What queerbaiting is:
- When the creator knowingly and intentionally has two or more otherwise heterosexual characters engage in actions that are classically coded as non-heterosexual with the purpose of courting slash fandom’s interest, while simultaneously having no interest whatsoever in writing any of said characters as non-heterosexual.
What queerbaiting is not:
- When your otp won’t get together in canon.
Things that I know:
- It’s hard for fandom to take their slash goggles off sometimes.
- That’s okay, actually, there’s nothing wrong with that.
- You can ship whoever you want, whenever you want, don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.
- It can be hard to tell if a creator is queerbaiting even when you don’t have slash goggles permanently welded to your face.
- Queerbaiting is a valuable term.
- I for one will be very sad if it goes the way of the spoon metaphor, where a helpful phrase used by the disabled was co-opted by a bunch of people (including myself at one point) who wanted a cool way to say they didn’t feel like doing X, instead of— like in the metaphor’s original use— they were physically unable to do so due to their invisible disability.
- Next time you say queerbaiting, just try to… think about… it?
- Like, has the spectre of actual homosexuality and / or bisexuality ever come up in text, only to be refused, smacked down, or ignored?
- I’m not talking like #EYEFUCKING or whatever.
- I’m specifically referring to instances where it’s blatantly brought, either in text or by the media.
- It can honestly be hard to tell for sure sometimes, especially when you know Adam and Steve’s love is so true and pure. All I’m asking is for you to take a few seconds and take a deep breath before yelling QUEERBAITING.
- If you’re not sure, it might be safer to just say ‘this would be a good opportunity for the creator to write canon gay characters, and isn’t it a shame that they aren’t?’
- Because what queerbaiting means is that the creator is aware of this and is intentionally not doing that, because they don’t actually care about the representation cookies, they’re just banking on your slash goggles.