I am a proud Destiel shipper and have been ever since The Collectress introduced me to the Supernatural universe. Still, I must admit, the Destiel phenomenon on Twitter and Tumblr astounds me. These fans have found a ship to sail and do so proudly on social media.
While the Destiel ship is not an explicit one on the show, fans of the pairing don’t seem to care. During the premiere of season 9 episode 10, “Road Trip”, the hashtags #Supernatural and #Gadreel trended worldwide as well as the surprising dark horse #ProfoundBond, which fans all know refers directly to the very special relationship Dean and Castiel share.
Still, the slash pairing of Dean Winchester and Castiel, Angel of the Lord may not be every fan’s ideal couple. Many of the fans prefer to concentrate on the show premise of two brothers, saving people, hunting things, and the family business. Not to say that I don’t wholeheartedly support that as an overarching theme of the show, but I also don’t find it superfluous to want two of the main characters to develop their relationship more fully. Thank Chuck I’ve never been trolled specifically for my dreams of Destiel, but there are many who have been bullied within and without the fandom. The Twitter account @SPNAntiBullying was created to help these shippers deal with any encounters of bullying across social media, and seem to genuinely want to keep the fandom getting along as well as possible.
It seems to me, tweeting Destiel has become somewhat of a social experiment. Over the summer, thebacklot.com held their annual Ultimate Slash Madness Tournament with over 7 million votes narrowing the top two slash couples to Sterek (Stiles and Derek from Teen Wolf) and Destiel. Destiel won with over 8 hundred thousand votes, but just by a smidge–those Teen Wolf fans are very capable foes. Throughout the tourney, shippers tweeted, tumbled, and pinned directly to the page to get their OTP votes, myself included.
When the fandom has something to say to The Powers That Be, we tweet ’em. When the fandom has an issue with a writer and a plot (SEE: ROCK AND A HARD PLACE), we tweet. The wonderful thing about the SPNFamily is that the writers do acknowledge and appreciate fan input. When the “Bring Back Castiel” movement was happening during season 7, viewers petitioned, begged, threatened and pleaded to bring back the fan favorite and the writers did just that. When Destiel shippers felt the need to connect on Twitter in a safe space far away from all the wank, they created @ProfoundBondInc and the @DestielNetwork to unite fans, and it is working. Just check out the amazing Tumblr page Destiel Around the World to see the impact that social media has on Destiel, the most OTP of OTPs.
The power of the fandom on social media is real.
Use it for good, young padawan.
The Collectiva Diva (I ship ship it good)