Some thoughts on Jensen and Destiel and Dean’s bisexuality (with a bit of Misha thrown in)
Q: How come Dean’s allowed to have a crush on Dr. Sexy MD, and yet Destiel and his bisexuality aren’t canon?
Jensen Ackles, when asked a question posed to him by fans clearly wanting to piss him off, because the question is on a topic he has explicitly stated he does not want to engage with, denies Destiel, but stays clear of denying Dean’s bisexuality.
Funny. I mean, not funny hah-hah, more like funny intriguing.
I don’t know about you, but to me it’s clear how a will-they-won’t-they love story that’s been built for going on a decade would probably suffer from both actors involved in it confirming it.
Misha started out talking rather openly about how Destiel is an intentional part of the narrative - almost going so far as to get pissy about how this was even a question, if rumours are to be believed - then less openly, until he, as early as last year, was scuttling around the Destiel question like it was on fire. Why? I would venture a complete guess and say that it’s most likely to do with all the negativity thrown his way whenever he’s engaged with it, accusations of queerbaiting flying at him and the show, when this couldn’t be farther away from what they’ve actually been doing all these years, delivering a narrative the likes of which has never been seen on television before.
So, yeah, Misha started out really not getting why he’d have to lie or skirt the topic of there being a M/M love story built on SPN (because I think he thought that’s a bullshit approach and why shouldn’t they be open about them being pro LGBTQ etc) but has grown to realise that he can’t confirm shit because:
a) he contractually can’t discuss any details of what that confirmation actually means for the characters or the show
b) being vaguely confirmative on the topic only causes severe upset among the fandom and he doesn’t want to be responsible for it
(that’s ^^^ from Dec 2016 btw) (part of this fantastic onset interview)
So Misha will tease in his own sadistic little way, of course, but he appears to have grown to take this stuff pretty seriously, by the looks of his changed attitude over the years. In the later years either he’ll flat out state that he knows the Destiel question causes upset and so he steers clear of it, or he’ll just generally avoid answering the question, talking circles around it and then finding an excuse to get the hell off the stage, for good reason.
All this while the above, often only half-quoted, panel moment of Jensen’s is delivered by an actor who is portraying a bisexual character and, I wouldn’t be surprised, wishes he could come out and say it loud and proud, but can’t, because it would effectively ruin Dean’s finely crafted character journey for the audience. Jensen confirming Dean’s bisexuality would put a serious dampener on the revelation to the GA that the whole point of SPN is the deconstruction of the Masculine Ideal, the Cowboy, the Manly Man’s Man.
Why would it put a dampener? Because how do you change an idea? How do you make an argument against something that is deeply ingrained in the mindset of millions of people? You start out by agreeing, by enforcing that idea, by going to great lengths to create a world reflecting that idea - only to slowly move away from that idea (or go genitals on full display, either way works) because the idea you actually want to reinforce is the opposite of what has been so deeply ingrained.
Simply put, SPN was never about glorifying the Male Hero or the Masculine Stereotype, it was always about pointing out how we are not our gender, our sexuality, our race, our age, our cultural heritage, our body type - we are all people first. And we do not judge others and we are not ourselves judged by this bullcrap for any other reason than the societal norm dictating to us what we should find acceptable, and us accepting being dictated to. SPN is about freedom from this preconceived notion that anyone can tell us who to be, it’s about self-liberation.
Aka no one can tell you who you are, you’re born with the ability to make that choice for yourself - and it isn’t who you are, but what you do, that defines you.
By making Dean Winchester a strong, badass, kick-the-door-down-to-save-a-life hero with many, many softer sides to him that makes him human and relatable, the SPN writers and Jensen himself have given us someone who can call bullshit on the hypocrisy of loving him only if he is straight and fits with what the norm has labeled acceptable masculine behaviour.
When Dean and Cas get together it’s going to blow such a big fucking hole in that argument because Dean will still be Dean - he will still be exactly the same amount of strong, badass, kick-the-door-down-to-save-a-life hero that he’s always been: he just happens to also have a lot of softness to him that he’s gotten very good at suppressing, and he just happens not be straight.
Because he is bi. And he is in love with a man.
In January of this year, as the panel at the top of this post is being held, Jensen does what he can to avoid straight up lying about his own portrayal of Dean Winchester, and I’d venture another guess and say he does it because he loves Dean, he knows Dean, he fucking lives Dean, and Dean knows he’s bi. Meaning what? Meaning Jensen likes this fire stoked, perhaps? This reading of Dean having a crush on Dr. Sexy. Because people seeing bi!Dean means that Jensen’s choices as an actor are actually shining through.
As far as Jensen actually being “uncomfortable” with the Destiel question goes ————————>
Does not look all that uncomfortable teasing Dean and Cas to me, at least not in the context of being relaxed and flirtatious with his costar and friend on stage. I mean, the last of these gifs is from JiB8. Held in May of this year. Six months after the dismissal of the Destiel question. Could there be a reason for these conflicting impressions of how Jensen handles Destiel overall? Hmmmm.
Jensen Ackles is a professional actor - the whole “he relates too much to Dean and this subtly implies that he is such a homophobic human being that he would never be ok with Dean being anything but straight” argument needs to be dropped to the bottom of the deepest darkest ocean and forgotten for all eternity. (please with a thank you on the side)
And, sure, it’s easy to blow the “just to stoke that fire a little bit” comment off as a joke (made at a panel where he’s in the middle of debunking the Destiel as even remotely viable……..) but at the end of the day…
Well, I say day - of course I mean series.
There will be such lovely blues and purples and pinks, my lovelies! All the way.