Slash fandom loves them. And who could blame anyone for that, when things get so bleak irl?
just…I keep seeing the same ones. Two men at home. They’re in the
kitchen, barefoot and kissing in the morning. Or they’re in bed, feeding
each other pastries. Or they’re having such passionate sex that the
rest of the world disappears. Sometimes these aren’t even the endings;
sometimes they’re the whole story.
Whose happy ending is that?
not that queer people don’t love kissing our partners in the soft
morning light, or rapturous sex, or a good breakfast pastry. We do. But
that’s such a small sliver of a queer person’s life, and in this happy
ending I keep reading it is almost always detached from the context -
from the history and lived experience of persecution, fear, shame,
discovery, revelation, release, grit, community, resilience, strength,
pleasure, rightness, fullness - that makes that moment sweet, that makes
it victorious, that makes it precious, that makes it love, that makes
I wonder: who decided that happy endings meant being at home alone?
wonder: after all of the fighting queer people have done to be able to
live public lives, why does the go-to happy ending take us out of the
I wonder: who is this happy for? the
characters whose romantic love is kept separate from their friends and
jobs and extended families? the straight writers and readers who don’t
have to think about what it means to live as a queer person? who
reproduce narratives they’ve never had to question without considering
whether those are the stories we should be retelling? the writers and
readers who end up suggesting - implicitly, since of course they’d never
say such a thing out loud - that queer love and queer happiness should
only exist where other people don’t have to see it?
often say this is in the service of queer readers and writers who want
to imagine a happier future. Is this what that happiness looks like?
queer people with friends over for dinner. queer people in restaurants.
queer people in queer bars. queer people at family events. queer people
in the classroom. queer people giving presentations. queer people
getting promotions. queer people in the park. queer people in the
supermarket. queer people at the baths and the piers and the loos and
the back rooms. queer people in the lab. queer people fixing cars. queer
people writing books. queer people slaying dragons. queer people
defusing bombs. queer people unraveling government conspiracies. queer
people fighting evil. queer people doing magic. queer people
experiencing love and happiness in full view of other people.
Ask yourself: why, in these so-called happy endings, do queer people have to be hidden away?
Ask yourself: why aren‘t we writing happy endings for queer couples that are about multifaceted, full lives in addition to sex and domesticity?
Ask yourself: can’t we come up with fuller, realer, richer happy endings?