Queer Fandom Guide

  • Carmilla - An early example of lesbian fiction

    Carmilla - An early example of lesbian fiction
    Carmilla is a Gothic novella by Irish author, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and one of the early works of vampire fiction. Carmilla, the title character, is the original prototype for a legion of female and lesbian vampires. Though Le Fanu portrays his vampire's sexuality with the circumspection that one would expect for his time, it is evident that lesbian attraction is the main dynamic between Carmilla and the narrator of the story:
  • Conan Doyle Fandom aka - Author of Sherlock Holmes

    The first real “fandom” as we think of it today was probably the Conan Doyle fandom back in the 1900s through 1920s which mainly consisted of people sending newsletters through the post. Essentially, one person would host the newsletter, and everyone associated would send letters to them containing their work, Sherlock stories or their thoughts. These would be typed up and mimeographed, then the completed newsletter would be mailed out to the subscribers.
  • Sci-Fi Fandom and the First Ever "Con"

    In 1926, a science-fiction fan magazine called Amazing Stories began to include a letters page that published the addresses of contributors to the magazine. This allowed for fans to contact each other directly, outside of magazines that only popped up every month/quarter/whatever. In 1939 in New York City, fans organized the first ever con - the World Science Fiction Convention. This is still a thing, but people call it Worldcon these days.
  • Magic Circle Theory and Origins of Fandom ( Dutch historian Johan Huizinga)

    Magic Circle Theory and Origins of Fandom ( Dutch historian Johan Huizinga)
    According to Huizinga's book, Homo Ludens- in games and digital media, the magic circle is the space in which the normal rules and reality of the world are suspended and replaced by the artificial reality of a game world. Play is conducted within a magic circle, which is set apart from real life. While within this magic circle, the players must play by the game's rules, which must be taken seriously or else the game would fall apart. Fandom, experts claim, can be likened to this magic circle.
  • First Fandom Zine including Fanfiction - Spockanalia https://fanlore.org/wiki/Spockanalia

    First Fandom Zine including Fanfiction - Spockanalia  https://fanlore.org/wiki/Spockanalia
    The modern phenomenon of fan fiction as an expression of fandom was popularized and defined via Star Trek fandom and their fanzines published in the 60s. The first Star Trek fanzine, Spockanalia, contained fan fiction. Fanzines were produced via offset printing and mimeography, and mailed to other fans or sold at science fiction conventions for a small fee. Unlike other aspects of fandom, women dominated fan fiction authoring; 83% of Star Trek fan fiction authors were female by 1970.
  • First Published SlashFiction

    First Published SlashFiction
    The first slash published in a zine was A Fragment Out of Time by Diane Marchant in 1974. Diane's story really was only a story fragment (a couple of pages of "he" and "him"—no names mentioned, but an illustration by Diane of Kirk and Spock was included). Because it was published in an adult zine, for a more specialized audience and likely with a small print run, fandom as a whole did not register this piece as "the first published K/S."
  • First Lesbian Character Killed on TV Show

    First Lesbian Character Killed on TV Show
    The Character Julie, on Executive Suite, was hit by a car and killed. Her love interest had just walked into traffic after realizing her lesbianism and Julie was chasing her. The show was less than a favourable depiction of queerness - there was only one season, and from what we can tell, three episodes about lesbians. One about being lesbians, one about unrequited lesbian love, and one about being dead lesbians.
  • StarTrek Femslash Emerges

    StarTrek Femslash Emerges
    The history of femslash most likely dates to early Star Trek fandom around the 1970s, with the first known femslash fics being published around this time. Kismet, a Chapel/Uhura fic by Dani Morin was published the zine Obsc'zine in 1977.
  • First public panel discussion on Kirk/Spock Slash

    First public panel discussion on Kirk/Spock Slash
    In May 1977 at SekWester Con, Too (a fan-run con held in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and a precursor to the MediaWest*Cons), discussions of K/S became public. Because of slash's burgeoning popularity & controversy amongst Trek fans- the first panel discussion on the topic: Kirk and Spock: Do They or Don't They? was held at the convention.
  • Cagney & Lacey

    Cagney & Lacey
    Cagney & Lacey is an American TV series that originally aired on CBS. A police procedural, the show starred Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly as New York City police detectives who led very different lives: Christine Cagney was a career-minded single woman, while Mary Beth Lacey was a married working mother. It quickly gained a large and dedicated lesbian following. The fandom went to be lambasted by the press, being called “kamikaze lesbians”, after a woman broke into star Sharon Gless’s home.
  • First Annual GLAAD Awards

    The first GLAAD Media Awards were presented by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation in 1990 to honor the 1989 season, and were envisioned as a way to recognize various branches of the media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives
  • The Puppy Episode

    The Puppy Episode
    ‘ELLEN’ Ellen DeGeneres comes out on “The Puppy Episode” on her ABC sitcom — the first lead character to do so on television — and draws a staggering 42 million viewers. The episode also earns Ms. DeGeneres a Peabody.
  • Rosanne Barr- Same Sex Kiss on TV

    Rosanne Barr- Same Sex Kiss on TV
    Mariel Hemingway locks lips with Roseanne Barr in “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — an early same-sex kiss that 30 million viewers tuned in to watch. Rosanne, a gay rights advocate, fought with Network executives who wanted to cancel the episode.
  • Xena Fandom (Mother of All Femslash)

    Xena Fandom (Mother of All Femslash)
    Xena: Warrior Princess, premiered in September 1995. Xena was unique in that it was a television program in which the hero and the hero’s sidekick were both women. That relationship, between Xena and Gabrielle, was one of the most three-dimensional relationships between women seen on tv. That relationship also involved them in a number of sexually suggestive situations, as the two famously bathed together, shared mystical kisses, and sang to each other in melodramatic musical episodes.
  • Kathy's Death on NYPD Blue

    Kathy's Death on NYPD Blue
    A particularly violent and trope riddled lesbian death - the character Kathy was shot by a hit man hired by her girlfriend Abby’s ex, who wanted to get rid of Kathy so she could get back together with Abby. Abby was pregnant at the time.
  • Tara's Death on Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    Tara's Death on Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    Tara Maclay was introduced in Season 4 of Buffy and by episode 19 of that season - became a love interest for Willow. While network executives encouraged the lesbian element in the relationship, they put strict guidelines on what could be shown-contrasting with some of the more overtly sexual relationships between the other het characters. An example of the Bury Your Gays trope, immediately an implied sex scene between Willow/Tara, a stray bullet killed Tara right in front of Willow.
  • FanFiction.Net's NC-17 Purges

    FanFiction.Net's NC-17 Purges
    There were two major removals of NC-17 fiction from FanFiction.Net. Both purges shook fandom, and much discussion ensued regarding rights and responsibilities of archives, rights of fans to be able to write and post what they liked, and more. Both purges also created fiction influxes into other archives. Three examples: FictionAlley (2002), FanDomination.Net (2002), and Archive of Our Own (2012)
  • Queer as Folk Redefines Queer TV

    Queer as Folk Redefines Queer TV
    Queer as Folk is an American-Canadian drama television series that ran from December 3, 2000 to August 7, 2005. The series follows the lives of five gay men (and 2 lesbians) living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Queer as Folk quickly became the number one show on the Showtime roster. The network's initial marketing of the show was primarily targeted at gay male (and to some extent, lesbian) audiences, yet a sizeable segment of the viewership turned out to be heterosexual women.
  • The L Word; "ending a drought with a monsoon"

    The L Word; "ending a drought with a monsoon"
    The L Word was TV drama series portraying the lives of a group of lesbians and their friends, connections, family, and lovers in the trendy West Hollywood, California. According to the NY Times: Before "The L Word," lesbian characters barely existed in television. Interested viewers had to search and second-guess, playing parlor games to suss out a character's sexuality. Cagney and Lacey? Xena and Gabrielle? Showtime's decision to air The L Word was akin to ending a drought with a monsoon
  • The Birth of Tumblr

    The Birth of Tumblr
    Tumblr, a microblogging and social networking website, was created on February 19, 2007. According to Tumblr staff, "Tumblr is ruled by fandoms" As of June 1, 2018, Tumblr hosts over 417.1 million blogs.
  • Archive of Our Own is Created

    Archive of Our Own is Created
    Archive of Our Own (AO3) is a nonprofit open source repository for fanfiction (fic) and other fanworks contributed by users. As of June 2018, Archive of Our Own hosted 3.9 million works in over 28,700 fandoms. Aja Romano of The Daily Dot described Archive of Our Own as "a cornerstone of the fanfic community" by 2012, writing that it hosted content that other sites like FanFiction.Net and Wattpad deemed inappropriate and was more easily navigable than Tumblr.
  • FanFict is Thrust into the Spotlight with 50 Shades of Grey

    FanFict is Thrust into the Spotlight with 50 Shades of Grey
    The Fifty Shades trilogy was developed from a Twilight fan fiction series originally titled "Master of the Universe" and published episodically on fan-fiction websites under the pen name "Snowqueen's Icedragon". The piece featured characters named after Stephenie Meyer's characters in Twilight, Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. Author E.L James described writing 50SOG as "my midlife crisis, writ large."
  • The John Lock Conspiracy Begins

    The John Lock Conspiracy Begins
    The Johnlock Conspiracy is the fan theory that the writers of Sherlock (BBC) intend to make John/Sherlock the canon endgame pairing. This theory is in opposition to the fan argument that the show has engaged in queerbaiting. The term dates to early January 2014, during the airing of the third series. The first post in the TJLC tag on Tumblr dates to January 7. When the last episode of Sherlock failed to make Johnlock canon in 2017, TJLC fans reacted with claims of being traumatized
  • Transparent- A show about Trans Experience

    ‘TRANSPARENT’ This Amazon show stars Jeffrey Tambor as the patriarch of a California family who is transitioning late in life to the woman he has always identified as. Inspired by her own transgender parent, the show’s creator, Jill Soloway, makes a point of putting transgender people both in front of and behind the camera.
  • "Brittana" Get Married on Glee

    In a rare, happy-ending for a lesbian couple on TV- Glee's most famous ship Brittany/Santana aka "Brittana" exchanged vows in the series' 6th Season. Lauren Hoffman from Vulture thought the episode was "overly sentimental, unrealistic, and a tiny bit too preoccupied with fan service. It was also really, really lovely."
  • The Official Xena Convention Comes to an End (1998-2015)

    The Official Xena Convention Comes to an End (1998-2015)
    The last Xena convention for the venerable "Xena Warrior Princess" took its farewell 20 years later after it's end in Burbank, California. Fans at past conventions boasted 5,000 strong and this last event seemed to number at least 500. Among the fans are many long standing veterans of the convention, and this year a surprising number of newbies. Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor, Xena and Gabrielle, commanded the convention stage for the final episode of this fandom base of Amazonian warriors.
  • Rachel Posner's Death on House of Cards

    Rachel Posner's Death on House of Cards
    Another particularly violent death of a lesbian character - after finding a meaningful and fulfilling relationship with another woman, Rachel Posner was brutally kidnapped, tortured and then run over by a man who was obsessed with her. Avid watcher Jamie Hurcomb became very upset and stopped watching.
  • Gay Marriage Legalized in All 50 States

    Gay Marriage Legalized in All 50 States
    Same-sex marriage in the United States was initially established on a state-by-state basis, expanding from 1 state in 2004 to 36 states in 2015, when, on June 26, 2015, same-sex marriage was established in all 50 states as a result of the ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States in the landmark civil rights case of Obergefell v. Hodges, in which it was held that the right of same-sex couples to marry on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples
  • Illene Chaiken Keeps Killing Off Lesbians & Responds

    Though the pattern of television deaths has become a recent trend, “Empire” showrunner Ilene Chaiken — an identifying lesbian says her series Empire's shocking double death of lesbian lovers does not fall into the same category. “I think that we aren’t a part of that phenomenon or conversation,” She also added that one of the character who died (Camilla) "is not a lesbian character" though she Camilla had a passionate relationship with another woman on the show.
  • Lexa Dies on "The 100"

    Lexa Dies on "The 100"
    "Clexa" The Clarke and Lexa ship on the Netflix series The 100 ends abruptly with the death of Lexa. Fans expressed their anger on social media sites, with a number of them threatening to dox (reveal personally identifiable information about) the writers, making death threats and some stating they were suicidal after watching the episode. The "bury your gays" trope rose to a national debate and the international fan-led initiative "LGBT Fans Deserve Better" emerged, dominating Twitter.
  • LGBTQ Fans Deserve Better

    LGBTQ Fans Deserve Better
    LGBT Fans Deserve Better is an educational group on the importance of positive representation in the media. This website’s goal is to provide information, statistics and resources to enable media creators, production staff, critics and viewers to learn about the history of representation, the tropes encountered and the current state of representation on TV. Their online databases include examples of the tropes: Bury Your Gays, Lesbians with Men and Evil Lesbians.
  • One Day at a Time Normalizes Teenage Queer Relationships

    ODAAT revolves around a Cuban-American family living in Los Angeles, focusing on a single mom living with her kids and her Cuban mother. Isabella Gomez plays Elena, the activist and feminist teenage daughter of Penelope who discovers that she is a lesbian and comes out to her family. The news doesn't sit well with her father, which upsets Elena. In season two she finds a love interest (who identifies as gender non-binary) and founds a Gay-Straight Alliance club at her Catholic School.
  • First Annual ClexaCon

    First Annual ClexaCon
    ClexaCon was formed in response to not only the death of Lexa on The 100, but the many deaths of female LGBT characters that occurred during 2016, and it was soon realized that a convention was needed to "move the conversation forward in a positive way." Founders Winebarger, Arnold, and Jablonski, who all met on Twitter, formed ClexaCon originally as a small gathering of around 100 people but word of mouth and social media allowed the convention to grow larger than any of the organizers intended
  • Ship It by Britta Lundin

    Ship It by Britta Lundin
    Ship It, the young adult novel by Lundin, deals with recurring themes — queer fandom, the LBGTQ community, life on the internet (Tumblr, to be exact) and the thin line between art and its consumers — aren’t written from an outside perspective, but from someone who’s been deep in those trenches. The original Ship It screenplay is what helped land Lundin her first job as a TV writer, on the CW’s Riverdale.
  • Pose FX - Trans Actors playing Trans Characters

    Pose FX - Trans Actors playing Trans Characters
    Pose is set in the world of 1987 and "looks at the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York: the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe, the downtown social and literary scene, and the ball culture world. In October 2017, it was announced that transgender actors Mj Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, Hailie Sahar, and Angelica Ross would play main or supporting roles in the Show - a revolutionary number of trans actors for one show.