Why I Identify with a Fictional Angel

Originally posted on Tumblr but posted here for archiving. Please note that my views and experiences may have changed since this post was written.

Okay so by the time this is posted, my post about the cons of ace!Cas should have been posted. I’m terrible at technology so it might not have, so I’ll give a short intro.

I stumbled upon a piece of fan fiction with a Supernatural character called Castiel in it. That’s not overly surprising – he’s a main character after all. What was surprising for me, however, was the fact that he was asexual, and that it was the best fanfic I’d ever read.I was rather surprised that I engaged with the story so well. It was well-written, but I read a lot of things that are well-written and they never make me as happy as I was when I read this fic. So what was it?

Part way through, I realised; it was Castiel. He was asexual, but more than that, I felt like I could identify with him. It was like those moments people describe when they find AVEN for the first time and go ‘hey, that’s me!’ I looked at a fictional angel who was currently a theatre student in an American college and thought, ‘he’s like me’.

You probably don’t know this, but I’m not an American theatre student. I’m also not a guy, and I’m not an angel. I’m ace (grey-a specifically as my url hopefully suggests), sure, but is that a reason to identify with someone? I didn’t think so. If he was a murderer and a scoundrel (but also ace) I would probably dislike him very much, and I don’t identify with Sheldon or Sherlock, who many people see as your ‘usual’ or stereotyped asexuals (more of that in my previous post hurray).

So what was it about him that was like me? What was it about the story that I found so exciting? Basically, everything that happened to lovely little Cas were things I could easily imagine happening to me. He’s a shy one, who feels uncomfortable and uneasy about coming out. He worries about having a relationship with someone. He doesn’t want to inconvenience anyone else or get laughed at or made a fool of and that’s basically how I always feel. I’m shy, and the idea of saying to people ‘I’m grey-asexual’ just makes me feel nervous for a myriad of reasons that I’m likely to stretch into a completely different post.

Cas went through all the troubles I’ve imagined going through, and he came out the other side with no major embarrassing moments or character deaths. And that’s what makes me so happy about the ace!Cas fics I’ve found; they don’t have sad endings.

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