How about more significant first? I think that's a good idea. I read two articles the other day, found through glockgal
's journal (where I find many of the most thought-provoking and self-improving things), about fandom perceptions and fandom's impact on people's lives. They're very thoughtful, informative, and important. Italicized quotes are from the articles.
iambickilometer on Dreamwidth writes META: Five+ Ways Being Transgender in Fandom Really Sucks, and Why I Stick With It Anyway
The title is self-explanatory, and this article is very well-written, helpful, informative, and ultimately optimistic. I learned a new term: cisgender means a person whose perceived gender conforms their physical sex and society's view of their gender or sexual identity. You know what I want to see in source material? I want to see someone transgendered save the world, and pass while doing it. I want to see the guy win the transgirl. I want the genderqueer person in a position of power, kicking ass, taking names. I want the transguy to live happily ever after. I want to read or watch their stories and think, "Hey, maybe that could be me." I want other people, cisgendered people, to read and watch these stories and think, "Hey, maybe that could be me."bookshop
writes "i know you care for him as much as i do."
The title of this article, some of you may notice, is a line from Sherlock Holmes '09: Mary says it to Holmes about Watson. The article, which I can say reflects pretty much exactly what I think and feel, talks about how slash isn't just a treasure-hunting game, it's what we do to be able to see ourselves in fictional characters when there is a massive dearth of gay protagonists.I don't slash because I like finding and pointing out homoerotic subtext everywhere I can. I slash because the stories I want, I can't have.
[...]I don't want Holmes and Watson, House and Wilson, Merlin & Arthur, Blair and Serena, to make out onscreen because I am a slasher. I don't want it because I can go "aha!" and add that moment to my collection.
I want those main characters to fall in love and make out because it means that fans of their characters will have to come to terms with their gayness, exactly like they would have to do in real life. [...] The most empowering aspect of slash for me is that it takes beloved, known characters, and strips away their heteronormativity. Yeah, countless people have accidentally discovered Harry Potter slash on the internet, and gone "ACK MY EYES" and hit the back button as fast as they can, but that also means that for half an instant, countless people were forced to grapple with the idea that someone they loved was gay, even if that someone was a fictional character. And maybe they didn't get it, but maybe that moment brought them closer to acceptance or tolerance or empathy.
In less significant fandom news, I really really love this manga called The Last Uniform
(Saigo no Seifuku
). The art isn't spectacular, but it really gets better over the first two volumes, and the story is sweet and adorable and full of gentle girl-love in which the characters barely get as far as hugging one another. It's also very much about friendship, between the paired-off couples and between all of the characters, which is a nice change after all of the yuri, shounen-ai, and yaoi that's only about physical desire.
But it seems pretty evident that the third and last volume won't be released in English. *sadface* It's been since 2008 that anyone's mentioned it, and as far as I can tell from the publisher's forums, they were putting it "on hold" then because the first volumes didn't sell well. It's only one more volume! The second ended with a cliffhanger! BWAH! T_T
It appears to be available on the Borders.com website, on backorder, shipping in 2-4 weeks. I don't really trust this, since nowhere else does it say it's been published in English. And the thing is, I would take it in raw Japanese, in scans, anything. But I can't find any scans for volume 3, and my one known resource for Japanese books (www.sasugabooks.com) doesn't have it. Since it was a little obscure three-volume series from 2005, I'm not really surprised, but I had hoped they might be carrying it.
Anybody out there know any other Japanese bookstores I could navigate in English and order from online? Any manga sites that put up scans? I'm woefully ignorant about what's out there for raw scans, and I didn't have any luck searching for scanlations. Woe!
[Edit: For my own reference, Kinokuniya
has the last volume if you search for it using Japanese characters. Not sure how to order yet.]