No Surprise

This entry is part 23 of 72 in the series SF in South Korea

It comes as no surprise to me to hear (as I have heard tonight) that one of the most queer-friendly sites in the Korean internet is a site hosted by a major Korean SF-author. Not because I think there’s a link between SF and alternative sexualities (though this author has addressed that set of issues in fictional form in the past) but because — howsoever certain authors may seem to contradict this notion (here’s a response) — in my experience, and for those people who are likely to be thinking individuals, SF simply accustoms them to thinking about the world in radically different ways, from radically different viewpoints. SF is a literature that exercises the muscle of the imagination.

Once that muscle is in shape, it’s pretty damned hard to criticize people for being different: after all, one needn’t even think about the far future to realize one’s much-cherished values or principles might have been utterly different if one had been born in ancient Greece, or in a Buddhist community a thousand years ago, or in Kabul just twenty years ago.

(And no, I’m not saying most of us would be gay if we were born in those places. But our values and norms would have been different, as might have been our inclinations. Given the slim chance of our being born at all, isn’t it even more random that the world happened to be as it was when we were born? This dissuades one from too much attachment to one’s norms, doesn’t it?

And while I won’t link the site — I don’t want to send the bigots an easy route to harassment — it’s run by that a Korean SF author I’ve mentioned here before, and whose penname is a reference to another literary figure who depicted lesbianism in a society that was far from accepting of it.

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