The article can be found HERE.
Image: Hannah Burton/Bustle
I've just had a piece published in Bustle on the queer nostalgia of reading LGBTQ+ YA fiction as an adult. Check it out if you, like me, were a teen of the 90s and if you love reading LGBTQ+ YA and discovering new books as well as reminiscing about old favourites. Remember Judy Blume and Sweet Valley High? Yep, they get a mention.
The article can be found HERE.
Queerbaiting is a complicated topic with nuances which take some significant space to grapple with in detail. There are concerns with linking shipping with LGBTQ+ activism, complexities around drawing a distinction between queerbaiting and homoerotic subtext, discourse around why certain pairings become such fandom behemoths and arguments which suggest investment in shipping those characters pushes shows with plenty of LGBTQ+ visibility to the margins. Then of course there's the issue of ace erasure and a desire for more platonic male intimacy in pop culture in general.
Despite these complexities I attempt to reframe the debate in this short piece for The Mary Sue, with reference to a simple bugbear of mine. Why does desire for romantic endgames for same-sex pairings get side-eyed, when the same is rarely true when people hope for a romantic culmination to the story arcs of an opposite sex pairing? What does assumed heterosexuality of mainstream television characters and arguments which insist a character is 'straight' tell us about a general lack of LGBTQ+ diversity in television, bierasure and heteronormativity in the mainstream?
The article can be found HERE.
Lee Roberts cosplaying as Mr Clever from Doctor Who episode Nightmare in Silver
Image: Juarez Films and Photography
Well, it's been a much busier December than anticipated. With the holidays, a PhD proposal and a chapter for a Harry Potter book to submit, lots of overdue fanfiction and two assessed essays to work on, I haven't found as much time for my blog as I had hoped. However, I did have the pleasure of recently of writing for The Mary Sue on Cosplay, Drag and the Transformative Nature of Living Out Your Fandom.
A very happy 2017 to you all.
1 December marks World AIDS Day and this book remains one of my favourite pieces of YA fiction that tackles the subject of the AIDS pandemic. It has a unique narrative voice and it brings two different generations together in a poetic, powerful and poignant way.
Full review can be found HERE.
I've thoroughly enjoyed the first season of Netflix Original series Stranger Things. If you would like to read my queer perspectives on and initial thoughts you can find my review HERE.
PUBLICATION UPDATE: Since posting these rough early thoughts, my analysis has been updated and expanded to take into account Season 2. That analysis, 'AIDS, Homophobia and the Monstrous Upside Down' has been published in an edited collection Uncovering Stranger Things: Essays on Eighties Nostalgia, Innocence and Cynicism in the Series (2018, ed. Kevin J. Wetmore). You can buy the book from Amazon HERE.
Over the last couple of months when I wasn't tearing my hair out over the state of British politics or getting ready for my move to Yorkshire in early June, I was working on a number of panels and a paper for Leviosa 2016. For those of you who don't live and breathe Harry Potter fandom like I do, Leviosa is a fan convention with lots of academic and fannish content which took place in Las Vegas this July. Together with focusing on Harry Potter canon, the programming schedule also included plenty of fannish content, talks by YA authors and discussions about the contemporary YA market. The schedule featured a number of multi-fandom panels and meet-ups - Marvel, Sherlock, Inception were all popular alternatives. I was fortunate enough to have a number of proposals accepted as part of the programming. So, on 5 July I flew into LA and on 6 July I embarked on the four plus hour drive to Las Vegas and The Green Valley Ranch, where the convention was held.
In anticipation of Looking: The Movie which premiers at 10PM on 23 July 2016 on HBO, I discuss why I am a big fan of the original television series, Looking, and my expectations for the upcoming film. I also discuss the inevitable comparisons between Looking and Queer as Folk and touch briefly on the burden of responsibility which critics and fans place on LGBTQ+ television.
You can read the full piece HERE.
This week's massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando was a direct attack on LGBTQ+ people and predominately queer people of colour. The bars which have provided a safe space for generations of LGBTQ+ people were violated again. Again, because it is not the first time these spaces have come under threat. LGBTQ+ spaces are constantly under threat from closure, but as recent events have highlighted, the threat of violence also remains. Whether people attack with bombs like the nail bomb at Soho's Admiral Duncan pub in England, firearms like those used in the Pulse shooting in America, or their fists because individuals dare to hold hands walking down the street or kiss in public.
I discuss why I think we still need LGBTQ coming out and coming of age stories and why 'issues' based YA still matters.
READ DISCUSSION HERE
One of the reasons I am so personally invested in the issues covered on this site and the LGBT experiences featured in much of the literature and media I enjoy is related to my personal story, intrinsically part of me and core to my identity. This isn't new information for many of you but for those of you are new to me, this blog or those I haven't spoken to for some time, I am bisexual and this is my coming out on my blog post.
Why bother writing this at all? Simply because I've learned that seeing your experiences reflected whether on television, film or in writing, is an important part of figuring yourself out. I'm writing this in the hope that I can say something that will resonate with one person. Perhaps you're someone who I know already or one of those strangers that's a friend I haven't met. Hi, if you're out there. Awesome to meet you, or (maybe) good to see you again.