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A Short QAF Essay this week [Apr. 12th, 2005|04:05 pm]
Queer As Folk Essays


[mood |hungryhungry]
[music |I'm A Hustler]

So this piece was inspired by fandom_wank. In particular - B/J versus B/M on fandom_wank. (And B/J versus B/M AGAIN on f_w *.) It lead me to wonder:


Part 1: Canon Love

I always think it's amusing to talk to people in other fandoms, especially other slash fandoms, about Queer as Folk and its fans. Because other fandoms just don't get us. Why we're so attached to these characters, why we're so willing to fight for our favored pairing, why - on occasion - we do fight over these pairings. People in these other slash fandoms will tell you - they've never seen anything like the Queer as Folk fandom. The open animosity, the outright hatred people will develop toward each other. The stalking, the bitterness, the name calling. It doesn't happen in most fandoms. Even in the ones that have multiple ship possibilities. In other fandoms, the fans seem to have realized that not everyone will agree on which characters should be together. And that's okay.

I think that most fans of Queer as Folk would agree with at least half of that ideal. It's true - we don't all agree on which characters should be together on the show. But for some reason in the QaF fandom - that's not okay.

It's not as though I'm an innocent bystander in the negative aspects of our fandom. I'm probably just as snarky and anti-ship as the next person. If not more snarky and anti-ship. So this isn't an essay on why I think we should all get along. (Although mikeyface has written an essay along those lines if that's what you're looking to read.)

I'm writing this essay because I think I've come to a realization over why we, the Queer as Folk fandom as a whole, is more wanktastic than the average fandom.

It all comes down to canon.

- In the Harry Potter fandom, whether you think Harry/Draco should be together or if you'd prefer Harry/Ron:

- In the Lost fandom, whether you think Sawyer/Jack should be together or if you'd rather Sawyer/Sayid:

- In the O.C. fandom, whether you think Seth/Zach should be together or if you'd like Seth/Ryan:

All these fandoms and more, all these pairings and more, have something in common:

They're most likely never going to happen in canon. The possibility of these ships coming to fruition are extremely slim to none. There's not going to be any butt sex in Orange County, the island or at Hogwarts. Sorry, sad to say it, but it's not happening.

These fandoms, these pairings - they're all based on fantasy. On subtext.

And that's where Queer as Folk is different from almost every other slash fandom in existence - we have actual text to base our ships on.

So whereas other fans in other fandoms can just say, "To each his own" and move on with their lives, it's harder to do that in the QaF fandom. Because we all have pairings that we love that have an actual basis in canon. So instead of saying, "To each his own" - we say, "This is the one true pairing and look - I have proof!"

Michael: But there is no always, there's only now, that's all we have. Isn't that what you're always telling me?
Ben: That's what I'm always telling you.
Michael: So... then... I don't care what anyone else says or feels, I just care how I feel

Brian: Wait, you didn't let me finish. It'll all seem like a distant memory except for you. Because no matter where I go or who I'm with. I'll always love you.
Michael: Bullshit.
Brian: It's not bullshit.

Justin: This was the best night of my life.
Brian: Even if it was ridiculously romantic.


We're so busy proving our ships in this fandom and offering factual evidence from the episodes that it renders us incapable of accepting other points of view. So if someone tells you that they don't like the couple you ship or that they don't understand why you ship them - the only thing you're thinking is, "Is this person blind? Stupid? Delusional? Didn't they see this episode or hear that statement? How can they not get it?"

It's a downward spiral from there. Because the more you try to explain to someone why you love your pairing and they don't get it - the more frustrated you become. Until finally it devolves into, "My ship is #1 and anyone who doesn't like it, can kiss my butt."

We fight because we care. Because we see greatness in this show and in these characters' relationships. And if there wasn't a chance for all of these pairings to potentially be realized on the show, would the fans be as emotionally involved in ships? Would the B/J fans be as angry at B/M fans (and vice versa) if each ship didn't see the possibility in the other ship ending the show together? Would we be as bitter if we didn't see these opposing ships as the only thing standing between our pairing and total happiness? Personally, I don't think so.

The first part of a Queer as Folk fandom wanks starts with - "I love my ship and I want them to win out because there's so much basis in canon for their love." And because you know that you're right about the true love of this pairing - if someone disagrees with you, and you're even the least bit hot-tempered, it can only lead to name calling, shipper wars, and fandom wank at large. Because we have to prove our point.

And on that note - B/M Forever!

What? I couldn't resist. ;)

~The End~

* Thanks to bonobochick for the link to the 2nd wank. :D

Thanks for reading. Comments, questions welcomed as always.

- Roxie

[User Picture]From: bluerosefairy
2005-04-12 08:57 pm (UTC)
Roxie, you are fabulous, because you're completely right. In almost every other fandom, the pairing will never get together in canon. In QAF, almost every pairing you could think of has been either depicted or alluded to on the show. And not just the big three (Brian/Michael, Brian/Justin, Michael/Ben). You can argue for Brian/Emmett on the same wavelength that someone else could argue Michael/Justin. It may never happen, but the evidence is there.

And on that note, I'll see your "B/M Forever" and raise you a "Viva la B/M!"
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[User Picture]From: pluvial_poetry
2005-04-13 03:25 pm (UTC)
I'm fabulous? *blushes* Thanks you!!

And I agree with the points you made! QAF teases us with all sorts of pairings. While I may never want to think about Brian/Ted or Michael/Justin, the possibility is always there. ;)

"Viva la B/M! Ahora y siempre!" *g*
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[User Picture]From: quinnstorm
2005-04-12 09:33 pm (UTC)
Yes! I never thought about that. & I often wondered why we were so much more hostile (which I know I personally am so I'm not trying to just blame others) than other fandoms. But you are soooo right.

And you're especially right because Brian and Michael are meant to be together and anyone who doesn't think that can SUCK MY COCK.

(Haha, tooootally kidding.)
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[User Picture]From: pluvial_poetry
2005-04-13 03:29 pm (UTC)
Brian and Michael are meant to be together and anyone who doesn't think that can SUCK MY COCK.

HAHAHA!!!! Right on! :D

Thanks for commenting! I'm glad you liked the essay and that you found it true! *G*

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[User Picture]From: mikeyface
2005-04-13 05:28 pm (UTC)
Hi!! *waves*

Random comment... GOD I LOVE THAT ICON!!!! I have that one too! Seriously, is there nothing better than that scene?!?!?!!?

*contineues to stare at your icon*

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[User Picture]From: bonobochick
2005-04-12 09:47 pm (UTC)
I was partying in Toronto when the wank you linked broke out. hmmm. Don't forget the big wank a few months ago...

Interesting essay. I agree with most of your points. So should we blame Cowlip? =P

You should post this on michaelandbrian.

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From: (Anonymous)
2005-04-12 11:30 pm (UTC)
I have to say I really enjoyed reading this essay. And I agree with many of the points that you’ve made.

But I’d also like to add that it’s not just our love for these characters or the pairing we wish to see end up happily ever after. It’s also a sense of entitlement that leads to an arrogance that also propels these shipper wars and wankfests.

It the sense that CL owe us something for all the time and energy we’ve invested in these parings. The emotional rollercoaster that we’ve been on with them for the past four years. And the feeling that we should in the end get some sort of satisfaction for having loyally put up with it all.

It’s the sense that we’re owed a happy ending. That B/J should be together because they’ve suffered through so much together. From the bashing, to Justin’s being a vigilante to Brian’s cancer scare.

Or that B/M should be together because of the storied history they have together. From the years spent being there for each other when on one else was to Michael being the only person Brian allows himself to become emotionally vulnerable around.

It’s the sense that CL have strung us along for years now and now we want/are entitled to satisfaction. And to prove out point we offer proof to support our vision of what satisfaction should look like in the end.

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[User Picture]From: pluvial_poetry
2005-04-13 03:34 pm (UTC)
But I’d also like to add that it’s not just our love for these characters

Thanks for commenting! I really liked the points you brought up. And don't worry - I haven't forgotten about the fans' sense of entitlement leading to wank. This essay was only Part 1. Parts 2 and 3 are still in the works. *g*

I'm glad you enjoyed the essay! :D
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[User Picture]From: pluvial_poetry
2005-04-13 03:31 pm (UTC)
The big wank a few months ago? Oh! The fishbutt one? I wonder if I have the link for that somewhere... hmm...

Thanks for commenting! And yes, we should always blame CowLip. Because all that's wrong with the world I'm sure is somehow due to their deviousness. :P

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[User Picture]From: bonobochick
2005-04-13 04:17 pm (UTC)
It was deleted off from the michaelandbrian community, which is where it started, but I had the fandom wank link in one of my old posts: http://www.journalfen.net/community/fandom_wank/637834.html

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[User Picture]From: pluvial_poetry
2005-04-13 09:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you muchly! :D

I have edited the essay to add the link. *g*
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[User Picture]From: bouncykeira
2005-04-12 10:56 pm (UTC)
you rock Roxie :)
There does seem to be an inordinantly large amount of passionate opinion in this fandom and the cannon possibilities certainly feed into that a lot.

lol I couldn't help but laugh at your parting words but of course I agree. But I also can see where things escalate quickly.

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[User Picture]From: pluvial_poetry
2005-04-13 03:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you!!! *g*

And I'm glad you got a laugh out of it. :D

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[User Picture]From: mikeyface
2005-04-13 02:56 am (UTC)
"There's not going to be any butt sex in Orange County, the island or at Hogwarts. Sorry, sad to say it, but it's not happening"


Oh hon. That was fan-fucking-tastic!!! Now while I like my little "can't we just get along" speech, I totally agree with everything you had to say. You're right. The number one reason that we (QaF fans in general) get so emotional over our ship of preference is because there is potential for it to happen!!! SO well written!! While I generally try never to get involved in a shipper war, I have been a victim of a few vicious attacks and do you know what I have to say to them? B/M FOREVER lol. *sticks tongue out* -- ok, just kidding.

Seriously though, this was very well thought out and well written!!!

*hugs you*
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[User Picture]From: pluvial_poetry
2005-04-13 03:38 pm (UTC)

So you liked my butt sex comment? *G*

Thanks for enjoying the essay and for all the great compliments!!! You make my day. ;)

*hugs and <3s to Angie*
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[User Picture]From: mikeyface
2005-04-13 05:25 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah. I LOVED it!!!!!!!!!!!!

You always make MY day!! :D

*hugs & more <3 to Roxie*
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[User Picture]From: mad_magpie
2005-04-13 09:32 am (UTC)
Fantastic essay. :) Mind if I friend you? I'm in dire need of fellow B/M fans!
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[User Picture]From: pluvial_poetry
2005-04-13 12:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks for commenting!

And sure, friend away! My f-list could always use more B/M fans. :D
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[User Picture]From: mikeyface
2005-04-13 05:33 pm (UTC)

"I'm in dire need of fellow B/M fans"

LOL! That's usually MY pick-up line ;)

Do you need any more because, Hello!!! B/M-er! Over here! :D

*points to self*

My f-list is actually growing but as I always say, one can NEVER have too many friends. Especially B/M-ers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Ps, I worship your icon!!!! *G*
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[User Picture]From: mad_magpie
2005-04-14 03:30 am (UTC)
Haha hey! You're right, you can never have enough B/M fans! :P

Thanks- I didn't make it, _mixed_media_ did, but it's damn pretty. :D I'm loving your icon- <33 that episode!
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[User Picture]From: mikeyface
2005-04-14 04:18 pm (UTC)
Im going to friend you, if that's ok :D

*hugs new B/M-er*

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[User Picture]From: bonobochick
2005-04-13 11:39 pm (UTC)

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[User Picture]From: mad_magpie
2005-04-14 03:44 am (UTC)
Thanks! :)
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[User Picture]From: midnighta
2005-04-13 01:15 pm (UTC)
Right on. I've always lived on subtext in HP and SG. I walked into those ships knowing I'd have to be content with fanfic and fanart.

With Qaf, as you said, there's real evidence. So for every piece of B/M that I get, the more I want and hope to see. Then the part of me thinking isn't it obvious that B/M is the ultimate ship?! gets dissapointed when another episode, another opporunity for such a moment, passes by.

Eee, back to you now! :p Wonderful essay as usual! <3
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[User Picture]From: pluvial_poetry
2005-04-13 03:41 pm (UTC)
So for every piece of B/M that I get, the more I want and hope to see

So true! It's such a tease when we get those little moments! And it's such a let down when we don't get the moments that we want. *glares at double edged sword*

Thanks for commenting!! *g* I'm glad you liked the essay! :D
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[User Picture]From: bachicka
2005-04-14 02:17 am (UTC)
This is a wonderful essay. Your writing style is very personal and I can tell you've really put thought and effort into this piece. You incorporate opinions, facts, and humor (I loved the "There's not going to be any butt sex in Orange County, the island or at Hogwarts." It made me laugh out loud.) I always appreciate a well written essay

That being said...thank you. I have only been a part of the QAF fandom for little under 5 months now and the wankiness of this fandom has always been puzzling for me. I have belonged to other fandoms throughout my years and never have I ever seen such fighting. And I have more than once been a "non-canon" shipper (Farscape I was totally a John/Chiana shipper at heart! I still hold a tiny flag for them. Anyhoo...that out of my system) I never saw any animosity towards me or anyone else for the way that they shipped. Even just browsing around communities and the like, I've always seen more of a discussion. Never have I seen users verbally attack other users or actors for that matter.

So thank you for giving me your perspective on what makes this fandom so...disgruntled. It's nice to see someone tackling this topic. I look forward to more parts? (I believe I saw a "part 1" but no other parts...) So if more is coming I'll be sure to read them.

Oh...and um...I'll just...wave my..."B/M FOREVER!" flag now.

Yeah. That felt nice. I'll just keep waving my flag!

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[User Picture]From: pluvial_poetry
2005-04-14 03:24 am (UTC)
Thank you! This is a great comment, I really appreciate it. *g* I'm glad you liked the essay/my writing style/my sad attempts at humor. *lol*

And since I have been thinking about this essay for awhile now, I'm glad that came across. I've been in this fandom for almost 2 years... wow, it's been longer than I thought. Anyways, for all this time it's bothered me that this fandom is so hostile. So I just wanted to explore some kind of explanation for it.

And yes, this was only Part 1 and so far there are no other parts. I'm still thinking about them. Because I'm in the middle of a bad period at school so my meta muse is on the fritz. Hopefully soon, I'll be able to get Parts 2 and 3 up. *g*

So keep waving your B/M flag! I know I am. ;)

~ Roxie
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