People: Ermahgerd! Stop sexualizing teh childrenz!!!1!!!1!
But wait, there’s more!
Heterosexual Couple (Characters Aged 11-12ish?)
People: Wooooo! So precious! Get it, girl!
And the real kicker…
Heterosexual Couple (Characters Aged 13 and 14ish?)
People: It’s so sweet I’ve got cavities! They’re so adorable together!! <3
Literally the same girl from the gay ship.
She kisses a boy on screen and everyone cheers. People suggest that the hand-holding and eye-contact between her and another female character looks kind of romantic and suddenly it’s all, “Whoa, calm down! They’re 12 years old!”
Our society likes to equate LGBT+ with 18+ and that’s just not accurate. To assume that identifying as LGBT+ is an inherently mature sexual statement is a fallacy.
As with most aspects of human identity, some people realize their orientation at a very young age. Other people might spend their whole lives coming to understand who they are. Both are valid experiences.
But a thirteen year old girl with a girlfriend should not be regarded any differently than a 13 year old girl with a boyfriend. The same goes for a boy with a boyfriend. Identifying as gay should not be equated with having gay sex. Love at that age, whether between a boy and a boy, a boy and a girl, or a girl and a girl, should continue to be seen as innocent and sweet. To say that two girls being in love is inappropriate for their age is to sexualize them.
How often do people use age as an argument against straight ships? I think most of us can recognize that this imagined concern is actually rooted in homophobia. The people who make these kinds of arguments may not even be conscious of it, because that homophobia is so deeply internalized in our society, but that’s what it boils down to. There will always be shippers who disagree with each other. To argue against a ship is pretty much par for the course on the internet. However, it’s important that straight ships and non-straight ships be treated equally.
I’m assuming Maya gets a lot of her clothes from thrift stores. Or possibly some hand-me-downs from her mom or from Gammy Hart. I may have missed some; I don’t actually know every classic rock band on sight.