Voltron

The revelation last week about the character Shiro on Voltron: Legendary Defender and his sexual orientation received a lot of positive reactions. Many fans were delighted to hear such a strong character who represented Asians, amputees, and those who struggle with mental illness in a positive light, was also a representative of the LGBT community. The news has resulted in fans shipping for a particular pairing to come true. In the long run, this may not be the best idea.

SPOILERS For VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER Season 6

During the events of Season 6, it is revealed Shiro had essentially died, had been replaced by a clone, and his consciousness was locked in the black lion. In an effort to reach out to Shiro’s clone and break him from Hagar’s control, Keith tried to connect with the doppelganger by saying, “Shiro, please! You’re my brother. I love you!” Many agreed this scene was one of the best to come from the entire series.

Voltron

Fans of the Keith and Shiro relationship (“Sheith” as the couple’s relationship is known) eagerly jumped at this news and hoped it would signify the two characters being together in the future. Most of the time, shippers need two characters to be in a room together or share a glance to signify they have a connection and bond. For one character to scream, “I love you,” regardless of the context it is in, a shipper can easily point to it and say, “This proves they were made for one another.” Unfortunately, this may not be the best idea. Why? Because Keith not being gay has the chance to deliver an even more powerful message.

To reinforce the opening paragraph, the reveal about Shiro being gay is awesome. He is a strong leader, a good friend, and a valuable member of the team. His sexuality doesn’t change these dynamics of his character in the slightest. This being said, Keith not being gay would help to showcase another important message which is just as critical: Education

Voltron

The character Keith represents the loner. An angry young man who hasn’t had a family since he was a child, always felt out of place, and eternally searching for who he was. It took many episodes, life-threatening battles with his team, and years of drifting through space with his estranged alien mother to finally come to terms with being able to express his feelings. By embracing these feelings, Keith was able to conquer one of his great challenges in a battle which eventually saved the soul of someone he cares for as a mentor, friend, and brother.

Why is such a distinction important? It’s time to bring in a term many have heard about, but few know the actual definition: Toxic Masculinity.

The concept of toxic masculinity is used in psychology and gender studies to refer to certain norms of masculine behavior…associated with harm to society and to men themselves. Traditional stereotypes of men as socially dominant, along with related traits such as misogyny and homophobia, can be considered “toxic” due to their promotion of violence, including sexual assault and domestic violence.

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Though Keith doesn’t entirely personify the idea of Toxic Masculinity, he does display some of the characteristics early in the series. Keith lost his father, didn’t know his mother, and his impressive skills as a pilot made it so his time in the Garrison didn’t challenge him or give him a way to break out of his shell. Though it could be attributed to turning off his emotions and not being able to connect with others, such a method led to him becoming aggressive and at times violent. It was only through Shiro’s help and mentoring, teaching Keith lessons like “Patience yields focus” was he able to become a caring and compassionate individual. Keith didn’t need a lover. He needed a mentor to help to show him how to properly present himself as a man. Shiro assumed this role and helped to sculpt Keith into a more caring and compassionate individual. The mentoring aspect of their relationship is why Keith loves Shiro like a brother.

If Keith and Shiro were to end up together, it would be a beautiful thing. They are a great pairing of a loner and the individual who helped him to understand it was okay to be happy and helped him be the best person possible. On the other hand, if Keith and Shiro remain friends, the show has a chance to provide a great example of how a man can change. It would show a man who was expressing several characteristics of Toxic Masculinity and evolved through positive relationships. Keith learned it was okay to have feelings for others, to be open, and care for something other than himself.

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Still, there is something to be said about the idea helping to shape the interactions of men in media. This is why role models are so important. Keeping Shiro and Keith’s relationship platonic can show how a straight man can have a close, non-sexual relationship with a gay man without worrying about it becoming romantic. This will help to break down the barrier formed by individuals who foolishly believe having a connection with a gay person changes you. It will also help to move in the right direction to take down Toxic Masculinity. It won’t be a total defeat of the concept but it will be a positive step.

How men and boys act in today’s society is a tough topic to cover all at once, but the cast and crew of Voltron: Legendary Defender has a chance to send a profound social message which could resonate and start conversations. It is possible and acceptable to have platonic feelings for a gay person without being gay yourself. Loving others platonically helps to break down barriers, bring people closer, and make the world a little better in the end.


Do you agree with the article or do you still feel Keith and Shiro should still end up together? Leave a comment below and let us know.

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122 COMMENTS

  1. Okay, but can you give any other situation like this (animated series targeted to children and adults who are predominantly male) that actually represents a male main character explicitly showing and sharing romantic feelings towards another male main character? There already has been too many instances where a gay man is depicted to be “best friends” with a straight man in mainstream media. There is no balance. Media obviously has a bias towards representing different aspects of being straight but not gay. Well, media has contributed to the queer community by participating or creating or reinforcing certain tropes that somehow affect queer people negatively (making them the villain, never having a love intereat, never being the main character, expressing infidelity and promiscuity, being too “straight-acting” or “gay-acting”, and worst of all, acting as if their homosexuality does not matter in the story). We can start representing the different aspects of being straight when there is a balance. Having Shiro not end up with Keith can show cowardice from the studio (DW). It means they don’t think the cartoon industry is not “ready” for queer representation. We want to show all kids that it’s not only okay to be “different” from others, to like the same sex, that it’s okay to be gay, but also to show that queer people also deserve to have the happy ending that is due to them. Not letting Shiro and Keith, after all they’ve been through, is not giving them the happy ending they deserve. Depriving, again, queer children around the world of another opportunity of showing them they deserve a happy ending after all the hardship they’ve gone through.

    Tl;dr
    Did you just straight-splain how to show queer representation?

  2. Dude, what the heck of a panic article am I reading? Are you scared or something? You must be seeing some “100% brotherly” things other sheith fellas do.хD
    Anyway, don’t you think it’s better wait for the end of the series and THEN lose your sh*t about sheith (if still necessary lmao)?

  3. On the actual article:
    There’s a difference between toxic masculinity and masculinity. Yes, Keith has a lot of masculine traits, and, yes, they often impact him negatively, but toxic masculinity refers to a man who acts masculine because he feels like he has to conform to gender stereotypes. Keith mostly doesn’t seem to care what anyone besides Shiro thinks of him.
    Now, yes, one of the ways TM manifests practically is that men feel they can’t have meaningful relationships with other men, and TECHNICALLY showing two men in a meaningful platonic relationship would help with that, but 4 out of 5 of the original paladins are men, and there’s intimate moments between most of them.
    For everyone else reading this comment:
    1. Shipping Sheith doesn’t mean shipping something problematic: By season 7, Shiro is no longer Black Paladin, and therefore not in a position of power over him, Keith is much more emotionally stable, and Shiro isn’t his only support system anymore; he’s got both his mom and the other paladins. The age difference is decreased, so, at this point they’re pretty much on equal footing.
    2. Having a problem with Sheith in canon doesn’t mean you’re homophobic, or hoping for another ship to happen.
    Because of Clone Shiro, the two haven’t really interacted since season 2, and there’s a lot of conversations between the two that can be interpretted as slightly patronizing. Take S2E8, for example, when Shiro confirms that he wants Keith to lead Voltron. Shiro kind of just… tells Keith what Keith is going to do in the future. He only backs down to “if I die” when it freaks Keith out. Now, it’s not a bad thing to give your lover advice, or push them to try new things, but given that Shiro started out as Keith’s mentor (he’s put in charge of disciplining him, and was the one who decided Keith was going to the Garrison), it’s a valid interpretation that their relationship hadn’t fundamentally changed since the Garrison. This is also supported in that Clone Shiro was much more patronizing, and Keith never found that odd, or called him out on it.
    My point is, if Sheith IS romantic, it isn’t obvious when it became so; I’ve heard Sheith fans say everything from precanon to season 8, which drastically changes how their relationship reads.
    3. NONE of these arguments against Sheith are things fans should have to answer for; people have different interpretations of their interactions, and if the line on their relationship isn’t clear, that’s a criticism of the creators, not those interpretting it.

  4. 🙂 Yes, it makes me very happy to see and I’m smiling now at the thought. I hope movie/tv /sitcoms, etc. continue to bring in the different relationships that exist in our cultures. Also, I think my comment posted twice because this first just disappeared on me. apologies

  5. Thank you! This is an excellent article and argument – though I’m unsure of the use of the term “toxic masculinity.” What we face is an implied societal fear that comes from homophobic individuals and Shiro & Keith’s relationship defies that. I feel Keith and Shiro’s relationship should remain with the big brother/space dad vibe it has had all through the series. It is indeed an uplifting representation of how a positive influence in someone else’s life doesn’t always have preconceived connections with sexuality.

    Shiro’s a beautiful, huggable/lovable character, with his own life issues, particularly his health & recent breakup/loss of Adam. He seems like he didn’t want to lay the burden on his loved ones if he could avoid it. Shiro deserves to be happy, but not with Keith as an intimate companion but as his brother/family (the rest we really don’t know anything about) and with Keith looking out for him (as Shiro does for all them, like family ^_^ ). We can hope he’ll eventually find someone that will make him happy again. Though it seems we only have 13 more for this series.

  6. Thank you! This is an excellent article and argument. I feel Keith and Shiro’s relationship should remain with the big brother/space dad vibe it has had all through the series. It is indeed an uplifting representation of how a positive influence in someone else’s life doesn’t always have preconceived connections with sexuality. Shiro’s a beautiful, huggable/lovable character, with his own life issues, particularly his health & Adam. He seems like he didn’t want to lay the burden on his loved ones if he could avoid it. I agree that Shiro deserves to be happy, but not with Keith as an intimate companion but as his brother/family (the rest we really don’t know anything about) and with Keith looking out for him (as Shiro does for all them, like family ^_^ ). We can hope he’ll eventually find someone that will make him happy again.

  7. Those people saying sheith fans would say the relationship was wrong if either was a girl in the comments are just people talking about sheith fans and have no idea what they are talking about and usually also have a very different reason for saying those things than they claim (either they don’t want a gay relationship between Shiro and Keith, or they want a different Keith or Shiro pairing to be canon)

    I don’t know how you can watch the show and claim Shiro and Keith have a student/teacher relationship in general and especially when Shiro explicitly puts himself on the other paladins level in the very first episode when Lance tells him he’s the senior officer and should decide the course of action and Shiro tells them no “they are a team”.
    What was in the Garrison is in the past, claiming they still have these same rank based relationships is just delusional and one of the weakest arguments against this pairing to exist.
    And no one with a bit of sense in their head actually thinks Shiro was ever interested in Keith like that at the Garrison when Keith was underage and while Shiro had a boyfriend.
    If anything, sheith goes against the teacher/student relationship trope you’re so against, because nothing romantic ever develops until they are explicitly out of that relationship and both walk on equal grounds as leaders of voltron.

    I’m pretty sure sheith fans would still support the ship if it was between a man and a woman or two women or whatever, because it’s a beautiful relationship based on all the right things (like friendship, respect and unconditional love and support) and they are the best person for the other. Which is what draws so many to this pairing and why it would be a good representation of gay romantic relationships.

  8. Sheith isn’t pedophilia though, Keith is 21 while Shiro is 25. Also the creators have confirmed that Shiro didnt adopted Keith in any sense. & even Some voltron staff have drawn romantic Sheith drawings. Also Shiro wasn’t Keith’s teacher, he wasn’t even a teacher at the garrison. Shiro was his mentor, WAS, he isn’t anymore.
    Plus think of Yuri on Ice, Yurri & his partner had a mentor relationship that’s canon. A mentor can be a close friend that CAN turn romantic.

  9. Shiro wasn’t a teacher & he didn’t fall in love with Keith when he was 14. Shiro had a partner when they were both on earth. It’s the present time where Shiro developing feelings for Keith, who is 21, would be perfectly normal. Age gaps in adults are fine.

  10. There are so many logic fails here it isn’t funny, but the one which stood out to me was the “if either of them was a girl” after so many people in the comments have pointed out time after time that if this were the case Sheith fans wouldn’t be supportive of the pairing at all because of the teacher/student relationship, yet they expect the exact same pairing to occur within the canon material simply because it is between two guys simply because it’s “representation”.

  11. I’m okay with Shiro being gay. But, I don’t want Keith to be gay. Just because Keith loves Shiro like a brother, doesn’t mean he LOVES him. I think having Keith and Shiro get together would ruin the show. I think it would be better of Keith got together with Romelle. They seem like they’d be good together

  12. Decimus,
    Fair, and I agree. But you only see this as a brotherly bond because maybe you weren’t paying enough attention and believe what the show tells you and not what it shows you. Some people I guess just picked up on this earlier than others, because it’s not explicit in the show. But it’s definitly there.

    Cause if Shiro’s and Keith’s bond was nothing but brotherly, this article (by someone who doesn’t want them to be a couple) would never exist, because it would be clear to all that them getting together doesn’t make any sense.
    It would be like writing an article about why Lance and Hunk shouldn’t get together…
    And there were atleast 5 other articles (with no ship bias) that came out that discuss the possibility of Shiro and Keith romance since we found out Shiro is gay.
    And I don’t know if you follow staff interviews and stuff they say and draw, but there is alot there that points to their feelings for each other being more than brotherly, and even imply attraction in some.

    I’m not even a shipper, but I’m a writer, and that relationship was written as a slow burn romance from the start of the show if anything. If either of them was a girl it would be clear to all where that was going, but since it’s two guys and people aren’t used to seeing that, I guess alot of people just don’t notice that there’s definitly more to it than just “bros being bros”. The writer of this article noticed though because he wouldn’t be so afraid of them getting together otherwise lol

    I hope you will still love the show and watch it with your family if Shiro and Keith explicitly end up together. Love is love after all.

  13. Your comment is just as vile as this whole article (which is completely missing the point, by the way). The problem here is not the fact that the characters are gay or not. Its not about pushing agendas, its about showing diversity in media. The world isnt black nor white and children arent fragile little beings, they are exposed to so many worse things on the news, online, whithin their own families, etc… seeing two characters of the same gender kiss is… harmless?? Children are smarter than most people think they are, and more aware and open minded than they were a couple of decades ago. They are growing up, finding themselves, and finding things to which they can relate to. And if they really are that immature, I will have to say thats the parents fault.

    If kids see two guys or girls hug, kiss or show any form of gentle affection, they arent being exposed to pornographic material. If straight couples do these displays of affection on the street (and even more disguntingly so), and on tv, etc, all the time, why would it be any different if it were with two people of the same gender..??
    This only tells kids that its okay to be yourself. They will have a reference point, something to which they can relate and look up to. Its okay if they ask questions, curiosity is common at those ages and its healthy and normal to address these issues early on. Although, admitedly, with kids that young, its possible it would even go over their heads.

    With that being said, its not anyones fault but your own if you cant calmly explain to your 5 year old that its okay to like someone regardless of their gender. No one said you had to give them an extensive lecture about the birds and the bees??

    You may not care about peoples afflictions or sexual orientation and that is perfectly fine, but this really isnt about you. No one is shoving this content in your face and you can always look away if you dont like it. Just dont push YOUR own agenda onto your others just because you find it “wrong”. Youre on your right to not understand it but direspecting it is a whole other thing. Leave your outdated arguements by the door on your way out.

  14. Red,
    Okay, I’ll bite. So in example 1 you state that “Pam refers to Jim as like a brother”, but they still get married and everyone thinks it’s normal. Yeah it’s normal because they’re around the exact same age! I looked it up and saw that Jim was born in 1978 & Pam was born in 1979; that’s only a 1 year difference so it’s perfectly normal for them to get together. In example 2 you explain how LGBT people “who can’t really come to terms with their feelings refer to the people they like as like a sibling”, the same can apply to a heterosexual relationship like Jim and Pam so all this is true… But only if they’re around the same age. You can’t pair up Keith and Shiro because that’s the equivalent of a student hooking up with his teacher/mentor; better yet, a younger brother dating his older brother! Now relationships with big age differences might be acceptable in other religions and foreign countries, but that’s not very common here in North America; especially for same sex relationships. But you have to see why their brotherly dynamic wouldn’t turn into a romantic relationship. An yes my opinion would still be the same if a man and woman had a relationship like the one I believe Keith and Shiro have. A woman the same age as Shiro can still be a mentor or older sister to a guy the age as Keith, (given their life experiences brought then together like that) and it still wouldn’t have to be a romance. And a relationship like that shouldn’t even be considered “heterosexual”, because it’s not even a sexual relationship to begin with. I’ll even give you a similar example. There’s this animated show called Young Justice. One of the characters named Ms. Martian actually forms a close sisterly bond with a younger male character named Garfield (aka Beast Boy). This bond formed after Ms. M gave him a blood transfusion when he was critically injured. What really brought them closer together was when Garfield’s mother was tricked into committing suicide by a villain. His mother was like a role model for Ms. M so you can imagine why they are like big sister & little brother now due to the emotional pain they share. Ms. M even said that she considers herself as his adopted sister. Not once has either of them developed romantic feelings for each other, and just because they didn’t doesn’t make their bond any less powerful. And for the record, it would be a lie to say that not many people assumed that Keith had romantic feelings for Shiro. The fandom and shippers had a field day when they heard Keith tell Shiro 3 simple words “I love you”, and they blew it out of proportion.

  15. I love how Sheith shippers are accusing the writer of being homophobic (even though he actually said “If Keith and Shiro were to end up together, it would be a beautiful thing…”) a Klance shipper (dude didn’t even mention Klance, but hey, go for broke), subscribing to toxic masculinity, not watching the show (hilarious, the guy wrote reviews about VLD in the past), and doing everything in their power to prove to the rest of the fandom why plenty of fans consider you guys just as bad as Klance shippers. I hope you guys and Klance shippers don’t get what you want; you both deserve it for the stunts you guys pulled on other fans for disagreeing with you.

    Look, I disagree with Anthony myself concerning male friendships in media. There are plethora of strictly platonic male/male friendships in fiction, that is true. And it would be nice to have more canon m/m ships in media and would be better to a canon m/m ship in VLD. But Sheith nor Klance aren’t the only ways to get canon m/m. Shiro can reconcile and end up with his fiance, Adam, Coran could end up in a relationship with Kolivan. etc.

    Also Anthony does have a point in that having Keith being best friends with Shiro while fully knowing Shiro’s gay/LGBT and their relationship never going into romantic territory would be revolutionary. It send a nice message to straight boys and men watching the show that they can be friends with gay men/boys. Sad as it is, there are bunch of men/boys who fear of/avoid having a close relationship with gay men because they incorrectly believe that being friends with a gay man changes their sexuality.

    That said, I argue that Shiro and Keith shouldn’t be together mainly because it would invoke all sorts of harmful stereotypes about LGBT men. Before anyone jumps on me, I’m not one of those loons who think Sheith is disgusting or pedophilic. It’s a perfectly fine ship; I get why people ship them. But, as much Sheith shippers want to bang pots and pans all they want, but it’s not going to look good if Shiro, a gay/bi/pan man, who was in a years-long committed relationship with another man within his age range, ends up with his mentee who is 7+ years younger than him, who sees him as his brother figure, and who he raised (like or not, Keith’s own mother said “Thank you for RAISING my son for the man he is”) since he was a baby-faced preteen. People are immediately going to think of the stereotype of gay men preying upon younger and vulnerable men, of being promiscuous and unfaithful, and accuse Shiro of grooming Keith to be his lover. And yes, Keith and Shiro are now on equal terms now. Yes, both Keith and Shiro are adults, now, so the age gap is nothing to worry about. Yes, Shiro is a kind-hearted and sincere person who would never take advantage of someone and Keith isn’t a helpless child.. Still’s not going to matter to the close-minded people and open-minded people, LGBT activists, anyone sensible and not affiliated with tumblr who are just going to remember Shiro and Keith’s backstory come to similar conclusions, with one side feeling vindicated (the homophobes) and the other side feeling offended (the latter).

    And to the people decrying that Keith didn’t/doesn’t have some characteristics of toxic masculinity and Lance fits the bill more: 1) No one is saying that Lance didn’t do anything wrong and/or he didn’t have some characteristics of Toxic Masculinity. For Pete’s sake, the author didn’t say anything about Lance, so there’s no point in bringing him up. 2) Keith did have some traits of toxic masculinity; the concept isn’t just about a man’s relations with women; it can also relate to how he handles emotions. Keith was cold and distant, and [SPOILERS] picked fights with other Garrison cadets [/SPOILERS], he has a temper and used to let his temper get best of him, he would go off on his own believing he was better off, and he repressed his emotions. Those are negative aspects of his character; Keith is a good person, just like the other VLD characters, but also like the rest of the cast, he has his flaws. His fans need to stop acting like he’s a flawless angel.

    And to the people arguing that Sheith wouldn’t face criticism if it was a het ship: STOP. Like another poster said, if Keith was a girl, a good chunk of y’all would bash Sheith to kingdom come and see it as an affront to feminism and peak problematic. You guys would probably be cringing at the idea of a woman ending up with her mentor/brother figure who is 7+ years older and who her own mother thanked for raising her. And I ship Lance with Allura and have to deal with people accusing me and others of supporting sexual harassment, people bemoaning that Allura x Lance would supposedly send the message that men and women can’t be friends, etc. So please stop assuming and arguing that het ships don’t come under fire.

    I really hate I wrote a long rant on this. But it is infuriating to see a multitude of people from a shipping fandom who claims to be open-minded and peaceful (Sheith shippers) yet are acting horrendous to someone who simply and politely expressed his opinion and never said anything awful about their ship. Congratulations, Sheith fans: you showed your true colors and reinforced the toxic reputation of the Voltron fandom. Be proud and take a bow.

  16. Wtf is wrong with you dude? Why does it matter if he’s gay, straight or whatever other Sexual Orientation. If you don’t care about Sexual Orientations then don’t get so butthurt over a character being gay. So it is acceptable to present a straight person to 5, 6 and 7 year old son but not a gay person? You should know that a lot of the Voltron fan base are teens and adults.

  17. Or you could let people ship what they want instead of wasting your time making a article about how a ship that has two characters from show is wrong.

  18. The only character who demonstrates Toxic Masculinity is Lance – as seen through his constant and ongoing sexual harassment of every woman he meets. Keith and Shiro have a wonderful bond and the they are not more “toxic” than Aang and Katara were.

  19. Apparently in real life there’s a thing called adoption or help raising orphan kids without go through legal process as long we have consent from their schools.

    I’m talking about my own real life experience that my parents helped raising 2 orphan brothers when they were 14-15 and only stayed with us when both of them reached 18yrs old, it happen over 10yrs ago when i was still in middle schools

    all of us now in our 30s, and you think i changed my view in seeing them from brotherly to lovers now?? we don’t share the same childhood memories and we were completely strangers and yet all three of us became so close like a real siblings

    so now when we are all grown adult, you think i could marry one of them now and changed my my view from brother to lover if one of them suddenly confessed???

    just so you know i am queer myself, and this shit grossed me out and not to forget that shiro is canon teacher not only to keith but hunk and lance as well

    you don’t see the real problem having teacher/student relationship here? especially when the kid keith is clearly underage even if you wanted to think he could be at least 15yrs old? that’s a middle schooler

    man you should have rewatch the flashback carefully and maybe watch the leak ep1 of s7 and take off your shipping googles and have some moral because you clearly don’t have right now

    because shiro is clearly a teacher to keith/lance and hunk

    why don’t we all normalised all the teacher who teaches in middle schools to date and marry their own middle schoolers student once they reached legal age?

    also no backlash if the teacher is a straight adult male marrying his 15 years old girl once the girl finished high school

    because they were cute together am i right? and also both of them are adult so who cares when both of them give consent of their underlying love

    Dreamwork/Netflix and Voltron franchise are such a role model to these young teens, bravo!

    teacher/student relationship is completely acceptable in 2018! you have changed the society to embrace this norm, its beautiful and perfect

    there’s no power in balance or pedophile because once the student reached 18yrs old its legal! congratulation once again to Dreamwork/Netflix and Voltron!!

  20. wow ok, have you put yourself in shiro’s shoes?

    falling in love with the 14 years old kid which clearly still in middle school that yourself recruited??

    I have created the canon teacher shiro with underage student keith? why don’t you tell that to dreamworks buddy, thats what they gave us in canon, its you who should re-watch the flashback carefully

    Lol shiro is not a teacher? you surely have not seen the S7 EP1 leak then because shiro was clearly a teacher not only to keith but hunk and lance as well, and some other kids

    keith was 14/15 is your own interpretation here darling because both hunk and lance clearly a as small as keith

    AGAIN

    if shiro is straight male man and keith is female, will you still think “AWW THEY WERE SO CUTE TOGETHER”

    don’t be bias just because shiro is gay and keith is a boy, so its ok to have student/teacher relationship, what a double standard bullshit is right now

    because face it, this is canon TEACHER with a MIDDLE SCHOOLERS STUDENT,

  21. Hey, don’t say that all Americans aren’t the same. I’m American and I never agree with these sh*t. I think you’re right and I’m totally on your side. However, it’s hard to say what gonna happen with Shiro and Keith because that depends on the author. And of course, Keith is NOT toxic.

  22. Were all LGBT people on board and found Keith and shiro teacher/relationship to be cute and adorable to represent healthy LGBT couple to the queer children!?

    Were they have no moral to this issues??

    An adult gay teacher to have romantic relationship with his own underage male student once the student reached 18yrs old!?

    Just because both are male/male relationship so it’s fine and can be normalized and healthy??? Despite the student were middle schoolers when they met for the 1st time??

    Are you guy kidding me?? I’m queer myself! And I’m truly disappointed and extremely uncomfortable with this issues!

    What IF the adult teacher is a straight man (shiro) and the underage student were female (Keith) and definitely became male/female heterosexual relationship, will the LGBT people still find this relationship to be…

    “aww so cute and adorable when they ended up together because they bonded and have very strong relationship and girl Keith never give up on her adult straigh man teacher, Keith even said I love you to shiro! It must be purely romantic, now girl Keith can confess her underlying love to shiro and they were meant to be! This is good healthy representation to the straight kids out there!”

    Don’t be bias that teacher/student relationship are totally cute and adorable if it’s gay but not and toxic to heterosexual relationship!

    Both are just morally wrong!!

    I never this dissapointed on human morality in general, you guys are sickening.

  23. This os the kind of crap that is ruining TV i will no longer be watching and i will sure as hell not let my nephew watch anymore. If i had kids i wouldnt let them watch either. I will let them watch the original series. There is absolutely no need for Shiro to be gay.

    These types of things have no buiness being put into childrens programming. And for you saps who think shiro have his arm removed and replaced with a cybernetic one which hagar used to hack systems is somehow empowering to amputees is just sad and far reaching.

    I dont care about peoples afflictions or sexual orientation but i will be damned if i feel it is acceptable to to present it to 5, 6 and 7 year olds or even 12 year olds. Its a disgrace to push this agenda on kids. That is a discission to have berween parents and children when they are old enough amd mature enough to understand the concept and context.

    Good Bye Voltron It was fun while it lasted.

  24. Emily A,
    I’m glad you took the time to read my comment! ☺️ I agree that public media needs to hear this argument, but it won’t come without lots of backlash (like what’s happening to the author right now). A large group would automatically get defensive and assume I’m homophobic; when in reality I’m just trying to help people understand what a true relationship is. I just wish people would be more open minded and not get so defensive when it comes to this topic.

  25. hey this is kind of the worst article i have ever read?? like no offense but have you even,, actually watched voltron?? and if so your only reasoning why sheith shouldn’t be a thing is because keith shouldn’t be gay rather than the ACTUAL issue with sheith, which is that it is both incestuous in theory and a student/teacher relationship (not to mention the hint of pedophilia present). Not to mention it would be SO good for both Shiro and Keith’s character if Keith was gay? because that builds on to Shiro being the only person Keith believed he could trust, the idea that Keith realizing he was gay and then having an older more experiencing gay man help him through figuring out his sexuality really emphasizes how much Shiro means to Keith??(PLATONICALLY IN A BROTHERLY WAY!!) If anything you are the one spouting Toxic masculinity here, buddy.

  26. Does LGBT people do not have moral in their brain that thinking shiro and Keith relationship can be grown from brother/teacher-student to best friend to lover and found it Cute and Adorable!?

    I dont care much about the age gap between Keith and shiro if they only meet in college/university if Keith is already adult when he meet shiro as his teacher. Because both of them are indeed adult even in teacher/student relationship.

    But it’s clearly canon that Keith was a kid at least 14 at most whom must be a MIDDLE SCHOOLER when shiro scouted him to be the candidates for garrison pilot!

    Have you put yourself in shiro’s shoes that having romantic relationship to the kid you scouted once he reached legal age after spending time in teaching him in school to be totally fine and healthy!?

    Is this what american cartoon trying to deliver message to the children watching their kids shows now days??

    Wait until you reached 18yrs old then you can confess your romantic love to the teacher that you admire so much because it’s totally cute/healthy and adorable!! Its a slow burn love children and it’s totally fine!! Because by then both of you are adults and have consent to love each other romantically

    However this is only applicable to LGBT relationships and not heterosexuals relationship ok?

  27. These people thinking that shiro and Keith is totally having healthy romantic relationship just because both of them are MALE and it’s a great representation to the LGBT queer kids??

    Are you kidding me!?

    Shiro was not only an officer/teacher at the garrison to Keith but to lance and hunk too! All three of them looked like they were in their preteen!!

    Does all LGBT people blinded that teacher/student romantic relationship is completely healthy and not toxic if the students were in their middle schools??

    They were all, “Keith had grown 2yrs faster and Now he is an adult so he can have romantic relationship with his best friend shiro, there’s no issue on that!! It’s a completely amazing slow burn that grown over the years”

    Shiro does not adopt Keith and yet Krolia thanked shiro for raising him???

    But people immediately judge if this Is heterosexual relationship right??

    Is shiro is not gay but an adult straight man and Keith is female with same canon background they are having now, do these people rooting this teacher/student trope?

    Don’t be bias!

  28. Decimus, I would have to ask you to put it in the POV of the story, rather than your own personal life. You see, Most people aren’t saying that from the get go, Shiro and Keith might have been interested in each other. Shiro was engaged to another man, who he loved dearly. He had more to focus on than Just Keith, but he still cared about the young man. Keith met someone who genuinely believed that he could be something more than what people said he was. I imagine at that point that nothing other than what your article talks about was going on.

    But time passed. Shiro and Adam broke up. Shiro went to space, and was kidnapped. Keith grew alone for more than a year, adapted to his situation, and never once stopped the search for Shiro. By the time both of them meet again, they’re both so different from what the other remembers. They’re not the same.

    But again!! Not an attraction to each other!! More like a fascination, a curiosity to learn what they had missed out on. And as the first seasons go, I really think they’ve moved from a Mentor/student to friends, almost equals. Shiro finds it easier to vent to Keith, talk to him about problems and solutions. They’re on more level playing grounds.

    And then shiro disappears. Keith is reeling from it, trying to keep Shiro’s lessons in his mind but he can’t. He lost someone so, so dear to him. He lashes out in the black lion, nearly costs everyone their lives against Lotor in their first battle were it not for Alluras quick thinking and Lance taking another step towards being a better teammate.

    They find Shiro again, and Shiro asks Keith how many times he would have to save the black paladin, and with full honesty, Keith tells him as many times as it takes. But he chooses to work with the Marmora, And Shiro gives him that space to do so, just as he did with Pidge when she wanted to leave. Except at that point, they could afford to let Keith go.

    Keith risks an entire BOM mission just to make sure Shiro is safe and alive. He compromises missions for Shiro. He’s travelled across space to find him, bring him back. He’s saved Shiro once every season.

    1. From the Doctors
    2. From the beasts on that planet, piloting Black for the first time
    3. From the void in space, where he was on the brink of death
    4. (Sort of) An attempt to destroy the barrier with his own ship, so that the fighters could get through
    5. Overrides a BoM mission because he saw Shiro there. A very important BoM mission
    6. S6E5. Keith never EVER gave up hope that Shiro was in there. No matter the harsh words Shiro threw at him, no matter how hard he fought, Keith never wavered in his beliefs that Shiro was good. And in that, comes the most iconic line:

    “You’re my brother. I love you.”

    Now, Mr. Decimus, sir, I won’t presume your sexuality or preference, so I have two examples, one between a man and a woman, and one that the LGBT community frequently deals with.

    1. The Office. There’s a famous couple known for being very sweet and iconic, between Jim and Pam. In the first few seasons, Pam refers to Jim as like a brother. If i’m not mistaken, many times. And yet, at the very end, they are happily married and have children. Nobody seems to think this out of the ordinary, and why not? It isn’t.

    2. In many LGBT relationship situations, people who can’t reallt come to terms with their feelings refer to the people they like as like a sibling. When anyone asks, “They’re like a sibling to me!” But not. This can also be applied in normal, majority situations, that in order to stave off attraction to someone, they refer to the person they like as a brother/sister. it isn’t always the case, but it is plausible.

    And, iconically, Season 7. The season that hadn’t even aired yet, Allura can’t get Shiro’s soul to stay in the clone. The cryopod is signifying that it’s failing. Keith musters all the strength he can to call Shiro back, to not leave him again. He begs. And like magic, Shiro opens his eyes. And Shiro says “You saved me.”

    Keith replies with “We saved each other.”

    Sorry for the long response. I would just like to leave it with this: If this had been a man and a woman, if this had been a heterosexual relationship, would your opinion be the same?

    Thanks for reading! Have a good one.

  29. I think your off on your argument about Keith i thought there was a connection for a moment with allura when they both ran off to protect the others but i guess that was too obvious so they didn’t go that way and just because he hasn’t been hitting on every girl they meet like Lance doesn’t make him gay he’s been very fixated on finding his past and the blade of mamora now that he got to spend a few years with his mother i think that has passed i think they might have him find someone soon maybe that new alteian girl who lost her family and he knows what that’s like i thought it might be Axca one of Lotors generals but i think that connection is going to be family not romantic

  30. Hold up!

    Shiro and Keith cannot be seen together because Keith is not gay and not because they have teacher-student/brotherly relationship?

    But if Keith is indeed gay then shiro and Keith is a very healthy relationship and it’s amazing for LGBT romantic relationship to be seen to the queer children?

    If this is heterosexual relationship and changed shiro to be a straight adult man whom to be a teacher to his preteen girl student that he scouted and having romantic relationship once the girl reached 18yrs old to be healthy too??

    What kind of double standard bullshit is this?

    Does dreamwork and Netflix normalized teacher/student to be seen healthy romantic in their kids show now in 2018!?

    Keith was clearly a preteen in the flashback that cannot be over 13yrs old when shiro went to his school and scouted him to be garrison pilot, also shiro was in a relationship with another adult man whom also an officer.

    Get ready with all the children having romantic relationship with their teachers once they graduate high schools, if this is a healthy message that dreamwork and Netflix trying to show to the kids.

    No wonder Americans are so f***ed up if they love and normalized teacher/student fetish trope. I have no faith in American cartoon anymore.

    • Listen, maybe you should rewatch the show, just an idea. Keith was 14/15, since 14 is the minimum age to enter the garrison and he is one year older than Lance yet in the same year. Shiro was engaged to a different man so cleary not romantically interested in Keith. They spend two years together at most, before Shiro left on his mission. Shiro was a pilot at the school, not an actual teacher like Adam. He was an instructor, but one of many. When Shiro comes back neither is in school, both are adults and both are single. There is no problem, but the one you have created in your head to justify some form of hate for this pairing based on misinformation.
      There is nothing wrong with friends becoming lovers after a few years when they are completely equal. Which they are in their current position.

  31. Okay, So I never automatically listen to the opinions of others before reading an article myself, and that’s what I tried to do with this one. But man, I gotta say that a lot of people had the right idea. Keith… isn’t an example of Toxic Masculinity. At All. He’s a troubled kid, grew up rough, and met someone who believed in him, and that’s really what it took for him to start believing in himself. He doesn’t put others down, doesn’t try to alpha himself into top position (Season 3, when Lance accuses Keith of just wanting to be the pilot of the Black Lion but Keith says that if Lance wants the job he can have it, refusing to even try to pilot it because he didn’t want to acknowledge that Shiro was gone, nothing less than distressed when the black lion only responded to him) and he just genuinely wants Shiro to be safe and secure. Personally I’m not getting my hopes up for Shiro and Keith to become a couple, but Keith isn’t who you’re thinking of.

    It’s Lance, early seasons. Lance starts off rocky, flirting with allura every which way, trying to put Keith down every other interaction, and accusing Keith of wanting to take his mentors place (Who does that to someone who’s mourning/trying to deny losing someone?). He also tries to force the Black Lion to respond to him, to be the leader that he was not ready to be. But he matures! He’s grown, he’s shown how time has changed him, matured him into being better, smarter and less inflammatory. He’s a perfect example of a boy becoming a Man.

    Sheith being friends is perfectly fine with me. Sheith becoming partners? Cute. But Keith is not toxic, not even from Day One.

    Cheers.

  32. It’s funny because you managed to piss Of The sheith side Of The fandom.
    Yes Keith does have traits if toxic masculinity, if you can’t see that you are as ignorant as Derek zoolander. Lance shows toxic masculinity in terms of female approval, Keith shows it in terms of emotional repression. Toxic masculinity is not just ‘how you view women’, it’s also how one views oneself. Shiro exudes the progressive kind of masculinity.
    Also, Keith being gay will actually help the series more than ever, this isn’t about shipping and these salty kids, Keith can still be friends with shiro and love him platonically, while still being engaged in a relationship with another man like Matt or Lance. I’m able to understand shiro and Keiths relationship in a platonic sense bc I really have a friend like this. We both love each other and hold each others back. She dates guys and I do too. But no matter what happens we have the strongest bond. We aren’t dating.
    But overall it depends on how the show handles shiro and Keith. If the ship does become canon I expect flawless handling so that it doesnt fall into the forementioned issue of “being friends with a gay man”. I expect it to be neat, outstanding and NOT fit into stereotypes.

  33. I disagree pretty strongly, and I want to try writing out why in a clear and respectful way even though most of my points are pretty well covered by others on this thread already. I appreciate the openness to opposing thoughts, so I’m going to take the chance to voice mine.

    I think this standpoint lacks a lot of empathy for those of us who see something important and grandly representative in Shiro and Keith’s relationship. This implies we only want to see them romantically involved for the Ship and Aesthetic, and not a love story we can relate to and find meaning in.

    Unfortunately, a lot of people wanted a different ship, so they create toxic aspects of Sheith so they can hate it and give reasons for that, but at this point, I think it would be an incredible step in the right direction for them to end up together. It would be the most organic and non-stereotypical gay romance I have seen in fiction, and I think it’s something so important for LGBTQ+ youth to be able to see so they know that their love is allowed to evolve and grow just as straight characters and people’s do. I don’t think it will go in that direction for the sake of not rocking the boat too much, because the discourse around it might severely hurt DW studios and getting Shiro’s reveal was a fight for the staff already, but I do think it’s heavily implied, has been supported by cast and staff enough to know they don’t think that detracts from the story they wrote, and is overall just our right as fans to enjoy the media in our way. It isn’t fair to tell LGBTQ+ people that they don’t get to see characters as representation for themselves because they would be more valuable as straight, that’s absolutely erasure and toxic.

    Onto the actual points of the article, I don’t think Keith promotes TM at all. The issues you mentioned about him came to be because he felt alone and discarded society, not because someone told him he’d seem feminine or weak if he wasn’t that way. Those are abandonment complexes, walls he put up to not get hurt, not TM which he conformed to in order to be accepted (he’s never been accepted, he was just protecting himself).

    Lance is much more interesting to watch for this development, because Lance does show TM characteristics throughout much of the series, and has grown from them beautifully. He formed a one sided rivalry with Keith because he was threatened by Keith’s higher level piloting skills at the Garrison, but eventually grows enough to accept a role as Keith’s right hand man rather than needing to be better than him. Lance has flourished so much in the Red Lion, proving that he has accepted a role without the glory it entails, and without the idea that his worth as a Paladin is relative to the success of someone else.

    He also flirts with every single female character or alien who comes onto screen who even remotely fits our idea of “pretty” (but declines the mermaids who he doesn’t find attractive, until they take off their masks and he’s all for them again), and heavily focuses on finding a “Misses Blue Lion”, giving us the idea that romance and being “Loverboy Lance” and wooing women is one of his highest priorities. Later in the series, he overcomes this when he realizes he has deeper feelings for Allura, and it makes him want to be a better person (which we see him doing naturally even before he vocalizes it). He supports her as she grows as a paladin, and he never lashes out for inferiority which he has done so much with Keith when she surpasses him. He wants to see her grow and wants to follow her on that path in solidarity. Most importantly, he wants to do this even if he can’t have her romantically, because when it appears she will end up with Lotor he never pressures her to look at him differently or turns from her because she’s facing a different direction. His support and love for her is unconditional, with no ulterior motive.

    Lance also promotes a lot of good behavior right from the get go, don’t get me wrong. He has a highly intimate and trusting relationship with Hunk, and never holds back on physical love with him because their bond is comfortable and sure. He also protects and loves Coran despite their contrasting characteristics, and his opinion of Pidge doesn’t change at all once he finds out she’s a girl. He’s loving and typically pretty open, with no relation to his orientation or gender.

    But the most relevant bond with Lance to this article is his relationship with Shiro. Lance has idolized Shiro right from episode 1, has called him his hero a couple of times and really shown how much he admires him throughout the entire series, regardless of the fact that Shiro was in a romantic relationship with another man. Shiro’s orientation didn’t diminish his worth as a pilot and Lance didn’t think any less of him for being gay, so we’ve already seen a straight boy loving a gay man without issue over their difference. Shiro and Lance continue to build on their relationship in seasons 4 and 5 when Keith is gone and Lance is acting as Shiro’s right hand man and confidant. Their bond grows further from that of a mentor/hero to that of friends/brothers in arms, and Lance still doesn’t respect him any less even as they grow to equals. It isn’t quite as interwoven as Shiro and Keith’s history, but it’s still important to them both, and it’s exactly the rep this article explains wanting to see.

    If you don’t see Shiro and Keith’s relationship as romantic, that’s fine; if you see representation there in a different way than I do then I absolutely don’t want to take that from anyone. It’s when you start to say “Keith being gay would be bad, we don’t need any more LGBTQ+ representation in the media, this is a kids show so it’s wrong to force these ideals on it” that you dip into the homophobia behind simply not wanting to see someone be gay because you think that’s wrong or worth less than if they were straight, and that’s promoting TM in itself. Queer people deserve the chance to see people like them in their favorite shows just as much as men deserve to see that they’re allowed to be who they are, and the two aren’t mutually exclusive anyway.

    Keith and Shiro have a relationship that helped Keith to learn to trust people again. Shiro gave him a dream to follow when the world was only letting him believe he would ever be a delinquent with discipline issues, and in turn Keith became devoted to Shiro and supported him even when the world told him he wasn’t worth the effort because he was sick/weakened. Shiro’s representation is already groundbreaking because he does it so well and is encompassing of so many groups, it’s amazing whether he ends up with anyone or not, but it would be incredible to see a relationship with such a strong foundation and build up grow from something so fundamental to each character’s personal growth to something romantic when they were both ready. I think it’s outrageous that queer people are being called toxic for wanting to see that.

  34. Straight Dude: this would be even more groundbreaking if, hear me out, a gay man has a normal platonic friendship

  35. This is wild lol, Keith is totally gay. But that doesn’t mean he ends up with Shiro either, that’s my thing. Shiro and Keith really do have a strong platonic relationship, and I don’t see that changing in the future besides just even closer brother hood. I’m not saying anymore ships will happen in the show besides Shadam (crossing my fingers for Klance) but I agree that Keith and Shiro is platonic, but I also think Keith isn’t straight because of his complete lack of interest in any female in the show, including Allura.

  36. I think you are completely missing a much better point you could have made. Keith being gay and also having another gay man not only as just a friend but also and mentor/brother figure would be even better than what you are suggesting. It would help break down an even more problematic barrier that gay men cannot be just friends with other gay men. It would also be a great way to represent a different type of gay man than media typically shows. Not to mention, Keith has never shown interest in women, and has only ever shown questionable intentions towards other men/male aliens. Your right when you say Keith has struggled to find who he is, and to have Keith as a gay character would build onto that theme. It just makes more sense for your point if Keith IS gay, honestly.

  37. I agree with other comments that theres many examples of platonic male relationships already, and any form of homosexual relationship especially in a cartoon is more current to what is needed today. People want and need something similar to them growing up. Everyone wants a show, movie, or character that connects with them growing up. I don’t see why a mainstream kids show in 2018 or forward shouldn’t have a homosexual relationship to show that it is alright to love who they choose. I’m sure people would be disappointed if it wasnt shiro and Keith, but that’s from all the previous seasons build up. If the studio doesnt want to take a chance at them and remain at brother status, for the purpose of appeasing conservative parents I wouldn’t be surprised. This wont be the first or last show to hint at the possibility but pull it back. Personally I wish they’d take the plunge with any characters just to have younger kids feel less alienated for loving someone.

  38. Decimus, did you watch the show? Keith and Shiro start as friends, there’s is no sexual attraction there for years, they build their friendship and familiar bond first, then both of them realize that their feelings got stronger than that, and now hopefully we will see them confessing that and getting out of the platonic relationship in the next seasons. It is a pretty clear friends to lovers. Their relationship is based on unconditional love and respect first, that’s why it’s so good. Gay love is not just about wanting to have sex with someone, you know… Just like heterosexual relationships that are only based on sexual attraction are unhealthy and doomed to fail, so are gay ones. Luckily Shiro and Keith have the strongest foundation of love to build a beautiful healthy romantic relationship on. The great sex would be just a bonus 😉

    • Dirk,
      Of course I watched the show. I watch it with my family and we love it so far! But it still wouldn’t make any sense for Shiro and Keith to be romantically or sexually attracted to each other. Based on watching the show, it’s clearly evident that they have a brotherly/mentor relationship with each other. After watching seasons 1-6, neither of them have shown to have any romantic feelings towards each other. What got stronger over the course of six seasons was their brotherly bond (nothing romantic). It’s true they love each other, but it’s not romantic love. It’s brotherly/family love. I’m basing this on facts, not on what I personally want their relationship to be like just to satisfy myself. Until season 7 proves that one of them actually did have secret romantic feelings that the audience never knew about, this is the current status of their relationship.

  39. I don’t wanna get all opinion-y, but i do wanna say im sorry to the author on behalf of all these silly people who can’t be more polite. This is a kids show in the end, anyways.

  40. what is queer? gay? bi? trans? what is queer?
    and its not about ships in voltron.
    Lance is straight.

  41. If they do not belong together then SHIETH will forever remain in my heart I can understand why it cannot happen but at the same the show never really go in depth of Keith’s sexuality just his personality and demeanor. So I still ship them it maybe because they act like in all military reference “Brother in Arms” still have no idea why Adam was created for Shiro’s significant other if he did not watch over Keith or that he did not make the appearance when Shiro came back from the crash land because of he was his “lover” shouldn’t he be there to I don’t know like care enough to be there because Keith was the one who rescues him and took him to his shaft/cottage home

  42. All comments that involve curse words and direct insults to the author or other people will be deleted. Please be respectful to one another with your comments. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

  43. You didn’t read the article worth open eyes or mind. They said either would be great, the opportunity for a platonic loving friendship is a major bonus too.

  44. Given how the showrunners had to fight to keep in gay Shiro and his past relationship with Adam, I doubt we’ll be getting anymore explicit queer representation anyways. Not unless they do something vague like korrasami at least.

  45. I agree with everything you said in your article.
    There is a huge lack of examples of male friendship missing from books, TV, movies, comics, anime etc.
    I’m so glad you were brave enough to point this out.
    Toxic masculinity is horrible, and it’s high time someone pointed this out about how horrible Keith is in the entire series.
    And Shiro being a capable gay man is a hidden liberal agenda.
    Anyone who ships Shiro and Keith has never watched or read any material where the male & female leads start off as friends, and then fall in love. Of course, we don’t now get articles on every time that happens, because it happens a lot, so we tend to forget silly the idea is. Why would anyone fall in love with their best friend? Ludacris. Writers are just not capable anymore of tackling good subject matter.
    Thankfully you are here with your great take on a show you have never watched, and thus saved us from all the above problems.
    Honestly, thank god for homophobic, inept writers like you.
    Hashtag Bless.

  46. I cringed after seeing the amount of overreacting/delusional people that are in the comments. If I had a younger brother and he says that he loves me, does that automatically mean that I’m supposed to be his soulmate? No. Does it mean that we have to be gay/sexually attracted to each other. No. My brother telling me that he loves me confirms that we have a close relationship, we are always there for each other no matter what happens, we respect one another, and we accept each other’s personalities regardless of our flaws. That is what real love is about. This is the exact type of relationship that is between Keith and Shiro, with Shiro being an older brother/mentor to Keith (the person who Keith looks up to, and has deep respect for). Knowing there’s clearly a brotherly relationship/dynamic between the two, does it really make any sense for them to be sexually attracted to each other? No and there’s nothing wrong with that. Keith’s unyeilding determination to save Shiro didn’t come from just shallow sexual attraction. His determination came from genuinely admiring Shiro; plus he viewed him as family (and as brothers in arms). You people must understand that there is a huge difference between love and lust/sexual attraction. Any relationship (whether it be straight or LGBTQ) must have a foundation of mutual respect. Liking someone only because you’re sexually attracted/stimulated by them is not love. You can’t just automatically assume that Keith is gay or sexually attracted to Shiro simply because he says “I love you”. A real relationship is far more complex and powerful than basic sexual attraction. To all the LGBTQ and straight people out there, make sure you’re not simply choosing your companion solely on how they look or make you feel sexually. Take a step further totdetermine if your relationship with your companion is genuine, and not just for sexual pleasure.

    • Do you do realise they are not actually related right? So this not like your relationship with your brother. They met when Keith was 15. They spend two years together tops. And countless of gay people have confirmed that they have called their crushed brother or sister. So maybe not talk over the experience of queer people that see themselves in Keith and Shiro, because you and your real life brother also love each other, like congrats, but not the same thing dude.

  47. You will have that with Shiro and Lance, who IS the toxic masculinity character and admires Shiro and who Shiro makes a better person.
    Keith and Shiro are slow burn friends to lovers and a powerful message to the world and a beautiful love story.
    We can have both those things, I don’t know why you need to insist Keith shouldn’t be inlove with Shiro.
    Also, Keith has NEVER been any kind of toxic masculine, he’s Galra and has abandonment issues, that’s why he acted so angry and not because he was trying to be “a man” and not show feelings, so your suggestion wont work anyway, cause it’s all just in your head and how you personally see his character. (while we already have the canon explanation for his behavior)

    This is all just from a pure logic perspective, your argument is just very weak, I would give it up.

  48. Adam and Shiro broke up just before the kerberos mission. Lauren said, outloud and very clearly, that that relationship was over. Please stop spreading that information.

  49. Article is incredibly inaccurate as Keith is not an example of toxic masculinity at all according to the author’s cited definition.

    Adam and Shiro broke up before Shiro went to Kerberos, and according to Lauren Montgomery they are not getting back together in canon. So Shiro is currently single (regardless of one’s shipping preferences).

  50. I’ll be so happy when Voltron ends without either Sheith or Klance happening – especially Sheith. Because then you dumb Tumblrinas will finally get what you deserve.

    You’re fetishing gay men. You’re not spreading awareness and helping the LGBT community at all, the total opposite is actually the case. The Sheith ship is the worst offender, there are no other not related by blood characters in the series that have been made so clear to be in an entirely platonic relationship. Yet these are the ones you have to ship. You clearly don’t care about the characters, only when you can project yourself onto them in sexual situations.

    You really want a ship with a 7 year age-gap to become canon, in a kids’ show? Really? This is what the youth should regard as a healthy romance? Keith with his mentor? You must really hate kids or just have a sick fetish. There is something wrong with your brain.

    Just let these lines sink in:

    “Thanks for raising Keith!”
    “You’re like a brother to me.”
    “You are my brother.”

    If Keith were a girl you’d be the first to bash this ship. Because females have to somewhat be protected, but as long as it’s gay, it’s a pass. Because then you can get off on it. **** you, tumblr.

  51. As a queer person, this is deeply unsettling. The idea that there’s somehow a shortage of deep, well written bonds between male characters that we should prioritize that over a healthy gay relationship, something that is NEVER shown in modern media, is troubling.

    I’d kindly ask the editor to rethink the premise of this article, and speak to queer fans of the show, fans that so rarely see themselves in media, about what they think is better. This sadly reads like a straight person is trying justify how less queer characters is somehow better for queer representation in media.

  52. This is a horrible and, frankly, homophobic take on the relationship between these two characters. If the idea of two men loving and respecting each other malesy you this uncomfortable, just don’t even broadcast your homophobia.

  53. This article is a whole mess. YES, Shiro and Keith shouldn’t be together, but not for the weird reason you came up with. They shouldn’t be together because they clearly see each other as brothers despite the fact that they are not actually related. Shiro met Keith and became his mentor when Keith was just a little kid. To have them end up in a romantic relationship as soon as Keith became legal would be a really weird and bad message.
    I don’t really see where Keith exhibits toxic masculinity. Your definition: “Toxic masculinity is a narrow and repressive description of manhood, designating manhood as defined by violence, sex, status, and aggression.” That’s not Keith at all. He can be aggressive and impulsive, but that’s just a part of his personality, it’s not something he does to be more manly or prove himself. He’s never violent towards his friends, he has a lot of sweet, vulnerable moments, and he doesn’t care about sex or status. You should have said “Keith and Shiro shouldn’t be together because they have a brotherly relationship and it’s nice to see a strong platonic relationship between two men in a children’s show” and left it at that.

  54. Two men shows deep love and care about each other for a whole six seasons, one being gay and the other don’t shows any interest in women.
    You: bwothers!
    Two men who’s dont get along well/dont interact much and one of them shows interest only in females and already deeply in love with woman.
    You: yes, those is the ones who’s should be together!

    oh lol

  55. Totally agree! Why does not one else notice that? I don’t care that Shiro is gay but don’t pair him and Keith up romantically.

  56. You’re a dumbass did you even watch the show, episode 1 of season 7 shows how shiro and keith met, he didn’t adopt him so shut up

  57. So here we are with two seasons left and you really want to put this article on a public platform essentially (and unsuccessfully) trying to put down a ship that has one of the most interesting and well-developed relationships in the show? Okay, sure, I guess you can try that. However, what actual purpose are you trying to get across here? We just had the announcement that one of the most looked up to characters on the show is gay! That’s absolutely incredible representation! And yet, following this, you decide that you need to write an article about why a potential ship should not become canon? Based on supposed toxic masculinity that was “fixed” and would suddenly be undermined if Keith were gay?
    First of all, and as many people have pointed out, of all characters to accuse of toxic masculinity most would think of Lance before Keith, who has been changing through his interactions with Allura. You bring up the definition “manhood as defined by violence, sex, status, and aggression. …where strength is everything while emotions are a weakness.” How does Keith fit into that? If anything he is shown to be one of the most emotionally affected characters on the show. His relationship with Shiro is literally pointed out by Haggar as Keith’s weakness. Keith isn’t constantly trying to prove himself as some sort of “manly man,” his main goal is to protect the one he loves: Shiro (regardless of whether you interpret it as platonic or romantic).
    And even though I agree with you that Shiro has changed Keith (Keith literally said “without you my life would have been a lot different”), why does that positive change suddenly diminish if they ended up in a romantic relationship? Instead of warping the narrative to fit your idea of “toxic masculinity” and Keith not being gay as important “education,” just say outright that you don’t like the ship. And don’t bother writing an entire article about it next time.

  58. Not sure where you think there is ANY basis in canon for either of those relationships to end up being canon. Keith and Lance haven’t had a friendly conversation since probably before Keith left the team to join the Blade, and Lance and Shiro have never been particularly close (plus Lance has canon feelings for Allura so I imagine that is the endgame ship for him if there is one).

  59. “you can be friends with a gay person and not turn gay” imagine writing an article about this in all seriousness and thinking you did something revolutionary lmao

  60. I have to say I’m also confused by this article….while aggression can certainly be a symptom of toxic masculinity, claiming that because of it, a character that presents no other traits has toxic masculinity is….kinda weird. Part of toxic masculinity is a man being unable to express emotions other than anger because of his need to appear powerful, and a fear of appearing effeminiate (or gay) or otherwise emotional. While Keith is certainly angry, he often has intense emotional scenes not depicting anger–particularly with shiro, but also at times with other paladins, he expresses compassion, caring, trust, and devotion. His relationship with shiro, while this matters to him very much, is not what causes him to eventually mature–that’s much more the two years he spent with his mother likely reconciling his abandonment issues. And if you believe shiro has taught Keith to overcome toxic masculinity, why wouldn’t they be able to be together? Toxic masculinity also fears queerness . Rejecting compulsory heterosexual gender Norms about alpha men and realizing your feelings for an old friend would still be rejecting toxic masculinity.
    I agree with many other commentors that lance has much more t.m issues. He bases his worth off of and strives to achieve shallow markers of power, such as the attention of women, the glory of a performance, and the respect of his “hero” (shiro). Lance’s own journey is about realizing that he has worth and importance even if he’s not center stage at every moment, and learning to be less ..womanizing I guess? (A word that doesn’t feel quite right since he isn’t a terrible womanizer, but just flirts with every girl he sees).
    It also baffles me why youre writing an article about this when lance/Keith has been the most popular ship since s1, and yet their own relationship within canon would have a lot of issues. Heck, it baffles me why you’re writing about ships altogether, but is is kind of validating as a sheith shipper that media writers now see sheith as having such potential they have to condemn it–something that wouldn’t happen if there was no possibility of it being canon.

  61. I really still don’t think Shiro and Keith should be together. This article has a olpoint in why, they are both just really close, non-relatef brothers.
    In my defense, I think that either Shance or Klance should happen. Weather or not anything happens is up to the creators themselves.
    I agree with this article, again. They are brother-like

  62. Shiro exists, first and foremost, for queer/disabled/POC kids who never see people like themselves represented in media. Not so that self-important straight men can pat themselves on the back about how woke they are for still liking him, so long as there’s constant reassurance that they’d never have to actually SEE a romantic gay relationship depicted on screen. This article isn’t merely homophobic, it’s also a masterclass on fragile masculinity – yours, writing and publishing nearly 1k of mental gymnastics trying to justify why you shouldn’t ever have to identify with a queer man.

    • You must have missed the part of the article where I said the two being in a relationship would be awesome.

      But I digress. Please point me towards all the media where a queer/disabled/POC teaches a man of a different status to let go of their anger and grow as a positive individual.

  63. Ugh, remind to never go on this site ever again… This article is cursed. Thank you for feeding me your homophobic views dear author.

  64. How about chenging the author profile with something more honest? Like “Anthony is a homophobe who hasn’t watched a single episode of VLD and doesn’t know what ‘toxic masculinity’ is”.

  65. Anybody reminded of those jokes of homophobic people congratulating a married lesbian couple as “bff’s getting married on the same day”?
    My dear author, it is advisable you watch the show, listen to podcasts and watch interviews and do your research before picking up the pen and scribbling stuff on a paper. Googling two terms online and trying to sound valid rather than a ticked off shipper who hasn’t even seen the show is rather unprofessional.
    Keith and Shiro knew each other for at most 2 years. Shiro didn’t adopt Keith and Keith’s role is a direct parallel of a typical knight saving a love interest. You can’t say two men who interact as though they are in love are platonic because toxic masculinity. If you want to tackle toxic masculinity you might want to walk out the door and interact with actual lgbt+ people perhaps. I have heard it works wonders.
    -with regards, an asexual biromantic woman tired of your homophobic ship hate.

  66. Seems like someone is proving the author’s point. Also, toxic masculinity and immaturity are not mutually exclusive. There are many aspects that perhaps you could read about to help educate yourself.

    Also, it is entirely the author’s prerogative to focus on the relationship of two individuals as an example instead of an other. It doesnt discount the growth or improvement that has happened with other characters on the show.

    Again, methinks you should try reading up a bit more about the subject you’re trying to throw back in the authors face. Might be eye opening.

  67. If you don’t want people disagreeing with you, you probably shouldn’t post your opinions on a place like this, just a thought. Anyway, Shiro did not adopt or raise Keith that’s just straight up not true, and they did not meet when Keith was 12. They met when Keith was in high school.

  68. First off – Shiro revelation about his gender was not meant for you idiots to use it against as a means to justified to his relationship with Keith, it was use as a means that even a man like him can act, be strong, loyal, and NORMAL human being. He is NOT define by his sexuality.

    Second – have you FORGOTTEN we have more than 2 male characters? Where is Hunk? Where is Lance in this? Lance who learned to develop pass his “masculine” side of trying to impress the princess and show that he can change, CLAIM even a woman has made him become a better person and even recently told in comics that he admits SHIRO also helped him become a better person. he is still straight! Where is THAT in your article?

    Third- admit you never actually took the time to watch the show and you are CLEARLY homophobic. Claiming that there is fear of straight guys afraid of gay men… that’s fucking your fault for being afraid, stop being homophobic then maybe you might be friends. There is plenty of media that show a perfectly male relationships in media. So don’t go throwing like there ISN’T.

    Final, Keith isn’t toxic masculine, you know who was in the beginning? Lance. Yet table turn. Now get this disgusting unprofessional article offline.

  69. lol Shiro never adopted Keith. He didn’t even know Keith when Keith was 12. You also clearly don’t know what grooming really is.

  70. I think you got Keith and Lance mixed up. Man, hate it when that happens. If only you had realized it before writing a whole ass article about him ‍♂️

  71. Romantic relationships are capable of having the same depth and character growth as platonic relationships, except they come with the addedbenefit of showcasing underrepresented members of the LGBT community.

  72. Author it’s highly advisable to watch a show before writing about it. This article makes me feel like you haven’t so much as glimpsed at a single episode.

  73. This article is gross and homophobic as fuck.

    1) Keith does not display “toxic masculinity”. I do not think that phrase means what you think it means.
    2) Having two gay main characters would be unprecedented representation
    3) There is literally an entire rest of the team to accept both of them regardless of who they are.

    A straight person going, “hey it would be cool if they’re gay, but hear me out, what if they…. weren’t?” Is a really bad look. I promise you’re allowed to just say “I don’t ship this” without resorting to gross, reaching reasoning. As a queer myself please just stop.

  74. Did… did you even watch the show? Keith? Toxic masculinity? Whaaaat. This article has got to be a joke.

    Also your entire point of this article is to what, exactly? Complain about LGBT rep in media?

    The only toxic masculinity I can see at the moment is this poorly written article coming hard for Keith while bitching about the person he admires and loves most in the entire universe. Your tone indicates that you just can’t stomach positive queer rep in media, so you propose that Keith educates himself?

    Keith has had the best character development and growth out of all the characters through six seasons of this show. Again, I have to ask if you even watched the show or if you just get your information from that delusional weirdo Shamus Kelley

    • If you think this article is coming hard for Keith, then you seriously need to rethink your priorities. The article is actually pointing out tendencies in Keith’s character that are typical of overtly masculine behavior of a toxic variety.

      Also, gay shopping doesnt have to be THE ONLY form of representation in visual mediums, it just happens to upset the majority of the fanboys when people suggest the opposite, just like this case here.

      Also also, wouldn’t it be great if there could exist a familial-type of brotherly bond, rooted in love, that wasn’t actually a sexual relationship? Because that’s not important either apparently, thanks to the Keith Denial Squad.

  75. What’s wrong with you? Shiro never adopten Keith and Garrison doesn’t recruit 12-year-old children (!) (it’s a a MILITARY ACADEMY ffs). Just… begone, please.

  76. Why not platonic relationships between people of opposite genders? How about a healthy and platonic love between a straight man and a straight woman? Because for some reason men and women being just friends doesn’t seem like a thing.

    People need to become more accepting of LGBT in media and one hurdle to this is that gay ships are often seen as invalid, ridiculous or delusional.

    Everybody always tell shippers that “they’re just good friends”, constantly smothering potential romance with an extra heavy dose of good ole FRIENDSHIP.

    Even when two guys do the gayest of things everybody just dismisses it and chalks it up to them being good friends. But when a man and a woman talk to each other, even just once, everybody treats them like they’ve been married for years.

    People need to see actual gay characters developing love for one another. No more hiding them in the background. No more ambiguity. No more “oh they’re just friends”.

    It should be clear and not half-assed to help people have a better understanding. To help people who are confused about their feelings.

  77. Impressive! None of what you said is true, and much more positive message on that is Lance overgrowing his toxic masculinity with hitting on girls while never stopping admiring his gay leader in absolutely platonic way, but – impressive how many words you could write being so wrong.

  78. You know what would be much more groundbreaking and educational in a children’s show than yet another platonic male friendship?

    Team Voltron having two queer leaders who the whole team respects and loves. Showing that you can be a leader and be queer, that people will look up to you and listen to you and your queerness won’t detract from that.

    Especially when Lance is one of those team members, the character who ACTUALLY displays toxic masculinity in this show and whom you conveniently forgot exists.

    Also, a character being straight is never going to be more progressive or educational than a character being gay, so just… save your hot take next time. God.

  79. That’s a bad reason. And it’s not even a good reason for Keith and Shiro to be together.
    You know what is a good reason?

    Shiro adopted Keith as a child and raised him. They may be 20 and 26 now. But when they met, Keith was like 12 and Shiro was like 19. Meeting at such a young age, raising him,and then dating him once he becomes legal, is super creepy. And pretty much child grooming.
    Keith also, in Canon, loves Shiro as a brother. Them dating would feel borderline incestuous.

    That’s nasty and their brotherly bond is much better.

    If you disagree dontd reply. I don’t want to argue.

  80. I don’t even have words for how obviously and incredibly uninformed this is. Did the author even watch any of the show before writing this? Keith’s character has never been a portrayal of toxic masculinity. And to think that rep of a strong healthy romance between two men wouldn’t be astronomical to the viewers and LGBT community…What even…

    • Agreed. A parent’s death is TRAUMA not toxic masculinity, and an absentee parent a complicating factor to that.

  81. Personally I think healthy platonic love between people with the opposite gender should be a thing. Keith and Shiro has always had a very healthy relationship with communication and understanding for one another and could serve as a good example if they end up together. On the other hand straight ships pop up like pimples on a teenager while gay ships are often seen as invalid or delusional. Whenever a man and woman are depicted showing even a teensy bit of care for one another they are basically locked together by fans.

    I think platonic love between opposite genders and the acceptance of gay ships should be a thing for now to help media accept having gay characters shown. Someday we’ll eventually move to platonic love between men

    Because right now platonic friendship is always the reason why people argue over gay pairings, with shippers saying how close the two guys are and the non shippers saying they’re only friends.

  82. I read this article over and over trying to grasp the concept/point you’re trying to make… but it’s incredibly stupid and homophobic. I can care less about shipping and the show itself but dude, come on. What kind of homophobic mess is this? Anthony, pal, it’s gonna be a big YIKES for me.

  83. An entire article just for this. Yet another platonic male friendship? Sounds to me that even the straights can see Shiro and Keith’s potential of becoming a couple if they have the strength to write full articles about it.
    How can you even type that Keith has toxic masculinity? By saving his best friend countless times from death? By being so selfless and putting the lives if millions before his own? Sorry but I completely disagree with this interpretation of one of my favorite characters in a while.

    • I honestly have no idea where the author got Keith as a representative of toxic masculinity in Voltron. Lance is practically the epitome of toxic masculinity, whereas Keith’s characterisation actively contradicts almost everything that defines toxic masculinity.

  84. while i don’t think it’s likely that this will be an official canon pairing when all is said and done, why would seeing their interactions in a romantic light detract at all from the message of friendship? keith and shiro are not the only male characters in the show, and definitely not the only pair that can be used as an example of a healthy platonic m/m relationship. portraying romance as something men have to “worry about” when having close relationships with other men hardly challenges the idea of toxic masculinity; neither is toxic masculinity something reserved exclusively for straight men. given the existence of other male characters in the show that have meaningful and platonic relationships with shiro and keith, would a love story between two men who have saved each other countless times in many ways really be ‘giving up’ on a ‘valuable lesson’ to viewers? and is the message of ‘it’s okay to be straight and have gay friends’ really more important than allowing gay or questioning viewers to see a healthy and loving m/m dynamic that resonates with them?

    once again–i don’t think this pairing will become endgame, for many reasons. but i feel that allowing that space for intepreting their relationship as romantic is more important than any “lesson” that can be taught by confirming that their relationship is strictly platonic, and that keith is straight.

  85. I see where you are coming from and you make fair good points but unfortunately I disagree, Keith being in a relationship with Shiro doesn’t change the fact Keith slowly broke away from toxic masculinity. He had one of the best character development in the series.

    There’s plenty of platonic male relationship in many shows. LOTS OF IT. Even in this show itself you have Lance and Hunk showing a fantastic friendship and male bonding. Seeing you trying to pin point this on Keith feels a little out of place if I’m honest, since his issue is not even regarding toxic masculinity but mostly about abandonment issues and mistrust, he was an orphan kid that nobody care for and he knew it, he had no hope or looked forward to anyone stopping to do otherwise, that was until Shiro appeared and his presence and support helped Keith, also the 2 years Keith expend with his mother Krolia mended so many of his remaining fears.
    Keith needed people who truly care about him and prove themselves that they really did, which Shiro did that and the result of it is Keith’s undying devotion, trust and love towards Shiro.

    Whether the directors decide to keep it as friendship or take one step further to something more, Shiro and Keith have both of my thumbs up in approval and support. Them becoming a couple would feel valid and real, so many things have happen and been revealed since the show aired two years ago, Keith and Shiro’s relationship is one of the most wonderful slowburns I have ever witnessed. I’m truly happy and overjoyed with this show, Thank you netflix and vld directors.

  86. Potential canon Shiro/Keith: a groundbreaking, FIRST mlm couple between two main male characters of an action show for kids, both of them are the hero archetypes, very manly, breaking the stereotypes of gay people, shown to be incredibly intimate with each other, one of them literally brought the other one from the dead by the power of his love, it shows little boys that you can be in love with a man and still be a strong hero, it normalizes gay relationships by showing how with the progression of the story Shiro and Keith’s relationship evolves and they slowly start to fall in love with each other.

    Some homophobic “journalist”, thinking that Keith is an example of Toxic Masculinity even though LANCE exists in the show, and completely forgetting about a great platonic male friendship between Lance and Hunk that we already have in the show: But what about the straights? :/

  87. Imagine thinking that yet another platonic male friendship in media is somehow more progressive than mainstream representation of a romance between two men…incredible

  88. I disagree. There is also toxic masculinity in Lance, who is also changing. I would even say Lance is far more the poster boy for it than Keith. Shiro is also close with the other paladins showing LGBTQ’s can have close male relationships and be respected by their peers, so that aspect is covered as well.
    I think their would be a better story in having Keith and Shiro end up together, which is that love is about support, communication, believe in each other, equalness and unconditional love. Those stories between men are much harder to find, since most mlm stories have an element of violence, or lack the deep emotional connection. It would be far more groundbreaking for young people to see that story than especially since Lance already has the change you want to place on Keith as his arc to begin with.

  89. This is exactly what children’s media has been missing! For years, the genre has been dominated by gay men, especially in action/sci-fi, and it’s so rare that boys get a straight main character to look up to 🙂 Thank you so much for this rare and courageous take that I’m sure no one will ever mock you about

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