I had the intention of writing this post without naming names but seeing the way in which you’ve upset so many of my friends within the Once fandom with your interview comment about Swan Queen being incestuous, I decided that this post should be an open letter. Take it or leave it but hopefully it will show you why some of the Swan Queen shippers are up in arms.
By legal definition, the idea of a relationship between Emma and Regina is not incestuous. I am not coming at this from the purely “But they aren’t blood related” defence. For countries that include step-relations, the legal definition of incest generally includes step families unless the affinity has been terminated.
Affinity ordinarily terminates upon the Divorce or death of the blood relation through whom the relationship was formed. Following the divorce or death of his spouse, it is not a violation of incest statutes for a man to marry or have sexual relations with his stepdaughter or his spouse’s sister. (Legal Dictionary)
In some countries the definition of incest does not include step-families and in most countries blood relations have to be within a certain limit. For the Westernised world that tends to mean it is not legal for first cousins to marry (although some States in the US do allow this), but second cousins can. In which case if it turns out Cora is somehow related to Snow’s mother on a cousin or even sister level, by the time we reach Emma, they are most likely second or even third or fourth cousins and therefore the relationship is not incestuous.
The age gap is not seen as applicable by the Swan Queen shippers as in Storybrooke due the fact every adult character is still at the age they were at when the curse took place. Also, in the Fantasy and Science Fiction genres age gaps amongst consenting adults are pretty much ignored because anything can happen in those realms.
I’ve been trying my best to understand why you see this as incestuous, but I can’t wrap my head around it. Snow and Regina do not have a mother/daughter relationship and from what we’ve seen they haven’t since Snow was a girl. Regina and Emma have never seen each other as related and we, the audience, are clear on that fact. Now if you had voiced the idea of Snow not wanting it because of the way Regina enacted her revenge, etc, I could understand it.
There have been questions from the Swan Queen camp about your level of comfort with the LGBTQ community that have been raised from this issue and quite frankly, the “I have gay friends” answer does not cut it for most of us within the community. A lot of us have straight friends, but it doesn’t mean we’re accepting of the attitudes and behaviours of every straight person in existence. People are wondering if your ‘incest’ issue is less to do with incest and more to do with the fact it’s two women.
Now I want to make this clear, I do not know your view point from the vantage point of being in your mind, and I am trying my best to be calm and not aggressive. You may truly not see the harm in the comments you are making and I would rather explain to you why people are taking it in this vein than rant at you and lose perspective of what is happening.
The reality is, we LGBTQ viewers look at things from every standpoint, we question the validity of what we ship. We look at the plausibility of our ships and whilst we don’t always agree on who to pair off, we do look at a pairing from all standpoints to decide whether or not it is feasible. When it comes to the representation of our community on TV we are often in a minority and so we look for subtext. We search for something that gives us grounding and a sense of belonging in a world that, even in 2013 is still trying to marginalise us. Whether you meant to or not people feel that you pushed us further into that box with your comment.
I’m just going to leave this here, if you read it, that’s up to you. If you don’t, that’s up to you. I just felt the need to explain the other viewpoint without the anger that has been bandied around.