Here’s the thing, though:
(this is chock full of my personal opinions. you have been warned.)
I’ve been seeing a lot of thoughts and opinions floating around here about Regina: her past, her present, and her ever after. What she deserves, who she deserves, and what kind of person she really is are constant debates offered up by people who support her and those that don’t.
I normally steer clear of these discussions because they only lead to anger but there has been some excessive discourse between ships due to the hiatus and as of late the poll and although I am normally a quiet person, I am talking now.
Whether or not you want to outwardly admit it, Regina is one of the most relevant characters on television today. Regina represents the broken people. She represents the people who walk around everyday burdened with the knowledge that they will forever be judged by those who will never understand their pain, people whose past is destruction and chaos, people whose best day is the stuff of other people’s nightmares.
Regina represents the battered, the bruised, the weathered and worn, the good people who have had unspeakable bad happen to them. She represents the liars, the thieves, the criminals, the ones who have squandered chances due to pride and lost faith in goodness. She represents those who have ever wanted vengeance, who have ever wanted revenge. She represents those who feel perpetually alone in this ever growing world.
People like me.
And, I will argue, people like you.
You may excluded yourself from this generalization if you have never lied, never been angry enough for revenge never sought an opportunity to act on that anger, never once thought of yourself over someone else. You have never overreacted to a situation and found yourself buried too far in the ground to climb back out. You have always seen the good in every situation you have ever faced.
Everyone still with me?
Good, let’s move on.
Now, what if I were to tell you that even though you aren’t perfect, you’ve made bad choices, you have a temper, and sometimes you react horridly wrong to things, that someone out there loved you.
You’d like that right? You’d relish the thought that who you are is more telling than what you’ve done. That who you are is beautiful, worth love and affection. Right?
Yeah, I would, too.
An argument I see a lot is that people only want Swan Queen because it is imperative that the GLTB community have equal exposure; and don’t get me wrong, that is a very real, very important reason for me as well.
However, more specifically, and more personally, I want Swan Queen for me. For people like me. For people like you. I want the most damaged, broken, pained character I have ever seen to be saved. I want her to be shown that she is still worthy of love, that her past doesn’t define her, that although she has done unspeakable things and had them done to her, she is still beautiful in someone’s eyes.
For Regina, I need that person to be Emma. The Savior. The only Hope. The product of true love. The literal happy ever after of the most iconic love story of all time.
I need Regina to be reminded of her worth, her beauty, her humanity.
I want this because being pained, being broken, being damaged is human. Having a past is human. Doing bad things and having them done to you is human. And I want to be beautiful to someone, despite how dark my past may be, how many bad decisions I’ve made.
To be perfectly honest, Regina could look like the hag from the animated Snow White and I would ship it. It’s not about physical attraction. It wouldn’t matter what gender they were, I would ship it. It’s never been about gender for me. It wouldn’t matter if they were in different realms eternally unable to exist together, I would ship it. It wouldn’t matter if they shared a son or not, I would still ship it. It wouldn’t matter if they were second cousins on their crazy Uncle Phil’s side, I would still ship it.
It’s written in the narrative. It’s the fabric that holds the story together. It’s in every ‘present day’ scene, every glimpse into their past. It’s written in their being and it defines them. True love defines them. Hope defines them and they are each other’s second chance.
So, I will ship it regardless because, as much as I’m rooting for a same-sex couple to be placed at the front line of American television, as much as I’m shipping the characters, whose chemistry is undeniable, as much as I’m shipping the Evil Queen and the Savior, as much as I’m shipping the sheriff and the mayor, there is something I ship more.
I ship the broken with love.
I ship the defeated with hope.
I ship bad decisions with another chance.
I ship this human life with fairy tale endings.
So, while everyone is busy fighting each other, asking: does Regina deserve her happy ending? Does she deserve forgiveness? Does she deserve love? Does she deserve to be alone forever?
I’m going to ask: Do you?
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