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Queer struggles at midlife: so relevant to this current fandom conflict.

caitlinispiningforjohnlock:

 I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, but hesitating to post because I do not want to be seen as overgeneralizing or being condescending, or telling a story that may not be mine to tell or inserting the opinion of a het woman into a queer discussion space.

I think, though, I have a bit of a window on why some people in the fandom are behaving the way they are.

Because I’ve seen it before, I’m seeing it right now, played out in real life.

My older sister, whom I adore, is a semi-prominent lesbian activist and author. She has been active in the NYC LGBTQ community since the early eighties. She is now, like me, on the far side of forty.

Over the past ten years, I’ve seen the bitterness and jealousy and frustration grow and fester in more than a few of my sister’s friends and associates. And in my sister, too, sorry to say.

(Not all, I hasten to add. Some. But not all, not by far.)

They’ve endured twenty, thirty, sometimes forty years of activism, of struggle, of dedication to a cause greater than themselves. And today, in so many ways, their dreams are on the brink of being realized. The world today for the queer community is almost unbelievably different than it was even a decade ago. Young people (in the US and Western Europe) have a freedom to openly live their sexual orientation to a degree almost incomprehensible to folks coming up in the seventies and eighties.

(Not that it’s easy. I do not mean that. And the dreams of freedom and open acceptance are still just out of reach. But in comparison to twenty years ago? Night and day, or at least night and the first streaks of dawn.)

But what does a person do when the cause you’ve spent your whole life fighting for is won? What do you do when success leaves you feeling irrelevant? What do you do when you feel like your hard work is unappreciated by the new generation, who enjoy freedom you never knew because of your hard work and they don’t even fully realize what you’ve done for them?

It’s an eternal question for the veterans of any battlefield: What do you do when the new world you’ve worked so hard to help create may no longer have a place for you?

Some people deal with these shifts with grace and wisdom, and are able to adapt to the changing times, grow into new roles as mentors and confidantes and tellers of history.

Some people, however, are not.

Some people become bitter, inflexible, feel ill-used and unappreciated. Some look down on younger people, sneer at them for not being “true enough”—in this case, deride them as not being as authentically queer enough. They decide they are the keepers and defenders of the true cause in order to cling to relevance.

I’ve seen it. I see it, in the sneering condescension I’ve heard directed at “baby dykes”, at the ridiculous and arbitrary litmus tests of who is authentically queer enough to count, in the older guard’s unfortunate tendency to deride and reject bi- and pansexual identites.

(And I haven’t even touched on trans issues. The problem of transphobia in the gay community is well documented elsewhere, and way too deep and complex to address in this limited space.)

I’ve seen queer activists at midlife struggle to find meaning and focus in their lives now that their time at the center of the struggle is almost past. I’ve seen my sister become utterly disillusioned about her firmly-held notion of the emotional superiority of lesbian relationships as she burned through two marriages and go on to  earn the dubious distinction of filing for one of the first gay divorces in her state.

(side note: disillusionment about relationships, and humanity in general, is a hallmark of one’s late forties. Not reserved for any stripe of sexual orientation.)

I’ve seen good people, people I love and care about, struggle desperately to figure out where they fit in this brave new world.

I’ve seen people allow this kind of unhappiness and resentment poison their entire lives. It paralyses them, makes them unable to move to a place of greater compassion and wisdom.

This ridiculous and unfortunate conflict over TJLC is, in my opinion, more of the same. It’s borne out of a resentment over the idea possible representation that feels (not is, but feels) too mainstream, too accessible, too ‘easy’ should not ‘count’ as authentic, an idea that something that is fun and accessible isn’t as real  as struggle and tears and anguish are.

I think, in short, it’s a kind of tragic, misguided resentment over people enjoying themselves, having fun without the ‘appropriate’ gravitas. Maybe it feels like disrespect to their lifetime of hard work.

I can understand and empathise with that. I think it’s terribly misguided and destructive and flat out wrong, but I do understand.

It’s a terribly toxic worldview in the end, though, and it unnecessarily tears people apart who should be standing side by side.

I don’t have any kind of answers. Wish I did. But empathy and compassion are a crucial place to start.

bencumber:

The Eloquence of Dr. John Watson

bencumber:

The Eloquence of Dr. John Watson

nastyrutobuka:

so! when I was drawing jonnyluvssherlock's commission, I got ahead of myself and drew the wrong dynamics while not telling them (yay for stupid) so we have a fork in this story:

top!lock (here) and this one, bottom!lock! ♥

though obviously I didn’t get to shade this one, and the lettering is a bit tiny, and the ending is very abrupt… but enjoy, anyway!

this is the reason the comic took so long for me to publish~ *sweats*

rominatrix:

I am so emotional about the future johnlock kiss. I just want to talk about that. I want to talk about Moffat writing that moment (because I’m sure if it happens it’s going to go down on one of his eps). I want to talk about Mark smirking about that when they decide it’s happening. I want to talk about the moment when Ben and Martin find out about the kiss. And when they first read it in the scripts.
I want to talk about the moment the studio is set up to make that moment happen. And the silence when it happens. And Martin is going to be playful and smug. I want to talk about Martin teasing about doing it again. Perhaps they might even have to shoot it again, another angle. Many angles. I want to talk about whether it’s going to be John making the first move or Sherlock. I bet it’s John. I want to talk about whether they are going to be sitting or standing. Or in a horizontal position for some reason. Is John going to cup Sherlock’s face? His hand on the back of his neck as he plays with his nape curl? Both of them licking their lips. Or maybe John licks Sherlock’s teasingly. John biting and pulling from Sherlock’s lower lip? I want to talk about their eyelashes brushing their faces. And maybe a gasp. And maybe a sigh after it. I want to know how opens their eyes first. And who licks their lips after it happens.
I want to talk about them teasing about it during interviews. I want to talk about the trailers that might even tease about it. And even the screenings and people tweeting about it but not being able to say it.
I want to talk a lot about the moment it happens and tumblr and twitter and facebook and the world goes crazy because this is life changing. This has never happened before in the history of Holmes adaptations. I want to talk about how the fandom is going to celebrate. I don’t want to talk about how the haters will still hate but i know that will happen. I want to talk about all the different gifs and edits and graphics and new poetry and new fanfics and new art that is going to happen after it. I want to talk about that moment that is going to be captured by the media from all over the world. And how it is going to be history.
I want to talk about how we not going to be able to calm down for a very long time and we might even scare our pets and family and even neighbours because screaming and shouting will occur. I want to talk about how many times we are going to re watch those seconds and compare it to other kisses. I want to talk about what happens after. I want meta about the future. I want to talk about their plans and their faces and their hands and their hair and their lips and their eyes and their body movement and the way their eyes are going to meet and they flushed cheeks and the way their chest will move. I want to talk about how perfect it’s going to be and how nothing else is going to matter except from getting to see Sherlock until they both grow old and we grow old with them.

shylocks:

I really want to go up to all those people and ask them if they actually know what tjlc is

because no fucking one could actually believe expecting representation where it’s due is harmful and expecting what you would expect if it was a straight couple is harmful and not standing back and taking the queerbaiting and instead being like “this is either going to be real (and I think it will be because it’s the most logical conclusion, and because of ALL the evidence, and because I have to hope for something) or fuck it forever #gay or trash” is harmful

I’ve seen how important it is to people and it makes so many joyful and hopeful and proud and I know if it’s going to turn out to be queerbaiting a good portion will just turn their back to the show and use the experience to get even more motivated to set things right in terms of representation and make their own SH adaptation or whatever they wish (BUT HEY!! SURPRISINGLY people prefer to be optimistic, I wonder why) and if you bash it just for whatever bitter petty reason without even knowing what it is (it’s not an hard concept to grasp: the belief/conviction/hope that Sherlock and John will be in a canonical relationship) or just ignoring it, then I hope you step in every puddle on your way metaphorically and literally

The Princess Bride, Moffat, and TJLC

loudest-subtext-in-television:

loudest-subtext-in-television:

In my reading, TJLCers!

If you didn’t know, one of Moffat’s favorite movies (and books) is The Princess Bride:

I’d recommend reading The Princess Bride. It’s a wonderful book; it’s about storytelling. It’s supposedly him adapting a story his father used to tell him, for his son — by cutting all the dull bits out, and any kissing, and getting rid of it all.

I think it’s both a wonderful book —and a film, which is a double whammy.

— Steven Moffat (x)

Consider this as a summary of The Princess Bride (which has some of its own parallels with ACD canon):

The audience for the story is a kid who explicitly says he doesn’t want to hear a kissing story; he thinks they’re gross. His grandfather sells him the story by making it sound like an adventure story. As the adventure story goes on, the kid starts shipping Westley and Buttercup and caring a lot about their relationship.

Westley returns from the dead in a disguise and pisses off Buttercup, his true love. She forgives him rather quickly, however. Unfortunately she is engaged to someone else she doesn’t truly love because she thought Westley was dead for years; she says the engagement all happened too quickly. Westley rescues her from a kidnapping plot and fire but then has to return her to fiance, who turns out to not be in love with her at all, but rather is a murderous psychopath who is lying to her as part of an elaborate plot. Buttercup is unaware for a while, however, because her fiance seems so nice. Buttercup has nightmares because she’s in love with Westley but thinks she must marry her fiance. She makes a last-ditch effort to break things off with her fiance and get with Westley. Meanwhile her fiance kills Westley, who comes back via a “miracle” wherein someone asks him what he wants to live for: he awakens gasping “true love.”

At this point the kid REALLY wants Buttercup and Westley to be together, and for Buttercup’s fiance to be killed because he’s so awful: he killed Westley, and has been lying to Buttercup.

Westley manages to outsmart Buttercup’s fiance with the help of some friends. Westley and Buttercup literally ride off into the sunset and, according to the grandfather, the kiss is more passionate and pure than every other kiss ever. By the end of the story the kid is heavily invested in their relationship and wants to hear the kissing part, going so far as to become agitated when his grandfather tries to skip it.

Now reread that, but replace Westley with “Sherlock” and Buttercup with “John.” And substitute “John Watson is definitely in danger” for “true love” as the trigger that brings Sherlock back to life — which, of course, according to TJLCers isn’t much of a substitution at all.

Meanwhile the audience, who would have not willingly watched a romance they perceive to be gross, is taken in by the adventure story facade and gradually comes to root for Johnlock. By the end, they care more that John and Sherlock end up happy together than they care about any particular adventure in the story. Softly, softly, isn’t it?

Also fun: the entire cabbie confrontation in ASiP is an homage to The Princess Bride. Westley engages in a battle of wits with a man over which of two glasses of wine are poisoned: the man has to pick which of the two he’ll drink, and then they’ll both drink their glasses to prove who is smarter. He does this by working through whether it’s a double bluff, a triple bluff, etc.

Scheduled reblog for the afternoon. A couple notes:

Several people have pointed out that the poison comes from A Study in Scarlet, which I apparently wasn’t very clear about because I assumed that was common knowledge; that’s what I was getting at with “The Princess Bride (which has some of its own parallels with ACD canon)”: TPB includes a play on ASiS, which I thought was obvious and thus not the interesting thing about the TPB scene compared to ASiP. But I realize now that’s only probably obvious if you’ve either seen TPB, or perhaps seen it recently: what’s interesting is the scene with the cabbie in ASiP contains elements from TPB that are not in ASiS at all; it is an homage to an homage. Either way, watch TPB and read ASiS and you’ll see that the cabbie showdown scene in ASiP is a very clear homage to TPB in particular. Here are the key things:

  • In ASiS, the cabbie does not offer Holmes the choice between the pills or anything. Holmes just calls a cab and has him arrested; we never see a poison showdown or battle of wits, we only hear the cabbie explain that he offered two pills to his victim. In TPB however, like Sherlock in ASiP, Westley has a poison showdown with Vizzini.
  • In ASiS, the poison choice has nothing to do with proving who is smarter. The cabbie tells his victim, “Let us see if there is justice upon the earth, or if we are ruled by chance.” It is a matter of religion and justice, not wits. In TPB, however, just like ASiP, the choice is explicitly about proving whether Westley is smarter than his opponent. From TPB:

Vizzini: “I can’t compete with you physically, and you’re no match for my brains.”
Westley: “You’re that smart?”
Vizzini: “Let me put it this way: have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?”
Westley: “Yes.”
Vizzini: “Morons.”
Westley: “Really. In that case, I challenge you to a battle of wits.”
Vizzini: “For the princess?” [Westley nods.] “To the death?” [Nods again.] “I accept.” [Sheaths dagger.]
Westley: “Good. Then pour the wine.” [Sits, pulls out a small vial, uncorks it, and offers it to Vizzini.] “Inhale this, but do not touch.”
Vizzini: [Sniffs vial.] “I smell nothing.” [Returns vial.]
Westley: “What you do not smell is called Iocane powder. It is odorless, tasteless, dissolves instantly in liquid, and is among the more deadly poisons known to man.”
Vizzini: “Hmm.”
Westley: [Turns away from Vizzini with the goblets, to pour the poison in. Goblets replaced on the table, one in front of each.] “All right. Where is the poison? The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide and we both drink, and find out who is right… and who is dead.”

(x)

  • In ASiS, because it’s not a battle of wits, there’s no real talk of getting into the head of one’s opponent and trying to predict their decisions. That would actually seem to go against the cabbie’s aims or whatever in ASiS; it’s important to him that his victim be killed by divine justice. Again, the cabbie just says the line above, and we don’t see any actual scene. However, in TPB just like the cabbie in ASiP, Vizzini talks at great length about getting into Westley’s head to determine whether it’s a bluff, double bluff, triple bluff, etc:

Vizzini: “But it’s so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you: are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy’s? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.”
Westley: “You’ve made your decision then?”
Vizzini: “Not remotely. Because Iocane comes from Australia, as everyone knows, and Australia is entirely peopled with criminals, and criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.”
Westley: “Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.”
Vizzini: “WAIT TILL I GET GOING! Where was I?”
Westley: “Australia.”
Vizzini: “Yes, Australia. And you must have suspected I would have known the powder’s origin, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.”
Westley: “You’re just stalling now.”
Vizzini: “YOU’D LIKE TO THINK THAT, WOULDN’T YOU? You’ve beaten my giant, which means you’re exceptionally strong, so you could’ve put the poison in your own goblet, trusting on your strength to save you, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But, you’ve also bested my Spaniard, which means you must have studied, and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.”

(x)

One cool thing several of you pointed out that I missed, though, is that Mycroft tells us in ASiB that Sherlock always wanted to be a pirate, and Westley was disguised as a pirate while he was dead. :-)

astudyinrose:

The idea that seeing two queer people who are this high profile on screen be together is HARMFUL to the queer community absolutely baffles me. 

The assertion that because it’s two cis white guys it “doesn’t go far enough” is absolute bullshit. I’m not saying that I don’t want to see more POC and non-binaries in popular culture, because I do. But the whole point here is that representation has to break through somewhere. Do they really think it would make as big of an impact on the general population if they had two non-binary queer people fall in love in an obscure show? No. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t be the case, because most people who are homophobic wouldn’t WATCH that show. I would, but the whole point is that we want people in the general population to realize that queer people are not an “other.” They have been watching this show this long, and become extremely invested in the characters, and seen John marry a woman and say that he’s “not gay.” Most people in the world are so heteronormative that they think of things in black and white (straight, gay. That’s it.). Not only that, these characters have been beloved for centuries. For John and Sherlock to become a couple would be a HUGE plus in the category for representation for these reasons.

Again, does that mean it goes far enough and I don’t want to see more POC non-binary queer people in the media like Laverne Cox? No. Does that mean it shouldn’t happen.

tjlc: the creators of this show have been creating a slow-burn love story about two men since day one, subverting people's expectations and heteronormative assumptions and softly, softly introducing queer representation to people who normally would be very uncomfortable with it
anti-tjlc people: this is so harmful
bennyslegs:

idk john fucking sherlock over the sofa??

bennyslegs:

idk john fucking sherlock over the sofa??

watsonsdick:

codeinewarrior:

say those three words and i’m yours

Johnlock is endgame

undermycroftsumbrella:

this has been a

post

holmesno:

what the fuck they gonna do with a baby

joolaweed:

MRS HUDSON’S FACE WHEN HE CALLS HER HUDDERS IS SO AS;FJSAFAS;KFSAJF;A

image

SHE’S REALLY HAPPY WITH IT… POSSIBLY STONED

graceebooks:

honestly that’s WHY sherlock is consistently put in the more stereotypically feminine position/role on the more concrete immediate sexual subtext level; they want to balance out the fact that on the more general/structural/narrative level, sherlock is the dashing hero and john is the damsel in distress

The Princess Bride, Moffat, and TJLC

loudest-subtext-in-television:

In my reading, TJLCers!

If you didn’t know, one of Moffat’s favorite movies (and books) is The Princess Bride:

I’d recommend reading The Princess Bride. It’s a wonderful book; it’s about storytelling. It’s supposedly him adapting a story his father used to tell him, for his son — by cutting all the dull bits out, and any kissing, and getting rid of it all.

I think it’s both a wonderful book —and a film, which is a double whammy.

— Steven Moffat (x)

Consider this as a summary of The Princess Bride (which has some of its own parallels with ACD canon):

The audience for the story is a kid who explicitly says he doesn’t want to hear a kissing story; he thinks they’re gross. His grandfather sells him the story by making it sound like an adventure story. As the adventure story goes on, the kid starts shipping Westley and Buttercup and caring a lot about their relationship.

Westley returns from the dead in a disguise and pisses off Buttercup, his true love. She forgives him rather quickly, however. Unfortunately she is engaged to someone else she doesn’t truly love because she thought Westley was dead for years; she says the engagement all happened too quickly. Westley rescues her from a kidnapping plot and fire but then has to return her to her fiance, who turns out to not be in love with her at all, but rather is a murderous psychopath who is lying to her as part of an elaborate plot. Buttercup is unaware for a while, however, because her fiance seems so nice. Buttercup has nightmares because she’s in love with Westley but thinks she must marry her fiance. She makes a last-ditch effort to break things off with her fiance and get with Westley. Meanwhile her fiance kills Westley, who comes back via a “miracle” wherein someone asks him what he wants to live for: he awakens gasping “true love.”

At this point the kid REALLY wants Buttercup and Westley to be together, and for Buttercup’s fiance to be killed because he’s so awful: he killed Westley, and has been lying to Buttercup.

Westley manages to outsmart Buttercup’s fiance with the help of some friends. Westley and Buttercup literally ride off into the sunset and, according to the grandfather, the kiss is more passionate and pure than every other kiss ever. By the end of the story the kid is heavily invested in their relationship and wants to hear the kissing part, going so far as to become agitated when his grandfather tries to skip it.

Now reread that, but replace Westley with “Sherlock” and Buttercup with “John.” And substitute “John Watson is definitely in danger” for “true love” as the trigger that brings Sherlock back to life — which, of course, according to TJLCers isn’t much of a substitution at all.

Meanwhile the audience, who would have not willingly watched a romance they perceive to be gross, is taken in by the adventure story facade and gradually comes to root for Johnlock. By the end, they care more that John and Sherlock end up happy together than they care about any particular adventure in the story. Softly, softly, isn’t it?

Also fun: the entire cabbie confrontation in ASiP is an homage to The Princess Bride. Westley engages in a battle of wits with a man over which of two glasses of wine are poisoned: the man has to pick which of the two he’ll drink, and then they’ll both drink their glasses to prove who is smarter. He does this by working through whether it’s a double bluff, a triple bluff, etc.