Drawn Together

The surging popularity of yaoi—graphic boy-on-boy comics—might be the genre's downfall

These yaoi books push past taboos with love stories that pair stepbrothers, a boy and his magically transformed dog, and a teacher and his high school student.
These yaoi books push past taboos with love stories that pair stepbrothers, a boy and his magically transformed dog, and a teacher and his high school student.

Anneke, who has traveled to every convention with suitcases full of costumes, feels a bit resentful of the younger fans, whose high-pitched giggles echo through the hotel lobby. "We know we're the core yaoi fans, as opposed to the fluff walking around," she says. But as she remembers how yaoi changed her own life, she feels she has no choice but to welcome the "fluff" into the fan base. "It's becoming a rallying cry at anime conventions — all the girls scream, 'Yaoi! Yaoi!'" she says. "It's like burning your bra. It's declaring your sexuality."

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