Almost all fandoms have their “dark ships”, which are characters paired together in a romantic context that… aren’t really spoken about. Fans of these ships relegate themselves to the various corners of the Internet where they can more freely talk about them with like-minded fans, but they’re not something that is brazenly waved around like a flag. You don’t trip and fall into them. It takes sometimes significant effort to find them.
However… in the Supernatural fandom, people actually ship Sam and Dean Winchester — brothers — and they are brazen about it. This represents a significant difference in how dark ships are normally treated. People put it in their biographies on Twitter (calling it w*ncest, and for personal reasons I refuse to write that any other way), in some other social media biographies or about pages as well, and they are proud of it.
Without getting into the genetic and moral implications of that (“ship and let ship”, even if you grit your teeth doing it), a lot of the respect that Hellers — people who ship Castiel and Dean Winchester — attempt to give w*ncest shippers is completely lost on them. It’s flouted. Sometimes it’s shoved in people’s faces. Hellers are sometimes repeatedly, loudly told that they are “shipping necrophilia” because Castiel originally, consensually inhabits the vessel of Jimmy Novak before Lucifer makes his vessel explode and Chuck just plain resurrects him as that vessel. (But what about Dean, who Castiel literally raised from the dead at the start of season four? This is almost never brought up in the context of shipping Dean with… well, anyone else.) We’re also sometimes repeatedly, loudly reminded that there is a significant age gap between Dean and Castiel — suspending some belief here, because this is a supernatural television show that we’re talking about, Castiel is an angel who has been around since nearly the dawn of time, that is to be expected, and both of them are adults. I always failed to understand that attack on the Heller ship, though, to be honest…
One of the things that I also dislike about dealing with those who ship w*ncest are their proclivities to drag people’s personal lives into it. During a debate, I mentioned that I had sent my autistic son (Bub) to his room because he was beginning to melt down. This is literally part of his care plan. I was accused of “sending my child away so (that) I could talk on Twitter”, which was literally the furthest thing from the truth. Not too long ago, because I was not physically able to distance myself from him in time, he bit the top of my right breast so hard that he took out a small chunk of skin and it began to bleed through my shirt. Within forty-eight hours, it turned into severe cellulitis because I am immunocompromised, which prompted a visit to urgent care to eventually find out that my bite wound had been infected with MRSA. Yes, human bites can do that.
Given the… injury as it was, the doctor that treated me at urgent care was surprised that I didn’t pass out.
I’ve been working with Bub’s occupational therapist on ethical restraints to prevent injury during meltdowns.
But seriously, I do the things I do — especially with my children — for reasons, instructed by their care teams.
On another “but seriously”, though, if you want us to respect your ship… please actually respect our ship.