Almanac: Why I Want an LGBT Fanbase

I realize how ridiculously egotistical I am already speculating on my future theoretical fanbase, but I still think it’s useful to talk about it to both discuss my thoughts on fandoms in general and also put down my ideals in writing so that in the event my works do become popular I won’t lose my perspective. I’m egomaniacal enough already; I don’t need my narcissism nourished anymore.

Fandoms: the cultures of the enormous, amazing, burningly vitriolic world of geekdom. They possess the power to disgust, horrify, amaze, and touch us. Like other cultures, some are friendly and some are eternally locked in war. As CollegeHumor brilliantly pointed out, fundamentalist religion and hardcore nerdiness are much the same; even within a fandom there might be several sub-fandoms perpetually at war with each other, much like the religious conflicts between denominations of Abrahamic religions such as Christianity or Islam. A classic example of such infighting within geekdom is the eternal Picard vs Kirk debate, though modern readers will probably be more familiar with the Sherlock vs Elementary wars or that most infamous of ship battles, Katara/Aang vs Katara/Zuko.

I, being a geek of the very highest caliber, am a member of many, many fandoms, and I doubt you’re going to find a more passionate fan of as high a number of different works than me. Case in point: on the night Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released in 2007, I sat down and read the entire eight hundred-page book in one sitting. I was nine at the time.

Though I have no guilty pleasures (as I’m not afraid to enjoy anything I like), I do feel a large amount of shame over some of the fandoms I’m a member of, simply because of that association I share with some of their members. Some such hostile fandoms I am a member of include Ayn Rand‘s, which is largely populated by obnoxiously greedy pissants, as well as those for League of Legends and Dota 2, which have probably some of the most toxic, unpleasant player bases in the world. I am much prouder of some of my other native fandoms, such as the brony community or Disney‘s fandom; they tend to be much kinder, more tolerant, and more welcoming.

In the event I develop my own fanbase, I want it to be composed of those who are tolerant and welcoming. My ideal is to have a very friendly yet passionately intense fandom; after all, I love passion. To me, everything is Serious Business, but most especially fiction because fiction is literally my life. I love impassioned (but not hateful) debating; I love fan works; I love the intensive studies and fanon that accumulate around works. Others might sneer at the intense emotion and adoration we geeks hold for our passions; to them I say, “You should try enjoying yourself sometime. I know emotions are scary and frowned upon, but they’re what make life worth living.”

It is for these reasons that I really hope a large amount of my fans will be LGBT. I find in many ways that I find a close sense of community with members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people. I have no doubt that a large part of that is the fact that I have at least one LGBT relative and that most of my friends are. However, I find that I also have a lot of similarities with them (or at least many of them). For instance, I am an art-lover, theatre-lover, and a furry, all of which are stereotypically “gay.” I love fruity drinks (raspberry lemonade is my favorite), pastries, shoujo manga, and stuffed animals. But most damning of all, I’m well-dressed and am nice to girls even though I’m not trying to get in their pants.

Part of all of these similarities are coincidental; for instance, I’ve always loved fruit drinks. However, some of these similarities are deliberate; I actually consider several gay men, as well as stereotypically flaming gay men in general, to be some of my heroes. Neil Patrick Harris and Jim Parsons are some of my favorite actors. Among my chiefest role-models is the homosexual, brilliant artist Leonardo da Vinci, for whom my admiration is so great I would have named myself Leonardo had my mother not already named me.

To me, the highest personal ideal is that of the stereotypical flamingly homosexual male, as his traits are the traits I aspire for; he is an attractive, well-dressed, kind, and honest man who is equal parts chivalrous and filled with lust for life. He chooses a profession he enjoys, and he enjoys whatever he pleases. He approaches everything with passion and is always filled with energetic excitement for whatever lies ahead.

In my opinion, this stereotype is actually true for a large portion of the gay population; from my experience, LGBT people (or at least the outed ones) tend to be braver, kinder, and more honest than mankind as a whole. They are more tolerant; more accepting. This is a logical occurrence, I think; LGBT people tend to be shunned and persecuted more than heterosexual people, and suffering fosters empathy, and therefore compassion.

From what I’ve seen, gay people are less afraid of being passionate and enjoying things. They’ve already breached one social taboo; why not breach another, and be emotional? How I wish that people would discard their distorted views of the world and allow themselves to feel things. I truly believe that if we all let ourselves feel, the world would be a better place.

That is why I want a largely LGBT fanbase; I want my followers to be compassionate and admirable, and I strongly believe that those who have suffered tend to be. And though there are heels among them (as there always are), I sincerely hope that I’m correct, as that would indicate that humanity truly is capable of widespread decency after all.

Here’s to you, my heroic sisters and brothers.

Almanac: Speculative Fiction

As you can probably guess, my favorite genres across all of media are Science Fiction and Fantasy, which are collectively known in literary criticism as speculative fiction. The reason for my obsession with these genres is very simple: anything is possible in these two genres.

I’ve always found it interesting that people distinguish between science fiction and fantasy at all. After all, both of them aim to do the same thing: create a world where things can be done that can’t be done in the world of reality in which we live. It’s just that fantasy achieves this through magic, and science fiction achieves this through technology.

If you were to ask me point blank what my favorite between the two genres ultimately was, I really couldn’t say. After all, my absolute favorite works of any medium are representatives  of both genres; A Link to the Past is definitively fantasy, and so is Disney‘s Beauty and the BeastHarry Potter is my favorite series of books, and in my (unfortunately-not-humble) opinion Fullmetal Alchemist is among the best manga series ever written. On the other hand, Wall-e and Inception also count among my most favored films, and I have unhealthy obsessions with Ender’s Game and Tengen Toppa Gurren LagannAll You Need is Kill is another great manga series, and like most other nerds I adore Star Wars and Valve Corporation‘s body of work.

I do not think either is better. In fact, I would say that both genres are at their strongest when they intermingle and mix; my absolute favorite novel is A Wrinkle in Time and my absolute favorite game is Kingdom Hearts II, both of which I think we can all agree are firmly in the realms of both genres. Also notice that the genres tend to cross over into each other’s territory even in purer pieces; Star Wars has a very, very supernatural magic system in the Force, and Fullmetal Alchemist has steampunk and diesel punk technology alongside the firmly fantastical magic of Alchemy.

In my opinion, fiction was made for science fiction and fantasy. As I said before, I consume media primarily for escapism; I want to engulf myself in worlds perhaps more beautiful and more amazing than the one we have. Fantasy and Science Fiction give me worlds in which you can do anything you’ve dreamed of; with a jetpack, you can fly. You can slam a staff into the earth and tear it asunder. You can face down unspeakable horrors and defeat them with strange and powerful weapons. I have little use for fiction that portrays mundane, ordinary life; it is for this reason that I care little for soap operas or general fiction. It is also for this reason that I feel that theatre as a medium is as a whole tragically misused; most theatrical productions portray rather mundane, modern situations without often stepping into the realm of the fantastic. This is one of the reasons I love Shakespeare so deeply and why Wicked is one of my favorite musicals; they are welcome breaths of fresh air in an otherwise rather dull medium.

Here’s to speculative fiction, my bread and butter.