Talk:Poppy Z. Brite

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Gothic rock[edit], please don't just add "Gothic rock" to horror authors' articles without some explanation as to the connection. -- Zoe 22:48, 22 October 2002

Drawing Blood[edit]

In regards to this edit: "When a man burnt himself to death in a California post office, several copies of a signed, limited edition of Brite's novel Drawing Blood were saturated with the smell of burnt flesh. They were sold by a book dealer as collectibles."

How about citing this?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:12, 19 September 2005

This was again removed twice today, once without comment, and once with the comment "Man set himself on fire" story and quote neither accurate nor germane." The information comes from the Associated Press story linked to in the paragraph. If this AP story is inaccurate, please provide a source for this and correct the paragraph. As for its relevance, that's a matter of opinion, and obviously I feel it is relevant. However, in my most recent edit I have moved it to a newly created "trivia" section in an attempt to forge a compromise. Hopefully, de-emphasizing this material by placing it in this section farther down the article will be satisfactory to those who wish to remove it altogether. Gamaliel 23:03, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

I think at the very least you should cite the direct source as well as the claimed indirect source. The direct source is the Arizona Daily Wildcat, which appears to be the student newspaper of the University of Arizona. They give an AP credit. Does that mean the words or information are wholly the Associated Press'? Anyway, I'm going to search for further supporting evidence, if any is available.
Perhaps the user removing it thinks it is given too much prominence next to the rest of the article, which point I can kind of see. Perhaps this would work better as a trivia item in the book's article, rather than the author's? —Morven 00:04, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

Google searches located a couple of retellings of this story, with several different claimed Brite quotes. Direct interview texts, however, showed only Brite saying she 'declined to disapprove' of the sale.

It's entirely possible that the supposed Brite quotes in the Arizona Daily Wildcat article and other places were made up or severely out of context.

That said, it's a very minor incident and when placed in this article plays it out of proportion, I feel. —Morven 00:13, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

I'd also like to remind User:Gamaliel and User:Pzbrite about WP:3RR, given that they have each reverted twice today. —Morven 00:19, 10 November 2005 (UTC)


How is Brite transgendered or transexual, exactly? She hasn't had any surgery, nor does she dress as the opposite sex. I'll remove the category unless someone objects. -- (talk) 09:46, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

She isn't transgendered or a transexual--she "identifies" as a gay man. She has written at length about this on her site here, which really should be added to the External Links portion. I'm not sure why you would want to remove anything. Lady 3Jane 15:04, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
In her journal she's refered to herself as a non-op transgenderAndral 09:08, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't think PZB should be allowed to edit her own Wikipedia page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:47, 25 July 2007

I edit this page only to correct factual errors, update my bibliography, add factual information about my work, and (very occasionally) remove libelous material. While I realize Wikipedia isn't a vanity site, I did not create this page, I'm not aware of any Wikipedia rule preventing public figures from editing their own pages, and I'm not sure why you would want to stop me given that I have more up-to-date knowledge of my own career than most contributors. User:pzbrite 20:29, 5 August 2007
I find it both highly innacurate (and offensive) that ms. Brite should present herself as a transsexual man. She has never transitioned and apparently does not wish to do so at any time in the future; nor does she attempt to live as a man in any way. A non-op transsexual person is someone who doesn't have genital surgery for any reason (either of their own volition or practical issues), but still transitions, medically (i.e. hormone therapy, chest or other surgeries), legally and socially. It's not so much questioning her own self-identification (though I find it puzzling that you can have a deep-grained identity that does not show in your social self at all, but I might be not understanding ms. Brite's perspective), it's that she is not socially or politically (or indeed semantically) a transsexual. She's never been through the pains of transition, discrimination, loneliness, all the medical, social and legal issues that all transsexual persons have to go through in any part of the world, even if they are lucky enough to have a receptive and friendly environment. No, she's by far more comfy in her life than many, many, of us are. Being a transsexual woman myself, I find it too close to the idea of slumming for comfort. Perhaps she can call herself transgender (which is very much an indefined word), but I believe we should not be using transsexual in any way when referring to her. I think the article should be edited in order to make that very clear. (talk) 16:31, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Done that myself. No transsexuality here, sorry - we wouldn't class ms. Brite in aviation if she identified as a plane. No criteria at all are met. Transgender might be accurate in some way (but then again, most folk may well disagree), kept that. Also did away with some of the flowery language and context-less 'factoids'. (talk) 03:17, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
Please, feel free to discuss objections here, otherwise we'll be stuck in revert war. Ok, guys? (talk) 03:56, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
The edits to the article, prefixing Being biologically and having been assigned female at birth, and suffixing even though she has never transitioned or undergone either hormone therapy, surgeries or any other procedures, beside not presenting herself nor attempting to live as a man, are defended by anonymous IP numbers whose sole edit history is WP article Poppy Z. Brite to express the POV that a gender dysphoric must (a) dress and act, and (b) undergo body modification (surgery and/or hormone therapy), as a gender-normative stereotype of the opposite of their biological sex, to be accepted as genuine.
I think my edits are NPOV. "Sympathetic"? Perhaps to an unsympathetic rigidly doctrinaire POV. This is the page about "Poppy Z. Brite" author, not a transgender politics soapbox. The gender dysphoria of PzB is a sidebar.
Being biologically and having been assigned female at birth, is not proper king's or queen's English. The previously mentioned fact that PzB's parents named PzB "Melissa Ann" makes having been assigned female at birth redundant.
even though she has never transitioned or undergone either hormone therapy, surgeries or any other procedures, beside not presenting herself nor attempting to live as a man. is a redundant re-statement of points that were previously made in she self-identifies almost completely as male, however makes no attempt to dress or appear male and does not expect to be referred to as "he".
The original pre-war "she said she self-identifies" is also redundant (if "she self-identifies" then "she said" it). Female is biological (PzB could not be geologically female) so "born female" is sufficient. The pre-war source for the "nonoperative transsexual" label does not indicate PzB applied it to herself; if one follows the link and reads, the cited source indicates that the label is used by a third-party gender theorist and PzB wrote she is not comfortable with such labels.
Born female, Brite has written and talked much about her gender dysphoria/gender identity issues.(ref)Poppy Z. Brite, "Enough Rope", in Crossing the Border: Tales of Erotic Ambiguity, edited by Lisa Tuttle, Indigo Books, 1998.(/ref) She self-identifies with gay males but makes no attempt to dress or appear male and does not expect to be referred to as "he". Brite has written that, while gender theorists like Kate Bornstein would call her a "nonoperative transsexual", Brite herself would not insist on a pedantic label, writing "I'm just me".(ref name="gender")See Brite's LiveJournal, especially the August 22, 2003 entry(/ref)
-- Naaman Brown (talk) 14:41, 23 December 2009 (UTC)


I'm working on creating stubs for all the ugly red links in the Brite bibliography, so this is a great time to start expanding the articles on the work itself. Chris Stangl 09:19, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Headings + Template[edit]

I've added some section headings and sub-section headings in an attempt to try to make the article appear more encyclopdic. I also created a template for the article. When the dead links get filled out it will look really nice. I would fill them out myself, but I have not read anything by her since "Exquisite Corpse" (which, IMO, wasn't that good). Tschuess, Naufana : talk 05:19, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Attention: Poppy Z. Brite[edit]

You are one of my favorite authors and, as a writer myself, one of my major influences. I noticed in the History page of your entry here that you have been editing it yourself. I've checked over the entry and found nothing really wrong with your edits--so I am assuming that you're not out to make yourself look better or anything. In any case, I request that you please stop editing your own entry. I request this because, not counting the few bad apples that vandalize articles, the majority of users here on Wikipedia aim to create and maintain factual, balanced, and non-biased entries. You editing an entry on yourself makes it unbalanced and biased because, well, your editing an entry about yourself. This makes wikipedia users such as I leery.

If there is something unaddressed, or if you believe that something is false, please address it on your official website and/or provide a link to an interview or site with the info. That way, us wikipedians can put it in the entry and have a citation for it.

Thank you for your cooperation. And if you ever get the urge to edit your entry again, please refer to this wiki article about the Stephen Colbert and think about the consiquences of your actions:

Yours Truly, Rimbaud 2 (talk) 17:43, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Rimbaud, as I asked below (and I don't feel I have yet received a definitive answer): Are people forbidden to edit their own entries, or are they merely "strongly discouraged" from doing so? In other words, is this an order from an administrator couched in polite terms, or are you truly just requesting that I stop editing my entry? If the latter, I will continue editing the entry as I see fit, since I don't think the reasons for this policy are sensible or valid. If the former, then I will honor Wikipedia's rules and stop contributing to the entry.

I'm obviously dense, but I have no idea what point you were trying to make with the Colbert link.

Best -- Pzbrite — Preceding undated comment added 22:04, 15 July 2008

To the resident Doc. Brite, I think that what Rimbaud 2 is trying to say with that Colbert link is: someone editing their own wikipedia page could be purposefully writing with a biased slant, so as to give the impression of being "bigger" and "better" than reality (although I don't see any traces of this happening in your article, so in reality, there's no problem with it). The Colbert page mentions, among a million other things, "...where corporations are allowed to act out their fantasies online by editing their own Wikipedia entries." And if you consider yourself a corporation, then it almost applies. NEON CONDITION (talk) 06:19, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Autobiography issues[edit]

Ms. Brite, please see WP:Auto for why people are highly discouraged from writing or editing on their own biography. Additionally, suggesting that you will use another handle to edit on wikipedia, suggests you are attempting to ignore those recommendation and use deception to continue with your actions.-- (talk) 20:23, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

I do have another Wikipedia account, if you want to get cloak-and-dagger about it: I am also ThomasFowler. However, as you can see, I have never used that account to edit my entry, nor did I create it with the intention of doing so. I created it because I don't like the stupid baggage that sometimes surrounds my real name (as in this discussion). I did not suggest that I would edit my entry under another name, and I don't appreciate being accused of deception. Though you seem to have missed it, I said I would no longer be editing my entry. I simply pointed out that if I had made the exact same edits to my entry under the pseudonym "Joe Blow," presumably no one would have noticed or cared.

Please clarify this policy: Are people forbidden to edit their own entries, or are they merely "strongly discouraged" from doing so? If the latter, I will continue editing the entry as I see fit, since I don't think the reasons for this "strong discouraging" are sensible or valid. If the former, then I will honor Wikipedia's rules and stop contributing to the entry. Pzbrite —Preceding comment was added at 20:57, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Having looked at the policy page, whatever gets posted here, whether it's you or someone else, needs to be cited to sources other than yourself. If what you put on here meets that standard, then that's fine.-- (talk) 21:04, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

OK, I removed the paragraph I wrote about my use of recurring characters. (Obviously, if Wikipedia admin disagrees with this, they can restore it.) As best I can recall, this is the only time I have contributed anything to the entry other than small factual corrections (e.g. misspelled titles), bibliography updates, and removal of vandalism. I looked at the WP:Auto page and would like to address a few of the points:

  • They are often biased, usually positively. People will write overly positively about themselves, and often present opinions as facts. Wikipedia aims to avoid presenting opinions as facts. (Neutral point of view does not mean simply writing in the third person).

I believe I have removed my only contribution that could be seen as "positively biased" (see above).

  • They can be unverifiable. If the only source for a particular fact about you is you yourself, then readers cannot verify it. (One common area where this is the case is with hopes, dreams, thoughts, and aspirations. There is no way for readers to verify what you think.) Everything in Wikipedia articles must be verifiable.

When I add an item to the bibliography, it is obviously verifiable, given that the new book exists and can be found on Amazon, etc.

  • They can contain original research. People often include in autobiographies information that has never been published before, or which is the result of firsthand knowledge. This type of information would require readers to perform primary research in order to verify it. Wikipedia is not a publisher of first instance; original research is not permitted in Wikipedia.

I do not believe I have posted any information to which this applies. As I say, I've removed the only instance in which I may have done so (though the fact that I use recurring characters is certainly verifiable), and will not do so in future.

Unless expressly forbidden to do so, I will continue to update the entry's bibliography, correct factual errors, and either remove vandalism or report it to Wikipedia administration. Pzbrite —Preceding comment was added at 21:14, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

I don't mean to step into a more or less dead conversation that doesn't directly concern me but I would like to point out that I tend to stop by the article's history page from time to time to check out the ongoing editing process. I started doing this because Poppy Z. Brite appeared to be editing her own article and I wanted to see if she were adding superfluous praise for herself, which is something I've seen several (mostly musical) artists do. My two cents to this discussion is that user:PZBrite has not edited this article in an unethical manner. Really the user has not really edited the article that much at all. To the Anon who began this discussion I would ask you to do some research before posting inflammatory comments. Finally, something that really bothers me is how users tend to cling to essays and guidelines as if they were laws given from on high. To be clear, as far as I know, only policies are truly enforceable. Guidelines and essays are just opinions and while they ought to be followed it is neither compulsory nor necessary to do so. That's just my personal opinion. Naufana : talk 04:35, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

On Editing My Own Entry[edit]

After yesterday's tempest in a teapot, I've gone over Wikipedia's guidelines and cannot find anything prohibiting the sort of basic information I've been adding to or correcting in this entry. I've also been advised by a senior Wikipedia administrator that I have done nothing to violate policy. Thus, I don't think Rimbaud 2's "request" is valid, and unless Wikipedia decides to ban me to prevent me from doing so, I will continue editing my entry when and as I wish. pzbrite —Preceding comment was added at 18:19, 16 July 2008 (UTC)


This article uses 'she' to refer to the subject early on, and 'he' for the rest of the article. That seems unsatisfactory to me; our policy with transgendered and transsexual people, as I understand it, is to use one pronoun and be consistent throughout the article, or else use none at all (which tends to look rather awkward). The key question is 'what does the subject of the article prefer?'. I'm not familiar with this person, but could someone who is find out how they prefer to be referred to, and change the article accordingly? Robofish (talk) 17:58, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Reading Brite's LiveJournal (specifically, the entry cited in the source) she seems to be genderqueer in a true sense of that word, addressing the pronoun question directly and saying that, although she doesn't identify as female, she doesn't expect people to use the pronoun 'he,' and is in fact a little irritated by being called 'he.' I'm a big advocate for the manual of style and using the pronouns people use to identify themselves, but reading Brite's own words, I think that 'she' is the correct pronoun in this article- it would be nice if English had a gender-neutral personal pronoun, but since it doesn't, and since eliminating all the personal pronouns from the article leads to unnecessary grammatical awkwardness, I'm going to switch the pronouns back to 'she,' which appears to be what Brite prefers. If anyone else has a better source that indicates I'm reading her preference incorrectly, I'm open to that. -FisherQueen (talk · contribs) 00:24, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I'm going to hold off on making that change; I see some indication that Brite's position has changed since writing that in 2003, and that in 2010 he began the process of gender reassignment, but I'm only finding other people's blogs as sources. Does anyone know if he's written about this? -FisherQueen (talk · contribs) 00:29, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Found it. I feel like I'm carrying on a conversation with myself as I search and find things... :) Brite says that yes, Brite is in the early stages of FTM transition, and no, Brite does not know whether Brite will be having surgery or not for financial reasons, and Brite does not care what pronouns people use, as Brite is a relaxed, easygoing person who knows that Brite doesn't look recognizably male at this time. On a personal level, I find that I like Brite for Brite's attitude for this. I'm going to react at this time by taking no action at all, leaving the pronouns male, and not worrying about it. 'He,' 'She,' or 'Zie,' I am just glad I have books about Rickey and G-Man to take the edge off of rotten days. -FisherQueen (talk · contribs) 00:37, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
In this tweet (05:56, 9 May 2011 (UTC)) Brite says: "Remember I said I'd let people know when I became uncomfortable with female pronouns? I'm there. I'd prefer the standard male ones, please." Beenabadbunny (talk) 09:25, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Works for me. Nice to have a clear idea of what he prefers, and the article should be adjusted accordingly. -FisherQueen (talk · contribs) 20:55, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

I suggest moving the section on Personal History above the information on her writing. This might clarify the use of male pronouns, which could be surprising in an article about someone with a female name. The photo is also very old, and shows Poppy looking very different from the way he currently looks. It would be great to get permission to use a more recent one. Totorotroll (talk) 19:15, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Okay, I see that all the male pronouns have been changed to female. A shame that this discussion hasn't been read beforehand. Totorotroll (talk) 08:26, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
I changed them all to male and someone reverted them to female again. This is incorrect. Brite identifies as male and male pronouns should be used throughout. rosefox (talk) 18:41, 5 December 2011 (UTC)


According to his LiveJournal, the subject of this page is now called Billy Martin. If this is the case, shouldn't his Wikipedia article be changed to reflect this? -- (talk) 07:44, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes, it should. He also notes in his Etsy store that this is the name he uses, but that his works are under the name Poppy Z Brite. As such, I'm going to be bold and will modify the page to reflect this, and move it to Billy Martin (author), leaving a redirect from the former page. I understand that the move may be contested, but I believe this to be appropriate, and this issue has been dormant for a long time. Regardless of the article name, it is certain that the subject should be referred within it as Billy Martin. --Poppy Appletree (talk) 13:14, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
Actually, I think I'll leave the article name as it is. That's the name he's most known by, and he seems to treat it as his nom de plume, so it seems appropriate enough. Potentially, we could also refer to him as Brite in the literary history name, with a note at the start of that section picking up from the comment in the lead that it's his professional name. --Poppy Appletree (talk) 13:36, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

The "he" pronoun[edit]

If I prefer to be referred to as a duck, does that make me a duck? And if I prefer to be referred to as "lord and master of all time and space", should an encyclopedia comply with my wish? (talk) 15:14, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

You may disagree, but Wikipedia has firm policies on how to refer to trans people. See the box at the top of this talk page, and MOS:IDENTITY. Robofish (talk) 16:32, 6 December 2013 (UTC)


I think it is high time that the photo be replaced with a more recent image. Totorotroll (talk) 17:18, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Cat shelter[edit]

I think the detail of the cat shelter is a relevant part of his life. Large portions of his blog deal with day to day life among the cats and so on. Totorotroll (talk) 08:22, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Contradiction regarding birthplace[edit]

I would like to point out something I noticed. In the infobox it says that he was born in Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky. But in the body of the article it says he was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Would somebody verify the facts and correct this? Please and thank you. (Mike, a Wikipedia reader) 2602:304:CCED:BFC9:649F:3F32:AA43:7FB1 (talk) 13:42, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Poppy Z Brite's website says he was born in New Orleans. Birthplace in infobox was changed to Bowling Green..., Kentucky on Dec 30 by, with the "ref" of added by another IP. But that ref is either DOWN or doesn't exist. (that subdomain of is also down {or doesn't exist} according to --EarthFurst (talk) 11:41, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
So yeah the editor was saying that public records show he was just making the New Orleans thing up... we need a reliable secondary source for this, but WP:BLP probably says something about what to do in the meantime! ‑‑YodinT 18:07, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

Categories inconsistencies[edit]

I noticed that in the Categories for this article, these categories are listed:

American women novelists 20th-century women writers 21st-century women writers American male novelists Women science fiction and fantasy writers

Does it make sense to leave in the ones that identify Martin as a woman writer, when he is obviously not a woman? Doesn't this go against MOS:GENDERID and MOS:IDENTITY guidelines? It's very confusing that there are multiple categories listing him as a gay male writer, a male writer in general, a transgender writer, and then also several for female writer... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:11, 25 September 2016 (UTC)