Musing about being a POC and queer individual in the TMNT fandom:
I think the hardest part of being in the TMNT fandom for me is the fact that I am not white, am not straight, am not cis, or even neurotypical, and… I identify fairly hard with the turtles because of those things.
But then… they’re drawn or written as all of those things probably 90% of the time when people are humanizing them, and its just. so hard. to let that go, even though those people have no idea they’re affecting some random person across the internet. Compared to the hundreds of others who don’t feel this way, my personal opinion doesn’t really matter.
I don’t hold it against anyone for their headcanons, and I have never a day in my life sent hate to a person for having those headcanons, since I know those depend almost entirely on the personal life and experiences of those individuals.
They still bother me though, since I feel like it erases a large part of what the turtles’ identities are, which is being a minority among minorities.
They’re the only four of their kind, and pretty much utterly isolated from the rest of the world. They’ve never fit in, and never will, because they are inherently different from the rest of society. They are, in a phrase, freaks of nature.
My circumstances aren’t as extreme, not even close, but I know that feeling on a personal level regardless. Having them portrayed as the socially acceptable norm, it erases a large part of what makes them so interesting; which would be their sheer alien-ness from the rest of us. By making them ordinary cis white straight etc etc in humanized headcanons, I feel it takes away from their original characterization as a minority.
And it just really bothers me, as a single individual in the fandom, to have characters I identify with so strongly become pretty much the complete opposite of who and what I am, and thusly become no longer relatable. It’s just a difficult thing to deal with sometimes, especially since I have no power to change it other than ignoring the content I don’t like.
I hope no one takes this as an insult to their personal headcanons about the series; its just the words from someone who’s never fit correctly to any box, and found a strong connection to four characters who I felt were similar to me in that sense.