okay anyway listen. LISTEN. here is my own personal mythology of dan humphrey being gossip girl.
so one of the most major ways in which the books diverge from the show is that in the BOOKS, dan and chuck are both canonically queer. essentially dan’s entire plotline in the last two books is that he meets a cute guy while working at the strand, comes out as gay, has his first relationship with this guy, the guy leaves him for chuck (drama!), and then dan realizes he still has feelings for vanessa and he’s maybe bi?
and in the second-to-last book dan snail-mails jenny a letter that just says, “dear jenny, i’m gay, love, dan” and jenny writes back like, “wow! this is big news! i’m proud of you and i love you. haha remember when we were little we’d dress up in mom’s clothes and jewelry all the time! you loved her heels!! the writing was on the wall lol.”
and NONE of that made it into the show which is bull SHIT of the highest order. but it’s all there, it’s canonically Part Of The Dan Humphrey Mythos that he dates a boy and that as a kid he looooooooooved dressing up as a girl.
which brings me TO: dan humphrey, now a teenager, trying DESPERATELY to fit in at this extremely elite all-boys school where he’s already an outsider because he’s poor! he gets enough shit for being a scholarship student he can’t POSSIBLY step outside the bounds of hypermasculine gender presentation that is the bread and butter of this place! i mean the homophobia in all-boys schools for rich kids is BATSHIT my little brother spent a year as a scholarship student at such a school when we were growing up and he had to withdraw after being physically assaulted and called a f*g on a daily basis. and he’s not even gay.
so anyway. ANYWAY. you’re dan humphrey, you’re the only working class kid at this school full of zillionaires, so you have no social influence. you’re deeply in the closet and bound to perform heteromasculinity on a constant basis as a means of cultural survival. and you’re a really good writer. like, that’s the one thing you have total confidence in: you are excellent at creating stories.
so is it any wonder that dan creates the character of gossip girl? is it? he can exert some control and influence in this hyperprivileged social environment he’ll never fully belong to. he can immerse himself in this performance of femininity in order to make the stifling nature of the closet just a little more bearable. and if he’s believable as gossip girl, that’s TREMENDOUS validation of these aspects of his identity that he has to keep suppressed.
and then he graduates and instead of going ivy league he moves to fucking OLYMPIA to go to EVERGREEN like PLEASE. please. dan humphrey was genderqueer and the government knows it. the gossip girl persona was virtual drag that he used as a coping mechanism during a time when any outward experimentation with feminine gender presentation would have gotten him exiled. wow i can’t believe i have this many feelings about this but there you go. dan humphrey. bigender icon. in the books he comes out as gay and his divorced parents team up to throw him a surprise party with rainbow cake. i need to stop writing this post i’m getting meotinoal *emotional