Today I thought it might be interesting to discuss how we all came to LGBT fiction, whether as readers or writers.
For me, it all started with the film Van Helsing in 2004. Meeting fellow fans through the LiveJournal account I had at the time led me to discover fan fiction, and slash in particular. One of my earliest serious attempts at writing was a fan fiction with a Dracula/Van Helsing back story. I’ve written the occasional piece since—Rimmer/Lister (Red Dwarf), Hannibal/Will (Hannibal), Ragnar/Athelstan (Vikings), Sherlock/John (Sherlock), Steve/Loki (Avengers) etc.—and I still read a story or two when a pairing takes my fancy and I stumble across some well-written tales. (At present I am all about Charles/Eric (X-Men).)
It was a Van Helsing friend (and fellow MM author) who guided me to original MM works in the form of Bob Vickery’s short stories. I enjoyed reading them (I had to buy them in secret and hide them from my mother); however, it was not until several years later that I came back to LGBT literature again, first as an editor and then as a writer.
To my mind, fan fiction is a great way to introduce readers to LGBT characters and storylines since it takes something familiar and turns it on its head. (Or not. I’m pretty convinced Charles/Eric is actually canon, at least according to the newer three X-Men films! :)) It allows for the exploration of LGBT themes amongst readers who may not otherwise encounter such works, or who may hesitate to buy original stories either because they are unsure what to expect or because they fear censure.
What do other Queer Sci-Fiers think? Did anyone else start out (whether as a reader or a writer, or both) with fan fiction? If not, how did you develop your love for LGBT stories, and what keeps you coming back for more?