“You people and your categories.”

As a member of the Outer Alliance, I advocate for queer speculative fiction and those who create, publish and support it, whatever their sexual orientation and gender identity. I make sure this is reflected in my actions and my work.

The Outer Alliance is a recently-launched LGBT organization for speculative fiction. Depending on which bits of the Internet you play around in, you may be seeing that paragraph a lot in the next day or so, as this has been designated a Pride Day to advertise the organization’s existence.

I have to admit, on the whole, I’ve been more an audience for queer spec fic (or fic of any kinds) than a producer of it. A little victory dance happens inside me every time I see this stuff depicted non-pejoratively in media, because that’s at least half the battle: on one hand you pass the laws, and on the other you have Captain Jack Harkness. In the long run, it’s going to be the kids who grew up watching TV shows and movies and reading books and comics where queerness is accepted who really win the war. Queerness will look about as transgressive to them as women wearing pants does to us.

But of course somebody has to produce those texts, and homosexuality (let alone transgenderism etc) is still pretty thinly represented in SF/F. I’ve done a bit of it, though not enough. Deeds of Men was the cause of my favorite crit-group statement ever: “The sodomy was good!” “A Mask of Flesh” features a xera, a being that actually changes sex based on its long-term mood; there’s another one in “Chrysalis,” set in the same world, who has attained a state of spiritual balance, such that ome exists as a bilateral hermaphrodite. Unfortunately, “Chrysalis” is indicative of most of my other queer-content stories, in that it’s currently awaiting revision before I can send it out. “Love, Cayce” includes a lesbian relationship at one point, and “Remembering Light” confirms something hinted at in “Driftwood,” which is that Last has had relationships with other men. (The broader truth is that, when you’re the only survivor of your world for untold yonks of time, you have lots of relationships of all kinds. He’s no Jack Harkness, sleeping with anything that will stop long enough for him to smile at it/her/him/them/other, but he’s gotten around.)

Basically, this is something that has gotten onto my radar in the relatively recent past, and I’m trying to incorporate it into my work, but I’m producing fewer short stories than I used to and a bunch of the ones I have written aren’t on the market right now, which means the effect of me thinking about it isn’t very visible yet. Still, it’s better than the nothing I had before. And if you follow that top link, you’ll find a post with a kisquillion links to other people’s work, many of them more prolific than I am.

0 Responses to ““You people and your categories.””

    • Marie Brennan

      The title of the post comes from him. And however ridiculously soap-operaish Torchwood can be, I do love the resolutely open approach it takes to its characters’ sexuality.

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