Every now and then I will show Little Louis doing things. For now I mainly just want to save this epic url which WILL NEVER DIE. Follow Team Inappropriate on Twitter, if you'd like. Oh yeah, and Harry and Louis are in love.
Sooooo…once upon a time (june 15th 2012) over at the old celebritynarcissism I wrote this post. I was brand spanking new to the world of fandoms in general, shipping and slash pairings in particular, and was about 3 months into my One Direction infection. It was also only like my third tumblr post ever. I watched as the likes and reblogs ticked, ticked, ticked up overnight. I was like, holy shit this touched a little nerve!
At first I was excited, because some people loved it. Then I got some hate. Some people thought I was totally ignorant about the history of shipping. I was, so fair point. Then there were the people who thought I was a terrible person who was fetishizing homosexuality by shipping Larry. There were those who thought I was hurting people by making a public spectacle out of someone’s sexuality, violating Harry and Louis’ right to keep their sexuality private. Finally there were the 4th wallers, who felt like Larry supporters were ruining the world of fandom.
All of this really sucked, because I didn’t get on tumblr to make people mad. I got on to love Larry and learn more about shipping. I was also really confused as to how to feel about these critiques because I wasn’t confident enough in my own point of view yet to properly support my instincts about Larry supporters.
Then FeministHarryStyles (anyone remember her?) reblogged me and I was like, SUCCESS! I DON’T GIVE A SHIT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE SAY BECAUSE SHE’S AWESOME! But then she got so much hate for reblogging that post that she basically shut down her blog. So that kind of destroyed me. I mean, FeministHarryStyles was everything and I had basically ruined the internet. I WAS WHY PEOPLE COULDN’T HAVE NICE THINGS. I realize that sounds so self-centered. I’m sure there were other reasons she took down her blog (I hope). But I do know that that reblog was one reason.
I was ashamed and made my friend take over the blog. Eventually, this whole debacle led me to do more research on the privatization of sexuality, shipping, and the use of social media in fandoms. The day of “bullshit” kind of sealed everything for me and I wrote a research paper on the Larry fandom for my Media and Culture class. Over the past year I’ve refined the paper and I’ll be presenting it in April at a national conference.
What makes me sad is that bloggers with good hearts are still fighting the ridiculous fights that almost bullied me into silence. If I had allowed those negative voices to silence my inquiring, learning mind, I would have never pursued writing that paper. That process taught me a lot about myself and a lot about fandom. I know I sounded kind of ignorant in the original post, but we shouldn’t shut down the ignorant, we should help to enlighten them.
More and more I become convinced that whether or not Harry and Louis are together is totally inconsequential. What is consequential is the oppression that is constantly threatening queer lines of thought. I have a place in that line of thought and so do all of those girls on Twitter that Louis and his gang of friends and family mercilessly subject to public online bullying and ridicule.
As long as Harry and Louis are making money on a heterosexual image, fans have the right to queer that image. If the band makes a conscious decision to stop using their personal image to publicly market their product to a largely female, young adult, supposedly heterosexual demographic, I would say—give them their privacy if they want it. But they are commodifying themselves. That’s their choice. I have a choice then to interpret their image in whatever way makes sense to me. For instance, I think Obama is like, the Messiah. Others think he is Hitler/Stalin/the devil incarnate. As much as I dislike Obama haters, THAT’S WHAT FREEDOM IS, PEOPLE. We live in a world of 24/7 media inundation that is constantly delivering ideology to us. If you have a voice that lies outside the dominant, normative narratives that is not hateful, then I say use it to scream from the rooftops.
So, in closing, what I learned is NEVER LET YOUR VOICE BE SILENCED. But always be willing to listen and research and grow and mature. These are the things my Larry tumblr experience has taught me and this is why I think those Larry bloggers who have stuck around and who keep popping up are BRAVE. :-)