morgandawn: (Art Noveau Blue)
[personal profile] morgandawn
Posted in full at: at May 05, 2016 at 11:21AM

I consider myself to be a “middle era” slash fan. I entered slash fandom in the early 1990s at a time where queer activism was rising and the Internet was just taking off. By then slash fandom had a good 20 years already under its belt. But even in the 1990s, if you were gay and/or into slash, it was something you kept hidden from other fans until you were sure you’d be welcomed. Many women lived in fear of being outed to their families, children, employers or churches. And some were outed with predictable consequences. A lot of this is detailed on Fanlore:

In my days of new-to-fandom, there was not much online slash fandom and few opportunities to find a slash community. If you posted about slash on Usenet, you were harassed. I was desperate to find slash fans and I located an old school Star Trek fan club in my area. I was welcomed by the group, invited into the club presidents home and offered a place at the table: but only if I could assure them I was not one of those filthy slashers. I said nothing and needless to say I did not return. Thankfully I found a slash mailing list (Virgule-L) and then the Internet happened and things changed.

Years later I ran into an early Star Trek fanzine publisher who told me that when she started publishing her slash zines in the 1980s, members of her local fan group had to swear they would not order the zine or take part in its production. Slash fanzine publishers were forced to stop selling their zines at fan conventions. Fans reported slash zine publishers to customs. Zines were seized by customs and fans had to explain in person why they were importing pornography. A fan in South Africa could not risk buying a slash zine, so the zine publisher and her friends mailed the fan 15 pages at a time, each from a different address. It is not surprising that many of the slash stories written and published in that era were written under a pseudonym. So persistent were the anti-slash fans, that after decades of being confronted with the same objections to slash over and over again, that slash fans wrote The Generic Slash Defense Letter.

The acceptance of slash within fandom has gradually lifted across fandom communities - but not everywhere and not for everyone. And the echoes of these incidents is something that many of us from that time - and the people who came immediately after us - still carry in their individual and collective consciousness. I look back now and shake my head in wonder. I also look to fandom today with gratitude that slash has become more accepted. And I look forward to tomorrow with the hope that we continue accepting it and the fans who read and write it.

Tags:fandom history, slash history, fandom meta, Star Trek history, DWCrosspost
Tumblr post (this is likely a reblog, and may have more pictures over there)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-05-06 04:04 pm (UTC)
kass: Ray Kowalski ponders. (RayK thinking)
From: [personal profile] kass
I love these fannish history posts -- thank you for making them. It's a fascinating reminder that even though I came to fandom on the trail of the killers of my father not too long after you did (1999), the prevailing culture was already shifting.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-05-07 01:23 pm (UTC)
dkwilliams: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dkwilliams
I have to do a facepalm when people try to say that slash fans never faced problems. I came into fandom about the same time (1996) and I distinctly recall the hate mail and derision on the usenet communities for slash, and heavy forbid if you did something really horrible like mild kink (lets not even mention BDSM or MPreg!). While I am pleased to see more openness in fandom now, we can't forget that it wasn't always this good.


morgandawn: (Default)

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