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My Gaylaxicon Schedule

October 4th, 2012 (11:42 pm)

I'm going to Gaylaxicon this weekend. If you're looking for me, here's where to find me:

Writing Straight (when you’re not)
Friday 4:30 PM Terrace 2
GoH Lyda Morehouse is a lesbian woman who writes straight romance. Beyond forgetting the penis in the occasional sex scene, what sorts of problems do writers like Lyda run into? Is there pressure from Romance editors to adopt a straight “persona” at signings and other publicity events? What about QUILTBAG writers who write children’s books? Maurice Sendak stayed in the closet until he was 80 years old; is that pressure still there?
Haddayr Copley-Woods, Monica Ferris, Naomi Kritzer (m), Lyda Morehouse

Ethics and Art
Friday 6:00 PM Terrace 3
How do ethics affect the artist? We will talk about different ideas and situations, including pricing, copyright infringement, stealing ideas, borrowing themes, payment from art shows, taxes and how we treat each other!
M. Nicholas Almand, Eleanor Arnason, Peri Charlifu (m), Naomi Kritzer, JoSelle Vanderhooft

Minnesota SpecFic Writers
Saturday 9:30 AM Terrace 2
The Twin Cities is home to more than its share of great speculative fiction authors, and we’re glad to have some in attendance.
M. Nicholas Almand, Naomi Kritzer (m), Catherine Lundoff, Kathryn Sullivan

Remembering the Penis: Queer Women Writing M/M Slash
Saturday 5:00 PM Terrace 2
WHY is so much M/M slash written by queer women (some of whom have literally zero experience with the body parts involved)? What do people get wrong, and how much does it matter? (I mean, no one expects video porn to accurately portray anyone’s sexual experience...) Does this spill over into more mainstream erotica? What is the appeal of dirty, dirty fanfic, anyway?
Haddayr Copley-Woods, Naomi Kritzer, Lyda Morehouse (m)

Women at Gaylaxicon: Where r u?
Sunday 9:30 AM Terrace 2
Gaylaxicon has a lot more G than L (and even less T) -- pre-registration was about 35% women. What other pieces are missing from the QUILTBAG? How could it be a more inclusive con?
Eleanor Arnason, Carrie Devall, Naomi Kritzer (m), Lyda Morehouse

Writing Across Fandoms
Sunday 11:00 AM Terrace 3
Naomi and Eleanor (unintentionally) wrote Furry stories; Lyda started out writing SF and then switched to paranormal romance; Kyell is best known for his Furry writing but has written outside the genre as well. How often do we think we know our audience, only to find out that our stories had a completely unexpected appeal to other readers? How do you build on this sort of fortuitous cross-fandom appeal?
Eleanor Arnason, Haddayr Copley-Woods (m), Kyell Gold, Naomi Kritzer, Lyda Morehouse

Some notes:

I signed up for programming, then came up with some items I wanted them to add and suggested/volunteered for them and neglected to say "...but take me off some of this other stuff."

However, I don't remember even volunteering for MN Spec Fic Writers (though obviously I am a Minnesotan spec fic writer) as I have nothing in particular to say about this topic other than "yup, I live in Minnesota, all right. Would you like me to tell you about the spec fic that I write?" so how I wound up moderating it (at 9:30 on Saturday!) I'm really not sure. I don't even usually GO to the inevitable MN Spec Fic Writers panel (every local con holds it; presumably at Armadillocon it's TX Spec Fic writers and at MileHiCon it's CO Spec Fic writers...) so I don't even know what sorts of questions usually get asked. I try to bring a list of questions when I'm going to moderate a panel and depending on how sleepy and slap-happy I am on Saturday morning, these questions may be pretty random.

I will also be carrying signup sheets for people interested in volunteering for Minnesotans United for All Families and attempting to recruit. (I'm not expecting to be particularly successful. On one hand: I bet everyone there supports gay marriage. On the other: as IF a bunch of SF fans want to call up strangers on the phone to talk to them about ANYTHING.) I have now done phone banking four times at two different offices and I can tell you which office has better snacks (St. Paul) and easier parking (St. Paul) and perkier volunteer coordinators (Minneapolis) and better technology (toss-up unless you really prefer a headset to a handset, in which case Minneapolis).


Posted by: Dan Goodman (dsgood)
Posted at: October 5th, 2012 05:01 am (UTC)

There's been at least one gay male who edited a sex mag for straight men, and at least one straight male who edited a sex mag for gay men.

I suspect a fair number of heterosexual writers have written about varieties of straight sex which doesn't appeal to them. People whose preferences are for one night stands writing about lifelong relationships and vice versa, to begin with.

And I wouldn't be totally surprised to learn that some asexuals write convincing torrid sex scenes.

On women writing M/M stories -- has there ever been a panel which covered both that and men writing F/F stories?

Posted by: Naomi (naomikritzer)
Posted at: October 5th, 2012 05:12 am (UTC)

Probably not -- because it's overwhelmingly women who write fanfic.

If there's a man there who writes F/F, he should come and we could totally add him to the panel.

Posted by: law_nerd (law_nerd)
Posted at: October 5th, 2012 06:21 pm (UTC)

As jiawen suggests, below, some kinds of inclusion only happen as a result of active outreach.

There are lots of guys who write F/F in and out of fanfic, some of 'em even get it right. As a baby-dyke I went to a John Varley reading just to make sure that he wasn't really a she ... given the times (~30 years ago), it wouldn't have surprised me to find another "Andre" or "James" (Alice Norton; Alice Sheldon) publishing behind a male name.

Unfortunately enough of them get it wrong that many lesbians think of straight cis-men writing F/F as writing heterosexual male readers' wank material. That's not something that we're all comfortable with as a concept. Which means I'd strongly suggest that a con that wanted to do a panel on people writing opposite gender same sex relationships (or same sex erotica), should consider carefully who they invite, and make sure that the invitees don't end up alienating a big chunk of the (lesbian identified) audience.

Posted by: jiawen (jiawen)
Posted at: October 5th, 2012 06:19 am (UTC)

"Gaylaxicon has a lot more G than L (and even less T) -- pre-registration was about 35% women. What other pieces are missing from the QUILTBAG? How could it be a more inclusive con?"

Good to see them admitting the ridiculously excessive emphasis on gay, cis men's issues at Gaylaxicon. Please remind them how they forget trans inclusion, and that they have completely forgotten to mention bisexual people in this panel description!

Since I can't be there, some input: How could it be more inclusive? Reaching out more to LBT (or QUILTBA, if you prefer) people for programming ideas; offering assistance for LBT people (and trans people are, after all, much less statistically likely to be able to afford such an expensive con); making sure that your promotional panels at other cons are not composed of 80% cis white men; strongly pursuing more LBT guests of honor, even at the expense of G folks; maybe vetting panel descriptions with LBT people before accepting them (seriously, is there any chance that a panel with "That was no lady, that was my ___!" in the description will not be horribly transphobic at some point?); getting with the lingo (almost no trans people use the term "transgendered"); making sure that panels about trans people are composed of trans people (on the one panel about trans people I can identify, none of the people on it identify as trans, so far as I know, though I think one might identify as genderqueer); making sure that your supposedly GLBT con has at least as many panels about trans issues as about furry issues. (As you know, I'm not opposed to furries, but I don't think their panels should outnumber trans panels at a GLBT con. Elevate both, I mean to say.)

Edited at 2012-10-05 02:49 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Peg Kerr (pegkerr)
Posted at: October 5th, 2012 01:56 pm (UTC)
Peg 2012

I really wanted to go. I was looking forward to going, I had been invited as a guest, I had signed up for programming and everything. But recent events...you know. We are having our family gathering tonight, and my dad's service is tomorrow.

Edited at 2012-10-05 01:58 pm (UTC)

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