I saw some #discourse go by about how adults shouldn’t be in fandom writing about younger characters because it’s uncomfortable and gross to younger people to have adults ‘thinking about them’ in romantic/sexual terms.
1, This is not a restriction that any writers in any other venue have to deal with, wtf, or the entire YA genre would be banished; 2, Excuse you, children of Tumblr, no one is thinking about you.
If other people in fandom are older than you, by definition, they have been your age. When fans write about younger characters, we’re not peering through a keyhole at young people now and creeping on them.
We are drawing on our own experiences, thoughts, feelings and memories of what it was like when we were that age.
No one has the right to ask older writers to cut themselves off from their own past just because young’uns don’t want to acknowledge that people in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, all of them, were also young once. I’m 41, but I remember vividly what it was like to be 14. If I write a high school AU, it’s about my high school experience, even if I were to set it in the present day and decorate it with some (probably comically out of touch) Stuff The Kids Are Into Now. If I write a high school AU with sex, it’s because I remember that too! I’m not thinking about kids today, why would I– I have my own experiences to draw on. And honestly, sometimes there are things about being young that you don’t really understand until you’re much older and have some perspective– and that’s worth writing about.
If someone is genuinely a creeper, you’ll know, because they’ll ask you questions about you. But people who aren’t even directly interacting with you, who are just expressing themselves in fiction, are not a threat to you, and it’s not creepy for them to draw on their own experiences and their own past to write about younger characters.