I figured out in the shower this afternoon why it is that it gets up my goddamned nose so badly when reviewers refer to Carnival as "slash" or "yaoi."
It's because that terminology carries with it the assumption that the only reason a woman would write queer characters is because she's getting a voyeuristic thrill out of it. And that, right there, implies a host of other assumptions. One of which is that queer characters exist only because of the kinky frisson they provide for heterosexual readers.
If that's what you think? I'm sorry, but you're an asshole. Try to get over it, would you?
Queer characters exist because queer people exist.* They exist in my books because I know and love many queer people,*** and I see no reason why there should not be stories told about them.
Queer people do not exist for your titillation. They do not exist to be your sexual fantasy.** Please do not assume that faggots, dykes, fairies, perverts, twists, and deviants of any stripe (real or fictional) exist to service your kinks unless you have spoken to them personally and gotten a confirmation, 'kay?
It's offensive. I mean, really offensive. Like, guy at the service station staring at your tits offensive.
Queer people are more than the sum total of who they fuck. Queer people, like straight people, are not actually definied in all regards by who they go to bed with in the .01% of their lives they spend fucking.
In fact, who we fuck (or don't fuck) is a pretty minor detail, and has relatively little bearing on who we are or what we believe.
I know! Shocking! Isn't it shocking? It doesn't matter if your lover has a penis! It makes no difference at all, except when you are going down on them!
Next thing you know, we'll be wanting the vote.
And you know, having ranted, I now realize that all the POV characters in Chill are heterosexual.
I swear. Some mornings I just wake up mean.
*(When I say queer
, BTW, what I mean is lesbian/gay/intersexed/poly/asexual/bise
**(If you have sexual fantasies involving queer people, more power to you. I am seriously not about to tell anybody their smut is wrong, unless they also exhibit features of the Homicidal Triad.)
***(I also know and love many vanilla straights, and I see no reason why there should not be stories about you guys either.)