[GIVEAWAY] SHOW YOUR PROOF

I can’t do much because things (life-wise) are still… not where I want them to be, but I wanted to do a giveaway for 2 copies of the compact version of BTS’ upcoming anthology album, Proof. It makes me feel happier to share the love with fellow ARMY and get a copy to someone who couldn’t afford it at all or would have to choose between it and an essential item. 

So, here’s how to enter:

Comment below with:

  • Something the member you’re most attached to (either your bias, if you have one, or the member you feel you’re the most similar to) has done or said that lives in your head rent free!
  • A moment or memory that made you feel like you’d proven (to yourself/the universe) that you were an ARMY!

(It could be something like “I never miss a Live. When I first got into BTS, I was up at 5AM to watch their lives even though my grasp of Korean sucks” or “I cried so hard when I rewatched their MAMA 2018 acceptance speech… you know, the one”. Something that made you think to yourself “hey, I… I’m really here”)

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Fics That Made Me: May 2022

Why yes, I am making a blog series all about fic that shaped me as a person. I am speed-running my way through this however, so I haven’t attached any warnings or content notes to any of the stories since for some of them, it’s been a while. So I maybe don’t recall what notes or warnings a story requires before recommending! Read carefully if you decide to dive in!


TItle: Glass Houses

Author: Viridian5

Fandom: Weiss Kreuz

Why It Hooked Me: Glass Houses is set near the end of the main Weiss Kreuz series and main character Ran Fujimiya (who takes up his sister Aya’s name while she’s in a coma) loses her at the start of the story, he tries to take his own life. While he’s miserable and restrained, series antagonist Schwarz, rolls up to “rescue” him and one of the quartet, the berserker Farfarello, becomes enamored with the wounded “kitten” and seeks to remake him to his honest and best form. I remember a lot of the early parts of this massive fic, but what hooked me was this part where Ran realizes that he’s getting pleasure from killing and it’s not about killing the just or whatever, he just likes this shit. Him starting to accept his real monstrosity – more than killing, but liking it and realizing that this wasn’t Stockholm Syndrome but genuinely his real self breaking through– was where I settled in for the story. I genuinely didn’t expect to straight up change my life.

How It Shaped Me: I’ve been reading Glass Houses since I was a high schooler. Even when I’m not reading it – a thing I used to do multiple times a year before it crossed the million word mark – I’m thinking about it. This story is a masterclass in how to write fix it fic and pull the characters in a story far from their origins while remaining in-character. Everyone in Glass Houses feels the way they would in the anime series. It’s an implausible but logical progression and the sprawling cast of characters – incorporating existing characters from side media like the radio drama or sequel manga but also new characters – helps keep you on your toes. At no point do I think “wow this couldn’t happen”. In fact, I’m like “why didn’t this happen?”. This was also an early primer for me figuring out how to write intimacy and banter so as a baby I would try to write my own fic in ways that echoed the flow of Glass Houses. I also became deeply attached to people and characters named Sasha because of this. #IfYouKnowYouKnow

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Stitch @ Teen Vogue: On Queerbaiting, Betrayal, and the Quest for Better Representation

I know “betrayal” is a strong word, but there’s no other term that captures the full effect of what queer fans feel as a result of queerbaiting. For many queer fans, queerbaiting removes the confidence they had that the media they were watching was made with them fully in mind. It reinforces that to studios (and some celebrities), queer fans are walking rainbow wallets to be discarded once empty. Part of why queer fans have gravitated to shows like Taika Waititi’s Our Flag Means Death or The CW’s Batwoman is because these shows don’t hold back the “good stuff.” In these series, queerness – especially as seen from characters and people of color – isn’t something we get hints of before it’s snatched from us. It’s part of the narrative and made stronger for it.

On Queerbaiting, Betrayal, and the Quest for Better Representation

I know people don’t always agree on what queerbaiting is or looks like. I get yelled at once or twice a year for disagreeing when I see people talking about queerbaiting in a fandom — even when I use coded names and don’t specify the fandom. There are thing I think are queerbaiting that’d get me labeled as Terminally Online TM and “reaching”. It’s not super easy to say “this is queerbaiting” sometimes, but that’s something that I’ve since learned… doesn’t matter? Because it’s not about our feelings as we watch other queer fans be like “wait but we’ve been waiting for this fir six years and it didn’t happen??”

Queerbaiting is one of those fandom things I’ve realized is like… confusing to people who aren’t affected or don’t see it (for whatever reason) but is frequently devastating to the people who put their time and energy into it. And yes it took me ages, but I learn nothing when I’m being yelled at by random people on the internet, so in moments of peace I sat, researched, and learned.

Also, semi-related but when Ruby Rose was cast as Batwoman Kate Kane initially, one of the wildest things was watching people (other queer people) say that Ruby Rose was queerbaiting. Ruby Rose, mind you, is gay as hell and has been from before I knew she existed. How could Ruby Rose, a real out queer person, queerbait?

To this day I don’t know the answer for that one.

Anyway, go share on twitter if you want! Please read the piece for sure!

Meme-ing For A Reason: Racism In Escapist Fandom? More Likely Than You Think

The “it’s more likely than you think” meme where the top text reads “Tons of horrific and active racism in the fandom [space] *I* use for escapism as a queer person?”

As I write this, there are Star Trek fans mad about Star Trek: The Animated Series character Admiral Robert April’s upcoming appearance in Strange New Worlds. April is now being played by Canadian actor Adrian Holmes, who currently plays Uncle Phil on Bel-Air, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot. Obviously, Holmes looks nothing like the original admiral… but is that such a bad thing? After all, as Jamie Lovett points out over at ComicBook: “Despite being one of Starfleet’s most highly-decorated captains, April has previously only appeared in canon in a single episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series.”

One episode in a show older than most of the people complaining.

And yet, there are people screaming and moaning about “the wokes” forcing “political correctness” on Star Trek, a show that has apparently never delved into progressive politics or had people of color in main roles. Except… Star Trek, while imperfect in execution, was a science fiction pioneer in how it portrayed a relatively progressive society with diverse people learning, loving, and living together. From day one it was a show that put people of color and women on-screen… and had detractors because of that.

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Things I’m Into – April 2022

I read so much this month, my god.


Webtoons

My big two webcomic reads in April were “Taming the Tiger” and “I Got Pregnant With the Tyrant’s Child“.

“Taming the Tiger” is one in a long line of “mad noble” webtoons I’ve been reading for a hot minute. The noble in this is Ahn Geum-hoo who needs fresh animal blood for his brother’s medicine and he gets entangled with “Nobody” – later called “Beom” – a butcher who eagerly does his bidding. It’s steamy and I really love Beom who is basically The Ultimate Service Top. I want to brush his hair So Badly.

Then “I Got Pregnant With the Tyrant’s Child” legit caught me from an Instagram advertisement. I truly was not expecting marketing to work on me (lol) but I stayed up until around 4AM reading this webtoon. Elan, a royal knight, has a wild one-night stand with a man who uses magic to blur his face. As a result, she gets pregnant and realizes that uh… the baby daddy is the terrible and terrifying tyrant. Now, I will say that as thirsty as I am for Kylart the tyrant (lol), he’s genuinely terrible. Like he is the creepy stalker dude you wish you didn’t dream of. He is terrible and it takes him way too long to realize he’s wrong. Also the fact that he keeps trying to take her kids might be triggering for some people so… yes. But I love it, I actually like the development of the relationship, and I think Kylart is a babe.

If you’re into TikToks, I even made one about this series!

@stitchmediamix

I’m obsessed with this webtoon. “I Got Pregnant With The Tyrant’s Child” from @tappy_toon. #webtoon #romance #fantasy

♬ original sound – stitch
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Fleeting Frustrations #13: Media Consumption As A Substitute For A Personality

This is so old. I don’t even remember when I finished the first draft. Anyway, it’s a rant and it reads like a rant. Sorry I can’t smooth down my edges this time.


One of the wildest aspects of White Feminism ™ in fandom, media/pop culture criticism, etc… is the way these White Feminists™ – who are not always white or women but are always in service of  feminism that privileges white women – refuse to acknowledge the difference between “I like this because it’s good” and “this is good because I like it”.

Too many people think that because they like something as a marginalized (usually white) person – an idol group, a movie, a pairing, a character – that that thing is automatically good, empowering, and feminist. They don’t engage with critical reviews of the work – in any sense – to get a sense of what they can bring to the table or what the thing does in general, not just for themselves as the consumer.

And if they dislike something? There’s nothing you can do to change their mind. It’s eternally Bad, Fucked Up, and the dreaded “Problematic” even if they’d only read a summary of the thing on Wikipedia or gotten their knowledge of a person secondhand from people who also hate the person. (Hello to my anti fandom!)

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Meme-ing For A Reason #17: No Critical Engagement, Just Compliments

The “No Take, Only Throw” meme where the dog (representing fandom) first asks people to “Please engage meaningfully”. When A hand reaches out to take the ball/engage meaningfully, the fandom-dog says “No critical engagement! Only compliment!!”

There’s a tweet blowing up right now that asks people to “talk about arbitrary things in fics that make you not want to read them”:

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Who’s Afraid of A Black Blaise Zabini? Everyone in 2005 Harry Potter Fandom… Apparently.

When we talk about “toxic fandoms” and racism, the easiest example people go to are male nerds mad about Black people being cast to play comic book redheads and other “historically white” characters. However, one little known or talked about example is the way that the Harry Potter fandom from 2005 practically went to war over the one-line reveal that Slytherin Blaise Zabini was actually Black.


One perfect example of antiblackness in fandom that proves false these claims that Black characters and celebrities are just “lacking” something to make them worth shipping (characterization, canon romance, tapping tropes) and that is why no one ships them?

The Harry Potter fandom’s response to Blaise Zabini before and after JK Rowling’s reveal that Blaise was male (2004 in a Q&A) and Black (“He recognized a Slytherin from their year, a tall black boy with high cheekbones and long, slanting eyes” in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Chapter 7: “The Slug Club in 2005).

Blaise Zabini’s only appearance prior to that book and film was in a single line in the first Harry Potter book (““Well done, Ron, excellent,” said Percy Weasley pompously across Harry as “Zabini, Blaise,” was made a Slytherin.). However, people instantly made up all sorts of headcanons for this character based off of a name and Hogwarts house.

For the eight years between Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, here’s all what fandom frequently decided Blaise Zabini was:

  • Italian
  • Tan (but sometimes pale)
  • Dark haired with light, sometimes blue or green eyes
  • Draco’s best friend
  • Draco’s boyfriend
  • A pain in the ass to Hermione
  • Sometimes shipped with Pansy Parkinson
  • Sometimes a girl
  • A bisexual Chad
  • A cool badass
  • Occasionally very Gender (and written as androgynous or gender queer/fluid)
  • A pureblood
  • Interesting
  • Sexy
  • Charming

He didn’t have any characterization or lines in canon, but he sure did have all of that.

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Link Catch Up

Here are four things I did that went up in the past month (including today!). Thanks for reading and sorry for not having separate posts for each one!


On Tom Hiddleston & Zawe Ashton, Misogynoir, and Why Fandom Should Stop Punishing Black Women

Sure, if you press these “fans” on the reasons behind their bad behavior, few will say outright that jealousy fuels them. They won’t say that they believed they really had a shot with the celebrity or that they’re mad that the opportunity is no longer open to them. Instead, they claim that the potential partner isn’t good for the celebrity, that they’re using the celebrity, or that they’re ugly. They’re not willing to say that they think the celebrity should be with them or, in the case of a partner that’s a woman of color, a white woman they can layer themselves and their desires onto almost like a reader insert.

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Things I’m Into – March 2022

Trying to do a new feature where I talk about what I’m into and a little bit about why!


Webtoons

Right now the webtoons I’m keeping up with are uh… pretty spicy. One is Love is an Illusion – the Queen, a contemporary omegaverse webtoon starring a female alpha, male omega, and male alpha in a love triangle. That’s by Fargo. The other is Wild Eyes by Flowermeat and Sora (original work by Ra-hye). That one is a dark historical erotica about a wild prince and the maiden sent to service him by his scheming stepmother. 

I’m not necessarily recommending either of those – because I rarely rec books with female alphas because the concept tends to be done poorly on multiple levels and it’s better to be safe than sorry and… Wild Eyes is… very much dark erotica. Warnings are a must for both stories. If you want to read either comic and you need to know warnings, ping me please!)

I’m reading them because I haven’t read webtoons in a while and I’ve watched the dramas based off of the ones I liked so I needed to branch out a bit. (Oh, and Painter of the Night is on and off hiatus so i’m expanding my horizons.) I’m having fun and reading challenging things.

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Stitch Reads Rafael, Chapters 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, and 32

Notes: This big installment has relatively graphic descriptions of violence, my desire to do violence (it’s really bad, I want to end the villain myself), Hector remains a sex pest near the end, body horror, some death by rats, and I guess I might cuss across this. I don’t know. I wrote this all while screaming.


On the surface, it looks as if I’m having mercy on you all by doing a speedrun through the last six chapters of this book.

But I am not.

If I were to have mercy on either of us, I would make up an ending where they all died and then move on to one of the books I want to go over because of how good they are. Instead, I am consolidating the suffering… by making the few of y’all still here go through six chapters all at once because in total that’s only gonna be like 5000 words max anyway!

Enjoy/Suffer Well!


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Stitch @ Teen Vogue: Caleb McLaughlin Is a Perpetual Student

In exciting news, my biggest piece so far is out in Teen Vogue! I interviewed Stranger Things’ Caleb McLaughlin (he’s a delight, a dream to interview, a really cool guy) and did a profile on him for Teen Vogue’s New Hollywood package. It’s a COVER STORY!

You can also share this little round-up piece stemming from Caleb’s love of Euphoria and that was put together by my editor Claire and me!

What Fandom Racism Looks Like: “Then Make Your Own and Stop Complaining”

A friend sent me a Reddit post in the r/FanFiction subreddit made by a Black fan venting (it’s literally tagged as such) about how it feels for her to read fan fiction while Black and essentially looking for support. Fandom being fandom – aka “racist as hell” – the most highly upvoted comments in the sub on her comment are from people insulting her, insisting that she’s an entitled “Black American” for venting, and complaining about “wokeness” in fandom (and some that even wind up getting in digs at people like myself apparently leading the charge).

A common thread across many of the comments? They’re not just telling the OP to “make your own” – especially in the case of Reader Inserts, but they’re also assuming she doesn’t contribute anything to fandom at all in the first place. If she’s “just” complaining without contributing – even though she says she’s a writer and has a clear history of engaging on the sub and other parts of reddit as a writer -, then it’s not her place to complain.

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