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Destiel is a nickname given to the slash pairing of two characters from the fantasy television series Supernatural, Dean Winchester and Castiel. Since the premiere of the series, the pair has become one of the most notable slash couples within the fandom and the shipping community on Tumblr, in part due to the show’s portrayal of the characters in intimacy that suggest a potentially romantic relationship between them.
The character of Castiel (played by Misha Collins) was introduced in the first episode of the show’s fourth season, titled “Lazarus Rising” which originally aired on September 18th, 2008. The members of the fan community almost immediately began shipping Castiel, often shortened as Cas, with Dean (played by Jensen Ackles) through a LiveJournal blog titled “DeanCastiel” dedicated to Dean/Cas slash fiction created the same day. One of the first mentions of the portmanteau is in the title of the Destiel LiveJournal, which was created on September 26th, 2008.
An entry for Destiel was first added to Urban Dictionary on August 8th, 2009 by user xXxFallenAngelXx. Several Tumblr blogs dedicated to the pair have been created, including DestielHeaven, which was created on March 28th, 2011, and justdestiel, which was created on September 12th, 2011. On August 18th, 2013, The Backlot announced Destiel had won their 2013 Ultimate Slash Madness Tourney. On May 26th, 2014, the Facebook page Destiel Lovers was created, as of July 2014, it has gained over 1,000 likes. As of July 2014, there are over 16,000 pieces of fan art on DeviantArt  tagged Destiel.
Fans who ship Destiel have been vocal about their desire to see Dean and Castiel have a romantic relationship on the show, often bringing up the subject at convention panels and other avenues of asking the actors and writers questions. On September 28th, 2013, YouTuber Daenerys Stormborn uploaded a video titled “Misha Collins shipping Destiel” which featured Collins saying he ships Destiel before walking into a shipping store to ship a sausage branded “Destel.” As of July 2014, the video has gained over 13,000 views.
On October 15th, 2013, The Daily Dot published an article titled “Did ‘Supernatural’ just give fans the queer romance they’ve been hoping for?” which pointed out that in original script for an episode titled “Goodbye Stranger,” which originally aired on March 20th, 2013, Dean tells Castiel “I love you,” instead of “I need you,” leaving many fans wondering if that made their relationship cannon.
On July 15th, 2014, the official Supernatural Twitter account sent out a since deleted tweet inviting fans to ask questions about the show using the hashtag #AskSupernatural. The hashtag quickly spread, trending that day and the following day, with many fans tweeting critical questions, especially regarding the lack of canon Destiel. In less than a week the hashtag was tweeted out over 28,000 times. Many fans compared the stream of negative questions to the #AskThicke hashtag controversy.
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