cupidsbow (cupidsbow) wrote,

Dean and Castiel and homophobia

You know what's convincing me more than anything that the queer subtext in Supernatural is about to go canonically textual?

The flaming, hate-filled, homophobic outpouring from anti-Destiel shippers that's currently all over the internet, and seemingly all over Supernatural conventions too.

And to a lesser extent, that the Destiel shippers are mostly being much more cautious, and honestly, a lot of them sound pretty terrified, and that's kinda convincing too.

Both of these things make me really sad. And pissed off.

I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but just to make it clear: I ship Dean/Castiel.

I ship them first as a friendshipper, but in practice I like to read and write fanworks along most of the shipping spectrum, from friendship to slash. I'm not really a fan of things like PWPs for the most part, because the sex isn't that interesting to me out of context. (That's true for most pairings I follow.)

So, yes, I liked that Dean found a friend, his first real friend. And I liked that it was problematic, and they weren't always great with each other -- sometimes it was like watching four-year-olds be friends, they were so bad at it. I liked that. For lots of reasons, but a big one was that making new connections that lasted more than an episode was something I read as Dean recovering from PTSD. And the fact that Dean and Castiel could get it wrong, and still find new ways forward without becoming totally dysfunctional was interesting to me.

Despite being a friendshipper first, and not being invested in canonical romance, I'm tired of queer-baiting in texts. If it means the queer-baiting stops, I'm for a queer romance becoming canon. Totally 100% behind it. I can still friend-ship, okay. If I can wear slash goggles for subtext, I can totally wear friendship goggles for a canon pairing.

That said, I can understand the fear being expressed by Destiel shippers, because most shows are shit about having any nuance or consistently positive and non-stereotyped queer themes and/or characters. Supernatural is not the worst offender in this regard, but their record isn't that good. Season 6 used Castiel's subtextual queerness for Dean as foreshadowing for his evil downfall. I wrote meta about it back then, and called it toxic, which I still think it was.

Given that track record, I think if they do make Dean/Castiel overtly canon, it's going to be problematic at least some of the time. So yes, I get the fear.

But I don't even care. If a show like Supernatural does this, and doesn't immediately kill or make evil one of the couple, I'm totally watching the whole season, even if it triggers me. I will wave fucking rainbow coloured flags. Because just making two established male characters hook up in season 8 of a show is already awesome in terms of breaking the stereotypes. Super awesome, with awesome-sauce topping.

This is important.

These kinds of stories that we watch every week and make part of our everyday lives are important; they help us decide what's normal and what's not. They help us decide what's moral and what's not. It's hard to decide something is normal and moral if you never fucking see it, except as evil dead people or rank stereotypes.

So there's that.

But what really sparked this rant is the homophobic outpouring. I'm so tired of people acting like homophobic jerks about Dean/Castiel, and trying to mask it as shipper outrage, or Christian outrage about Castiel being an angel, or straight up homophobia about Dean's "bisexuality" as though that can't possibly be a thing a "real man" can be, or disingenuiously ascribing homophobia to the actors because they "seem" uncomfortable with shipping and/or queerness. Ugh. My tiredness with this kind of gay-bashing can't even be textually rendered. Jimmy, I'll grant as a legitimate reason for being ethically uncomfortable with the pairing. The rest is homophobic bullshit, which people are using to peddle hate speech.

We need a fucking Bingo card for this, just so we can point people to it every time they start their gay-bashing hate-speech.

I really hope Supernatural does make the relationship canon, just so those people can go choke on their own hate.


In comments, we're talking about how ground-breaking this might be.

My housemate says she can think of a couple of characters who came out after the start of their show:

  • Billy Crystal's character, Jody, in Soap, and
  • Sgt. Wield in Dalziel and Pascoe

This entry was originally posted at
Tags: dean/castiel, feminism, glbt, rant, supernatural
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