Athletics historians would have you believe that wrestling is oldest sport in the world. After all, archaeologists recently unearthed a fragment of papyrus dating back to 100 A.D. that lists a simple set of instructions for young men who wished to engage in the pastime. (“1: Take off your clothes. 2: Roll around on the ground with another naked man,” presumably.) However there is a sport even older (and gayer) than wrestling, and it dates back to 600 B.C., when, on the Isle of Lesbos, the Greek poet Sappho began training young women in the art of Lesbian Shipping.
Maybe it is the femininity of the recreation that has caused it to be overlooked by scholars all these years. Or perhaps it is the game’s innate brutality. The theoretical rules of Lesbian Shipping are as simple as those of ancient wrestling — 1) Choose two fictional female characters. 2) Hope and wish and pray and plead and will them together with all your might. — but in practice, the sport is often violent and bloody. For nearly a century, gay women have been petitioning the International Olympic Committee to include Lesbian Shipping in the Summer Games, but after the Great Tibette Massacre during The L War (2004-2009), IOC Chairman Jacques Rogge reportedly called the sport “scary as hell” and said it wouldn’t even be considered for acceptance until lesbian shippers “stop maiming and axe-murdering one another.”
Yet despite the savageness of the competition, Lesbian Shipping is enjoyed by gay women of all ages all over the world, from little league shippers watching Adventure Time and hoping to see a kiss between Marceline and Princess Bubblegum to semi-pro shippers Tumblr-ing and Twitter-ing about their OTPs until their fingers bleed. And, of course, there are the big league lesbian shippers, the actors who play the characters who inspire the passion (and the fan fiction). Which brings us to today’s gold medal matchup between Glee‘s Naya Rivera and Pretty Little Liars‘ Lindsey Shaw.
Grab your popcorn and your smelling salts. It’s about to get awesome up in here.
ROUND ONE — Shaw lands an early, easy blow with an unprompted tweet of Paily support, utilzing both the ship name and the appropriate Twitter hashtag. Rivera counters with news that she’s back on the Glee set filming a Brittana scene, putting to rest the fear that Santana has bounced out of Lima forever for season four.
Round one winner: Naya Rivera
ROUND TWO — Rivera comes out swinging, letting fans know that Santana is not only sharing the screen with Brittany; she’s sweetly serenading Brittany. Shaw ducks the ditty and unleashes a battle cry to rally the troops for an episode of Pretty Little Liars. The “hoo” of her “woo” is powered by FOUR extra Os. She follows with a fan interaction in which she, too, sings a song in her heart.
Round two winner: Lindsey Shaw
ROUND THREE — Shaw tag-teams her shipmate, Shay Mitchell, in a behind-the-scenes Instagram moment meant to strike adorable terror into the hearts of every dissenter. Rivera counters with an equally ridiculous/hilarious photo of her shipmate, Heather Morris.
Round three winner: Draw.
ROUND FOUR — Shaw sheds actual Paige McCullers-sized tears while name-checking the greatest lesbian website on the internet and invoking the traditional proclamation made when a new monarch ascends the throne. [Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi! Translation: Maya is dead. Long live the love dunk.] And in a surprise move, Naya Rivera concedes the match! She, too, was betting that Cousin Nate was a psychopath! She, too, desires the happiness of Emily Fields over all other Liars!
Round four winner: Lindsey Shaw
Congratulations, Lindsey Shaw, for taking home a gold medal in Sapphic Shipping! May the odds remain ever in your favor!