And the winner of the 2014 AfterEllen Ultimate Femslash Madness Tournament is…

 
 
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During the final round of voting for this year’s Femslash Madness Tournament several people quipped that Swan Queen vs. Bering and Wells could actually be a competition for: Which Pairing Has Been Treated More Horribly by Its Writers? Which is precisely why Femslash still matters so much.

Sure, queer visibility is growing in leaps and bounds on TV, but gay folks are still wildly underrepresented and we’re never going to achieve true equality until writers are willing to go all in on unexpected same-sex couples like they would with unexpected opposite-sex pairings. Femslash is also important because fandom is a safe place where so many of us work out our sexuality through forming queer friendships and creating fan art and fan videos and writing fan fiction about our favorite characters.

And it’s a place where we’re forced to snap out of being passive story consumers, never questioning the cliched, lifeless narratives that get piped into our brains by network executives who seem perpetually bamboozled by technology, gay people, and women (in that order). Femslash causes us to engage with story in new and exciting ways, and it forces us to question the hows and whys of the way TV gets made. Femslash makes you smarter. And tougher. And all-around awesome-er.

No one understands that better than gay ladies who love(d) Warehouse 13 and Once Upon a Time. This year’s tournament was the most civil, hardest fought battle we’ve ever hosted. And now we’d like to crown the 2014 champions:

Emma and Regina, Once Upon a Time

swag-queen-champions-2 Congratulations, Swan Queen-ers! A well-deserved victory from a fandom that never accepts defeat!

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And thank you to everyone who participated in our tournament this year!

 
 

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