Because they're stupid, or at the very least have been brought up in a restrictive culture or family and never matured enough mentally to question it.
Stupid might seem a harsh word, but you know, there really isn't a single legitimate reason to disbelieve in homosexuality. Biologically, it's been proven that same-sex pheromones act differently on a gay man or woman, giving them the same reaction that it gives a straight person of the opposite sex. In zoology, hundreds of animals have shown homosexual behavior, everything from bonobos to fireflies to dolphins, and back again. In archaeology, there is no period of well-recorded history from the beginning of recorded history without some mention of homosexuality. A lot of it's debated, usually by staunchly religious men or women who practice revisionism, but quite a lot no one in their right mind would debate, since, after all, we have graphic depictions of men and men or women and women having sex for about as long as we've had art. In terms of sociology, I could start listing cultures for whom homosexuality was natural, accepted, even revered, including cultures that are alive and well today.
Theology is one thing, but even there, most of the people (particularly Christians) who "disbelieve" in homosexuality do so because they've never taken the time to question the preachings of homophobic priests, and actually look at the messages of the bible, or learn one iota of the history of their own religion. The bible has three arguable passages on the subject: Leviticus, which is so well-refuted I don't feel like I need to get into it (he was just writing an incredibly outdated code of behavior, behavior that was recorded in late antiquity, thousands of years ago, and why people think it makes sense to follow it today I'll never understand - religious people ignore most of it anyway), Sodom & Gomorrah (the point of which was more about promiscuity and rape than homosexuality, is part of the old testament anyway, you know, the section that advocates the stoning of unruly children, and which always makes me laugh because bible literalists actually think that happened [and once upon a time in the historical town of crazy bisexual rapists...]), and Paul's letters, which, honestly, guys, Paul NEVER MET JESUS, and was a missionary, not a direct mouthpiece of God. The idea of homosexuality being "against your religion" is thus condensed stupidity, coming from bigotry that was cooked up in the middle ages and then became a part of the religion practically de facto. The almost completely ignored stipends against murder are written in your ten commandments. Homosexuality? Practically a footnote.
And then of course we could get into what I call the "women and veils argument," and talk about how just because something is forbidden in YOUR sect of YOUR religion, common sense says not everyone belongs to your particular sect of your particular religion, and expecting people to follow it, particularly making laws in a government setting to force people to follow it without logical, defensible proof that the law is beneficial to society as a whole, is ethically indefensible. if you think it's wrong that a woman in Iran found without a veil can be sent to jail, no matter what her views on the veil or religious beliefs, then following the same logic you should think it's wrong for the government to try to regulate the life and marriage of and give inferior rights to a gay couple as opposed to a straight one, because the law-makers happen to follow in their private life a certain brand of Christianity.
So, to come to some sort of conclusion here, the reason people don't believe in homosexuality is because they're too entrenched in bigotry or prejudice to realize how stupid they're being. If they bothered to learn, for example, how one defines a mental disorder (which some fools think homosexuality is), they'd know a mental illness CANNOT be a mental illness unless it significantly negatively affects one's life (which is why there's a difference between being a neat freak and being OCD). Other than the SOCIETAL backlashes, which aren't universal and aren't intrinsent to the gay man or woman, but to the person discriminating against them, nobody has been able to make a legitimate argument that homosexuality causes any kind of significant harmful effects in the gay person's life. In fact, the majority of gay people live happy, healthy, productive lives at almost the exact same rate as heterosexual people, particularly in places where there's less prejudice. Being gay hasn't shown any major deformality in the structure of a gay person's brain - hormones are slightly different, but a pregnant or menstruating woman has more significant negative effects because of hormones than your average gay person. It wasn't "an empty political move" when the American Psychiatric Association took homosexuality off of the list of diagnosable disorders, and all major psychiatric organizations followed suit - it was because being gay is about as much a mental disorder as being straight is.
Ironically, the so-called "gay treatments" men, women, and children are given actually have a significant and sordid history of increasing risk of suicide, self-harm, major depression (mostly situational), and feelings of alienation and self-loathing in otherwise mentally sound patients. It's like giving a healthy person chemo: the methods of psychiatric treatment they're using are occassionally parodies of legitimate practices, just as chemo actually works on people who have cancer, but on a person who has no or unrelated psychiatric issues, it's just a way of destroying self-esteem, just like chemo is poison to anyone who doesn't have cancer.
Whoops, double post! Could a kind mod delete this for me, please? It sent my comment twice for some reason.
People were guessing that it had something to do with copyrights, though I'm not sure. It was certainly disappointing, though. As for doujinshi, have you ever been on jpqueen? They used to have a massive Yu Yu Hakusho section, which has shrunk to two available doujinshi, but they still have huge sections for more popular things. I'm sure you could find something you'd like.
Oh, Connecticon has an Artists' Alley, and several of my more talented friends have set up booths there in previous years. Lindsey had lots of fun with it, I remember. Then again, she's a brilliant artist, and she got lots of money for her awesome work, so of course she'd have fun.
I bought Kurama underwear one year. I still have it. That's the kind of stories cons give you. (Of course, that's much too much information, forgive me.)
I've seen so much Pheonix Wright around, I could probably get you some cool artists pretty easily. Do you know Pixiv? It's a really great way to find art, and I love it because it's a new site, but there were about 95 pages just of Yu Yu, and plenty more that hadn't been labelled. Of course, it's a Japanese site and you have to sign up to see the art, but it's totally worth it for the sheer amount of high quality things on there. I know for a fact a fandom like Pheonix Wright will have (quite literally) thousands of pictures. And if you're thinking deviantart, don't. Deviantart is mostly amateurs, and the art quality is usually less-than-desirable. I can count on one hand the ugly pictures I've seen on Pixiv, and all of them were jokes.
*giggles* Which tournament? Genkai, Dark, or Makai? Yu Yu Hakusho fans have some great old jokes about the number of tournaments. Also, if you've seen the beginning, SPOILER: YUSUKE DIES.
And eeeh, you don't even need to make special time. It's one of those things, if you ever are in the mood for it and bored, it would be nice to get someone new into the fandom, even casually. I love my fandom, but you're right, it's a shame to see it shrink.
And as per the posting-on-the-internet thing, I agree. I'm aware that on a small site like this, the number of people who even know enough of Yu Yu's canon to enjoy my work is probably slim to none, but I still like posting it, and in the end, I think even if I were the only one, I'd still love writing about it. I want people to like it, of course, but I write for myself.
XD If you ever feel like watching or reading it, I have dozens of places to get the anime and the whole manga is up on mangafox and onemanga. No pressure, but it's a fun series if you've got some time to kill.
Yu Yu Hakusho was always a small (or at least smaller) fandom, but it's been refined a bit by age, I like to think - and it first came out in 1990, before I was even born, so it is pretty aged. The YYH fanfic.net page is still riddled with Mary Sues/Gary Stus, but you know. Some things never change.
Seeing as Fawx and Anna-Jaganshi just joined this site, I suspect I'll be fine. Actually, I might bother Fawx to make an introductory post of her own, because hers will doubtlessly be twice as amusing as mine, and contain 80 proof levels of awesome in comparison to my watered-down wine. And she's a beautiful artist, one of the best in the English-speaking fandom - one of the best in the fandom. Plus she can write, the jerk. *hates on her*
Thank you for welcoming me, and it's nice to hear that I won't be banned! I would never intentionally break a rule, but you know, when you first start using any site it's a little hard to keep track of them. I've already got a count going of things I've done wrong on PaperDemon that I had to fix, it's very embarrassing.
I did have a good Christmas. My house was packed with family, the way things should be. Oh, and yes, the YYH fandom is still up and running. It's shrinking, but in some ways that's nice. The crazy dramaqueens left for bigger fandoms a while ago, so the Yu Yu fans are all cozy and snug. I'm good friends with most of the major players in my fandom, and it's especially cool because half of them are people whose fanfics I grew up reading.
Topic: Writer's Circle
I'm having some technical trouble with joining this group. Once that's cleared up I fully intend to join, though, so here's my form in advance.
1) How about a brief introduction of yourself?
I am nobody.
I am what I am, and what I am is a classics buff (we're talking Tolstoy, Ellison, Boccaccio, Stendhal, Murasaki and J.D. Salinger here), a big time anime freak, a poetry lover who's no great shakes at poetry, and an eight-year fanatic (yes, you did the math right, I was about ten) of Yoshihiro Togashi's wonderful old animanga, Yu Yu Hakusho. I have a boyfriend who aspires to be a lover, Duo, who's too cute for words and thus won't get any of them, a black lab, and a massive jazz collection. My favorite jazz artist is Ella Fitzgerald, and if you know who that is you get +20 Sekah love.
As far as languages go, je parle un petit peu de français, to nihongo ga sukoshi hanasemasu. Very little Japanese, unfortunately, I'm trying to teach myself, and I've gotten just far enough to know I've gotten nowhere. Ignore that it's not in kana, I can't seem to find any programs for writing anything but English on Firefox. I even copy and pasted the cédille on français, and if you've ever tried individually searching out every kana for a single sentence in Japanese you'll understand it's tiresome.
And that, I suppose, is me.
2) Fabulous! And what got you into story/novel-writing to begin with?
I've always read everything I could get my hands on. Books are my playground, and I love every jungle gym of them. Writing, on the other hand, was not something I did. I guess you could say that I did write stories, but they were never on the page, they were just elaborate fantasies I kept locked in my head. When I was about fifteen, I wrote an experimental present for a friend's birthday, and once I realized how fun it was I just kept doing it. By the time I turned sixteen, I'd already started my main story (which is approaching novel length at 150-sommat pages), Counting Crows. Counting is now what I'm most known for, and I'm debating putting it up on this site. Things one writes at fifteen, even things that have gone through multiple transformations and thousands of edits, big and small, and whose most recent chapter was written at least partially by a technical adult, might not be the best thing to post.
3) I see, so what kind of story/novel do you like to write about? Why?
I love historical fiction, I love fantasy, and I love sadism. I seem to have an affinity for seeing my favorite character, Kurama, in pain; but I also love creating elaborate AUs and building on canon. When it comes to original fiction, I've only really written short stories, and they've all had elements of the fantastical in them. I'm just waiting for the switch that got me started writing to flip again, and then I'll start creating my own characters and putting them into stories.
4) What type of characters do you normally have (for the protagonist)?
Crafty, resourceful, witty, but out of his or her depth is how I usually write them - not an angel, not a fool, but unable to cope with whatever situation I've placed him/her in. That, or I go the Toguro route of staid and honor-bound, also not a fool, and coping with a life of decisions that shouldn't have been made. Sometimes I write for the complete basketcases of my fandom, too, because isn't that always amusing? Sakyo and Karasu deliver on that front.
5) What is your most popular/largest story/novel project? Describe.
My most well-known story, both in terms of response and popularity, is Counting Crows, previously described. To be frank, I've read many, many Karasu/Kurama fics in my life, and almost all of them took the easy way out on some level - Kurama was okay in the end. Kurama was never actually damaged by Karasu. Karasu didn't really hurt him. Karasu's about a fifth as brutal and crazy as he was in the animanga. Karasu actually loved him, which made it all okay. Karasu was a rapist bastard, but Hiei/Yusuke/Kuwabara/Botan/Eikichi (Kuwabara's cat) came barreling in and the power of Hiei/Yusuke/Kuwabara/Botan/Eikichi (Kuwabara's cat)'s love saved Kurama from psychological harm.
So I decided to write it right, and try to make a story that would show every emotion of every character, especially Kurama's, along with every depravity of Karasu's, and use it to break your heart over and over again. Luckily, in every opinion I've heard, I succeeded.
6) What is the story/novel you've written/writing that you are most proud of? Why?
Again, Counting Crows. It was an experiment, it was my first story, and I feel proud every time I reread it. Even the sloppy beginning, even the rushed parts, incomplete parts, and the parts I'm ashamed to have written make me happy, because I wrote them. It's going to end (if everything goes on schedule) in two more chapters, and I ache when I think about it. Counting will always have a place in my heart that's ten feet wide and ten feet long.
That's not to say I don't love criticism on it - just that it's got that special position of being my first and most popular story.
7) Do you find writing easy? Hard? What are the most difficult aspects of writing you struggle with?
Writing is easy, revising is hard. Both are necessary. What I struggle with is making everything look the way I want it to. I want it to be smooth and flowing and beautiful - hell, if I had an iota of the talent I'd want it to be Nabokov beautiful, Flaubert beautiful - but I know that it comes out pedantic, wordy, and overly-processed. Like all bad writing habits, though, it's a bitch to break. I've made progress, but it's a bitch to break.
8) Write a catchy intro on the spot NOW!
The cherry blossom's fold was a little too much for her. She was in ecstasy, enveloped by sentiments that mocked the endearing yellow stain her tea had left on the paper. Guilty thrills are no less satisfying than pure ones, no less fulfilling in their mania, and she was savoring them as she knelt, mind turned to one man at the expense of the other. The sunlight, dull and bleeding through the wax paper that covered the window, kissed her smooth skin and played with the curve of her full lips.
Catchy? As I said further down, it comes in boring flavor, with pedantic topping!
10) Are you guilty of those cliches that you hate?
The only cliche that I hate is the doe-eyed virgin, and yes, I'm guilty of it. In Silk & Sable, in the first chapter, I was going for naive and that's what I got instead. Now the plot's so wrapped up in it I can't quite make everything unentangle. It's a constant irritation.
11) What would you call your writing style?
Wordy, overly-processed, and pedantic. It doesn't get any more specific than that.
12) What type of story do you generally read?
I'll read anything that's not awful. The only genre I don't like on some level is Mystery, and even that, I enjoy it when the book's well-done. As for everything else, I'll read it if it's good, and I'll enjoy it if it's great. My all-time favorite books are Henry James's Washington Square, an old sci-fi book, Warchild, and everything Tamora Pierce, J.D. Salinger, and Bernard Cornwell ever wrote, to give you an idea of what I mean.
13) What's the one thing you have always wanted to write but are too afraid/shy to?
Original fiction. It's the same hang-ups that used to keep me from writing in the first place: what if it's bad? What if it's cliche? What if nobody likes it? I'm nowhere near brave enough to face up to those simple what-ifs.
14) Do you have trouble taking criticisms?
Some. I don't think I'm awful about it, and I welcome criticism, but there is that pull inside me when I read that I've horribly mishandled something. It doesn't happen to me that often, and when it does, I've asked for it, but still. The pull is there.
15) When you write, is there anything that helps? (Music, food?)
Quiet. I'm always yelling at people to shut up when I'm writing. Music is awful for me, it distracts my thoughts and I can't focus on the words, and I absolutely can't eat and write. Quiet is the one thing I can't do without. I also dislike writing with paper and pencil, oddly enough. It's so hard to change it! Christ!
16) What inspires you?
My stays in the mental hospital and food. I don't eat and write, but I often find myself basing whole chapters on something that tasted really good. Hell or High Water was started right after I ate a particularly juicy peach.
17) How do you sum up your writer's career so far?
A silly little fanfic authoress who longs one day to be an author.
18) [New] What kind of preparation and research do you do for a project? And how much?
[I'm stealing this question, because it's a good one.]
I research everything. I've bought five books already just for Counting Crows, and three for Silk & Sable. I use the library, I steal from my school's list of paid databases, heck, I just google. Currently I have five tabs of research things for Silk & Sable open just in this browser window, and a handful in another window, all of which I'm waiting to jot down in my pages and pages of notes (and my one map) on the subject. I research names, I research places, I once spent three hours trying to find the proper name for a completely unimportant lock that I ended up realizing would make the door unusable, and taking out. Research is inspiring and fun, and I love doing it (though I hate putting a chapter up and then realizing I'd done something egregiously wrong).
And yes I have gone to museums to find out what something would be expected to look like in real life. Call me crazy, I'll still do it. (Which reminds me, I need to add some of the porcelain descriptions I jotted down at the Met to Silk. I'll get right on that.)
Topic: Know any good web comics?
If you like yaoi, slash, shounen-ai, or whatever us crazy kids are calling it today, here's two series that are always worth their time:
The Boy Meets Boy arcs, by K. Sandra Fuhr, go from hilarious to poignant to sweet to miserable to any other emotion you can think of easily, and actively tries to negate some of the tropes of slash. It starts out sadly juvenile, but by the time the first arc hits midpoint it's started to become quite a wonderful mix. By the second arc, Friendly Hostilities, which recently ended, I was on the edge of my seat every update. I'm in the midst of a re-read of the whole series, and I'm quite enjoying myself.
First arc: Boy Meets Boy.
Second arc: Friendly Hostilities.
Third, most recent arc: Other People's Business.
And then the second series, Starfighter, is a really great sci-fi, futuristic one that is incredibly intriguing, beautifully drawn, and has some of the spiciest slash sex scenes I've ever seen, in yaoi or out. It's a relatively new comic, sexually explicit, and only has one chapter up, but it still blows me away whenever I read it. It's one of the best webcomics, and particularly yaoi webcomics, I've seen in years.
Then, on the non-yaoi (hopefully, at least, the main character is a young boy) side, if you don't mind torture, gore, violence, and other such potentially distressing things, you might like A Broken Winter, which I genuinely enjoyed. It's very beautiful and intricate, with some serious world-building attached to it that I responded to.
There was also a funny webcomic from France I was reading a while back, but I don't seem to have saved the link, which is too bad. Hopefully someone will enjoy these, at least!
Actually, Connecticon, which I attended this summer, was about double the size of what it had been the first time I went, three or four years ago. It was a pleasant surprise.
The unpleasant surprise came when I tried to buy doujinshi - maybe the convention organizers specifically asked for this, but there were none! I was very disappointed. Doubly so because the few doujinshi that were there were practically smuggled in, and didn't contain a single volume of Yu Yu Hakusho. That's a big change from even two years ago, when I attended - I think it was animazement, I'm not sure. I found bunches then. I used up all my money just on doujinshi at that con, and spent the rest of the time in the manga lending library and hanging out with my friends, laughing every time Jesus walked by.
Of course, YYH is dying out, so don't listen to me ramble and whine about it. What I'm saying is just that the explosions of Hetalia and Kuroshitsuji seem to say to me that anime is alive and well in the states, even if people don't quite have the luxury to spend money on it right now.
The name's Sekah, at least on the internet. I usually stick to my fandom, Yu Yu Hakusho, but if you want me to write you something, ask, and I'll consider it. I found the YYH section of this site a bit dead, so I'm going to be posting a fic, or fic chapter, a day until I run out. Hopefully that will enliven things a bit.
If you have any interest in Yu Yu Hakusho, by the way, I coded my profile full of goodies for you, from art sites to fanfics to my fandom's main recommendation lists. If you have the slightest inclination towards Yu Yu, even if it's just that you watched a single episode eight years ago when it was running on Cartoon Network, I'm sure you'll find plenty of things to keep you busy!
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Edit to say that I apologize for initially using art that was not my own for the cover art of my writing. I just read the rules, and seeing that that is a direct violation of them, I've deleted both pictures. Forgive me, I'm too used to just posting from my collection, it was not my intention to break this site's precepts.