Stitch @ Teen Vogue: Tim Drake Is the 1st Canonically Queer Robin & Fandom Got Us Here

Outside of richly, weirdly romantic superhero novels like Devin Grayson’s Inheritance, Weldon is right. The visual nature of superhero comics leads to queer readings in a way that prose often won’t. Prose, up front, often rejects the interpretations that fans have put together. There’s less wiggle room for fans to interpret a lingering gaze or the nearness of two characters or the oft-used Pieta pose as queer when the words on the page are explicitly saying otherwise. As a result, fans have largely had to make do with what they’re given and interpret these moments queerly, playing with characters in their fanworks that largely weren’t “confirmed” to be queer by the powers that be… until recently.

Tim Drake Is the 1st Canonically Queer Robin & Fandom Got Us Here

This is the nicest thing I have said about DC in my entire life and… they deserve it. I was a diehard DC fan from about 2009 to 2016 (my peak was 2012-13 in terms of content) and the whole time I was surrounded by other queer fans who just really loved these characters a lot and wanted the representation that came from seeing your favorite character be just like you. I am still friends with my core group of DC fandom friends and it’s been over a decade of growing, writing, and shipping together. I’m considering dusting off my old fics just for those babes. That’s how real it is.

Anyway; so when I saw “Sum of Our Parts” in Batman: Urban Legends and realized that Tim Drake, one of the Robins I queered (yes, I did that for them all, shush) was getting a queer canon? I just knew I had to write about not just him, but about the Big Two’s queer superhero game. This piece is heavy on DC because that was my main fandom for a huge portion of my life, but there are Marvel references and a quote from Danny Lore, a creator I adore. I think that it’s important to

And of course: there are indie comics with queer superheroes, like The Pride! And those comics exist too because queer fans didn’t see themselves in the mainstream superhero comics! I didn’t cover indie superhero comics for this because the focus was the fandoms, but that’s on me! I’m slowly returning to my roots as a comics fandom loudmouth though, so I will make up for it!

Please share the link to the article with anyone you think would be interested in it and share on Twitter if you can! Thanks!

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Link Lineup – August 2021

It’s always so hard to pare down my links to a manageable amount rather than pouring out the entirety of my bookmarks for the month. But between last time and now, I have read some incredible things! Here’s a sampling with the usual added commentary.


Ignoring A Problem Doesn’t Make It Go Away: On Lindsay Ellis and Anti-Native Racism

She finishes her brief segment on her Twilight Apologia grievance by doing a classic “see I’m a liberal ally to the brown folks” move straight out of a JK Rowling’s tweet: adding the link to the Quileute tribe’s fundraiser to prove that she’s not racist, she cares about ACTUAL problems that the Quileute folks face. Not something as trivial as representation in Twilight but REAL problems. Clearly she cares more about indigenous issues than the indigenous people she’s arguing with. 

In any case, you don’t need to be native to know there isn’t much sincerity to someone who dedicates two hours to taking shots of whiskey for every “apology” they have to make. Quite frankly it would’ve saved her time to just upload a five second Youtube video of her telling us to eat shit. The same message would’ve been delivered expeditiously. 

A lot of people think that ignoring a problem like racism in media – here anti-Native racism in Twilight and Pocahontas… and Ellis’ coverage of both after the fact – will just make it go away. Add in a heaping helping of Ellis weaponizing her white womanhood and lumping in real Natives trying to educate her in with the very legitimate harassment she does get… And you’ve got a disastrous approach in one.

I thought this piece by Ali Nahdee was brilliant, insightful, and is a must-read for people who genuinely care about representation in media, fighting anti-Native racism, and holding ourselves and our favorite content creators accountable. In this country, Indigenous communities are mistreated and misrepresented as the norm. Media is one of the biggest ways that their cultures are repackaged – often being boiled down to a single experience set up to serve for the whole – and it’s important to recognize when we and our favorite/popular cultural critics drop the ball on recognizing that.

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A fandom discourse thing I’m reminded that I hate

I hate this thing people across fandom do where they need people to:

And if you don’t do the things they demand of you (for some reason… but you do not know these people and they do not know you or anything about you), they will then never listen to you about what you’re actually saying… because you are bad and wrong for not listening to them about this thing.

So they won’t listen to you talk about racism in fandom. They won’t listen to you when you say that no one should be harassed in or because of fandom. They won’t accept that you can think that and also want people to understand that bigotry doesn’t belong in fandom.

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Stitch Reads Rafael (Anita Blake #28)- Chapters 4 & 5

Content notes for mentions of sexual coercion (sort of) and domestic violence.


When we last left Rafael, Anita and co had emptied out the communal showers in the Circus – Jean Claude’s underground lair and the least hidden daytime resting place for a vampire in the history of the genre. For this block of chapters? We’re still at the damn showers.

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[Thread Collection] No Escape/No Understanding (8/10/21)

From my public twitter on 8/10/2021. Lightly edited to flesh out words I shortened for twitter, add punctuation, and links. A good link to share with people who I have blocked/have me blocked.


I don’t think a lot of people get that for people of color in fandom to not have to deal with racism IN AND FROM FANDOM, we’d have to basically only interact with a small circle of people (& even then… sometimes they fail us).

So even if we keep our heads down, racism is HERE.

Racism is present in every fandom and the majority of fans have no interest in recognizing the forms it takes outside of slurs from men & in cutting it out.

But at the same time, racists in fandom will search out POC who do speak on racism in their/multiple fandoms to harass us.

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What Fandom Racism Looks Like: Apolitical/Drama Free Fandom Spaces

Another (relatively) short-and-spicy one in the style of the Fandom Wank installment, I’m here to point out that racism in fandom looks like apolitical or “drama free” fandom spaces. In discord servers, twitter group chats and other forms of fannish socializing, denoting a space as apolitical or “drama free” primarily winds up punishing marginalized people who speak up against issues in the fandom space or with fans they encounter. 

For example, if a person you’re in a “drama free” fandom server with then goes off on an anti-BLM rant or suggests that George Floyd deserved to be murdered and you bring it up… Guess who’s more likely to get run out from the fandom space or seen as a “drama monger” or even… an anti? Guess who’s going to be seen as “needlessly” political and punished as a result. Not the antiblack person spreading hatred and victim blaming. You. The (likely Black) person going “this person makes this space unsafe for me”.

It’s wild because fandom prides itself on supposedly self-regulating, but then it… doesn’t. 

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Stitch @ Teen Vogue: On RPF and Why People Love to Write Stories About Public Figures

The reasons for creating and consuming RPF vary from person to person, and they change over time. Why I read RPF as tweenager obsessed with the cast of Lord of the Rings and why I read (and occasionally write) it now are vastly different experiences. As with many other fandoms, content creators and consumers bring different aspects of themselves to the RPF table and there’s no “one size fits all” approach to RPF as a whole. Some people write and read stories about their favorite celebrities in situations that mimic their real lives, like the behind-the-scenes moments of a film or set during the afterparty of an awards show. Many others take these celebrities out of their world entirely, writing them in epic fantasy stories or dropping them into college campuses. Just as the reasons behind creating and consuming RPF differ depending on the needs and wants of the fan, so do the settings that fans and fan-creators gravitate towards.

On RPF and Why People Love to Write Stories About Public Figures

I’m nosy and easily attached to celebrities. As a result, the second I realized that people beyond tabloid writers made up stories about celebrities I saw on television or in movies, I was in. When I was a tadpole in fandom, I started with Lord of the Rings RPF. I wanted to brush Orlando Bloom’s hair and then I found people online with more… prurient interests in that beautiful man. In high school, I read literally everything realm_of_ylith wrote (and wow was she responsible for… so much of my early “so hip hop seems kinda queer” thoughts thanks to her one Eminem story).

I have a lot of thoughts about RPF. Honestly, you’re all lucky that it took me… seven and a half months before I whipped out the RPF column because the RPF stuff is… adjacent to my primary fandom. The thing that actually drives me a ton… It’s my actual passive ability, being super interested in celebrities. I don’t care too much for rumors, “tea”, and other forms of gossip these days because I don’t want to know too much, but hand me a meaty fic or a bunch of YouTube videos about the celeb’s interactions with their friends and I’m set for a good while.

What’s been interesting about writing this article is thinking about myself in relation to RPF – as a creator, not as an object (as I’m like… a non-celebrity so anyone writing RPF about me instead of just… asking me out, needs to fix that.) RPF is kind of like… this thing I’ve always been into but only people who’ve known me for a very long time seem to remember me talking about it? Or clock that I still do clearly talk about and follow creators/shippers in different fandoms. I’m aware of the complications behind RPF – especially as it comes to Stan Twitter now that I’m getting to speak with celebrities – and that’s definitely been fun to navigate. (But also stressful and I have scrapped work so I was doing for myself just so, if I ever got to interview the celeb, I didn’t have to feel Anxiety.)

But then on top of that, a lot of my friends in fandom now, are RPF writers who’ve taken great pains to get their best work out and show the celebrity Everything I’ve thought about RPF and my relationship to it, I’m able to do because of the generations of writers and artists who’ve come before me and whose work and tweets are right there. There are iffy things to be sure when it comes to RPF, but for me… I do take it on a case by case basis because the fandoms aren’t the same and neither are the fans.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to the next column I do and I hope y’all are too!

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White Fannish Entitlement Strikes Again

Near the end of June, I made the mistake of commenting on Star Wars fandom stuff when I saw screenshots of some members of that subfandom gloating about John Boyega briefly losing his blue check/verified status on Twitter as well as kind of assuming the worst about his exit from Rebel Ridge – especially once people started kind of claiming that he was “difficult“. (Like fully going “perhaps he will have his MeToo moment and people will know that he’s truly garbage… like we have all along” in some tweets I glimpsed.)

Aside from the comment calling me a bootlicker of color (for making a thread about fandom nonsense from their camp and not immediately writing a Teen Vogue article about John Boyega, who I have no access to and still cannot reach for clarification or an interview), one comment that stood out to me called me a coward because I didn’t like… leap into the way of actual non-fandom white supremacists in defense of Rey/Kylo fandom. Again, a fandom full of people that hate me for pointing out their co-fans’ racism.

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Heart to Heart Premiere Event

It was such a delight to host the Q&A for this event and I loved speaking with Fern, IR, and Lilah about their amazing pilot for Heart to Heart and what the future for the shorts will (hopefully) bring.

Heart to Heart is genuinely one of the funniest things I’ve seen in my entire life and it’s made with love from people who truly get what it means to want to be seen. It’s incredibly charming, super witty, and has probably my favorite trope outside of Accidental Baby Acquisition.

I also, aside from one brief (and hopefully edited out moment) where I forgot my mic was muted, leveled up as a person who hosts things! Which is exciting! Let me host more things and interview more cool people please!

Head on over to Eventbrite to register for the FREE event for the weekend of August 20th!!

And of course, share widely! It’s a great pilot and David Tennant is used to FULL fantastic effect here. Everyone needs to check Heart to Heart out and then hype it up so we can get MORE OF IT!!

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Meme-Ing For A Reason #11 – Yeah, I’m Not Playing Ball

I’m “cheating” this month by using a meme I didn’t create! I can’t remember who the OP is, but if you know or are that person, thanks for that, link me to the original and I’ll boost it because it rocks. One of my friends tagged me in this meme, which uses Dr. Manhattan blasting someone into stardust from Watchmen and it’s perfect because this is… my experience.

There are so many people in different fandoms who think I need to take their wild and absolutely incorrect interpretation of my work seriously and… I don’t think I will.

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Here We Are In August

First, July was stressful but also… clearly more chill than June.

I think there was less direct harassment – that I saw, at least – in July. I’m sure it’s still out there because I’m basically a non-person to multiple fandoms and that justifies the weird and wrong shit people say and do to me, but… I didn’t see it very much this time. I didn’t even block that many people this month so that’s pretty nice. I hate feeling like I have to cut myself off from people. (Which is very funny because I had to make a policy change on my website that does cut me off from people! More on that at the bottom.)

The main stresses I had to deal with were familial or health related (and again, I really need a job with benefits), but they were manageable. I got to spend two weeks with the wee niece Meems here with me and while I orbit her when she’s here, she also helped me with a ton more work than I was expecting. (And yes she will be compensated fairly for her work.)

And because of the lack of harassment along with Meems’ help as a mini research buddy, I was able to do a lot this past month.

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Stitch @ The Verge: K-POP’S FANDOM PLATFORMS ARE CHANGING WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN IDOL

Fandom has changed a lot since I was a kid. As a tween, I had no hope of getting in touch with celebrities I adored like Britney Spears and Whitney Houston. Now, I’ve not only spoken with some of my celebrity favorites on social media, but I’ve even fought with a few.

The technology of fandom is changing, too. Parasocial relationships — a largely one-sided relationship between a fan and a public figure they feel close to due to social media — are everywhere online. And the companies behind some of the biggest acts in K-pop are pioneering a new way to monetize them. They’ve developed online platforms to help K-pop fans feel as though they have direct access to their idol favorites. That access helps shape the way these fans interact with the idol as a form of friendship and how they engage with other fans

K-POP’S FANDOM PLATFORMS ARE CHANGING WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN IDOL

I’m always online. Obviously. I spend a lot of time – too much time? – on Twitter, but I also do a lot of fandoming across different apps for Korean idols. Hell, at one point I actually lowkey lived on streaming app V Live because the phone I had at the time had notifications that worked so when one of “my” favorites would go online, so would I. I was awake so dang early back then. These days, I may sleep through my notifications, but I stay active on the different apps for my faves. I don’t use LYSN or bubble but I have been on Universe for Monsta X and Brave Girls (especially my bias Minyoung).

And of course, I’m on Weverse. Most of my favorites (and one former favorite… Gfriend) are on the Weverse app and I use the app to communicate with other fans and moon over idols. It’s more “personal” and private than just trying to communicate with an idol or other fans on Twitter and so, for the most part, it feels safe to engage.

I loved talking with Areum Jeong and Nicole Santero (who runs the @ResearchBTS Twitter account) because they’ve got insight for days! I also am grateful to Maxim and Leigh, two fans who graciously provided their thoughts about the apps they use to engage with their faves. So many wonderful fans provided their insight and I only wish I could’ve used it all in the final piece!

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Stitch @ The James Bond Cocktail Hour

Have you had a chance to check out my latest appearances on The James Bond Cocktail Hour podcast?

JBCH: Skyfall, Part One (Sam Mendes, 2012)

JBCH: VARGR (Warren Ellis & Jason Masters, 2015)

One day I’ll put a page up with all of my appearances on different podcasts and on different articles, but in the meanwhile, please go check out these because I always have so much fun on the JBCH podcast chatting about our favorite bond media! 

I’m always pleased when they have me on to shout!!

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[PCA 2021 Presentation] “What Are You Even Doing Here?”: Unpacking The Motivations & Experiences of Black Women & Femme K-pop Fans

I had to change some things because of the YouTube copyright crap – so there’s no music in this version and so I can’t include the edits, challenge, or song I included when presenting this live. But aside from the things that had to be changed to avoid a copyright strike and messing up my video, this is the presentation I gave for PCA 2021.

Thank you all to everyone who filled out my survey or did video or text interviews a few months ago (okay so like… in May) and who supported me as I tried to put this together. Being in fandom has been super hard and very upsetting at times, but actually one way I was able to cope with what I’ve been going through from other fandoms… has been to engage deeply with ARMY (BTS is my primary fannish interest) and fandoms for other Korean artists.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to talk about a fandom space I’m in and to share insights about the communities I’m in and that other people like me are in!

I will NOT be going anywhere with this presentation beyond this post (like in terms of a long-form write up). Any future writing about Black k-pop fan experiences will get a new survey, no interviews outside of experts in these spaces, and a closer look at my direct experiences in these fandom spaces. I just wanted to do celebratory fandom piece for once – one that didn’t ignore that there are VERY valid criticisms to be had on the way there.

Below the cut is the abstract I used when applying for the conference! Thanks again for participating and watching and supporting me! And thanks A TON for your patience with me actually remembering to post this publicly!

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Stitch @ Teen Vogue: Twilight’s Jasper Cullen Is Part of Confederate Vampire History

In returning to Twilight — or starting the series for the first time — fans are coming across things they didn’t know about the vampires in the series. A major example? Jasper Cullen’s pre-vampire past as… a Confederate major in the Civil War. As young adult author Camryn Garrett pointed out during her own rewatch of the series, the fact that Jasper fought on the wrong side of the Civil War is never addressed again outside of the lone mention in Eclipse.


Twilight’s Jasper Cullen Is Part of Confederate Vampire History

I love vampires. Oh my god do I love vampires. (Slightly less than I love werewolves, but that is absolutely a personal problem.) Getting to stretch my muscles as a literature MA – this is absolutely what I did in college right down to talking about Twilight in the context of Fifty Shades of Gray and fic as something we use to take over Text – was pretty darn neat. And of course, I got to watch a lot of vampire-oriented media this week! It was great because I was cuddled up to Meems, my littlest niece, the entire time. The only thing I didn’t subject her to was True Blood because that is OBVIOUSLY not appropriate for her age.

I had a wonderful time researching and writing this column and I’m looking forward to writing more cool things in August! 😀

Please go share the tweet below or the link to the article itself on your own social media profiles and pages!

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