Fans vs fiction: Queerbaiting in "Supernatural"

“Queerbaiting is clinging to the heteronormative interpretation on the surface of things, and refusing to invalidate it, but still trying to present a queer reading in the background; metaphorically selling the hetero story from the front door, and the queer story out back.” Rowan

Sometimes we hold on, far past when we think we should call it quits, because of hope – painful, agonising, stubborn hope. For me, an important source of hope fizzled out in the wake of a Supernatural episode “Fan Fiction” that aired on Tuesday November 11, 2014. My hope ended with these words: you have your version, we have ours.

There’s plenty of speculation out there on whether Supernatural queerbaits its lead male characters Dean, Sam, and Castiel, but there’s no question in my mind that big media corporations recognise and make every attempt to profit over highly popular fan pairings, straight or otherwise. It’s the very heart of television marketing. Supernatural has explicitly acknowledged the popular ships “wincest” and “destiel” in the show itself, alerting fans that they see what they’re up to and know what they want. Wincest, as it involves two brothers, is highly unlikely to ever become an explicit relationship, but fans take the queerbaiting involving destiel, two non-related main male characters, seriously because why shouldn’t we?
Continue reading

BFI London Film Fest review: "Margarita, With a Straw"


Margarita, With a Straw

Dir. Shonale Bose. India. 2014. 100 mins.

Margarita, With a Straw
follows the story of Laila (Kalki Koechlin), a young wheelchair-bound girl from Delhi with cerebral palsy, who wins a scholarship to study in America. The film explores headstrong Laila’s coming of age and the manner in which both her disability and her burgeoning bisexuality colour her explorations of this new adult world in a warm, often playfully humorous way.

“Being friends with normal people won’t make you normal!” spits Laila’s best friend Dhruv (Hussain Duval), who is also a wheelchair-bound cerebral palsy sufferer, as she shuns his advances to pursue her crush on her able-bodied bandmate Nima (Tenzing Dalal). When their band – for which Laila writes lyrics – wins a competition and the judge openly admits it’s because she’s in a wheelchair, she uses the opportunity of being comforted by Nima to fall… Continue reading