This year at Shore Leave, I promised you all that I would start a site dedicated to LGBT Speculative Fiction, and our experiences with the properties and fandoms that already exist.
I started this project the way I always do: I went over to Google Insight to figure out what the wider community was looking for, and I learned something…
We are invisible!
Google didn’t know what I was looking for!!!
For those of you, that have never used Google Insights, let me explain how it works. If I type in glbt scifi, it will give me an idea of how popular the search is, and related searches. So when I enter glbt scifi, I expect it to return glbt scifi movies, glbt scifi authors, and the like… It also scores the results by taking the highest number of requests, and dividing all the results by it, so if a topic gets 700 hits and another 350 hits, insight returns a score of 1 and .5. What did I get?
- glbt scifi 0
- lgbt scifi 0
- gay scifi 1
- lesbian scifi 0
- queer scifi 0
I got the same result for science fiction, fandom, and speculative fiction. Fantasy and horror are polluted by porn and right wing screeds rendering those results useless.
The business man in me immediately thought, “No one cares about this topic, move on to another.” I checked a couple other trend services and each time I received the same results.
A promise is a promise, and I am sure I know the real problem:
We are a Silent Minority
5 years ago I tended my first LGBT Fan Panel. Not because it was the first time I was interested, but because it was the first time I saw one on the schedule. Now I chair it.
I never realized it was something I wanted until Torchwood opened my eyes and I saw the gap in the genre. I just didn’t see it. Now, it is all I can see.
I know from my conversations with you all that this is something we care about and need, and since no one else is taking action, I suppose I will. I always try to keep my word.
So what now?
We need to get the word out, start organizing, and move forward. We need to hold the networks, studios, and publishers accountable for lack of LGBT representation in Speculative Fiction.
Where do you want our efforts to start?