July 1st, 2010

Paul Neyron rose 2

the monkey gets the women going

There were two questions in Brent Hartinger's Ask the Flying Monkey 6/30 column (http://www.afterelton.com/askmonkey/06-29-2010?page=1%2C0) that got a bunch of women commenting.  One was a question about whether fan fiction was a form of art.  Brent is a published novelist, pretty well known in some YA circles.  To summarize greatly, his answer was, "No."  The link is above if you want his full answer, and all the comments it provoked.  Another question was from a sixteen-year-old girl who said her friends told her she was obsessed with gay culture.  This brought a comment from my new online friend Jax and from several other women, including me, twice (so far).  I just use my first name and a 'Maiden's Blush' rose as an avatar.  I've recounted a few times here how I got into reading and editing m/m romance.  I gave the short version of the story there.

There was a new column Dennis Ayers is doing -- I think it's called "Needs More Gay."  This one focused on Japan and had a discussion of yaoi.  It was pretty funny.  It also got a lot of women commenting about yaoi.  Probably at least half the comments about those two columns were from women.  I expect some of the men to say something about women taking over the site.  I don't think they need to worry.  I think this happened to be a day that hit several topics that women are into.  We're not trying to take over.  Some of us are just highly interested in gay culture. 
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mostly soap operas

Reading various blogs and columns on AfterElton, and there were some interesting and/or funny things in the reports.  I like Ed Kennedy's memes.  I don't know if it was the Flying Monkey column of yesterday that also had speculation about the sexual orientation of various celebrities in the comments, or another column -- one column with that in the comments was Gays of Our Lives.  It generally seems to be women saying that this or that celebrity is gay, and the men pointing out that it's just an opinion until the person in question says he is.  Tuesday's speculation centered on Van Hansis, with Mia insisting he was gay, and two or three of the male commenters saying that that was purely speculation.  I thought it could well be the very common (and often wrong) assumption that if a man plays a gay character, he must be gay himself.

Someone came up with photos of Van and a man they insisted was his boyfriend.  I think it helped their case, but didn't prove anything for sure.  Van's played a gay character for several years now, and presumably has had plenty of opportunities to say something.  If he were gay, it would have been nice if he had come out, but perhaps he doesn't want to be typecast, or has other reasons.  Until he says one way or the other, all it is is rumor.

Two cool things along the lines of that assumption that if an actor plays gay, he must be gay.  At some point a few years ago, Jo Weil stopped answering the question of whether he was gay or bisexual himself.  He said that actors never got asked if they were straight when playing a straight role, and that question gave the impression that being gay or bi was abnormal.  I'll look up the exact wording at some point, but I thought that rocked.  Of course, now people assume he's gay.  I put that down to wishful thinking on some people's parts, and that assumption for some.  The other thing I thought was cool: The actor who plays Reid on As the World Turns -- Eric Stevens, I think his name is -- was asked if he'd played a gay role before.  He said he was sure he had at some point.  Apparently, he's done a lot of theater.  I just loved that relaxed attitude about it he had.

Soap operas: (*spoilers*)  Alles Was Zahlt: Deniz was still really sad -- grieving in a way -- and Florian tried to cheer him up.  Florian was also trying to get Deniz to come to the "hockey players auctioning themselves" event.  I don't think Deniz made it.  Keule went for far more than Florian thought he would, with Constanze bidding, then Frau Scholtz putting in the winning bid.  Florian went for a small sum, to Constanze, who said she had lots of furniture for him to assemble, and leaky faucets and other things to fix in her bathroom.  He'd hoped for a movie or dinner.  It sounded like Constanze would get a useful evening from him.  Go, Constanze.  Marian went up on the block, and Jenny bid 1000 Euros for him.  Things between Marian and Jenny are heating up again.  I loved Marian punching Axel when Axel taunted him.  EKP is following the Marian/Jenny storyline, and a good bit of Florian's hockey storyline.  They seem to like having additional Wild in the clips.

Verbotene Liebe: Christian and Olli are finally back.  (Yay!)  They kissed each other a number of times in the episode, which I was happy about and will give Deepdarkmidnight plenty to work with.  Andi's still a little uncomfortable when they kiss in front of him, though he should be used to it by now.  Olli told Rob that he was done working with him, and then when Rob came back to invite Olli to a party, Olli kicked him out of No Limits.  (Yay!)  During that confrontation, Olli said, "The only thing I'm interested in tonight is my bed, with my boyfriend lying beside me."  (Translation by Nanna.)  Rob came back the next day to plant drugs in the bar, and cover for it by apologizing to Olli.  Olli relented and took the apology.  Olli!  Then tomorrow, Rebecca's supposed to see Rob planting the drugs.  Of course, she believes that Rob is a drug dealer, because Christian told her he was.  That just shows how bad that whole storyline was, making Rebecca smarter than Olli.  I'm so glad the whole mess is wrapping up.

In other news, Jessica tried and tried to get the letter Tristan left for Helena.  She'd just gotten it when Helena saw her reading it, and got it from her.  The letter said that he and Jessica had lied, and that Andi was innocent.  It may be too late for Helena to get forgiveness from Andi for not believing him several times.  Jessica may well tell Helena that Tristan's in love with her (Helena).  The actress who plays Jessica plays a trashy, scheming little witch really well.  I'm looking forward to that storyline developing, if Helena really does learn the truth.

I hope Luke and Reid of ATWT are on again soon, and I'm really looking forward to Christian and Olli getting better storylines.  I called D.S., who is back from North Carolina, and she said we could get together in the next couple of weeks.  I said I'd learned a lot more German words, which I have.

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more weird ranting

Teddypig (http://www.teddypig.com) mentioned a new e-book distributor.  I took a look at Rainbow eBooks.  (http://www.rainbowebooks.com/store/)  They had 15 books listed under their lesbian category, with some looking like gay romances instead; 16 books in the bisexual category, including a few menages; 5 books in the transgender category; and 405 books in the gay category.  So it looks like a great place to shop for m/m romance, and perhaps slightly more general gay fiction.  I don't find the ratio to be a terrible problem considering what I mostly read, but I was wondering if the LBT part was token, and it is.  There must be thousands and thousands of books with lesbian content, written by lesbians.  It's too bad the publishing houses which put out lesbian fiction and romance don't seem to be getting into the world of e-books at all.  I'm sure there are plenty of women-loving women who would buy reasonably priced e-books with lesbian or f/f romance.

I am getting weirdly political about the LBT part of GLBT.  Well, no, I've been political about issues that affect queer people across the board for twenty years, and I've learned a lot more about the transgender rights movement in the last few years.  I don't think I've been political on here about lesbian or f/f genre fiction until very recently.  I don't know why I'm focusing on that now.  Maybe I'm just switching focus more towards the bisexual part of "bisexual fag hag," but I think I'm actually pretty balanced with that label.  Maybe it's just seeing the lack in e-books.

I've explained before in various places that I think my interest in m/m romance is just me being queer in one more way.  An interest about romance between women seems like it would be more along lines that people would take as natural for me.  I just don't identify with most female viewpoints.  I like to read romances that have a good male viewpoint or two.  I also like books from the point of view of people who are breaking gender norms.  I've really enjoyed some of the books I've read that had the perspectives of butches and transmen, which again are stories from quite unfeminine viewpoints.  I don't know.  Physically, I like women and men.  Emotionally, I tend to relate to men better.  I guess it is just me.

Despite my own quirks, I think it would be good to have a lot more lesbian and f/f romance available in e-book form.  Women who wouldn't -- might be afraid to -- buy the books in print form would buy e-books if they were priced with Samhain's sort of price range.  That's my strong opinion, anyway.