“I have something you don’t have.” | “And what would that be?”
From our SPN fan film, The Other Side. Watch it here
This film helped me sort my Dean feelings into two jars: Identifying With Dean (for which the tomboy femme OtherSide!Dean worked great) and Wanting to Fuck Dean (for which I am STILL WAITING for butchlesbian!Dean).
ALSO THE ENDING OMGGGGGGGGGG! I WANT MORE FROM THIS ALTERNATE TIMELINE PLS.
reblog for comment: I find the superherospectacles’s distinction between tomboy femme and butchlesbian! Dean (superhero’s terms) super interesting…
Idk if anyone is interested in an elaboration but IF SO, HERE GOES:
Butch Lesbian Dean is a Dean I’ve been invested in from the second I started watching Supernatural. In fact, probably the main reason I decided to try watching it and subsequently shotgunned the entire (then) 7.5-season series in a single month is that clawsandsympathy told me Dean would make a great butch lesbian, and she was right.
It’s almost headcanon for me that Dean actually is a butch lesbian. In my head, Supernatural is a show about a hypermasculine butch dyke named Dean and her giant little brother named Sam and they hunt monsters and save people and are terrible at talking about their feelings.
And TPTB just, like, accidentally wrote/cast Dean as a straight dude.
Butch Lesbian Dean, in my head, looks a lot like Jensen Ackles as Dean. She’s probably shorter, but she has that bowlegged swagger. She wears exactly the same clothes — not feminized versions of Dean’s gear, but the same styles and cuts. The only difference is she probably has more trouble finding those clothes in sizes that fit her. She still took John’s jacket in the pilot and practically lived in it until it
got stolen mysteriously disappeared. Her hair might not be quite as short as Jensen’s, but it totally could be, and it definitely wouldn’t be in a pixie cut or a bob or any other feminine style.
If you need a visual, this is a picture of Ivan Coyote, a terrific writer who also happens to be a blond butch. You could also think Rachel Maddow when she’s not on tv. But mostly, just think Dean.
Plenty of butch lesbians IRL are not as extremely masculine as I’m describing Butch Lesbian Dean. Of course! Butch is first and foremost a self-identification and comes in an awesome array of variations. But I’m trying to make the point that when I imagine Dean as a butch, in particular, I’m not imagining much of a change. There’s a way of imagining a female Dean that preserves much of the over-the-top, sometimes goofy, sometimes vulnerable, often toxic masculinity we know and love in the ok-maybe-bisexual but-definitely-male Dean Winchester as written.
The Other Side’s girl!Dean is not that Dean. (Whether being genderswapped by magic makes Dean actually female, or just a man who looks like a woman to the world, is a complicated and interesting question that I’m not going to touch atm.) OS!Dean’s clothes, while completely in keeping with canon!Dean’s style, are also undeniably feminine.
I have to admit, when I first saw the posters for The Other Side, I was a little disappointed. Why does everyone assume that if Sam and Dean got turned female, they’d suddenly become feminine, too? (By “everyone,” I really mean the fact that when I search for girl!Dean images on Tumblr, all I get is Amber Heard. Which, nothing against Amber Heard, she just wasn’t what I had in mind.)
But I’m officially Over It, because OS!Dean is FRICKIN’ AWESOME, ok? Actually both Sam and Dean of The Other Side are awesome, from their casting — even at rest, their features echo Jared and Jensen’s faces — to their acting — their facial expressions, postures, and cadences actively portray characters who are clearly the same people portrayed by the canon actors — and their costuming, which screams iconic Sam and Dean while building a distinct female aesthetic for each of them.
Who knows how OS!Dean would identify herself or her style, but I might describe her as tomboy femme, which is conveniently also how I would identify my style. It’s clearly feminine, but with menswear-inspired touches. It says “I’m a badass” in a way that makes femininity a part of the badassery: celebrating it, not apologizing for it. It challenges normative skirt-and-heels femininity by appropriating more masculine elements and claiming them as its own.
I don’t really want to contrast Tomboy Femme Dean directly with the butch!Dean I imagine. They’re just different. I want to see them both.
I love The Other Side’s Tomboy Femme Dean for the purely self-centered reason that I do identify with Dean Winchester a lot! Even though on the surface, we could not be more different! It’s gratifying to get a taste of what Dean might be like if he were a little more like me, just by virtue of navigating the world in a woman’s body, and a feminine woman’s body at that. It allows me to see myself in him in a more immediate way.
And I have to imagine that in a predominantly female fandom of a show such as Supernatural that is just terrible about women, I can’t be alone in feeling this way. That, in my mind, is what makes The Other Side more than just Supernatural’s first fan film. More than just awesome. It’s also KIND OF IMPORTANT, folks. It’s liberating. It’s giving Supernatural’s female fans something that we deserve, goddammit, and aren’t going to get from canon.
(Unless they make a spinoff about Charlie Bradbury and Garth Fitzgerald IV. I would shriek for for joy, obviously.)
A thoughtful comment by superherospectacles on Tumblr made me realize that there might be some interest in our costuming Sam and Dean for The Other Side. This actually caused me ENDLESS ANGST. I wanted to depict a femme-but-recognizable Sam and Dean, possibly how an “always a girl” Sam and Dean might look. But I didn’t KNOW that’s what I wanted until I wrestled with costuming them, and, ultimately it wasn’t even a fully conscious thought until I read shs’s thoughts above. Initially I thought we would have them in their men’s clothes throughout, because who stops a case to clothes shop? But when I started shopping for outfits to match Jared and Jensen’s actual sizes (the most stalkery googling I’ve ever done, and that’s saying something), I realized that there was no way that would work. I couldn’t even FIND jeans in Jared’s size easily (fucken eat some hamburgers, dude), and by the time I’d tried on a few “little” Jensen-sized jackets, I realized they’d be swimming in the clothes the whole time. It’d hamper their ability to fight and, although I couldn’t articulate it at the time,
Thank god for Naomi, who listened to my flailing angst in one ear while calmly writing in the perfect solution, which is that Sam goes out in the middle of the night to rob an Urban Outfitters for his beloved brother and then drops the clothes on his head. LOL. She understood the characters we were presenting from the start; she knew instinctively what took me an unholy number of hours in Old Navy and a tumblr commenter to really figure out.
(The white nightgown twist was probably my favorite contribution to the film, but I won’t elaborate on it because I hope comes across as the loving F-U it is without my help.)
I’m sorry I don’t know how to do a text cut. (Is that even possible on Tumblr? I am old. Sorry, sorry.