TimH wrote:I agree and disagree with you--
For example, I doubt Nightwing is gay, but a gay friend of mine likes to imagine he is. There no doubt are well-intentioned lesbian fans who want their favorite characters to be lesbians.
Well, sure, everyone has their pairing fantasies. Those types (gay or straight) just like to imagine the possibilities because they think it'd be cute. I know there's one artist at DeviantArt that does cute, chibi-esque pictures, and once insinuated Cassie Cain and Steph Brown as a couple, while Tim is afraid of boobs. That doesn't bother me, because it's all meant in satire or fun. She may genuinely think Cass and Steph would make a good couple, and while I disagree, I don't hold anything against that artist. But the thing is, a lot of those shipping fantasies don't bother with things like personality or chemistry. That's how you get fan art of Aztek snuggling with Princess Bubblegum by a campfire.
Really, the intensity of some people's shipping is what gets me. How stalwart they'll be in their shipping, even if they're doing it for purely perverted reasons or if the characters have no chemistry (in which case, they'll change the characters to fit, somehow, so it's not really that character, when you think about it). I mean, a lot of times the only reason people seem to want Superman and Wonder Woman together seem to relate to color coordination or because they're powers/attitudes are so similar. I once saw an online petition (that closed after very few votes) that called for DC to "finally get Batman and Robin together, because they obviously want to" or some crap like that. It was clearly made by someone who still takes an old joke from 1960's too seriously, i.e., an idiot.
Also, there's the "now they're suddenly gay" angle (though I find the webcomic Spinnerette to be a bit of a grey area). It's like no matter how many heterosexual relationships someone has, they still "must be gay", really deep down, because shut up. Sometimes, it's workable, like with Renee Montoya: fairly obscure, not much focus on her romantic life, even though she originated in a cartoon where the series bible stated she had a husband. Or like Ultimate Colossus, where it's a (slightly?) less obscure character, but an alternate version that doesn't replace or shun the original. But doing so and not making it look like tokenism or perversion takes the right kind if finesse that not everyone has, if you ask me.