From the absolute bottom of my heart, I want to thank the a-spec community for always being there when I needed it.
When I didn’t have an account yet and sent asks to blogs for a-spec people, asking to learn, asking for help because I didn’t understand what was wrong with me. And they told me that nothing was wrong, that I might be like them and I belonged if I wanted to stay.
When I was a terrified kid who thought I had know everything about myself right away or else I was faking, tearing myself apart with contradictions. And I looked in the ace and aro tags, and I calmed down when I saw people saying that it was okay not to know, that it didn’t make you wrong to be unsure.
When I came face-to-face with my debilitating fear of attraction and sexuality and pushed all of it down so deep I nearly forgot about it, I found the label aroace. And I used it, delighted to have a word to describe myself even though it didn’t quite fit, secure in the knowledge that I belonged somewhere.
When I called a suicide hotline and bawled about being aro, ace, and agender, because I thought no one would ever love me, only to have my dad call me a nothing who loves nothing to my face right after. And I cried to bloggers through asks, and they told me that he was wrong, that I would be loved and I could love, that I was not subhuman and cold for my orientation.
When I explored my identity more and experimented with romantic attraction, trying demirom and panrom, asking ace bloggers if it was okay to change my labels like this. And they said that if I felt like a label no longer fit me, I could do some thinking and try another one as many times as I needed until I found one that was right.
When I had my first squish and fell into a crisis because I thought it was romantic or even sexual attraction that I felt. And they explained to me, lovingly and patiently, about QPRs and platonic attraction, telling me it was normal.
When I switched back to aroace after three years of identifying as panrom ace because I understood that I never felt romantic attraction even though I love my fiance more than anything. And I happily told my favorite bloggers about my discovery, to which they replied that they were proud of me.
When I used the discourse as emotional self-harm and dissociated because of the disconnect between what I was reading and what I had lived through. And the community gathered around me and protected me and helped me even as I broke down.
When I rediscovered my fear of attraction and sexuality and finally understood the root of it, pushing through until I truly knew myself. And they were happy for me, even though I left behind the community that has been with me for so long.
I’m a gay trans man who has struggled with internalized homophobia and a horrific fear of sexuality to the point that I essentially forced myself not to feel any kind of attraction. I’m not completely comfortable with myself yet. I don’t quite fully understand my identity yet. I could be grey ace or demi, but I also could not.
Aphobes love to use people like me as some sort of twisted pawn, but they don’t see the whole story.
Yes, I identified as a-spec because of internalized homophobia, but if I had never found the community, I would still be that terrified little kid who thought he was broken, cold, wrong, subhuman, and dirty. I would never have discovered as much about myself as I have. I would never have been able to openly, happily, proudly call myself gay without the a-spec community’s love, support, and encouragement to learn and grow.
I probably wouldn’t even be alive.
Thank you all so, so much. I love every one of you, and I am so sorry this discourse is still going on, because you don’t deserve it. They don’t understand what this community means to people, even to those who quite possibly no longer fall on the a-spectrum.
With everything I have, with all my love, thank you so much for always being such a wonderful community of caring individuals.
hey remember how the whole underlying plot of black sails is questioning the morality & societal standards imposed by the majority & how it explores this by having the main character be a gay man in 1715 struggling with proving that there’s nothing wrong with him & that society is just limited & that the world is wrong, not him
i’m still not over the fact that Black Sails is a queer show made for queer people and the straights got so pissed that they weren’t being catered to
i can’t believe a high budget show with breathtaking vfx and amazing plotlines and characters aligns its overarching plot about pirates with our struggles as queer people today and their main character who is a proud gay man is lounging around somewhere in Georgia with his boyfriend happy and loved and unharmed while a queer woc runs a colony and Jack Rackham is going around collecting lesbians
I'm gonna say what pretty much EVERYONE is thinking.
You ain’t trans unless you went under the knife and had painful surgeries done. Just cuz you choose to dress like a woman and are gay, that doesn’t mean you get to call yourself trans and be accepted as one by the rest of the world. I have ACTUAL trans in my family. Ones above had both surgeries done and just the tops done.This is how THEY, ACTUAL TRANS, feel. And quite honestly the rest of us feel that way too. You fake ass trans are taking away from the real struggles that actual trans had to, and still are doing thru. You’re a gay man in drag or a woman who dresses as a man. Not trans. Liars. Go through ALL the steps they endured, then you have earned the trans title
Shadowhunters is Finally Getting Good: A Writer’s Perspective
This is going to get long, so basically this is where I’m going:
1. Shadowhunters is still finding itself, similar to how Buffy the Vampire Slayer kinda sucked until it grabbed onto its “Monsters as Life Metaphors” structure halfway through Season 2.
2. Because The Mortal Instruments series is such a catastrophic narrative failure, Shadowhunters doesn’t have compelling plot points to string their own original story between, the way True Blood was able to do with their own sub-par source material.
3. The strong character writing is just starting to free the show from the restrictions of its source material.
Where We Are Now
-The company that owns the rights to The Mortal Instruments is using Shadowhunters to return on a damaged investment. They bought the rights to a popular book series, and made a movie that bombed so hard that when the numbers came in, they stopped production on the sequel within weeks. They lost a shit ton of money on what should have been a good investment, and were unwilling to throw too much good money after bad, which is why there wasn’t much investment in the first season. The first season’s low budget affects more than the special effects. It plays into who they can hire, how long they have to rehearse, how long they have to shoot, every element of production.
-The source material is shit, and it’s an albatross around the show’s neck. The movie sucked so hard because it was a pretty faithful adaption of the books, which are torturously long, and full of one note characters who only exist to spout faux-clever dialogue, or facilitate CC’s incest fantasies. They are driven by entirely by plot, not character, which makes for flat fiction.
-The first season had to be, to an extent, experimental. They had to figure out the right mix between what they had to keep to engage book fans, and what they had to add to make it possible for it to be a TV show, because the book doesn’t have enough material to be a couple seasons of TV.
-The first season worked to clear the very low bar of of being less racist, tokenist, slut-shaming, girl-hating, bi-phobic, and all around disgusting than the books. They succeeded. Yay.
-Successfully moving past the tragedy of the movie into an expanded episode order and expanded budget mean that season two is essentially a brand new show.
- That season is trying to fight its way free of what it had to be in the first season, and the failure of the movie, and the ball and chain of the books.
1. The Show Has Turned Every Pointless, Cardboard Dialogue Spouter from the Books into a Compelling, Nuanced Character, and Now There Are Too Many
The book characters have interesting things on their character sheets, but never become interesting. The show has recomposited characters out of the character elements used in the books, and created complex, compelling, nuanced characters, who have ties and relationships to eachother, who are impacted by the world around them, and who make decisions and affect the world around them and eachother, instead of just waiting around for Clary to discover her special rune magic, or for Magnus to portal them somewhere.
Unfortunately, a bunch of cardboard cutouts creating obstacles to, and eventually enabling brother-sister fucking don’t suck up too much plot time, but 11 suddenly worth-while characters (Clary, Simon, Alec, Isabelle, Jace, Maryse, Jocelyn, Luke, Raphael, Maia, Magnus) plus a few new additions we are invested in to some degree (Lydia, Aldertree, Iris), and a few random additions that don’t seem to do much but create more dialogue and scoot plots along (Valentine, Meliorn, Raj, Max, Dot, Gretel, Suspiciously Important Girl With Glasses) all end up battling for screen time, to the detriment of each other.
For every charming interaction between Maia and Simon, we don’t get to see Luke dealing with Jocelyn’s death. When we get a glimpse into the tenderness of Magnus and Raphael’s relationship, there’s less time to see Magnus and Alec learn where they cross and divide. When we see that Alec and Maryse still love each other, even if the have so much shit left to work through , that takes potential minutes away from someone trying to talk to Jace about being abducted and tortured. There is so much potential, and it’s not possible to turn all of it into plot when there are only 45 minutes a week to work with.
1A. Except Valentine, Who is A Spectacularly Shitty Villain
Valentine is one long HHHHHHHZZZZZZMMMMMMMHHHHHhhzzzzmmmmhhhh on an evil kazoo.
A good villain is the hero of their own story, but they have to be more than that. A good villain has to taunt you with the possibility that they could be the hero of your story. They have to want something in a way that you can understand the wanting, even if what they want isn’t something you would want.
Kylo Ren is a good villain. He wants to be a super powerful Jedi and big deal leader in the Empire and the movie shows you that he wants that because he’s actually a pathetic little snot streak, drowning in his inability to live up to the standards of toxic masculinity around him, while wearing a silly helmet. The desire makes sense.
Spider-Man Villains are good villains. They are typically super smart scientists trying to solve a problem, but their science gives them some sort of mutation that casts them out of the society they were trying to improve.
Magneto is a great villain. A holocaust survivor who believes he sees the writing on the wall and won’t let history repeat itself.
(Quick fact about Oncethrown: I went to go see the Johnny Depp version of Sweeny Todd in theaters in college and didn’t realize he was the villain until the very last scene. (The last last scene. Even after he throws Mrs. Lovett in the oven) Because he was unfairly jailed by a man who wanted him gone so that he could rape Sweeny todd’s wife to be raped into insanity and leave her out on the street to rot, and I was totally onboard with the quest for vengeance up until the moment the blood started pouring out if his neck.)
Valentine is just generically evil. He was born into the most powerful class in his world, was annoyed that his society wouldn’t let him become even more powerful, and now is experimenting on a class he already could kill with little to no repercussions, and working to eradicate them… because he can?
He doesn’t love or care about anyone either. There’s nothing to hold onto about Valentine. He’s just an opposing force. He could be a block of wood with angry eyebrows and the effect on the plot would be about the same.
1B. Except Aldertree, Who We Were Promised Would Be And Interesting Villain is Just A Random Force For Bad.
Aldertree came in to bring the erratic New York Institute back under Clave control. And he started out doing that. He threw the downworlders out of the Institute, he left Jace to rot in jail because he wouldn’t swear total fealty to the Clave, he nearly let Alec die because he threatened very important Shadowhunter traditions by refusing to marry a suitable woman in order to date a man, and a downworlder.
The yin-fen plot line originally was in this same functional but boring vein, until the last episode (spoilers) where he was clearly trying to get Izzy to trade sex for drugs (end spoilers). Generic Rapist Evil not interesting either. All he ended up doing was giving Alec a “Reclaiming the Institute Plotline” which would have been a really, really good piece in that whole “Effects of Institutionalizing Discrimination” theme… if any time had been devoted to it at all this season. Like… Alec originally ceded his authority to Lydia. The way he came for Aldertree just wasn’t given the building blocks to be satisfying.
2. The Books Didn’t Have Layers, and the Show is Trying to Graft an Interesting Theme Onto the Book’s Pocked and Diseased Foundation
The books are just an excuse for incest. The show is attempting to develop a narrative about institutionalized discrimination and oppression, and how characters are influenced by the way that affects their societies, upbringings, relationships and lives.
There is a really underdeveloped attempt at this in the books which more or less boils down to “Shadowhunters are mean to downworlders, and it’s not totally fair, but they are still the heroes, because they are all described as sexually attractive.”
The show is running into a lot of complications as they try to smoosh this theme onto the source material they have to work with.
-The main plot of “Evil McEvil is a Racist Who Wants To Start A Genocide Because Of Evil and Overt Racism”is sucking up all the air in the room for more compelling and important elements of the show, such as every idea presented in Maia and Simon’s conversation about how Shadowhunters pretend that everyone is on the same team, but don’t understand what the daily existence of downworlders is really like in a world that Shadowhunters essentially rule.
Or Alec’s struggle to be both a Shadowhunter and a gay man falling in love with a downworlder.
Or Isabelle and Lydia’s season one speaking out about Law vs. Justice in the Shadowhunter world.
Or Clary’s 10 minute plot about not being trained well enough to be a real shadowhunter, but knowing too much to ever be a mundane again
The adherence to the main plot of book one and two is one of the things turning Clary into a mess of a white savior who doesn’t learn from her mistakes. She’s the entry point character, she’s bringing us into this world, and she’s the hero of the story. So… she’s white and straight with magic powers, trying to solve racism and homophobia in a story where the whole society she enters into is built around it, and has been for centuries.
3. The Clusterfuck of Potential We Are Working Out Of Now
So 2.08 and 2.09 I think prove that we are watching a show that is just about to get there. Both of these episodes had insular plots solved within the confines of the episode while also having consequences in the season stretching story.
Good characters are interacting with each other in interesting ways. (Except Lydia. Where is Lydia? I love her and I want her back) There are some growing pain failures (everything Izzy has said and done all season), some serious fuck ups (the lack of consent before the lack of malec sex scene) and a lot of unfortunate leaning on shitty and easy tropes (Izzy and Raphael fall into a drug fueled affair, Alec pushes Magnus into sex in a 3 minute side plot, Valentine exists and we have to watch him) But they are setting up more and more really solid pieces with places to go and I’m excited to see it happen.
4. The Things They Need to Fix (this is mostly rambling)
-Give fewer characters better plots per episode instead of trying to give everyone a couple minutes of screen time.
-Give characters goal and personality and development driven season arcs that create plots instead of having them constantly reacting to plot elements that are not character driven (purely from a writing standpoint, this is the biggest flaw with Isabelle’s plot line. The addiction drives her plot, not her personality, and Aldertree doesn’t have a character based reason to give her the drug to being with. “Just because I’m an asshole” isn’t really good enough. That’s why Alec is the best part of season 1. Everything he says and does is driven by a couple easily defined elements of his character.)
-If you are going to sell the diversity aspect of your show, be aware of the full context of the plot lines you are assigning your actors. It’s not great that there are 4 latinx actors, and the two of them with accents are in a drug dealing/addiction/sex for drugs plot line. It’s great that your only canon couple is a gay interracial couple. It’s great that they got a really sweet build up, and they have great communication scenes and they are really building a strong relationship. It’s not great that they do not touch while a lot of totally gratuitous sex is happening around them.
-Figure out who you really need, and jettison the dead weight. -Why is Raj still on this show? All he does is say nasty shit about women. He’s disgusting, he’s boring, and he’s pointless. Literally every single time he’s on screen he could be replaced by someone we care about and it would tighten the episode. -We ditched Robert because as far as the impact on the main characters goes, he’s a redundancy on Maryse’s storyline, and she has all the good elements. -Aldertree is pointless. Maryse could have had Aldertree’s “WE ARE REALLY FUCKING GOING WITH WHAT THE CLAVE SAYS” storyline and it would have been a lot more interesting with the rest of the plot.Lydia could have had that plot too. “You fucked up at the wedding, reign in this nonsense or we are shipping you our to wrangle island”
Any thoughts on LeFou being the gay representation in the new live action Beauty and the Beast? I'm shaken up over it...
I have a lot of thoughts.
I’m not a huge fan of the idea. I feel like it will be played for laughs, which is outrageously offensive when you consider the film’s history, when you consider Howard Ashman, when you consider the context in which Belle and the Beast were created. I understand where the director got the idea- I believe one of his quotes about it was, “does Lefou want to be Gaston or kiss Gaston?” I don’t necessarily have a problem with the interpretation or even disagree with it. What I have a problem with is it being played as a joke.
Beauty and the Beast was a film influenced by the life and struggles of a gay man with AIDS. Belle and the Beast are both outcasts, with the Beast hunted and despised. Belle and the Beast get their happy ending. They overcome. Casting a gay character to laugh at and then toss aside at the end, without a happy ending, is bad. Casting that character in this movie is heartbreaking. If it had been Cogsworth, Lumiere or Mrs. Potts, I’d be thrilled.
However, I reserve some hope. The director claims it pays off in the end in an “exclusively gay moment”. Does this mean the pay off will be LeFou’s happy ending? Will LeFou get a moment of happiness, the moment of happiness Belle and the Beast are rewarded with? A moment of finding a place where he is loved and accepted? Perhaps LeFou will find happiness. Anything less is tragic.
Beauty and the Beast is my all-time favorite movie. It means more to me than I can express. As a child, seeing myself as a reading oddball reflected in Belle who became a literal princess, inspired me. All children deserve to see themselves reflected as a hero, as a princess, as someone deserving of a happy ending. Especially in this film, in Howard Ashman’s film.
But in the end- my thoughts don’t matter. Tell me, followers. What do you think?
I was going to wait until tomorrow to write this, as I am so very tired right now but… I guess, I might as well type this up while I am thinking about it.
Dream Daddy is an amazing game and the best thing that has happened to me all year. This is not an understatement.
You see, my whole life I’ve grown up seeing gay men in media shunned, or only used as the villains, or the joke. We don’t get to see their romance, their struggles, their dramas, their stories in media. Because being a gay man is still seen as a joke, as something to hate, as something unnatural.
Yet, media has become increasingly more friendly towards lesbians/bi girls. Because they are the “safe” option. Because straight/bi men are into girls kissing each other and romancing each other, and lesbian relationships are seen as “girl power”, or hot, or just fetishy. I don’t agree with these thoughts of course, but they are there. You can’t deny it. Representation matters. I am happy Steven Universe is a thing, and that Tracer is a lesbian. But there is such an imbalance between healthy lesbian relationships to gay relationships that I became bitter and mostly, I realised I’d never get to see mlm that was portrayed as funny, cute, or normal.
And when I found out that I am a transman, I saw again, no support for anyone like me. I didn’t even know that transmen existed until I was around 19. Because you see the drag queens, the transwomen in the media. Of course, once again, their roles are stigmatised and are usually used for jokes, or villain stuff. I’m not ignoring the suffering and, still to this day, false representation of my trans sisters.
This game was not a joke. It was not a “Hahaha look at these gross gays” game. It came from the heart and souls from people like me. People that wanted to write a funny game that doesn’t vilify or make fun of people for being gay or bi or straight. They even have a transman in the cast, which seriously makes me cry from happiness. There is a man like me, treated like any other dad. There’s no talks about his genitals or his dead name or birth gender. He is treated like any other man in the game.
This is why representation matters. Truly, matters. No SJW BS. This is the real deal. This is why this game means so much to me. I can play this game with my nephews and they watched and found it funny. They asked why it was about gay men and I said, because it’s normal if a man wants to love another man. People are allowed to love who they want to love, as long as it is healthy.
My nephews are 9 and 10. They needed to know that, it’s OK to be gay. And this game helped me explain it to them. They could see that gay men are just like anyone else. They have likes, dislikes… They have hobbies, passions, just like any straight person. And they can be in healthy relationships.
All I want to say is a personal thank you to Vernon and Leighton, and the rest of the team behind this wonderful game. You guys deserve your break, I can see all the time and work and love that was poured into this simple dating sim. And it matters. It really does. Thank you.
it really bugs me when people post things like “calling flint gay is bi erasure sweaty :)” like….no. it’s not. flint’s sexuality is left ambiguous apart from the fact that he’s Not Straight™. personally, i see him as gay because the narrative of a gay man struggling with compulsory heterosexuality personally resonates with me, and it just seems to make more sense to me. that said, flint being bi is totally possible too. to headcanon him as such is totally fine and you have plenty of textual support for it, if you’re looking for it. hell, i identified as bi for a while, and it was actually flint’s narrative that helped me figure out that i wasn’t, so i sure as hell wasn’t ignorant to the idea that he could be. i think it’s a totally valid way to interpret the character. but just because that’s how you see him, doesn’t make it The Truth about him. it doesn’t mean that other people are wrong or ~oppressing~ you for disagreeing.
i need harry to star in a low budget indie gay film that shows his characters’ struggle after coming out to a family that’s not the most supportive & he has dreams of becoming a journalist so he’s always writing random things about his day in his journal & and he has his supportive friends and their families who love him no matter what & it’s not focused on a romance, it’s more focusing on the struggle his character faces as a young gay man with no support from his family because that’s reality & it doesn’t always include a romance
// I’m pleased enough with the new champs. I don’t really care that Xayah’s face looks a bit like Ahri’s either. So what? Why is that a horrible issue? It’s not the end of the world. The reason the face looks the same is probably because the same artist drew both, and plenty of artists have a “same face” thing going on. I doubt very much it was a conscious choice. Honestly I rather like that we get to see how their EARS CONNECT TO THE REST OF THEIR HEAD. So many anthropomorphized characters hide the connection points or mixed anatomy behind a bunch of hair (like Ahri) or behind clothing choices (also like Ahri, and Cassiopeia), so we have no idea how they fit in anatomically. But with Xayah and Rakan, you can clearly see how the ears connect to their head, and that’s really cool.
I’ve heard that people are complaining Riot made them a straight couple, and while I can understand their point about wanting representation and Riot “missing an opportunity”, how many ACTUAL COUPLES AT ALL do we have ingame? We have one, really. We have Ashe and Tryndamere. The others have been largely retconned, or will likely be, or are speculation or jokingly referred to. The fact that some birds mate for life also makes this couple especially cute and fitting, in my opinion.
League has several gay undertones linked to certain characters regardless, which is different than a firmly stated same-sex relationship, I know, but it’s more representation than some other games give already. You’ve got the hints at Caitlyn and Vi, you’ve got Diana and Leona hinted at, you have people questioning if Taric is bisexual or gay. In the recent lore stories you have the female Noxian warmason in Piltover who considers bedding down with a woman, and also in Janna’s color story you have what appears to be a gay man struggling with his life and love and praying to Janna for direction. So, Runeterra isn’t really a place with zero representation either.
In the end, I’m eager to find out more about Rakan and Xayah. Since Xayah is a rebel and she kills an Ionian soldier, and the Vastayan color story talks about some Navori rebels, things in Ionia seem far less stable and far more dynamic than they might have ever been before. I really want to see what these two bring to the world.
Bucky, a gay man, struggling to process his feelings and desperately attempting to fit in with "acceptable" society: I know that a lot of women find me attractive so why don't I take one out on a date... with Steve... that would make HIM really happy because he really wants to go on dates with girls and him being happy is important to me
bucky barnes, looking at steve through the whole double date, smiling and making sure he’s having a good time: am i heterosexualizing right
I always hated the, “at least I’m not gay” trope in tv shows and movies. You’d have a young boy or man who was always an outsider, who would get bullied, who would get picked on, harassed, even sometimes physically assaulted, and he would always be called fag, queer, etc.
but he’d always prove them wrong by getting the girl and becoming the hero.
what it tells young gay boys and young gay men is that being gay is the worst thing a man can be. And that having a girlfriend will save you from ridicule and abuse.
this is extra devilish because gay men and boys cannot not be gay. These tropes tell them that they are worthless and nothing they will ever do will raise their worth in society because they are locked out from being with a woman.
Gay men are treated as impostors who prey on the real men, and must be ousted from masculine spaces. Association with gayness is seen as a threat.
This becomes extra demonic, when one is both a trans man and gay man. Trans men are often accused of being fake men, couple that with the struggle of gay man being denied access to their own gender. (imagine being Canadian, but everyone thinks that you’re lying about being a Canadian while also you’re banned from entering Canada while living in Canada)
The best way, in my opinion, to combat and reverse this trope, is to have the bullied young boy or man be depicted as actually gay, have them own and accept their sexuality and to gain a same gender love interest and together defeat the opposition to their gender and sexuality and gaining complete access to masculine spaces.
yu/rion ice was in no way “revolutionary” because it completely disregarded the struggles of being a gay man in the countries of russia and japan, as vic/tor and yu/uri lived in this seemingly beautiful utopia where a russian man kissing (“kissing”) another man on public television and not receiving serious backlash, or even acknowledging that what he was doing was outside of the norm. completely erasing and disregarding real struggles that gay men face in everyday life isn’t “revolutionary” or “refreshing”, it’s another example of how a straight woman, kubo, only took the elements of a gay relationship she likes and fetishizes, and turned it into something that other straight people will see as revolutionary. yu/ri on ice was NOT revolutionary.
Hey guys sorry I’ve been offline for so long! My moms been sick and I’ve been working three jobs to support two households. I’m going through a lot and I’ve gained some weight but I feel good about these selfies and I’m back to blogging. Thanks for all the support!
I don't know if you guys ever heard of this manga but otouto no otto is a fantastic manga actually written by a gay man. It deals with the struggles of being gay and assumptions of being gay in japan but also has really sweet heartwarming moments but it seems to be on haitus as of now, but I think it portrays a lgbt persons life realistically and not in a glorified 'sexy' way like yaoi does.
Omg I actually read that one and it was really sweet and informative as well.