Queerly Not Straight: We Need to Talk About #Destiel

In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx/WOC community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.

This past week has been one of revelations and discovery. If you missed it, this week’s episode of Supernatural did something phenomenal to me, something game changing. It changed me from the inside out and I don’t think there’s any going back from where I am in the Supernatural fandom. 

I, Lyra Hale, of sound mind and body am now a Destiel shipper. 

Now, this hasn’t been an easy process. I’ve watched the show for 15 years and never got the sense of Dean Winchester and Castiel being a couple. It just never fit into the image that I had of them. And it took me til “The Trap” to realize that I had been wearing heteronormative rose colored glasses along despite the fact I myself am queer.

I know, messy. But it gets better.  

Never heard of these heteronormative rose colored glasses? Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. Rose colored glasses are a way of looking at something and not seeing the fault or error in said item/situation/thing because said glasses make you feel like everything is right as rain and there’s not an error in sight.

Combine those rose colored glasses with heteronormative biases and you’ve got a recipe for seeing Destiel as just a straight bromance when in reality it is so much more. And like me, we sometimes don’t realize we carry these biases; ones where the bonds between characters are ONLY seen through the lenses of heterosexual couples and pairings.

These biases, they stop viewers, aka me a couple days a ago before the big gay realization that is Destiel, from seeing the reality of the relationship these two men have with each other. Biases blind us to the truth and make it nearly impossible to break out of what we are used to as a means of seeing what could possibly be if we gave it a chance. 

The reality is simple: if Dean Winchester and Castiel were a relationship between a man and a woman, everyone would be shipping it to the moon and back, especially after everything they’ve been through. I mean, there are loads of queer people who ship them now but if people didn’t wear these heteronormative rose colored glasses there would be more people shipping it and the possibility of Destiel becoming a real thing would grow.

Because as much as I want Destiel to happen (Yes, I know I’m late to the game but at least I’m here and everything is gay and merry) I don’t think The CW has the balls to actually go through with it because THEY are wearing heteronormative rose colored glasses themselves that blind them from the reality of the content they make and how queer people perceive it, day in and day out. They also are afraid.

The CW doesn’t want to rock the boat. They don’t want to take a chance and see it explode in their faces even if the possibility of a queer Dean Winchester and Castiel would be a game changer the LGBTQ community would love. Until then, I’m going to live in the world of fanfiction, which I’ve recently discovered is full of some of the nicest people on the internet. And maybe one day, the big wigs in charge will take off their heteronormative rose colored glasses and realize the truth of Destiel aka it’s pretty gay and we’re here for it. 

Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)

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  1. Thank you for blaming the network and not the writers/showrunner.
    People will throw in excuses about how “cw is the queerest network” but those are all newer shows.
    SPN is a 15 year old dinosaur that started on the WB, and the people in charge haven’t wanted to rock the boat.
    Obviously Dabb and Bobo (Berens) are making huge waves, if fandom response is anything to go by.
    Friends and I have been saying for years, if Destiel is going to go textually canon, it would be the last season, and here we are.
    We’re getting all the clues thrown at us, it’s happening. And I love it.

  2. Do I believe in Destiel? Absolutely. Do I think it will go canon before the end of season 15? Absolutely not. But ahhhhh all the wonderful fafic ❤❤❤❤

    1. Exactly. This. The fantastic fanfics have been coming my way in droves. Always welcome to more!

  3. I’m a woman, straight, and I think their love is the most beautiful thing, although Dean often doesn’t deserve his wonderful and beautiful Angel. The chemistry of the actors made it all happen, I think. Anyway, the deep connection between them is totally incredible if you think about everything that Castiel represents to Dean, the salvation of his soul, the reconstitution of his body, I imagine that Dean should feel immense fascination just to be in the company of Castiel. Dean is needy and afraid of abandonment, Castiel represents security and love, so he has no desire to live without his Angel. Yes, I would love for the writers and the broadcaster to assume that they are a couple, but I am also afraid that this will label them. I think their relationship should be seen as very affectionate and affective, never as a very sexual appeal. Although Castiel had an erection watching a porn movie after Jimmy Novak was no longer in the body. And Dean clearly tries to disguise an erection when he sees Castiel recovered from purgatory. In other words, neither is indifferent to the stimulus, much less indifferent to each other. According to popular belief, guardian angels do not like humans under their guard to have stupid attitudes that put them at risk unnecessarily. So I think Castiel doesn’t like Dean’s attitude about using women in casual sex without any ties. I think it is likely that he will be able to give Dean much more pleasure and keep him from vulgarity. There has even been an episode in which Dean talks about his relationship with women and wants something different when he confesses to a priest.

  4. The problem I see is that Dean has tended more towards homophobia from the very beginning of the show. Even though I wish Destiel could be a thing, I personally can’t ever see Dean admitting his feelings for Cas. And Cas has historically tended towards heterosexual relationships himself.

    Here’s something to think about (and I’m just playing devil’s advocate here): could our fascination with Destiel show that our society is still unable to accept a close emotional non-familial relationship without any sexual aspect? Partly stemming from the debate of whether men and women can ever be “just friends” with each other because the average man is only able to be completely emotionally available to someone who’s also a sexual partner. Thoughts?

  5. You talk about bias but you’re showing it right here by saying that anyone who doesn’t see Dean and Castiel as a romantic pairing are just blind and too heteronormative. There are tons of people who are LGBTQ+ themselves who also don’t feel there is a romantic/sexual component to their relationship. The fact that you don’t believe that straight men can feel this type of connection emotionally with each other without wanting to become a romantic couple speaks to your own bias and ignorance of male friendships. I mean we’ve seen the emotional lengths that Sam and Dean have gone to for each other and the deep love that exists there and yet, outside of their own contingent of shippers, people don’t have a hard time understanding their relationship is familial. Cas and Dean’s relationship is a classic example of platonic brothers in arms. People who have forged emotional bonds through the threat and reality of war and death. That’s bound to make anyone close and it exists in reality too. But your ignorant assumption and accusation that men only behave that way towards each other if they feel romantically or sexually is part of the reason that some men tend to repress showing their love for other men in their lives even when it’s just familial or platonic.

    1. I’m a bit confused as to what you’re replying about. Did you happen to read the article? Because you’re responding in a in insulting way to a lot of things the author did not say.

  6. The reality is that Dean Winchester is a canonically heterosexual character. So, he wouldn’t have romantic or sexual attraction to Castiel, an angel wearing the corpse of a 45-year-old man. So, not rose-tinted glasses or anything, just the writers and showrunners sticking to the canon of Dean’s character.

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