I’m not sure from your question exactly what confused you, but
I’m going to hazard a guess that at least part of it was the way I used the
word “queer”. Queer is a
controversial word, and it means a lot of different things to different people,
or in different contexts.
In a tumblr context, it’s most often used as an inclusive,
umbrella term for gender and sexual minorities.
Other people view it as a derogatory term for gender and sexual
minorities. The word also has a very
long history referring to anyone or anything that is different, odd, unusual,
unfamiliar, weird. In that form, it has
often been used in horror fiction, to describe people, things, or deeds that
might strike the reader as unsettling, disturbing, or even frightening.
The multiple meanings of the word are not coincidental. Gender and sexual minorities were
historically called “queer” because they were viewed as strange or
unusual—different from the norm. To some
people, queer people could be frightening, but others found something positive
or even celebratory in the term. See,
for example, this quote from Bryan Fuller that has been going around tumblr
“I remember looking up the word ‘queer’ and being
very pleased with what I found, since I had been told I was one. I thought who
wouldn’t want to be queer? Every synonym was something I aspire to be. Strange.
Unusual. Peculiar. All of them an achievement in their own right.”
But let’s go back to horror for a minute. If “queer” is used to describe a monster, can it *also* be positive?
There was actually an article about this in the New York Times
recently (Why Frankenstein’s Monster Haunts Queer Art). I’m going to quote from it at length, because
this is pretty much exactly the context I was assuming in my essay.
“When you’re gay and grow up feeling like a hideous
misfit, fully conscious that some believe your desires to be wicked and want to
kill you for them, identifying with the Monster is hardly a stretch…
"Frankenstein’s Monster is… a misfit child spurned by
his father who grows up to be a sensitive oddity, too strange to be accepted by
society or reproduce naturally and forced to seek refuge in seclusion…
"Everyone identifying as other can seize the mythology
of monstrousness for their own ends, using it to prove they’re nothing like the
ordinary folk who chase the Monster out of town.
"The Monster’s rage lies in his abandonment and
isolation. He’s an embodiment of heartbreak. It is an experiment in empathy for
the supposedly unlovable, continuing the queer tradition of sympathy for the
This is the sense I am using in my meta. For the purpose of my meta, it doesn’t matter whether Sherlock and Eurus are canonically or fanonically LGBT. We can view them as queer in the
gender/sexual sense, or we can identify with them as queer in the same way
Frankenstein’s monster is, and view that as a metaphor for the experiences of
gender and sexual minorities.
Either way, my goal was to connect Eurus with this
“queer tradition of sympathy for the monster.” If Sherlock were an ordinary hero, he would
be horrified by Eurus, and reject her outright. But Sherlock isn’t ordinary—he is
odd, unusual, extraordinary, queer. And so, instead of disgust, anger, or horror,
Sherlock shows Eurus compassion and sympathy.
All of this is important to my argument, but so far I’ve
only said the same stuff that anyone versed in queer theory and horror
narratives would have said. This is a
well-established way of reading a text like this, within queer theory.
The new and different part of my meta is my argument that
Sherlock *specifically* reserves this compassion for Eurus because she is his
sister. Sherlock isn’t in the habit of
caring for every monster he runs across.
Magnussen and Smith both disgust him, and he has no qualms about
attacking them and destroying them utterly.
Eurus is different though, because no matter what she has done, she is
Typically, queer theory argues that queer people are
rejected by their blood kin, and therefore must find family elsewhere. Sherlock breaks with this tradition by
showing the importance of care and love within a blood family, no matter how
monstrous that family might be.
The point here is not just about the characters in Sherlock,
but a larger statement for the queer community and the world in general. With TFP, BBC Sherlock is showing us the
importance of taking responsibility for our kin, no matter how monstrous they
might be. If for queer people, the true
horror of Frankenstein is Dr. Frankenstein’s rejection of the creature he
created, BBC Sherlock works as a correction to that narrative: the family that
birthed this monster at last comes together to show her the love and compassion
she is owed as their kin.
Thank you for the opportunity to explain my ideas further. Sorry to be so long-winded, but it’s a
complicated concept… I hope I did it more justice this time.
Prompts: “I don’t want to think about what I’d be like without you.”
Word Count: 304
A/N: im still in denial about his death…
NOT TAKING ANYMORE REQUESTS!
“Jim!” you yelled, slamming the door of your apartment shut as you strolled inside. “I’m home!”
“Oh, I missed you, darling.” Moriarty replied teasingly, appearing from around the corner and wrapping an arm around your waist. He pressed his lips against yours, and you laughed as you shoved him away and moved into the kitchen. You slammed your briefcase onto the kitchen countertop and opened it, revealing papers you had stolen for Moriarty.
“Here you are.” you spun the case around to show him, and he rubbed his hands together gleefully.
“Well done, y/n.” Moriarty, flipped through them, and you smiled smugly. Leaning against the counter, you raised an eyebrow at him.
“So are you ready to come back, then?” you asked, and Moriarty’s mouth twitched into a grin. Ever since his showdown with Sherlock on the rooftop, he had gone into hiding, manipulating everything from behind the scenes. You were an apprentice of sorts, and you were helping Moriarty for his big reveal back into the world. However, you were getting impatient.
“Not quite yet.” Moriarty replied, and you rolled your eyes.
“It’s been years, Jim.” you pointed out, and Moriarty chuckled. “I’m serious! You’re acting like you really did die on that rooftop.”
“What if I did?” Moriarty suddenly asked, grabbing your arm and pulling you closer to him. “Would you be upset?”
“Stop it.” you shook your head. “I don’t want to think about what I’d be like without you.”
“Helpless.” Moriarty traced his finger along your jaw. “You have so much potential, y/n, but without me, you were so lost…”
“Well, I’m not lost anymore.” you replied firmly, and Moriarty’s smile stretched wider.
“Very true. Now, you are my proudest achievement.” Moriarty boasted, and you couldn’t help but grin as he pulled you closer to kiss you again.
I’ve got plenty to be working with now. Huge thanks if you sent me a name - and please don’t be sad if you don’t appear! I’ll only be able to weave so many names in naturally, and I had a whole ton of suggestions.
You guys are the absolute best. <3
I’m not sure which delighted me more - the number of people volunteering for graphic vampiric death, or the number of people volunteering for graphic Commander Elwood.
Writer Mark Gatiss Artist Jay FC • 32pp • $4.99 On Sale January 3, 2018 Manga adaptation of the hit TV show starring worldwide superstars Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit)! COVER A: SIMON MYERS COVER B: WILL BROOKS PHOTO