Emilie linked to a really interesting post the other day about the impact of slash fic. Both the article and the comments made some very good and thought provoking points, but one of the number of things that struck me whilst reading was the use of the word ‘allies’ to describe the relationship between slash fic and m/m romance authors and readers and members of the gay community.
I have to admit it’s a term I am uncomfortable with. It makes me squirm a bit whenever I see it used, and I hope you will bear with me as I try to articulate why.
Let me say from the outset I am in no way trying to denigrate the good intentions behind the use of the term nor am I saying the fight for the rights of the GLBT communities is over because it is very clearly not.
I also realise the word ‘allies’ has historically been used in human and civil rights movements to acknowledge allegiances and common goals between different groups.
But does that make it an appropriate term to use in this particular context?
To me, it would mean that the whole intention of slash fic and m/m romance is primarily to support gay rights.
Now there is absolutely no doubt in my mind reading such stories has made many people, myself included, more aware of the multitude of issues facing GLBT communities around the world, which is a bloody fantastic outcome.
Can it really be said, though, that this awareness has paid forward into real life where authors and readers; those not already involved, are being more active in their support of GLBT issues?
I just don’t know if that is true or not. If it is than it is unbelievably awesome, but if it’s not…
It is this thought which is at the heart of my uneasiness about the word allies.
Have you ever thought about the use of the term allies in association with the m/m romance community? Maybe it doesn’t bother you or maybe you haven’t seen it before?
I’d be really interested to hear what you think… in a don’t-be-rude-and-piss-me-off-and-make-me-do-voodoo-on-you way. 😉