Twisted Romance Issue 4 comes out today!
Well, time for another Kickstarter campaign, as it's about time I had some new Pride stories come out!
This campaign is for The Pride Adventures #5, the first collection of brand new stories since the end of volume one, plus we have an incredible guest writer in the form of Sina Grace!
You can support now here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/131616880/the-pride-adventures-5-more-lgbtq-superhero-advent
Please share and support! https://mastodon.social/media/og5VZLb0ez4RrtIlbQY
Also, in looking at folktales, the sentiment is largely that it's very silly to find the One True Origin of these stories. The stories are often similar, but they're supposed to tell you more about the values of the people who told the stories than the ins and outs of the actual events of the tale. All variants are valid.
Ultimately, I'm figuring out that, like, it's okay to just enjoy things and let people enjoy things. Survivabillity is the closest thing to an Ultimate Goal in all this thinking. I want folks to be able to pursue their passions and their best selves, and that can be best accomplished by listening, learning, and being comfortable with evolving a little bit all the time. I guess that's all.
I guess I'm kind at Step 5-ish now - Just doing my best to meet people where they are. Being able to think about oppression in terms of thought exercises and theoretical approcahes is helpful to a point and useful to an even smaller point. There's not a perfect, one-size-fits-all way to do it, and I need to always be intentional and considerate about wherever I find myself in my work and the media I consume.
Step 4 - I figure out that I need to get out of my head and do my best to materially support the marginalized folks who are making work where I can find it. This worked fine up until I realized I was sometimes supporting projects that I didn't quite think were up to snuff just because someone asked, and that there are many, many creators from marginalized backgrounds whose works *are* highly skilled I could support.
Step 3 cont'd: This also drew unfair, arbitrary, and oftentimes oppressive delineations over whose cultural voices were or were not valid over certain topics. It insinuated cultural essentialism and a bit of nationalism, which did not include people who occupy liminal marginalized identities. It passes over biracial people, diasporic immigrants, etc. The pursuit of "Only the most Genuine Voice" is problematic because it reifies the erasure of people who have been culturally displaced.
Step 3 - This is the Hashtag OwnVoices Step where in an effort to figure out a way around cultural misappropriation and trying to give marginalized folks room to tell their own stories, I end up pigeonhole marginalized writers into writing about themselves and aspects of themselves without recognizing that maybe they just want to write a fun thriller or pursue their own passions outside of being educators on social issues.
Step 2 - I realize that, actually, industry representation is poor, and that often creators with mostly good intentions who occupy hegemonic spaces still systemically benefit the most from their industries, and that sometimes media representation doesn't always materially benefit people of color, women, queer folks, disabled folks, etc.
Step 1 - I started kinda centering on fictional representation. Asian American cartoon characters like Jubilee were a huge deal to me, and I guess I developed an understanding that it's important to see yourself exist in the popular imagination. It's affirming, particularly for young people, but it doesn't often consider the IRL people behind the fiction.
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