Legacy Interview with Anonymous
|Interviews by Fans|
|Title:||Legacy Interview with Anonymous|
|Fandom(s):||Star Trek TOS, slash|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Anyway, I did not fantasize or write this “heretical” idea of mine [K/S]. Nor did I mention it to anyone because growing up in an area that wasn’t liberal about homosexuality, I thought for sure I’d be banned from the human race for being sick. However, I never forgot my idea, and when I saw a flyer (probably at a con) for Gerry Downes’ new zine, Alternative, which she discreetly billed as an alternative love story, I ordered it so hoping it would be about the love story I dared not tell anyone I believed. Since it was the sequel to “Nebula of Orion,” I ordered that, too. I would have to say Gerry’s zines were among the first I ever read. Yes, indeed, “Nebula” and Alternative were about the love story I wanted to see, but at the end of Alternative, they decide not to pursue it. It almost broke my heart, but remember back then homosexuality wasn’t all that accepted, especially in the Midwest, the so-called heart of the country. In my depression, I wrote Gerry and told her how great her stories were, how excited I was to find a love story that mirrored my own thinking. I remember telling her that I guessed it was right for them not to pursue it, that that was the right thing to do, but I sure wished it ended differently. Gerry Downes wrote back and introduced me thus to the world of K/S.
[the adult issues of Warped Space] came in several blank gray envelopes. And for some strange reason, my husband, who never opened my mail, opened one envelope, the one with the adult stuff in it...and met me at the door when I came home with the zine open to a picture. I of course yelled at him for invading my privacy and we never dealt with what he found. Actually he was okay about it—he didn’t care as long as it all stayed in the den and his parents didn’t see it. Which I was happy enough to comply with.
It took me a long time to get “Desert Heat” and it really was sad that I read the sequel first, because no matter how great the story was, it didn’t compete with how I imagined it in my head after reading the sequel.
In those days, pre-internet, whatever K/S zines I read stemmed from that initial contact with Gerry and her subsequent leads and then led through those publications. Discussion came in the form of letters to people I met through the zines. Most of the local Star Trek fans I met were not into Kirk, let alone K/S, so I didn’t have local friends to talk to. I’m not sure when I first became aware of letterzines, but I did get them once I knew of them so as to find other zines and learn what was being discussed and argued. And there was lively debate going on between K/Sers and anti-K/Sers. This was not the time of slash every two males who were together on a show... this was the time of people be- lieving these two guys were destined to be together or believing it was sick and we should all go to hell and what if the actors found out?
In the beginning, the only cons accessible to me were pro cons which didn’t deal with K/S and MediaWest as a fan con. MediaWest and Warped Space were hotbeds of Anti-K/Sers with satires of Kirk being fucked by pig people and Uhura and Christine getting it on—all to mock K/S...so if there was any K/S being discussed there, I probably avoided it all.
I quickly became involved with the smaller but well-connected K/S contingent of the Contact group, and from there slowly made friends with other K/Sers through letters. Thrust was either out or coming out and I quickly became part of that group at these room parties. Got invited to stay with Bev V. when I came out for fan cons and remember most of our K/S discussion just among two and three people at a time at room parties or house parties. Somewhere in that time, I started writing K/S and had stories published in zines, the editors of which I either met in person through the parties or in the mail, through announcements in the letterzines. K/S Con also made it possible to meet K/Sers from all over the country because I think everyone who was interested in K/S gravitated to one of three heads, Carol F. with Thrust, Vicky Clark with Nome, and Bev Volker [and Nancy Kippax] with Contact (even though “Contact” was strictly h/c, and she insisted she never saw K/S, she was closely allied with the K/Sers because we all started with h/c and we used to tease her that h/c was just K/S disguised.) These parties were invitation only and hence, you could feel free to talk because you knew everyone invited would be into the subject and there would be no nasty fights.
I don’t remember us using the terminology “slash” back then either. It was the K/Sers and the anti-K/Sers You identified yourself as a K/Ser. And since the majority premise seemed based on “the perfect friendship” and “two halves of a whole” with the idea being two lonely heterosexual men who find in each other the other half of their soul and sex being the physical expression of that love, you had big fights if anyone suggested Kirk/McCoy or Spock/McCoy. Very little of that was written (and I think read) although the threesomes seemed to be more acceptable— carefully written threesomes, that is. I don’t recall “slash” becoming in vogue until people started adding S/H to the mix. That seemed to open the door for other pairings and it was easier to call yourself a slash fan than list the combos you liked.
I pretty well started writing K/S from when I learned it was being written. I’d say that I started writing h/c first because my first stories were taken from the bedtime stories I told myself to fall asleep (my more interesting version of counting sheep since childhood). I don’t write fan fiction to stuff in a drawer, I only write it to share, so as soon as I heard there were some K/S zines out there and others in prep, I started writing it, because that’s where my heart lay.
I think [K/S's] development was organic. For most people, I think it came out of the idealized friendship between the two men. They were so perfectly matched to each other, like two sides of a coin or two halves of a whole. And I don’t think anyone wanted to have that friendship disrupted. Perhaps if they could maintain such a friendship over a lifetime, then so could each of us find a friendship to last a lifetime. Hurt/comfort was mainly about the comfort and showing feelings. Sex also is a part of feelings. A lot of the stuff written was done by married women or women in relationships or women wanting relationships. Thing is, anyone who is in a sexual relationship knows that a romantic bond does affect all the other relationships around you. Perhaps having these two lonely men who have found in each other the other half of their souls be sexual with each other was a way of keeping that friendship strong without having another person intervene. As we kept writing and researching, we became more and more comfortable describing sex that we didn’t participate in or relating it to sex we did participate in, and the descriptions became more and more explicit. Readers became more used to reading the explicit and didn’t object so that kept developing. I think you see continued exploration into areas that one would never had done when we started off and a lot of that is because continued writing expands the comfort zone.
What I find fascinating is how the discussions have changed [now]...you might find someone willing to tackle that. In the early days, discussions raged on “do they or don’t they?” and “revealing to the actors.” (Also) something the internet has changed—and the effects of that—(would be) should K/S be public or underground. Artwork—does it depict the characters or actors? Is it an invasion of actor’s privacy? Now the discussions seem to be about are we getting too graphic? Or real people slash? The do they/don’t they doesn’t seem to exist any more because people just separate into different groups.