A Little Rant for Slash Fen

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Title: A Little Rant for Slash Fen
Creator: Justine
Date(s): June 24, 2000
Medium: online
Topic: Fanfiction, slash
External Links: A Little Rant for Slash Fen/WebCite
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A Little Rant for Slash Fen is an essay by Justine.

It is part of the Fanfic Symposium series.


As slashers, we think of homophobia as a trope, an issue of characterization, something which is or is not statistically likely given a character's background. As people who have, for the most part, overcome our own societal conditioning regarding homosexuality, we regard the homophobia as something that can be overcome, given enough exposure and education.
My point in directing this to a community of slashers, however, is twofold. First, there are still stories to be written with this conflict. In this day and age, even. We need to write those stories and tell our truths.

There's a reason slash is still a subtextual exercise, remember? It's because the exhibition of homosexual desire is still a taboo. It's because Mathew Shepard's funeral was attended by a crowd of people who believed in divine retribution, holding signs saying "Jesus hates fags."

Don't get too comfortable. Don't forget.

As we sit here with our mailing lists and our IRC chats and our fanzines, there's still a world out there that thinks we're perverts. That the characters we write about are perverts. These are not just corporate executives and quirky ministers; they're people in our grocery store, people in our dentist's office, people who don't want us in their community.

The act of writing slash is itself a feminist act and an act in favor of queer rights. We celebrate our own sexuality; we admire that of others. It's beautiful, it builds community, and it's a heck of a lot of fun.

But it's not enough.