I’m sick of the media asking the show creators questions like
"Oooohhh, are John and Sherlock in luuuurrve???"
When they should really be asking questions like,
"If your insistence that John and Sherlock are not romantically involved is correct, could you explain the deliberate choice to constantly frame the two with tropes, both in filming and in writing, that are indefensibly romantic?"
Because, the television series was co-written and co-created by Mark Gatiss. If they intended Sherlock and John to clearly be a romantic couple, the story would have been written that way unambiguously.
It is obvious that Moffat and Gatiss as writers and creators have intentionally written Sherlock to leave open the possibility that they are unrequited lovers. They left it ambiguous on purpose. They’re both writers who understand that unresolved mysteries add a sense of depth to a story; they allow the reader/viewer/listener to fill in the gaps with personal hopes and perspectives, and truly make it their own story. I am quite certain the writers and actors are playing with assumptions as a storytelling tool and they are intentionally tweaking social norms to raise the question, with no intention of ever answering it. And by asking the question, they help establish the cultural reality that it is okay for the answer to be “yes”; and also that it is okay for the answer to be “no”.
In a broader sense, I am deeply offended by the presumption in some corners of fandom that two men cannot be deeply affectionate for one another without being romantically linked. I’ve had friends like that: people I deeply care for, and want to spend time with; people I do small thoughtful favors for, but without a whisper of romantic overtones to the relationship. It can happen. It has happened. It will happen. Just like I can have straight women who are very-good-but-non-romantic friends. Not every relationship is about romance and sex. Don’t we need examples of strong, healthy relationships that don’t involve sex, just like we need examples of strong, healthy sex-positive, non-hetero relationships? Is it not offensive when every pair of male-female police detectives result in a sexual fling at some point in the story?
If you want to relate to the television program Sherlock in that way, more power to you. Celebrate the possibility, and answer the questions for yourself. If it enriches your enjoyment, that’s wonderful. But don’t imply that your interpretation must be the right one. Don’t dare challenge my presumption as anything other than a healthy and logical interpretation of the story, for me and my enjoyment of it.