I'm not a shipper, but @ every shippers who want a canon mlm representation, should stop erasing Keith and Shiro's relationship just because it's notp. Because from the look of it they're the ones that seems to have chance in becoming canon. People are screaming broganes! in every posts to the point of sounding like old homophobes, and even from non shipper's view, it's transparent as fuck. Like it'd be easier if people just admit that KL are not important to each other as people make out to be.
Yes, I agree with you wholeheartedly. The very earliest Voltron interview I heard was before the show even released, and when asked about providing more lgbt rep the way they did with korrasami, Lauren said: “We have those first 13 episodes and if we ever went beyond that, we would like to push the envelope.” Which tells me any gay relationship they planned to expand on has been present right from the start. Add to that comments about how “Keith latches onto Shiro,” “Keith’s always scared he’s gonna say or do something wrong that’ll cause him to lose Shiro,” “He supports Keith one hundred percent, he’s stuck his neck out for Keith a lot,” and “Keith and Shiro have the closest relationship”–if they were ever hinting at anything, I think it’s sheith.
From onscreen canon interactions, Keith and Shiro’s relationship has always read as romantic to me. And claiming what they have is just brotherly when it’s so obviously different from Matt and Pidge’s dynamic–I just don’t understand it. So many of Keith and Shiro’s scenes are incredibly intimate. They confide in one another, comfort each other, offer physical reassurances and hold each other close. Keith prioritizes Shiro’s safety first and foremost and literally vows to save him, “as many times as it takes.” We see from Keith’s very first scene a tenderness between them that’s never replicated with anyone else. So much of their relationship reads as a veritable fairytale romance. I don’t think that’s an accident.
It’s really transparent to me when people claim that this season was somehow homophobic for veering further towards allurance or not having Keith interact with Lance?? Like, people are literally claiming the staff don’t care about representation and never had any intention of including it, but?? The crew has already blatantly informed us that it was never their intention to tease Kl/ance, and they directly said they wouldn’t queerbait it. Because it was never there. Fans making serious accusations like this is incredibly transparent–if the only representation that matters to you is your ship, then I think you should reevaluate why. As a bi guy, kl/ance has always made me uncomfortable and I never saw any precedence for it in canon.
Lauren literally said, “we’re working in animation. Our schedule is so far in advance for that–even if people shipped Keith and Lance, we couldn’t go back and just change the story–to be like and now they’re in love!” When asked about Lance’s future “Mr or Mrs Blue Lion,” Lauren responded exclusively with female pronouns. This isn’t like the bait and switch with building up leader Keith only to throw Shiro back in the pilot seat. Representation is serious, there is no gotcha moment, they’re not continually pushing aside kl/ance so they don’t “ruin the surprise.”
Representation is a very real concern for Joaquim and Lauren, and they’ve already outright said teasing kl/ance was never their intention. They’re completely against queerbaiting. We’ve been definitively told no. If fans are unable to let go of fanon and refuse to acknowledge the narrative we’ve been given, then that’s on them. But it seems hypocritical to me to claim they were led on when they just refused to listen. As Lauren said: “they start out at odds, but then they grow to kind of respect each other. And if that leads into people being like–they’re spending time together! Then that’s a ‘thing,’ but…We’re not trying to cater to or bait anyone into anything, we’re just trying to do what’s right for the story.”
And I’ve seen people claim–but, kl/ance is so popular! The fans love it so much, they shouldn’t discount it just yet! Things can change! And it’s incredibly clear to me that those fans are naive in their understanding of the animation industry. Joaquim said this best: “There’s just no way. We’re already years past that storyline, you know?” He and Lauren outright confirmed they can’t go back and make kl/ance canon, because the decision to do so would’ve had to have been made years ago. Animation is not a medium conducive to major change. That’s just something fans will have to learn to accept.
Lauren and Joaquim really seem like they actually care and they’re fighting for more representation. That means something to me. And if people expect me to feel sorry for fans who harass them simply because they didn’t make their OTP canon and are trying to focus on their own narrative, then they don’t know me. If it’s representation fans are concerned about and not just ships, then they shouldn’t see kl/ance as the only viable source for it. I’m sorry if people were disappointed and wanted representation in another form, I really am. I understand, I do. But I don’t think it’s fair to tear down the creators for it when they’re trying their best and act like kl/ance was somehow our only chance.