Barbara T

From Fanlore
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Name: Barbara T (has asked her full name not be used, even though she has been quoted and published in articles under her full name)
Alias(es): Barbara St John, Stranger
Fandoms: Eroica, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Torchwood, Blake's 7, Robin of Sherwood, War of the Worlds, Man From U.N.C.L.E., Due South, Professionals, Tris/Alex
URL: AO3 fan fiction
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Barbara T has been a slash fan since the 1970s and has written fan fiction and published insightful thoughtful letters and articles about slash, women and fandom. She has been extensively quoted by Henry Jenkins in several of his books and articles as well as by other authors.

She was also a member of the small femmeslash community in Blake's 7 fandom. In 1988, one of her f/f slash stories was published in the UK fanzine The Unique Touch 2. The title was “Customs” and it featured the Jenna/Cally pairing. As a member of The Zen Nine From Outer Space she sang folk on their Hip Deep in Heroes filk tape.

from 1982, a fan's graffiti wall, dedicated to Barbara T, published in Antithesis #20

The Loneliness of a Fandom Steward and Promotor

A fan in 1995 told other fans about Barbara's writing and promotion of the From Eroica With Love fandom:

Of course, you can get a ton more of Barbara's stuff, which is almost uniformly excellent, directly from her. If you're writing it, too, I know she would love to hear from you. I think she feels all alone in the production department of this fandom sometimes--with good reason! [1]

Some Comments by Barbara


Fans mental play is no business of producers and neither are their private communications, however lengthy. [2]

From the screen, a goodly number of media characters have no definite sexual orientation; the assumption that they are straight is made because that is the recognized norm in our culture. A good many other characters demonstrate heterosexuality on occasion, but don't establish a committed relationship of the sort which might exclude other sexual activity. Again, the assumption is that ALL their activity would be hetero is implied by the culture, not inherent in their screen behavior .... This doesn't mean that the character is straight, or that we the viewers must assume he/she is. [3]

I still don't agree with the concept that property rights over fiction ... include any rights of the author/producer to determine how readers or viewers understand the offering. In this sense, I don't believe fans can take from the producers anything which the producer owns. [4]


A thought occurs to me about the unfortunate lack of female slash stories. The majority of slash is based on characters who have a preexisting, strongly emotional relationship in the show where they appear: a lot of slash is expansion on something to be seen in the show (as the slash fan sees it). Female characters, even if you can find more than one in a given show, are unlikely to have an intense, highlighted friendship with each other -- if they have any strong relationship, it's likely to be with a male character. [...][1] Male buddy-shows are attractive to us because they show something that's rare in men. One point is that it's not rare in women. [...] It's the cold-loner depiction of a woman that stands out in the media; and by their nature, cold loners don't run in pairs. In one sense, slash shows men as honorary women: doing what women-as-we-perceive-them do normally. It's extraordinary and sexy because the men don't (usually) lose the strengths of men-as-we-perceive them; the slash character is a hermaphroditic combination of the best of types. [...] [5]

Yes, fans analyze because they're fans. Or are we fans because we analyze? [6]

Example Fanfiction

  • What Do You See? (Babylon 5)
  • Cantiques de Noel (From Eroica With Love) ("BT is an author whose Eroica fics date back to that mythical age - pre-Internet. But thanks to Sylvia, her Eroica fic is now hosted online, and thank goodness. It's hard to pick just one, but this particular fic starts with an contemplative Klaus, a strange Christmas, and a broken engagement. It's dreamy and thoughtful, and perfectly accompanied by a pot of tea. If you like this one, there's a lot more where it came from." [7])
  • Revels and Revelations (From Eroica With Love) ("Klaus goes undercover, and as luck may have it, ends up at a Christmas party with Dorian and his family. I like the way that Klaus must struggle to remain in character, even when faced with the infuriating thief. Also, seeing a glimpse of Dorian with his family is interesting, as it shows a new facet of his personality." [8])


  1. ^ from Michelle Christian on Virgule-L, quoted with permission (Jun 9, 1996)
  2. ^ Henry Jenkins. Textual Poachers, pg 31-32 (1992)
  3. ^ Kris Larsen. IN DEFENSE OF SLASH, citing Henry Jenkins, Textual Poachers: 1992:204. (Accessed 19 March 2010)
  4. ^ Rebecca Tushnet. Legal Fictions: Copyright, Fan Fiction, and a New Common Law (1997) quoting Henry Jenkins, Textual Poachers (1992). (Accessed 19 March 2010)
  5. ^ Barbara T, "Strange Tongues," TNU #3, August 1990; TNU 11, August 1992 Normal Female Interest in Men Bonking": Selections from The Terra Nostra Underground and Strange Bedfellows, edited and introduced by Shoshanna Green, Cynthia Jenkins and Henry Jenkins. (Accessed 19 March 2010)
  6. ^ Barbara T, "Strange Tongues," Strange Bedfellows #3, November 1993
  7. ^ Crack Van (Oct 29, 2003)
  8. ^ Crack Van (Jan 19, 2007)