And then suddenly all the villains were gay
What if gay villains could save the world? I'm talking media, social engineering and revolution...actually.
In a world where queerness is persecuted, of course media churns out gay villains constantly. Anime, manga, video games, television, books, movies, comic books—everywhere you look there's a queer baddie being predatory, evil and oversexualized.
If media can label queer people (often victims) as predators, it gets to protect society's most powerful abusers (politicians, business tycoons, religious leaders, et al), while blaming us for what they do.
If media can synonymize queerness with evil, our rights can be revoked without remorse. If we're evil, it's permissible to pathologize us, which means it's appropriate to cure us of evil, even if it kills us.
If media can oversexualize queerness, it gets to dictate law and order. Prescribing vulgarity and shame to the mere whiff of rainbows means culture wars happen over nothing. Like a trans person taking a shit.
Media uses queer villains as a control mechanic for social engineering. You know I'm right, and it sucks, but there is a solution.
If media makes gay characters evil so real-life monoculture baddies can be even badder...
We must stop queer-coding villains, right?
Media is powerful. People learn by watching, reading and playing as their favorite heroes. Their favorite heroes, often based on old myths, who grapple with social issues in their journeys. These journeys teach reality's constellations through fun entertainment, one trope at a time.
Sometimes, it's beautiful. Sometimes it's violent propaganda wielded by powerful, terrible people for nefarious ends.
It's for that reason that many believe that normalized queer content is the answer. They believe crafting accessible, approachable queer characters is panacea for society. I believe in this mission and support every queer creator who lovingly paints the prose of a warmer world in hopes it sticks.
I'd rather break the control-mechanism altogether.
Oh, you didn't think that was possible? Think again. I'll even teach you how.
And then suddenly all the villains were gay
And the heroes, the side-kicks, the dragons, the—
There's this really fun rhetorical tool you see Republican talking heads use, that their userbase eats up like liquid space-meth. It's honestly one of my favorites because it's just so goddamn effective. It's called the gish gallop.
A gish gallop argument is information overload. You pile argument upon argument, idea upon idea, cite basically nothing (because it doesn't matter) and hand that off to your political opponent to waste their time with. It takes hours to deconstruct, most people suck at it, and it's exhausting.
It's also the most effective social engineering tool of culture wars.
My fellow gay leftists are allergic to the gish gallop. They consider it poor debate that wins nobody over. Trouble is, it does win people over. Millions in fact. Furthermore, it makes it impossible to affix narratives. That's exactly what we need.
To defeat the media control mechanic, we need a queer media gish gallop so potent it wipes the slate clean like a rainbow nuke.
Now, every character is queer. The villains, the protagonists, the anti-heroes and even the mailman. Every trope, every plot-point, every character: gay in every flavor, everywhere, all at once.
With a queer gish gallop, at scale, we get to watch business defend its big gay money from politics. Politics will lose to business. Bigots, deluged in rainbows, can't make an argument because the narrative is saturated. All at once.
Great idea Kira, but how?
I'm going to teach you to use your tools
We can use media as a meaning-making tool for good, but gates must first open. For obvious reasons, gatekeepers in creative industries do not want that to happen. Remember, it's about control. However, it's also about money, and now it's about attention.
Whose attention? Yours, actually.
From day one, you've been told you're powerless. That all you can do is step up to the media machine, hold out your bowl, and hope they dump watered-down rainbow soup in it. For a long time, that's all you could do, but now you have a tool. It's called the internet, which most people use to yell about how the world sucks.
What if I told you it can serve another purpose? What if I told you that if you roared for a gay art renaissance, that the gates would open, and you'd get exactly what you want?
What if I told you businesses pay millions of dollars just to get your attention on the internet? It's true. What if I told you that your attention is actual currency and impacts business decisions? Maybe even the decision to allow a gay media renaissance?
If the internet signaled it was...profitable?
Pick up your internet weapon. Decide today which indie queer media to champion. Gather your friends. Then, use all your attention economy power to signal to business that you want a gay art renaissance and you want it now.
Buy that queer indie game. Review that TPOC indie book. Focus on what good you want to uplift, then post about it everywhere. Withhold cash and attention from big brands, stop boosting upsetti spagetti, and use the internet for good.
Demand a gay art renaissance via the internet hard enough to break things and watch politics snap in half to accommodate business interests.
That is how a culture war is won in 2022.
You can't be serious...
I'm dead serious, honey nut queerio
Maybe you don't believe me because you don't trust me. Maybe you think I'm just trying to hawk my books. That's fair, but literally just pick something from queer creatives. My twitter mutuals are a good place to start. Look for trans flags and start hauling.
Maybe you don't believe me because this sounds too easy. It's not easy, because it requires your effort. You have to ignore bad shit and uplift good shit, using the internet as a tool. It's not easy, because you're the one that has to change.
Maybe you don't believe me because you think I'm nuts. I am a trans artist who has watched humanity fail at change since the day I could conceptualize thought. I was twelve, btw. Of course I'm nuts.
I'm nuts and I believe so strongly in media as a weapon for good that I'm willing to spend the next 5 years doing nothing but evangelizing. I burn money so you will read gay books on the topic, finally learn and maybe in my lifetime, change can happen. Maybe humanity will grow a spine and evolve if I roar.
I don't need to be the queer cause you champion. I just need you to champion something good. Because right now? All you're doing is championing evil by giving it your undivided attention currency. If you're reading this, that stops today.
It has to, because the only way to create good is to champion good, not obsess about evil so it gains power, grows legs and kicks you in the ass.
K. Leigh is an ex-freelancer, full-time author, and weirdo artist. Read their lgbt+ sci-fi books, connect on Twitter, visit their site, or send them an email if you’d like to work together. 🌈 🏳️⚧️