VOLTRON IS QUEERBAITING
how you ask? let’s break it down into five simple factors!
- The Korra Connection: they’ve done queer representation before on Nickelodeon when they had many more restrictions, so they know how important queer characters are. why aren’t they doing more with Netflix who’s given them all this supposed creative freedom? Rebecca Sugar fights for us tooth and nail, where are @thebestlaurenmontgomery and @2-cents in our fight?
- Self-Congratulatory Diversity Rhetoric: there is nothing new and exciting about a story with a girl pretending to be a boy for plot purposes. in fact, there’s a lot that is old and busted, not to mention transphobic, about it. the showrunners need to stop acting like they’ve done something noteworthy without actually performing any labor
- Showrunner/Fandom Interactions: all those comments on shipping? reblogging the gay fanart? teasing comments at cons? telling people they can interpret Pidge however they want? yeah, that’s all well and good when you’re not dangling the prospect of the real deal in front of our noses by refusing to confirm any canon queerness and refusing to even discuss the subject whenever it’s raised, because otherwise it’s just baiting
- Storytelling Priorities: we know they can make room for heterosexuality because Lance flirts with every lady in eyesight and Hunk already has a love interest. so if they plan to give us queer rep where the hell is it? (please remember, romantic arcs =/= queer signifiers, falling in love is not the same as a gay blush – this isn’t about shipping per se) which brings us to our last and most vile factor
- Pidge Gunderson is a Transgender Dog-Whistle: in season 2 Pidge pauses outside a bathroom. the bathroom is coded with gender signifiers in a binary, the colors pink and blue, which happen to map exactly onto our own society’s gender binary. within this setup, Pidge’s anxiety about going to the bathroom is played for laughs (look at how funny and alien those guys are, but Pidge still doesn’t know which bathroom to use!) when in reality it’s a sneering wink at the show’s queer audience, referencing a real world problem that is inherently about transphobic violence. played for laughs. aimed at children. it’s so funny when trans people are scared to use the bathroom, isn’t it? so fucking funny. especially funny when Donald Trump just rescinded federal protections for transgender students, how topical! we deserve better
and that about sums it up. we deserve canonically confirmed queer characters. we deserve trans Pidge and bi Lance and gay Keith and all the rest, at the very least we deserve not to be sneered at. in the current political environment, these characters could be literally life-saving diversity. we deserve better than @voltron has given us, and we need to hold them accountable