Bit sad today. Normally I can log onto the Web and find some happy, slashy stuff to cheer me up, but lately? Not so much.
For a start, there isn't a whole lot of TV that is interesting right now. In the small amount I do watch, there is not a lot of slashable partners I'm interested in. Of the few pairings that I am, there is so, so, SOOOO much negativity towards that pairing or my wish to slash it, that it's becoming depressing.
I started following 1D in the summer of last year, and just happened to catch a renaissance of sorts, in that Harry and Louis seemed to be interacting more, seemed happier, sitting next to each other, etc. They could be photographed together, they could (gasp) touch! At least hands. Folks ooohed and awwwed about various goings on, and built a narrative about their relationship based on what was happening. It was like watching a fanfic in real time.
However, you are always going to have the fans who take it too far, and actively post negative things towards girls that were attached to the guys, and even sent those girls hateful things. If you know me, I am a BIG OLD proponent of "Fight Club" type rules when it comes to slash, and disapprove of anyone actively contacting the guys, or anyone they are associated with, with any evidence of said slashing or what-not. It's never a good idea, is never appreciated by the subjects, and even if it is tolerated, makes this aspect of fandom seem unhinged.
There are those who say "But what if H&L truly ARE in a relationship and are forced to hide it?" Trust me, you dragging it out into the open isn't going to make them think "Wow, my fans are SO supportive." If they want to know? They will search themselves and come across folks saying nice, supportive things...like how they like their music, how they will like them no matter what sexuality they are. If they are forced to hide their sexuality or relationship? Fans sending shit to their girls and family isn't going to help. Is it right they have to hide? No, but until they can arrange their own freedom, fans have to be patient. The kind of aggressive support that is practiced by some can effectively make it much harder for a coming out.
And, like night follows day, if you have a group who is 100% sure they are gay and in a relationship, you are going to attract those who are 100% sure they are straight and not together. These people start pushing back, and debates turn into arguments, which turn into hateful, belittling posts, which then turn REALLY nasty. As a veteran of more than a few flame wars back in the day, this pattern is predictable to the extreme, and the reason why I never get emotionally involved in what folks say to me. I've learned to compartmentalize my psyche in real life, and it's a snap to do it on the Web.
What cranks the whole thing into high gear are the Trolls. Suddenly, there are accounts and people you have never seen or heard from before, and they have no problem saying all kinds of shit. In fact, if you watch them, you can almost spot the different species, and how they infiltrate your fandom. They start with disagreeing, try to sew guilt for what you have done as a fandom, how you've hurt those involved, move on to pity for you and concern that you are so delusional. There are those who pose as "recovered" fans, and who then preach how you are being led astray and lied to by the more popular fans who have big followings, and how those fans try to keep the story going because they want to stay popular.
Both sides accuse the other of being involved in all this, but only for their own purposes. In 1D, the Antis accuse the bigger blogs of wanting to keep people invested in their blogs. Who gives a shit? Maybe some care how many folks follow them, but I doubt this is the goal of all of them. Larries accuse Antis of just wanting to be right about the guys, to prove Larries wrong to rub it in their faces. Yeah, if and when that happens, I imagine there is going to be some victory dancing going on, but that would happen if they came out as well, so. The Antis assume the Larries want H&L to be together because they secretly harbor the tweenage notion that they could someday date the guys. As I've said before, while that may be true for some, if they are slashers, that is the LAST thing going through their minds.
The Trolls who show up just for the fight plant themselves in both factions, taking up positions to better whip folks up and get the hate and arguments going. How do I know this? I was an admin for a forum for a TV show back in the 90s. We developed a terrible Troll infestation, and had to figure out who was who so we could ban the proper people. Myself and several others were tasked with creating new accounts and joining the Trolls, which a few of us managed. Once allowed into their group chats, it was AMAZING to watch them come up with ways to disrupt the forum! Everything from pitting fans against one another to posing as admins and even people associated with the show! They really didn't care which "side" won, as the goal was to get the forum so balled up that the fandom imploded and the people running it would shut it down. We traced IPs and were amazed that it came down to just a handful of people doing this. Obviously, they had no life as they seemed to be on frequently, and would jump from name to name and account to account to make it look like there were dozens of them.
It was chaos for the shear sake of chaos, and I never can understand the attraction of that. I appreciate there are those who do, buy I personally do not get it.
We were eventually able to ban most of the Trolls, and while some came back, the show got cancelled shortly thereafter, so they left when it stopped being fun and they could no longer get a rise out of folks. As bizarre as that was to witness, in the end I'm glad I had the experience (as headache inducing as it was) because it allows you to understand the lengths some will go to, just for the sake of getting folks to hate on each other.
I see the same thing happening with 1D on Tumblr, and I'm sure it happens all over, but I used to be able to log into the Larry Stylinson tag, and read all the cute stuff folks were posting. I know there is a good chance it is not real, but aside from someone posting unpopular opinions about those who talked about H&L being a couple, almost all the posts were positive. Now? Every fourth or fifth post is negative, with the usual belittling and name calling. People who used to avoid the tag because they were believers now regularly post about how wrong Larries are, how stupid and delusional. You can't post anything H&L related without an Anti post dragging you for it, their friends joining in and mocking you. The Anti blogs are filled with "anons" who post about how ridiculous and harmful the Larries are, both to the band and to their fellow Larries who follow them like sheep.
It gets tiring, wading through all the shit. Yeah, you don't believe in Larry, we get it. You think we are insane and mentally deficient, we get that too. You can move on now, stop hanging out on the tags. I imagine there may be some Antis who think they are "helping" because they are trying to get the Larries to see the error of their beliefs in this pairing, and of course every now and again, a newly "reformed" Larry will show up and post how they "saw the light" and this just encourages the Antis who think they are superheroes or something. Thing is, if you had access to track folks? You'd be shocked at how many sock puppets there are, and just how few people are actually individuals.
I know there were Larries who invaded the Haylor tags and vice-versa, but until you attract the attention of the more serious Trolls, it can be ignored. It's getting to the point where it is hard to ignore in the 1D fandom. I see too much similarity to what I witnessed before, so I know this isn't just two groups of passionate fans who have opposite opinions.
In the end, the guys are going to do what they are going to do. They may come out, they may not. They may become involved with women or other men, Louis may actually have a child he will be somehow raising, or find out he isn't the father. It would be nice if H&L really did love each other and could someday show it, if only because it would be nice to have ONE happy gay relationship every once in a while. Only time will tell, but one thing will never change: Don't Contact Anyone About This! Keep a damn secret for once, will ya?