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Most hated fanfic tropes


Thorn Wilde

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3 minutes ago, W_L said:

While I do agree that sometimes rape gets overused in fiction, there's a reason I believe why authors, in particular gay males, use it in our work. It's not coincidence that many of the authors who write rape in our stories were in fact victims of molestation and rape. To me, it's cathartic personal experience that blends into a story and makes it richer. The difference between badly written rape and well thought out rape issues with characters to me, it should be based on who the characters are in relation to the story and the other characters.

Also, you can apply the same logic to those of us who have attempted suicide and use the subject in our stories, while it might be overexposed nowadays, those are personal demons we faced as human beings and affects us today. Some writers overuse the concept and just throws it into a story without really asking how characters are affected by it, or glossing over the suicide attempt a as "feel good" for life moment BS. I've read more than one author exalting their characters and their individual worth, but it doesn't feel legitimate as a lot of people don't just live happily ever after, they just live.

To me, the best writers portray suicide survivors as people who survive suicide, but aren't saints, we're just people with a variety of issues.

I agree completely, both with your statements on rape in fiction, and on suicide. As I said originally, it is possible for a writer to implement it really well into a story, and authors, especially those writing from experience, have every right to use it in their work. My objection is to people writing about the topic in a manner that misinforms or panders; one example being the "rape and switch" trope, which is basically conceptualized as rape making people gay. I have met people who honestly believed that was how it worked, and I dislike tropes that perpetuate it.

Much as you say with suicide, it's a subject that benefits from being approached with actual understanding, because it is very easy to misinform. I'm not arguing against the usage of either concept generally. It would be hypocritical of me to do so. My own story deals with the recovery process of molestation as a central theme. I am, however, stating a distaste for the misuse of difficult subject matter for cheap effect. Particularly when it misinforms. These subjects are hard enough to talk about as it is. 

I also agree that portraying survivors (of either rape or suicide) works better when they are presented as human beings, with all the flaws and experiences that that entails.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 2/17/2021 at 5:36 PM, Rhythminthemind said:

My objection is to people writing about the topic in a manner that misinforms or panders; one example being the "rape and switch" trope, which is basically conceptualized as rape making people gay. I have met people who honestly believed that was how it worked, and I dislike tropes that perpetuate it.

Yikes!  I agree with you on all counts in your full post.

But it sparked a thought:  can people switch their sexual orientation?  Or is the "switch" only apparent, as in someone who's been in deep denial finally admitting the truth?

I just read a story on another site, in which the premise is that a man develops amnesia and becomes heterosexual; the kicker is that he comes to love his lover and so tries to make the relationship work despite being straight, for a number of fairly plausible reasons.  The author makes the point that he's the mirror image of the gay guys who marry women to hide their sexuality.  I won't spoil the ending.  While the story is plausible enough in some ways, I'm not sure it really works.  My own view is that sexual orientation is probably to deep-seated to be changed, even by amnesia, but I haven't done any research on this.

By the way Dabeagle has written an excellent story, You Don't Know Me, in which the psyche of a closeted married guy dying of cancer is shunted into the body of a teenaged boy killed in a car crash in a parallel universe.  Naturally, he doesn't know anything about the boy's previous life and has to act like an amnesiac.  I bring it up, because the man is mature, responsible, right-handed, and gay, whereas the boy was a spoiled, selfish jerk, left-handed, and heterosexual.  I wouldn't necessarily have included handedness as part of the metempsychosis, but I agree about the sexual orientation part.  Dabeagle doesn't make all that much of the science-fiction aspects of the story, but the emotional issues of the second chance, trying to make up for someone's misbehavior, the reactions of others to the boy's apparent reformation, and his falling in love are handled superbly well in Dabeagle's inimitable style.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 3/14/2021 at 8:44 PM, BigBen said:

But it sparked a thought:  can people switch their sexual orientation?

I mean... I did. I used to identify as bi, but I've lost nearly all sexual interest in women. Can still experience romantic feelings toward them, but no sexual attraction unless there's an emotional component involved. Sexuality can be fluid. It can change over time. Whereas it's set in stone for some, for others it's not.

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On 4/9/2021 at 9:40 AM, BigBen said:

So that guy in high school, the co-captain of the football team?  I could have turned him?  Now someone tells me!  (heavy sigh) 🙂

Come over to the gay side. We've got better fashion sense.

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1 hour ago, jamessavik said:

We've got better fashion sense.

Oh, back then, with Ed, I wasn't interested in how he dressed!  Only in how he undressed, if you know what I mean. . . .

But of course I was still too enmeshed in Baptist theology to have the courage to try to lead him into temptation.  He was a good guy, though, and probably wouldn't have put me in the hospital if I'd had the guts to tell him how much he meant to me . . . (sigh)

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On 4/10/2021 at 9:58 PM, BigBen said:

Oh, back then, with Ed, I wasn't interested in how he dressed!  Only in how he undressed, if you know what I mean. . . .

But of course I was still too enmeshed in Baptist theology to have the courage to try to lead him into temptation.  He was a good guy, though, and probably wouldn't have put me in the hospital if I'd had the guts to tell him how much he meant to me . . . (sigh)

Breaks my heart, hearing stories like that. I know a lot of people still have those experiences, but I realise how lucky I am to have grown up in a time and a place where exploring one's sexuality was less taboo, even if I've experienced some prejudice too.

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Yeah, my sexuality is pretty set in stone. :P:D 

---

But the Rape changes sexuality trope is pretty awful to be honest. There are people who live by it, I had a guest speaker at a church event once that stated that homosexual and homosexual questioning people - should - come forward and tell their stories. (Yeah right, come forward so we can cure you more like) That they were victims of something that shouldn't have happened to them, etc. (Rape, molestation, youthful experimentation that brain washed the pleasure part of the brain) Pretty much saying that it takes a traumatic event or an event in general for one to be homosexual or have homosexual attractions/tendencies. Even in a place filled with church people, I heard gasps. I gasped which earned me a few looks, but I tuned her out for the rest of her presentation because I couldn't fathom anything coming from her being helpful.

So - as much as I don't want to say, "don't write those," types of stories because you know.. we have a "responsibility," and such, (I hate the ideology, it seems so limiting and borderline censoring), I wouldn't recommend reading stuff like that if you're struggling with how your sexuality is developing - because I just don't think it would be good for you if the story doesn't end with the epiphany that sexuality is what you make of it yourself, not what someone  forces onto you. 

I mean I feel that sexuality 'can' to a point be influenced by outside instances and events. Or at least make a person curious enough to try and find they enjoy it, but there has to be special circumstances and attraction to the person to begin with.. or whatever. Some other factor has to be present. But the idea that trauma is the norm for sexuality changes is the problem, for sure. So fanfictions that do that or fiction in general should be read with the idea that it is strictly fiction and it happened to the 'individual' character in the story and not be a societal factor.

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On 4/14/2021 at 8:42 AM, Thorn Wilde said:

Breaks my heart, hearing stories like that.

I am daily grateful that was long in the past, and that things are so much better these day.  For the most part, anyway.

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15 hours ago, Krista said:

because I just don't think it would be good for you if the story doesn't end with the epiphany that sexuality is what you make of it yourself, not what someone  forces onto you. 

This is an excellent point.  I knew I was attracted to men at age four, and it took a couple of decades to shake off the cultural/religious indoctrination telling me that I was flawed.  It was a major epiphany to recognize that I was acceptable as I was. 

No traumatic experience made me gay, either.  An observant uncle told me (years later) that he had figured me out, even before I did, apparently.  (Wish he'd said something at the time, lol!)

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  • 3 months later...

I asked this in a fanfiction facebook group, so I thought I would ask it here too. This may be repetitious since I think I asked about it before. I was wanted to know how gay/bi men approach their (gay-themed) fanfiction differently that women do. A lot of fanfiction is written by women, who seem really interested in gay men. So maybe you all can help me (I am writing this for a blog post) and give me some insight.  

First of all, why are women writing gay fiction in the first place. What is it about gay stories/men that have you so interested?  

Second, what is it about being gay (or bi) that informs your stories that is different from what women (in all of their female varieties) bring to their stories.  

Third, are they any specific tropes that could be identified as particularly gay/bi male, and others notably heterosexual or female? That seems a bit sexist, interpret it how you wish.  

I am still floundering around here, trying to figure out what to think. Any suggestions?  

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