, like, falling in love, and dealing with the fact that they both happen to be guys, with all the issues that might bring in a society where homophobia and hate are still so prevalent. 


While this has been done in movies to great success in recent times, mainstream video games haven’t dared to show male homosexual relationships in positive light and up front and center. Persona 4 does dare to spend significant time on very progressive subjects, including homosexuality and transgender issues, but it falters and pulls back just on the brink of being truly groundbreaking, which, to anybody playing the game with an open mind, can only scream injustice both in a worldly and in an in-game sense. 


The level 9 rank of Yosuke’s social link progression has the two of you standing on a hill overlooking the town of Inaba. Yosuke’d probably call it a village, and the two of you talk about coming to terms with your place in the world, literally and figuratively. It’s autumn, and the evening sun plays with the coloured leaves on the trees - it’s a beautiful spot, a wistful song is playing, and despite the Playstation 2’s aged graphics you can’t help but marvel a little. You’ve never been to this spot before, you think Yosuke probably brought you here, and you wonder if there are any other locations in the town you know so well by now that you haven’t seen.


“There is still nothing here,” Yosuke says, meaning Inaba, a place he resented for the longest time, “but I have family, and friends…and you.”


I sat in front of the TV for a long time, the soft piano notes of the song playing making me ache, and then I realised that while Yosuke Hanamura was denied the chance to become part of video games’ first positively framed gay male relationship, he had acomplished one thing:


Yosuke Hanamura broke my heart.

Reylo and why it’s a problem beyond any shipper war….

I’ve been part of many shipper wars over the years. Absolutely crazy and disgusting ones that left me wondering why I had ever joined the fandom in the first place. I have seen people call each other retarded and freaks over a ship and bully people, stalk their social media accounts… I have seen people insult actors and writers on social media over shipping - even sending them death threats (!!!!), I have seen people insult the significant others of actors because their ship wasn’t happening in real life as well… You name it, I’ve probably seen it. Some of these things also take place in the Star Wars fandom and I find them just as appalling and disgusting as I do in any other fandom. However I have become used to this insanity to a certain point and so there is a level of shipping-craziness I can ignore. Is this good? Probably not, but that’s simply what happens when you are confronted with bullshit for years and years, you become immune to it to a degree.

What I have seen in the Star Wars fandom recently though has crossed my line…and sometimes it has not just crossed it, it jumped past the line and blew itself into the freaking stratosphere of unacceptable behaviour.

Look, Reylo started out as somewhat of a crack ship, something that exists in almost any fandom. The villain + the hero… people writing fanfics about it, enjoying the idea. No problem so far because what you imagine in fics and have as a head canon can be problematic and unrealistic. As long as you are aware of it and don’t take it too seriously, everything’s cool.

The thing started to blow out of proportion when people suddenly became convinced that it will be canon. And that it’s the only acceptable, interesting canon, and that the entire Star Wars crew is playing some giant goose chase game with the fandom and only the Reylos get it. Shipping Reylo became some sort of detective game that only the truly smart people can figure out. Hidden clues, fairytale motives… Half of it seemed like we had suddenly entered a real life conspiracy theory scenario.

All of this is weird and insulting the intelligence of non-shippers but it can still be overlooked with an eyeroll. The real problems began when people started to justify why Reylo is better than any other ship and entirely unproblematic. They did not stop at plot points and hidden clues…no! In the course of defending their ship as a realistic option for the future of Star Wars, huge issues arose that made Reylo even MORE problematic instead of making it more acceptable.

Issue 1: The treatment of Finn

Some of the biggest treats of any ship are obviously other ships that involve one of the characters. In case of Reylo the biggest treat is Finnrey, ie. the ship between Rey and the character she spent the majority of time with during TFA. This ship somehow had to be discredited. Looking at the dynamic between Finn and Rey in the movie, making this ship not just unrealistic but downright horrible should be quite a challenge. Yet it was shockingly easy for the Reylo fandom. Not by using any valid plot points, but by stepping over lines that should never be crossed, not only in fandoms but in society in general: racism, homophobia and toxic masculinity!

Finn is, for many reasons, an absolutely groundbreaking and incredibly important character in the Star Wars franchise. Played by John Boyega, a man of colour, he is one of the few POC lead characters in any major franchises, cinema and TV alike. But not only that, the character himself is representing an incredibly important arc: A person brainwashed by an ideology for most of his life questioning this ideology and breaking free from it, breaking out of a facist organisation, refusing to follow their blind ideals and joining the fight against them. Finn becomes a hero in TFA for many reasons. He saves Rey, the other lead of the movie, several times and it is obvious she adores him. So the version of Finn we are presented with in TFA is that of a hero who becomes best friends with the heroine.

Somehow many members of the Reylo fandom considered it necessary to reinterpret this version of Finn to the point he became unrecognizable to justify why he is wrong for Rey. The fact that he broke out from the First Order suddenly became an act of cowardness because he was not strong enough to kill for them. His fear when he ran away from the facist organisation that turned him into nothing more but a number was interpreted as weakness. Him pretending to be a member of the Resistance was not seen as the act of someone ashamed of where he came from or someone who thought no one would trust him if they knew the truth – it was seen as a character flaw. His lie to personally get to save Rey from the First Order was interpreted as a sign of him being a pathologic liar instead of someone who would do everything for his friend. Even his motives were questioned…wondering if he REALLY left the First Order or might just be a double agent, trying to infiltrate the Resistance, even though there is absolutely no evidence for it in TFA! The fact that a man of colour is villainized, ridiculed, made out as weak and essentially a loser, who did everything just because of fear and because he is a liar, when all of his character’s storyline does originally make him look like a hero, is wrong on so many levels that I don’t even know where to start - and all of this seemingly to justify why he is not a suitable love interest for Rey! The fact that people did this with ease can’t help but make you wonder if they could do so because of their internalized racism. In this scenario a black man is made unworthy of a white heroine, even though his character was meant to be a hero just like she is. Turning a black man into a pathetic loser, even though his storyline contradicts it completely, falls right into racist behaviour patterns… especially if you do so to justify why a white character, who was constructed as a villain, is a better choice for the heroine than the black character who was constructed as a hero.

This is however just one kind of mistreatment Finn receives. Other scenarios involve Finn being gay to get him out of the way as a love interest for Rey. This way of thinking does not interpret Finn as gay for the sake of equality and representation but mainly to make him unsuitable as a love interest for the heroine. To use the sexuality of a character only to make room for a ship is obviously a totally wrong way of approaching homosexuality in fiction. Connected to this is people’s reception of some of Finn’s characteristics: for whatever reason many see Finn as unmanly, because he shows fear and seeks for support in dangerous, scary moments. This apparent unmanliness of his made some come to the conclusion that he is gay. So a man who does not fit into stereotypical ideas of how a man should be like… of course has to be gay, implying that a gay man is unmanly due to his sexuality? URGHS! If this is not the conclusion drawn by people, another popular one is that the “unmanly” Finn is not strong enough for Rey. Yet many of the people who express these ideas have no problem with Finn potentially being with a WOC who will be introduced in the Last Jedi. So he is too weak for Rey but not for an Asian woman they know nothing about? Does this scream racism? It obviously does…

Another tactic is….ignoring Finn. Removing him from all discourse, from all fan art and fan fics, erase him in pictures and switch him for Kylo Ren. Not only does this make no sense looking at the actual movie, but it removes the movie’s black lead from his rightful position. You can’t tell me it doesn’t leave a sour taste in people’s mouths if TFA’s black hero is switched for the white villain? In the end it’s the erasure of a black person, no matter how you look at it. And that is just WRONG.

Let’s summarize: If your tactics to convince people of your ship involve sidelining and demonizing a POC character or discrediting a man because he doesn’t fit into stereotypical masculine characteristics… you got a problem.

Issue 2: The racist attacks towards other fans and John Boyega

People love to pretend this is a tiny issue and does not reflect the fandom but… Something like this can never be a tiny issue! I am not saying that no vile, wrong actions took place outside of the Reylo fandom (check out the very beginning of this post…I acknowledge the usual shipper war insanity, which did take place from all sides, not denying this for a second) – however there is a difference between people insulting each other for a ship, and people sending anonymous messages full of racist slurs to people of colour in this fandom because they are against Reylo or adore Finn. That is, to put it mildly, an absolute catastrophe and the fact alone that this sort of behaviour was inspired by a ship is shocking. If you then remember that one character of this ship is in fact a facist… It has “abort mission” written all over itself. Yet people did not even manage to keep their trash inside of the fandom… it made its way into the comments section of the actors’ social media accounts. One much cited incident took place on Daisy Ridley’s instagram page, where people threw around racist insults towards John Boyega. If anyone has followed her, they will know she took down her instagram. I can only assume that this incident did not do anything positive for her view of social media. Since apparently this is still not enough, some racists feel the need to spread lies about John Boyega, turning him into a sexual predator even… I don’t think I have to explain that this is absolutely, utterly unacceptable!! From slight, internalized racism to open, inexcusable racism - we have now seen it all. This has to stop! And it will not stop by the Reylo fandom insisting it’s not all of them. Of course it isn’t. But that doesn’t make it any less of a giant problem! I could as well now draw the conclusion that Reylo fans are okay with shipping Rey with a facist because they are okay with facism…. and racism. It would be unfair to many of them, sure… but let’s be serious…can anybody be blamed if they come to this conclusion at this point? And is it such a crazy idea to assume that this ships draws in racists and facists??

Issue 3: The reinterpretation of Kylo Ren as a misunderstood anti-hero

One preferred way to make the villain Kylo Ren worthy of Rey is to try and explain why he is the way he is. This goes beyond a serious psychological analysis of why he turned into a facist murderer. It is used to turn him into a guy who is not responsible for his actions and actually kinda nice. “Poor Ben Solo was targeted by Snoke in the womb, in the WOOOOMB!! He couldn’t do anything about it. His childhood was traumatizing (why exactly we do not know), he had nobody and so of course he fell into Snoke’s hands, the poor boy! He is so lonely and misunderstood!” I can’t even count how often I have read these kinds of things. Yet in TFA itself we have examples of people who were brought up by the First Order (Finn) and abandoned by their parents on desert planets (Rey), but neither of them follows Kylo Ren’s path at this point. Neither of them is drowning in self pity and going around killing and torturing people. So resistance is possible, even IF you are related to facists and even IF some dark force is targeting you. Portraying Kylo Ren as the victim of this storyline is doing injustice to all the people who suffered from his actions. He is not a brainless puppet. He made a decision. Maybe he will realise himself that it was the wrong one… but never in Star Wars has it seemed like those who join the Dark Side did so because they were brainwashed and had no other choice. Mostly they did it for selfish reasons and from everything we can see at this point, so did Kylo Ren. Does his background story make it understandable why he became evil? It seems so. It is meant to. But it is not meant to excuse his behaviour or make him a victim. Anakin, even before he became Darth Vader, always had the potential to be evil because of his character traits. It is the same for Kylo Ren and also Luke. Luke chose to become a Jedi and Kylo Ren chose the Dark Side. So no, he is not innocent, he isn’t a victim, he isn’t an anti-hero… He is a murderer, plain and simple. So turning him into some emo Disney-Prince is nothing but disturbing. It alters the story and changes what he truly is. Many do this to make him worthy of Rey and so that they can keep the illusion alive that he can be completely redeemed and fall into her arms. This is however not logical and should not happen under any circumstances if the Star Wars writers take their own writing and the legacy of the saga seriously. A facist and murderer is no misunderstood puppy. He is evil. If people romanticise him, they have issues. But then there’s also a serial killer fandom, right? And tbh I see clear similarities between that and some of the Kylo Ren fandom…

Btw: Diagnosing Kyle Ren with all sorts of mental illnesses does not make him a better person either. Nowhere among the symptoms of depression, PTSD etc. will you find “turns person into a facist killer”. The idea alone that blaming his acts on what could be a mental illness is insulting every single person who struggles with mental illnesses! It makes it seem like they are all potential murderers! This is HORRIBLE!

Issue 4: The acceptance and downright glorification of a facist regime

If only all members of the Reylo fandom tried to make it a possibility by redeeming Kylo Ren. This is of course also problematic to the moon and back, yet it is still preferable to the other option, which is to say that he has the right to do what he does. I have seen people say that the Republic is evil and someone had to do something against it, so what if they take drastic measures? (like killing everyone??) I have seen fanfics were people wrote about Nazi experiments like it’s some kind of kink. I have seen people call Kylo Ren and Hux “extra”, as if they were some fun drama queens and not members of a facist regime. I have seen people who hope Rey becomes evil, so that she and Kylo Ren become some evil super couple. What is this meant to say about the people who do and say these things? Some of them seem to see all of this as some joke, pointing out again and again that it is not real. Sure, supporting this in real life is a huge step further than squeeing over murderers in fiction… however if you see your views as unproblematic and hope they will find support in canon… God, I don’t even want to think about this… it’s just NUTS.

Issue 5: The interpretation of abusive behaviour as sexy and romantic

To make the scenes Kylo Ren and Rey share in TFA romantic, they require a certain interpretation. Take the torture scene. People say things like “He was sitting by her side, waiting until she wakes up herself because he didn’t want to wake her” So we have a villain that ties up a heroine to get information out of her. He sits down and watches his prisoner for a certain time, waiting until the prisoner wakes up. The idea that he admires her looks in this scene is something I have often seen as an argument why this scene is romantic. However people seem to ignore that this is not, let’s say, a friend who is staying in the same place with someone and watches them sleep. This is a villain who knocked out a woman, tied her up and now waits for her to wake up to get information out of her. Is this really a romantic situation or a creepy one? Another argument as to why this scene is romantic is that he apparently holds her captive in his private rooms. I have no idea if there is any evidence for this, but is it really romantic that a villain keeps a woman imprisoned in his private rooms to read her mind? Or is it an abusive action by a kidnapper who clearly has disturbing ideas? I mean imagine you get knocked out and kidnapped by someone and then wake up in a dark room, with the person who kidnapped you watching you in silence? Would you find this creepy or cute?

Even if we take a look at the kidnapping scene itself people can’t seem to get over the fact that Kylo Ren carries an unconscious Rey. Could this be a romantic moment in another context? It surely could be. IF he had not been the one to knock her out in the first place, and IF he was not carrying her into his spaceship to get information out of her (by torturing her with his powers)! We are not watching a man carrying his unconscious love to safety. We are watching a villain carry the unconscious heroine into the enemy’s headquarters. This is a scary situation, NOT a romantic one!

Obviously we have to end this with their final fight. Arguments I’ve heard mainly talk about how he did not kill her because he has a soft spot for her. Not only does this ignore the fact that he was quite severely injured during this scene but also the obvious reason why he is so interested in her. He wants her power. He wants to train her, wants her to join HIS side of the force because she is crazily powerful. Is her unique power enough of a reason not to kill her at this point? Of course it is! People who are strong with the force are rare and special. You do not just chop their heads off if they don’t directly do what you want. So no, this is again not a romantic scene. It is a scene between the villain of the movie and the heroine where he is trying to bring her to his side. Something else I keep hearing is that they apparently exchanged romantic looks when she escapes and he lies in the snow. He was just defeated by a scavenger from a desert planet! He, the mighty Kylo Ren! He knows that there probably won’t be a way around her on his way to power! And she knows that the head of the First Order wants to get his hand on her because of her power, because of something she never wanted to be part of. This is a “Holy Shit, this is our future” – moment. This is the start of an epic fight. Not two lovers staring longingly at each other!

To summarize: All scenes between Rey and Kylo Ren get reinterpreted as romantic, even if they are creepy, abusive and potentially lethal. Dare I claim that they would not be seen as such if they would not take place between a young woman and a young man? The fact though that these two people could theoretically put together their sexual organs should not make these scenes romantic or nice or hot. That people interpret them this way is more than problematic and makes it look like they find abuse, kidnapping and trashing each other with light sabers cute, when it would honest to God not be in any other context.

Issue 6: The sidelining of Rey in favour of Kylo Ren’s character development

Sadly most arguments for Reylo seem to centre around Kylo Ren and the redemption this relationship could bring to him. No words about why it is a great idea for Rey or why it should further her character development to fall for the villain. Kylo Ren often suddenly takes the position of the hero, it becomes his storyline and she, the actual heroine, becomes an asset that is being used to make him a better person. She is supposed to save the lonely, misunderstood man from his misery. Why she should do this mostly seems obscure. Most of these scenarios are combined with Issue 3. Kylo Ren’s crimes are downplayed, so that Rey can fall in love with him and “save” him. So again… canon Kylo Ren’s actions have to be reinterpreted and canon Rey’s storyline shoved aside in favour of his.

These six issues are my main reasons to stay away from the Reylo fandom. I have mostly experienced it as a toxic space for reasons that go beyond the usual shipper war problems. Even though I have read some of the theories and tried to stay open-minded… it was simply not possible looking at all the problematic and sometimes downright disgusting things that were happening all around. I only hope for the sake of Star Wars that Reylo stays nothing but a fanon ship and that this will somewhat calm down the situation. Canon Reylo could give power to people who clearly should not have any. 

anonymous asked:

Hiya! Love your account it's great! I have a request though! Could you pretty please with Sprinkles on top do a RFA react to a bisexual MC. Please and thank you my fellow defender of justice

This was a very good request because I can very much relate, being pansexual. To all my queer friends out there- you rock and keep being gay you ~H x

RFA with a bisexual MC

Yoosung:

-At first, this poor bean thinks that you’re telling him because you want to leave him for a girl
-So he gets all upset
-You’re confused
-“I- I understand if you want to leave me, MC,” he manages to choke out
-You have to explain to Yoosung that you don’t want to break up
-The reason you’re telling him is because you don’t want to leave this vital piece of information out of your relationship
-He understands after that and manages to compose himself
-Yoosung totally gets it, though
-He has friends at school who are bi and gay and pan and ace etc.
-He’s very happy to support you
-And as long as you’re not leaving him, he loves being with you no matter what

Zen:

-C’mon we all know Zen is a ‘deny the bi’ kind of person
-We all see you flirting with Jumin, honey
-But when it comes to you, he’s absolutely thrilled to find out
-He thinks it makes you really interesting
-However, he also checks that you haven’t thought of leaving him for a girl
-Just to tease him you say that Jaehee’s been looking very hot lately
-His face is priceless
-When you crack up laughing he knows it was just a joke
-You weren’t really joking- she is very hot
-He’s not that up to date with all the terms, though so you have to educate him
-But he totally supports you

Jaehee:

-Her initial reaction is to internally go ‘yessssssss’
-Because she’s in love with you and this means that you are actually into girls and gives her a chance!
-Meanwhile, you’re trying to drop a subtle hint that you like Jaehee as more than a friend
-So you’re nicely surprised when she responds
-“Me too.”
-Wait, what?
-The two of you end up hugging and laughing at the sudden confession
-“I only recently discovered it actually,” you said.
-“I did too actually,” Jaehee laughed.
-You’re getting your hopes up here
-A bit too up
-Naturally, you end up blurting out
-“It was you that made me realise.”
-Jaehee goes bright red
-Oh no, what did you do, you just ruined the friendship
-Until Jaehee replies
-“I really need to stop copying everything you’re saying,” she smiled, “But me too.”
-You stand there in shock for a minute
-Did Jaehee just… confess back?
-To answer that question, Jaehee steps forwards, cups your face in her hand and kisses you
-That coming out went better than expected

Jumin:

-He was raised in a homophobic environment
-And he only ever met people who had bad things to say about the LGBT+ community
-So you were very nervous about telling him
-Jumin himself is very opened minded compared to his colleagues and peers
-And he’s very happy that you tell him
-“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me earlier, Princess,” he said.
-“I was worried you wouldn’t accept me,” you admitted.
-“There is nothing you could say or do that would make me not accept you,” Jumin smiled.
-Awww now he’s making you blush
-“Maybe that’s why you can appreciate Elizabeth the 3rd’s beauty,”
-Ok, never mind
-You have to explain that No, Jumin, you are not into bestiality
-Just bisexuality
-You say that you’ll make sure to keep it secret from the reporters that come butting into your life
-But Jumin says not to
-He tells you this is a part of who you are and he doesn’t want you to hide it
-Not from him, not from anyone

Seven:

-You have nothing to worry about around Seven
-He’s lived life as a secret agent- there isn’t really anything he won’t accept
-So when you tell him, his response is
-“Same!!”
-You’re a bit surprised by that
-“Well, I say I like all genders so I guess that would be pansexual, but we’re close enough!”
-Either way, you’re very happy that he accepts you
-And that would explain why he’s always flirting with Yoosung
-Next time you go on a date, Seven suggests that both of you point out hot boys or girls and the other has to rate them out of ten to see if your tastes are similar
-You’re regretting telling him already
-Because of the similarity, though, it really strengthens your relationship
-Until Seven jokes about a threesome
-At least you’re pretty sure he’s joking
-You quickly shut that idea down

Saeran:

-His reaction is a confused expression
-“What’s that?”
-Poor bean is too precious for this world someone please protect him
-You explain what being bisexual is and he looks even more confused
-“I thought you were just meant to go off personality, not gender. Why does that even matter?”
-You’re pretty sure that means he’s probably demisexual
-Or MC-sexual only
-You explain that most people usually go off the gender of a person as to whether they’d date them or not
-Saeran thinks that’s stupid
-But he’s very happy to support you because this is obviously very important to you
-You’re relieved because at least he isn’t judgmental about sexuality
-Even if he is about everything else

V:

-As if this boy isn’t going to support you
-As soon as you come out, V starts a huge encouraging speech
-All about ‘embracing yourself’, ‘never being afraid of who you are’, ‘he loves and supports you no matter what’ and ‘always tell him everything about you.’
-He also mentions how thankful he is that you told him
-He would have supported you no matter what
-This boy just loves you so much
-But please don’t be a cult leader because that he might not accept

Fixing Septiplier

I saw this tweet and, yes, I can kinda agree.

People say its because Mark and Jack aren’t friends anymore, and I think thats not the case.

They still are friends, a lot, there are some parts in the livestream where they smile and talk to each other, but the thing is.

Its done where they’re not in the spotlight.

For example, Mark and Jack were tossing the toilet paper to each other and they were smiling at each other, but the camera men didn’t put them on the spotlight.

Also, Mark told Jack something and a big smile went on Jack’s face, but they were in the background, and the camera weren’t on them the whole time.

Mark and Jack always fueled the Septiplier ship back then and why don’t they do it now?

Well maybe they’re scared too?

Because back then:

The Septiplier ship was smaller, and people didn’t ship it as hardcore as they do now. They used to ship it as Mark and Jack did, in a silly, cute way.

But later on, people shipped it to a level that Mark and Jack never expected/wanted-

What I mean is smut, and people who believe they’re gay and they do love each other romantically.

Shippers who don’t ship it that way, or at least still know Septiplier won’t happen still [smut shippers], don’t worry, this isn’t completely your fault. I’m a shipper myself, so I know.

Like, do you really want drawings of you naked with a friend on the internet, especially when you’re as popular as them?

No, why would you?


Honestly, I think they might actually still wanna make those Septiplier moments keep going like they used to, but maybe they’re scared it’ll blow up and the shippers will take it too far?

It seems likely because,

it has happened.

They do sonething cute, it blows up, and now its madness and nobody can calm down.

Because if you’ve ever noticed, if you look at a Septiplier moment, its clear they’re extremely happy in each and every one.

But now they have to be cautious at every move they do on camera or else things will go nuts.

I don’t think they’re trying to sink the ship, I think they’re trying to make it back to the way it is.

But before you say “Then why don’t they just say they want the ship to calm down so they can be silly again?”

Well of course, THATS going to blow up. It doesn’t matter whether they giggle at each other or they actually do something cute, it’ll blow up either way. Its like some crazy curse. Literally, anything that includes Mark and Jack, there’s always someone going “OMG SEPTIPLIER AWAY, THEY LOVE EACH OTHER!!!” Like, come on dude, these are real people who don’t love each other romantically. Let them be them. Everything doesn’t have to be Septiplier. Why can’t it be just two friends being friends?

And just so people know, thinking Mark and Jack are actually gay, even though having girlfriends, IS NOT AN OPINION. NOT IN THIS SITUATION. ITS JUST WRONG.

There’s a difference between a fact and an opinion. And Mark and Jack being straight is a fact. They have girlfriends, who are each wonderful people, but they ALWAYS, constantly state they’re straight, they are NOT attracted to men. They are straight and have amazing ladies as their girlfriend and if you can’t respect that, then I don’t think you should be here. Think about it. (Thank you to anyone who said about Mark and Jack stating they’re straight constantly)

And if it gets to the point where Mark or Jack have to make a video on this topic, thats it. We can’t fix it then. Because if its so effective on their lives that they have to tell millions about it, is not only dissapointing, but clearly fuckin shows our fandom can’t control ships.

Because Mark and Jack are not the ones changing.

The Septiplier ship is changing, and not in a good way. We fucked up. They didn’t.


And how do we fix it?

Well, Septiplier is huge, A LOT of people ship it. Its literally the second most searched option when you type ‘Sep’ in the YouTube search bar.

And it won’t be something we can do overnight. Its going to be a slow process.

There’s a lot of us and we have to all agree.

We can’t just lay around, waiting until everything gets better. WE need to be that something that brings the ship back to the light.

The Septiplier ship ran into a harsh, big storm and we have to work together to get it out onto the right path.

I want this ship to how it started, where everybody shipped it for fun, and we didn’t attack other ships. Not saying all of us attack other ships, its just some Septiplier shippers actually do attack, I’ve seen it.

Because the more smut and hardcore shippers that join this ship, the more Mark and Jack have to be cautious.


AND THEY’RE ALREADY PRETTY FAR APART AND CAUTIOUS.

They’re not sinking the ship.

They’re warning us to fuckin fix ourselves and the flaws of this ship, before its too late.

And honestly, Septiplier isn’t just a ship anymore, its a community that needs some fixing. Its also a place where Mark and Jack fans join together. Because Mark and Jack have a beautiful bond thats brought their communities together. And lets not break that bond.

Because Whats better?

Don’t do anything and Mark and Jack grow farther apart on camera.

Or fix our ship, bring it back to the light, and have Mark and Jack be able to have things normal again.

Now, how?

Well, all hardcore [smut, sex related] shippers and people who believe they’re gay have to stop. (Or keep the smut as far away as possible)

Its not right or polite and Mark and Jack wouldn’t appreciate or even consider you a fan at all if you continue.

Ship Septiplier as a bromance, or in a fluffy cute way, nothing too extreme like sex, or kinky shit.

I know this isn’t how Mark and Jack really act with each other, they most likely do a bunch of shit together off camera where we don’t ruin their fun.

We can fix this ship.

We just have to try.

I want Septiplier to become peaceful and happy again.

Because Jack used to be a fan of Mark. He started his channel because of Mark.

And even though they’re on different parts of the world, Mark managed to find a worthy person on YouTube who derserves so much more. And that was Jack.

They’ve been through a lot, from meeting in person for the first time, becoming great friends, to having a happy little ship.

Lets bring it back to those times. Mark and Jack don’t need to change. We need to.

Lets bring the happiness back in Septiplier.

And ships like Jelix or Pewdieplier, don’t become like this ship, don’t go too far. Don’t make YouTubers become seperate by their own fans.

Mark and Jack have done so much for us, now lets do something for them.


I know we can do this.

Lets fix Septiplier.

Update: For Cringemas I wasn’t able to watch the first part but I saw that Mark and Jack agreed Septiplier as a ship was pretty bad this year in that part. And that right there is why we need to fix this ship. They know this ship is getting worse. If 2016 was Septiplier’s bad year, lets makes 2017 Septiplier’s rebirth into the light. Thanks to everybody who wants this ship better, I appreciate it so much! Now I know we can really do this. In 2017, we’ll fix Septiplier. Together. [Lol a PS: I understand the people who say that we should let septiplier die, but remember they’re are still fans and hard-core shippers who will start drama and shit. I wish it can be that easy, but right now, fixing the ship and opening people’s eyes seems like the best option, thank you💕]
Why you shouldn’t compare Book and Show Malec

Many people love to compare them, but really it’s apples and oranges these days and here is why.

Different Platforms: 
You cannot compare Books to Show for the simpliest reason. A show has far more time to dive into side character, explore small mentions in the books etc. 
TMI is written as Clary’s story and the real main characters are Clary, Simon and Jace. If the show focused on just them as main, it would be far too limited. No fantasy show has three mains, it’s usually atleast four and upwards with plenty of regulars and recurring characters to fill up the time and plot. TVD’s real mains might be Elena, Stefan and Damon but Caroline, Jeremy, Alaric Bonny, Matt, Tyler are also mains and have their own storylines that are well developed and thought out. In a book this would created 1000+ pages to do for all of them.
Every episode needs to have a high and low and some development. This is different in books. You can easily spend two chapters in the same setting, building up world and character knowlegde. The pacing is different and as such it asks different things of its characters and a show is therefore much quicker in need of more mains or regulars than a book series. 

From Side to Mains: 
Alec and Magnus in TMI are not main characters, no matter how much people claim they are, as someone currently written a book myself, I have characters like them in my own bookseries, but I would never call them mains more well-rounded characters that are just present for 60% of the time. Magnus and Alec’s pagetime increases per book and maybe by the time we reach City of Heavenily Fire one can consider them mains, but during the first 4 books this was definitely not the case. Therefore the show automatically has more Malec, cause Alec and Magnus have a different role, which is also due to the Platform that provides this opportunity for these characters along with Izzy and Luke. 

Different times:
City of Bones was written over 10 years ago, maybe I’m so old I remember what the world was like 10 years ago, but it was very different. Marriage equality was something only very few countries had and the amount of lgbtq on the television wasn’t nearly as much as it is now. I mean, remember Glee even had to announce beforehand that Kurt and Blaine would have sex this episode, when all we got to see was too men in their shirts and underwear with a condom on the floor. GROUNDBREAKING.  Things were simply not the same. Sure you had lgbtq characters in literature but they came in lgbtq book series, like The Nightrunner Series by Lynn Fleweling or Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters. In YA literature you had no lgbtq characters unless the book was meant for that target group (Annie on my mind for example) Cassandra Clare was one of the first if not the first to add lgbtq characters and a couple to her bookseries that was aimed at a heterosexual targetgroup of 12+ girls. And she had to walk a very fine line to get it published and to make sure afterwards that her books wouldn’t end up being banned from school libraries or only for sale at very limited amount and small stores. America wasn’t that keen on exposing youth to lgbtq material. There was even talk about getting these kinds of books a specific label, so that the reader was warned beforehand the book would be gay. Malec had to be a side couple, they couldn’t be as present as Clace. It would have seen these books in the gutter at the times. 
The show was created in a time where marriage equality exists, where officially more people in western civilization approve of lgbtqs than are against it. Where Tvshows are more diverse. It had preccessors with great success, like How To Get Away With Murder, Empire, Modern family. All these massively popular shows weren’t harmed by being diverse. 
The show was blessed by being bought by a network that strives for equality and frequently works with organisations to address real life problems. Freeform has had a lot of success in the lgbtq department, especially with the family friendly The Fosters and the YA global success Pretty Little Liars. 
Shadowhunters has no reason to treat Alec, Magnus or Malec as anything other than equals or main characters. It won’t harm the show. Book fans already know them, since CC laid down the groundwork there and freeform fans know the network well enough to expect every show to have a lgbtq couple at some point. 
Time makes all the difference: people change, countries changes, laws change. 

Different people:
Last but not least, Magnus and Alec in the show are not the same as Magnus and Alec in the books. Their personalities are different. 
For starters Alec is a 23 year old man instead of a 17 yeard old boy. He run the institute when his parents are away, instead of Hodge. Because he is older he is more mature. 
Magnus in the books doesn’t give a flying fuck about shadowhunters, he only helps them because of Alec, he makes it known time and time again, he’d not do it otherwise or they would have to pay him. In the show Magnus is more invested, more invested in Clary, he cares more about the rest of them. This is mostly due to Magnus being a main and if his only tie was Alec that would be a rather limited role.  Magnus is not protecting other warlocks, only himself and Alec. And if he really has to, the people Alec cares about in the books, in the show he is responsible for the rest of them. 
This list is a very long one if I have to dissect every aspect of both of them, but in the end they are simply different persons with the same name in a similar setting. And therefore their relationship is very different too.  

If you consider all of the things above, you simply cannot compare them anymore and neither should you really, considering the differences are too big. 
You can only prefer one version over the other and understand why that is. 
But there is no reason to shit on either version, they were written for different platforms, in different time, which lead to a difference in role for the characters and thus created different characters and a whole different story. You can love them both, you love one of them, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you respect both of them and the circumstance in which they were created. 

The night was laden with electricity, cracking over the asphalt. The air heavy and burning, still reeling with the screams of the dead as darkness encroached the world and their lives. The battle was still going strong, circle members littering the long walkways within the garden. Charred flowers were left in its wake, and Magnus couldn’t help but mourn the destruction of such beauty.

Still, he thought as his fingers sparked and the skies roared, there was no time to dwell on the concept of mortality. Raising his hands, he threw the approaching circle member, a man slowed by the arrow sticking out of his leg, against a low barricade, satisfied by the sound of breaking bones. Another arrow flew past him, the sound somehow loud despite the screams of pain all around him. Magnus knew that Alec wasn’t supposed to be here, having been assigned to the other shadowhunters within the building. A smile played at his lips when he imagined Alec’s glare as he listened to Imogen’s words, the ever present war of head against heart raging fiercely. It was clear which one had won this time.

Jace had been here too, a moment ago. Throwing a thankful nod in Magnus’ direction after they had briefly fought together. Jace’s words were still ringing in his ears, the boy standing in his loft with guilt ridden eyes. I know nothing I say will make this right. But I’m here if you need me, Magnus.

Keep reading

Actually, I have a fairly good idea of exactly WHY tumblr ads suck so hard,

 and why they’re failing so badly at appealing to youth, and they never seem to be paying attention to the HEAPS OF CRITICISM, even when most all the notes on their sponsored posts are specifically telling them, in detail, why they suck. 

(sorry for the long post)

First of all, they are actually listening. 

My dad works in advertising and graphic design, he’s in this industry, and he certainly listens to me every single time I talk about the memes, the culture of the internet and today’s youth and all the hip things like that. He’s gotta. This is his job, his paycheck really depends on whether or not he knows exactly how to appeal to whatever target audience the company wants him to appeal to. He’s got to be hip on all the memes, internet slang, popular music and media, because if he doesn’t, he’s gonna get replaced by a younger guy fresh out of art school. So you bet your ass he’s gonna listen and pay attention and ask questions whenever his 19-year-old daughter’s talking about DWC, the new game that Blizzard just released, or Hillary Clinton’s pathetic attempts to get the youth vote. 

As you can imagine, everyone in marketing is trying their damned hardest to make sure their content appeals. By this point, they know exactly why content doesn’t appeal, because they’ve analyzed why things do and dont appeal from every possible angle. People literally go to school for this. They attend workshops. 

So if that’s the case, then wtf is happening? 

Why do we get shit like this

spammed all over our feeds? 

Well it’s a bunch of factors, and not all of it is the age of the people making this content. 

See, the internet and social media has actually brought a kind of mini-crisis upon the marketing industry. They have to constantly be appealing to kids these days, or they quickly become irrelevant, uncool. Every day, individual advertisers, and the industry as a whole, has to ask themselves what appeals to this generation, what can they offer that would appeal to the kids these days? 

They’ve got a crisis on their hands right now, because, to put it simply, we all hate advertisements. With a burning passion

And they’ve noticed this, they’ve noticed that internet youth as a whole will go to any possible lengths to avoid ads, that we’ll download extensions, avoid websites, even fucking pay money if it means we won’t have to deal with any goddamn ads, and then when we do see ads, we’ll relentlessly mock them on every possible flaw we can find. 

They had a whole decade to notice their audience’s overwhelmingly negative response to anything that’s trying to sell them shit. They are fully aware how annoying their very existence is to us. 

So right now, what they’re trying to do is make ads that don’t look like ads

The first thing they figured they should do, was that instead of doing banner ads and sidebar ads and video interruptions in your youtube and spotify, they should be doing sponsored posts: write up their ads in post form, put them up on a designated corporate account on a popular social media site, then pay the site to seed those posts on everyone’s feed. There you go. It’s an ad, but it doesn’t look like an ad. Maybe the internet people won’t be as annoyed now, because it’s just a post in their feed, it’s not disrupting their experience in any significant way like other ads do. 

Well, they tried that, and it didn’t work. It didn’t really matter that now it was all in accordance with the natural functions of the site, pretty much all of us could see that this, 

is a fucking ad. That’s a goddamn ad that’s being put on our feeds against our will. Nobody followed fucking Microsoft, why in fuck would we do that? there’s nothing but ads on that account, and who the fuck wants ads? 

So now they have to go back to the drawing board, and figure out another way to make these ads appealing, even though they’re ads and everyone hates ads. 

So the marketing guys noticed how a new meme causes everyone to suddenly gain interest in a new piece of media, and how quickly viral content will spread in general. How, say, all those Doritos and Mountain Dew in MLG montages are basically free advertising, or how the slew of viral videos featuring horse head masks caused the sale of those particular horse head masks to skyrocket, etc etc. 

In the memes, they found a possible solution to this near-impossible conundrum that the industry is trapped in.

Basically, the way to make your ads not look like ads, is to make them look like your average viral content. You have to turn your brand into a meme in order to appeal. 

It was actually probably Denny’s that figured out the formula first, and they’re probably still one of the most successful examples. 

Think about it. Did Denny’s even HAVE to sponsor their posts? Or did we just all willingly reblog them because they were so fuckin weird, and we couldn’t believe a corporation was doing this shit? 

But now here’s the problem, and this is why the ads are failing to appeal, even more than obvious reasons like “they’re all putting existing and outdated memes in their ads, and its really uncreative and out of touch”: 

The problem is there’s no direct interaction with the audience. 

You know how the Denny’s blog answers asks? That’s exactly the sort of thing that’s lacking from all these corporate blogs, that’s why they’re still really obvious adspewers, and thus, why they’re so damn annoying (other than all the piggybacking on outdated memes, ofc). 

Other than Denny’s, I’ve only seen two isolated situations where a corporate blog actually responded to feedback of any kind: 

  1. That one time that a visual novel app actually announced two lesbian love interests in response to someone demanding gay content.
  2. That one time Episode got self-aware and mentioned Tumblr in an ad

The first response garnered actual respect for the app, while Episode’s ad caused everyone to burst into mock panic (which was par for the course, given how their strategy seems to be “become infamous for our wild ads, and maybe someone will be curious to try out our app”). 

Given how most of us will accept ads in the form of “signal boosts” from fellow tumblr users, it’s basically a given that, as a whole, we respond much better once we’re assured there’s an actual genuine person behind the ad, who is sincerely trying to reach out to us. 

So you know, why the fuck do all these marketing blogs, Episode, Battlecamp, Funyuns, Game of War, etc. 

why do they

never

actually

talk to us? 

It’s simple:  

they can’t actually talk to us. 

Corporations have rules, regulations. These advertisers running the marketing accounts aren’t CEOs, they’re not even managers, they’re most likely low-level workers in the midst of the marketing branch of the company, a branch that, for the most part, has to follow the rules of the company, and are under extreme pressure (from company lawyers and the PR department) not to do anything out-of-line. 

Actually responding to asks or reblogs are a huge risk, and the people who command the guys who run these blogs have a bajillion reasons why they don’t want some bloody grunt to go saying whatever the hell they want on the official corporation’s tumblr blog.They could say something off-color and cause a scandal, or they could ruin the company’s professional reputation just by acting like a human being. When they log into that blog, the low-level grunt is supposed to be representing the entire corporation, a body made up of hundreds or thousands of people. You’d better damn well make sure they’re saying the right thing.

Running the official Denny’s blog probably takes a very organized and deliberate effort, along with a hella lot of risk, all to make those weird posts, reply to asks, even to figure out the perfect blend of surrealism and mundanity, while at the same time ensuring their product actually looks appealing. it probably takes a whole team to run that blog, if we’ll be honest. There’s probably 10 mods, who all have to be in close contact with not only each other, but with the boss. The boss has to trust them to not fuck up. It probably took a lot of careful planning and communication in order to figure out a stable system for all that. 

Episode couldn’t make a response to tumblr that wasn’t formatted like one of their usual ads, and they only made their (pseudo) response after a string of increasingly weirder ads convinced them that such a daring move like mentioning tumblr wouldn’t be a total disaster (well, more like convinced them that “total disaster” is something that should actually be their marketing ploy from now on).

Kisses and Curses (the aforementioned paranormal romance app) obviously was planning the female love interests already, and saw in that single comment a good opportunity to officially announce them. They also are most likely a smaller company, probably a single team that’s doing double duty on both content creation and marketing, giving them much less red tape if they wanted to answer a question like “but do the lesbians die,” or model future content after the desires of their target audience. They have a lot more freedom to be human, is what I’m trying to say. 

And while it’s fully possible that something can reach viral status and be beloved as a brand without having to respond directly to their audience, it’s pretty impossible to intentionally pull that sort of thing off, especially when you’re advertising a product or service. That kind of viral fame depends on being unexpected and unexplained, an enigma, really, and as a result, any strategy you find that actually works will only ever work the first time. The second person who tries the same thing will be labeled an obvious copycat.

TL;DR: the field of advertising is struggling to figure out how to adapt to an audience that hates the very existence of ads, and their only strategy is to make their ads less and less ad-like, and make their marketing accounts more like actual users and content creators. 

However, due to the structure and size of the companies themselves, they can’t actually do that. Fully committing to their emulation of content creators would mean they’d have to let the employees who run these blogs freely respond to their audience, and actively communicate with them. That’s a risk that no company is fully willing to take, and thus, all these advertisers are forced to make shitty content bandwagoning off the latest trends, and cross their fingers that someone finds the mess appealing on an ironic level. 

Everyone’s pretty much stuck between a rock and a hard place, and the only way out of the shitty ads is to literally redefine the whole concept of marketing, because we just flat-out hate all ads nowadays, no matter what they are or how they come to us.