aprilvalentine: (Phasers set to fabulous)
On this date, 47 years ago, Star Trek the classic series premiered. I didn't get into Star Trek fandom until 1976, or even start watching the show until it went into syndication while I was in college, but the show changed my life and the lives of many of the people who are closest to me.

Fandom existed before Star Trek, but it was Star Trek that started fandom on the path that made it into what we understand it to be today. Fans wrote meta essays in those days, drew simple line art and published them with letters of comment in fanzines, but it was Trek fans who began publishing fanfiction so profusely that fanfic took over zines and became one of the main areas of fannish expression. We wanted more of the show we loved and so, in the absence of new episodes, we created more ourselves, taking the Enterprise crew to places our television sets, even with the imagination of Gene Roddenberry, couldn't or wouldn't take us. Into situations that they might not recover from by next week's show, into their bedrooms and of course, not just into the bedrooms occupied by the opposite sex.

I heard about slash on one of the first visits I paid to my fannish mentor, Bev Volker, who became my best friend and along with her sister, Nancy Kippax a collaborator in writing and exploring the then uncharted waters of fan publication, putting on conventions and all things fannish. Bev showed me a "drawer fic" as we called them in those days -- an unpublished story written by "the Austrailian fan" that had been sent through the mail from fan to fan but was hidden and secret. I remember exactly where I sat in Bev's basement office as I read it... no names were given in the fic, but it was clear who was Spock and who was Kirk. It involved a lot of touching, a sensual backrub with oiled fingers that brought completion. Bev and Nancy's zine, Contact, celebrated the friendship between Kirk and Spock and it took off like gangbusters, tapping into the one theme that so many Trek fans found the most interesting, or should I say, fascinating aspect of the show. The all slash zines came later but the pioneering influence of "Contact" cannot be denied. I did not write K/S, preferring back then to write about the deep emotional bond between Kirk and Spock. It was only later when I got into Starsky & Hutch that I became a slasher. Still, even now, when I look at the relationship between Reese and Finch in Person of Interest, I can not only enjoy the slashability of them, I can enjoy, read and write them as pair bond who don't necessarily have to have a sexual component to their relationship. And their love, their slash relationship, is predicated on their deep emotional bond. That's still what turns me on, what attracts me to a fandom and at this point, I'm pretty sure it always will.

ETA: Bev and Nancy, God rest their souls, used to sign their editorials in "Contact" and their fannish letters in a way that signified that they understood how others felt about the Kirk/Spock relationship and I think that applies today when we meet others who are like-minded in fandom and make online friends with those who love the relationships we also love. "We are one; we reach."

So Happy Star Trek Anniversary and may fandom always be my way of life! FIAWOL, everybody! Star Trek Lives!