And we are back with the second installment of Meet the Fans! For today’s post I got a chance to talk to one of my favourite fudanshi content creators on YouTube the amazing Dynamic Dylan!
Let’s start this off with you introducing yourself
I am Dylan, a vlogger of ten years who talks about yaoi, manga and books. I use my channel to talk about the media I love, with the hope that it helps people smile and find something new.
What first got you into yaoi?
I was visiting my sister when I was still questioning my sexuality, and we went to Powell’s Books. I stumbled across the manga section and found myself in the boys love section. I found two titles Border by Kazuma Kodaka, and Only Serious About You by Asou Kai. I immediately gave them to my mom and she bought them for me, not knowing the content inside.
I read them alone upstairs and it was like my sexuality started to blossom. I cried reading Border, it’s still very special to me to this day. To see two men fall in love with each other and date was so validating. Back then, being a lonely confused teenager, seeing a gay couple in a form of media I love was so important to me.
Wow that kind of already answered the following question, but I will still ask anyway. What title has had the most emotional impact on you?
That would actually be Twittering Birds Never Fly. The discussion on trauma left me reeling. I didn’t think a yaoi could ever stare deep into my soul, but this one managed to do just that. Victims of trauma have different coping mechanisms. For Yashiro, he becomes a masochist who turns his pain into pleasure. I find that very empowering as a former victim myself.
Now, there is a lot of negativity out there for problematic tropes found within yaoi, are there any subjects you have seen in yaoi that will make you stop reading a title?
If you asked me this question a couple of years ago, I would probably have a different answer. I think context and intent is very important when talking about dark subjects. Rape is often a no go for me, but I’ve also read titles that handle the sensitive topic well, either as a crime or exploration of trauma. But when a title glorifies the subject, that is when it bothers me. I also recognize that these kinds of stories aren’t written for me and would never shame anyone who chooses to read them.
Do you take part in the shipping side of the fandom or have you ever in the past?
Absolutely! I used to draw fan art of Gundam ships I had. Tiera x Lockon from Gundam 00 is one of my OTPs. I also love Rei x Nagisa from Free! Kazuki x Soushi from Fafner (shout out to the small community of people that love that show.) I think shipping is a fun way to form a community and make friends. Reflecting on it makes me want to draw more fan art again.
That’s wonderful to hear you have had such a positive experience in the community. A lot of people see the yaoi and boys love community as a very toxic part of any fandom. Have you yourself ever experienced this toxicity?
I haven’t seen it within BL fan communities. Though, I have experienced homophobia, both from random trolls and other Youtubers who are much more popular than I am. The male toxicity in our otaku community is very real and very disconcerting. To the point where I only converse with female fans whom I trust. I don’t understand why anyone would want to bring someone down for something they enjoy. They should take a look at their actions and think “Would I like someone to say this to me?” If the answer is no, they shouldn’t say it. Period.
Very well said. To finish this interview do you have anything you want to say to non yaoi fans about our community? Also feel free to plug any of your yaoi and boys love projects in this last section as well.
Yaoi is a genre for people of all different kinds. And there are so many subgenres within the media that more people should give a chance . It’s not all smut, there are some lighter content for those that are weary to give it a try. Some recent additions explore beautiful subjects ranging from parental acceptance of a gay child (Don’t Call Me Dirty by Gorou Kanbe) to making friends with the outed gay boy in your school (That Blue Sky Feeling by Okura and Coma Hashi). Give them a chance, you may be surprised by what you find. Some of the most creative people I know read boys love, and are inspired by it. You might be too.
If you want to see more of my content you can on my YouTube channel: DynamicDylan
One of my favourite videos by Dylan you can really feel the love for boys love and yaoi in this video.
Are you a yaoi / boys love fan who would love to share your story about the genre and help break the stereotype of the type of fandom we are? If so and you are over the age 18 and would like to be interviewed as part of the Meet the Fans project feel free to comment on any of the Meet the Fans posts or message yours truly over on Twitter @mistressofyaoi, till next time my beautiful fans have an amazing day!