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Come Up With Something Different


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For the last four or five years I have tried finding LGBT literature and cinema that is thought-provoking, awe-inspiring that isn't wrapped up in a rainbow-colored cliche. In my search I found a few things: Queer as Folk (the US version), Lost Girl, Hedwig and the Angry Inch; In the Company of Shadows series by Santino Hassell, the Fallocaust series by Quil Carter and Luck In the Shadows series. But other than that I haven't found anything that is really satisfying.

 

People always tell me that times are getting better with LGBT equality. I'm only twenty-one so I don't have the experience to be able to make a comparison. Same sex marriage has been legalized nation wide (hoorah, hoorah!) and the football Sam Michaels came out of the closet and that's all fine and dandy. But I'm focusing on literature and TV. Yes, a lot of TV shows are featuring more gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender characters but it always seems to me that their side characters (with a few exceptions of course.)

 

We have all of the super TV shows coming out like Jessica Jones and Luke Cage and Daredevil. Hey I love superheroes. Some of them are really hot like Batman (a man of few words, the strong and silent type) and the Hulk (yes I have a fetish for green men with overdeveloped muscles) but when are we going to get a gay superhero that takes center stage, that kicks ass and takes name instead of just being the side kick? It goes for the same thing with all of these book series that have come out like the Mortal Instruments and Harry Potter. The only way you knew Dumbledore was gay was because J.K. Rowling said so in an article. There was no actual proof that said he was actually gay (at least not that I could see) and I've read the Harry Potter series 6-7) times.

 

And what we do have available as far as gay literature and cinema goes is mostly corny camp-fests and romance comedies which are often so perdictable you already know what's going to happen. 

 

I'm not trying to offend anybody. This is merely my opinion and an opinion is neither or right or wrong. I just want to see LGBT characters that have some actual depth to them instead of just cardboard cutout clones. I want to see gay heroes that are flawed, who have mental issues and fucked up things going on in their life. I'm not saying don't write about romance or put erotic content-all of my stories have those things in there. That's how you add tension to the story. What I am saying is let's trying to come up with something different, show people that gay characters have just as much of a place in the literary universe as straight characters.

 

 

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I loved Queer as folk back then.

We had an iconic soap opera starting at the end of the eighties, ending in '99. There was an effeminate hairdresser. I know, it's the biggest of clichés, but it was something in Hungary.

Nowadays I don't really have time to watch tv, but there are a few side characters in today's everyday operas too. Certainly no main characters :(

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The Mortal Instruments does have Gay/Bisexual and Sexual ambiguous characters. The author is very open to representing minorities, they're not "Main Characters," but she makes sure they are well represented in plot. She has one trilogy currently with.. two bisexual male characters that are romantically involved/estranged. I believe two more characters are hinted at becoming involved with one another. In the same series one character is diagnosed with Asperger's, which is interesting.

 

In another trilogy that is coming out.. soonish, there is a Transgender character represented. And they're all represented as "normal." By normal, I mean they're not represented as extra or "sideshow" characters.

 

I feel your pain though, what is out there is extremely overdone and full of stereotypes. 

Edited by Krista
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I would offer "Six Feet Under" as a television program that portrayed a very well-written gay character as part of an ensemble cast.  In literature, you might read some of the work of Michael Cunningham, especially "The Hours," as well as "Maurice" by E. M. Forster.

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What I am saying is let's trying to come up with something different, show people that gay characters have just as much of a place in the literary universe as straight characters.

 

Some of us are ;)

Like with anything, give it time. The mainstream will catch up eventually. Until then, there are plenty of stories and novels with complex gay characters (Alan Hollinghurst, John Spanbauer, Jamie O'Neill, Jesse Hajicek) for you to choose from. And of course, plenty of stuff here on GA. The only way any of it is going to get on television is by saturation. When there's too much good stuff to ignore, suddenly you'll start seeing what you want.

 

And hey, Orange Is The New Black hardly featured rainbow-bubblegum characters.

 

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May I suggest HBO's "Looking" series, which recently ended about a year ago.

 

It's much more modern in terms of what we're dealing with as a community in the 21st century.

 

Queer as Folk is slightly more dated now, Brian and Justin are still a cute couple, but they'd have been written now as married in an open relationship with a home in Pittsburgh and maybe a summer home up in Maine with a few adopted kids :D

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Non-American films are better representations of LGBT characters and cultures overall. At least I feel that way. A lot of their films, of course, fall for the same/similar tropes as American medias, but I do think American films/books/television whatever is still far behind the standards of other countries. Some of my favorite gay films are foreign films.. the only thing that would make them better is for me to learn French, German, Spanish, etc so I don't have to solely rely on subtitles.. lol. 

Edited by Krista
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