Shay Mitchell ships Emily and Santana


What’s that sound? Oh, nothing, just the sound of the collective Glee and Pretty Little Liars fandoms exploding. While fans are always apt to put their favorite characters together, seldom do the stars themselves select their own ships. But Pretty Little LiarsShay Mitchell is doing just that with Glee’s Naya Rivera.

She told the New York Post this week that she is in favor of each show’s resident lesbian character hooking up. You and every other lesbian, honey. As she told the paper:

Naya … my so called doppelganger! How fun would that be if Santana and Emily dated! I support it 100 percent! I’ll tell the writers and call Naya – let’s make it happen. Although it might be weird, I mean, we’re different ethnicities, but we do look a bit alike. It might be a bit like making out with myself. I saw her at a party once and thought, “Whoa, we do look similar.”

Indeed, the two lovely dark-haired, olive-skinned actresses do bear more than a passing resemblance. Heck, even their names are similar. Though, of course, their respective characters Emily and Santana are pretty different. Emily is gracious and kind. Santana is caustic and rhymes with “itchy.” But both characters have grown and bared their hearts, so who knows, maybe those crazy kids could work.

Plus, if they dated the combined hotness factor would be off the charts. Like if seeing them two people apart in this picture from a Golden Globes after party earlier this year is almost enough to melt screens across the globe.

Shay also tweeted out encouragement to Naya over the weekend for her work in last week’s episode of Glee. I love it when stars from one show love another show. It’s like universes colliding but without the pesky ripping of a hole into the space-time continuum.

Of course, all this has the respective, and now collective fandoms, on fire. So now the serious business of naming this self-selected ship is at hand. Amazingly, there didn’t seem to be a universally agreed upon portmanteau for the coupling yet. So let’s rectify that here. I put it to a Twitter vote and “Shaya” won out. Though I’m also rather partial to “ShaNaya.” And for the characters of Emily and Santana, I think we almost have to go with “Smily.” Already the legions of Tumblesbians have been hard at work Photoshopping the twosome together on Tumblr.

Photo manipulation courtesy of

Man, if those T-shirts were real I would buy, like, 20.

Of course, all of this is in good fun. We shippers come in peace. But what’s best about it is how open and receptive both Shay and Naya have been to fans. Both have taken their characters to heart, and are mindful of the impact their storylines have on legions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and questioning fans.

All the actresses involved in the lesbian/bisexual storylines on Glee and Pretty Little Liars have been extraordinarily supportive of their fans and want to do their relationships justice. That includes Lindsey Shaw who has brought poignancy to closeted Paige and Heather Morris who has been vulnerable and adorable as Gleek Brittany. As Heather told

We just shot a scene yesterday that I’m excited for the fans to see. People don’t want their relationship to be a joke. They want it to be real. It had an impact on people.

While we enjoy fantasizing about imaginary ships and general gaiety, what’s most important is that these actresses have been wonderful supporters and strong advocates for their gay fans. That they’re in on the joke only makes it better.

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