One can. One seriously can guess or predict an author's intentions. Of course, once characters and story are created, they live outside the author's head and have entered the realm of ... audience interpretation! (or fanfic). But as I've said before, manga-ka follow a traditional form with character types and plots, and a very long-sighted clever one like Kubo-san will throw clues and red herrings along his way to keep his readers guessing.
The fun of serial stories is guessing what comes next. I'd argue that a good percentage of the story with all its cliffhangers and unsolved mysteries (oh will it be another 100 chapters before we get Isshin's backstory?). demands that. How can people think otherwise? If we all went around saying "my interpretation is as valid as yours," then there would be no need for discourse.
Excuse me while I have a painful flashback. Someone once told me a sentence of mine was a fragment, and I said no, I'm an English teacher, here, let me diagram it for you. She responded, "but my opinion is valid!" I thought she was kidding, but she wasn't, and eventually the discussion ended with my being called a "dickweed." Just WHO is out there teaching our young-uns that all opinions are valid? *gnashes teeth*
Now onto the gayness.
Chapter 276 script, very spoilerish
I still haven't stopped laughing at Zael having to change his clothes and then essentially telling Ishida "oh you would understand, my fellow dandy gay friend." That's, like, I dunno, fifth or sixth innuendo about Ishida's sexual orientation in this arc! I. am. hysterical. Not that it's unusual for manga-ka to make gay jokes, but Kubo seems to be up to something here with Ishida. You didn't get people observing his gay behaviour in the SS arc. In this one, we've had gayish characters (Zael, Pesh) recognize one of their own....
Why is Kubo doing this?
Could be fanservice to the yaoi crowd. Could be that Kubo is telling us the true nature of Ishida's sexuality. But what I think is this: Ishida is the hero of this arc; he's obviously the one. I think his motives for wanting to save Orihime will be shown, and if anyone gets to meet up with her, it's him. Ishida's affections for Orihime will be all the more poignant if we've had a whole arc of people presuming his gayness.
(if you respond that Ishida will leave the series and become Zael's wife in upcoming chapters, then I will say that opinion is not valid bc it doesn't follow shounen form and because it's weirdly OOC. If you say that Kubo is giving us broad hints of Ishida's true gayness to break up all the rampant IshiHime speculation, I'd say ... hmmm, that point has some validity... and I'd puff my pipe and adjust my glasses).
As for Grimmjow and Ichigo--I have no fricken clue where this is going. I expect Orihime is there to heal Ichigo--but why? That Grimmjow wants a rematch seems too easy an answer. Something's going to trip up--maybe Orihime will heal Ichigo only to bring out Shirosaki and boy, will she feel bad (this is a "let's see how bad we can make Orihime feel" arc)
I want another color spread with Zael. I mean, wow, he's great. Not just a mad scientist, but a gay, sarcastic, pink-haired one!