Supernatural, Queer Baiting, and the Twittersphere

When fans get upset about something, many of them turn to Twitter.  They tweet actors, writers, and producers in the hopes of having their voices heard.  Twitter has provided a very unique platform for audience interaction and participation and sometimes, on very special occasions, fans get a response from those creators.  And that is exactly what happened today with Supernatural writer & producer Adam Glass.  Only it wasn’t the reaction that many were expecting.

The following Twitter conversation has been edited to be in chronological order and responses that had nothing to do with the topic have been removed.  Other than that, this is exactly as it appeared.

AdamGlass

So where did all of this come from?  Well, there has been a serious fan movement to make the perceived romantic relationship between Dean and Castiel become canon on the show.  People have been tweeting consistently for a good long while for it to happen and it’s quite clearly been noticed.  The most recent rounds of tweets were inspired by a Tumblr post that cited spoilers from the often controversial spn_gossip community (only click on that link if you can stomach massive amounts of wank) that stated this season would focus primarily on the brothers and give Castiel his own plot for most of the season in preparation for the spin off.  The Tumblr post has since between deleted or locked (it’s asking me for a password, which I have never seen done before) and the original post cannot be found at the cited community.  Anything sourced in an anonymous gossip community needs to be taken with a grain of salt in general.  Sometimes it’s correct, but a lot of the time it’s just posted to cause drama.  If the latter was its goal, it did so brilliantly.  So while the validity of this spoiler is massively questionable (I do not believe it), it was enough to pump a shot of adrenaline into the tweeting campaign.

The Born-Again IdentityBefore we go any further I do need to offer full disclosure on my part so that you all know where I’m coming from.  Yes, I am a Destiel shipper, but I have not participated in this particular campaign.  I was quite active in (and one of the founding members of) the #SaveCastiel campaign back in 2011.  My lack of participation has caused some to claim I am not a “true Destiel fan” (got that one anonymous on Tumblr, but anon is now firmly shut down).  Whenever there are questions like “what do you want to see more of?” or “what are you most excited about?” I always respond with “more interaction between Castiel and the Winchesters.”  I want them to be on screen together, but I don’t necessarily feel the need to push for them to become canon on screen.  It’d be nice, but it’s not something that I need.

This has also spurred some (mainly from the straight community, it seems) into attacking me as not understanding the urgency of needing canon queer representation on Television.  To those of you who feel this way, I want you to know I am, in fact, part of the queer community and have written several articles about queer representation in the media.  So before you accuse me of not caring about queer representation, keep those two things in mind.  I just don’t happen to personally feel that Dean and Castiel is our path to positive queer representation.  If it happens, it’d definitely cause a lot of waves, but I just don’t see that happening for many many reasons.  Too many to outline in this article, which isn’t really about that.  Maybe someday that topic will deserve it’s own article.  It’s just not this one.  But I digress…

What this article is about is what happened to Adam Glass and how he responded.  His responses have been all over my Tumblr dash.  It seems to be the topic of the day (besides Osric Chau dressing up as Princess Bubblegum at Dallas Con, that is).  While I understand what he was trying to say with his response, I feel like he took some serous missteps with how he worded things.  Mainly the line:

“We have many gay friends, family, and coworkers in our lives.”

Look, that’s great.  But this expression is often used by the straight community to give them some sort of credit in the GLBT community and, to be frank, it comes off rather insulting.  In fact, Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert often has series of pictures of him hugging his “black friends,” “Jewish friends,” “Mexican friends,” and so on in satirical spoof of this often overused line of reasoning.  Just because you have friends that are a part of our community does not mean you understand what it means to be a part of our community.  You do not know what our struggles are.  You do not know what it feels like to lack representation in the media.

Castiel1Again, I’d like to point out that I understand what he meant, though, so please do not send him more angry comments in regards to what he said.  If you say anything, say it rationally and calmly and with respect.  Do not call him or the other writers homophobes.  Do not yell at them in ALL CAPS or insult them.  They are people who just might not know how things like that come across to people in the communities that they seem to really want to defend.  This is why, personally, when the topic of race or trans people come up in my articles, I will comment with the full disclosure that I am white and cisgendered.  I am not part of those communities and, while I feel like I can’t  ignore some issues, I acknowledge that I am an outsider to them and will never fully understand what it means to be affected by them.  Having trans friends or POC friends does not give me any sort of cred to talk about them beyond my outsider status.  Women’s issues and queer issues, however, I do understand as I am part of those communities.

UPDATE 10/31/13: The author of this post now believes that the creators are guilty of queer baiting.  This change of opinion came after a month of Twitter drama, conventions, and interviews that supported the accusation that the creators are guilty of queer baiting.  Instead of deleting the following segment, I’m leaving it up as is, but read it with my change of opinion in mind.  There are also several comments to this post worth reading in support of that accusation, including one by “j.”

The accusation that spurred Adam’s response is the question of queer baiting.  So is Supernatural guilty of Queer Baiting?  First of all, what is Queer Baiting?  There’s not precise definition anywhere, but generally it’s considered teasing for homosexual relationships without following through.  In that regard, I do not feel that Supernatural is guilty of queer baiting.  We have gotten serious hints that Dean might be bisexual, or at least a 1-2 on the Kinsey scale (and this, itself, is hotly contested),  We have not, however, been seriously led to believe that he will be entering into a romantic or sexual relationship with another man.

Dean and Castiel are extraordinarily close, no doubt, and I truly believe that they canonically love each other very very deeply, but nothing that has happened in canon has made me believe that the show runners are going to give us canon Destiel (the portmanteau for Dean/Castiel).  Others may believe that they have been leading us to that, but I disagree.  This, as I have mentioned, has led to many fellow Destiel shippers being quite displeased with me.  And again, some have accused me of not being supportive of queer representation, which is quite off the mark.  Majorly.  I just don’t believe that this is our path, guys.  I don’t think we’re getting it this round and I’m sorry.  We may get it elsewhere, but I do not think Destiel is on the path to being canon.  I don’t feel that we’ve been teased for it and I don’t believe that it’s been leading up to it in any serious way.  But our desires can always and will always be fulfilled in fanon.  So go to Tumblr, go to LiveJournal, and go to AO3.  Live it up there.  There is much Destiel to be had on those outlets.  We just most likely won’t be getting it on our TV screens.  If it does happen, I will eat my hat and upload it for everyone to see.

So what can we learn from all of this?  Well, one thing that we already knew: television is mostly written by heterosexual men and that is the perspective that they are coming from when writing and interacting with fans.  We can have opinions on that and how they handle certain topics in a mature and rational way.  We shouldn’t be assholes to the writers because they are less likely to listen to us going forward.  They are less likely to learn and change their behavior if they are only confronted by angry, yelling, throngs of people.  Despite Adam Glass’s misstep on his language, I honestly do not feel that he is a homophobe.  I feel that he is a good person and honestly does not see how his comments can come off to queer viewers (or straight viewers who deem themselves allies).  Being rude to him and the other writers gets us nowhere.  So while he might have taken a misstep with his words, people who want queer representation have also taken a serious misstep by hounding the writers and calling them names.

So really, everyone needs to take a step back and look at what they’ve been doing.  Everyone.  Myself included.  Let’s be mature about this.  Let’s learn from this and move forward.

Author: Angel Wilson

Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.


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About the author

Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She's contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She's written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.

Comments

  1. Very nicely put. I’m actually relatively new to the Supernatural Fandom (better late than never, right?) and while most people I’ve come in contact with have been incredibly nice, I have been kind of shocked at the vehemence some have in regards to this topic. I don’t actually ship Destiel myself, however I can see why many do and respect them fully, but to attack and/or badger the writers, producers,actors,and show-runners is beyond the pale. I hate that those few (relatively speaking, of course) will give the rest of the fandom a bad name.

    1. Agreed, and since I AM a Destiel shipper, it hurts to see my fellow shippers give us a bad name. We all need to just take a step back and respect each other. This got way out of hand.

      Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  2. Okay, so I mostly agree with this article (especially the much hated “…but I have friends who are queer!” sentence), and it should go without saying that if we criticize spn we should stay polite. I know that it’s sometimes hard, I misstepped myself a few times in the earlier days because I was so angry. (It was usually about spn’s treatment of women) Now, I do not agree with you regarding the “not leading to destiel” thing. I think that it was made pretty clear in Season 8. Before I’d have agreed with you, but when I paid close attention to all the small things like camera angles, music, facial expressions of background characters, setting, colours and the like, but especially all the freaking parallels, then the only conclusion I could come to was: Dean is in love with Castiel. I never for a moment believed that Destiel would be canon before Season 8. It was just another of my fanon ships. But, you know, Season 8 totally convinced me. My friends in drama class and my professor even agreed when I brought the issue up on a day saved for projects. This made me very happy, because I have been attacked alot for being this convinced. (The usual, “psychotic”, “delusional” etc) and then I was sure that I’m not an idiot for believing that the show is trying to tell me something without outright saying it. After the Tweets by Glass and the preview I came down pretty hard. I was like: this cannot possibly be. What do you mean it is not your job? Random love interests? Really? I have calmed down. I still have not lost my conviction that Season 8 was, in part, about the developing romantic feelings Dean has for Castiel. If Season 9 totally destroys my beliefs without any explanation regarding season 8 whatsoever, I’ll be seriously pissed. But season 9 hasn’t happened yet, and therefore it’s okay for me. Oh and I would love an article where you explain why you think Dean/Cas is not gonna happen! Please write it!

    1. I’m sorry that we disagree, but I really do not believe they have ever seriously considered making Destiel canon. And I feel really bad that you and so many others got their hopes up. For every person that called you delusional there is also a person that has called me “not a true fan” and someone who “doesn’t care about queer representation.” So both sides are getting beat up here and it’s unfortunate. But mostly I just feel bad for you guys because you truly saw this as a chance, but it’s just not. There are plenty of other opportunities for queer representation on Television, but this just isn’t it.

      And I have to ask, is it Destiel that you want? Or queer representation? Because if it’s the former, I hate to say it, but I don’t think you’ll ever be happy. If it’s the latter, our day will come. I promise.

  3. I agree with you about fandom’s expectation of “Destiel” and the fact that Dean and Castiel seem in no way headed towards being canon. I am puzzled, however, at why Adam Glass felt the need to post a rebuttal on Twitter about a write-up on SpoilerTV. No one attacked him on Twitter. What about simply rising above it and ignoring it? Going further back, Adam Glass and Robbie Thompson engage with many fans on Twitter, and when they first joined Twitter, teased the relationship between Dean and Castiel quite a bit, going so far as to make their own “ship” name, Robdam. Wouldn’t it be much better if writers refrained from this behavior with fans on Twitter? I hope this is indeed a learning experience for them as well, to keep some distance between themselves and the viewers who are the final consumers of their products.

    To be honest, I was more shocked at Adam Glass’ tweets about this, than the write-up on SpoilerTV, coming from a viewer. I hope this incident is a learning experience for those associated with the show.

    1. Yeah I hope so too. I’ve had many great conversations with Robbie on Twitter. From my knowledge I don’t think he’s made any major missteps like Glass did here (could be wrong as I’m hardly on Twitter much anymore). But Glass really needs to just step back and look at what he typed there. I think he meant the best, but he kind of stuck his foot in his mouth, especially with the “gay friends” comment. A PR person would have smacked the keyboard off the desk if they saw that being typed. I don’t think he’s a bad guy but… come on man.

    2. To be fair to Adam, many people were tweeting him about it a couple days before he responded. When I was trying to figure out what queer baiting meant, I read back through the tweets and saw several badgering him, including one saying: “All these scenes with Dean and Cas for nothing. Now THIS is called queerbaiting.”

      https://twitter.com/estrellapolar1_/status/380006516411355136

      And others essentially accusing the writers of being creepy wincest shippers:

      http://thunderroad84.tumblr.com/post/61914058711/cuntessa-setinreality-myspecialhell

      Initially, after several people tweeted him upset about the rumour circulating on Tumblr, Adam merely responded with “My bubbie use[d] to say, don’t believe everything you read.” So I guess he initially intended to just let it go at that, but the pressure must’ve mounted over the next three days until he burst.

      I saw one person tweet him 23 times in a row. (And then hilariously accused another person of stalking him/her for responding to him/her with just one tweet.) (Also amusing, in the midst of all this, Kim Rhodes tweeted: “I would like to go on record as saying if I could only stalk one person on Twitter, it would be @AdamGlass44. #cuz”)

      I’m not saying his response was the best way of handling it, just that it didn’t come out of the blue, and he was in fact responding to tweets sent directly to him on Twitter.

  4. You’re right that being straight, it is hard to understand what gay people go through. I have always been a supporter of gay rights, and thus volunteered to cover a gay rights rally as a journalist on a weekend. Afterward, a girl started chatting with me in the bathroom, and I thought she was just being friendly, and only realized when she asked me out for a drink. I was taken off guard and blurted out: “Oh, sorry, I’m just here as a reporter.” The poor girl went red in the face, made a sound of distress, and literally fled out of the bathroom. I went out to tell her it was okay, honest mistake, no harm no foul, but she was lost in the crowd. I have always felt bad about that. It should have occurred to me I didn’t have “straight” tattooed on my forehead, and nipped that in the bud in a much more gentle manner. But I just did not understand the difficulties faced by the gay minority in a straight majority in trying to figure out who they can safely flirt with and ask out. (And this despite having a gay roommate and gay friends. Obviously, you’re right, that doesn’t confer magical understanding of what it’s like to be gay.) (BTW, if I said the phrase “I have gay friends” I wouldn’t mean “I know what it’s like to be gay.” I would mean “I am a friend to gay people, rather than a foe.” So I suppose it’s possible Adam meant it in that sense as well. Though I can certainly see how it would come across otherwise, and thus should not be used.)

    Whenever straight people make missteps, I always remember my total lack of understanding that day, even though I totally support gay rights. And I think you’re right, one of the problems is that TV writers are mostly heterosexual men, and thus don’t understand what it is to be homosexual, even if they are sympathetic to the gay cause. San Diego State University did a study a couple of years ago, and found 85% of primetime TV writers are men. It would be interesting to know the percentage of heterosexuals; I’d bet it’s as high or higher. At least there is Robert Berens on the writing staff of Supernatural now, and he has said he’s gay. But what Adam said is also true: they did not create these characters. After years and years of canon, the characters are quite well established, and to anyone not watching the show with their Destiel goggles on, it would come completely out of the blue, and seem quite out of character. Dean has even explicitly said he considers Cas to be a brother. The show is watched by tens of millions of people around the world, the great majority of whom are not part of the online fandom, and thus have never even heard the word Destiel. The writers’ hands are tied at this point, where Dean and Cas are concerned. They did give us Charlie though, and they can create other gay characters. So hopefully there will be more of that. And as you said, there is always all our fanworks. I’ve always liked the fact homosexual relationships are so celebrated in fandom.

    Anyway, thanks for writing this. I found it because I was trying to figure out what “queer baiting” meant exactly, and found a lot more than that in your thoughtful article. Also, I apologize if I have made any missteps due to my lack of understanding. 😉

    1. Thanks so much for this wonderful comment. You’re a true ally in every sense of the word. So thank you.

      And mistakes happen. I make mistakes in regards to the trans community sometimes and get kindly correct and learn from it. And if anyone correct Glass I hope they do so politely. Yelling at people who make mistakes does nothing. It just makes people less likely to listen to them in the future. I will never understand the urge to get mad at people who just slip up and treat them like THEY are the problem. They aren’t. They just don’t know. So correct them nicely and move on.

      And I agree on the front of Cas and Dean. Charlie is excellent queer representation. If it’s queer representation that we desire, she is a home run. She’s a solid character that is more than just her sexuality. She’s relatable and funny and strong. We should be very very happy to have her. There’s a lot that network television should do in regards to queer representation that isn’t being done, but I don’t think Dean and Castiel is the route to correcting those mistakes.

  5. I love Charlie! She’s a home run not just for queer representation, but for female representation as well. 🙂

  6. I’d still be thrilled if Destiel were to happen, but I’m not, like, expecting it or anything. I’m happy with Dean and Cas the way they are, too.

  7. I discovered your blog today and instantly followed you an Facebook. I sure will spent some time reading your articles.

    I just wanted to tell how I perceived the Dean/Castiel relationship.
    I watched all 8 seasons for the first time in one go this year. As I always do, I kept away from the fandom until I was finished. So my perception was not influenced by the fandom or shipping and I was absolutely convinced the story of Dean and Castiel is a romantic lovestory. I was convinced they will end up married one day. And I was thunderstruck when I discovered this relationship is not considered canon! I could explain how I came to this conclusion (it’s in the writing and the acting) but I guess it’s pretty obvious.

    I’m straight btw. and don’t favor same-sex couples when it comes to shipping. I go with the most plausible couple regardless of the gender.

  8. I like this article a lot. I ship Destiel, but I agree that they haven’t really hinted at those two men being in romantic love with each other. All the “hints” that people pick up could just as easily point to an especially close platonic or familial relationship, similar to the one between Dean and Sam, and just because many fans interpret those relationships to be romantic doesn’t mean it was the intent of the writers to make them so.

    On the subject of queer representation – imo, Supernatural has actually been surprisingly good about that. No, none of the three main characters have been in romantic relationships with other men. But as I recall, there have been a totally plausible number of gay characters and couples featured on the show. Notably Charlie, a recurring lesbian character from the past few seasons (and she is awesome as representation goes), and a bunch of one-off characters as well.
    Could we use more? Sure, we always could. But I don’t feel it’s right to designate the writers homophobes because they didn’t make the pet fanon ship come true, when they have prominently featured queer characters in the show before. Maybe that’s just me. I would love to see Dean/Castiel become canon, but I don’t feel it *needs* to happen.

  9. Let me be up front: I’m not a Destiel shipper. I do like reading fan fiction now and then and I have enjoyed hetero and m/m and f/f and other slash fiction. Also, up until Season 8, I never expected Dean to be outed as bi-sexual as canon even though I did believe that the show was giving mixed signals in regards to his sexuality and that he could be bi. I also agree that no one should call the creative team (writers, producers or actors) homophobes or use foul language.

    That said, I personally believe strongly that some within the SPN creative team have used queer baiting to attract members of the LGBT community as fans. I believe some knew exactly what they were doing and that some might not have. I also believe that they are now trying to clean up that image any way possible because they know a large portion of the fan base (shippers and gays) are really getting ticked off by the lack of follow through. Also, certain things that have happened in interviews and at cons have made it seem like certain members of the SPN “Family” are not as friendly towards slash shippers or the LGBT community.

    I think SPN’s creative team and CW have profited from queer baiting and are in a sense doing their own bit of revisionist work by saying in interviews and social media that it was never their intent that Dean appear bi-sexual or romantically attached to Castiel or any other men.

    Of course, there have been some who said they were just joking around…. allowing the fans to interpret or get whatever they need from the characters. I suppose they could have never intended to queer bait… that they really thought gay jokes and toying with fans in scenes that made Dean appear bi was just good natured fun. But, the joke is on them because fewer fans are laughing. And if he wasn’t presented as bi, there wouldn’t be any hetero and gay fans who don’t read fanfiction who interpreted his portrayal as bi… and I’ve spoken with many who do.

    Additionally, the creative team really should have thought out Season 8 better if they didn’t want fans to think Dean is bi. Season 8 is filled with scene after scene of what fans are now being told to accept as “jokes” or camera shots that they now regret…

    I’m sorry, but I don’t think any segment of the population should be toyed with in the way the creative team of this series has toyed with two segments of fans.

    They can’t change the fact that they compared Sam’s loss of Amelia as the equivalent to Dean’s loss of Benny. They can’t say now that the losses held equal importance in the hearts of the boys, but Dean’s loss was non-romantic after they portrayed Dean’s “breakup” with Benny (which is what they called it as canon in the LARP-ing episode) in a way that makes it seem like a romantic loss. Some say that Dean repeatedly refers to Benny as “brother” and that’s all the proof needed along with his appreciation of woman to say that Dean isn’t bi. Many scenes in Season 8, especially the breakup scene and the church scene, tell a different story. The only excuse would be to say that Jensen isn’t capable of portraying a plutonic relationship breakup without sounding like an after school special teenage girl who just broke up with her boyfriend… and we know that’s not true.

    And now, we have Season 9’s “Slumber Party” as more proof of the creative team’s mixed messages. I don’t know if they were trying to attempt to fix the damage or make it worse (it came off as both).

    The alternate title card is dedicated out of the blue to the entire Supernatural family. The episode comments repeatedly about “revisionist” history, mentions fanfic and the premise for the entire episode seems to imply a statement about being friends to the gay community (re: Friend of Dorothy). All of this right after they sent away the character that is one half of Destiel…and we all know that some Destiel fans have been very outspoken about the series.

    It was also revealed in the tweets for Slumber Party that Jared and Jensen switched lines when asking Charlie about removing the Supernatural books from the Internet (which Charlie has to mention she thought was fanfic at first) and the original script had Becky’s screen name as BeckyWinchester69. Obviously, someone behind the scenes is now uncomfortable with pushing any jokes or hints that involve Wincest, that make Dean appear gay, Dean appear overly concerned with people thinking he’s gay (if he had said the lines about the books) or with Jensen appearing homophobic or against slash — especially Destiel — fans.

    The saddest part about all of the above is that it’s ruining the show for those of us who have been watching this drama unfold on and off the screen.

    How different would the scene had been if Dean had asked about removing the books instead of asking how they got uploaded to the Internet? In the tweets, fans are told that the boys know their characters best and that Jared and Jensen thought they should switch lines. Last time I looked… it’s the writers who know the characters best. Admittedly, actors are allowed to give input and many of the best character lines and scenes in TV and Movie history came from actors revising scripts.

    BUT, giving that type of creative control to the actors can make or destroy their characters — especially if the actors start to confuse personal feelings with their character’s feelings/motivations or worry too much about what fans think.

    Anyway, that’s just my 2 cents.

    1. Correction: Near the end, I meant to say “How different would the scene had been if Dean had asked about removing the books instead of asking where do you even find them?” Sam asked how they got uploaded and removing them.

    2. This article was written over a month ago and a lot has happened since then to make me change my mind. When the whole kerfuffle with the script supervisor happened on Twitter I pretty much got put firmly into the “yes they are queer baiting” camp. Lots of lovely comments and arguments from people like you have also pushed me over that edge. So thank you so much for leaving this comment even though I’ve already changed my opinion on it. I really appreciate the time you took to type out this and I’m going to reference it in an edit to this post at the top.

      1. Thank you so much for reading my post and referencing it in your edit today!

        I saw that your article was from last month, but decided to add my opinion because I couldn’t find anyone else this week devoting an entire post to this topic although it seemed fairly obvious to me that there was more to the “Slumber Party” dialogue and theme than a simple filler episode to propel the story and add to the SPN universe/mythos. Of course, I then became certain of that fact after reading the tweets about the episode.

        I too have been following the off-screen drama and it was VERY surprising to me after watching “Slumber Party” and then reading recaps and reviews that almost no one brought up the fact that the episode seemed to be touching on the real-world backlash and fallout about SPN fanfiction, fan reactions and how the show approaches gay characters. I only found one example of a recap author who wondered briefly at the end of a recap/review if a section of Sam’s dialogue might be reprimanding fanfiction fans.

        It feels almost like the recent backlash against fanfic and fans of the series who thought Dean was bi has gotten the result that some people want: It stopped people talking about this topic.

        Yet, this is a topic that needs to be discussed. What’s disturbing to me is the number of fans who at even the suggestion of queer baiting or discussion of fanfic turn around and say that only fanfiction writers/readers are seeing it, gay “jokes” are queer baiting or discrimination and that the complaining fans are a minority who should just stop whining and shut up about it.

        Whether queer baiting is in a form that started out as “joking” that led to inside gags or scenes purposely made to be interpreted different ways by different viewer demographics, it hurts everyone and it needs to be debated more not less.

        I really noticed that “Slumber Party” felt like the tweet you pointed out in your article: “We have many gay friends, family, and coworkers in our lives.” It was like the show’s creators were saying with the title card message and the episode: Hey… we’re friends of the gay community even though we’re not supporting Destiel and we’re keeping Dean and Castiel scenes limited. See. We just brought back one of your favorite gay characters from the series AND an episode about a subject the gay community likes.

        Please note: No one actually said those words. I’m just saying that it felt that way… very “we don’t discriminate” and yet see our stereotyped idea of what will make you happy with us.

        Anyway, hopefully more articles will start popping over the next few weeks with commentary about this subject and the episode. Given everything that’s been happening with the entire SPN fan base this past year… it probably won’t. I think a lot of people don’t want to be bashed and bullied online for speaking their mind about this topic…which is sad.

        We won’t have acceptance of bisexual character, more strong gay characters or an end to queer baiting if people don’t speak up.

        1. Sorry for replying again to my reply. You need an edit button! 😉

          The below has one correction. It should read: “…gay jokes are not queer baiting or discrimination”

          “What’s disturbing to me is the number of fans who at even the suggestion of queer baiting or discussion of fanfic turn around and say that only fanfiction writers/readers are seeing it, gay “jokes” are queer baiting or discrimination and that the complaining fans are a minority who should just stop whining and shut up about it.”

          Also, in the last sentence of the post: “bisexual characters” (plural)

        2. I agree. I’m very grateful to have Charlie. She’s wonderful and great representation. The problem I had is that we don’t yet have a queer protagonist on a mainstream American show unless that show is SPECIFICALLY about their sexuality or they are part of a larger ensemble cast. The UK has Torchwood, but we don’t have anything. I don’t think we’re going to get that with Supernatural, but the continued teasing that we might needs to stop. Either give it to us or stop teasing. False hope is very very damaging.

  10. Very true.

    I’ve continued to watch through the weekend for critical reviews about this topic since “Slumber Party” and still nothing.

    But, I just came across the below added by an Urban Dictionary user today:

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=queer%20baiting&defid=7287926

    “2. queer baiting
    When people in the media (usually television/movies) add homoerotic tension between two characters to attract more liberal and queer viewers with the indication of them not ever getting together for real in the show/book/movie.

    “Hey did you watch the new Supernatural episode last night”

    “Nah all the queer baiting in it makes me want to bash my head in. I quit watching Sherlock for that reason too.”

    queer baiting queer baiting gay lesbian lgbt supernatural sherlock

    by BustinDustin November 03, 2013 add a video”

    It’s interesting to see “Sherlock” mentioned by this user. Except for certain Korean dramas (for example, “Personal Preference” a.k.a “Personal Taste” and girls/guys dressing as the opposite gender to create “almost” scenarios), “Sherlock” is often cited as one of the biggest television examples of queer baiting in recent years. (Korean’s “Life Is Beautiful” is usually cited as one of the best examples of showing life for gay men in Korea — although SBS pulled the marriage scene and ticked off the writer).

    Other than, for example, US “Queer as Folk,” “The L Word,” “Six Feet Under,” and “Torchwood” (as you mentioned), there really hasn’t been a good representation of gay protagonists on a mainstream American TV show. The first few mentioned still had plots that focused a lot on sexuality and gay struggles rather than simply having a protagonist who just happens to also be gay (or omnisexual as the case of “Torchwood’s” Jack Harkness). Of course, I think that American television writers/producers in recent years have focused so much on sexuality and struggle to try to open up mainstream media to more gay characters.

    I’ve tried to think of another TV show besides “Torchwood” that doesn’t make a big deal about a character’s sexuality, but I can’t recall any at this time. ALTHOUGH, it should be noted that when Jack Harkness was originally introduced on “Doctor Who,” and a few times during “Torchwood,” Jack’s sexuality has been made into a big deal (especially the fact that he’s slept with non-humans). That said, in most episodes his sexuality is simply an aspect of his character rather than something that has to be the entire plot.

    Perhaps there’s another example somewhere on this list:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LGBT_characters_in_television_and_radio

    “Caprica” might be the closest I can think of off the top of my head with Clarice Willow and Sam Adama (although both were secondary characters), as their different relationships were treated completely normal without any real focus on sexuality.

    I have to give credit also to “Sons of Anarchy’s” approach to Venus Van Dam. Although the male-to-female character was originally a one-off designed to be used in a blackmail scenario, and felt a little “jokey,” they recently had a sub-plot arc with this character involving her attempts to rescue her son from her mother that was well done. Yes, there was still focus on her sexuality, but they took an interesting approach that showed both the incredulity that some people might still feel around Venus, as well as blanket acceptance.

    Going back to the Urban Dictionary entry. Obviously someone felt this topic was important and that “Supernatural’s” creators are guilty of queer baiting. It will be interesting to see in the coming months just how many more people will make the connection.

  11. I love Destiel, and I think queerbaiting is wrong, but I think that people getting upset about Destiel not becoming canon is an overreaction because there aren’t any long-lasting romantic relationships on this show. There are no couples who get together, break up, and make up in the place of any actual story writing like a lot of what’s on tv and that’s ok. I think it would be a mistake for the writers to have Dean and Cas get into a relationship because of the context of the show. Their relationship wouldn’t work. A Dean relationship with anyone of any gender wouldn’t work. They are all constantly at war. I do think it would be awesome if they acknowledged their feelings for each other in a real way on the show and maybe hooked up or kissed at the very least, but a full on relationship? How would that work in the context of Supernatural? We have constantly seen the brothers have to give up on romantic relationships because of the family business. Lisa, that chick Sam sent the year Dean was in Purgatory with, Bobby’s wife, Jessica, Jo, etc. I don’t think it’s homophobic for the writers to not have them get together, I think that in this case, with this show it would just be a really hard thing to write into the storyline unless it was a one night stand, but then what? they break up? Cas dies like all of the love interests on the show? I for one enjoy having one tv show that isn’t centered around romantic relationships at all and explores other kinds of relationships.

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