a lot of people look down on slash fiction (where fans pen often erotic stories involving same sex characters in a television show or movie) for myriad reasons, but the truth is, it is an increasingly popular form of fandom. this is very true for smallville as well (just do a search with "smallville" and "slash" as your search parameters!). no, i am not a slash author. i am an academic interested in superman's allegorical nature, and certainly the hidden identity trope inherent in superman narratives (and all superhero stories, really) harkens being "in the closet".
additionally, it has also been suggested that superman is a religious metaphor (with clark as messiah), and the cover itself for the first season dvd (with clark tied to the pole in the cornfield) lends itself to both analogies (christ on the cross, mathew shephard).
my question: in thinking about these multiple layers (the obvious textual narrative and the underlying cues and hidden meanings individual fans might detect), what alternate readings do you see imbedded in smallville specifically and superman in general? for gay fans, have you ever read it as being similar to your own experiences? for straight fans, have you ever thought of it as a little gay (not in the derogatory way the word is often used on here, but as literally, if only slightly, queer)?