From CORFLU to Yahoo: My Twenty Years in K/S
|Title:||From CORFLU to Yahoo: My Twenty Years in K/S|
|Creator:||Rebecca D. W.|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: TOS|
|Topic:||fandom, slash, zines|
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In it, Rebecca writes of how difficult it was to find fandom, specifically slash, in the 1980s, especially as she lived in an area in America that could be literarily difficult: "In the rural South in 1985 it was a severe [missing word] to be a woman who read Science Fiction."
Rebecca describes her journey to K/S, from reading Joanna Russ' book (Magic Mommas, Trembling Sisters, Puritans and Perverts), to going to her first con. Rebecca writes of finding a colleague at work: "A straight woman, only moderately a Trek fan, but a true believer in Darkover and Pern, she has never seen much in K/S but has other complimentary obsessions to mine. With safety in numbers, we came up with a plan. From a listing in LOCUS we found a moderately sized convention; Darkover Grand Council," and how the two of them made a trip to the Darkover Grand Council Meeting in Wilmington, Delaware where they discovered their first zines and fandom.
Finding K/S wasn't quite so simple. I'd always been fascinated and somewhat bemused by the depth of the relationship between our three main guys, and was searching the reruns and the Pocket Book novels for new glimmers of what I felt to be a truly amazing connection. But 20 years ago was another time, especially for me. As a devout lesbian/feminist (in a committed relationship that has now passed its 30th anniversary), my passion for the "boys of Trek" confused me, my lover and most of my lesbian separatist friends...And then sometime in early 1985 I discovered an essay by Science Fiction writer Joanna Russ, best know for her novel FEMALE MAN. There in "Pornography by Women, for Women, With Love" (published in MAGIC MOMMAS, TREMBLING SISTERS, PURITANS & PERVERTS her small press published collection of "aggressively feminist" essays) was K/S! ... [snipped: an excerpt from Russ' book] ... Everything I'd felt, longed for, and kept sublimating back into my unconscious! And there were other people (in 1985 Joanna estimated 125 K/S zines had been published—what seemed a huge number at the time) who found the same "turn on" I did. Two men, very sexy, very male, even, in Jim Kirk's case, very macho MEN! And an authority, a renowned lesbian/feminist writer, was telling me it was okay to be absolutely, passionately turned on by this concept! From the day I read Joanna's essay I set out to find one of these magical creations. And would you believe it took me over a year to hold my first K/S zine in my hands?
... in one utterly amazing, life altering weekend we discovered "cons' and "zines" and "filk" and "Clam Chowder." AND I FINALLY PUT MY HANDS ON MY FIRST K/S ZINE! After cruising the hucksters room several times we located the dealer with the largest collection of zines and shyly asked if she had any K/S. And there in 3 cardboard boxes, under the table, were early DARING ATTEMPTS, First Time|FIRST TIME'S, and NAKED TIMES. Though I'm not sure what my very first zine was, I must have bought the already tattered copy of AS I DO THEE 1. I still reread, along with MATTER ANTIMATTER 2-3, and maybe T'HY'LA 3 or 4.
And so, I guess now I officially qualify as an "old timer," though at the time I thought I was coming in on the end (remember those 125 zines reported to be already out there) of an amazing alternate reality. And as we "old timers" always are; I am amazed at how easy the youngsters have it. I just googled K/S and Star Trek and first up was Hypatia Kosh's site. She's one of our bright new stars and I always look for her comments on the KirkSpockCentral and ASCEM.We have cons just for us — no more boxes of zines hidden under a table. And "/" has evolved into romantic and usually sexual relationships between almost any "buddy" pair on TV. And the pairings: it takes a code sheet to figure out just who J/C/P + f really is! I checked the ASCEM archive a few months ago and the only paring with more stories archived then our boys is Janeway and Chakotay! Is that "/" or isn't it? Death, rape, and bondage, and hurt-comfort all continue unabated, though carefully coded for PC sensibilities. And with the world's awakening to the realities of gay life, Kirk and Spock have begun to be "married."