I’ve been a part of several fandoms, but I’ve never shipped a couple more than I do Dean Winchester and the angel Castiel. Those little cuties always fighting for each other, getting flustered around one another, and one saving the other from Hell? I just want to hug them forever, or since that’s not entirely feasible, read pages upon pages of fanfic about them and swoon at adorable fanart people have created.
There’s a section of the Supernatural fandom that’s devoted to all things Dean and Cas–or Destiel–and they firmly believe that if there’s one thing that Dean loves more than pie (and his brother, of course), it’s Cas. Whether it’s Dean keeping Cas’ trench coat in the trunk of the Impala while he thinks the angel is dead or scouring Purgatory, refusing to leave without Cas, or Cas almost getting in a fight with a convenience store clerk because the store is out of pie (and Dean needs pie) or rebelling against Heaven for Dean (no big deal, totally fine), the two of them are adorable and wonderful and are clearly perfect for each other.
My thoughts about Dean and Cas are similar to those that I had about Katniss and Peeta in The Hunger Games. Katniss and Peeta went through so much together, and no one else will be able to understand them the way the other does, so it’s difficult for me to picture them not being together.
The same goes for Dean and Cas: I’d imagine a special bond is formed when someone pulls you out of Hell and then you go on to continually fight side-by-side to protect humanity. Like all couples, they have their issues, but at the end of the day, they care about each other and want to protect each other at all costs, even if it means death, and isn’t that what being in love is all about?
Although there are several different ships that people support in Supernatural, Destiel is the one that seems to have the biggest likelihood of actually becoming canon. It’s not one of those ships that could be seen as rooted more in fantasy than canon; Destiel feels like a legitimate possibility that gets stronger and stronger after each season. The writers and directors are throwing in increasingly more obvious hints that Dean and Cas’ relationship is more than platonic, but they’re coming so frequently now that it’s becoming more frustrating than exciting.
I could fill this entire article just with examples of how Dean and Cas act like adorable middle school kids with secret crushes on each other and the romantic tropes the writers use during their scenes, but the fact of the matter is that their relationship is still unwritten, and that needs to change.
The call for representation in media has been steadily growing, and with Kamala Khan taking the reins as Ms. Marvel, Clint Barton’s deafness being addressed and utilized in Hawkeye #19, Korrasami becoming canon in Legend of Korra, and the remake of Annie starring Quvenzhane Wallis, it’s exciting to say that steps are definitely being made in the right direction. There’s still much more that could be done, though, and Supernatural could help with that by making Destiel canon.
Bisexuality isn’t mentioned much in media, and people who identify as bisexual are often dismissed as just being confused, or being told that their sexuality is something they’ll “grow out of.” It would be so important for such a well-known character like Dean to become canonically bisexual, and examples of his bisexuality are already scattered throughout the show, especially in later seasons. He checks out men instead of women and gets flustered when a character named Aaron flirts with him (and then is visibly disappointed when he finds out that Aaron was faking it and was just trying to tail Dean for information instead).
The problem lies in the fact that the powers that be are refusing to go all the way and have Dean show his affection for Cas with a kiss or a handhold. It’s frustrating and more than a little upsetting, and it’s something that needs to change.
There’s an article by Sadie Gennis on the TV Guide website, “Supernatural Has a Queerbaiting Problem That Needs to Stop,” that sums all of this up really well:
“That is what fans are calling for when they ask for Dean’s queerness to come to fruition–simply to be seen. They aren’t… projecting their fetishized desires onto a platonic friendship simply to see two attractive men make out. They’re doing so because they want to see themselves accurately reflected onscreen, rather than turned into a plot device or reduced to a dangling carrot to entice a queer audience before shouting ‘No homo!’”
With Supernatural recently returning from its winter hiatus as well as announcing renewal for an eleventh season, hopefully the showrunners will decide to make it clear where they stand on Destiel, and maybe we’ll even get to officially add Dean Winchester to the list of bisexual characters in media.
I mean, a girl can hope, right?
Allison Racicot is the Audiobook Reviewer at Girls in Capes. She’s a recent graduate of Emerson College in Boston, and has a degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing. She spends too much time listening to podcasts and getting overly attached to fictional characters.
She’s written about Supernatural before — on the problematic fridging of most of the show’s female characters.
For more in the TV & Film section, check out Beauty and the Beast of Social Expectations — on the prettiness of the cast in Once Upon a Time — and explore the role of fatherhood in the life of Jacob Wells in The Following.