I need some way to crack down on all these het Kanaya ships popping up.
How you can be a ‘fan’ of a character while erasing their queerness to fit your neat het shipping chart is beyond me.
I wonder if I should just block all content with Gamzee in it…
When seeing other people talking about this same issue, I’ve seen a lot of the same two obnoxious arguments: that all trolls are effectively (pan)sexual anyway, and that since we put canonically straight characters in queer ships, putting a canonical lesbian in a straight ship is fine too.
For the first part: simply, unequivocally wrong. Hussie actually answered a question about this on Formspring: the Word of God is that, “From a human perspective, she’s an unmistakably gay character.” Trolls don’t have words for sexual orientation, since they’re practically all what we would call pansexual; but some, like Kanaya, aren’t.
For the second: this seems so simple at first, so straightforward - if making a straight character queer is okay, then making a queer character straight is okay too, right? No. They aren’t equivalent actions at all, because they’re not taking place on an even playing field.
Our culture’s perception is a sea of heteronormativity. From our earliest moments in childhood, all the things we take in - the fairy tales we’re told, the stories we read, the magazines we read, the movies and shows we watch, the songs we listen to, even the advertisements all around us - are completely inundated with images of heterosexual couples and heterosexual romance and heterosexual love and heterosexual desires and heterosexual sex. It surrounds every image, value, and thought instilled in us about romance. Comparatively, anything remotely queer is stifled. It’s ‘unfit’ for those same children reading stories steeped in hetero romance. It’s taken out of libraries. It’s a taboo. In the extremely rare cases we get any presence, it’s always, ALWAYS, an anomaly - and usually paired with mockery and disgust, to boot.
As such, queering the stories around us, reading our own queer desires and dreams and loves into the stories and characters permeating our culture, is a long-standing act of survival. It’s taking back a tiny, vestigial part of the hetero culture engulfing us and making it OURS. Now, when you do the reverse? When you take a rare canonically queer character and make them straight, it is not the same - you are taking back what tiny gains we’ve made and erasing them, twisting them to fit back into your complete cultural dominance.
No, it’s not the same. And it’s n0t 0k.
Addendum: You might be wondering, why am I talking about this as though a character in a het relationship can’t be queer, which appears to be excluding bi/pan/queer/fluid identities. In context of the canon, though, it’s perfectly sensible - if you look at all 16 of the player characters, TWELVE of which are from a pansexual society, equally split between male and female genders, there has been loads of sexual tension all around. And yet, only four have EVER explicitly expressed (flushed/caliginous) same-sex attractions: Kanaya, Karkat, Vriska, and Eridan, and NONE of these feelings were requited. If you even throw in the kids’ guardians, the Exiles, the Felt, and the games’ monarchs, we find yet more clearly expressed female/male attractions, but no more same-sex ones.
It’s particularly clear when we look at the trolls that there is no shortage of ostensibly queer/bi/pan characters expressing male/female attractions - take Equius and Aradia, for example, or Vriska, who has clearly shown flushed interest in both a male and a female character.
So, yes, pairing Kanaya with male characters *is* still a way of hiding away the queer attractions, of making all the trolls appear nice and straight and comfortably heteronormative. It’s erasure, plain and simple.