queer representation in scifi


few years back i thought, hmm i claim to like science fiction but i haven’t Read The Classics, i therefore must be a poseur

so i tried for a bit and long story short ended that experiment mid-book wondering wtf i could have been thinking

why would i go out of my way to, essentially, study what boomers like?

some short time after that experience, i declared a moratorium on reading any more white cisbro scifi authors (with a couple exceptions i already know and love (egan, stross))

there’s a very small and finite number of books i’ll be able to read in my lifetime

(and that lifetime is, statistically, already half-expended)

there’s so many stories out there. so the limited book-slots i have left in my meat-sack should henceforth be occupied by authors who have systematically been given the short schrift

and let me tell you!

the stories i have read since enacting that filter have been so, so, so good. best decision ever. good life choices maker right here that’s me

i can’t imagine ever bothering to waste a second more on any fantasy universe where queerness doesn’t exist because its imaginator, with the most charitable accounting, was just never exposed to it? never really thought about it that much?

fuck that

fuuuuuuuuuck that

this is supposed to be science fiction. escapism! exploring the boundaries that we can’t explore in polite shitty society. and not one character in your entire novel is trans, gay, ace, or queer?

you may be excused, old dead white dude, for being born in the early twentieth century when your very exposure to such ideas would have been oppressively policed.

like ianthe says, i can respect that but i can’t admire it

fade into obsolesence pls kthx

so there’s been more than a few times when the work i’m reading by a queer or trans scifi author makes a point of skewering cisgenderedness

some propose universes where men simply do not exist, and this conceit goes completely unexamined

some introduce a cis male character and proceed to basically ignore them. feels like they did it just to satisfy a quota or something

some dedicate pages of purple prose to describing everyone else, but terse with cis bro’s description. it’s a cis bro, you already know everything else. who would want to know more about them anyway?

it stings. a tiny bit. like an alcohol swab over a papercut.

people look for themselves in stories. it’s one of the reasons representation is important.
well, i’m a cis dude. not a baby trans, not an egg.
married with kids to someone of the opposite sex.
what queerness i may claim is basically moot; i barely qualify

so i am a very serviceable model of what my new favorite authors paint as:

but you know what?

i’ll fuckin take it
i loooove it
enough with the fictional dudes who think, act, and look exactly like me
i couldn’t get more bored of these assholes
dismiss me daddy

these stories are so fuckin good. it’s about damn time we let these authors have a seat the table
and if they want to punch back a bit?
doo itt

egalitarianism is nice but
sequestering me and my bros in a forgotten corner for a half century would be totally fair

srsly write a whole novel where every cis bro is a send-up of the archetype,
textually erase every single me that appears in the universe
make it a celebration of queer and trans domination over decades of exclusion from science fiction
come tiger woods our respectable golf tournament
win some nebulas and hugos and locusts
i, the clown of this book, will yet happily plonk down my twenty bucks for it at whatever ebook retailer offers me a drm-free copy

because i know from experience that it’s probably going to be an awesome story