strange_aeons: (follow the leader)
[personal profile] strange_aeons
A thought experiment, for members of Mass Effect fandom who maintain that the optional female Shepard/Liara T'Soni romantic subplot is totally not gay because the latter party belongs to a species of parthenogenetic aliens and anyway what they have may not technically be sex:

Okay, so you and your Y chromosome are in space. You rescue an alien creature that looks amazingly like a human being aside from being a funny color and having tentacles in one, maybe two places. It has all the secondary sexual characteristics of a male human, specifically an athletically built male human a little over six feet tall (for some reason, every guy you know is built like that and has the same body language), but so does every member of its species; they reproduce by budding or something. Everyone else calls it 'he' and you find yourself doing this too, because the resemblance is so strong.

He spends some time poking around in your nervous system for reasons having to do with the mission you're on. He is keenly interested in you and tells you this often, compliments you frequently on your willpower, and after he fiddles with your brain the first time begins to talk about a powerful but confusing sense of connection he feels with you.

Eventually you and he and the rest of your posse go somewhere hugely dangerous to do something cataclysmically important. While you're in transit, your friend the tentacle alien approaches you in your cabin to talk about the fact that you might both die soon, and proposes to do something with you called melding. This is going to involve your nervous system again, and turns out to also entail kissing, taking off your clothes, and rubbing your naked male body against his nearly identical naked male body while purple sparks float around you and throbby romantic music plays. Afterwards, naked, on your bed, he praises your performance.

Does this seem Very Not Gay to you? Or is it oddly different when I put it these terms? Why do you think that might be, you asses?

Date: 2008-11-18 02:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] annwyd.livejournal.com
Wait.

There are people who say that it's not gay?

I've heard rumors that there's going to be a male gay option in the sequel. I'm not sure I believe it. Of course, even if there was, I'd have to play a male Shepard to get it (assuming Shepard's still the protagonist), and--when hell freezes over, thank you.

Date: 2008-11-18 02:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oneironaut.livejournal.com
If the Bioware fora are anything to go by, there is a legion of people who say it's not gay. Basically, homophobes who want to watch girls doin' it anyway. My sample is probably not representative, because I got it by going to the Bioware forum and reading threads that I knew from the subject lines were going to piss me off. It usually comes up in the recurring discussion about why there's no male love interest for male Shepard: because that would be gay, and female Shepard/Liara isn't gay, so the choice for a Shepard of either gender is not really about sexuality but about species. Anyway, they'd never do that, because male Shepard doesn't mince enough to be believably gay, and there's no way to handle the a subplot like that without the love interest essentially raping him.

I hate my community.

Shepard's been confirmed as the protagonist for the sequel, thank God; savegames will carry over, though I don't know how they're going to work that, with the being level sixty already and all.

Date: 2008-11-18 05:04 am (UTC)
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
From: [personal profile] zeborah
"gay" means it squicks Manly Men(TM). Thus, f/f isn't gay, because Manly Men(TM) enjoy watching it.

Date: 2008-11-18 05:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oneironaut.livejournal.com
Right. And they will say whatever insane shit they have to to justify it without actually saying 'homosexual behavior is defined by the endocrine response of the heterosexual male watching the action and the preferences of the people involved aren't relevant', less to maintain plausible deniability than because, in a lot of cases, they haven't thought it through that far.

As far as I can tell, every piece of Shepard dialogue that isn't gender-specific (this is a hedge: I don't think there are any, but I'm not sure) was recorded by both the male and female Shepard voice actors, so the resources for gay Shepard romances with humans exist and are on the disk. Three romance options for everyone would substantially complicate parts of those subplots, so while they probably considered the idea I suspect they discarded it pretty early; however, the existence of the resources adds momentum to this stupid, stupid debate. They cut those options, the thinking goes, to avoid controversy, but left in the Liara one because it doesn't really 'count'.

(None of the preceding paragraph is really a response to your post, I just needed to eject it from my brain and you happened to be in the line of fire.)

Mass Effect is the best of Bioware's many very, very good games, but between this and it being a shooter it's also the most infuriating.

Date: 2008-11-18 09:52 am (UTC)
ext_6381: (Default)
From: [identity profile] aquaeri.livejournal.com
I think you have it - gayness is entirely defined from the heterosexual male (onlooker) point of view, because that's the only actual point of view when it comes to sex. Women don't have sexual points of view, of course, and we already know gay and bisexual males are subhuman.

Date: 2008-11-19 12:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oneironaut.livejournal.com
bisexual males are subhuman.

If they even exist. The jury's still out on that. More research necessary. I'm going to need drinking money, the use of a car, and a female assistant of attractiveness equivalent to my own.

Date: 2008-11-19 11:56 pm (UTC)
ext_6381: (Default)
From: [identity profile] aquaeri.livejournal.com
Well, I know self-admitted bisexual males. Who do regularly complain that the world doesn't think they exist. It does seem a very precarious niche to try to live in.

Date: 2008-11-20 02:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oneironaut.livejournal.com
I knew you knew at least one, nudge nudge. It does suck. I'm in the opposite boat from a lot of people: I read fairly straight and most of my prominent subcultures are aggressively heterosexual -- I could be a more stereotypical dude guy only if I were into sports and ... gave up knitting -- and I'm interested in women, so I must be straight. I'm not in denial or anything -- there's no stereotype of the straight guy who refuses to admit he's not really into men, unless that guy is a hipster -- I'm just straight. Evidence to the contrary does not exist.

Date: 2008-11-20 11:42 pm (UTC)
brooksmoses: (Default)
From: [personal profile] brooksmoses
The interesting question is how you get an unbiased accurate measurement of "attractiveness equivalent to [your] own."

I suspect this means you'll also need a bisexual second female assistant to provide calibrated opinions.

Date: 2008-11-20 11:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oneironaut.livejournal.com
And that's going to mean even more booze money.

Date: 2008-11-21 05:08 am (UTC)
brooksmoses: (Default)
From: [personal profile] brooksmoses
Oh, dear; I think XKCD is monitoring your LJ for gags (but perhaps through a slightly fuzzy telescope):

Experimentation

Date: 2008-11-20 02:21 am (UTC)
caltastic: <u>The Cookie Tree</u>, by Jay Williams (Default)
From: [personal profile] caltastic
... Wait, wait, you found FANDOM?

.... ... ... is there Kaidan fic?

Date: 2008-11-20 02:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oneironaut.livejournal.com
God love you, Cal.

I haven't seen any. ... but I might make a fanvid. Don't tell anyone. I'm ... doing another play-through (though I'm taking a break now for Sands of Time, which is still delicious) and keeping a save from before every major cutscene.

I'm a sick man. A woman wearing red and black jogged past me on the street today and, watching her jog away from me, I automatically tried to rotate the camera.

Date: 2008-11-20 03:02 am (UTC)
caltastic: <u>The Cookie Tree</u>, by Jay Williams (Default)
From: [personal profile] caltastic
Taking a break for Sands of Time is ALWAYS GOOD.

I have a ficpiece for Two Thrones that I've sort of been working on off an on for a couple years. Because, you know, Two Thrones.

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