Greetings friends. I previously mentioned that I’d be going on hiatuses here or there and I still need some time to sort important stuff out in real life while taking care of myself. Since there isn’t a schedule laid out before me it’s hard to make promises about when I’ll be fully coming back. I’ll try to squeeze in if I can, or at least link back to Twitter threads/reviews if I do write them. But for now, no Friday BL today and I’m still on hiatus.
What brings me here today is the talk that happened this morning (since it was 3 a.m. for me) on BL, its history and transformation in Asia, as a part of The Japan Foundation NYC‘s Girls’ Culture Series. There’s the ever-present discussion about BL and its relation to real-life queer people & experiences, its tropes and cliches and while discussion is always a good thing, often times it’s evident that a lot of the arguments are rooted in misinformation. While most of the people I interact with try their best to stay on top of these discussions since they are fans, I still see certain arguments floating around that are more harmful than constructive and people who spread the very same, misinformed phrases without knowing their full effect, to say the least. Mine is a blog/account tucked away in a tiny corner of the internet, but having a platform should mean responsibility and at least some entry-level information on what you’re talking about or the assumptions you’re making.
So, if you’ve ever used the words “BL” and “problematic” in the same sentence before, which I assume you’ve did at least once, I heartily recommend you listen to this fun and engaging panel. Especially the discussion after the first hour, when the pre-recorded presentations are finished if you’re not too interested in the specifics of shipping culture or other forms of media that depict BL than manga/webtoons.
This panel series is great and there are other talks focused on different aspects of Japanese pop culture such as shojo manga, cosplay, or Takarazuka, which I’m sure a lot of us are already acquainted with it thanks to Kageki Shojo!!.
Many thanks to scholars Dr. Kim Hyojin, Dr. Mizoguchi Akiko, Dr. Kristine Michelle Santos, and Dr. Thomas Baudinette for this interesting discussion and hopefully, people will lend an ear and see BL for what it is, a genre with great transformative power, with many facades including the good and the bad as any other creative field out there. Have a great weekend everyone and hopefully I’ll meet you soon!
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2 Replies to “[PANEL] BOY’S LOVE: THE HISTORY AND TRANSFORMATION OF BL IN ASIA”
Well as a queer person, I love BL but it definitely has a lot of bias that clearly come from a straight/conservative view of the world. And yes, you can be conservative even in gay media.
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Definitely agree. We have this conception that when someone belongs in a minority group, they must be politically correct/informed/“woke” when it comes to other minorities as well but that’s never the case. You can even be subjected to discrimination from an LGBT member while being an LGBT yourself and that shows itself in fiction.
As long as we know what’s right, we should enjoy what we have! 🌸 Thank you for the comment!