In the twenty-first episode of the tenth season of Supernatural, I need you to do one thing for me. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Supernatural.
Trigger Warning: For talk of homophobia.
I need you to imagine.
Often times, when you see pieces like this, decrying some slight or egregious offense of representation, you’ll see people talk about it in terms of some sort of innocuous metaphor. “Imagine that you had blue hair all your life,” they might say, “and everyone around you had blonde hair.” Or they’ll talk about some defining feature that sets you apart from others that can’t be denied. Hell, I even did it myself once on this site when talking about Hannibal. (Which I promise to get to once my schedule settles down in the fall!) I don’t want to do that here because it dilutes the context of it, and I need this to sting.
I need you to imagine what it’s like to feel alone.
Take that feeling, and expand it. Take that loneliness that you’ve gone through – whether it was momentary, longterm, whether it is permanent, whether it is cosmic – and imagine that there are reminders of it everywhere. I want you to think about what it might feel like to watch television and see characters fall in love. Have sex. Go on adventures together. Get rescued. Go on dates. You are nowhere in these images and pictures. And when you turn to books, you find the same situation unfolding over and over again. You see a wealth of love and drama given to everyone else, and you see yet another painful reminder that you do not belong.
Imagine that this starts when you are on the playground. Imagine that you are told that every time you try to hold a young boy’s hand, you are evil. Imagine that when you tell your best friend in second grade that Cody is cute, she tells you that she can’t hang out with you anymore. Imagine that by the time you are eight years old, you start hearing the slurs. They’re dropped on the playground casually, like when you fill your pockets full of too many rocks and they come spilling out the sides. Then you hear your parents use them, and then teachers, and pretty soon you can’t escape them.
Imagine that you are now literally alone, without a single person to confide in. There is no one to talk to about the feelings you have when Lando Calrissian comes on the screen in The Empire Strikes Back or when you wander into the men’s underwear section at Target and you feel a thrill seeing all those bare torsos and bulges. There is no one to talk to about the pain you feel just behind your sternum whenever Manny says hello to you at practice and the sun hits his sweaty cheekbones perfectly and you desire so fully to touch them, to feel his stubble brush across your face. There is no one to talk to whenever your friends begin to discuss marriage and their perfect girlfriends and their future wives and all you can think of is how badly you wish Tyrell would hold your hand.
Imagine that you have to leave. Imagine that the only way to find happiness, to find any sense of belonging, is to simply run away. Imagine that after you’ve been outed, after you’ve been beat up more times than you can count, after your parents reject you, after your godfather and his family kick you out because they’re worried your filth would pervert their children, after nearly every friend you’ve had abandons you because they can’t have a dirty queer in their life, imagine that you escape. Imagine that your journey to college is not one of new adventures and excitement, but of survival. Necessity.
And imagine that as you finally leave such a wretched place, you discover that the world at large still does not want you. Imagine that you are still not in books, still not in films, still not in television shows, at least not in any meaningful way. Imagine that as you gain access to queer texts and film histories and analytical studies, you learn that you can only appear in mainstream stories as harpies. As villains. As deceivers. As murderers, psychopaths, or demons. Imagine that you only see yourself as dead bodies on the screen, torn apart to serve a narrative greater than yourself. Imagine that you are repeatedly told that your own stories don’t matter if they’re not catered to everyone else.
And imagine that when you finally find someone who looks like you or loves like you do or romances like you, they meet the same fate over and over: they’re dead. There is no happy ending for us, there is no fairy tale, there is no closure. We serve the ends of other people. We are the reminder that their stories are difficult and challenging and morally grey. We are the sign that the villains have gotten that much more serious, and we are the catalyst that pushes them into action.
We get no such closure. We get no such direction. We get no such respect. We are dead because this is the only way that we can be imagined within these spaces: as simply not there anymore.
Fuck you, Supernatural. This is the worst decision you’ve ever made, and if I wasn’t obligated to continue watching, you’d lose me permanently.
The video for “Dark Dynasty” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
Mark Links Stuff
– Please help book/finalize the Mark Does Stuff European Tour!
– I am now on Patreon!!! MANY SURPRISES ARE IN STORE FOR YOU IF YOU SUPPORT ME.
– The Mark Does Stuff Tour 2015 is now live and includes dates across the U.S., Canada, Europe, the U.K., and Ireland. Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be the remainder of The Legend of Korra, series 8 of Doctor Who, and Kings. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
– Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!