One of the topics that cause the most conflict on the tg fiction sites, especially fictionmania, is why isn’t a certain type of story more prominent or why is there so much of this other variety? I understand this frustration, I really do, I write within a fairly small niche within the niche. The main reason I began writing tg fiction, in the first, place was so I could share my tastes with the greater community.
The funny things is, that writing has actually expanded those tastes. In the beginning, I would only read tales where the character had swapped genders unwillingly. Granted, most of my protagonists still fit into that description, but it’s not all that unusual for a honest to goodness transgender individual to pop up into one of my stories. Hell, I’ve even created a story universe, Tales from Meridina that exclusively involves transwomen having their deepest desires granted and getting transformed into genetic women. So there’s that too.
What bothers me most is that many folks tend to, I don’t know, have a sense of entitlement about it. ‘You don’t write the type of TG fiction I like, how dare you! You should totally write what I want!’ You know what? No bueno. I’ve never had this attitude directed toward me specifically, but it is prominent enough that I’ve seen it crop up every couple of months on various message boards and forums. I can’t speak for every writer on fictionmania, big closet, tg story time or the plethora of other sites out there, but what I write, I write because I enjoy it. I can’t write cross-dressing or sissification stories, I don’t find enjoyment from it. I suspect the same thing would apply to most, if not all, writers. Of course, there are folks out there who can write just about anything whether they enjoy it or not, I am not one of those people.
I write fantasy and science-fiction tales, because that’s largely what I grew up reading and enjoying. The tg aspect of my stories, is a big harder for me to grasp. It’s not really a fetish for me. There was a time, I might have told you that mainly because it seemed the simplest explanation, but I’ve had a lot of time to think about it and came to much deeper conclusions.
The short answer is, I don’t think I fit entirely within the male end of the gender spectrum. If that makes me trans than so be it. Don’t get me wrong. I have no intention of transitioning, I don’t feel the dysphoria over my body as so many transwomen and transmen have described. Where does that leave me? Hell if I know. If someone were to come by with a magic wand and offer to transform me into a woman, no questions asked, I’d certain give it a lot of thought, but I’m not sure I would even take them up on the offer.
So, I write, and in so doing I explore my own gender identity. Why then fantasy and science-fiction? A lot of people dismiss those genre’s downright silly, but, I think, most people who make that mistake either suffer from a lack of imagination, have never read a well written piece or else didn’t take the time to read between the lines and make out the hidden context that is so prominent in both genres. Any good piece of fantasy or sci-fi is chocked full of social commentary. Look no farther than Star Trek and it’s many spinoffs, love it or hate it they’ve tackled a lot of themes over the years, racial tension, gay rights, sexism, and gender equality just to name a few.
I don’t know that I would consider myself a great writer, maybe not even a good one, but I hope at least, some people have picked up on what I’ve been trying to do these last few years. Maybe, at least then, it would all be worth it.
Until, next week, everyone have a delightfully demented day and don’t forget to check back this Saturday at five in the morning when Incompatible, goes live.
Daniel A. Wolfe