Just curious because I'm always willing to learn: Is it still okay to ship slash couples, though? I mean, I recognize the queerbaiting and I try not to throw around the word gay (sometimes I slip but I try and catch myself) and I don't fetishize being gay. But is it possible to still ship the slash ships or do you think it is problematic either way?
Yeah, it’s super okay to ship slash! In fact, there are shows that I watch that I only watch for the shipping, even though I know it’s blatant queerbaiting. (Rizzoli & Isles is my jam. My lady jam.)
What isn’t okay is fetishizing the characters or claiming that they’re gay despite the fact that they have not claimed that they’re gay or have even repeatedly claimed that they’re not gay (as is usually the case with shows that queerbait). It’s like…the difference between shipping Drarry, and insisting that Drarry is canon because JKR purposefully wrote subtext into the book that they’re gay for each other. Or the difference between shipping couples because you have a genuine interest in the characters and think they fit each other well, and shipping couples because they’re gay. (Like the people who claim that they just Don’t Ship Straight…yeah, that’s pretty gross and very fetishizational. Which is a word I just made up whatever.)
Bottom line: ship it because it rocks, not because it’s gay. Acknowledge its validity as Not The Only Ship in the Sea of Fandom. Be a respectful fan. :)