Happily Never After

Lately when I check out my timeline on Twitter, I see a lot of bullying, hatred, disrespect and general meanness between people. It stems from several fandoms in various television shows, but most notably it keeps mainly rearing its head between fandoms in the show Once Upon A Time. I started noticing this around the time of San Diego Comic Con. I guess I was oblivious to it until I tweeted about how my online magazine would be interviewing the cast at Comic Con. Once we began using the fandom hashtags to elicit questions we got overwhelmingly bombarded. We received tweets bashing us for certain relationship hashtags we used, we got tweets mentioning us in comments being directed at other fandoms that were rude, and questions that were just all around inappropriate. As my magazine became more and more into the thick of these wars I just couldn't understand why people would be bullying others regarding fandoms. I know it has long existed before Once Upon A Time, certainly we had received some heat over Glee and The Vampire Diaries fandoms in the past and present as well, but nothing on this level. It's because this is more than about television, more than about relationships, it's about inclusion.

No one wants to be left out, no one wants to have their sexualities berated or excluded, no one wants to have the celebrity or television show they idolize ignore or cast aside their feelings or not acknowledge everyone's beliefs. It seems that the Once Upon A Time fans are in an uproar constantly. Whether you are a fan of Swan Queen (Emma Swan and Evil Queen), Captain Swan (Hook and Emma Swan), Sleeping Warrior (Mulan and Aurora), Outlaw Queen (Evil Queen and Robin), Charmers (Prince Charming and Snow White) or Rumbelle (Rumple and Belle) you all want to be included not just in the subtext of writing. Recently AfterEllen conducted their 2014 AfterEllen Ultimate FemSlash Madness Tournament and the Swan Queen fandom were declared the winners. Along with the fandom winning the poll, the stars who make up that fandom Lana Parrilla and Jennifer Morrison were extended an interview request. Swan Queen fans were only able to bask in their victory for a short time before rumors abounded that Morrison's PR camp had declined the interview. Morrison took to Twitter to say that no interview was declined and didn't even know what interview people were tweeting her about.

She then said she was working on getting to the bottom of things and after that said she had clarity and loved the LGBT fans of Swan Queen.

She never back pedaled, but nor did she say she has agreed, or would agree, to the interview.

Since then Morrison has gone on to tweet, and retweet, things involving the Captain Swan fandom. A heterosexual male and female coupling. What the Swan Queen fans continue to want to know is why they can't be validly accepted too. Sure, tweeting you are LGBT friendly is great, but where is the backup with this. With writers continually pairing the heterosexual couples together, the queer fandom wants to have a fairytale ending too. Fairy tale love stories can include LGBT happy endings as well, it's not all death, loss, and destruction.

Marriage in many states is now happening between gay couples, so why can't our television and reality start merge and actually be inclusive? I don't blame the actors or actresses, they are paid to read what the writers have created, but when it comes to LGBT exposure, queer fandoms are at a large disadvantage and that gap is not being closed any time in the near future. What's accepted outside of television isn't being bridged, and the more we allow it, the more we say being equal is not a priority. It's not Morrison or any other actors obligation to be everything to every fandom, of course they shouldn't be biased, but they can never truly be everything to everyone, except themselves.

To all of this I say that no one is perfect. No one will ever be one hundred percent of what you want them to be or idolize them to be. An actor or actress is just one small part of a show, and their lives outside of that show exist in whatever way they chose to live. If you don't agree with what they are doing, how they act, or how they live that life, it's time to start questioning why you follow or idolize them. Bullying or disrespecting others is not acceptable. When we allow that to invade our lives and effect us, we allow someone else to have control. You don't have to stay silent, but you do have to know where and when to draw the line. Inclusion isn't going to be a quick fix to everything. You're going to have to start with one, and wait for the change to take hold. Maybe it won't be today, but the more you pass it around, the more the idea can become a following. I don't want to live in fan fiction or in what little subtext we've been given by writers. I don't know about you, but I would rather take the fandom, over a farce.