Saturday, April 9, 2016

Death And Maidens

Bargello Museum, Firenza, IT, 2006

There's an article up on the website  io9 discussing the evolution and influence of fan fiction within the female/female pairing genre that somehow digresses into the current hot topic of the killing off of lesbian characters in American television shows.  There are a spate of lesbian deaths occurring right now, only one on a show that I watch (adieu, Denise, I knew your fate in "The Walking Dead" comic, but foolishly held out hope regardless), so my outrage is tempered by my ignorance, which is as it should be.  I don't watch 'The 100' or 'Empire' or 'The Vampire Diaries', and can't comment on anything about them.  Do I want to see more lesbian characters on shows who don't end up dead?  Of course, and preferably on shows I watch.  But basically I was disappointed that the io9 piece so quickly went from the magic that was femslash back in its hey day of the late 90s, early 00s, into a full de-evolution into yet another article bemoaning this horrible trend currently cutting a bloody swath across queer representation in television.  I agree.  Stop killing the lesbians!  But can't we also talk about other things relevant to us?  Can't we go ahead and bask in that warm glow of a Janeway/7 of 9 pairing that made so much more sense than the canon of the show, particularly when they stuck poor Seven in the end with Chakotay?  Or all of those Uber adventures that Xena and Gabrielle shared, although they weren't technically Xena and Gabby, but two women in a completely different setting and time who happened to look exactly like our heroines and shared their personality traits as well.  I don't know a lesbian of my generation who didn't read - or write - f/f fanfiction.  It filled a void left gaping by tv and movies of the time.  We'd discuss these alternative universes together incessantly in chatrooms, in email groups, wherever we could find each other.  It was an extremely important community to me at a time when my first marriage was ending and I was coming out as a lesbian.  It was a lifeline, a beacon, and something that couldn't be taken away from me by the whims of a showrunner who for ratings sake have two women kiss, and then kill one of them.  In the fanfiction world, no matter what happened on the show, it couldn't penetrate the bubble that encompassed and protected this realm.