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You May Have Seen A Million Entries About This, But This One Has Pokémon.
Oh, By The Way, That's Entirely Your Fault. 
29th-Dec-2013 11:15 pm
sort of exhausted really
I'm becoming increasingly frustrated by a tendency amongst gamers to go 'there are implications that this character may not be straight, but I personally believe that this character is straight, THEREFORE ANYONE WITH A DIFFERENT INTERPRETATION IS WRONG'. It's something I've seen a few times, but it was the GTA Wiki article on Trevor Philips that finally made me snap:

Many of his sarcastic [sexually suggestive remarks towards men] have been misinterpreted as sincere statements by players.

IT'S NOT A MISINTERPRETATION

IT'S JUST AN INTERPRETATION

Someone in the article's talk page said, 'Hey, do you think we should mention the possibility that Trevor might be bisexual?' and got the response, 'I think you take what Trevor says far too seriously.' Look, I haven't played much of Grand Theft Auto V (I am the world's worst Grand Theft Auto player; I attempt to play it as law-abidingly as possible, which doesn't really work), but I've seen enough to be fairly certain that 'Trevor has a sexual interest in men' is not an unreasonable conclusion. Still, perhaps I'm wrong! It's not like you ever see him in bed with a man, after all.

All right, sometimes you do see him in bed with a man (who then starts sobbing and apologising to his girlfriend), but perhaps I'm just misinterpreting.

Do heterosexual male gamers try to dismiss this possibility because they feel it'll make it harder for them to identify with Trevor? Trevor Philips is an incredibly horrible person. If that's the point at which you start finding it hard to identify with him, I don't ever want to meet you.

This isn't the first time I've seen this. In The World Ends With You, is Joshua actually gay or does he just flirt with Neku to fuck with his head? Either is possible! If you don't think Joshua is gay, that's absolutely fine, but don't try to claim that people who do think he's gay are deluded. In Final Fantasy XIII, I don't personally interpret Fang and Vanille as lovers - their relationship feels more mother-daughter to me - but I can absolutely understand why people do see them as lovers, and their interpretation isn't any less valid than mine. Different character interpretations can coexist! So long as canon doesn't contradict it, anything is fine. Can't we all get along without dismissing perfectly valid possibilities in supposedly-factual wiki articles?

(If you think Trevor Philips is as straight as y = x, to be honest, I do think your interpretation is slightly less valid than mine. But it's not quite on the level of the 'why are you writing Doctor/Jack/Rose fanfiction? Captain Jack Harkness is straight' review I once got.)

This goes the other way, of course. It's valid to think that Enjolras of Les Misérables shows no interest in women because he is gay or asexual, but it is also valid to think that he shows no interest in women simply because he's busy planning a revolution. Some odd sections of the Les Mis fandom try to claim that 'shipping Enjolras with a woman is morally wrong. It really isn't! (I don't personally feel that thinking 'hey, these two fictional characters could hypothetically make an interesting couple' is ever a moral issue, even if canon leaves no room for interpretation - you can 'ship Kurt Hummel/Santana Lopez if you really want to - but I find the Enjolras/Éponine controversy a particularly perplexing case.)
Comments 
29th-Dec-2013 11:36 pm (UTC)
People get massively weird about interpretations. Like sometimes there is an objectively interpretation, but most of the time there's considerable room to play around with ideas and read things several different ways. For something like a character's sexual preference, it takes a lot to rule out other possible interpretations - even then, like you said, it's not like it matters if people ship things that don't fit canon - and most stories don't sit around going "Hey, that guy who's with a woman? He's totally straight and shows no sexual interest in other guys, no, not under any circumstances, even if he met the exact right guy", because that's typically a massive waste of time. And when there's obvious hints at possibilities, it's just stupid to go "No, that can't possibly be true!"

And yeah, it does go multiple ways. Like how Sherlock doesn't actually definitively and unambiguously establish the lead character as asexual.

...also, I'd be bizarrely interested in reading some convoluted "Jack Harkness is totally straight, but somehow has reasons to keep flirting, sleeping with, and becoming romantically involved with guys, despite feeling no actual attraction" interpretation.
30th-Dec-2013 09:12 am (UTC)
applauding this entry!

(srlsy tho - Captain Jack is straight?!?!)
30th-Dec-2013 10:15 am (UTC)
If Trevor is straight then I am a fucking Clanger. I have seen enough of that game to know that his sexuality is "if it can be fucked I will try to fuck it" and his other identities seem to converge around "I am batshit insane".
30th-Dec-2013 02:13 pm (UTC)
Nobody tries to contest that he'll fuck a teddy bear, but a man? Surely he can't be serious.

('If Trevor is straight then I am a fucking Clanger' cracked me up, incidentally.)
30th-Dec-2013 05:44 pm (UTC)
WHAT IF IT WAS A MALE TEDDY BEAR
30th-Dec-2013 02:26 pm (UTC)
In my limited experience, the more straight guys there are in a fandom, the more they will protest that any of the male characters aren't straight. I saw it in Red Dwarf fandom and that's a show with an entire episode of Lister missing Rimmer and eventually dreaming of a kiss.

...And then realising Rimmer is a massive smeghead but that's not the point.

"But it's not quite on the level of the 'why are you writing Doctor/Jack/Rose fanfiction? Captain Jack Harkness is straight' review I once got."

....DOES THIS PERSON HAVE EYES.
31st-Dec-2013 01:27 pm (UTC)
I've got nothing to add, I just wanted to drop a line here to say that you're a wonderful person and you've got my opinion down exactly. Also, I want the words "IT'S NOT A MISINTERPRETATION, IT'S JUST AN INTERPRETATION" tattooed across my fists.
2nd-Jan-2014 05:10 am (UTC)
Great post! I don't know all the examples but overall you really nailed this.
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