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[personal profile] fiercelydreamed
First off, my apologies for the relative radio silence of late. I had some RL distractions and didn't get organized enough to get anything in motion here or enlist one of my co-mods to do it.

Now it's a new year, I'm guessing that people who participated in holiday challenges have recuperated, and a couple of kind souls have gifted the community with paid time! (Which reminds me: I'm a total DW novice -- what are the neat things we can/should do with said paid time?) All in all, I think it's an excellent time to get more active at this community.

So, what would you like to see here? One idea I had was borrowing the flashwork challenge model, where community members suggest themes which then go up for a limited time. So, for example, someone might suggest the theme "reinventing the wheel," and everyone would then have three weeks to post queerly gen works around that theme. Anyone in favor? Are there other approaches you'd like us to try? Would you like to see any kind of recurring moderated discussions? Remember, there's no reason we can't mix and match a bunch of ideas-- whatever appeals to y'all as community members is likely to work out well.

While we're discussing this, I'd also like to encourage everyone to repost any queerly gen works you may have created recently, or rec anything you may have encountered. Yuletide alone had 2,779 works (wow!), so I know there's got to be some great stuff that a lot of us haven't found yet.
fiercelydreamed: (Default)
[personal profile] fiercelydreamed
My apologies for the unexpected radio silence. I've been out of town for a bit, and while I had an eye on the comm during my trip, I didn't manage to find time to post, or get it together to recruit some help before I left. I just shot off emails or messages to three of you who'd expressed interest in helping out here, and if you wanted to pitch in but didn't hear from me, please feel free to drop me a note and remind me. 

I'm hoping to get to the actual posting of works within the next few weeks. Based on the input I've gotten so far, I'm thinking we'll likely kick things off with a short prompt-based fest (and maybe a recs post), then open things up to let the community serve as a noticeboard with periodic fests or challenges. Before we get off the ground, though, I want to make sure that we've got a clear set of guidelines and policies based on the input you've all given so far, and I'd like my co-mod(s) to be able to help me craft those.

One of the last major things I think we need to talk about is what kinds of header and tag systems would work best. When you answer, keep in mind what kinds of content you personally would want to be able to find, as well as what kinds of content you personally would want to avoid. As people have had a variety of different views on what constitutes "gen," it seems like the best way is to set the guidelines inclusively but create ways for people to find the works that meet their personal preferences. 


Headers.
I'm personally a fan of clean, simple header systems and standard post subject formats; I think they make it easier to navigate separate posts. As a starting place, here are the fields I might include:

(Subject line): Foodfight, with Incidental Accompaniment [Original art by Fiercelydreamed]

Title
: Foodfight, with Incidental Accompaniment
Creator: <user name=fiercelydreamed>
Universe: Original
Type of work: Art (pen and ink illustration, digital collage)
Warnings or sensitive content: Mild nudity but no sexual content. 
Summary and notes: The Wenatche Gay Men's Acapella Choir has an annual family summer barbecue. Every year, they purchase six dozen assorted pies, eight packs of balloons, a crate of whipped cream, and an entire flat of paper towels. This is why. Big thanks to K. for the concrit and to M., he knows why. 

Anything I missed that should be there? Any alternate wording? (I'm not wild about "sensitive content.") In case you're wondering, I'm leaning deliberately away from asking for ratings -- I think they're very subjective and can lead people to skip works that might be exactly what they're looking for because they think they won't enjoy something G/R/whatever. I'm hoping that requiring people to warn for and name certain kinds of content will serve the same function, only in a more informative way. However, I'm definitely open to other opinions.


Tags. I think that tags are going to be instrumental in helping people sift through the very broad array of content this community welcomes to find what they're looking for (though I'm also hoping that people will branch out, too!). I plan to establish the tag categories and many of the tags in advance, so that they're there already for creators to use when they go to post. Here are some categories that I think we should have, and examples of the tags they might contain:

Type of work: art, fic, poetry, podcast, vid. Any other types of work to include?
Universe: fandom: full name, original. Does this work? Any problems?
Warnings or sensitive content: This one is challenging me. I'd essentially like there to be tags for the absence of certain kinds of content, so that someone wishing to avoid sexual content, romantic content, or potentially triggering content can do so. It seems like we also need a tag indicating that the work contains no content requiring a warning. Clearly these kinds of content are judged subjectively, and the best we can do is offer guidelines, request that people comply, and have a clear policy regarding how moderators will handle complaints or requests that creator add warnings. So, accepting those limitations as given, what kinds of content might someone want to filter out? How should we phrase these tags? Can you think of a reason you'd want to search for these kinds of content on a community for gen works?
 
Any other tags or tag categories you'd like to see that I didn't include here?


Again, thank you all for your patience with the slow start and for your thoughtful input so far.
fiercelydreamed: (Default)
[personal profile] fiercelydreamed
 There'll probably be a couple more discussion posts coming up about the operational aspects (particularly the tagging system), but I wanted to get to the biggest question I've got:

How do you want this community to work?

First off, while I initially created [community profile] queerlygen with a festival in mind, I'm hearing a lot of interest in having it provide a continuing resource. I've got no problems with that. Right now my intent is, at minimum, to have the community act as an ongoing noticeboard where people can post gen works (both fan and original) about sexual and gender minorities. But what should it be beyond that?
  • Should we have some kind of periodic challenges? If so, what would you be interested in?
  • Are there specific ways to encourage the posting of works beyond just fiction?
  • Are there things that have worked well at other communities that you'd like to see replicated here?
  • Most pressingly, how should we kick the community off? I'd originally talked about a festival: should I just throw open the doors for people to post any works? Should there be a structure of some kind? Maybe prizes for people who post the most works / in the widest range of 'verses / in the widest range of media? 
Of the discussion posts I've put up so far, this is probably where I have the least idea of how to proceed. So please, bring on any and all suggestions, as vague or as specific as you like.
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[personal profile] fiercelydreamed
The discussion of how to define sexual and gender minorities is still going, but in the interest of keeping things moving toward the posting of actual works, I thought I'd put up the second of the definition posts. I've already gotten some questions and suggestions on this one, so the timing seems right. 

For the purposes of the community, here is the definition I'm considering:

Gen: a work that does not foreground romantic or sexual relationships and where the creator does not consider those relationships to be the point of the work.

To be clear and give you all some further food for though, by my judgment this definition does not exclude the following:
  • Stories where characters are in romantic or sexual relationships. Romantic or sexual partners are part of the everyday lives of sexual and gender minorites, so it doesn't make sense to me to impose a rule that characters must be single. It's possible for a work to acknowledge and allow space for these relationships without romantic or sexual themes dominating the work. Similarly, for fanfic (which is all about transformation and interpretation), it doesn't make sense to me to have different rules for canon and non-canon relationships. 
  • Stories with explicit sexual content. I would encourage all creators of work with explicit sexual content to think hard about whether you truly consider that work to be gen, and I will ask you to warn for such content so that those who wish to avoid it can do so. However, I can think of examples where a work would contain sexual content without being focused on such content, particularly if sexual scenes or references take up little space in the work itself.
  • Stories with other content appropriate for mature audiences. I can imagine some people taking "gen" to mean "appropriate for all ages," but I don't intend to limit it in that way on the comm. However, as with the previous note, I'll ask creators to warn for content that is dark, violent, or that they think some readers might find disturbing or triggering. 

While I'm on the topic of warnings, and without wanting to reproduce some of the very intense arguments that have occurred on the subject elsewhere:
  • For the purposes of this community, inclusion of a character who is a sexual or gender minority DOES NOT require a creator to warn for "adult content." This policy connects directly to my intention that this community will challenge certain beliefs: that it is a right to be protected from the sexual or gender minority identities of others, and that such identities are inherently threatening or always sexually expressed. 
  • While I will ask creators to warn for certain kinds of content, my tentative plan is to allow creator discretion as to how specific those warnings will be. I will ask creators to specify if a work has sexual content (and probably whether the content is mild or explicit), but not what the exact nature of that content is. Similarly, I will ask creators to warn for dark, violent, or potentially triggering content, but I will leave it up to a creator's discretion whether to provide further details in the headers. I will ask all creators to be considerate of others and to warn as specifically as they are willing to do so. I will also ask those viewing works on this community to be mindful of their own limits and take responsibility for their choice to view works with potentially explicit or triggering content. 

Thoughts? Questions? Examples you want to run by me as test cases? Proposed modifications? Concerns? To repeat my disclaimer from the previous post, this definition and the proposed policies are intended to be functional and useful for this community. I'm not proposing it as a universal that everyone should accept, just a guideline that will help people develop, post, and enjoy works in this space.

I've been really gratified by how thoughtful and respectful the discussion on the comm have been so far, and particularly impressed by how every time someone has raised a question or concern, someone else has come up with a really good idea for how to address it. Thanks, everyone -- I already feel really good about what we're doing here.

fiercelydreamed: (Default)
[personal profile] fiercelydreamed
This'll be the first of several discussion posts while I get things organized here at the comm. They're a way for me to let you know how my thoughts are running, to get your input and suggestions, and to give you all some lead-time to start thinking about works you might want to make for the festival.


For the purposes of the community, these are the definitions I'm considering:

Sexual minority: someone whose sexual preferences are considered nontraditional, marginalized, or marked. Examples of sexual minorities include, but are not limited to, people who identify as:
  • homosexual, gay, lesbian, queer, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, questioning, kinky, poly, fetishists, BDSM practitioners

Gender minority: someone whose gender identity and/or physically embodied sex do not conform to cultural norms of "maleness" or "femaleness," or whose gender identities and bodies do not align in ways that conform to those cultural norms. Examples of gender* minorities include, but are not limited to, people who identify as:
  • transgendered, transsexual, genderqueer, intersexed, androgynous
* ETA: fixed a typo.

For works posted to this community, a character's sexual or gender minority status will be determined at the judgment of the work's creator. If a creator portrays a character as a sexual or gender minority for the purposes of a given work (and the works fits the community definition of gen), that work may be posted to this community. 


I'd really like your thoughts on these definitions. Is there a better way to word them? Do the general definitions (not the example lists) currently seem to exclude identities you believe should be included? Are you unsure why I've chosen to define things this way? 

Three things I'd like to remind everyone, before the discussion starts:
  1. These definitions are intended to be functional and useful for this community. I'm not proposing them as universals that everyone should accept, just guidelines that will help people develop, post, and enjoy works in this space.
  2. Because the definitions are meant to be for the purpose of this community, I'd like to avoid discussions of "correct/universal" definitions or attempts to set exhaustive/exclusive lists of which identities qualify as sexual or gender minorities. While interesting and valuable, those discussions can tend to bleed over into border policing in a way I want to avoid in this space. As stated before, I strongly prefer inclusivity and intend to run the comm with that in mind. 
  3. For every identity listed above and all the others that fit under the umbrellas of these definitions, there is likely someone reading the community posts who would claim that identity. To the best of my abilities, I've been choosing my words consciously and with respect, and I hope you'll all do the same. 

Thanks, and I look forward to your thoughts.


ETA #1: Clarifying "sexual minorities." There've been some really great comments to this post so far, and here's the gist of what I'm getting from them: summary of discussion and a revised definition for you to consider. )Do you think these changes address the concerns and suggestions below? Any new thoughts or ideas?


ETA #2: Asexuality; sex work. There are a couple more issues where the discussion's still ongoing and I'm on the fence myself. One is how to represent "asexuality" in the definition, as it's an orientation in itself but can also coexist with identification as queer, straight, bi, etc. Some people have recommended I rephrase the first bullet as "sexual orientation;" others have recommended I give asexuality its own bullet. 

The second issue is inclusion of sex workers on the list of sexual minority identities. Some people are really excited about the overt inclusion of sex workers in this comm, but there's also been a question raised about the fit of including a practice-based identity in a list of identities that people often experience as inherent to themselves. I remain on the fence about this, though I'd like to stress that either way, you're welcome to include sex workers in the works you post here -- what's undecided is whether the presence of a sex worker, in a work otherwise lacking sexual or gender minorities (and where the character engaged in sex work otherwise does not identify as a sexual or gender minority), will qualify a work for inclusion on this comm.

Anyone have more to add here? So far, this has been an amazingly respectful discussion, and I look forward to seeing it continue in that vein.

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