Welcome to Queer Fudanshi! Let’s talk. Today is Monday and that means it’s time for a Monday post. This time, we’re going to be talking about why I created Queer Fudanshi.
What’s a Monday Post? These posts vary depending on the week. They could be LMQRs where I give a list of the reviews from the last month. They could be a Ramble Time in which I talk about any random topic or a Story time with a personal anecdote from my life. From Why #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend is Plausible but not Possible to a story about my cruise to Bermuda.
All of this is in hopes to help make Queer Fudanshi a safe space where readers are confortable. This is so readers can come looking for LGBT media, but also to know there’s a safe space online to talk about other topics/hobbies too.
But more on that in a minute.
Let’s Get Talking
As stated in my About page, I grew up knowing that I was gay. I discovered my homosexuality around the age of 12. At that time I was in middle school, and not in the happiest place. Looking for LGBT media was the thing that fueled me. In a time when I felt very alone it was the LGBT community that made me feel a part of something.
Let’s be honest, you can be gay and not be an active part of the LGBT community. What you do in your bedroom is your business alone and you don’t have to announce that to the world. And that’s fine. But like Julius said in Dancing in the Dark, some people “Live Gay.” Watching those people “living gay” and celebrating their queerness excited me. I wanted to live gay like them.
Because of that, I couldn’t get enough. I read books like Am I Blue, Geography Club, Will Grayson/Will Grayson and Totally Joe, I watched tv shows like Greek, and the first few seasons of Glee (before it got to be too much for me), I watched movies like Rent, Across the Universe, Were the World Mine, To Wong Fu with Love. And then of course, all the Yaoi….
Skipping ahead several years, I created Queer Fudanshi for multiple reasons. I was graduating college and didn’t have a “what next.” I had plans, but all of them fell through. In that time of desperation I sat myself down and thought, “What do I want to do?” At the time my answer was, “Too much.” I like to act, I like to sing, I like to dance, I like to write. I didn’t know how to set up a career that could help me do all of that, so I started researching.
I googled “how to find your passion,” or “How to make your passion a career.” I even looked up what Oprah had to say. Through that I found that it’s ok (and normal) to have multiple passions. Then one site specifically said, “Find what makes you feel beautiful. Find what makes you feel more alive than anything else.” After reading that I laid there and I thought and I thought and it came to me. Absorbing queer content. That’s what I’d been doing for years. That’s what I loved.
I decided that while I’m working on writing my own books, plays, and possibly acting a bit on the side that I would write a blog. On this blog I would talk about LGBT media and share that with others. That way, I can build a community like the one I needed when I was a kid. In addition, that community can enjoy talking about LGBT media and feel the joys that it brought me when I was younger. Ultimately, I want to make a safe space for others, the kind of place I wanted to have.
In addition to that, at the time the 100 issue was happening. An actress playing a lesbian character was planned to leave the tv show. The showrunner, who had been queerbaiting the audience by celebrating a lesbian couple as one of the main focuses on the show and saying neither of them would die, then went and killed the character off. While it was unavoidable that the character had to go, the showrunner egged the LGBT fanbase throughout the characters run and then dealt with her through bad writing aka a stray bullet.
This, of course, did not go well for the show or the showrunner. LGBT fans, myself included, took to twitter to express their outrage. The trend LGBT FANS DESERVE BETTER emerged. Several websites and groups formed in the wake of that incident, including Queer Fudanshi. I created Queer Fudanshi to make it a place to share LGBT media so those looking for them could find them. What better time could there be to launch?
Next, why did I name it Queer Fudanshi? The answer is mostly simple, but it has since had some interesting complications. I wanted to have a name that was unique and dynamic. I was brainstorming ideas such as LGBT International, but nothing sounded right. I decided to go with Queer over LGBT because it stood out more. It made a more brazen statement. Then I thought, “Fudanshi!”
For those who don’t know, fudanshi is a Japanese term that literally means “rotten boy.” That said, the term is often used to identify male fans of yaoi (boys love) properties. Back when I was 12, I loved yaoi. I’ve been reading the comic book genre ever since.
While I love that I created Queer Fudanshi and gave it such an interesting title, I sometimes feel troubled by it. Such a unique name demands confidence and pride to go behind it. I’m working on having that.
In addition, though I love yaoi, I worry about the oversexualization of the genre. Some will say that’s the point of it, but as a gay man I wish I didn’t have to have stories about guys like me only surmount to porn that’s often catered to women. (I’ll probably write a ramble time about this at some point). While I’ll always incorporate yaoi/boys love, I’m working on how much is appropriate.
I want Queer Fudanshi to be a family friendly site where youth can enter. If I have too much yaoi content that may spoil that image. These are struggles I’m still figuring out.
Queer Fudanshi’s Future
That said, Queer Fudanshi is still a new property. The blog launched officially in April, 2016 and it’s only August now, but the blog has grown so much and evolves every day.
Now, I have subscribers who get emails whenever I post, commentators who actually take the time to have a conversation with me, and a Youtube channel, that’s having a rocky start, but will surely become a great addition to the Queer Fudanshi family.
I am proud of what I made. I’m proud that I created Queer Fudanshi and to work on it everyday. So thank you to those reading this. Whether you are a continued reader or a new one. You are helping to make Queer Fudanshi’s goal come true. And I hope that you’ll stick with me and Queer Fudanshi as we build a community of LGBT media fans.