Hey sam i've been meaning to ask you something. you seem pretty comic savvy and it looks like you ship stony so i have to ask; I can see why tony would be insanely gay for steve because it's so fucking obvious but i really, really don't see it coming from steve. i think steve's one of, if not *the* most straight character marvel has ever written. your thoughts?
I had a couple of initial reactions to this, anon, so this may be a little disjointed.
To open, I don’t know what criteria you’re using to identify Steve as straight, and why it’s easier for you to see Tony as attracted to men (or at least to Steve). I don’t know whether the obviousness for you comes from their interactions or just because you find it easier to see Tony as queer. I don’t know whether it’s a sexuality thing for you, or whether it’s based in their interactions, or whether you think everyone’s a little into Steve Rogers, or whether you think Steve’s upbringing would preclude it (canonically it would not; his best friend growing up was gay, and when Steve found out he accepted it without issue). Perhaps you’ve seen but not enjoyed the Cap/IronMan Slashy Moments List, though that speaks less to their sexualities than it does to their essential relationship to each other.
But the problem is that there is a basic fallacy in your question, which is why I ship Steve/Tony when Steve is (let’s assume for the sake of this discussion) straight. There is an important distinction your question fails to address: the difference between shipping a pairing and believing it to be canon, or even to be plausible in canon.
I don’t think Steve and Tony are fucking or in love in 616 or Ults or MCU or Marvel Adventures or Earth’s Mightiest Heroes or any other current canon. But I also don’t care what their sexuality is aside from thinking it would be cool to see some more of the big Marvel names be visibly queer. I ship them because it’s interesting and fun, regardless of their canon orientations.
I have stated that I think we’ll see Steve/Tony in some canon within the next few years, but that’s not based on thinking they’re queer in existing canon. It’s based on Marvel’s current trend towards queer inclusiveness (Young Avengers being predominantly gay/bi, Deadpool being pansexual, Tong being transgender) particularly in alternate narratives (Wolverine and Hercules come to mind) and the past history Steve and Tony share as close friends.
I don’t need either of them to stop sleeping with women in canon or declare that they like cock in order to ship them. I just think it’s an interesting pairing, so I write about it.
And we are fortunate that you don’t actually have to understand the ship, either — If you can’t envision a gay/bi Steve Rogers, that’s fine (lacking in imagination, given that Marvel is explicitly a multiverse where all things are possible, but fine). I’m not in it to convince anyone, though I hear I get a toaster if I do. We all enjoy comics in our own way, and so long as you’re not, you know, going to someone’s fanfic and telling them Steve Rogers would never fuck a dude, there’s no problem.
Though admittedly you will have a somewhat restricted fanfic experience. Nothing I can do about that, I’m afraid; you’re swimming against a strong current there.