Lately, I’ve been thinking that the Speculative Fiction community, the LGBT community, and the ADHD community are so much alike.
Ever since the Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is legal in the United States. Actually, the ruling was probably full of legal terminology, but from what I’ve read, and the storm of reaction, that seems to be the gist of it.
And like so many social issues in the past, from ending slavery, to giving women the vote, to preferring Pepsi or Coke, this has polarized the nation.
Not that it wasn’t already polarized in a dozen ways.
The moment the decision was announced, the rhetoric and opinions started flying fast and furious.
They ranged from joy and gratitude that a new dawn of freedom and love had triumphed over Dark Age superstition, to calls for mass extermination of these monsters who are conspiring to destroy everything we hold sacred.
If you walked out onto the street the day after the ruling and noticed everything seemed to be pretty much the same, and that your sexual orientation didn’t seem to have changed, well, you might have wondered what all the fuss was about.
Maybe the golden age of tolerance, or the dark age of perversion just takes a few months to spread across the nation?
Now, to be honest, I have a lot of gay, lesbian, and transgendered friends. Some are personal friends.
It was a groundbreaking series, and I was writing and hosting it as ‘Commander Rick’ at the same time that I was writing, directing, and playing ‘Bill’ on The Red Green Show. (Can you say, Work-a-holic, boys and girls? I thought you could.)
Prisoners of Gravity explored speculative fiction—Comics, Science Fiction, Horror, Fantasy. And it was launched in 1989, just as the Berlin Wall was coming down.
The show was launched, and so was I, since Commander Rick’s own story was that I had decided the earth was doomed, and had strapped a rocket engine to my Camaro… It’s hard to explain. You have to see the opening credits.
But the result was that I was trapped onboard a communication satellite with a computer named NanCy, (Nano-Cyber 3000) and since I couldn’t flee the planet earth, I should try and save it, by speaking with the only people who were discussing the mind-boggling, existential issues facing the human race and the planet.
And those people were the Speculative Fiction community.
There’s nothing wrong with Murder Mysteries or Romance novels, but they weren’t asking, ‘What happens if we discover a source of unlimited energy?’ or ‘What will human society look like in 500 years?’ or ‘Is my Hover-Car coming soon?’
The Speculative Fiction community was the most inclusive group I’ve ever had the privilege to join.
It was the opposite of school, with its cliques and gossip. Why? Because SF fans and writers have bigger fish to fry.
When you’re talking about Aliens saving the human race from ecological apocalypse, whether the hero of the story prefers Bruce over Betty doesn’t seem like that big a deal. Racism?
Star Trek was famous for showing the first inter-racial kiss on American television.
Religious conflicts? When you can travel through time, you get exposed to a lot of different beliefs. Sexism? Try arguing with Xena the Warrior Princess about equal pay for equal rights.
Suffice to say, it was my experience that pretty much everyone in SF fandom, myself included, was in some ways an outsider. Or different. Willing to consider any and every idea, and every person, on their merits. There is a huge amount of tolerance.
No wonder so many LGBT folks love this community.
That’s not to say SF fans gather together in perfect harmony and sing The Age of Aquarius in Klingon. Just ask, ‘Which is the best Star Wars movie?’ Or, ‘Is Blish’s Spindizzy a viable solution for interplanetary migration?’ and watch the fun.
Nor is the gay community one big happy family, with similar lifestyles.
The very fact that homosexuals want to get married to a partner for life pretty much demolishes the stereotype of what the ‘gay lifestyle’ is to most folks who assume it’s all about multiple partners.
(We could segue here into Ashley Madison’s website and heterosexuals with multiple partners, but I’ll stick to my point… which I can’t recall now. What was it?)
Oh, right… the SF community, and the gay community…
Which appears to me to be a whole bunch of overlapping communities.
But what do I know. Someone can set me straight on that. Yes, pun intended. Puns are part of my job as a comedian.
I said the SF community was the most welcoming and non-judgmental group I’d ever been invited to join. And it seemed to me that an inordinately large portion of that community was also part of the LGBT community. And everyone seemed cool with it. .
Everyone was welcoming, appreciative, open, tolerant of each person’s uniqueness and quirkiness, openly celebratory of each other’s accomplishments.
I’d never experienced anything like it.
Until I was welcomed into the ADHD community.
I explain more in my next blog, Lazy, Selfish, Insensitive – Labels, Morality, & ADHD.