I’ve been stewing these thoughts in my brain for a while ever since I was shown Night Vale, and subsequently Night Vale fan art. What the hell people. Night Vale brought an amazing thing to the LGBTQ community. Two men who are a couple and it isn’t a big deal. Not only that but the descriptions of these two men are generally blank. So instead of the community using this time to break stereotypes and really create some inspired and very non-generic fan art, the fandom latches on to some pretty boy tall lanky “uke” esque twink nerd stereotype for Cecil and then some masculine strong jawed tan guy for Carlos.
So that means any time one searches the characters they tend to have to wade through tons and tons of photos to find a non stereotypical image of what is a very wonderful gay couple. I just don’t get it. I always thought it was media just making gay couples fit into the stereotypes society put them in on television but no people disconnected from the media, fans, perpetuate those stereotypes and keep them going.
The worse part is a lot of fan art is drawn by straight women. This has always been a problem I’ve noticed since I was in high school. The fetishising of homosexuality, be it men oogling Lesbian’s or women oogling gay men. It’s hard to break stereotypes when people who don’t have to deal with them are perpetuating them to get their own sexual kicks. Stop it jesus H. Christ stop it. Gay couples come in all kinds of “flavors” Bears, Twinks, Otters, the whole weird world of words. And these different catagories of gays mingle and mix into wonderful happy lasting relationships. So it’s so infuriating when finally a gay couple pops up that can be anything and it just gets turned from something with so much possiblity into just another generic “Pretty boy and his Strong Man” gay couple so that someone can fantasize about it.
Honestly that dynamic, which I’ve noticed is popular in yaoi, isn’t really a thing I’ve seen in, my own, and other gay men’s love lives. So why the heck can’t people stop acting like it’s the only kind of gay couple that exists?
Hey, I understand where this post is coming from, and am fully behind the dismantling of the seme/uke stereotypes for gay couples… but something about it feels wrong, and I’m not sure I can fully articulate why.
It might be the whole “a gay couple isn’t a big deal which is good” thing: I’m not sure in what sense you mean the statement. If you mean that the two characters are gay is not used for angst, drama, or Star-Crossed-Lovers-ship, then that’s a good sense. If you mean it more in the fanon “I wouldn’t even have known Cecil was gay otherwise” thing, then that’s less good. I quote one of my betters, whimsicalcircles, here: “when you’re saying the second thing [that they’re not making it a big deal] you basically already mean the first thing anyway”.
Or it might be that you’re treating Cecil and Carlos as equally “generally blank” slates, and that isn’t the case. It’s true that many physical aspects of Carlos are not completely pinned down, but he is not as flexible in this regard as Cecil - he is canonically Latin@, for example.
And as both an additional takedown to the stereotypes and a further dismantling of “could be anything”: personality-wise, which is just as important in the forming of fanon ship dynamics, neither of the pair are blank: Carlos is an excitable dork who isn’t afraid to put himself or his body at risk for the sake of furthering scientific discovery. Cecil is tender-hearted, a lot cleverer than he looks, and he attempts to believe in lots of things, be they pacifism or the words of the City Council, but doesn’t always end up endorsing what he espouses. Neither of those personalities seem like they fit ‘seme’, ‘uke’, ‘sou-uke’, or any other dynamic.
Anyway, the point is, I agree with your core point; it’s just some of your wording made me feel the need to debate and elaborate. Maybe someone else reading this will be more articulate. Sorry.
I think what Faragrimm means when he says that Cecil and Carlos being homosexual isn’t a big is that it isn’t a big deal. Often in fiction a character that is gay, they are a ‘token’ gay character, or a characterization of that. Think the flamboyant limp wrist stereotype. Or the gay manwhore. They become a parody and not a character. What Nightvale has done, is made Cecil and Carlos’ sexuality almost an afterthought, something that doesn’t define who they are. As it should be. When I think about Cecil as a character, a defining trait of his is giddy, intelligent, dedicated, ect. Gay should never be a defining trait of a character. Being gay can be a development that shapes a character but it should never be all the character is about. The fact that we have this charismatic and fun radio host, who happens to be gay, is wonderful. It’s a huge step in the right direction for representation.
As for fetishizing homosexuality, I have a huuuuge problem with it in fandoms. Nightvale isn’t immune and it’s actually one of the worse I’ve seen. The reason for that is Cecil could be described as just about anything, black, white, purple blob, asian, hispanic, native america, ect. He could be literally anything and what does the fandom fall on? White twink male. Of all the things he could have been, they choose a white guy with white hair, fairly fit, and conveniently attractive. That tells me that fans wanted him to be that way to be pleasing to them.
Carlos is some sort of latino race and ‘beautiful’, yes. But seeing as Cecil is our only source on how attractive Carlos is, and how reliable Cecil is when it comes to Carlos’ voice and intelligence, that doesn’t give me much confidence. Also that one thing where beauty is subjective so something that Cecil sees as attractive would not necessarily be conveniently attractive. Also Nightvale. This is a town of crazy happenings who the fuck knows what counts as ‘attractive’ in their society?
So why can’t Cecil be an overweight, bearded, sweetheart with terrible fashion sense? Why can’t Carlos be a but-his-face? Like hot body but his face…
The reason I’m seeing is the fetishizing of homosexuality and it’s something that needs to stop.
I AM NEVER USING ANOTHER BRUSH EVER AGAIN THIS IS AWESOME
what i really fucking love about writing cas is that he can have really relaxed, casual speech and say ‘yeah, look how well that worked out’
but he can also have fucking beautiful, poetic dialogue ‘has anyone but your own kin ever done more for you?’
and he’s so hyper literal that he can add lightness and humor to scenes that by all rights are very heavy (if the emperor is metatron) and the way he sees things is just really unique and fun
fuck i just really love castiel
@marvel Flattery will get you nowhere! Probably. Maybe. *looks the other way*
i am three years behind in my math homework
[B a p t i s m]
john green has had enough of your shit
happy easter here’s a chocolate version of the cross our lord was tortured and killed on
it’s a metaphor, you see
you put the killing thing between your teeth
We were a good thing by kpk (x)