Wherever there are hints of sexual tension in a book, movie or television show, there will always be shippers. They can be described as uber-fans who pair or ‘ship’ two fictional characters together in a romantic relationship, and then obsess over that mental image becoming a reality. Many shippers draw saucy fan art, write sultry fanfic, and at times freak out when their ship doesn’t pan out.
The shippers are a strange and complex breed. At its worst shipping can lead to campaigns of targeted harassment against art creators. At its best it can be a movement promoting gay acceptance and visibility in media. But mostly it’s just a bunch of people on the Internet enjoying the thing they love, albeit in strangely erotic ways.