Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia – Where I ramble like a crazy person (and give away something too)
Hi there. With gay marriage being made legal all over the place, it might seem pointless to bring up homophobia for discussion, but far from it. I wish that were true.
While gay marriage opponents have found their counterargument wildly lacking (essentially, it boiled down to “it’s icky”, which isn’t the super persuasive argument they thought it would be.), this is a visible sign of change and it’s welcome. But all is not rosy. Did you know, in many states, you can be fired or denied an apartment simply because you’re gay? You wouldn’t think blatant, stupid, and petty discrimination like that would be illegal, but somehow it’s not. Congress hasn’t passed ENDA, a law that would end employment discrimination, and the fact that it hasn’t shows how far there is left to go. Marriage rights are fantastic, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Discrimination should have no place in 21st century America, and the fact that it does is shameful. I encourage everyone to read up on the issue, and contact your congressmen and women. This thing should have been passed a long time ago.
But I didn’t want to be all doom and gloom in this post, so I thought back to one of the last ones I did, where I explored the prevalence of gay characters in TV shows. I wanted to do that here too, but there’s been a great exodus of shows with recurring gay characters of any type. They’ve either ended or been cancelled, or the character has fallen prey to the great gay die off (it’s a cliché for a reason). So who’s left? On network, you have Modern Family; a bisexual in The Good Wife and on Revenge; a gay recurring character on Suburgatory and Scandal; lesbians on Gray’s Anatomy; and some gays and lesbians on Glee. That … that can’t possibly be it, could it? I’ll go ahead and count Roger the alien from American Dad as well as Smithers from The Simpsons, because this list is so pathetic. Oh, I guess there’s a cliché evil gay on Downton Abbey too, but I almost hate to include that.
If you expand to cable, you have a variety of beings (recurring and guest/background) on True Blood; a gay cast member in Warehouse 13; a gay semi-recurring character on the otherwise wildly homoerotic Teen Wolf; several gay regular characters on The Venture Brothers (which has already earned a gold star for its gay characters being as different and/or screwed up as the het characters); lesbian and gay recurring characters on Orphan Black; a lesbian couple that occasionally shows up on Doctor Who; and an occasional gay background character on Awkward. There must be some I’m forgetting or overlooking, because both these lists are pretty shameful. The same would probably be true if I switched it to non-white representation on TV, although most shows make a token effort to diversify their casts. Still, it some weak sauce all the way around.
Are there any transsexuals on air? Ever since Hit and Miss was cancelled, I’m not really sure.
Will the upcoming TV season, with its many new shows, increase diversity, or just add to the big old pile of status quo? It’s too early to tell, but right now it doesn’t look great. So the fight for general visibility continues as well.
At least we’re inching closer to the time when this won’t matter anymore, from visibility to open discrimination. I can’t wait for that day.
And, since I didn’t want to be a complete bummer, I’m having a giveaway. Namely, absolutely anything from my back catalog. (And I have a lot of stuff.) So if you want to take part, just email me at aspeed2 at gmail.com, with “giveaway” in the subject header. You can include the title of the book you want, and/or any shows with gay characters I have accidentally overlooked. I’m not perfect, and I’m sure I’ve missed something. In fact, I really hope I’ve missed a lot. Contest ends May 30th, and the winner will be contacted by me.
And please, visit other posters, who are probably more insightful and meaningful than I am. http://hopagainsthomophobia.blogspot.com/