Hello again! It’s been a really long time since my first post back in November. Since I lack any viable commentary on important issues, allow me to instead regale you with some of my nerdier interests…
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been more seriously considering the effect that science fiction and fantasy in books and games have all been pretty influential on my understanding of LGBT issues. I know it sounds a bit strange, considering that those are fields that have had traditional grounds in the heterosexual white guy demographic but I know that it was in those genres that I first even came across LGBT characters and stories.
Growing up, I definitely didn’t get that there were non-straight folks. I mean, my best friend as a kid had the two most awesome aunts ever who I always thought were sisters. So when these books that I loved started to deal with these LGBT characters, I was both totally embarrassed at my ignorance and really curious.
Part of what helped this curiosity along was when I was thirteen or so, I started reading books by this woman, Elizabeth Bear. Her characters fall all over the spectrums of gender and sexuality and represented viewpoints that I had never considered before but started to increasingly identify with. By looking for more books like hers, I found an entire subset of stories in a genre I already loved. I could see that there had to exist other people who had feelings that were like mine and that they were leading normal and fulfilling lives (saving the galaxy, riding around in Victorian airships, etc).
Flash forward to present day. Over Christmas break, I was playing an RPG* with my younger brother that lets you pursue romances with characters regardless of gender. I got to spend three glorious weeks arguing with him over which character was the best romance option and he got to rub it in my face that when I went back to school, he got to play through again to romance the elf assassin guy with his dude archer character. Our shared interest in fantasy and games had let me see that whenever I do finally get around to coming out to my family, my brother is probably going to be a non-issue.
Eventually I would like to write a post with more thoughtful analysis behind whatever I’m starting to get at here, but for now any other nerds out there with similar stories?
*We were playing Dragon Age: Origins, for the curious.