Why I Created This Website
October 4, 2002
You could say I created this website for the simple reason that nothing like it existed at the time. I was looking for all the GLBT fantasy titles in existence and spent too much time poring over lists that were mostly science-fiction, badly organized, or didn't include important information like publication dates and ISBN numbers. Some of them couldn't even spell the authors' names right.
But the real reason I put this website together was to pay tribute to the revelatory impact these books have had on my life. I was drawn to fantasy as a young child, starting with worlds like C. S. Lewis's Narnia and moving on to Roger Zelazny's Amber, Piers Anthony's Xanth, Robert Asprin's Myth series, and the Dragonlance titles when I was older. For me, fantasy was more my world than anything on television, at school, or at home. It was the same place I went when I spent time in the woods, or rode my bike, or played with friends and siblings. The same place I went when I spent hours drawing elves and dragons, maps of imaginary lands, and writing stories. It was my world.
Delving into Mercedes Lackey's Magic's Pawn at the tender age of sixteen was a gut-wrenching experience for me. The pain of a lonely childhood, the struggle to come to terms with conflicting emotions and sexual attractions, the self-imposed isolation—all of these things were echoed in the trials and tribulations of the main character. I realize now that the book isn't the finest in literary achievement, but at the time it was no less than a miracle to me, a revelation. I was no longer alone.
Later, I found Marion Zimmer Bradley's Lythande through the Thieves World series: a powerful woman who loved other women. My fantasy of the dyke warrior was born! I've heard critics discount this character species out of hand as nothing more than a threadbare stereotype. But I think it's important to ask why this type of character is so appealing, especially to women—especially to lesbian and bisexual women.
Whenever I hear about violence committed against someone who crosses the gender lines (through their sexuality or gender identification) it's brought home to me how important it is for GLBT characters to be present in mainstream fantasy fiction and to have stories of their own. Queer readers find validation—and everyone else learns that the world isn't quite as narrow as they might have thought. Familiarity with the unknown transforms fear into empathy, acknowledging the "other" as "self."
I realize that sword-swinging dykes and crossdressing Medieval chamberlains aren't going to change the world overnight. But fantasy is our playground for exploring where we are—and where we wish to be. This website is my humble contribution to the world-changing, eye-opening, gender-bending diversity of fantasy fiction. I dedicate it to all the authors who've added their own voice over the years—and to the fans whose hearts and minds they've touched.
© Finder | GLBT Fantasy Fiction Resources | 2002