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Gay Tease

On Monday, I wrote about Gay Tragedy.  There's also the Gay Tease.

This is when a TV show or movie claims that a character is gay, but doesn't actually DO anything with it.  There are two versions of the Gay Tease.

1. The director, producer, or writer says, "Oh yeah--he's gay.  He's always been gay," but there's nothing on screen or on the page that definitively says so.  J.K. Rowling, for example, created waves when she "revealed" that Dumbledore is gay, except in the books there's no hint of it.  (A "deep friendship" with another male doesn't cut it.)  This happens all the time, and the only reason for it is to keep the slavering homphobes happy.  If a large group freaks out about the idea of Character X being gay, the producer can wimp out and claim, "What I mean when I said that was that you can IMAGINE the character as gay if you want."  It also allows them to have a gay character without having a gay character.  And it's complete bullshit.  You wouldn't do that with a straight character.  If you say there's no stigma about gay characters these days, then give us gay characters, please.

2. The show or movie has a secondary character who pops up and says, "I'm gay!  This is my husband!" and nothing else happens with it.  We never see the husband (or boyfriend, or fiance, or . . . )  We don't ever see the actual relationship develop (though there'll be a couple-three straight relationships on the show that get extensive attention).  We never see anyone dealing with the ramifications of a same-sex relationship.  Just the occasional, "Don't forget that I'm gay!" reference, and that's it.

THE FLASH has one of these.  Barry's police captain is married to a man.  We even saw the husband once.  But that's it.  We get the occasional "Don't forget I'm gay!" reference, but no actual stories.  And the character is so minor, he may as well not exist.  Certainly we haven't seen him in the current season.  The Pied Piper is another example.  He makes a couple of reference to being gay and (stereotypically) into leather when he shows up, but no actual development of it.

This allows the show to claim they have a gay character on it without actually having a gay character.  It's a castrated gay man, really, because he never does anything sexual or sexy or romantic.  He never gets his own storyline.  He never fights with his boyfriend and makes up.  Instead, he's the non-threatening gay character thrown in as a sop to the LGBT community who also is supposed to keep the right-wing nutjobs happy.  It's nothing but Gay Tease.  We know it for what it is, and we're tired of it.  Hollywood needs to change it now.

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Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
mt_yvr
Jan. 11th, 2017 05:04 pm (UTC)
And the subgroup of the gay bait.

Supernatural has been one of my favourites.

Generally it's something like: Fandom writes a character as at the least bisexual, most likely gay. The show acknowledges the amount of love for the idea. People wink and nod and nudge but the onscreen confirmation is never made. Directors, writers, producers all acknowledge the idea and some are even for it. But year after year a show, or in some cases a movie, will hint and slyly make a reference to it. But never materialize it.

As I said, Destiel is one of my favourites but I do see how some people have gotten a little peeved at the whole teasing thing. It's usually done purely to hold a viewership with the offer that one day, maybe (probably not), it might happen.

I'm loving these, by the way. I keep having the same conversations with newly out GBLT I run into. It's interesting to see people click to these kinds of messages.

Final bit: Gay Tragedy. Oh. My. GOD. I remember when we used to scour Blockbusters and online stores for "specialty" movies and we would hug and love anything in which we weren't a footnote or Gay Threat That Comes To The Justly Deserved End. And the Band Played On, It's My Party, Lilies... We clutched them to our chests and loved them because they had whole movies about US.

But my GOD they we were never, ever, not once, allowed to be HAPPY. We had to die, lose our lovers, be horrible people guilty of something or... it just. We were never allowed to be happy. So yes, spot on in your last entry.
delkytlar
Jan. 12th, 2017 06:22 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure if you watch ARROW. What do you think about the gay couple on that show? (I won't say more in case of spoilers).
deborahjross
Jan. 13th, 2017 12:42 am (UTC)
We just started watching. I think we're up to ep. 4 of season 1. So we have something to look forward to?
delkytlar
Jan. 13th, 2017 12:46 am (UTC)
Yes, but not for a while. Good to hear from you, Deborah. I hope you are doing well.
deborahjross
Jan. 13th, 2017 01:08 am (UTC)
How great to see your phosphors. Thanks for asking; I'm having some tough times but live in utter faith that they will pass and meanwhile am continuing to write up a storm.
More details on the former here: http://deborahjross.livejournal.com/359234.html
deborahjross
Jan. 13th, 2017 12:42 am (UTC)
My (lesbian) daughter and I have been watching The Flash (so far, just season 1) and noticed that. We keep waiting for something more from what could be an interesting couple, but no...just endless heteronormative hormones.
delkytlar
Jan. 13th, 2017 06:52 pm (UTC)
I'd forgotten this, but the new show THIS IS US introduced a gay couple in the winter finale, and picked up their story, and the story of the family to whom they've just come out, this week. But I'm fairly certain it's going to end in tragedy.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
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