Dirty Laundry (Voltron fanfiction)

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Fanfiction
Title: Dirty Laundry
Author(s): Gibslythe
Date(s): Published July 11th–October 24th, 2016
Deleted August 15th, 2018.[1]
Length: 85,042 words[2]
Genre: slash, Fake/Pretend Relationship, Modern AU
Fandom: Voltron: Legendary Defender
External Links: AO3 via WBM
Bee Movie version via WBM

Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Dirty Laundry by Gibslythe is a very popular early Klance fic originally hosted on Archive of Our Own, that was sometimes referred to as "the Klance Bible" because it cemented a lot of early fanon for the ship.[note 1] In late July of 2016, several fans (primarily on tumblr) began to complain that the fic was racist in its portrayal of Lance as a Mexican American and then that it was also ableist in its portrayal of a very minor autistic original character. Dirty Laundry's originally fast and reliable update schedule was interrupted and then the rest of the story was published in one shot at the end of October 2016.

It was replaced with the script of Bee Movie and then deleted in August, 2018.

The original summary from AO3:

"Two whole months of free laundry in exchange for two weeks of being my fake boyfriend. Deal?”

Keith hesitated for a moment. Was this really worth it? Hardly. Lance was an asshole, and he wasn’t sure what fake dating would entail. But, free laundry was free laundry, right?

“Alright, it’s a deal.”

Or: Lance makes the mistake of telling his Mom he has a boyfriend coming home with him for Christmas. Keith makes the mistake of agreeing to be Lance's 'fake boyfriend'.[2]

In a fail_fandomanon thread about satisfying flounces, one nonnie wrote:

[...]I've forgotten most of the details, so maybe other people can fill in more, but since people are asking...

Dirty Laundry is an early fandom Klance fic and was so immensely, crazily popular. People quoted repeatedly from it, cosplayed it and gushed about it everywhere. And yes, it had Latino stereotypes coming out the wazoo and set up a lot of Klance fanon that would become super pervasive in fandom. But fandom turned on it overnight (or what felt like overnight in fandom time) and shamed and harassed the author, who faded out of fandom. Eventually she came back just to perform one final fuck you by replacing her magnum opus with the script for the Bee Movie.[3]

The Fic

A summary from a fan:

[...] it’s an 85k word fanfic posted on AO3 focusing on Klance [Keith and Lance from the Voltron: Legendary Defender show]. It takes place in a modern alternate universe where the five paladins are a group of friends who attend the same college. Lance, who is bisexual, has told his family in Arizona that he will be bringing home a boyfriend over Christmas break, and [after the fact] begs Keith to be his fake boyfriend for two weeks. Keith, who barely tolerated Lance to begin with, must now find a way to survive a two-week vacation to the complex and busy Sanchez household as Lance’s boyfriend. Over the ten-day timespan of the work, Lance and Keith go from rivals to friends to more than friends in a slow-burn development[4]

Dirty Laundry was marked as having adult content and included make outs, swearing, wrestling, description of male genitalia, homophobia, and some violence.[5] Gibslythe said that the eventual smut scene would be in its own chapter for people to skip over if they didn't want to read it.[6]

Popularity

In late July 2016, Dirty Laundry was so popular it overtook the klance tag on tumblr.[note 2] On Jul 26, gibslythe asked her readers not to flood the tag: "I want to respect their space! We are all part of this fandom and I want to honor that."[7] Later, she updated this request and asked people to used the tags "VLD: Dirty Laundry or Fic: Dirty Laundry" because the dirty laundry tag was apparently also used for some unrelated NSFW things.[8]

Additionally, the fic was referenced on Fandometrics:

[Fandometrics Week in Review Jul 27th, 2016]

⬆ Voltron is No. 2 after some fans aired its dirty laundry…[9]

A post pointing this out in the dirty laundry tag received 1,600 notes.[10]

Several people printed out physical copies. One fan printed it off of AO3 and put it in a three-ring binder[11] while another had it printed as a paperback[12] and a third had it spiral-bound.[13] Its popularity was probably influenced by its quick, reliable update schedule, which for a time was, "every other day sometime between 8-11 pm PDT"[14] from July 11th to July 28th, afterwhich it was briefly going to be "every Sunday and Wednesday around 8 PDT".[15]

Dirty Laundry quickly grew to become one of the most popular fics throughout fandom. In October 2016 it was the 5th most kudosed work on AO3[16]

In late March 2017 it became the second most kudosed work, only behind I Am Groot, and the most popular M/M work.

[@gibslythe]

Me: I haven't checked AO3 in a while

AO3: Dirty Laundry is the 2nd Most Kudoed fic on our website!

Me: well hot damn *closes all tabs*[17]

[@gibslythe] I....I surpassed Twist and Shout I can't believe this

Fandom Reaction

Dirty Laundry's effect on Klance fic was also broad and long-lasting. In April, 2017, one author felt the need to put the following disclaimer in their tags:

also I haven't read dirty laundry, so it's not the same family, and I didn't pay attention to Lance's family pics[18]

While this may seem overly defensive, it is not unusual for Klance authors to directly reference Dirty Laundry. There are 42 works that include "Lance Sanchez" on AO3 as of early 2019[19] — "Sanchez" being the last name Gibslythe gave Lance in Dirty Laundry[20] — and many fics note that they're "inspired" by Gibslythe's fic.[note 3]

Other fics are even more specific about what they're borrowing from Dirty Laundry. Some recursive fanfiction has been published, but authors also often chose to just borrow fanon details:

Lance's mom is named Rosa because I'm Dirty Laundry trash[21]
some references to dirty laundry!!!![22]
Lance's family are the characters from Dirty Laundry cause that fanfiction is the Klance bible[23]
i read 'Dirty Laundry' recently, and honestly, its amazing, check it out. thats where i got the 'homophobic abuela' stuff from, it would make sense tho.[24]
Lance's Family is somewhat based on Dirty Laundry[25]
Also Lance's surname is Sanchez because DIRTY LAUNDRY[26]
btw Lance's family is based on his family from dirty laundry, but don't worry, you can still read this if you haven't read that fanfic[27]
*p.s. i do give kudos to the author of "Dirty Laundry" [...] for inspiring me with a few of the scenes here, such as the slow dancing. It's a Klance classic and I respect it greatly*[28]

Not everyone was always happy about being compared to Dirty Laundry, though. In a 2018 Klance holiday fic, one author's A/N simply read:

If I get one comment about Dirty Laundry I'm blocking you. Anyway. Happy holidays.[29]

In the comments section, they explained their frustration:

Okay but what's your deal with Dirty Laundry? Do you not like it or something?[30]

I loved it but back when I wrote on wattpad I was CONSTANTLY getting comments about Dirty Laundry. The only thing they had in common was it was a modern au and I had his abuela in it. Imagine 60 comments alone that just say “ABUELITA IS COMING!”. And his abuela in that story (Level Up, it’s on here too) is more like Mama Coco from Disney’s Coco. So yeah. Those comments get under my skin.[31]

In August 2016, an author tweeted:
whenever someone says [my klance fic] is almost as good as dirty laundry im like (gasps...) ive never read it but i know its super popular so[32]
In January 2017, the same author tweeted
someone commented on [my klance fic] "this is almost as good as dirty laundry"... is that supposed to make me feel good lmao[33]

General Comments

Dirty Laundry is slow burn, yes. It burns so slow sometimes it looks like it doesn’t[34]

More for the VLD Fic “Dirty Laundry”

I am part Latino. I never actually grew up in a heavily Latino/Mexican family. But. This fan fic brought me back to when I spent time with my boyfriend and his family. The bond established by simple things like music, food, or hell making fun of each other was incredible. I experienced a sense of family I didn’t really have when I was younger. I could relate to Keith the most, if I’m honest. Someone put into an unknown territory, growing and learning to love it. It made me think of the times we sat down to dinner together, bonding. It really sparked all of my memories. And the best part is that it’s such a well written story, that I was able to place myself in almost every characters shoes. And on top of that, visualize all of the scenes. It’s amazing what good writing can do. Gibslythe did an amazing job representing. It really brought me back. I love their writing style. I love their word choice. I love every damn thing about this fic. Thank you so much for writing it. I really felt amazing reading it.[35]

Others ships: you see this beautiful classic love song remind us to our otp because describes their relationship in so many levels,so is Their & Our song

Klance ship: A ELLA LE GUSTA LA GASOLINA! (DAME MÁS GASOLINA!)[36]
The klance tag might as well be a laundrette with all the dirty laundry I see there[37]

i just read a cheesy fake dating au 80k fic for a pairing i know nothing about, and i cried (rosa 😢😢 can she be my secondary mom?) … i loved it.

#it wasn't perfect but it was so much more authentic than what i have read recently #one of the more authentic reads i have ever read[38]

[...]

Not only is the characterization in this fic excellent, I think the character development and the way the characters interact and react to each other is top notch. I loved the way that every single character felt so real, so dynamic, with emotions that were almost tangible and minds and personalities and thoughts about everything that happens in the story. I loved the way the dynamic between Keith and Lance changed throughout as well, every tiny change or minor interaction between them written beautifully. Every person felt like an actual human being with depth and feelings and complications that change who they are. But this is only the beginning.

[...][4]

I just got say that Dirty Laundry fucked me up in like all the best ways possible and I honestly don’t know how to function anymore

It sucks that I can’t tell the author how much I appreciate and loved their fic due to the amount of hate (wtf why) sent their way[39]

me before dirty laundry: eh, i don't really ship klance

me after dirty laundry: *shaking, whispering softly through my tears* a ella le gusta la gasolina[40]

me after discovering Dirty Laundry fic:

ooh that’s why gasolina[41]
I thought I was a true Klance fan ya know. But I’m reading the supposed ‘Klance Bible’, a lil something called “Dirty Laundry” and I’m starting to realize that like 30-40% of the fan art I have been avidly reblogging and liking is based around that fic. Like, how did I not ever realize this?? I’m not even half way through and i’m noticing a bunch of stuff and it’s like: ‘wow, there’s fan art of this moment. oh and that one too holy heck!” It truly is something great guys. I now see why some of you guys are printing it.[42]

Don’t wanna be dramatic but it’s 3 AM, I’ve just finished reading ‘Dirty Laundry’ written by @princegibslythe (you must read it if you’re a Klance shipper and even if you’re not because it’s a masterpiece) and I’m so in love with the fic I can’t even start describing it.

However, I have to say that, as a Spanish girl, I LOVED so much seeing the characters swear speak a lot in their native language. And don’t even get me started on the Gasolina scene, that was hilarious!

Aside from that, the author managed to create unique and lovable original characters that play an important role in the story, and this is something to be proud of as it’s an important goal to achieve when you write a fanfic. So yeah, kudos to the author.

And, after all this rambling, I’m going to try to get some sleep and pray to God I won’t have a nightmare with Abuela Sánchez.[43]
I finished reading the famous klance fic dirty laundry by @princegibslythe and let me just say that it is a beautiful written piece. Please read it as it is definitely worth it!! I’m obsessed and don’t know how to control my emotions 😭😭[44]
[3 STARS]

I thought this was cute. The writing style was not my taste, a bit cringy in some parts. At some points it felt like fairy tale narration. Like "you see here kids, this is when Keith realized yada yada." Overlooking that (albeit difficult), I did love reading Keith's thoughts. There was something very real, honest, visceral, and frankly just damn cute about em'. There were certain parts that made my heart ache, a part where I teared and then sobbed. In the desolate setting of the cold desert, the warmth and love of Lance's family stood center. Honestly, the genuine love in Lance's family and the way it affected Keith, was just beautiful. I only expected domestic fluff, but was pleasantly surprised with lessons on forgiveness, gratitude, the dangers of toxic masculinity, honesty, and understanding.

Spoilers:

My favorite scenes:

1. The night Lance tells Keith about his scar. So damn cute on both sides. Keith holding back his own sob story since he doesn't feel he deserves expressing himself :'(.

2. Obviously, Papa Sanchez's secret rant about Lance's bisexuality, Keith dragging a sobbing Lance out, and the run into the woods following Keith's nose punch. They both needed that! Keith grabbing Lance's face and giving him the best talk ever, then the hug. Uugghh my heart.

3. The kiss in laser tag. WOOOHOOOOO bitches, it was epic!

4. ANYTIME KEITH OBSESSES OVER LANCE'S HIPS. YAAAS.

5. I was a bit cringed out by the cd Keith made for Lance, even though Keith himself admitted how cringe it was (lol), until I found an awesome tracklist on 8tracks that captured every mood possible. It's the CD Keith definitely made for Lance: https://8tracks.com/moon-prince/dirty....

Anyways, other recs if you like this is "Call Me, Beep Me" by orpah_account on A03.

KLANCE IS KANON.[45]

Controversy

At the end of July, 2016, Dirty Laundry's popularity as discussed above soured. The basic timeline of events:

  • July 11th — Gibslythe publishes the first chapter of Dirty Laundry.
  • July 26th — Gibslythe posts asking her fans to keep Dirty Laundry posts out of the general Voltron tags.
  • July 27th — Fandometrics references Dirty Laundry on their Week In Review.
  • July 28th — Giblythe posts a PSA addressing complaints of racism in Dirty Laundry and apologizes.
  • July 30th — Giblythe posts a second PSA announcing that she will be halting publishing of Dirty Laundry, closing her inbox, and no longer posting about fic on her tumblr.

On July 31st, one tumblr user summed up events, in part, like so:

[pkmnshippings, July 31st, 2016.]
Anonymous asked: What is the controversy around the Dirty Laundry fic? I'm not in that fandom, but I've seen a lot of angry posts about it?

hey anon! well, i’ve only just gone back into the tags myself, so i won’t claim to be knowledgeable on the subject, but i’ll do what i can to explain.

[...]

in the fic, Lance is a Mexcian-American with a large Mexican family, and the majority of the fic is set in Arizona where his family lives on a large plot of land they own. (they also own their own business). the family is coming back for Christmas, so they’re all congregating at Lance’s family home, and Lance accidentally told his mother he was bringing a boyfriend home with him, so he asks Keith to be that boyfriend. basically, it’s a lovely fake dating au filled with family shenanigans and mutual pining, though the author has also included some angsty elements such as bi/homo phobia. in the latest chapter, an autistic character was also introduced.

[...]

so basically, an author - who is a minor - has been bullied into closing her ask box, going offline for a while, and contemplating ending a fic that has brought countless people joy, because a small group of people felt the need to rip her apart. she will finish the fic but only in one big update, because she has lost all joy in her writing and her mental health has suffered as a result of this. the majority of her fans, myself included, are heartbroken and disgusted that this has had to happen to someone so talented and sweet (she has literally been so polite and apologetic to all the haters). it really feels like fandoms on this website can never have nice things without a small but loud group of unkind haters ruining it. my heart goes out to @gibslythe and i hope that she can recover from this truly awful incident of cyberbullying.[46]

Additionally, at the time the fic was posted, the fandom only knew that Lance McClain was Latino, so in Dirty Laundry he's written as Mexican.[47] Later it was revealed that he is canonically Cuban, leading to even more wank over the fic.[48]

First PSA

Gibslythe's first PSA responding to the wank was posted on July 28th, 2016. The beginning read:

[gibslythe]

It’s been brought to my attention that Dirty Laundry is enforcing negative stereotypes about Latinx and Mexican culture. And after much thought, I’ve decided that I completely agree. I’ll admit, I’m ignorant. I’m white, and that right there is proof that I am out of my element. While I did do research on some things, I definitely didn’t do enough research on other things. I was naive, I am naive, and I was somewhat caught up in this fame of a fanfic that I posted purely for fun.

This is my sorry to all the Mexican and Latinx readers who were hurt by Chapter 9 (or honestly any chapter in general.)

I’m extremely sorry, and you all deserve the greatest apology.

The ‘Gasolina’[note 4] and ‘La chancla’[note 5] mentions were disrespectful, and although at the time that didn’t process in my mind, I now recognize that they are incorrect. I can guarantee you that I never, never meant to be harmful. It was me being arrogant, and insensitive, and not thinking things through. However, that is absolutely no excuse, and I’d really like to face the consequences.[15]

The rest of the PSA went on to say that Gibslythe wouldn't stop writing, but she would be changing her update schedule to a slower pace. She also asked if there was anyone who'd be "willing to be a recourse for Mexican culture as well as reading the chapters before hand to confirm they are respectful and professional."[15] The post received 1,304 notes.

Although there were a lot of positive reactions to Gibslythe's post, not everyone was satisfied with it. At least one user responded very strongly. Here's a sample of the conversation that went on in the reblogs:

How do you find it in you to apologize for blatant racism and then go ahead and ask for someone of that same culture to hold your hand and just pretend like you hadn’t gone ahead and enforced disgusting stereotypes that you fucking white people have set on us?

[...]

You’re literally disregarding the people you’ve offended, which im assuming the majorty are actual Mexicans (hey) who don’t appreciate being used as a cheap tactic for your shitty story to be ~~diverse~~ and pandering to what is also probably other fucking white people like you that get off on this ~~diversity~~.

Do us all a favour and delete your fucking story. [49]

OP is literally admitting to the fact that they majorly fucked up. You screaming at them further for being racist obviously isn’t helping them out. [...] OP is asking for input by Latinx and Mexican readers so that they can do better with a more accurate portrayal of a cultural they know little about. They’re learning. You’re obviously not going to be a part of the solution so bounce off.[49]

Alright so first off 1) Jay’s not your friend and 2) stop trying to police how latinx feel when being faced with violently racist stereotypes and tropes, and 3), actually, can you explain to me exactly why you felt the need to police somebody’s absolutely justified anger over a fic that showcases incredibly racist stereotypes and tropes throughout the entire thing in the first place?? It’s literally not your place to decide and dictate how people are allowed to feel about racism. Despite any kind of wishy-wash “apology” OP might offer, latinx people aren’t required to accept shit from them especially when them made no effort to fix the situation besides “”editing”” the scenes? Purely because they wanna keep their nasty fetishizing fic up because it’s “popular”? Why are you expecting latinx people to hold OP’s hand and walk them through the rest of their bullshit story when the story shouldn’t even exist in the first place lmao [50]

Hello, my name is Lorena and I’m from Mexico. I appreciate this fanfic a lot because I can relate to a lot of situations portrayed in it. I have a big family, most of my familiars are homophobic (mostly the men), I have a grandmother with a strong will who is so religious, but she is so wise and forgiving, I know the lyrics from Gasolina and I sing it even when it’s not “cool” anymore, I laugh at the chancla jokes. There was a point when I said “This is so true, Lance is pretty much like me”, hell, I even have glowing stars in my ceiling. I’m happy for this fic to exist it’s so accurate in its representation, so please, don’t be rude with the autor, I don’t think that their story is racist. I believe that every person is allowed to make mistakes, to learn from them, to become a better person, and that’s what the author is doing.[50]

Other users were much more mild:

Ah, I knew this was going to be an issue with people. I kind of understand but at the same time I kind of connected to it lmao. Not much la chancla since I wasn’t traviesa, but definitely the song. Thank you for addressing it though[51]
Look, it’s not like we’re not accustomed to white people doing that, steorotyping and saying stuff. But it’s ok. It’s something we learn to live with, cause we are not perfect. Sincerely, I love the way you try to match the fanfic with the culture. It’s okay, you’re trying. Even if you have a mexican advisor, there will be people that feel insulted. But that’s normal. Just know that almost every latinamerican person here enjoys and loves the fanfic.[52]

I think the main point you should take from this is that as a white writer, people are going to feel uncomfortable about our lives being written from your perspective. I don’t know what you should do about this but imo, after thinking a lot about this i realize a lot of your characterization/plot relies on stereotypes. Just know that you offer a limited perspective of Latinx (whatever ethnicity you choose to represent) and that you could easily write a fic about klance

in any situation, but by choosing one that specifically delves into Latinx cultures and identities you’re taking on a responsibility that again you have limited experience/ understanding in. note also that we already consistently have our stories told by outsiders, and so remain aware of the different latinx voices about this issue before you continue writing. it might not’ve been your intention to offend anyone, but impact is more important than intent.[53]

Positive comments:

Wow, I’m shocked honestly.
1) because that is the most respectful thing I have ever read this entire month
& 2) I was completely unaware that people were offended &/or hurt.
I, for one, am Mexican & everything about your story is honestly on point & not at all offensive. I guess we all don’t think that way, clearly. But your story is one of the first stories that I have ever read that has done justice to my culture & things are very common among us Latino people, especially considering you’re not Latino/Mexican yourself.
I greatly appreciate your apology & the time & effort you put & continue to put into Dirty Laundry.

Hope all goes well.[54]

I’m with souyoz in the family characterization part (reaaally good, it makes me nostalgic in my own house) and with another person who said the people who were offended probably weren’t latinxs, those things are just funny, I can’t really think of a way to make the chancla joke offensive…

I’m Mexican too, I have family in USA but have never experienced how they live there and I seriously didn’t find anything offensive in the fic ?? Maybe I cringed a little with the song cuz I kinda am ashamed of ever singing that thing willingly but that’s not the case, and I found a little strange that Abuelita speaks English when my Mom doesn’t need to when she visits my big sis there but I came in terms with that one, the fic’s language is English after all, aside from these two everything else is just fun and the most accurate I’ve read[55]
I am a mexican girl born and raised in Jalisco, i personally found the dirty laundry story entertaining and didnt think any of it was racist tbh that was my childhood homophobic elders, chanclas and i actually love gasolina (daddy yankee was my shit) [...] anyways i am educated and mature enough to know its just a story and if people choose to apply it to other things or let them affect their views of mexicans and latinx then they are idiots and that while these are stereotypes it shows the honest truth, mexican culture is beautiful and rich but there is also a large dark cloud of abuse, homophobia and machismo. Its important to bring these things up instead of trying to pretend they don’t exist. I am glad that the writer of this story is trying to educate themselves on another culture, we should encourage this seeing as america is filled with a lot of hateful white trump supporters who are just itching with the chance to deport 12 million of our people.[56]

Second PSA

Gibslythe's section PSA came on July 30th, 2016. She announced that she would stop updating completely for several weeks in order to write the rest of the story and then post everything else at once. She said:

[gibslythe]

I have chosen to do this because of several factors. One, I have been receiving a lot of criticism, and while constructive criticism is great and always appreciated, the amount of negativity has become too overwhelming for one person (me) to handle. Second, I feel that with one final post, I can officially finish my fanfic all in one go. The fanfiction is no longer fun for me, but rather something that is emotionally and mentally taxing. However, I do not want to leave the project unfinished. My plan is to finish my fanfiction with the help of my partners, post the ending, and be done with it.

I will also be disabling my ask box and will no longer be using this tumblr for fanfiction updates, but rather art only. Although the support has been momentous and extremely wonderful to receive and hear, the negative comments have slowly outweighed the positive ones. It has grown more and more dangerous to my mental health. I am just one person, and I’m human at that.[57]

The post received 3,019 notes and a lot of support:

I’ve got an autistic brother, I’m Mexican, etc. Your portrayal.. was excellent. Lemme know if you do still want that resource from a Mexican point of view. I doubt it, since you’ve already made up your mind, but it’s out there. Gracias por escribir esto—[58]
I just read your fanfic dirty laundry and i wanted to just say that i loved it trully it home for me (proud mexicana) sad with the out come of hate but i hope that continue to write stories (even when this fanfic is no longer fun for you as you have said) because i enjoyed every bit of your writting you are so talented. Don’t let the negativity get you do what you love and what makes you happy. Much love ❤✌[59]
I’m from México and I really loved the story that you developed. Dirty Laundry will win a space in my heart that NOT many others manage. Enserio, gracias por tu increíble trabajo, you’re a amazing writer and don’t let them stop you. 😊 Oh by the way, your drawings are awesome 😁👌[60]
I come from a Chicano background and I love your story to bits and pieces. All the negativity was a bit of a shock to me. I can’t believe that something so precious can get torn apart like it is. I love your story, it moved me to tears and to see you get this kind of backlash is heartbreaking. I hope you do finish it, the way you want to, but I understand how that negativity could impact you. Stay strong, there might be a lot of hate but there’s plenty more of us who are with you 💕💕💕[61]
I’m so sorry that people are behaving in s sort of undignified manner and have been harassing you on something that should be done for fun. I read your story yesterday in one sitting and I love it so much. I really love the cultural aspect you captured for lance’s family. I am Mexican-American myself and this was no way offensive to me and think you did a wonderful job capturing the family importance for Lance’s family.You brought these characters to life for me in a new light. Thank you so much [62]

Its so upsetting to know people have been giving you shit for absolutely nothing. Dirty Laundry [...] was so warm and familiar and I was so happy that I’d found something with recognition and familiarity with my own personal experience in terms of family and culture.
I myself am Mexican and I find all references that people say are ‘stereotypically bad’ are just really funny and I appreciate the acknowledgment of the humor to them.

[...][63]

Accusations of Ableism

Although neither PSA mentions the accusations of ableism regarding and no asks to Gibslythe on the subject seem to have been archived, people were definitely also discussing the portrayal of autism in Dirty Laundry at the end of July, 2016. pkmnshippings's summary post on the subject:

[pkmnshippings, July 31st, 2016.]

there was also some discourse over the autistic character. the little girl was only six years old and told her family over dinner that she was on the autistic spectrum and had sensory issues. some people have also taken offence to this. i’ve seen claims such as “she’s not autistic enough” and “she’s not an accurate representation of an autistic person” thrown around but i cannot source them or prove their existence, i have only seen counter arguments. the issue here is that the author has immediate family who are autistic and modelled Alexi on her own autistic cousin. other autistic fans have spoken up saying that is isn’t offensive, as autism is a spectrum and not every autistic person will have the same experiences - but again, this has not stopped people from hating. it’s quite jarring because it implies that all autistic people must fit a certain frame, but i won’t say any more as i am not autistic nor do i know any autistic people so it is not my place to talk about it.[46]

Comments from July 30th and July 31st, 2016:

They had received numerous negative comments about how “They portrayed the family negatively”. They had agreed to rewrite the chapter, eliminating the “triggering” parts of the story. This I can understand, as views on what is deemed stereotypical or unpleasant are different for all people. But now everyone is upset over the youngest character. She is autistic, and based off of the writer’s brother and cousin who have autism, and yet readers are questioning whether her existence is necessary, and claiming that the character is offensive to those who suffer from autism. What really gets my goat, is that the character wasn’t offensive at all. Autism is a broad spectrum, causing different actions and defects for different people, including muteness, and slowness of comprehension, among other things. My brother has autism, and it effects his social skills. His understanding of the social environment is different from what mine would be. For example, he talks loudly (above normal vocal levels) and interrupts people occasionally, as well as talking to himself (just to give you an idea). I guess what I’m saying is, there shouldn’t be this much hate toward a character, especially since they have only said about 5 lines, and have only been included in less than 1/8 of a chapter. And the author shouldn’t be in the line of fire, as this is a work of fiction and theirs to do what they wish with, seeing as it is their story. An author should write to please themselves, not the fanbase (no hate towards gibslythe) and all are original characters developed in their own way, other than the main pair (who have gone through lots of unique development and have taken on new traits as well, appearing to grow and understand themselves and each other better). Writing this all out hasn’t made me sad anymore, I’m just angry.[64]

@gibslythe

AUTISTIC PEOPLE DON’T OWE YOU A SECOND CHANCE

AUTISTIC PEOPLE DON’T HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL YOUR ABLEIST SCHLOCK IS COMPLETE TO JUDGE WHAT YOU HAVE ALREADY WRITTEN

ALEXI’S AUTISM WAS SHOEHORNED IN, YOU DON’T GET TO USE YOUR AUTISTIC FRIEND AS A TOKEN TO DELFECT CRITICISM

AUTISTIC DISGAREE SOME AUTISTICS ARE ABLEIST AGAINST THEMSELVES AND OTHER AUTISTICS BECAUSE INTERNALIZED ABLEISM IS A THING

FUCNTIONING LABELS ( like “highly autistic” or implying the spectrum is actually a straight line with a high end and a low end of autism) ARE ABLEIST (source 1) (source 2)

YOUR APOLOGIES DON’T MEAN SHIT UNLESS YOU ACTUALLY LISTEN TO AUTISTIC PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT YOUR ONE FRIEND[65]
Alexi is on the autism SPECTRUM and the author says MULTIPLE TIMES that they have consulted with a close friend with an autistic brother AND based Alexi mostly off another autistic relative, they clearly state they’re asking their consults if anything comes off as offensive, stop accusing them of being blatantly ableist just bc Alexi’s autism is different from urs/the kind u have seen (not everything has to be relatable to u specifically! woah! let someone on the spectrum with Alexi feel included!)[47]

[...]

Why do you so desperately want to see negative portrayals of autism? Why do you have such a problem with a happy, confident, and comfortable autistic child?[66]
[Anonymous asked]

speaking as an autistic person, i don't see anything wrong with alexi. the fact that sophia told her daughter she was autistic and there's little to no shame in it is something i wish i had- my mom told me when i came crying to her multiple times about why i was different and wrong, and told me it "wasnt curable." a little kid advocating for herself and being comfortable with her diagnosis? that's something i wish i could have been, rather than ashamed of myself. dirty laundry handled it well. Ugh. I’m happy. Cause you sent this. I’m sad, because you sent this.

Thanks for the message. It means a lot what you’re saying.

The most frustrating, disgusting part of readers bashing Dirty Laundry from the autistic perspective is…. autism affects everybody differently. It’s called the autism spectrum for a reason. Just because Alexei doesn’t share your personal experience doesn’t mean it’s not valid autism representation. Also, when I do see autistic representation, a lot of times it’s negative: meltdowns, trauma, kids misbehaving. What’s wrong with a happy, comfortable, autistic child?

Also, anybody who claims another person “isn’t autistic enough” is a hypocrite and can bite my ass. [67]

@gibslythe
You’ve been receiving a lot of negative comments about Alexi lately and so I just wanted to tell you that I love her. And while that may not seem like much, I got diagnosed with Autism about six years ago.

I really love Alexi, I don’t think how you portray her is wrong or offensive at all. And I think my favorite thing you did was with the sensory problems, because I can’t eat broccoli either.[68]

do i see the issues with alexi’s portrayal in the fic? yes.

  • one of the first facts we learn about her is that she’s autistic. this…could go either way. i was ecstatic when i watched finding dory because i felt that dory’s parents handled her situation well by teaching her what to tell strangers whenever she got lost–that she had short-term memory loss. this can be useful information to people when a child has autism, especially when cooking meals. it’s something i never got as a kid, so i was just “weird” and a “picky eater” which tended to offend the cook (i distinctly remember my dad’s gf getting upset that i didn’t like her meatballs with sauce, because sauce’s consistency really bothers me). in itself, i don’t feel like there’s an issue with this, because it’s a good idea, but i don’t think it was portrayed with that fully in mind, because…
  • this serves as a moment of shock for the family. we’re supposed to rethink sophia as a result (possibly find her more sympathetic for dealing with alexi). which is bad because…
  • you may have heard of autism speaks, an organization that essentially portrays parents of autistic children as these poor victims who have the right to record their children’s breakdowns to show just how hard it is to care for these children. essentially, as if these parents struggle more than their kids do, which is simply not the case. that organization serves the parents, not anyone who is autistic. i can personally assure you that i struggled far more than my mother ever did. again, this wasn’t explicitly portrayed, but it could easily be seen that way.

[...]

...i can easily see myself announcing to a group of strangers that i can’t eat that broccoli because i have sensory issues from autism, if my mom had coached me beforehand. this event in this fic is completely plausible for an autistic person like me. it might not be the case for many, or even most, autistic people, but to dismiss it altogether is invalidating and portrays only one image of autism when many exist. it doesn’t mean that alexi is “high-functioning”–it means that alexi is on a different part of the spectrum when it comes to communication.

basically: i do find issues with how alexi was portrayed in the fic, and i don’t think any neurotypicals should dismiss these criticisms, but autistic kids like alexi absolutely do exist and should not be invalidated as “cute” or “convenient” or “for neurotypicals.”

also. don’t harass minors to the point of isolation?? like????[69]

Further Comments On Racism

The comments on racism didn't contain themselves to just responses to Gibslythe's PSAs or messages to her blog. Not everything ended up in any of the relevant tags, either. pkmnshippings's summary post on the subject:

[pkmnshippings, July 31st, 2016.]

from what i can gather, after the latest chapter, a select group of people started bullying and attacking the author for certain aspects of her fic, calling it racist and ableist. these people, in the first instance, seemed to be mostly white. i am unsure about latinx people also being involved - i think i saw one blog being run by a mexican/latinx person making a public callout post shaming the author though. but most of the haters are white, which is especially irritating to the many, many latinx/mexican fans of this fic who are being silenced. regardless of the fact that many of them have defended the “offensive” parts of the fic, claiming that these are true aspects of their culture and not stereotypes (gasolina and la chancla), the haters have been undeterred and have continued to bully the author. it’s extremely frustrating to see so many mexican/latinx voices silenced when it is their culture and so they would best know what is offensive and what isn’t. it’s also extremely saddening because many have said that they recognise their own families and childhoods in this fic, and now it has been torn down.

i think i saw one mexican/latinx blogger who didn’t like the fic say that the countless mexican/latinx people who enjoy it cannot speak for the whole and this is true - but on both sides. the small group of haters cannot speak for the whole of the mexican/latinx community, and i think it’s disgusting that something that so many mexican/latinx fans related to and saw themselves in has had to be stopped, like they deserved to have this nice thing that represented them? if the mexican/latinx community had turned around and said the fic was offensive, that would be different. but it’s just a small group of mostly white people.[46]

I’m laughing because people who are not Latinx are claiming that la chancla and the song Gasolina are stereotyping Latin culture.

That IS our culture.[70]
dirty laundry was beyond mediocre while also being racist ableist and homophobic so like. stop fucking crying abt how the vld fandom “bullied” the writer into not regularly updating. ppl were literally just calling out the bad shit about it and they couldnt fucking take it. and yknow what? if they couldnt own up and change it instead of being a weirdo racist then they probably shouldnt be making content in the first place. the whole fic was a mess and they refused to change it in a meaningful way so who cares if its not updating regularly.[71]

I do want to stress another part of our disagreement is stemming from our differences between Latin-Americans ( which includes Mexican-American ) and straight out Mexicans from Mexico. No matter what, we’re going to disagree on some portrayals and stereotypes being used in a piece. Aside from that, we’re different individuals, we’re people, we were raised differently despite having a similar background culture. So are we gonna agree on everything that we’re gonna deem offensive or harmful? No. But I hope we have a better sense of where we are coming from after this is all over.

[...]

No, I do not believe the writing was problematic when it came to the few and harmless stereotypes she used. Not one bit. If anything, it made the story relatable to me, and just reminisce about my own upbringing and experiences, and those of my friends.

And listen, had @gibslythe used Stereotypes that portrayed us as “thugs/criminals/cartel members”, “dependent on the welfare system,” “rapists,” “wetbacks,” “dropouts,” or “all homophobic assholes who can’t learn”, then yes, I would have send a small message to the author with some polite constructive criticism and point out how to make it better.

Not fucking harass her until her love of the story burned out. Honestly people, that was all such a disgusting display of tumblr mob mentality. But also @Latinx/Mexicans/Mexican Americans; Let’s separate the issues FROM Dirty Laundry and talk about our Media and representation amongst ourselves.[72]

[...]

following the discourse, I did my part and asked many hispanics (as in spanish speaking, from several spanish speaking cultures and ethnic groups, not to be confused with latinx) that I know about our common stereotypes and the unanimous agreement from what I gathered was that la chancleta y reggeatón, even gasolina specifically (two of the biggest topics of controversy in this dl racism discourse) are not negative hispanic stereotypes. a few people I talked to even agreed that they are more of a custom to our culture and simply how many of us are brought up (in the case of la chancleta: not saying hitting your child with a shoe is ever right, but it’s literally just a fact for many latinx/hispanics – it happens to a lot of us because it’s simply a way of discipline ingrained in our cultures) and also, since when is a song a negative stereotype? reggeatón is literally our culture … we created it and gasolina too …

[...]

it’s different when you’re latinx and you know what you’re actually talking about because you’ve lived it. it’s racist and problematic when you’re non-latinx and are being ignorant, offensive and harmful. if you are latinx/hispanic and chicanx especially and were genuinely offended and didn’t agree with chapter nine, you should’ve stopped reading, maybe offered some constructive criticism and left it at that, never engaging in this discourse again. you didn’t have to tear it down for those of us that finally saw something of ourselves in character’s we loved. if you’re non-latinx and helped bring down dirty laundry, you had no right to really decide what is offensive and stereotypical to actual latinx people. if you’re non-latinx and decided to engage in shitty memes, crossing them over to the offensive territory, shame on you, but now forget your behavior, and we’ll forgive.

[...][73]

Dirty Laundry was a story written about a Hispanic family, Hispanic culture, and even included a generous amount of Spanish. This story was NOT a story written about white people manipulating Hispanic culture, it literally didn’t even have a white person in it (besides Pidge). But because it was written by a white person (who was even careful and considerate enough of the culture to reach out and seek advice and knowledge from their Hispanic friends) it’s somehow not alright? Somehow it’s appropriating? A la chancla is “triggering”?? It’s a fucking flipflop. ABUSE is triggering. Not a piece of foam.

Gibslythe was writing a beautifully crafted fanfiction of a pairing that they enjoyed for the enjoyment for all of us to read and they did it all for free. And they did it well. They did it accurately, and tried their best to learn the culture before they wrote about it.

[...]

Here is my two cents on this to conclude:

As a Puerto Rican woman it made my heart swell seeing someone so intricately appreciate a culture I was always afraid to acknowledge. It made me appreciate a piece of me that I had tended to shy away from for my own very personal reasons, which made me cringe sometimes at my skin tone and hate the language an entire half of my family is fluent in. But reading Dirty Laundry, I loved that I could actually understand what Rosa was saying, I loved that little things like the ridiculous micro-cleaning wasn’t being made fun of but instead was being written about affectionately, and I loved that Gibslythe included an iguana because they are literally everywhere. One of the characters even shared my name.[74]

First of all, I’m so disgusted that many users thought they had the right to harass the author to the point where it started affecting their mental health and made writing this fic no longer enjoyable. It takes someone very disgusting to harass a minor or anyone for that matter.

As for the racial issues involved, I am Mexican and I can assure you that the way Lance and his family are portrayed is similar, if not completely accurate, to my family. I found this fic to be relatable and something that I really enjoyed reading because I felt represented. Now, I realize that a lot of the people claiming this fic is offensive aren’t even Mexican themselves? Since when do you have the right to speak for us? Since when do you decide what is offensive to us and what is not?[75]
I literally thought you were latinx because of how accurate this fic is? I saw my family there, I saw our interactions. No movie or book or TV show made by white people has never made me identify with it the way Dirty Laundry does. Gasolina and la chancla? I never thought I’d read about it on fan fiction. Gasolina is so popular between latinx that it seemed only natural for Lance’s family to know it, and la chancla, I laughed so hard when I read it, omg is just so common. I am the oldest one of my family, and I have used the chancla, my grandma, my aunts. Is not an stereotype, is just so common? So normal? So natural? We make this jokes all the time, is not disrespectful, is incredibly spot on. Only white people felt offended by this, because our culture is different, and they are so scared of offending us, that they get so blind sometimes, you did nothing wrong. All Latino countries are different as well, and have different traditions. But all of the things you put here, were things that all of us share, shakira, la chancla, gasolina (omg Is so old we all know this song is almost a classic, even tho it hurts to admit it) you never offended me, you made me feel included. You are great.[76]
I, a latino, don’t think at all La Gasolina and La Chancla jokes were in the least offensive. They were true, relatable and pretty nice really. I felt represented. La Gasolina is an extremely popular song in Latin America, and La Chancla is a funny, popular joke that GIBS THE AUTHOR DID NOT MAKE UP. It is a joke most latino grandkids know and understand and can laugh about. I have never thought any part of Dirty Laundry was disrespectful.[77]
Hella late to the party but honestly as a Latina I felt represented in this fanfic. Having a home in the middle of nowhere on a ranch with several animals reminds me of my aunts I visit once in a while. Having to read about la chancla and Shakira and Gasolina felt amazing because it’s such a common thing among the community. It has the big family that reminds me of my own. Overall it is such a great fanfic and I’m sorry you got so much hate for it. [78]

[...] Bro “gasolina” was my jam back in the day and I assure you most of us had heard that song. I honestly give you props for being the bigger person in the situation. I just can’t accept that people would go this far over a fic…to the point where writing it is no longer fun is a sentiment I understand quite well… its not like you were intending to write a culturally accurate fic anyways or else that would be something other than a fanfic…you did amazing from the caharcter portrayls to cultural portrayals and spanish usage…I as a Mexican did not feel in any way offended and if anything I widh to apologize to you for all the hate and bad comments you received…people just look at the fact that you are white as an excuse had it been a mexican writing this i assure that most would not have been as offended by the latino references and such…You are amazing like seriously and this story was competely worth all my attention and time…thank you for this master piece

#like seriously #its a fanfic people #they meant no harm #most of these things are accurate #about some of my culture #im not offended[79]
Honestly, that is an accurate af portrayal of a Mexican household. I was laughing my ass off bc #relatable and I live in Southern California like right next to the border and everyone is threatened with la chancla and gasolina is mentioned every now and then (as a meme but still haha). I don’t know why people got offended [80]
Ohh nooo, fucking toxic tumblr community strikes again :( This makes me really sad bc I’m a latina and I never felt offended by any part of the fic, I actually happened to find it very relatable. So I think the fic is perfect the way it is right now and nothing should be edited out of it but I respect your decision 💔 [81]
The portrayal is so accurate though I found absolutely NOTHING wrong with it honestly and I’m Mexican American. Whenever Gasolina comes in my friends(yes even the latinx ones) we all start singing alone like there’s no tomorrow!mi love Daddy Yankee tbh and the chances? My brother and I joke about that all the time (not in the context of our parents using it but me specifically cuz when I get shot with a nerf gun LET ME TELL YOU-) like its a very common thing that many people relate to [82]
I am Mexican myself and I didn’t really find that offensive I found it hilarious because I would always hear gasolina in every party any of my family members throw. Also the chancla thing has always been in my life with my aunts and my own mom when ever any of my cousin and I acted like shits. I didn’t have issues with your protrails I also find them accurate plus I don’t get offended that easily. [83]

You did nothing wrong, don’t feel guilty :c

We all know THOSE people who think white people should only writw about other white people, then complain about the lack of diversity[84]
i respect your decision, but fuck. this made me upset. i hate that you got so much hate for this.
justtrustmeandjump said: this really fucking bums me out. It makes me even sadder than people who aren’t Latinx are telling me that I should be offended by this. LIKE MAN SHUT THE FUCK UP. LA CHANCLA IS A JOKE IT’S FUNNY FUCK OFF. GASOLINA IS CATCHY AND EVERYONE KNOWS IT. dude, your fic is amazing and as a Latina I feel nothing but joy towards it.[85]
I honestly can’t understand what was offensive and stereotypical about Dirty laundry. Me and all my Latino/hispanic friends were completely baffled at how people were offended. We all felt so well represented, it was honestly so relatable. The only people who can talk shit about it being stereotypical are my fellow Latinos non of these non Latinx lil justice warrior, and any latino really wouldn’t be offended be some joke about “la chancla” or “gasolina”.[86]
I’m Latino and I heard gasolina w my mom and baby bro all the time when i was 7/8ish and sing along w her and it was great??why are people so offended????and the chancla thing is just some cheesy joke even between my friends (who are also latinos/hispanic) so like what’s wrong???you did great with the portrayal btw don’t be too hard on yourself :c [87]

Comments On Bullying

[Anonymous asked]

I'm so disgusted with the voltron fandom for literally bullying gibs into mental exhaustion... I am so upset. I rlly think we should do something nice for her (like online scrapbook or something.. tell her how much we appreciate her and her work) cause she did not deserve any of the harsh shit she got. The sjw butt heads in the Fandom should be ashamed of themselves. They fucking bullied her into near leaving.

She literally wants to go into hiding because of the assholes that bullied her. I’m so ashamed to be in this fandom right now. I can’t believe the horrible things people were saying AND STILL ARE after she has completely given up now and decided to just finish the fic which is very mature in my opinion. And I would love to be a part of whatever project there is, if there ever is one. That would be amazing and it’s amazing to know there are people like you out there who want to do that for her.[88]

I simply can’t believe the audacity of this fandom. without even being three months old, you managed to bully a minor until she no longer wanted to participate in something that previously brought her joy.

as a hispanic, I’m offended, but by the fandom for acting out like this. to the one’s who elevated the situation to this level, even the name of defending us, this is 100% not acceptable.

[...]

next, as a minor, I’m terrified to think I could be on the receiving end of treatment like this. it really bothers me to think that I can be young, make a mistake, apologize, promise to and work on fixing things, and still get so much shit for it. I’m young and aspiring to become a good writer and honestly, the author’s writing skills were on a level I can only hope to be on one day. god forbid y’all make her hide entirely at her age and cause her to quit strengthening her skills altogether.

lastly, as a respectful person, I’m appalled to see someone receive such backlash for apologizing and trying to correct their mistakes. even when she announced her plans to fix her mistakes and to do her best to never repeat them again, you guys bullied her into wanting to quit. even after she received many messages of support and encouragement from latinx/hispanics who insisted chapter nine was absolutely fine, she still chose to edit it for the sake of not offending anyone. that in itself speaks volumes of the kind of person the author is, she’s willing to change anything perceived as problematic or offensive and she was willing to keep it fixed. but that wasn’t enough for you, who harassed her into quitting. if you don’t understand how to react when you don’t like something, please educate yourself and read this wonderful psa.

[...][73]

Shoutout to all the SJWs for attacking a minor about something they had no business voicing their opinion on and ruining an author’s joy in writing (I haven’t come across a single Hispanic who found the fic offensive) literally just stop trying to fight battles that don’t belong to you thanks

- a Cuban who loves to sing Gasolina in the car with her sister[89]

[...]

I am so disappointed with all of you who participated in the witch hunt. All of you who sent hate mail. All of you acting like immature brats. I’m utterly disgusted in how you handled this. You could have gone so many different ways in expressing your displeasure in what was written for Dirty Laundry but you chose to act like brutes.

Are you proud of how you acted? Are you proud of what you’ve done? Are you proud of the consequences? Are you proud of the name you’re giving the Voltron fandom over ONE FANFIC?

Yes I can understand why people might be upset with the story, but as aforementioned, you chose the wrong route to take.

[...]

Congrats you guys. I hope you’re truly happy with the results.

*****Dont bother asking me to remove the klance tag. I won’t do it because people need to know what happened and understand how fucking wrong it is.*****

This goes to any fandom. Do not act with a mob mentality. That’s disgusting. Be respectful even if you dont agree. Be civil about it.[90]

Effects On Other Klance Fans

In an August 2016 Klance fic, one author felt the need to warn people in their author's note that the fic would contain "a trans male character with two kids that he made, himself, with his vagina"[91] which was "1) relevant to plot and 2) not going to change so,"[91] and ended the author's note with:

sorry if this sounds a bit rude i've just heard about the witch hunts regarding dirty laundry and if y'all are gonna get mad at someone for taking their time to write something then just stop here[91]

Another author in a September 2016 fic noted in their A/N that they'd changed the contents of one of their scenes in response to the Dirty Laundry "fiasco":

I initially had written that he’d thrown one of his lion slippers, but after bearing witness to the Dirty Laundry fiasco I decided that it was safer to put something else to avoid a potential shitstorm about it possibly being a “la chancla” reference, so sleep mask it was (which when you think about it is pretty impressive because sleeping masks aren’t really something that flies very well).[92]

One fan said that they were disappointed in the fandom and called the harassment of Gibslythe "disgusting".[93] Another fan, when describing the events of late August, said:

Overall it was a massive shit-show, one that made me very much ashamed to be part of the fandom (which I had considered very tame and fun before hand) that was capable of sending such cruel and unjust messages to the author, a minor who was only having harmless fun and was also very apologetic for the offence they may have caused.[94]

Some fans saw the way Gibslythe had been treated, the way the fandom had turned on them and then suddenly turned back, as an example of the toxic culture on tumblr, and a sign of something wrong with the fanbase itself. One fan wrote:

[...]

I shouldn’t have had to make a post telling everybody to calm the fuck down. But I did. And once everybody realized that they were participating in a witch hunt, it calmed down.

Now I’m seeing these “support” posts where people keep saying things like “you bullied the author. she was just trying her best. she apologized. why did you keep sending her mean things?”

Let me get this straight. Gibslythe should never have had to apologize. She did, because there was a raging mob surrounding her telling her she was evil. But she shouldn’t have.

You need to think for yourselves. Just because one person squawks “racism” does not mean you all need to go attack. Slow down. Take a deep breath. Look at the actual material. Be critical and thoughtful.

Because, yes racism is bad and terrible. But because someone shouted “racist” and the fandom jumped on the bandwagon, a really great piece of fiction that was diverse, cultured, and gave many people the representation they were craving–it’s destroyed forever.

By mobbing this author for being racist when she wasn’t you’ve done quite considerable damage. Not just to the author, who I’m sure is pretty terrified from the experience, but you’ve taken away credibility from those of us who do critique and call out racism. The next time this happens, and something truly racist is going on, people will hesitate to call it out, because what if they’re wrong?

By completely switching sides all of the sudden, people are still being part of the mob mentality, just changed direction. Showing your support by saying “she apologized and listened to critiques” or “she admitted her mistakes” is you following the mob. You have to look closer. Think for yourself. She should never have had to face what she did. Healthy discourse is a good thing. Talking about tropes and stereotypes is a good thing. The people from the represented culture are the voices who matter. But y’all don’t even know what a stereotype is. You confused stereotypes with representation, and PoC suffered because of it. That is not okay.[95]

Support posts

Deletion

On August 15th, 2018, Gibslythe tweeted a screencap of Dirty Laundry with the title changed to Dirty Launbee and a new summary and author's note, saying, "It's done. That was cathartic. Thanks for the ride."[1] The tweet received 293 likes, 55 retweets, and 24 replies.

The new summary:

To bee free is to cast away the shackles that hold you down[96]

The new author's note:

I wrote this for me, and then the fandom made it toxic. I've healed. I've made friends through this fandom. I've found my love of Voltron again. But I need to be rid of the thing that holds me back. Ao3 won't let me delete it, so I've done what I can to cleanse myself, my life, and my head space.[96]

One of Gibslythe's twitter followers asked, "what do you mean ao3 wouldn't let you delete it?" to which Gibslythe replied:

for a while there the fic was located in some collections that made the fic 'anonymous' therefore glitching the fic out to act like an orphaned fic that...wasn't orphaned. I emailed ao3 though and they fixed it.....after the bee movie script was uploaded.[1]

Reactions

The replies to Gibslythe's tweets were supportive and sympathetic:

Thanks for the good memories, anyway! You made me laugh so much in nostalgy when the whole gasolina ref appeared! I was 16 and going through a hard patch so I'll always be thankful for the comfort! I'm sad I never downloaded it but I'm glad you took it down the way you wanted <3[97]
oh man i’m so happy for you and im so endlessly sorry about everything fandom did and replacing it with bee movie script really is iconic as hell[98]
As @jknight236 and I told you at MetroCon, we still feel so blessed to have read this fic and to inspire us to write our own fanfics. Thanks for having given us this story, but you come first. I’m glad we got to tell you thanks in person. Best wishes and I still love your art![99]

On tumblr, users were a little less positive, presumably because they weren't replying straight to the author about it. One post, with a screencap of the Dirty Launbee version of the fic announcing that Dirty Laundry was gone, received 2,344 notes,[100] including many replies lamenting the loss of the story. For example:

[...] i’m honestly ashamed at this point to call myself a klance shipper just because of all the bullshit that’s gone down. but honestly props to the author for doing what they needed to do. i’m just sorry they had to do that in the first place[101]
Unfuckinbelievable how people start attacking others and if she just lost hope in klance and decided to take it down than that’s my bad but, seriously this fandom is getting psychotic. Can’t we just go back to the days where fandoms were about fans coming together, having fun, enjoying themselves through something they all love. That seems like a beautiful world to me and you can count on me to cheer for it.[102]
ay good for them[103]
I just finished the fanfiction like a few days ago and I’m happy I got to read it. So sorry for the author that they had to feel so bad about it but as long as they feel better now it’s good.[104]
I don’t think the author would like it but it’s up all over the internet, especially wattpad if ur looking to read it[105]

Other reactions on tumblr:

Well y’all, Dirty Laundry is gone

I am beyond devastated to learn that Dirty Laundry is officially no more, and quite furious that the hurtful behavior of so many in this fandom destroyed such a classic and beautiful piece of writing. Call me cheesy, sappy- whatever. It was an amazing piece of prose that was written with so much heart and feeling, and it made me smile and laugh when I felt far from being able to do either of those things. I respect the author’s decision to be rid of it 1000% and I am so so very sad and angry that it had to end like this.

Now excuse me while I go blast Gasolina through my earbuds. You can find me crying in the McDonalds at 2am and are welcome to join me.[106]
I NEVER GOT TO FINISH READING DIRTY LAUNDRY! PLEASE NO 😭😭😭[107]
[Anonymous asked:]

Yo, about the Dirty Laundry fic, look at the author's tumblr, it explains everything there. But basically people felt that the mention of telenovelas, la chancla and the song gasolina was stereotyping mexican culture, and that it was racist.

[a-babe-without-a-name answered:]

Kk, thxs. Thats kind of a dumb. Like I used to live in Honduras, which is in Central America, and Ive always been around hispanic culture and its all mostly true. Like Ive had “cousins” being threatened with shoes, we'de listen to that genre of music (i remeber Gasolina so clearly) and adults wouldnt watch anything but those goddamn spanish soap operas ive grown to despise, lol. But thxs for helpin me out.[108]

Other reactions on twitter:

DIRTY LAUNDRY DELETED EVERYTHING AND MADE IT THE BEE MOVIE SCRIPT GNFNSND IM FUCKING LAUGHING ESPECIALLY SINCE ITS LIKE. THE SECOND MOST POPULAR FIC IN ALL OF AO3 JJFKSKDND[107]

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Notes & References

Notes

  1. "The Klance Bible" — For example: (Not to be confused with The Klible, a shipping manifesto by smugkeith.)
  2. Which we know because people complained. For example: When you haven’t read Dirty Laundry yet but the whole Voltron tag is just “ABUELITA IS COMING” Jul 26, 2016
  3. Fics "inspired" by Dirty Laundry: For example:
  4. [1] by Daddy Yankee. See also Wikipedia:Gasolina.
  5. La chancla: "The flipflop"; For more information consider urban dictionary or NPR.
  6. The original post has been deleted, so this post might have been made earlier than July 31st.
  7. The dirty laundress tag was started to offer support to Gibslythe when the other tags became overrun with negative content. Two example posts directing people to use the tag:

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Twitter conversation between @gibslythe and friend. 15 Aug 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dirty Laundry on AO3 via the Wayback Machine. Captured February 28th, 2018.
  3. here, 2019-02-10.
  4. 4.0 4.1 really long appreciation post by arloria. July 9th, 2017.
  5. adult content description by klanced. July 22nd, 2016.
  6. adult content description reblog by gibslythe. July 24th, 2016.
  7. PSA for Dirty Laundry, July 26th, 2016.
  8. Hey guys, don’t forget to not blow up the K/lance tag. Jul 26, 2016.
  9. An episodic, drama-fueled round-up. Jul 27th, 2016
  10. oh my god, 2016-07-27.
  11. My hand slipped and I may have printed the entire fic Dirty Laundry. Jun 14th, 2017.
  12. oh.my.god. it’s finally here. this story by @gibslythe is just too precious to not to be printed. i made it for myself so it’s only one copy! February 1st, 2017.
  13. submission to gibslythe. October 26th, 2016.
  14. PSA for Dirty Laundry Update July 24th, 2016.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 PSA by gibslythe. July 28th, 2016.
  16. 30 Oct 2016 gibslythe: Dirty laundry is the 5th most kudoed fic on AO3 I don't know how to articulate words in my mouth?
  17. 1:14 PM - 27 Mar 2017
  18. Tags on the work. — Slowly Does Not by GameOnGiraffe. 2017-04-11.
  19. "Lance Sanchez" search. Accessed February 11th, 2019. The "Lance Sanchez" tag is synned to the canonical "Lance (Voltron)" and most works don't tag as "Lance Sanchez" anyway, so the full text search is the best option.
  20. One author wrote, "also i went with the last name "sanchez" (i.e., lance sanchez) from dirty laundry,,idk it just fit so yah." — The Ink on His Skin by mauvesaidwill (23seok). 2016-08-06.
  21. A tag on the work — We're Rivals by Bandit1030. 2016-08-04.
  22. Won't Forget by kieths. 2016-08-14.
  23. All Thanks to You [A Klance Fanfiction by TheYaoiEnthusiast. 2017-05-30.
  24. Shot Through The Heart by SimplyEssa. 2017-08-13.
  25. H2O by Ashi_lion. 2017-09-05.
  26. Block, Punch, Dodge by chasing_the_sterek. 2016-09-18.
  27. Watching the stars with him by DysfunctionalMachine. 2017-09-29.
  28. Can I kiss you? by DidiNyx. 2017-09-30.
  29. Under the Mistletoe by florelunae. 2018-12-25.
  30. Comment by Kaerou. Wed 30 Jan 2019 05:51AM EST.
  31. Comment by florelunae. Wed 30 Jan 2019 10:47AM EST.
  32. @thebokkijeu 25 Aug 2016
  33. @thebokkijeu 27 Jan 2017
  34. vyri. July 28th, 2016.
  35. blue-eyedsatan August 6th, 2016.
  36. samizaayn. August 8th, 2016.
  37. crumpty-dumpty July 25th, 2016
  38. 2aminmyworld November 11th, 2016.
  39. angelheartwell February 17th, 2017.
  40. aesthetic-meme-trashAugust 10th, 2017.
  41. lucylunam September 27th, 2017.
  42. lordshape October 29th, 2017.
  43. theamethystwriter, November 24th, 2017
  44. 5-seconds-of-hyrule. June 11th, 2018.
  45. Meena's review on Goodreads, Sep 02, 2018
  46. 46.0 46.1 46.2 [2] (archive) July 31st, 2016.
  47. 47.0 47.1 "Lance was confirmed Cuban! well after the fic was underway, see the author thought Lance’s Cuban heritage was a headcanon (understandable! bc it WAS until it was confirmed to be true) and was several chapters into the fic already when people started in on it." — so July 31st, 2016.
  48. "So the dirty laundry either[sic] was getting hate and bullied because she made Lance Mexican but by that time we just knew he was Latino and then they confirmed him being Cuban. People gave it a lot of hate and called it racist but me as a Latina it really isn't like a bunch of it is accurate and I really enjoyed the fic and I cried with it. I'm low-key still frustrated that people call it racist" — frostokami replying to i-gave-my-life-to-voltron's post. July 9th, 2018.
  49. 49.0 49.1 Response to first PSA July 31st, 2016.
  50. 50.0 50.1 Reblog of first PSA (archive)
  51. PSA reblog July 29th, 2016. (archive)
  52. Reblog of the first PSA. July 29th, 2016. (archive)
  53. yootsart's reply in two parts to gibslythe's first PSA. Exact date unknown, but probably July 29th, 2016, given the order the notes were in.
  54. PSA reblog July 28th, 2016. (archive)
  55. Reblog of first PSA July 30th, 2016.
  56. Response to first PSA. July 31st, 2016. (archive)
  57. This is an update on my fan fiction ‘Dirty Laundry”. I have decided to stop regular updating all together. July 30th 2016
  58. Reblog of PSA August 10th, 2016. (archive)
  59. its-mamabear. Reply to the second PSA. Date unknown, probably between August 20th and August 21st, 2016.
  60. s-arcasticarcher. Reply to the second PSA. Date unknown, probably between August 23rd and August 27th, 2016.
  61. shadowspeaker. Reply to the second PSA. Date unknown, probably between August 23rd and August 27th, 2016.
  62. blue-gold-demigod-clouds. Reply to the second PSA. Date unknown, probably between September 4th and September 11th, 2016.
  63. Reblog of second PSA September 9th, 2016. (archive)
  64. I’m Upset : / July 30th, 2016.
  65. AUTISTIC PEOPLE DON’T OWE YOU A SECOND CHANCE. July 30th, 2016. (archive)
  66. gibslythe: writes a fanfiction, introduces an autistic child July 31st, 2016.
  67. speaking as an autistic person, i don't see anything wrong with alexi. July 31st, 2016.
  68. You’ve been receiving a lot of negative comments about Alexi lately and so I just wanted to tell you that I love her. July 31st, 2016.
  69. do i see the issues with alexi’s portrayal in the fic? yes. July 31st, 2016.
  70. I'm laughing... July 30th, 2016.
  71. untitled text post July 31st, 2016.
  72. @Latinx & Mexicans/Mexican Americans Offended by Dirty Laundry August 1st, 2016. (archive)
  73. 73.0 73.1 man, am I disappointed: my two cents worth on the discourse (archive plaintext) by svnbrds, August 1st, 2016.
  74. super quick dirty laundry psa August 1st, 2016. (archive)
  75. I just found out about the issue with Dirty Laundry and I’m very upset. August 02, 2016. (archive)
  76. Reblog of the first PSA August 19th, 2016. (archive)
  77. Reblog of the first PSA August 22, 2016. (archive)
  78. shionthenonhuman, reply to the first PSA. Date unknown, but probably between August 22nd and August 27th, 2016.
  79. Reblog of the first PSA Aug 27th, 2016 (archive)
  80. mssouleater, reply to the first PSA. Date unknown, but probably between August 27th and September 24th, 2016.
  81. potatomodoki, reply to the first PSA. Date unknown, but probably between August 27th and September 24th, 2016.
  82. depthinfinite, reply to the first PSA. Date unknown, but probably between August 27th and September 24th, 2016.
  83. ememeco13, reply to the first PSA. Date unknown, but probably between August 27th and September 24th, 2016.
  84. fujo-as-fuck, reply to the first PSA. Date unknown, but probably between August 27th and September 24th, 2016.
  85. justtrustmeandjump, reply to the first PSA. Date unknown, but probably between August 27th and September 24th, 2016.
  86. Reply to the first PSA Sep 24th, 2016.
  87. Reply to the first PSA by uuvas. Date unknown, probably sometime after September 24th, 2016.
  88. I'm so disgusted with the voltron fandom for literally bullying gibs into mental exhaustion July 30th, 2016.
  89. Shoutout to all the SJWs for attacking a minor, July 31st, 2016. ([ archive])
  90. Dirty Laundry PSA August 2nd, 2016. (archive)
  91. 91.0 91.1 91.2 Be careful with that one, he'll do what it takes to survive by Kymopoleia. August 2nd–5th, 2016.
  92. Warm Hands by darkinsanity13. 2016-09-14.
  93. Dirty Laundry Voltron Fandom PSA July 31st, 2016.
  94. what's happening in the voltron fandom? July 31st, 2016.
  95. I just did the rational thing. And that’s what really bugs me about this whole situation. August 3rd, 2016. (archive)
  96. 96.0 96.1 Bee Movie version via WBM, captured August 16th, 2018.
  97. @hihereami replying to @gibslythe, 15 Aug 2018
  98. @neptuningfork replying to @gibslythe, 15 Aug 2018
  99. @paperrabbit13 replying to @gibslythe, 16 Aug 2018.
  100. DIRTY LAUNDRY IS G O N E. August 16th, 2018. (archive)
  101. reblog of lakruna's post. August 27th, 2016. (archive)
  102. blossom765, reply to lakruna's post. Date unknown.
  103. reblog of lakruna's post. Aug 17th, 2018. (archive)
  104. magical-kittycat, reply to lakruna's post. Date unknown.
  105. cas-sunshine-evans, reply to lakruna's post. Date unknown.
  106. sage-brush, August 16th, 2018.
  107. 107.0 107.1 a-babe-without-a-name, August 16th, 2018.
  108. Ask and answer by a-babe-without-a-name Jul 29th, 2016
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