Ok. so. For
weeksmonths now we’ve been having a discussion about representation erasure with Caitlin’s character going from lesbian to bi. I’ve been seeing a lot of discussion now post-viewing about how the scene is queerbaiting. Yes. To both.
I’d like to share with you how I viewed the scene.
The first thing you need to know is that I identify as being bi. A few years ago I didn’t, I’m 28 and it took the first 26 years of my life to figure this out because, despite rationally knowing how I felt and believing in a sliding scale of sexuality, I had a lot of people in my life telling me it was either one or the other. I had to choose. I had straight people telling me this. I had gay people telling me this, and there was a tiny piece of me that thought hey, it must be true. So I decided that I would identify straight until, at some point in the future, maybe I would find a nice girl and come out.
I was told I had to be one or the other. Either straight or gay.
I had to choose one.
So here’s Caitlin saying ‘hey, both’ in such a casual manner. Like duh. How about you, Stiles?
I have a few things to say about this. First: it feels really amazing to see ‘hey, both’ on tv. We don’t get very much of that.
Second: she’s telling Stiles ‘you can have both.’ I identify a lot with this scene, because in him I see someone who maybe hadn’t considered he could have both. I see someone who had been told one or the other, and he knew he liked girls, so…
But guys? Probably not, if he could only choose one. But Caitlin is saying “don’t choose, do you like guys?”
And Stiles? He didn’t say no. To me, this is character development and his mind is opening to the possibility that it isn’t an either/or dichotomy. In this scene I see a lot of familiar things in his expressions and hesitations, and whether he comes out as bi canonically or not, he’s thinking about it now. In a way that isn’t an offhanded joke.
This really resonates with me as that ‘ohh’ moment. Oh, why can’t I have both?