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maraleia

LGBT Themes, Stories and Characters on TV

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Oh, I agree, nosleepforme. I'm well aware of the various situations for LGBT people around the world since I read about it a lot and watch docs/movies. Of course these stories are very important, I wasn't saying I didn't think so. I've just personally been putting these particular episodes off because sometimes I need a reprieve from all the horror stories.

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I read on Twitter that there are two more lesbian characters expected to die in the next few weeks. Does anyone know who that was referring to? This is getting to the point where I'm starting to worry about the patrons at Jessica's favorite bar on Fresh Off the Boat.

 

ETA: I hear it happens on

The Vampire Diaries

, a show that previously had two gay male characters (at different times) and killed them both.

Edited by Wax Lion

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Spoiler tagged because the episode has aired in Canada, but not yet in the US:

It looks like Nora and Mary Louise on The Vampire Diaries are dead. But with that show you never know because they often find ways to bring characters back from the dead.

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Fuller has bad luck with that kind of thing. The dad on Dead Like Me was supposed to be gay, IIRC, but he got straightened out sometime early in the process. Fuller ended up leaving the show, possibly because of that. It strikes me that the current acceptance is built on the rubble of previous attempts. Not that the current situation is perfect, but it's better than it was.

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Crap, crap, crap. Sorry about forgetting to spoiler tag that, grumpiness clouded my head.

 

As I recall, Showtime treated Fuller terribly with Dead Like Me. One season had two clip episodes because of how small the budget was and an executive told Fuller he wasn't capable of knowing if Rebecca Gayhart was pretty or not as a gay man. (I guess Fuller didn't want to write her out of the show?)

 

I didn't know homophobia prompted Fox to treat Wonderfalls so badly. The part line at the time was that the network got scared when CBS announced they were also making a show about a young woman who hears possibly-divine voices (Joan of Arcadia). I loved all the characters from that show and for a while Sharon Tyler was one of my favorite TV lesbians.

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Also, the word homosexual is frowned on in the LGBT community.

Not by this homosexual, who does not subscribe to the dictates of the GLAAD thought police.
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Not by this homosexual, who does not subscribe to the dictates of the GLAAD thought police.

Hear, hear!

I had no idea that's what happened with Wonderfalls. Sharon's one of my favourite characters ever.

I knew about George's dad getting "straightened", and Rebecca Gayheart leaving was a shame (although I heard it was about her being involved in that car accident which caused a child's death, not about her not being pretty enough) because she's awesome, but other than that I think Dead Like Me is awesome and Daisy, Daisy Adair was a great substitute for Gayheart (I'd loved to have had them both on the show throughout the show).

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IMO "homosexual" used as a noun isn't offensive per se, but whenever someone uses it, if that person is straight and it's not in an academic context, to me it means they're either a) old, b) have some outdated ideas about LGBT issues, or c) come from a conservative religious background. That doesn't necessarily translate to anti-gay the way someone who uses "same-sex attraction/SSA" does. Just kinda out of touch*. YMMV.

 

When Brendan Fehr was talking about his gay storyline on Night Shift, he talked about what it meant to play "a homosexual" on television, and it felt so obvious that he came from some sort of religious background. Turns out that he was raised Mennonite.

 

* Similarly I have coworkers who would refer to Asian people as "Orientals." I don't think they're (intentionally) racist towards me, but they're definitely a bit out of touch. I cut them some slack though because they're old enough to be my parents and I think my parents' generation was when it was still okay to call us that. 

Edited by galax-arena
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I don't disagree with any of that, but in my view the GLAAD "list" is far too sweeping and condemnatory of a word that, in some contexts, may be the right one. Where they say "offensive," I would say "raises some mild questions" (when I'm a reader/listener) or "are you sure that's really the word you want to use here?" (for a writer/speaker). And that's a pretty big difference.

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In the US, "homosexual" has become associated with the rabidlt anti-gay right who have embraced the term to the point that when they reprint news wire stories, they have a scrip that changes any mention of gay to "homosexual," presumably because "homosexual marriage" and "homosexual rights" don't poll as well as when you say "gay marriage" or "gay rights".

 

At this point, the term is theirs. They're the vast majority of people using it in the states. Perhaps in the future it can be reappropriated back the way queer has been but until then it's a word that doesn't put you in good company.

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In the US, "homosexual" has become associated with the rabidlt anti-gay right who have embraced the term to the point that when they reprint news wire stories, they have a scrip that changes any mention of gay to "homosexual," presumably because "homosexual marriage" and "homosexual rights" don't poll as well as when you say "gay marriage" or "gay rights".

 

At this point, the term is theirs. They're the vast majority of people using it in the states. Perhaps in the future it can be reappropriated back the way queer has been but until then it's a word that doesn't put you in good company.

 

Thing is, the word "gay" was also appropriated at some point, because I'm old enough to remember when it just meant that you were happy. ;-)

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Those Cause of Death descriptions are hilarious. But seriously, I stopped watching that show and I have no idea who they were, but that's a shame.

Denise dying on The Walking Dead was annoying as hell as well, though hardly surprising. They only seem to kill off post season 2 characters nowadays.

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Anybody else have an issue with Orphan Black co-creator Graeme Manson's response to the controversy over Delphine's death? 

“If you did everything that the fans wanted, it wouldn’t be a drama anymore,” he added. “There would be no mystery to it. Delphine and Cosima would just be naked in bed and that would be the show. We’d just keep cutting to them over and over and everyone would be happy, right?”

IMO this is an extraordinarily bad faith argument that once again reduces gay people to thinking only about sex, sex, and more sex. You know who else uses this sort of rhetoric? The anti-gay right. If you fancy yourself a social progressive and you find yourself parroting this type of logic, it might be time to reevaluate. 

 

For the record, I actually didn't have a problem at all with Delphine's death. I mean, I stopped watching Orphan Black ages ago, but from what I read, her death didn't violate the two ~rules (lol) I've come up with in terms of determining whether a death is acceptable or not:

 

1. They should not be the only LGBTQ character on the show, so that you're not killing off your token.

 

2. They should not be killed off in a way that relates to their sexuality, e.g. don't kill them off right after they've had sex. That hews way too closely to the old Hays Code where LGBTQ people were to be punished for their immorality. 

 

tl;dr - So Delphine's death was fine, but Manson's response was still stupid. 

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I think it's a bad argument because it's ridiculous strawman. Keeping a couple of characters together does not in itself equal "doing everything the fans want". Following that logic there shouldn't be any long-term couples on any show. Correct me if I am wrong, Graeme, but I have heard it's actually possible to write drama without killing major characters and/or breaking up couples all the time? I am not saying it would necessarily be the right choice for this show and these characters but it can definitely happen.

 

To be fair, the same kind of stupid argument (usually without the naked in bed part, though) is used all the time for straight couples. You know, the old "happy couples are boring" Hollywood adage. With an ever increasing amount of "I am so bold, I kill characters!" patting on the back which becomes all the more irritating in cases like Delphine's because LGBTQ characters have a much lower survival rate than the other characters.

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IMO this is an extraordinarily bad faith argument that once again reduces gay people to thinking only about sex, sex, and more sex. 

 

Do you have link to the article?  What you quoted sounds to me like he's saying that the only thing the fans want to see is sex, sex, sex, not that that's all the characters do.  But I need to read the entire article to get the quote in context.

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IMO this is an extraordinarily bad faith argument that once again reduces gay people to thinking only about sex, sex, and more sex. You know who else uses this sort of rhetoric? The anti-gay right. If you fancy yourself a social progressive and you find yourself parroting this type of logic, it might be time to reevaluate. 

 

I dunno, I'm with Demented Daisy in needing to see the entire article, because I read the blurb you quoted four times and it seemed like what he was saying is that the fans wanted to see more sex, not that the characters should be limited to sex. One of these things is not like the other.

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What you quoted sounds to me like he's saying that the only thing the fans want to see is sex, sex, sex, not that that's all the characters do.  

Yes, that's what he was referring to, and that was the gist of my objection to his comment as well, i.e. he is reducing the LGBTQ fanbase's concerns to simply wanting to see sex on screen all the time, which is completely disingenuous and mirrors a lot of rightwing rhetoric about how "gay pride" is simply about throwing sex in people's faces. You know how some anti-gay conservatives will, at any mention of homosexuality, go off on a rant about anal sex? LMAO I swear they think more about anal sex than gay men do. Manson's comments were less crude than that by a long shot, but it's still indicative of reducing LGBTQ fans' issues with simply wanting to see sex all the time, which isn't true. 

 

Here is the full article.

Edited by galax-arena
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Yes, that's what he was referring to, and that was the gist of my objection to his comment as well, i.e. he is reducing the LGBTQ fanbase's concerns to simply wanting to see sex on screen all the time, 

 

*snip*

 

Here is the full article.

 

Thanks.

 

Surely the entire fanbase is not LGBTQ?  I tend to think that he was referring to a (probably vocal) section of the fanbase that does always want sex on their screens.  I don't think he meant that only the LGBTQ fans wanted to see sex.  (Or that sex was all they wanted to see.)

 

But mileage varies, of course.

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Surely the entire fanbase is not LGBTQ?

No, but a large part of the fanbase upset over Delphine's death are LGBTQ, and he was responding to complaints that Delphine was yet another dead lesbian/bi woman by effectively dismissing them by saying, "Well, we can't always give you what you want, or else we'd just have Delphine and Cosima having sex all the time!"

 

Are there some people out there who just want to see their favorite characters have sex? Well, sure. That's true for all fanbases. But that did not constitute the vocal majority of people pissed over Delphine's death, and it was extraordinarily unfair of Manson to characterize/generalize them as such, especially when there is a history of dismissing LGBTQ people by saying that all we care about is sex. 

Edited by galax-arena
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Over on Once Upon A Time the long-awaited lesbian story happened and it was horrible. http://www.ew.com/article/2016/04/17/once-upon-time-lgbt-ruby-red-dorothy-mulan-spoilers

Adam and Eddie managed to upset queer fans and homophobic fans in one fell swoop. Congrats guys...you just joined a long list of show runners who screwed things up for the queer audience.

 

I swear straight, male, cisgender show runners suck sometimes. I'm looking at you too Graeme Manson.

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Over on Once Upon A Time the long-awaited lesbian story happened and it was horrible. http://www.ew.com/article/2016/04/17/once-upon-time-lgbt-ruby-red-dorothy-mulan-spoilers

Adam and Eddie managed to upset queer fans and homophobic fans in one fell swoop. Congrats guys...you just joined a long list of show runners who screwed things up for the queer audience.

I swear straight, male, cisgender show runners suck sometimes. I'm looking at you too Graeme Manson.

I actually enjoyed the storyline. Maybe I am just that out of touch with humans as a whole but besides the fact that the storyline was extremely rushed I found it sweet. What am I missing?

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I actually enjoyed the storyline. Maybe I am just that out of touch with humans as a whole but besides the fact that the storyline was extremely rushed I found it sweet. What am I missing?

The fact that they promised it would be developed all season long and that they neutered a POC queer character to service two white characters who've had no interaction until this episode.

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Maybe it's because they're planning on giving Mulan her happy ending with Aurora!

 

 

 

 

 

....What? I can dream. Prince Phillip and the baby? Pfsh. Minor obstacles at best. What's a little homewrecking?

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Maybe it's because they're planning on giving Mulan her happy ending with Aurora!

 

 

 

 

 

....What? I can dream. Prince Phillip and the baby? Pfsh. Minor obstacles at best. What's a little homewrecking?

I don't trust Adam and Eddie to do right by us viewers with this show anymore.

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I have no problem with the storyline. Besides Mulan and Red being lesbians, I saw little chemistry like I did between Mulan and Aurora. I don't want Mulan to settle for the next lesbian. Also, I personally appreciated that the show had more than two gay people.

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I have no problem with the storyline. Besides Mulan and Red being lesbians, I saw little chemistry like I did between Mulan and Aurora. I don't want Mulan to settle for the next lesbian. Also, I personally appreciated that the show had more than two gay people.

 

Hm, I don't know, how those two would identify themselves, but we know that at least Red had a romance with a guy, Peter, so think we should assume that she is bisexual, or pansexual. Many think that Mulan had feelings for Philip as well and later for Aurora, so she might be bisexual too. For the sake of bivisibility.

 

I enjoyed the episode with Ruby and Dorothy falling in love as long as I kept out of my mind all the discussions around this show and the bigger picture of representation on screen. Maybe like 5 years ago I even would have cheered, great progress, but it feels all coming a bit late now.

 

I get that for fans it is very disappointing for a number of reasons: Rushed, the relationship was barely developed, Mulan was sidelined again, and it's doubtful how much of RedKansas will be shown in the future, if at all, very likely they are disappearing rather into off-screen happiness. Even if they might show up once in a while, we still won't get to see much of their relationship, it's unimportant for the main arc of the show, they are supporting characters and nothing more. I don't care much about SwanQueen and think it's moot to hope that it would ever become canon, but I very much understand the frustration, that main characters on OUaT are a failure in questions of diversity and better representation and thus is the show, even taking in account the supporting characters it doesn't get much better. While I never took what Kitsis and Horowitz said in interviews as a promise that they would seriously do anything going much beyond a one-off, many had a different expectation. The writers saying, it wouldn't be a special episode just meant, it wouldn't be a coming out story or LGBTQI centric drama, but a love story like any other just happening between two women (it was more likely happening between two women than two guys on this show). The show creators and most of the fans aren't talking the same language, not just in this case, failed expectations are rather normal for OUaT.

 

But nevertheless: it is great that we had now a fairy tale's true love kiss between two women showing their love on a family Sunday broadcast network prime time show. Reactions on OUaT's Facebook page and in some commentary sections of reviews are proof how much we still need even such things, even if it's not meeting all our expectations and is not the big step forward.

Edited by myril
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I'm insanely curious about the unnamed "recurring lesbian character" they were initially planning to kill off (sounds like she got a reprieve). Carbone mentions that they were working on this story when Lexa died, so it sounds like this is an upcoming Season 5 thing. Does that mean Sydney Katz is coming back from Israel? She's the only character I can think of that would fit. The show seems to like putting Maggie Lin in peril, but she's obviously not a recurring character.

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I'm insanely curious about the unnamed "recurring lesbian character" they were initially planning to kill off (sounds like she got a reprieve). Carbone mentions that they were working on this story when Lexa died, so it sounds like this is an upcoming Season 5 thing. Does that mean Sydney Katz is coming back from Israel? She's the only character I can think of that would fit. The show seems to like putting Maggie Lin in peril, but she's obviously not a recurring character.

 

I think it helps that one of the cast members is Wendy Crewson as Dr. Dana Kinney because she recently came out as either a lesbian or bisexual recently. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sk9djvb6Qkg

http://www.etalk.ca/News/Wendy-Crewson-on-coming-out-and-telling-her-kids

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Replaced is too strong a word for it, IMO. Magik was long a member of the team. Jay and Miles recently pointed out that she was pretty much the main character for part of the run. Now, I'll go with the argument that they could have both, but not replaced.

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Heh, I'll take your word for it, Joe, since I don't really follow Marvel too closely. I'm still mad regardless, especially as this is coming in the wake of all the Lexa fallout, where several pertinent issues re: intersectionality came up, with gay WOC essentially being told to choose between our sexuality and our race. I can count the number of major Asian lesbian characters on American tv/movies on my hands. So to have this taken away from us pisses me off. 

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That's fair enough. They could also have included Kitty Pryde. Officially straight, but there's always been an undertone of queerness about her. But that wouldn't work, because she's been in the other X-Men movies. So yes, you do have a point.

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I would highly recommend watching the Australian drama Janet King for a positive representation of lesbian characters. A lot of credit for how this show treats its main character is down to the actress who portrays her, Marta Dusseldorp.

Also, MTV canceled Faking It and actually I'm not that upset because the show devolved into some pretty horrible tropes and needed to die.

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Also, MTV canceled Faking It and actually I'm not that upset because the show devolved into some pretty horrible tropes and needed to die.

It needed to die two years ago after the first season finale which was insulting to many things and people but in particular common sense and good taste.

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On 5/14/2016 at 3:42 PM, maraleia said:

I would highly recommend watching the Australian drama Janet King for a positive representation of lesbian characters. A lot of credit for how this show treats its main character is down to the actress who portrays her, Marta Dusseldorp.

I started watching "Janet King" this past weekend on your recommendation and I'm loving it - thank you!

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I am re-watching Brooklyn 99 from the first season and I just have to say Captain Holt is the best!  I love all the flashbacks that pepper the series when he talks about being an out gay black detective  when he was starting out (his geri curl and mustache really sell it).  I cracked up at the totally unpronounceable acronym for the gay black police officers support group he founded (and still runs for president of each year).  And I finally I love his relationship with his husband Kevin.  They are so restrained and decorous, and yet still oddly sexy.  Andre Braugher is such a genius in this role.

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Not a current topic, but considering it is the anniversary of Glee's pilot episode airing or whatever, I thought I'd ask - now the dust has settled how d you think it didwhere do you think this show will end up being regarded as a depiction of LGBT themes? I mostly paid attention to Santana/Brittany and definately stopped after season 3 (with the odd exception for obvious reasons). I think they may have done an okay-ish job with Santana when all is said and done but that was definately unintention. Unlike many shows, she did end up with the girl of her dreams (lookinFaking it).

I grew to dislike Kurt and the story they were telling about him - though it was much much better in the first 13 episodes. And I really didn't like that his main adversary was a closeted gay teen. I thought that was the wrong message.

Thoughts?

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9 hours ago, SparedTurkey said:

Not a current topic, but considering it is the anniversary of Glee's pilot episode airing or whatever, I thought I'd ask - now the dust has settled how d you think it didwhere do you think this show will end up being regarded as a depiction of LGBT themes? I mostly paid attention to Santana/Brittany and definately stopped after season 3 (with the odd exception for obvious reasons). I think they may have done an okay-ish job with Santana when all is said and done but that was definately unintention. Unlike many shows, she did end up with the girl of her dreams (lookinFaking it).

I grew to dislike Kurt and the story they were telling about him - though it was much much better in the first 13 episodes. And I really didn't like that his main adversary was a closeted gay teen. I thought that was the wrong message.

Thoughts?

Particularly since said closeted teen basically sexually assaulted Kurt by forcing a kiss on him. Kurt eventually became unbearable, but at the time he was living in fear of the guy, thinking he was going to beat him up badly enough to hospitalize him, and then it turned out he had some repressed crush.

Speaking for myself, I never really warmed up to Santana, although on occasion I sort of appreciated that she could be a mean-spirited wench for no reason. Unlike Kurt, who was long-suffering but never fought back (at least that I remember, because I quit watching Glee long before it went off the air) Santana was abrasive and snappish and bitchy in addition to being gay. The downside of that, though, was the show's attempt to make me feel sorry for her when she was outed in front of half the school because she finally made fun of Finn's weight one too many times. They tried to paint him as some kind of oafish bully when she was the one who'd been incessantly picking on him about how fat he was, and that didn't work for me. YMMV.

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I am less concerned about the writing of a specific character or plotline because that's subjective. Yes, Santana was annoyingly forgiven for being so awful bit so was Sue. And I hate Brittany. HATE. But I can appreciate the show for showing prominent lgtbq character in prominent storylines. Kurt/Blaine and Santana / Brittany were arguable two of the three biggest couples on that show. The show did a worse job with characters of colour. 

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Personally, I think any character on that show did much better when the writers were not paying too much attention to them. And Sue never stopping being so awful was more of a throwback to the show's black comedy roots IMO.

I do also appreciate that this show did include LGBT characters but I think it's importance was/is grossly overstated. Kurt, Finn and Blaine couldn't ever do anything wrong and always, always, won. While I guess in a way it is good 2 gay dudes got the lion's share of the limelight (with a straight white male FWIW) it was always at the expense of every other character. Women. Lesbians. POC. You know, the usual. Who were always written poorly in comparison

Quote

The downside of that, though, was the show's attempt to make me feel sorry for her when she was outed in front of half the school because she finally made fun of Finn's weight one too many times

One of those things is not like the other just quietly.

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9 hours ago, SparedTurkey said:

The downside of that, though, was the show's attempt to make me feel sorry for her when she was outed in front of half the school because she finally made of Finn's weight one too many time

One of those things is not like the other just quietly.

I don't know what that means as it relates to what I was saying, so I'll expand on my point, and then you can tell me why I'm wrong.

I don't think gay characters have to be long-suffering martyr types who are never angry about anything ever, and when I liked Santana it was because she was so bitchy to everyone, usually just because they happened to be standing there. But in the particular incident I'm referring to, when Finn lashed out due to her relentless teasing, she became the put-upon victim of his cruelty, and FWIW I"m not saying "poor baby Finn" or whatever else. What I am saying is that to make her the innocent bystander and him the bully made her (IMO) exactly like every other (usually heterosexual male) "hero" on TV who would get all thentitive when someone used their own tactics against them. Didn't work for them, shouldn't work for her.

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