Okay, so here’s the thing.
According to a new study, the number of LGBT characters on television has decreased this year. Yes, not increased, decreased. That pretty much sucks! I mean LGBT people make up a good percentage of the population (like 5-8%), so why aren’t there more characters on television?
But you know what’s worse? When they’re on, and they’re offed. Let me explain.
One of the last bastions of television is the realm of Sci Fi. Gay characters “just aren’t done” in Sci Fi, really. I mean with a few exceptions here and there, it’s just not done on mainstream shows. Gene Roddenberry wanted it before he died; he promised in the 5th season of ‘The Next Generation’ that we’d see all sorts of people, including gay characters, interacting in their day-to-day lives. But of course that never happened.
This year, SyFy decided to add a new character to Warehouse 13, their highest rated scripted show, people were thrilled. I was thrilled. The addition of Agent Jinks was perfect; he balanced Claudia out, while Mika and Pete had their own thing. It was awesome. But I always thought it weird that they never added Jinks to the opening credits. Like WTF? Maybe they’re testing the waters or something…
And then the writers killed him off. Color me surprised. ::facepalm::
Here’s what I want: A gay character on a show, that’s part of the show. And you know what? Their “gayness” is just one aspect of them. Like Jinks. He was gay, but it didn’t define him. That’s how it should be. Gay characters shouldn’t be “sidekicks” or “comedic entertainment” or the like. They should just be. What’s wrong with that?
Yes, Brokeback Mountain mountain was beautiful – but of course it ends with a gaybashing death and unrequited love. Longtime Companion? A movie about AIDS where half the cast dies. Philadelphia? Hell, Tom Hanks and Antonio Banderas don’t even fucking kiss! And oh yeah – AIDS again.
So come on, media. You can add a gay character. And they don’t have to be comedic relief a la Jack McFarlane from Will & Grace. They can just be.