Think of queer coding as something in the text that hides in plain sight. An example of overtly queer text in Teen Wolf would be Danny and Ethan’s relationship. And an example of coded queer text in Teen Wolf would be the scene in which Caitlyn asks Stiles whether he is bisexual, and he doesn’t answer, leaving it an open secret. Another example would be using popular romantic tropes and then repeatedly applying them to a LGBT+ couple, which is where Sterek comes in.
We have a fictional world where homosexuality is shown to be no big deal. Stiles is canonically “heavily hinted” as bisexual (Davis’ words, not mine), so with that in mind we have to take certain moments in the series seriously, where we wouldn’t necessarily accept them as serious in another show. For example, Derek and Stiles’ relationship moves from comedic/flirty, to Stiles being there for Derek at some of his lowest points (Boyd’s death, the lift scene, Kate’s return). In another series we might assume they are simply comedic foils for one another, that the comments like Matt’s, “You make a good pair” are simply no homos made for cheap laughs, and that the serious moments between them are purely there to pack emotional impact (comedy/tragedy are awesome bedfellows). But when you take into account Davis and co’s spoken interest for queer representation in TW, their pattern of subverting tropes and creating a fictional world free of homophobia, then the fact that Derek and Stiles’ relationship follows a popular pattern of romantic couples in Western media is no coincidence. It is purposeful. It’s in the text for a reason, hiding in plain sight. If the heavy hints towards Stiles’ bisexuality are purposeful, and Davis has told us they are (adding in one interview that this was “spoiler territory”), then we have to question:
- who has Stiles had a relationship with which has been developing since s1?
- why was An Incident at Owl Creek Bridge used for Derek’s dream sequence?
- why is it that s3b and s4 we were consistently given Derek and Stiles’ reaction shots when the other was in danger?
In another series, I’d write this off as unimportant. But if Davis is trying to shut Sterek down, separating the two isn’t the way to do it. A good example of shutting down the potential for romance in a relationship is Stydia. They have continued working together, but their scenes have markedly changed. Stiles no longer gives her forlorn, heartbroken looks, and more importantly he’s not awkward around her either. They hug and touch a lot, but it’s never framed or treated as romantic. Their relationship is strong, but that romantic tension has dissipated and developed into platonic, adult love. In addition, we have Lydia who both tells us she is done with teenage boys and has a slowly developing chemistry with Parrish. That’s how you shut down a ship. The same can’t be said with Derek and Stiles, something that is most obvious in the finale and throughout s4 with where Stiles is continuously given the reaction shots whenever something happens to Derek. There’s a continuing build up of tension in their relationship that hasn’t paid off in any overt way, which strongly suggests that it will.
Hope that made some kind of sense, Nonnie! Sorry for the lengthy ranting. ^^;
GAME DAY 💚💛 #nofilter #bestfreshmanclass #lhs #gobigorhohome #greenandgold #ugliestshirtever #firstweek