I love platonic relationships. I love strong friendships between people of any gender with no underlying romantic or sexual tensions. I love strong friendships between siblings.
What I do not love is when platonic relationships are turned into ships by fans.
Look, I get it. I really do. A lot of people who ship platonic friends as romantic or sexual partners are soul-searching for their own gender or sexual identities, placing relationships they want to explore in the centre of their imagination. I really do understand that there aren’t a whole lot of diverse options for you to read about, so you turn your favourite relationships into something ‘more’.
You know what I’m talking about. Harry/Draco/Hermione is only one example of many.
I think it’s an issue for me because I don’t want affection and casual touching and caring deeply about someone to always have to be sexual.
Girls are already allowed to have casual touching and affection with each other, in fact it’s encouraged. Girl hugs and smooshing your faces together for selfies are nothing new.
But boys should be allowed to hug each other without saying ‘no homo’ or being labelled a ‘bromance’. Boys should be allowed to casually cuddle because physical touch is an important comfort that little boys lose once they reach adulthood, and then it’s only OK if it’s with a heterosexual partner or their own kids.
Girl-boy friendships should not always centre around if they’re going to bang or not. Not only does this actively exclude ace people, but it turns something innocent into something not, and it makes me feel gross.
And siblings should be allowed to share a bed without anyone assuming something sexual is going on, they’re siblings for fuck sake, even when they’re adults. I mean come on, you’re really showing your own thoughts when you assume that about siblings.
Luckily I think we are seeing an upswing in the diversity of our reading material. The more casually diverse (and by ‘casually diverse’ I mean not token, or not the plot of the story ie a gay kid coming out as the main plot) characters we see represented, the better it is for everyone.
I’m loving seeing not only more F/F books, and non-binary characters, but I’m also appreciating more ace characters.
But I just don’t think someone needs to identify as ace to mitigate sexual tension or romance in fiction.
Not everything is sexual.
Especially in YA.