Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: Sexuality and Gender Exploration in Contemporary Slash Fanfiction
Date of Award
Dr. Andrew R. Vogel
In recent years, slash fanfiction has become a place for trans and non-binary inclusivity in romance narratives. Slash creates a safe space for queer and non-binary fans to express their sexuality and gender identity, thus encouraging the normalization of non-heteronormative people and lifestyles. The first chapter of this thesis, dedicated to the slash fanfiction author, examines the interwoven relationships between the fan, the piece of media (or, canon), and contemporary social outcries for LGBTQ+ inclusivity in romance narratives. Combining both Roland Barthes’ “Death of the Author” and Kristina Busse’s Framing Fan Fiction, I define the fluid relationship between author and reader, and who actually has authority over the text at hand. The second chapter analyzes what these fan authors are writing and how they have methodically created worlds that not only show trans and non-binary characters, but normalize their lives, bodies, and relationships. Through the fan-generated genre known as the Omegaverse, or A/B/O dynamics, heteronormative standards for sexuality and gender are left aside, as the world features men who can get pregnant, woman who have phalluses, and some characters who have both a penis and the ability to get pregnant. Using Judith Butler’s “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution” and Eve Ng and Julie Levin Russo’s “Envisioning Queer Female Fandom,” I prove how the Omegaverse directly validates trans and non-binary bodies and how fanfiction has lead to the integration of queer bodies in contemporary media.
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Seifrit, Rachel Joy, "Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: Sexuality and Gender Exploration in Contemporary Slash Fanfiction" (2021). English Department Masters Theses. 1.