|Fandom/s:||Historically? Many. Currently? I'm rather obsessed with BtVS: Spike/Xander.|
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|On Fanlore:||My contributions / email me|
My Fannishness: The Early Years
I came to fandom at an early age by way of my father's love of Star Trek: TOS. I fell for Spock--a nice, Jewish boy who embodied all that I idealized at the time (and to some extent still idealize in an erotic object). His intelligence and that pollen-driven glimpse into his intense (yet suppressed) emotions drew me in to want to know more about him, and I started reading Spock-themed Trek novels, eager to learn more about him. I also loved M.A.S.H.'s Hawkeye Pierce (another quick-witted, long and lean Jewish boy with a tendency to repress great emotion) and strong, close male friendships in close quarters.
I was also fascinated, early on, with a number of other stories that focused on intense relationships between two male characters. I read Jean Anouilh's Becket over and over again, each time hoping it would go further (even before I knew what further might mean). I also read Herman Hesse's Narcissus and Goldmund and was similarly fascinated by the intensity of that relationship and the sense of the forbidden I traced between the lines. When I was 13 or 14, The Picture of Dorian Gray became one of my favorite books, as did Frankenstein. Looking back, the pattern was easy to see, although I didn't yet have a name for it.
It would take years and contact with other fans before I learned to use words like "UST" and "slashy" to describe that element that first drew me in to Star Trek and to those other texts.
My Fannishness on the 'Net, a Partial and Growing History as I Remember It
When I got my first internet account on a Freenet, I discovered Usenet and its thriving community of alt.sex.fetish.startrek (ASFS) and alt.startrek.creative.erotica, and I was hooked--at first on the idea of the erotic lives of Trek characters, but then, more specifically, on slash.
In the early nineties, I started writing ST: Voyager stories and dabbled in figuring out Point of View while writing The X-Files, initially posting on Usenet. From there, I became a bit of a fannish butterfly, though what has held true is my longstanding interest in buddy relationships, and in that fuzzy line between the homosocial and the erotic between men.
In the mid-nineties, I, along with much of slash fandom, moved to listservs, where I participating in The Sentinel (1996-1999), SportsNight (1998), and Due South (1999) fandoms, writing slash in all of them.
I've also spent a lot of time writing and reading in microfandoms. I was one of the first fans to write Xena slash, pairing up Joxer and Ares (1995) before they'd ever shared a single scene together. I was also one of the first to write SportsNight slash (1998).
I've also spent significant time writing a large number of stories in Crossing Jordan fandom (2001-2007) and Numb3rs (2005-2007), being (I think) the first to pair up Nigel and Bug (CJ) and Charlie and Larry (Numb3rs). I've also written Dresden Files slash (2007-2008) and Nero Wolfe slash (2001) and, for Yuletide 2007, I paired up David/Bob from Regenesis.
One of the things I like best about fandom is that fans can and do come late to closed canon fandoms, revitalizing them or merely continuing the traditions. I've written for zines in Starsky & Hutch and The Professionals (late nineties) and, of late, I've started writing Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike/Xander (2008-2009). For Yuletide 2008, I wrote my first crossover, bringing Buffy's Spike/Xander together with Bob and Harry (Dresden Files). And I'm still writing.
For me, writing and reading slash is and has been a feminist act both because it privileges female pleasure and because it allows for the expression and exploration of that pleasure outside the realm of the eroticized, fetishized, and idealized female body.
Along with my fanfiction (all of which is slash), I write a fair bit of meta and enjoy thinking critically about fandom, pop culture, and academia, writing from the perspective of a fan and a writing teacher.
For over a decade now, I've found, in fandom, an outlet for creativity as well as a virtual and in-person community. I expect that, years from now, I'll still be writing slash stories and meta in fandoms TPTB have yet to imagine. Fandom continues to inspire me with our critical devotion to and active engagement with texts, and I hope that I can offer back some of that pleasure in thinking and feeling that fandom has brought to me for all these years.