Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ch-Ch-Changes ...

Science fiction conventions, at least once upon a time, were places where pretty much anybody who was a fan was welcome. Odd ducks? Hey, no problem, come on down! I used to use the California analogy when talking about fandom ("They stood the country up on its end, and all the loose nuts and bolts rolled down into California ...") Same with fandom. We are all a tad weird, but some of us more than a tad ...

Most SF fans I've met aren't particularly conservative, though there are some; nor particularly religious, at least not in the mainstream sense; though there are some; and in general, they are more open-minded when it comes to alternative life-choices -- or the lack of ability to make such choices. (There are still people out there who believe that being gay is a choice and not a biological imperative, but I suspect few are SF fans. Doesn't go with the literature. If I had to bet money, I wouldn't put much on the idea that somebody trying to exorcise a teenage boy of his homosexuality as if it was a demon is a science fiction fan.)

I have, from time to time, written about characters who aren't whitebread heterosexuals, because I like to posit that in a better future, the adults will be able to do what they want without being clapped into gaol for it, as long as nobody gets hurt. I leave the kids and animals out of it.

SF fandom has elements of all manner of sexuality woven through it, and transgender folks have been around for a long time. At least a few people I've met along the way started out one sex and later switched to a different one. I can't pretend to understand what that must feel like, to believe you are the opposite of what body you wear, but I can understand that there are people who do feel that to their very souls. If they have the wherewithal to fix that? More power to them.

When I knew Hank Stine, he always kind of reminded me of Phineas Freak, of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. Skinny, hairy, and a wise-ass. After we fell out of touch, Hank eventually became Jean Marie, and she still writes and edits, though I've never had a chance to meet her.

And when it gets right down to it, I'd say she's a better looking woman than Hank was a man, and she's older than I am.

If you see this, Jean Marie, drop me a note. I'd love to hear what you've been doing since the good old days in Baton Rouge ...

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