- September 2nd, 2010
Okay so at 12:30 A.M., while surfing the Internet, I found this thread from fanfiction forums that read along the lines of anti-yaoi/anti-yuri. A mixture of curiosity and intrigue plus the hopes for some good laughs led me to read the thread. Shouldn't have ignored that little alarm in my head.
It wasn't so much funny as much as it was uncomfortable. They were listing mainly slash pairings they hated and reasons as to why hated them. It was funny in the sense that it sounded like a bunch of angry teenagers whining (which I think it is actually). It was uncomfortable in the sense you could really tell that these people HATED yaoi and yuri. I'm a pretty sheltered child, and most of the people I meet at least tolerate homosexuality (eased by reasons like "they can't really help it.") And though I knew there are people who just can't take homosexuality, it was a little overwhelming to have so many in one place, expressing detest for it. The hate waves were radiating from my computer.
As a person who supports homosexuality, my first response was, of course, to see these people as haters and intolerant pricks. I texted my friend, saying that "I would love to post on the forum and mess with some of these people." About 3 minutes later, I texted, "Oh... Someone beat me to it."
It was interesting to read the back and forth between pro-homo and anti-homo though it made my stomach curl a little with discomfort. Their argument quickly dissolved into name-calling and meaningless jabs aimed to hurt the pride of the other person. It's times like those when you wonder whether humanity can really survive much longer. Not because they have opposing beliefs, but because their rigid faith in their opposing beliefs quickly lead to animosity. These two people probably have never met each other face to face, but they probably scowl every time they see the other's screenname. They barely know anything about the other except their philosophies in sexuality, and they hate each other's guts.
I support homosexuality. I don't think I'm specifically gay. About four years ago, a yaoi pairing wouldn't have appealed to me but I didn't mind that my closest friends were fans. Three years ago, I had a thought, "Well... What about this pairing for an OTP?" It included two guys. About a year ago, I realized that my list of favorite pairings included a lot of yaoi. Four days ago I was counting off my favorite pairings: 40% Yaoi 60% Het.
By nature (mostly asian nature), I was trying to be considerate of both sides and remain as non-biased as possible as I read. It was difficult and I found myself leaning towards pro-gay. It's not like I'm a robot and can shut off my personal beliefs. Both had good standard points before it went down the proverbial toilet.
Pro-gay wasn't particularly good at arguing. The argument had split into four different venues before I had stopped reading out of disgust for both sides: 1) Whether an anti-gay thread should morally exist; 2) The legitimacy of yaoi/yuri in fandom/fanfiction; 3) Is being gay unnatural? 4) who's more stupid/immature: you or me?
I'm not going to address the fourth topic. But I'm interested in the first three.
1) Whether an anti-gay thread should morally exist:
Anti-gay said that it was within his/her right to be in a group that disliked and bashed yaoi. I couldn't argue against that. Even if I think things like racism and discrimination are horrible, I'll still agree grudgingly that they have the right to form groups that support that. They have as much right as anyone else to express their opinion because they're human too.
Pro-gay accused Anti-gay of being discriminatory and close-minded. While I kind of agree with the close-minded assessment, the accusation was actually pretty hypocritical. The reason Pro-gay was posting on that forum was because she was close-minded to anti-gay sentiments. Pro-gay's accusation is double edged sword. The only way a person could be truly open-minded is if they were tolerant of both pro-gay and anti-gay sentiments.
I know that seems like nitpickiness but it is true. Not just a technicality. Pro-gay was hating on Anti-gay's beliefs, so that makes her just as close-minded as Anti-gay.
I'm not sure if it's moral for that thread to exist. I mean it all depends on point of view. I, myself, am not comfortable with the amount of hate radiating out of that thread and the hints at disgust for people who are homosexual or support homosexuality. However, what I am sure of is that unless that group is harming people it has the right to exist. I don't personally like it because it's close-minded, kind of like bobble-heads nodding and encouraging each other without a thought for the other side. But I couldn't really respect myself if I tried to close down that thread and tried to oppress their opinions because they're anti-gay.
2) The legitimacy of yaoi/yuri in fandom/fanfiction
This is mostly a question of what's canon and what isn't, why do people fangirl/fanboy over yaoi, what is the definition of "completely fucked up." Basically this all the teenage whining I heard.
Is yaoi canon? Haha, I kind of find this funny because I had this debate with my best friend when we were twelve using SasuNaru as an example. Surprisingly we were not calling each other faggots and close-minded assholes at the end of it. Rather we kept level heads and never reached an agreement.
My friend is an avid fan of SasuNaru. I'm more of a NaruHina fan. When we were twelve, we were constantly butting heads with pairings (though we often reached mutual agreements). We were arguing for our respective pairings when my friend said "SasuNaru is totally canon!" which led to a very long argument. Even now, several years later, we don't agree on this point.
The question is what is canon? Is canon what you see on screen, free for you to interpret, or is it what the author intended (and in the case of the latter, how do you know that's what the author intended.)
My beliefs fluctuate between the two pretty often. For example, though I see where my friend sees SasuNaru, I think it isn't really canon because Kishi meant for them to be brothers. (I assume the direct statement of Naruto calling Sasuke a brother would suffice as proof.) However, I believe 8059 for Reborn is pretty canon because their relationship is very love-hate and their sexuality is dubious. It's not consistent and I'm not being fair doing that, but I honestly can't help it.
But the question really is "does canon really matter in fandom?"
No, I don't believe it does. That's where the joy of fandom comes from. Anything can happen. Heck my favorite pairing right now in Naruto is Sasuhina! Does anyone seriously think that would work? That is so far from canon. Guess what? I like Dramione. Probably would never happen. I like 802759. Gasp! But Tsuna is supposed to be with Kyoko and those are Tsuna's best friends! That's what Amano Akira wants. Who cares!? I LIKE 802759.
I don't like that argument, "it sucks because it doesn't follow canon." If fanfiction always followed canon, we would seriously be lacking in variety. And it's not like canon-stories don't exist.
Which reminds me that Anti-gay said that he/she thought making the characters gay was OOC and deterred from their reading enjoyment. Honestly, this one of 3 or 4 points that I completely disagree with. I certainly hope a character is not DEFINED by their sexuality. Amazingly enough being gay does NOT change your personality. In fact some of the best characterization of Naruto is in a Sasunaru fic, NOT NaruHina. I felt this was a very shallow argument and a poor point that was a cover up for Anti-gay's homophobic sentiments (and Anti-gay did admit that he/she dislike homosexuality so that is not an accusation but fact).
So why do fangirls and fanboys like yaoi and yuri? Well I can't speak for everyone, but I tend to form yaoi pairings because the bond of the main pairing that the author designed is usually very weak and almost unrealistic compared to other possible bonds. Like I'm going to take XXXHolic for an example. According the Clamp, Watanuki is in love Himawari. Honestly though, who is he closer to: Himawari or Doumeki? I swear if you tried to feed me that it's Himawari, I will assume that your reading skills are a little deficient. In any case, anyone could tell Watanuki is closer to Doumeki (how is up to you). But it's a lot easier for me to imagine a relationship between Doumaki and Watanuki rather than Watanuki and Himawari. Thus I form a new yaoi OTP.
What is the definition of "completely fucked up"? While the phrase was not used word for word in any comment, it was very easy to read between the lines that these people held the belief that all the yaoi/yuri fans are fucked up in the head for liking it. While I don't mind them saying they don't like yaoi and yuri, to insult the people who do like it is really just unacceptable. That's where closemindedness, intolerance, and douchebaggery really shines. As a pro-gay person, I understand why Pro-gay felt the need to post on that forum. It's as any five year old who got into a fight would explain to his mother.
"He started it first!"
3) Is Homosexuality unnatural?
Of course, it all boils down to this question. A fitting end I guess.
I know the arguments for the question. Yes it is unnatural, they say, there's a reason it takes a man and a woman to procreate.
Some people who don't necessarily support or defame homosexuality sometimes say, "gay people don't really have a choice. It's biological." While that's possibly true, I don't like how those people make it sound like homosexuality is a disease.
The following is my own opinion. Homosexuality is not unnatural and it's not a disease. You love who you love, and there's nothing unnatural about that. Actually homosexuality happens in nature. There are many examples of animals taking partners of the same gender: swans, lions, penguins, dolphins, bisons, lizards, dragonflies, and a hell of a lot more. In our own history, taking a lover of the same gender was realtively common. Read on Greece (don't just watch those gory movies). In the classical era, they didn't divide society by distinctions in sexuality. Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps sexuality is just a division made up by human society like race and wealth.
Well honestly I'm done. I feel like I wrote an essay. And I'm tired. I started writing at 12:47 and now it's 3:27. I'm ranted out. Later!