In her letter, “Speaking in Tongues” Gloria Anzaldua states “they convince us that we must cultivate art for art’s sake. Bow down to the sacred bull, form. Put frames and “metaframes around the writing. Achieve distance to win the coveted title “literary writer” or “professional writer” (Anzaldua 167). This sentiment is extremely reminiscent of the treatment fanfiction and fanfiction authors receive when they try to claim they are real writers and that their works are real writing. Fanfiction is fan-written work based around a subject with any fanbase one could think of. It is commonly thought of as weird and shameful to take part in when in reality there are fanfictions out there that are leagues above many applauded works of literature and cinema.
Fanfiction is written for a multitude of reasons, the primary one is exploring the possibilities of a piece of media. Anzaldua expresses why I enjoy fanfiction so much: “the world I create in the writing compensates for what the real world does not give me” (Anzaldua 169). A huge theme in this class is the erasure of queer history and media. Even today there is a stunning lack of representation of LGBTQ+ people in popular culture. Fanfiction is a popular outlet for people who want to see more of themselves in a piece of media they like or relate to. A lot of the authors we have learned about in this class wrote so that people like them could feel represented, and that is essentially what fanfic writers are doing on a smaller scale.
Gloria Anzaldua wrote “Speaking in Tongues” to reach out to other women like her, who do not often see themselves in the media they wish to pursue. Fanfiction is a similarly comforting thing to me and many others. Those who write fanfiction can interpret pieces of media they connect with in ways that make themselves, and the readers, feel seen. The incredible thing about fanfiction is that it does not exist to appeal to everyone, it exists for people to find something that appeals specifically to them.