Was I noisy before?:)) I’m rereading T&S in fact and sobbing uncontrollably rn. What’re you up to, nonnie?
I have to admit that you raise one hell of a question here. One, that is really tough to answer to be honest, because I actually think we might not know John Winchester well enough to be able to talk about this topic. What makes it even more difficult is that most of the fandom has a very strict view and opinion on his character already and so do I, so my interpretation (though I will try and answer your questions as objective as possible) might be biased. What makes matters worse, is that there is a fine line to be walked here when it comes to stereotypes. Some of which might fit John Winchester perfectly and others that get applied might not at all. And all of this isn’t even taking into account how most of our view on John Winchester and what we know about him is based on Sam’s and Dean’s descriptions or memories, which I don’t doubt for a second are all true true, but that on the other hand of course are selective and highly personal as well and therefore never objective. It kind of touches a bit on the notion of „unreliable narrator“, because when talking about your parents – no matter if you tend to idolize them and put them on a pedestal no matter how shitty they might have been or if you demonize them and can’t see any of what they did just in a slightly positive light.
All of that being said, I will try to give you somewhat of a possible reading/interpretation, but I have no idea, if it will be a very satisfying one… Also, I am not trying to excuse any actions of John Winchester.
Let’s start with what we know about John Winchester (without taking Sam’s and Dean’s memories and experiences of him into account:
he should have become a „Men of Letters“, but his father (who appeared to have been one lovely and caring man) never made it back from a time travel making him believe that he ran out on him and didn’t care about him
he fell in love with Mary Campbell, married her and got two kids with her
he had a fling with another woman, who got pregnant and got a son, he saw a couple of times over the years and never told that he had a family and was a hunter
he was a vietnam war veteran and was in the marine corps
he worked as a mechanic
after Mary died he got obsessed with avenging her death, got into hunting and left his kids alone for days at a time and was – due to himself grieving and traumatized by what happened and learning on top that ghosts, demons and all kinds of othet things that go bump in the night exist – unable to provide the love, safety and security Sam and Dean (who were deeply traumatized by the events as well) would have so desperately needed
he bought a ‘67 Impala (due to someone very special’s help) he later gave to Dean, drove a huge black truck and was a jeans and leather jacket kind of guy
I think this is basically, what we know of him without it being told by another character and therefore perceived and judged in a personal way. Now, let’s take a look at what we Dean and Sam have to say about their dad:
he drank too much
he put too much pressure on them when they were really young, trained them to be hunters („A good little soldier nothing else“)
he made them grow up too fast („I was never a kid“)
he was unable to provide, what Dean and Sam would have needed to develop a healthier relationship and leave them less emotionally scarred by what they have seen so early in life
he wasn’t one to talk about feelings a whole lot, but rather focused on getting things done („shoot first ask questions later“)
All of that being said, I don’t doubt for a second that John Winchester loved his kids, but I think he failed at being a parent.
Now, what does all of this have to do with the question of John Winchester and whether or not he may have been homophic. Well, for one I think it is important to remember what we know about him, which is not a lot and most of what we know doesn’t have anything to do with love or sexuality, no matter if it is about love between a man and a woman or a man and a man or a woman and a woman.
Since we have very little (actually next to no) info on John’s socialization as a kid and teenager, it is really hard to decide. So for you first question and I know it took me a damn long time to make the point, I really have to say: We don’t know.
Now, if I was to speculate and take into account the way he carried himself and take into account how Dean always wanted to be like his dad, then I’d say, he seems to absolutely have been someone, who might have thought that it is unmanly to cry.
The way the show colours him, John seemed to have been a hyper masculine guy. But hyper masculine, doesn’t mean homophobic. If at all, I’d take it as a sign of insecurity on his part about his identity.
Now to your second and third question.
Since I think we absolutely cannot say if John was homophobic, but def focused on appearing very manly. I actually don’t even like using this word „manly“, because it kind of fails the point and is so stereotypical and offending, because: Who is to say what is manly and what is not? Society is fucked up in that regard. You are not less a man, if you show emotions, you are not more a man if you wear a beard. You are not more womanly if you have big boobs and wear dresses and you are not less womanly if you have short hair and never wear high heels.
And that is exactly the thing. And the problem in our world, because our society needs labels (and there is nothing I hate more than labels) to operate and unfortunately sometimes we need them as well, to see who we are and who we are not.
But back to your question. In the earlier seasons, Dean seemed to have been very much ~afraid people could think he was anything but straight, but the older he has gotten, the less he cares about what people think. The reason, why Dean isn’t talking to Sam about how he might feel about Cas (and I won’t even mention here – only I apparently am – that he wouldn’t even need to tell Sam, because Sam already knows and I think he’d be supportive of Dean, if he came out) to me doesn’t have anything to do with Dean being afraid of saying that he might have feelings for a guy, but really more that he doesn’t know how to explain himself. Dean has always been a person of action rather than words. Also: I think he is really only starting to grasp the depth of his feelings for Cas (read here for my personal 3 step structure for Deancas).
I also don’t think he ~refuses to acknowledge his feeling for Cas when Sam is around, it’s more that I think he lacks the tools to properly express what it is that is going on between them.
As for your last question: Do I think Dean’s upbringing plays a role in his inability to openly talk about his feelings (which btw got better in S8 and now is made a point of getting worse in S9 with the whole 3 act structure in terms of growth-decay-transformation)? Absolutely. I just think it has less to do with homophobia, but rather hyper masculinity (though as I said above the whole labeling things puts me off immensly in general) and everything Dean experienced not only as a small child, but also as a teenager and how he might have been treated when he opened up or showed ~weakness.
i think it’s a universal truth that everyone in our generation takes pluto’s losing its planetary status as a personal offense
pluto is smaller than russia. why did we ever even consider it a planet?
BECAUSE IT’S A PART OF OUR SOLAR SYSTEM
OHANA MEANS FAMILY
FAMILY MEANS NO ONE IS LEFT BEHIND