You know what’s the worst thing about being a trans girl who loves magical girls? It’s that they’ll sooner let boys be the heroes than ever consider you for it, and oh, you’ll fucking lap it up anyway.
The Sailor Starlights. Not talking about them though, but I do have some complicated feelings about them.
Although we’re still on the topic of magical girls, I’ll be going on a tangent and mentioning other things that aren’t magical girl. In fact, that’s how I’ll start this off.
Okay, so I recently read Pretty Killers: Diamonds and it caused me to dwell on certain things for, like, more than a week and I’m trying to organise it all into something coherent.
I was really excited when I came across the Pretty Killers series of novels. In case it isn’t clear from my writing about Sailor Moon before, I love magical girls, and these books promised to be about a socially conscious magical girl adventure with a black protagonist in a team of mostly girls of colour. Well, most or all Japanese magical girl stuff have all-girls of colour teams unless they get whitewashed in the US dubs, but I assume this meant a more diverse racial make-up and that’s always cool. Plus, a free e-book version was up on the site so I could read it first and, when I’m able to impulsively buy things, support an author who writes fantasy stories with heroes who aren’t molded from the cracker cutter.
You know what? I’m glad I couldn’t impulsively buy when I heard of these books. I try not to pay for anything looking to take a shit on me.
With all that business about the Best Sailor Venus Cosplay Ever, Triple J mentioning the Sailor Starlights in the most recent episode of Brain Food, and my own posting on the issue of whitewashing and dubs, how can I ever hope to stop having Sailor Moon on my mind.
Just kidding. I always have Sailor Moon on my mind.
I love the anime for a variety of reasons, and one of them is –you guessed it– the romances. Using only my memory, I can identify four significant romantic relationships throughout the five seasons of the anime. While all of them are flawed, it is pretty notable that the queer relationships make up the majority of all the romances.
While I will be focusing on the anime, I would also be making a few references to the manga to perhaps give things more of a perspective.
Firstly, let’s start with the headlining romance. Spoilers are sure to follow.
Ladies, I have questions. May I have a moment of your time please?
So for Clarion Write-a-thon, I’ve been knocking out a lot of writing projects. I just finished a book which I’m currently editing. I’m working on an outline for a publisher. I’m about to work on my next project which I’ve developed.
An action-packed SF/F story, it’s a predominantly female merc crew with a queer black heroine as the central protagonist. In fact, I envision said heroine resembling the lovely and talented Ms. India Arie in the above pic. This is a diverse team that features other women of color, a protagonist of size, as well as a trans heroine. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that even with most women-centric stories, women of color, particularly black women, are often thrown under the bus and that’s definitely something that never sat well with me. The story is loosely based on an old comic book script I previously wrote. Think a female Expendables meets Birds of Prey in a dystopian setting.
So my question to the women is this. In an action packed book where the ladies take center stage, what would you like to see more of from writers and what would you like writers to avoid? I basically want to hear your thoughts so I can know what to bear in mind while writing the story.
Your comments can also serve as a great resource for other male writers who genuinely want to do it right. While many of us know to avoid the major tropes and fails, there may be a few elements that we haven’t considered.
Women of color and queer women, I especially want to hear from you. Thank you for your time.
In addition, I’ve received reports from friends and colleagues that more than a few comic book stores have banned the gay comic books in question. I’m not surprised by this as the same crap happened when Batwoman and Kevin Keller debuted a few years back.
And I’m not going to even mention how many times comics featuring black heroes conveniently don’t get ordered at many comic book stores.
However I would like to respond to this matter.
So for those of you out there who are immensely outraged at the thought of anything remotely gay or find gay content painful to view, please allow me to assuage your concerns:
A few months ago, four POC novelists held a round table discussion which tackled the challenges that authors of color have to face in both the publishing industry as well as the media in general in terms of race, gender and orientation.
With diversity in media, in particularly in terms of queer content, an LGBTQ-themed round table was recently conducted. This time it was opened up to playwrights, comic book creators and artists of various storytelling mediums.
Participants submitted questions and topics they wanted to address. What was interesting reading the responses while composing this round table. The participants only saw their own responses, so the answers often made for fascinating reads. With an eclectic mix of writers from very different backgrounds, sometimes there would be seven vastly different answers and in certain instances, the answers were unanimous and almost verbatim.
One thing was certain, this was definitely a conversation that has been long overdue, and certainly one that needs to continue.
Sorry for the long absence between posts — and thanks to all the posters new and familiar who continue to do completely awesome and eye-opening things while I’m off in the wilds of conference planning and manuscript editing. I’m making up for the lost time by writing an extra-long post — aren’t you excited?
Earlier today, romance blog Dear Author posted a news item that m/m romance author AJ Llewellyn — oh, what was the delicate phrasing they used? — “admits adopting male persona despite being female.”
Over at Sociological Images, there’s an article about media depictions of trans people. Go ahead and read it. I’ll wait.
Now that you’ve read it, you have a pretty good idea of exactly what’s wrong with the way most media portrays trans people. Instead of going into how fucked up it is (which is readily available via this miracle of modern living called Google), let’s make a wishlist for what we want to see more of in media representations of trans people.
So, readers, what would be on your trans depiction wishlist?
So there’s a popular internet meme going around online entitled We Love The Women Fandom Hates. It celebrates female characters that aren’t usually well-received by fandom.It’s a nifty concept and I’m glad that so many have taken to it.
In the spirit of that, I wanted to also show some love and celebrate the women fandom hates.
One group in particular, black women.
It’s no secret that characters of color, well people of color in general (artists, authors, actors, etc.) are regularly on the receiving end of the worst kind of racist and misogynistic denigration.
One group in particular, black women.
Anyone who has participated in fandom knows the type of disgusting hatred that the characters and the actresses who portray Tara from True Blood, Guinevere from Merlin and Dr. Martha Jones from Doctor Who regularly receives.
And there’s a reason for that.
Beautiful, sexy, intelligent, extraordinary, these goddesses are feared and despised because of the power they wield. Society constantly hurls shade at black women because of the phenomenal light that they shine.
So this post is not only a celebration of the nubian heroines who made me proud to call them my sisters but black women, period. This post is a tribute featuring a few of my favorite black female characters and actresses who brought the awesome back to fandom. This is also my way of saying thank you to all of the phenomenal nubian goddesses who have blessed and enriched my life over the years.