This is partially a commentary on how silly it is to be prejudiced against book whose characters are younger than you and partially just a story because I have never had a forum to tell this story.
I remember one time in fourth grade during library period we were given the option to listen to audiobooks, but there was only one player. It had two headphone ports, so we could listen in pairs if we wanted to hear the same book. I was paired with a girl who was the stylish mean girl villain of elementary school stories in every way. I can’t even really hate on her because I don’t know what happened to her and she was so stereotypically petty that her whole existence seems unreal. Like, maybe she was a plant, or if she was real, how exhausting was it for her to play that role?
Anyway there weren’t a lot of options and I picked out Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and showed it to her and she said the name out loud with emphasis on age eight like it was obviously a dumb book for babies and I think we ended up sitting out of the activity rather than trying to agree on something.
BMO has been confirmed to be genderless. BMO is referred to as “M’lady” by Finn in “Conquest of Cuteness”, but Adam Muto has stated this doesn’t mean anything. When being referred to by Finn, he will use masculine pronouns. When referred to by Princess Bubblegum, she will use feminine pronouns.
This is further evidenced in “Fionna and Cake” when BMO is briefly seen in the tree house and has no noticeable differences in design, making it the only character not to have a swapped gender counterpart.
do you use goodreads? it’s a really nice low-investment way to keep track of books and reviews.
I do! It’s really useful and I think being able to keep track of what I’m reading and how far along I am has really encouraged me to read more. And it’s really useful as a library employee who gets asked for recommendations to be able to look back at what I’ve read by category! I post reviews on there occasionally but sometimes the social-networkiness of it weirds me out. For example, as far as I can tell, reviews get ranked by how popular a user is, not how useful the review is?
Anyway I got thinking about this again because Malinda Lo posted about some backlash to a casting announcement for a queer Asian character in the upcoming Mortal Instruments movie. There’s some book-related non-book topics that I would want to talk about too, and a tumblr/blog instead of a goodreads would allow for guest posts and a more creative and broad sort of thing and yes reasons
Basically I think about queer books and YA a lot, and while I have a personal tumblr and a professional book tumblr (I run my library’s tumblr and I don’t share it here because I don’t like divulging where I work THAT readily and also I don’t REALLY want work to look at this one), I don’t want to put too much of my personal feelings into the professional one and I don’t want to flood this personal one with book stuff
“I want to say, my ultimate life goal right now, to be able to die happy, is to start a riot girl movement for trans women and really push the DIY. Trans women get accused of taking up too much space and I’m saying no trans women need to reclaim space.”—Red Durkin, who is, if you were wondering, my favorite person sorry everybody else
I love you because sometimes you’re weird looking the way I’m weird looking and you understand that weird looking and bad looking aren’t always the same. I love you because you’re beautiful, not in a “we are all the special and perfect creations of a loving god,” kind of way. You’re beautiful in a “crawled out of the muck and evolved,” kind of way. I love you when you’re graceful and I love you when you’re mean. I love your big hands and your busted teeth. I love your high voice and your low voice, your broad shoulders, your dainty feet. I love you for your perfect face, your teenage tits, your impeccable style, and your coy, glittering laugh. I love you when you say stupid shit like, “questioning your beliefs is the dictionary definition of thinking.” I love you when you scream powerful shit like, “revolution now!” and “gay power!” at the top of your lungs and then your voice cracks and you cry because you care so fucking much, but you’re exhausted. I love you when no one else can see you and I love you when you refuse to go unseen. I love you even when you won’t make eye contact with me on the subway. I love you even when you stare. I love you because you’re witches and programmers and lawyers and punks and beauty queens and, yes, sometimes drag queens. I love you because you’re loud and shy and glamorous and plain. I love you because you’ve got swagger, because you’re clumsy, because you’re delicate, angry, imposing and gracious. I love you because you believe in god and magic and all kinds of ridiculous crap. I love you because you drink too much. I love you because you’re idealistic and jaded and you wear leather jackets and fair-trade high heels. I love you because you teach yoga and physics and you know how to sew. I love you because you work at Jamba Juice and lobby in congress and make your own clothes. I love you because you suck at video games, because you grew up on food stamps, because your parents paid for your surgery. I love the songs you write and the jokes you tell. I love you when you’re HIV positive! When you’re in prison! And when you die! I love you when you’re scared and when you’re proud; when you’re bored and when you’re bleeding. I love you because I don’t have to love you or even like you. I love you because I can disagree with you, be devalued by you, and be offended by you. I love you because we can come from such different worlds that I actually hate you. I love you because you’re just as human as I am and I love the shit out of you!
I just viewed a silly NBC slideshow on Comic Con (there sure were costumes huh!) because the image associated with it was of Homestuck cosplayers, but they didn’t mention them specifically. It made me realize that I really want to read a mainstream journalist trying to figure out Homestuck.
from now on when authors insist on describing people as having “perfect cheekbones” I am going to mentally add “TO KILL” or maybe “FOR THE JOB” and envision every normatively beautiful character as having a face ridged with razor-sharp bone spikes
dang, last two otherwise totally lovely social engagements ended in shit gender encounters. the first was uncomfortable but just kind of amusing, this dude couldn’t wrap his head around buying pink stuff for a baby boy. but last night there was someone being openly cruel to a transgender person not present and the only other person in the room who knew the person not present was trying to diffuse the situation and the host made a point of apologizing to me before I left but, you know. me from six months ago is all up in my brain like “this is why we don’t leave the house”
don’t know what to do with unresolved horror/anger gonna listen to hip hop and write some fucking books I guess
is there a word for the feeling of gratitude towards the universe that “Somebody That I Used To Know” came out after you’d moved on from That Particular Situation Which It Perfectly Fits Oh My God You Don’t Even Know and you don’t have to live with constant reminders/playlist regrets
Internet stranger hugs if you’d like them. And a request for lesbian romance novel recs if you have the time;)
Thanks for the hugs, though I of all people will be fine. When I say “lesbian romance novel” it should be known I don’t mean “heart-warming adult love story” or even “smutty paperback the flap copy of which ends with ellipses e.g. ‘but when she meets gorgeous, free-spirited Jane, her whole wold turns upside down…’ or ‘but the beautiful stranger she met at the library is about to teach her more than the dewey decimal system….’”, I pretty exclusively mean “YA W/GIRL KISSES”. I actually had a conversation with a co-worker recently who was trying to put together a romance staff picks that wasn’t all straight people. We had trouble thinking of a single book for adults that centers a not-straight romance - not coming out, not custody battles, not hate crimes, disease or otherwise tragic death - and, like, of course I understand why all of those books are important but it represents this gulf of difference in options, both in entertainment we’re supposed to create and enjoy and futures we’re supposed to envision, caused by heteocentrism but anyway I’m sure someone has written about this better than I have. TO THE BOOKS
Annie on My Mind is the book I read in secret when I fell in love with a girl in high school and it ripped me up and put me back together and who knows if it was even good, I still think it was but I haven’t read it in ten years, in any case it is a romance in the sweet will-they-won’t-they meaning and nothing will ever make me embarrassed about loving it
The one I just finished reading was The Difference Between You and Me which was not actually the romance I thought it was going to be, though it has some of the hottest make out scenes I’ve ever read. I do really like that it is about a lesbian, and she and her queer friends deal with a realistic amount of bigotry, but they are not angsting about coming out for three hundred pages, it is just sort of an expository fact and they are busy Doing Things, envisioning complex futures, etc.
The master of YA W/Girl Kisses is Malinda Lo, who to my delight also does mostly genre (fantasy/sci-fi). She wrote Ash, a beautiful retelling of Cinderella with a queer girl of color main character. The language is lush and fairy-tale perfect and gosh I just like it a lot. I have yet to read her follow-up set in the same universe, Huntress, but there’s magic and kissing so I really should. She’s got a new one coming out this fall, Adaptation, if sci-fi’s more your thing you should look into that one. She also has a recommended reading list on her site and did a blog series on queer YA which was great. I’m just glad Malinda Lo exists.
I’m open to y’all’s reccs too! especially interested if you know any books with GENDERQUEER KISSES
It is fucked up that people are ascribing death threats to “social justice” Tumblrs. I find it highly unlikely that anyone involved in Tumblr criticism of Laci Green sent her those threats, especially since criticism of cis white* lady bloggers tends to grind to a halt after such threats and the original critics inevitably get blamed for making them and have abuse heaped upon themselves.
It is fucked up that she perpetuated the stereotype of “the Jewish nose” and made light of domestic violence.
It is fucked up that she perpetuated the idea that Islam as a religion is more sexist than any other religion, especially since portraying Islam as especially sexist is one way neocolonialists justify stealing resources from and murdering Muslims.
It is fucked up that she believes the friend zone exists.
It is fucked up that she used t-slurs.
It is fucked up that she used a t-slur in the apology for her original t-slurs.
It is fucked up that bloggers decided they were going to police the way she talked about her own body and her own health and label her “fatphobic” for refusing to conform to their terms. I’m a fuck of a lot fatter than Laci Green is, and I want no part of a “fat acceptance” movement that treats people like this.
It is fucked up that some people heard about the death threats and rushed to validate the emotions and feelings of the person who sent them. I believe this is called “abuse culture.”
It is fucked up that activists on Tumblr spend half their time explaining that the culture we live in constantly bombards people with negative, oppressive beliefs about marginalized groups and the other half acting like people are being intentionally malicious when they regurgitate them.
It is fucked up that people have so thoroughly thwarted the “tone argument” that they get away with vicious, hateful bullshit.
It is fucked up that strangers can pretend they hate Laci Green. They can’t. They can hate what she did, they can hate her actions or her words, they can even hate what she has come to represent in the blogging community. But they don’t know Laci Green. They have a list of fucked-up things she’s done and said over the course of 3 years. That doesn’t recreate a human life.
It is fucked up that someone threatened her and set out to make her feel unsafe.
It is fucked up how routine threats and abuse are on Tumblr, especially toward POC and QPOC.
It is fucked up how routinely Tumblr staff has demonstrated their commitment to ignoring this abuse unless it is leveled at the white people who use their platform.
It is fucked up how unlikely this incident is to change that and how likely it is that it will get worse.
All of these things are fucked up. No one deserves to be silenced, on either side, not by confabulated complicity with the actions of one person and not BY the actions of that one person.
My ask box is open, anon is on; you can also reach me at garland [at sign] garlandgrey [round punctuation] com. All questions regarding my qualms with Fat Acceptance, as a person who is classified as “obese” by the American Medical Establishment, will take a little longer as I will be writing all my responses on my big, fat body.
*I know that Laci has mentioned her father is Iranian but I’ve never seen her identify as anything but white. I will gladly modify this post if I am wrong about that.
Phew, I finished my lesbian romance novel not five minutes ago and signed on to tumblr and this was the first thing about Laci Green I saw. Thank you Garland for hitting all of these angles and treating everyone involved like humans. I think I am ready to be on the internet again
Rory: waits for 2000 years sitting by a rock, knowing he has to wait for 2000 years. Amy: waits for 36 years in a place designed to entertain, thinking she will be saved any minute Rory: Amy, I love you. Amy: Don’t fucking even touch me.
NOOOOOOO. rory chose to wait, knowing full-well what he was getting into! amy was abandoned in a place where things were constantly trying to kill her!!!! in the doctor’s wife, when house made rory think he’d been abandoned by amy for a thousand years or whatever, he was an angry asshole when amy found him, too!!!!!!! i wish rorylove wasn’t always so compounded with amyhate bubugnnghhh
wait what, I was so confused as to what the OP’s point was. how is knowing you have to wait less traumatic than expecting to be rescued at any moment? how is not knowing why no one has come for you not the worst thing. I do not watch Doctor Who but let me tell you, abandonment, even when incidental: it is fucking traumatic
Queer events rarely have a strong showing of trans women. There are many reasons: historical exclusion, present day exclusion, ineffectively promoted inclusion, and sometimes it’s just not worth the $10 or $20 door fee to gamble whether or not everyone there will ignore you.
So I’ve worked with a few queer events. Try to make them more explicitly inclusive. Try to get trans women visibly involved. This has worked to a some degree. However, I have recently discovered a much more effective, dare I say surefire, strategy:
Don’t create a queer event and invite trans women, create a trans women event and invite queers.
This strikes at the heart of some thoughts I’ve been unable to articulate re: organizing and intersectionality and “inclusion” as a flawed concept