Fanfic Friday *1

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We had pictures, videos, films, music and so on. Let’s try something new and rather nostalgic: Stories! I’ll pick some funny, silly, hot or otherwise interesting fanfics or other stories for you every now and then and you can save them for cosy Sunday mornings if you wish ;)  Send us your favourite stories as well!

Today’s theme: Game of Thrones!

Tommen “Can’t hug every cat” Baratheon

The Hand of the King by Nicholas Patrick

Tommen, first of his name, King of Andals, the Rhoyar and the First Men, Defender of the Faith and Lord Protector of the Seven Kingdoms perched anxiously upon the Iron Throne. His herald stepped forward preparing to announce his first and only appointment at court for the day.

“Ser Loras Tyrell of Higharden,” the herald barked before resuming his hovering position to the left and slightly behind the chair forged of 1000 swords (or like 200 if you just watch the show). Loras entered looking slightly confused. He couldn’t remember how he had ended up back at court.

“Your Grace,” he said hoping to find out just what was going on. “Why have I been summoned? The last thing I remember was either being horribly burned at the siege of Dragonstone or locked up by the Faith Militant on false allegations.” The King stood.

“My good Ser Loras, we’re in the show’s version of events. I am the super cute 17 year old Tommen who loves boning your sister, not the affable 6 year old who plays with cats from the books.”

Somehow that made sense as all the courtiers turned and nodded agreement to each other. But that only half answered why the heir (or 3rd son, depending on your perspective) to Highgarden was summoned by his brother by law. Tommen began to clarify for him.

“You see, I have been unable to secure the release of your sister, the Queen or my mother, the Queen, but the High Sparrow told me I could have another Queen of sorts.”

The assembled crowd let out a hushed round of laughter that ended when the herald pounded his staff on the stone floor. “I don’t understand your Grace… What is going on?” the Knight of the Flowers inquired.

“On the condition that you accept 7 punishments for your crimes (crimes which for the record, I’m totally ok with; It’s just religion, you know) you will be released into my custody where I plan to name you the Hand of the King,” Tommen declared causing murmurs to rise up from the lords and ladies inside Maegor’s Holdfast.

Loras was relieved and afraid all at the same time. He just had two more questions for his King. “Thank you my King,” he began. “I am forever in your debt. But I wonder, what are these 7 punishments, and which Loras Tyrell am I again? The late teen, lithe and agile but surprisingly strong Loras from the books, or the beefcake mid 20s Loras from the show…” his voice trailed off.

Read on…

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A Very Queer Word of the Year: The Singular “They”

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Bad news for people who have been arguing that the gender-neutral pronoun “they” doesn’t make any sense because it’s not grammatically correct: a crowd of over 200 linguists who met at the American Dialect Society’s annual meeting last Friday evening have chosen the singular “They” as the most significant term or word in the past year in a landslide vote.

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Using a singular they is common habit in English & American speech, as in “That cat loves their owner,” but has risen to prominence again as a useful way to refer to people who don’t use the pronouns “he” or “she.”

A practise several languages introduced over the last few years. Swedish speakers for example can use “hen” when the gender of a person is unknown or the classic pronouns don’t apply.

Ben Zimmer, a language columnist for the Wall Street Journal who presided over the voting on Friday afternoon, said in a press release: “In the past year, new expressions of gender identity have generated a deal of discussion, and singular they has become a particularly significant element of that conversation,” Zimmer said. “While many novel gender-neutral pronouns have been proposed, they has the advantage of already being part of the language.

Other contenders for the 2015 title of Word of the Year were “on fleek,” “ammosexual,” “ghost,” and “thanks Obama.” For a full list of the nominees and winners in each category, read the American Dialect Society’s press release here.

Syrian LGBTQ Youth: Finding Acceptance in Europe

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While most Syrian refugees are fleeing the war, others are escaping the persecution they face because of their sexual identities – and the violent punishments often inflicted on those who violate the Islamic State’s ban on homosexuality

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As war rages on, Syria’s queer youth seeks acceptance in Europe.

KALMAR, Sweden – Sara, a 22-year-old openly bisexual who was recently granted asylum in Germany, has seen her life change in remarkable ways since leaving Syria. She is also adamant: “I wouldn’t go back, not even for a visit.”

“Today, I am free on all levels. My new friends and even their families love me and support me. The whole society is on my side. People here are open-minded and accepting,” she said.

Nearly five years of war have forced millions of Syrians to flee their homes and their homeland, risking everything for the chance of a safer life in Europe. But there is a smaller group of refugees fleeing not only the day-to-day bloodshed and chaos, but a more targeted form of violence aimed at their sexual identity.

Discrimination against non-normative sexual and gender identities in Syria is nothing new. As in many parts of the Arab world, it is illegal to be homosexual in Syria and same-sex partners have long been the target of honor crimes, harassment and imprisonment.

But the arrival of Islamic fundamentalist factions such as the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) has radically intensified persecution across the country, pushing some Syrians to join the stream of refugees headed to Europe in search of sexual freedom and expression as well as safety.

“The Islamic State executes homosexuals by throwing them from the tops of high buildings,” said Logal Kako, a 21-year-old Syrian man who’s been openly gay since he was in high school.

Read on…

Is Steven Universe too Queer for the Queen?

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Cartoon Network hits like Adventure Time and Steven Universe might be the most progressive kids’ shows in the history of cartoons. Adventure Time features an on-going, complicated but charming romance between two of the female protagonists and  Steven Universe is the kind of fantasy adventure where even the villains are treated with kindness and sympathy, and where one of the major characters is literally the physical embodiment of a committed gay relationship.

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So it’s going to be pretty upsetting for fans of the show—not to mention the collected hivemind of fanart, “feels,” and animated GIFs known as Tumblr—to hear that some of the show’s more explicitly queer content is being censored from the show’s broadcasts in the UK.

As reported by Pink News—and shown in the Tumblr comparison video below—Cartoon Network UK has been editing moments of mild sexuality—as in suggestive looks and the occasional shimmy, not, like, full-on magical-alien-rock-women bacchanalia—out of its broadcast of the show.

http://officialkurapika.tumblr.com/post/136006093473/as-you-may-know-there-have-been-posts-going

The highlighted moment comes from “We Need To Talk,” an episode in which a giant space woman’s jealous lover manipulates her into having quasi-explicit magical sex in front of her boyfriend as part of a complicated emotional power play. (And if that’s not weird enough, the resulting fusion dance turns them into a sort of multi-eyed Flashdance monster.)

But it’s not the Jennifer Beals homages or bizarre relationship drama that upset the censors; rather, a couple of longing looks between the characters Rose Quartz and Pearl were apparently too saucy for British audiences to handle. (It’s also possible that the watchdogs felt that the “Fuck you” look Pearl shoots mid-dance at her romantic rival Greg was so clear as to be borderline obscene.)

Cartoon Network UK blamed the lack of a British TV rating system for the cuts, telling reporters, “The U.S. broadcast system requires that shows are marked with a rating–in this case PG (parental guidance necessary). In the UK, we have to ensure everything on air is suitable for kids of any age at any time. We do feel that the slightly edited version is more comfortable for local kids and their parents.” (Said locals are apparently completely okay with the unedited heterosexual kissing that closes out the clip.)

via AV Club, Pink News & Polygon

Young, attractive, and totally not into having Sex

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Screw promiscuity and free love—the sexual revolution has passed from freedom of sexuality to freedom from sexuality. It’s an orientation embraced by the 80,000 registered users of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network.

cake-sexThat’s where the conversation broadening the sexual spectrum started, back in 2001. Since then, it has sprawled across message boards and Tumblrs, as a way for people to identify themselves—and find each other—outside of the traditional sexual confines.

The taxonomy can be confusing: There are gray-asexuals, who identify somewhere between asexuality and more conventional interest; demisexuals, who only feel attraction in a close relationship; heteroromantics, for those who develop nonsexual feelings for members of the opposite sex; panromantics, who can feel a nonsexual crush for someone of any gender identity… Take a look at the sexual spectrum, and you’ll see that wanting sex at all—regardless of with whom—is just one part of it.

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