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[personal profile] fiercelydreamed
 All right, I am thoroughly pleased to announce that the community will open its doors for the posting of queerly gen works on Wednesday September 23rd! By popular request, we'll be kicking things off with a fest of prompt-based works. Here's the timeline:
  • Prompts can be left right here, starting right now! 
  • Wednesday September 16th: A recs post will go up, where people can comment to recommend queerly gen works of all tasty flavors. (Both recs and reposting of older works will continue to be welcome at the community later on -- this is just a warm-up.)
  • Wednesday September 23rd: The kick-off festival of prompt responses goes live. 
  • Wednesday September 30th: general posting of all works is welcome (including continued prompt responses). Further festival, challenges, and special events will be figured out as we go -- if you've got ideas, we'd love to hear them.
Prompt parameters: basically, the sky's the limit. You're welcome to suggest any kind of work (fic, art, meta, vid, poetry, podcast, recs lists, meta, picspam ...) and any kind of content that fits the community definitions. Prompters, comment on the post with your ideas. Creators, you're welcome to reply to those comments if you'd like to let people know you're tackling a particular prompt (though more than one creator is welcome to take on a prompt).

Definitions. In the three weeks before the fest goes live, we your moderators will continue getting organized, figuring out policies, and putting up guideline posts. However, we wanted to get the definitions up along with the invitation to leave prompts. These definitions reflect the discussions held earlier on this community, with a few judgment calls made by us mods where needed to resolve things. Prompters, please read these to get an idea of what territory your prompts can cover. 

Sexual minority: someone whose sexual preferences are considered nontraditional, marginalized, or marked in their own cultural context (or in the cultural context of the work's creator). Some examples of sexual minority identities include, but are not limited to, those organized around:
  • sexual orientation (homosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, pansexual, asexual)
  • sexual practices (kinky, fetishist, BDSM practitioner)
  • number of partners (poly)
  • someone who is questioning their identification with any sexual minority identity 
Gender minority: someone whose gender identity and/or physically embodied sex do not conform to cultural norms of "maleness" or "femaleness" in their own cultural context (or in the cultural context of the work's creator), 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
Gen: a work that does not focus on romantic or sexual relationships, and where the creator considers any such relationships to be secondary within the work. This definition does not exclude:
  • Works featuring characters who are in romantic or sexual relationships (whether canonical or non-canonical) -- provided the point of the story is not to bring the characters together or to highlight the romantic/sexual dynamics of their relationship. 
  • Explicit sexual content -- however, we ask creators to be aware that such content strains the definition of gen for many viewers at the comm, and to carefully consider the prominence and use of sexual content in works they intend to post here.
  • Content that is not appropriate for all ages -- we will provide guidelines for creators to use in labeling content some viewers may not wish to see, so that viewers can make an informed decision.
If you have questions or logistical suggestions, please reply at this link (for this post, I'd like to keep comments and questions together, so they don't get jumbled up in what I hope will be a sea of prompts).

Now: prompt away! :)

ETA: Neither I nor my co-mods had talked at all about limiting the prompt format -- the hope is that the works here will run the gamut, and I personally hadn't wanted to constrain what people might do by setting a strict format. But some of you have asked questions that make me think a little structure might be helpful, at least to get people started. So! Ways you can prompt people include, but are not limited to:
  • Universe, character(s), content: The West Wing, ensemble, karaoke at a lesbian dive bar; or Saving Face, Wil & Hwei-Lan Gao, Mother's Day. 
  • Diving board (linking people to an existing work to use as inspiration): I'd love to see a story about this pictureart for this song, or a vid about this poem
  • Finish the sentence (where you write the first half of an opening line or premise): The best thing about the hell that was eleventh grade was ... or Three years after the trip with Julio y Ana, Tenoch goes to ...
  • Freeform (just ask for what you want!): I always secretly wanted to put together a house of all-queer roommates -- someone want to write that for me? Or Sofia Lopez was the best thing about Season 1 of Nip/Tuck; can someone please tell me more of her story? Or What if someone filibustered the Senate by reading queer lit?
... And just one heads-up: I realize it's automatic at a lot of prompt-fests, but here you may want to stop and think before you leave a request with a pairing in it. I'm not saying you can't, just try to make sure there's a non-pairing-centric work that could go with what you're requesting.

fiercelydreamed: (Default)
[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.


Queerly Gen

January 2016

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