Kids fantasize about being adults, or at least they fantasize about having the freedom and power that adults seem to have. That’s why so much of media made for children features kids doing adult things: solving mysteries, fighting monsters, having adventures, thwarting adults. Oftentimes kids have the clarity and imagination to see the supernatural for what it is, while their parents are too stuffy and boring to see what’s in front of their eyes. In these stories, kids get to be the heroes by playing the part of adults.
I sometimes have dreams where I fall in love with a made-up dream person. The person is perfect for me, and makes me feel safe, loved, and accepted like few people in the real world can. But when I awaken, all that I remember is that feeling; I couldn’t tell you a single thing about the person, not even what they looked like.
Fairy tales adapted for older audiences are a modern ubiquity. TV, movies, comics, and video games have been tapping into the timeless impact and universal familiarity of children’s stories for almost as long as I can remember. Most often, it’s the mark of a lazy writer; instead of needing to come up with something original and make it convincing, one can simply take the instantly recognizable characters and plots and alter them to make them more “edgy”, creating a contrast with the perceived innocence of the source material that some people, I guess, like, consider interesting for some reason?
I’ll admit it: I used to read Homestuck. And when I quit reading it, it left something of a hole in my reading list – a hole shaped like something colorful and funny. What was I to do? It’s a rare piece of comedy that doesn’t rely on harmful and oppressive humor, as I had painfully been reminded by Hussie’s work.
There are some stories that are ingrained in the queer psyche, ones we’re all familiar with, if not from our own lives, then the lives of our friends or partners. They’re not usually happy stories, but they are important to tell, and to hear. I like queer genre fiction that’s pure escapism, sure, but including something of these real life tropes can create a potent power fantasy that’s even more satisfying. I’m talking about things like “being stuck in an isolated hick town and wanting to get out” or “seeing your abusive ex who turned all your friends against you” or “your caravan getting attacked by a dragon on your quest to become a cool outlaw”. What? Is that one just me?