glitter_n_gore: (supernatural pride)
glitter_n_gore ([personal profile] glitter_n_gore) wrote2017-06-03 07:01 pm

Pride Month: All About Werewolves (Intro)

Pride Month has arrived once again, and I actually picked a theme this year: Werewolves.

Left to right: Ethan Chandler, Ruby, and Remus Lupin
in Bisexual Pride colors

I know this might seem confusing or random at first, so let me explain.

There was an open comment thread on Twitter not too long ago asking at what point did you "see" yourself in popular media. The answers were as varied and incomplete as you can probably imagine. One thing I saw mentioned, and I relate to it SO well, is that we often see parts of ourselves in media. Just one corner of an impossibly complex and distinct whole. But never really the whole. For me, the character who first made me think, "Me! This one's me!" was Tara in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Queer girl, painfully shy, into magic, and has an anxiety-induced speech impediment. So, she's . . . close, but not quite exactly right. Because she's not bisexual. (Willow can be read that way, but we're not going there for this project.)

Anyway, I started going through all the bisexual characters I could think of, and the first three that came to mind just happened to be werewolves. Obviously not every bisexual character in every fandom I've ever followed has been a werewolf, but I have this *thing* about duality that I've meta-posted about more than once. Accepting that identity as a part of yourself that doesn't have to ruin your whole life is an integral part of the process.

Now, about werewolves. I think werewolves are the most misunderstood and sympathetic monsters in the horror pantheon. Even more than vampires, they get a bad rap for something that happened to them, rather than something they did on their own. There are a few exceptions depending on how the mythology shakes out--some wolves are based on existing bloodlines, for example, rather than a bite that spreads like an infection or a disease. It's tempting to go the route of "they can't help it" when you're splitting metaphors here, but I think things are a little more complex than that.

Over on my other blog, I had this to say on the subject of werewolves:

“It’s easy for me to empathize with them, more than any other type of monster--yes, even vampires. Queer folks especially have a tendency to attach our egos to creatures with a “secret” or “hidden” identity that doesn’t necessary turn them evil, but will make other people wary or suspicious if they find out about it. The physical transformation is tied into this (the frightening onset of feelings you didn’t know you had and/or wish you could turn off), as is the dichotomy of the more “civilized” public persona versus the instinct-driven “animal” persona.”

You might take the position that it's unhelpful or even harmful to ask queer people to identify with monsters. It's a perfectly serviceable interpretation and I won't ask people to look at things this way if that's uncomfortable for them for whatever reason. But I don't feel that way. In fact I heartily reject that interpretation.

And I am going to take three blog posts to explain why, focusing on three of my favorite werewolves: Ethan Chandler in Penny Dreadful; Ruby in Once Upon a Time; and Remus Lupin in Harry Potter.

Next post goes up in a couple weeks. See you then!
lindalupos: (Default)

[personal profile] lindalupos 2017-06-16 01:00 pm (UTC)(link)
Have you ever read the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger? They're supernatural Steampunk books featuring a number of queer characters, some of which are werewolves. One of them, who is basically a Victorian Lupin (and my favorite) is explicitly mentioned as being bisexual. It's pretty neat.

Looking forward to this series!