Finding a great queer romance in our favorite films, comic books, and TV shows is usually about as easy as finding diversity at a Republican National Convention.
However, that hasn’t stopped fans from finding ways to help their favorite characters find a little forbidden love. In fact, Shipping – the vocal desire of fans to pair two characters in a romantic relationship through social media campaigns, fan art and fanfiction – has become an integral part of fandom.
An entire fleet of gay ships have been launched over the years with passionate fan followings of their own who would like nothing more than to see their two favorite guys sail across the same-sex seas.
Here are 10 gay ships fans love to love – and hate.
1.) Kirk and Spock – Star Trek
This is the one that started it all. The granddaddy of all ships. Kirk/Spock fired up the warp engine of the slash fiction genre and spawned a federation of fans long before the Internet became a sanctuary for such stories. Fan ‘zines were regularly published featuring the intimate adventures of these two “space husbands” throughout the ’70s and ’80s – and it’s a tradition that boldly continues today.
2.) Steve and Bucky – Captain America
A pairing so powerful it began trending with the hashtag #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend on social media. But it isn’t just a favorite fantasy in fandom. The romantic subtext between Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes in the Captain America films is so blatant even Dare Devil can see it. If it hasn’t set off your gaydar yet, watch Captain America: Civil War once more. It’s the Top Gun of the Marvel cinematic universe.
3.) John Watson and Sherlock Holmes – Sherlock
It’s elementary my dear fanboys. Sherlock and Dr. Watson’s subtextual love affair began decades before this popular incarnation of their adventures aired. And with Benedict Cumberbatch playing the World’s Greatest Detective in this BBC production you don’t need a string of clues to figure out why fan thirst for these chaps is currently unquenchable.
4.) Charles and Eric – X-Men
Sure, the relationship between Professor Xavier and Magneto has been a complex one since Marvel’s merry mutants made their debut in 1963. But since James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender stepped into the roles with the latest trilogy of films, the two have seemed more like scorned lovers than mutant brothers. Their chemistry on screen is what earned them the shipping name “Cherik” and enough naughty fan art to make McAvoy blush on The Graham Norton Show.
RELATED: 11 Uncanny Gay And Bisexual X-Men
5.) Draco and Harry – Harry Potter
In a world where goblins, house-elves and ghosts are commonplace, it’s really not much of a stretch to think that Draco and Harry might have practiced their wand-wielding technique with one another on a lonely night in a dark Hogwarts dorm room. In fact, a quick Google search for their shipping name, “Drarry,” shows many fans have thought the young wizards may have studied spellcasting with each other more than once. Much more.
6.) Tim Drake and Conner Kent/Kon-El – Teen Titans
The beloved fan-favorite versions of Superboy and Robin may no longer be a part of the current DC Comics universe, but the desire for some fans to see the bromance between these two Titans evolve into a super-powered romance is alive and well online. A search for “TimKon” art proves their love is still going strong in an alternate universe.
7.) Sam and Frodo – Lord of the Rings
A couple tailor-made for memes.
Sam and Frodo may have just been really good friends when Tolkien sat down to craft one of the most epic stories of all time, but the performances of Elijah Wood and Sean Astin as the beloved Hobbits in the Lord of the Rings films opened the door to a softer side of our heroes from Middle-earth – and shipping fans didn’t hesitate to sail on through.
8.) Finn and Poe – Star Wars
These two guys from a galaxy far, far away awakened a force of a different kind in Star Wars fandom. Their potential romance launched a fleet of ships on social media, and the man who brought Poe to life on the big screen (Oscar Isaac) hasn’t exactly been shy about his thoughts on the subject. “I think it’s a very subtle romance that’s happening,” Isaac teased during an appearance on Ellen. “You have to just look very closely. You have to watch it a few times to see the little hints, but there was. At least, I was playing romance.”
We’re not sure if that lip bite was very subtle, Oscar, but we love you for it.
9.) Dean and Castiel – Supernatural
The relationship between Dean Winchester and the angel Castiel (nicknamed “Destiel”) is perhaps one of the most frustrating among shippers. The relentless romantic teases between these two men over several seasons with zero payoff has earned Supernatural a reputation for being one of the biggest queerbaiting shows on the planet. Nevertheless that hasn’t stopped many fans from holding out hope that one day their beloved “Destiel” will have a chance to Marvin Gaye and get it on.
10.) Stiles and Derek – Teen Wolf
The Titanic of gay ships! The will-they-won’t-they tension between Stiles Stilinski and Derek Hale was one of the reasons fans howled for MTV’s Teen Wolf during its first two seasons. However, when the network and creative minds behind the show began to distance themselves from the idea of a “Sterek” romance (after shamelessly teasing viewers for months), fans turned against their beloved wolf pack and the show’s ratings sank dramatically.