I’m Not A Fucking Dragon

When I was little, I pretended to be a wide range of animal-monster hybrids. Not just during play-time but always. I didn’t understand my gender, but what people expected and demanded of me, the behavior of a little girl, I could not give happily even as a child. So I fell into imagination and animal/monster-play to escape. This stopped with age, naturally, and my behavior became gender transgressive within the bounds of personhood rather than monsterhood until I became aware of my queerness as just that. I found like stories from other genderqueer and trans people in my life. I’m not suggesting all genderqueer and trans people pretended to be non-people at any opportunity in their childhood, nor that any child acting that way is genderqueer or trans. But the lines overlap a bit.

All too common, those that do not conform perfectly, queer or not, turn to fantasy as an escape. It’s acceptable now for much older people to still indulge in what was often marked as childish. Now, depending on what sector of the internet you inhabit, the perspective on queerness varies from hatred to pride. Somewhere on the prideful side of the spectrum lies an abundance of mystification of queerness from fellow queers and starry-eyed allies alike. With the reemergence of high-fantasy genre media, like The Hobbit and Game of Thrones, dragons are back in style. Dragons are cool, they don’t give a shit. Dragons do their own thing, chill up in some mountains with gold and what-not. People suddenly really like relating queerness with dragons (or any mystic Love-Craftianesque deity.)

There is a time and a place for monster-rage queer theory. But the fact of the matter is, I’m not a fucking dragon.

I’m not star dust, I’m not a unique pretty flower. My asexuality does not make me a robot, my non-binary gender does not make me an android. No matter how much you glamorize the near infinite monsters and machines of fantasy lore or sci-fi future, I will never be those things. I’m a queer human being, and I’m tired of it. I just want to be a queer person in all these alternate universes. That’s interesting enough without having to be magical.

For some reason, people struggle to empathize or understand “other” people as actual humans, and so metaphor-identities emerge. Werewolves in Harry Potter were a metaphor for AIDS/HIV carriers, right? Why couldn’t there just be some fucking wizards with AIDS/HIV? There’s Muggleborn prejudice (is that like magicism?) But no actual references to racism? Why did District 11’s riot against a corrupt government get more sympathy than Ferguson protests? I mean seriously, even Shrek was about oppression of magical creatures – but not real people.

Why can’t I be a real person? Why am I only seen as a metaphor? Can whites/non-queers only understand the story of people of color and queers through the lens of fantasy? Oppression will exist in sci-fi and fantasy – sometimes it’s against Dunmer, sometimes it’s against cyborg-enhanced people – but your make-believe world better have representation of real minorities in it as actual people before you start writing us in as metaphors.

Beau Charles ’17
Editor

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