Legacy Interview with Noel Silva
|Interviews by Fans|
|Title:||Legacy Interview with Noel Silva|
|Fandom(s):||Star Trek TOS, slash|
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Gloria O. (a San Francisco ST fan) went on a radio show. They were talking about Star Trek, and Gloria happened to mention fanzines, specifically K/S zines. We didn’t know what they were at the time. We had known Gloria through Star Trek fandom. She’d been kinda hesitant to say anything to us about fanzines— “I don’t want you to think this is perverted or whatever, but there are some zines out there with Kirk and Spock together.” That piqued our interest and so we ordered some zines. Gloria and Ruth L. gave us a couple of names of some zines that we could order. That’s when Maureen B. and I went ahead and sent for our first one, which was Nightvisions. In the back of Nightvisions were ads for other zines, and then that's when we started to order Nome. Then we went to a convention in Chicago, and that’s when Maureen told us we had been invited to a slash K/S party. Through the slash K/S party we met some crazy women named Kathy Resch and Georgia B.... That was the second K/S party they had had. We went ahead and hooked up with everything. Kathy had done an issue of T’hy’la by then, and after she was on numbers 2 or 3, that’s when I decided to go ahead and do California K/S. California K/S 1 came out simultaneously with T’hy’la 4.
I guess it was meeting Gayle F., and a couple of other people, Vicky Clark and Barbara S., and people at Shore Leave—other editors and writers—and thinking to myself, I would really love to do [do a zine] because I love K/S so much. So I went ahead and with a lot of help from Kathy and her printer I went ahead and took on that project.
[Creating fanzines] came from meeting K/S people. The first movie had come out, but [the influence was mostly from] the TV show. Because, no matter where you went, the reruns were always on, and so everyone watched Star Trek. I think that was the big thing, the science fiction, the love of the characters, and what happens when you get into a show you really like. It expands. A lot of the stories I read first were the novels. We got a little flavor of the relationship through the pro novels. That bled into when I met Gloria, and found out about the K/S zines. That intrigued me because that was something I could sink my teeth into. I think the first thing was Starsky & Hutch. Because when I’d watch Starsky & Hutch I thought, those two guys, they love each other. Isn’t it wonderful that two men can show the emotions and the hugging and the caring between one another. It was so beautiful. I had no idea what homosexuality or gayness was; I just knew these two guys really cared and loved each other, and that made me a prime candidate for slash. A lot of people could look at Star Trek and not see anything. We look at it and see, he puts his hand on the small of his back, and we go, what’s going on between these two guys? A lot of that led up to the K/S zines.
I had the opportunity to meet some of my lifelong friends, people I have now known for over 25 years. We stayed friends [for all of these years], and I think it’s because of what Star Trek stood for, which is IDIC. I think that all of us who have stayed together and have been friends for all these years is because of that element of the show. Now, I don’t think a lot of people understand what the reference means. I had a house that was big enough to invite people over, so I just opened up and welcomed everybody. I don’t think there were any prejudices, “you can’t come because of whatever.” We tried to do everything the way of IDIC, and if you showed an interest in Trek and wanted to come to a party or you knew someone who wanted to go to a party, everyone got together. Some people clicked and some didn’t, but you were able to go ahead and have this connection which was almost worldwide. Y ou could go ahead and make friends with someone in England, then if you had the opportunity to go abroad that person would introduce you to other people in their country. It all accumulated into one spiraling ball worldwide; you accumulated all these wonderful friendships.
The first party [in my apartment was] the party where Laura L. brought us a beautiful K/S green and pink marzipan penis decoration. We kept that decoration in the freezer for at least a couple of years. Basically, the parties were everyone getting together, just talking, throwing out ideas, what stories they had read, what did they like. It was a lot of networking and people loaning zines. We pretty much opened up everything. If we found out someone was interested in something we’d say, “I have that; you haven’t seen that? here, you can borrow this.”
Zines are like books. Stories online don’t have the feel of a zine; a zine was something to hold. There were the MediaWest frenzies, early on, when you knew all these K/S zines were coming out. Shore Leave, too. You would do a print run of 500 and be sold out in one day because you had so many people clamoring for zines. And the zines would sustain us and keep us going.