January 13, 2018
Living in a girl’s body, everyone seemed to be telling me — teachers, relatives, adults I didn’t even know; tabloid headlines and nightly news anchors; people I didn’t want to believe, and people I did — meant that violence was your birthright. How could you trust anyone who touched you, who desired you? How could you trust your own desire, when desire could lead you so easily to trauma or a bad reputation or even death?...Although an interesting cultural artifact, the idea of female-authored gay slashfic has been pretty inexplicable to me, but Sarah Marshall clarifies matters.
So I did what made the most sense at the time: in a world that told me a girl could not desire, I dreamed myself into boyhood. If a boy kissed a boy — if a boy let a boy kiss him — no one had to lose, no one had to submit, no one had to be asking for it, or for whatever came next. You could just — kiss.
And so, to dream of boys, I dreamed of myself as a boy — or of two boys together, my own sense of identification tied down to one, or fluttering lambently between them. In another time and place, I might have wondered if I was alone. In the world of Newsies fanfiction, I knew I wasn’t.