[serious] Opinions on BL/yaoi content, fujoshis and when it's too much?

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Anonymous #1
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I know that there's an issue with fetishizing gay men/lgbtq in the media and feel guilty…

I (f) read everything and came across m/m harry potter fanfics in 2014. I do read a lot of m/m fics now and find them enjoyable. Probably 35% of my total media consumption is BL and lgbt, most of its fanfiction.
They carry a different dynamic to traditional romance novels; explore more avenues and societal issues and you find good content written by amazing authors and fall in love with the setting and characters.

Is that wrong?
People reading m/m or f/f are criticised for fetishizing the lgbtq and making people uncomfortable and I don't know what the boundaries are.

I’ve occasionally met someone openly gay and thought, damn, wish I could tap that, what ifs.

Recently, I met someone new, liked them so much, months of yearning then found out they were gay.

And I felt bitter, like why did he have to be gay, why did I have to like him, and I wish he weren’t gay…

Then I felt terrible, why the **** did I think that?

I’ll support this person no matter what and will tie his bow tie at his wedding for ****’s sake, this is a minor setback, we’ll be friends, I’d fall in love with another man/woman.

But I thought about what I read and the thoughts I had, and if he'd be uncomfortable around me?

I know everything I read is fiction, I don’t project what I read onto the real people around me, just as I wouldn't of heterosexual romance novels.

How can I not make people (anyone) uncomfortable?

Should I not read this content at all?

I would love opinions of everyone and especially the lgbtq community here on your opinions about people who read bl/yaoi/yuri.
Do you wish we’d stop?
What sort of opinions do we seem to share that you wish would stop?

Might be wrong forum, sorry!
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hrtpjm
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#2
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before i start i'd like to say i'm not mlm or nblm (i'm a nonbinary lesbian) so you should listen to them above all else !!

my main issues with bl (particularly yaoi) are its toxic tropes (e.g sexual assault, hyperfeminine bottom, only gay for that one person, falling in love with homophobic bully who's secretly gay), unrealistic portrayals of mlm relationships (usually written by cishet women) and the fact it's catered towards a cishet female audience. the fact it's geared towards such an audience often means that the characters are caricatures tailored to what cishet women want when the focus should be on mlm and nblm; the characters are essentially there to be fetishised. having said that, i don't think it's inherently wrong to consume bl media, particularly from countries where lgbtq+ people do not have equal rights.

gl/yuri can go one of two ways. if it's made by men DO NOT INTERACT WITH IT. wlw relationships are majorly sexualised and fetishised by men and have been for a long time (e.g lesbian p*rn, bi girls wanting threes*mes). if it's made by women PLS SUPPORT IT !!!!! there rlly isn't enough out there. *sigh* you're a girl so there rlly isn't an issue with you liking gl imo,, it makes me happy actually (:

so basically the bottom line is be respectful and aware of the flaws in the media you're consuming. pick the right things to support and listen to mlm/nblm if they tell you they're not comfortable with something you're doing.

in terms of what you were saying about finding gay men attractive, i rlly don't think there's anything wrong with that -- it's not like you can control it lol. it's a bit odd that you feel bitter after finding out they're gay, but ig it's fine as long as you're not voicing this and can get over it quickly. it also doesn't sound like you're fetishising mlm or are a fujoshi,, you like many different types of relationship and you said only around 35% of what you enjoy is queer/bl so from my pov you're fine (:
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anosmianAcrimony
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I’m bi and honestly I didn’t even know people were being criticised for fetishising gay people in this kind of literature. I’ve always loved to see it (although I don’t tend to read it because I don’t read much romance in general) just because it’s representation - it’s literature that admits gay people exist, which is rare enough >.>
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by hrtpjm)
before i start i'd like to say i'm not mlm or nblm (i'm a nonbinary lesbian) so you should listen to them above all else !!

my main issues with bl (particularly yaoi) are its toxic tropes (e.g sexual assault, hyperfeminine bottom, only gay for that one person, falling in love with homophobic bully who's secretly gay), unrealistic portrayals of mlm relationships (usually written by cishet women) and the fact it's catered towards a cishet female audience. the fact it's geared towards such an audience often means that the characters are caricatures tailored to what cishet women want when the focus should be on mlm and nblm; the characters are essentially there to be fetishised. having said that, i don't think it's inherently wrong to consume bl media, particularly from countries where lgbtq+ people do not have equal rights.

gl/yuri can go one of two ways. if it's made by men DO NOT INTERACT WITH IT. wlw relationships are majorly sexualised and fetishised by men and have been for a long time (e.g lesbian p*rn, bi girls wanting threes*mes). if it's made by women PLS SUPPORT IT !!!!! there rlly isn't enough out there. *sigh* you're a girl so there rlly isn't an issue with you liking gl imo,, it makes me happy actually (:

so basically the bottom line is be respectful and aware of the flaws in the media you're consuming. pick the right things to support and listen to mlm/nblm if they tell you they're not comfortable with something you're doing.

in terms of what you were saying about finding gay men attractive, i rlly don't think there's anything wrong with that -- it's not like you can control it lol. it's a bit odd that you feel bitter after finding out they're gay, but ig it's fine as long as you're not voicing this and can get over it quickly. it also doesn't sound like you're fetishising mlm or are a fujoshi,, you like many different types of relationship and you said only around 35% of what you enjoy is queer/bl so from my pov you're fine (:
There are definitely toxic tropes, which is why I tend to stray to the fanfic side written by people who just want to explore a relationship between characters with great dynamics from shows etc.
Lot less toxic, much more fun.

I adore yuri, especially soft ones, they’re so sweet!!
I think I felt bitter because I already liked him without knowing it could never be, the anger of heartbreak ig?
Never had that before and hopefully never again.
And I like nice aesthetics, so I appreciate a nice face/body on anyone, not even to have, just to look at the art 😭
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hrtpjm
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(Original post by Anonymous)
There are definitely toxic tropes, which is why I tend to stray to the fanfic side written by people who just want to explore a relationship between characters with great dynamics from shows etc.
Lot less toxic, much more fun.

I adore yuri, especially soft ones, they’re so sweet!!
I think I felt bitter because I already liked him without knowing it could never be, the anger of heartbreak ig?
Never had that before and hopefully never again.
And I like nice aesthetics, so I appreciate a nice face/body on anyone, not even to have, just to look at the art 😭
yes 100%,, fanfic is usually wayyyy better representation than manga/original stories etc. especially if it's written by actual queer ppl
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by anosmianAcrimony)
I’m bi and honestly I didn’t even know people were being criticised for fetishising gay people in this kind of literature. I’ve always loved to see it (although I don’t tend to read it because I don’t read much romance in general) just because it’s representation - it’s literature that admits gay people exist, which is rare enough >.>
I honestly don’t read most of it for the romance. I love fantasy and action, being gay isn’t ever a big part of it apart from the witty banter and great dynamics.

Eg: Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, I love how their personalities clash, seeing more of their rivalry in a scenario where they’re dragon tamers in a war against faes or something. Not much romance but the tension is just writhing there.
A specific story that comes to mind is one about domestic abuse, it was one the most heart-breaking stories I’ve ever read. The journey to recovery was beautiful and hardly had romance but written so amazingly.
I can link it if you’d like to ever read it?
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hrtpjm
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I honestly don’t read most of it for the romance. I love fantasy and action, being gay isn’t ever a big part of it apart from the witty banter and great dynamics.

Eg: Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, I love how their personalities clash, seeing more of their rivalry in a scenario where they’re dragon tamers in a war against faes or something. Not much romance but the tension is just writhing there.
A specific story that comes to mind is one about domestic abuse, it was one the most heart-breaking stories I’ve ever read. The journey to recovery was beautiful and hardly had romance but written so amazingly.
I can link it if you’d like to ever read it?
sounds great but i'm not too into harry potter anymore,, jk rowling and tom felton being horrible people spoiled it for me and it doesn't bring me the safe comfort it used to </3
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Foxehh
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LGBT people arent the only ones allowed to read content that has gay characters in it.. whoever is telling you otherwise is being ridiculous and needs to get a hobby.
When people talk about individuals fetishizing gay men, they're referring to when the person is attracted to a guy for the sole reason that they're gay and going on to disregard their sexuality or trying to 'turn' them- which you havent said you've done. Its not wrong to fancy someone of another sexuality and its normal to feel a bit bummed out when you realize you dont have a chance with someone, whether they're straight or gay.
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Vapordave
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I dislike yaoi because it is fetishising, but I don't really care if someone reads it or not. My best friend reads it and I don't hate her for it
Just understand that it's unrealistic and you should not at all conflate gay men with yaoi characters.

(Original post by Foxehh)
LGBT people arent the only ones allowed to read content that has gay characters in it.. whoever is telling you otherwise is being ridiculous and needs to get a hobby.
This actually has the opposite issue... It's written by straight women for straight women which is at least slightly problematic in my eyes. I don't appreciate being seen as some sort of novelty
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Foxehh
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(Original post by Vapordave)
This actually has the opposite issue... It's written by straight women for straight women which is at least slightly problematic in my eyes. I don't appreciate being seen as some sort of novelty
Im not very familiar with yaoi ( clearly ) so was speaking more broadly as lgbt content as a whole, didnt realize that. That sounds a bit err odd though I think whether its problematic depends also on why OP is reading it... I think it can be read it without the reader necessarily seeing gay men as a sort of novelty, even if thats what it seems to be written for in some cases
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Anonymous #2
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There's a difference between enjoying content and fetishising it.
Yaoi/BL as a genre tends to lean into fetishy stuff, using tropes and some stuff that's quite homophobic, as well as often romanticising things like abuse, stalking, and other awful stuff.
But there's normal mlm content out there that treats it as any other relationship. Honestly, I wouldn't even call reading mlm porn strictly fetishy, because as long as it's written normally then there's no like.. problem, obviously.
Fujoshis gross me out, they call random gay people yaoi, they somehow sexualise us and infantilise us at the same time and are just generally weird.
There's nothing inherently wrong with enjoying mlm content as a woman (or enjoying wlw content as a man) as long as you're not weird about it, which from what I can gather OP, you're being perfectly fine about it!
(also, I'd say its perfectly normal to feel upset about someone youre interested in having a sexuality incompatible with you! Similar to the reading thing, the issue only happens when people become weird about it, such as if you got angry at him for being gay, or was rude to him about it, which again- sounds like you didnt!)
From what you say, OP, I think youre fine.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by hrtpjm)
sounds great but i'm not too into harry potter anymore,, jk rowling and tom felton being horrible people spoiled it for me and it doesn't bring me the safe comfort it used to </3
It’s so sad when a safe space gets ruined by things like that. Thankfully I read fanfics before the actual books 😅 so I don’t feel a personal closeness to the books and am able to still read it but feel horrid for people who treasured the original.

and Tom Felton?
I know the Rowling problem but wasn’t aware about Felton.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Foxehh)
LGBT people arent the only ones allowed to read content that has gay characters in it.. whoever is telling you otherwise is being ridiculous and needs to get a hobby.
When people talk about individuals fetishizing gay men, they're referring to when the person is attracted to a guy for the sole reason that they're gay and going on to disregard their sexuality or trying to 'turn' them- which you havent said you've done. Its not wrong to fancy someone of another sexuality and its normal to feel a bit bummed out when you realize you dont have a chance with someone, whether they're straight or gay.
Thank you for clarifying about what fetishising actually is in this context. I wasn’t sure whether reading it was bad, I guess. And I understand better now. I would never invade anyone’s privacy that way, and am not sure why people would.

I was bummed but I’m relative young and there are more fish in the sea! 😋
(Original post by Vapordave)
I dislike yaoi because it is fetishising, but I don't really care if someone reads it or not. My best friend reads it and I don't hate her for it
Just understand that it's unrealistic and you should not at all conflate gay men with yaoi characters.



This actually has the opposite issue... It's written by straight women for straight women which is at least slightly problematic in my eyes. I don't appreciate being seen as some sort of novelty
Yaoi is absolutely unrealistic, I don’t read too much manga/hwa for that sole reason. Caricature characters and the lack of plot apart from ‘I’m gay and hot’ is not very interesting.

I prefer novels/fics where the character still has goals and passion and there’s action and mystery and their romantic partner happens to be male rather than that being the entire plot of the story.

Thinking more on it, I think I enjoy reading mlm because female love interests in hetero-media is always portrayed as weak-willed, submissive and is so hard to read without cringing.
Whereas male characters generally have more of a stronger personality in books regardless of romance.
I just want to read books where the relationships are equal and free and romance doesn’t overtake the entire plot and completely change the character!! I’m so sick of seeing a character change for love!!!

(huff)

Sorry bout that rant 🥲
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hrtpjm
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(Original post by Anonymous)
It’s so sad when a safe space gets ruined by things like that. Thankfully I read fanfics before the actual books 😅 so I don’t feel a personal closeness to the books and am able to still read it but feel horrid for people who treasured the original.

and Tom Felton?
I know the Rowling problem but wasn’t aware about Felton.
he's been rlly misogynistic and honestly creepy towards his ex and he hasn't denounced anything jk rowling has said like the other cast members have,, he seems to support her ://
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