I dunno about you guys, but a lot of times when I can’t fall asleep, I end up wandering through AO3, hoping to find a fun fic that can make my thoughts stop chasing themselves around my head and settle down. It’s like storytime when you were a kid, except with more porn. Generally this technique works out for me, because I’ll give anything a try at least once, and sometimes this technique doesn’t work out for me, because… I’ll give anything a try at least once. However, even my laissez-faire approach to fanfic consumption took pause when, at three a.m., digging through the bookmarks of someone I’d never heard of before, I found a Supernatural fanfic advertising itself as a Dean/Cas romcom with a good portion of it in all caps. Now, I gave up on SPN a good while ago, but I did ship these two pretty hard back in the day, and well, I missed them. And it was three a.m. So I decided to give it a try. And as it turns out? I’m really glad I did.
Sometimes when we’re following a story we come to the startling and awful realization that our protagonists are horrible characters. Maybe they’re not written very well, or given a good role in the story, or maybe they’re just terrible people. Whatever the case is, some protagonists are just unlikable. And that most certainly is not supposed to be the case as often as it is. The other day while replaying Star Ocean, I got to thinking of all the horrible protagonists out there that I am supposed to like, and I came to a not very startling conclusion: most of them are cishet, white men who are also full of entitlement. This is not the case for all unlikable protagonists—but it is the case for enough of them. And it really goes to show just how boring and generic our stories are, since there is very little variation in this character type. As such, I decided to compile a list of my Top 5 worst protagonists who I am supposed to like, but who are really just giant assholes.
I basically live for representation of LGBTQ+ characters. As a bi person, I’m especially starved for good bi representation. Unfortunately, such characters are especially difficult to come by. Then there are wonderful characters who could be great bisexuals, and that’s where headcanons come in. A headcanon is something that is not explicitly stated in the text, but doesn’t contradict it either, and you like to imagine it’s true. It’s not as great as actual representation, but it can be great fun and provide comfort when actual representation isn’t there. So, today I want to share with you my Top 10 characters whom I like to imagine are bisexual and who would make excellent representation if they were made canonically bisexual.
Supernatural is back with a bang… well, more of a whimper. Even though I haven’t been Supernatural’s biggest fan in the last few seasons, I still thought the premiere would be exciting, somewhere under all the misogyny and white characters. But the premiere ended up raising more questions than it answered, and not in a plotty way, either. Spoilers after the jump!
Watch out, world. In just one short week, Supernatural will be returning to a television or computer near you for its tenth season. “But how?!” I hear you saying. “How did they get a tenth season?!”
Nobody knows how. They probably made a deal.
I often revisit old columns to get ideas for new posts, and Lady Geek Girl’s post on the magic in Welcome to Night Vale is one that’s stuck with me for a while. The strange and popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale makes the abnormal normal, and uses it to critique some of the ideas we have about our society. If you’ve heard any of the Night Vale episodes, you’ll know that Night Vale is the weirdest place ever, full of carnivorous librarians, dog parks with no dogs, and strange floating cats. (Also, actual diversity in its cast. Hah.) Possibly the only normal thing about Night Vale is Cecil and Carlos’s relationship, and the storytelling focuses on this more than it does the abnormal, things. The audience thus gets the reinforced message that yes, the entire world is crazy, but this gay relationship is normal, disabled people should be treated with respect, pronoun choice should be followed, and racism shouldn’t be tolerated. It’s really shockingly effective. And the interesting thing is, when you take this idea and turn it around—when you make the normal abnormal—you can teach lessons and explore characters just as effectively.
Spoilers for Supernatural and Doctor Who below.
Queer representation is not a sneaky thing. It doesn’t creep up like a ninja, and it doesn’t hide behind equivocation. If something has queer representation, it’s because it includes a queer character who at some point has audibly and unambiguously expressed romantic or sexual interest in the same gender. Anything else is speculation. Hell, even Word of God is tricky—JKR may have said that Dumbledore is gay, but anyone who just reads the books and doesn’t bother to dig up an interview from ten years ago will have no idea.
I bring this up because of a recent trend I’ve seen in fandom, where all sorts of interactions and statements that don’t fit the above criteria are being held up as proof of a queer pairing’s now-canon status. Continue reading