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Queerbating: is it okay for mainstream fiction to lead on LGBTQ+ audience?


W_L

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So I thought about this a bit, mainstream media is normally LGBTQ+ friendly nowadays in many respects from TV/Streaming shows or books/online stories.

However, there's always a popular show or book that attempts to be broader and appeal to our community by leading readers down a certain trail of ideas and concepts for same sex relationships, which LGBTQ+ readers/viewers/writers term as Queerbating. It is not explicitly mentioned if characters are gay or not, but we're given a few breadcrumbs to lead to such a conclusion with the creator never justifying it in order to maintain deniability for heterosexual audiences, who do not prefer that interpretation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queerbaiting

Do you think it's right that LGBTQ+ audiences are led down a path of unspoken and unaddressed relationships?

In a world where same sex relationship are no longer criminal offenses in most nations, is Queerbating techniques of obfuscation even a good way for expression of how LGBT relationships should be handled?

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This is a very important topic. I could link to half a dozen YouTube videos on the subject, but they also contain feminism and I've been told in no uncertain terms in the past that I'm not allowed to bring feminism into the lounge, so I'm not gonna.

Queerbaiting is definitely problematic, and also complex. On the one hand, drawing in queer audiences by giving us hope of representation and then never following through is a dick move. On the other hand, for a long time that was the only representation we had and probably helped pave the way for actual, unambiguously queer characters on screen. But now it's outdated. We need good, positive and unambiguous representation, not hints and nudges. And we certainly don't need networks and show runners who find out about popular queer ships in fandom and then play on it without ever meaning for the characters to have that kind of relationship (*cough*Supernatural*cough*).

Even when we do get actual queer representation in media, it's a lot less explicit, and often full of bad tropes and tragedy, because bob forbid we see affectionate and HAPPY queer people on screen. Dare I mention Star Trek: Discovery, in which

Spoiler

the gay MARRIED couple isn't even confirmed to be a couple and don't even kiss until mid-first season. They're married. Clearly, the creators of the show are absolute cowards. Also, Roddenberry wanted a gay character way back in TNG, and it's taken them thirty fucking years to put a male, gay kiss in Trek. Then they go on to brutally murder one of them and when he comes back from the dead they break up. Much as I love that show... just, ugh. Killing off queer characters is so old. Yes, I'm looking at you, Joss Whedon and dead Tara at the end of season 6 of Buffy.

We rarely get to see characters in media who just happen to be queer. Either it's super ambiguous and possibly just queerbaiting, or it's made into a huge deal and often tragic character arcs.

Edited by Thorn Wilde
fixed typo
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“Queerbaiting”

isn’t there also perhaps a tendency for any minority group to look for fault and then - guess what - find it?

where there may be none?

Killing Eve - not seen it but from what I’ve read wasn’t it a key driver in the plot to maintain viewer interest in the two lead characters: are they/aren’t they?

isn’t this “problematic” “topic” more about those media selling to and within specific countries / cultures / markets e.g. USA, Middle East etc?

 

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15 hours ago, Thorn Wilde said:

This is a very important topic. I could link to half a dozen YouTube videos on the subject, but they also contain feminism and I've been told in no uncertain terms in the past that I'm not allowed to bring feminism into the lounge, so I'm not gonna.

Queerbaiting is definitely problematic, and also complex. On the one hand, drawing in queer audiences by giving us hope of representation and then never following through is a dick move. On the other hand, for a long time that was the only representation we had and probably helped pave the way for actual, unambiguously queer characters on screen. But now it's outdated. We need good, positive and unambiguous representation, not hints and nudges. And we certainly don't need networks and show runners who find out about popular queer ships in fandom and then play on it without ever meaning for the characters to have that kind of relationship (*cough*Supernatural*cough*).

Even when we do get actual queer representation in media, it's a lot less explicit, and often full of bad tropes and tragedy, because bob forbid we see affectionate and HAPPY queer people on screen. Dare I mention Star Trek: Discovery, in which

  Reveal hidden contents

the gay MARRIED couple isn't even confirmed to be a couple and don't even kiss until mid-first season. They're married. Clearly, the creators of the show are absolute cowards. Also, Roddenberry wanted a gay character way back in TNG, and it's taken them thirty fucking years to put a male, gay kiss in Trek. Then they go on to brutally murder one of them and when he comes back from the dead they break up. Much as I love that show... just, ugh. Killing off queer characters is so old. Yes, I'm looking at you, Joss Whedon and dead Tara at the end of season 6 of Buffy.

We rarely get to see characters in media who just happen to be queer. Either it's super ambiguous and possibly just queerbaiting, or it's made into a huge deal and often tragic character arcs.

That's why Modern Family works as both a comedy and a drama in so many ways :D There's some bad tropes, too that we can all point out, but at times, when they do showcase the gay couple, it's genuinely fun and nuanced "every-man" comedy from a slice of life.

PS: I agree with you on Star Trek Discovery and Buffy's handling of Willow/Tara. Also, don't forget the tragic unrequited gay character, Andrew, who never gets a break in the guys he falls for (I'd love for him to have ended up with some one nice after the last episode and ignore the Angel episode of him with Italian female models, which is like the ultimate queerbait slap in the face after 6 years of an obviously gay character).

7 hours ago, Zombie said:

“Queerbaiting”

isn’t there also perhaps a tendency for any minority group to look for fault and then - guess what - find it?

where there may be none?

Killing Eve - not seen it but from what I’ve read wasn’t it a key driver in the plot to maintain viewer interest in the two lead characters: are they/aren’t they?

isn’t this “problematic” “topic” more about those media selling to and within specific countries / cultures / markets e.g. USA, Middle East etc?

 

Ah, you old disagreeable bag of bones, where have you been? :)

True with queerbaiting many TV and streaming shows are mass market merchandise with targeted audiences and ad placements for different audiences. Still, despite more LGBTQ+ acceptance in society with counterpoints for open LGBTQ+ relationships, queerbaiting continues. @Thorn Wilde mentioned Supernatural, but I am thinking of Legacies more, where the main female protagonist, Hope, has been hinting at an interest in girls, while she is engaged in an "epic" romantic story line with a male character. Don't get me wrong, I love open sexuality, but American TV shows rarely handles nonconformist sexuality well, i.e. someone who does not identify as gay, straight, or bi.

 

 

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Yeah, these are American shows

I simply don’t recognise the premise having any relevance in the UK.

The BBC, ITV, and Channel Four write gay characters and storylines as a matter of routine.  I can’t speak for other European countries’ TV but it’s certainly not an issue in the UK.  Maybe the UK is unusual, I don’t know.

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1 hour ago, Zombie said:

Yeah, these are American shows

I simply don’t recognise the premise having any relevance in the UK.

The BBC, ITV, and Channel Four write gay characters and storylines as a matter of routine.  I can’t speak for other European countries’ TV but it’s certainly not an issue in the UK.  Maybe the UK is unusual, I don’t know.

Uh..."cough" Shameless "cough" :P Channel Four if I am not mistaken

It got imported to the US, but it was originally a UK show. Ian was written as gay with relationships with older men and a few guys his age, then bi on the side of heterosexual from series 5 onward especially during his relationship with Maxine, and eventually in the UK series 8 is marrying a transgender male. His character almost felt like a cheat of writing staff to flip an established gay character for plot. This was queerbaiting in a modern UK series.

In this regard, the US version actually did a better job, Ian is thoroughly gay throughout the series. He might have a relationship with a male transgender person, but honestly, Trevor was a cute guy, despite the biology, and speaking as a gay male myself, I don't see any problems with that relationship matching gay guy's sexuality. If anything, the US version introduced the concept that homosexuality is not based on biological aspects alone on gender, love can exist with the personal gender identity. Of course, he did end up with his old thug boyfriend Mickey, who did right by him in the end; even if it wasn't a happy ending, it was happy for his character.

Romance need not be perfect, sexuality need not be absolute, but at the very least, the character should be consistent with who they are, not the needs of a network or producers need to raise ratings by manipulating a character.

Edited by W_L
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On 12/9/2019 at 3:23 AM, W_L said:

Queerbating. It is not explicitly mentioned if characters are gay or not, but we're given a few breadcrumbs to lead to such a conclusion with the creator never justifying it in order to maintain deniability for heterosexual audiences, who do not prefer that interpretation...

Do you think it's right that LGBTQ+ audiences are led down a path of unspoken and unaddressed relationships?

 

8 hours ago, W_L said:

Uh..."cough" Shameless "cough" :P Channel Four if I am not mistaken

Ian was written as gay with relationships with older men and a few guys his age, then bi on the side of heterosexual from series 5 onward especially during his relationship with Maxine, and eventually in the UK series 8 is marrying a transgender male. His character almost felt like a cheat of writing staff to flip an established gay character for plot. This was queerbaiting in a modern UK series.

In this regard, the US version actually did a better job, Ian is thoroughly gay throughout the series.

“Shameless” queerbating?

Clearly not in the terms you define queerbating: 

“not explicitly mentioned if characters are gay or not” - in the original UK series Shameless is very explicit on this so clearly not

”we’re given a few breadcrumbs... to maintain deniability” - again in the original UK series Shameless is very explicit on this so clearly not

As per your last post this is about your own personal response to the storyline and how you would have preferred it to take a different track - which is entirely legitimate.  But the scriptwriters took their own track, also for entirely legitimate reasons - to string out a mediocre soap story line.

Homosexuality in the UK Shameless was a strong and explicit theme throughout. No “breadcrumbs” here. No “deniability for heterosexual audiences”.  No queerbating.

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11 hours ago, W_L said:

Uh..."cough" Shameless "cough" :P Channel Four if I am not mistaken

It got imported to the US, but it was originally a UK show. Ian was written as gay with relationships with older men and a few guys his age, then bi on the side of heterosexual from series 5 onward especially during his relationship with Maxine, and eventually in the UK series 8 is marrying a transgender male. His character almost felt like a cheat of writing staff to flip an established gay character for plot. This was queerbaiting in a modern UK series.

In this regard, the US version actually did a better job, Ian is thoroughly gay throughout the series. He might have a relationship with a male transgender person, but honestly, Trevor was a cute guy, despite the biology, and speaking as a gay male myself, I don't see any problems with that relationship matching gay guy's sexuality. If anything, the US version introduced the concept that homosexuality is not based on biological aspects alone on gender, love can exist with the personal gender identity. Of course, he did end up with his old thug boyfriend Mickey, who did right by him in the end; even if it wasn't a happy ending, it was happy for his character.

Romance need not be perfect, sexuality need not be absolute, but at the very least, the character should be consistent with who they are, not the needs of a network or producers need to raise ratings by manipulating a character.

I haven't seen the show, but the way you describe it, I really can't see that as queerbaiting. First off, trans men are men, and you don't have to be exclusively phallosexual to be gay. For another, there are more gay characters on screen than confirmed bisexual ones, despite the fact that there are a lot more bisexuals in the world than gay people. Bisexual erasure is a real issue, in the world in general and also within the queer community. I say more bi people on screen, please.

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7 hours ago, Thorn Wilde said:

I haven't seen the show, but the way you describe it, I really can't see that as queerbaiting. First off, trans men are men, and you don't have to be exclusively phallosexual to be gay. For another, there are more gay characters on screen than confirmed bisexual ones, despite the fact that there are a lot more bisexuals in the world than gay people. Bisexual erasure is a real issue, in the world in general and also within the queer community. I say more bi people on screen, please.

The treatment of Ian in the UK series was in my view, might be different for others, regressive of his homosexuality in later series (US we call it a season, but same concept). Also, we do not see him in series 11, it is only mentioned as an off-comment that he's marrying a transgender male. They tried to make him straight, then tossed the character off the show after he reveals that he still has feelings for men. It's less about him being bi than the series tossing him for not conforming, which I find to be queerbaiting.

In the US version, Ian is still around. He might a bit bipolar, but he's consistently gay, whether he's with his on/off boyfriend Mickey or dating Trans-male Trevor.

10 hours ago, Zombie said:

 

“Shameless” queerbating?

Clearly not in the terms you define queerbating: 

“not explicitly mentioned if characters are gay or not” - in the original UK series Shameless is very explicit on this so clearly not

”we’re given a few breadcrumbs... to maintain deniability” - again in the original UK series Shameless is very explicit on this so clearly not

As per your last post this is about your own personal response to the storyline and how you would have preferred it to take a different track - which is entirely legitimate.  But the scriptwriters took their own track, also for entirely legitimate reasons - to string out a mediocre soap story line.

Homosexuality in the UK Shameless was a strong and explicit theme throughout. No “breadcrumbs” here. No “deniability for heterosexual audiences”.  No queerbating.

I am not discounting that I am bias against his character portrayal in the UK version, also fair disclosure I have a crush on Monaghan in the US version.

Can we both agree that the entire turn with him and Maxine may not be likeable for LGBTQ+ audience? His abrupt removal from the series after she rejects his bisexuality is at the very least insensitive in my view, and at worst queerbaiting by proposing a character with multi-layer sexuality, but denying it in the end.

Everyone has their own tastes, I understand, but denying and removing a queer character after he/she comes out feels wrong.

Maybe, I am off base here, but I am open to your opinions. Ian in either version was a breakout character, I just wish his UK version was more welcomed.

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1 hour ago, Zombie said:

and then there’s Sherlock... queerbaiting?

 

 

 

 

Well, Sherlock and Watson have been a long running partnership between bachelors.... :P 

Which version or show are you referencing Zombie, there are more versions of Sherlock Holmes and Watson than there are Doctors in Doctor Who?

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12 hours ago, Zombie said:

and then there’s Sherlock... queerbaiting?

Yes. Absolutely. And the sheer amount of fanfic and fan art out there probably made it worse, because the creators are very, very aware of it, as are the actors (Martin Freeman once mentioned a specific fanfic he'd heard of on, I think it may have been Jonathan Ross, but I'm not sure, and it's one I've read, lol!) So, much like with Dean and Castiel on Supernatural, they've definitely taken the fandom's obsession with Sherlock/John and run with it. It's frustrating as fuck, and yet we can't seem to stay away...

10 hours ago, W_L said:

Well, Sherlock and Watson have been a long running partnership between bachelors.... :P 

Which version or show are you referencing Zombie, there are more versions of Sherlock Holmes and Watson than there are Doctors in Doctor Who?

He's talking about the one called Sherlock. The BBC's modern re-imagining one. Benedict Cumberbatch's Holmes and Martin Freeman's Watson is one of the most popular m/m pairings out there.

Edited by Thorn Wilde
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10 hours ago, Thorn Wilde said:

Yes. Absolutely. And the sheer amount of fanfic and fan art out there probably made it worse, because the creators are very, very aware of it, as are the actors (Martin Freeman once mentioned a specific fanfic he'd heard of on, I think it may have been Jonathan Ross, but I'm not sure, and it's one I've read, lol!) So, much like with Dean and Castiel on Supernatural, they've definitely taken the fandom's obsession with Sherlock/John and run with it. It's frustrating as fuck, and yet we can't seem to stay away...

He's talking about the one called Sherlock. The BBC's modern re-imagining one. Benedict Cumberbatch's Holmes and Martin Freeman's Watson is one of the most popular m/m pairings out there.

Okay, I've seen it, didn't know it was still going on for so long, I thought it was a mini-series with a few episodes that got cancelled after 2014. I do agree that version's pairing is queerbait, Martin Freeman's Watson is very well played.

-------

Unrelated to the topic: the sibling rivalry/subtle hints at familial bonds between Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, his older brother, was my favorite out of all the versions of the various interpretations. They hate each other, but have such a deep love and respect as well. Mycroft is not an easy character to love; he's basically the British government :P , but you can't but feel genuinely impressed.

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Anyway, I agree on the queerbaiting in Sherlock, but let's continue onwards to a longrunning Canadian TV show universe....Degrassi :o :P  (Americans and Brits shouldn't leave out the Canadians from the Queerbaiting topic)

Edited by W_L
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41 minutes ago, W_L said:

Okay, I've seen it, didn't know it was still going on for so long, I thought it was a mini-series with a few episodes that got cancelled after 2014. I do agree that version's pairing is queerbait, Martin Freeman's Watson is very well played.

-------

Unrelated to the topic: the sibling rivalry/subtle hints at familial bonds between Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, his older brother, was my favorite out of all the versions of the various interpretations. They hate each other, but have such a deep love and respect as well. Mycroft is not an easy character to love; he's basically the British government :P , but you can't but feel genuinely impressed.

--------

Anyway, I agree on the queerbaiting in Sherlock, but let's continue onwards to a longrunning Canadian TV show universe....Degrassi :o :P  (Americans and Brits shouldn't leave out the Canadians from the Queerbaiting topic)

Sherlock consists of four series with three episodes each, plus a couple of specials. The fourth series was released in 2017. I believe there are plans for more. The show has not been cancelled.

I haven't seen Degrassi so I have no thoughts on that.

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British television seems to do a better job with gay characters, because so many British actors are out of the closet that it doesn't tarnish anyone's reputation to play a gay character.  I've heard it said that in Britain, actors can come out with no ill effects, but politicians would lose their careers, whereas in the U.S., there are openly gay politicians, but a gay actor's career would end upon coming out.  (Michael Ontkean and Harry Hamlin, two straight actors who played gay men in Making Love, didn't work for a decade after that movie came out.)

My favorite British show is Torchwood, because of the way all the characters were screwing one another right and left.  And the sex scenes worked, because all the actors were good enough to carry it off.  By contrast, Will and Grace drove me nuts, because Eric McCormack made a very unconvincing gay man.  (Though perhaps it wasn't completely his fault, because the character wasn't all that well-written, either, when you get right down to it.)  Not to mention that the publicity for the show emphasized McCormack's heterosexuality out the wazoo.

Granted, there has been progress.  Madam Secretary has two characters, Kat Sandoval (Sara Ramirez) and Blake Moran (Erich Bergen), highly-placed State Department officials who aren't afraid to be themselves, and it has dealt with queer issues in a number of episodes.  B.D. Wong also appears occasionally as the head of a gay rights lobbying organization, and his character is portrayed as a fairly close friend to the Secretary's chief of staff.  But as far as I'm concerned, there aren't enough shows like that on the air.

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3 hours ago, BigBen said:

British television seems to do a better job with gay characters, because so many British actors are out of the closet that it doesn't tarnish anyone's reputation to play a gay character.  I've heard it said that in Britain, actors can come out with no ill effects, but politicians would lose their careers, whereas in the U.S., there are openly gay politicians, but a gay actor's career would end upon coming out.  (Michael Ontkean and Harry Hamlin, two straight actors who played gay men in Making Love, didn't work for a decade after that movie came out.)

My favorite British show is Torchwood, because of the way all the characters were screwing one another right and left.  And the sex scenes worked, because all the actors were good enough to carry it off.  By contrast, Will and Grace drove me nuts, because Eric McCormack made a very unconvincing gay man.  (Though perhaps it wasn't completely his fault, because the character wasn't all that well-written, either, when you get right down to it.)  Not to mention that the publicity for the show emphasized McCormack's heterosexuality out the wazoo.

Granted, there has been progress.  Madam Secretary has two characters, Kat Sandoval (Sara Ramirez) and Blake Moran (Erich Bergen), highly-placed State Department officials who aren't afraid to be themselves, and it has dealt with queer issues in a number of episodes.  B.D. Wong also appears occasionally as the head of a gay rights lobbying organization, and his character is portrayed as a fairly close friend to the Secretary's chief of staff.  But as far as I'm concerned, there aren't enough shows like that on the air.

Being queer and a politician is not a big deal in the UK. Politicians' personal lives aren't seen as all that interesting, for one, and there are several out queer MPs, some of whom have been serving since the 1990s. Coming out is not a career-ending move for a British politician in most cases. Most people just don't care. There are currently, if I counted correctly, 47 known out LGBT MPs in the House of Commons. There are 21 in the House of Lords.

You're right on the actor front, though. 

Edited by Thorn Wilde
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3 hours ago, BigBen said:

I've heard it said that in Britain, actors can come out with no ill effects, but politicians would lose their careers, whereas in the U.S., there are openly gay politicians, but a gay actor's career would end upon coming out. 


High BigBen - welcome, and that’s a great member name :P 

Just to put you right, I’ve lost count of the number of out and proud UK politicians across all the major parties. The first was Chris Smith who came out in 1984 - he was later appointed as a Cabinet Minister.

Ruth Davidson was Leader of the Scottish Conservatives but stepped down this year to spend more time with her partner and their new child - she had been tipped to become next Leader of the UK Conservative Party.

So being “out” hasn’t been an issue in the UK really for 35 years.

This wiki page is quite fun:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LGBT_politicians_in_the_United_Kingdom#List_of_LGBT_Members_of_the_Northern_Ireland_Assembly

- it’s a long list going back to Anthony Bacon (brother of Francis) who was a a Member of Parliament in the 1500s and also an intelligence officer in the spy network of Queen Elizabeth (the first one :funny:). He was known to be homosexual but many of the later names in the wiki list up until the time of Chris Smith would have been closet gays.

Sorry to go off topic but it’s an interesting subject and well worth looking up the biogs of some of them :) 

————

Edit to add - hah Thorn beat me to it! :D

 

 


 

 

 

Edited by Zombie
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2 hours ago, Thorn Wilde said:

Being queer and a politician is not a big deal in the UK.

 

2 hours ago, Zombie said:

So being “out” hasn’t been an issue in the UK really for 35 years.

Well, I'm really glad to hear that.  It's nice to know that some things really do change for the better.  The American media are so insular, that news like this never makes it across the ocean.

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Some queerbating is reactionary in nature. As the audience we may have perceived the, "breadcrumbs to nowhere," ourselves and instead of the creators clarifying, they bend to the fans and state, "well yeah, they were," or, "yeah they could be," which I think is on us. We've baited ourselves, especially with the examples listed in the Wiki. I never thought many of those shows were queerbaiting.. in the sense.

If anything Glee did it though, because Santana and Brittany's relationship was platonic forever and then they just decided to begin making out with one another. But neither of them had said anything about having same-sex relationships. They were both kind of boycrazy beforehand. 

Merlin/Arthur I felt was just more of the fandom running wild with two straight guys being as close as they were... and that happens a lot. 

I actually despise what Authors like J.K Rowling are doing. There aren't that many subjective things in the books about the sexuality of Dumbledore until the later movies started being made. She "confirmed," his sexuality, but there wasn't anything for readers to go on within the written text. She has later said that Hermoine could have been black - which no, it plainly states she has fly away hair and 'pale' skin. It is annoying for authors and producers/writers to not stand behind their work and there characters and say, "No, they are not gay," I would respect that more than someone attempting to bend their own established writing/characters to be more inclusive. But there are people out there that hate that they are being left out of the mainstream and would boycott, so really we are our own worst enemies as fans. We're angry when we're not included and we're angry if we're not sure of the motives when we are. 

I would be like, "I'm sorry I didn't include more minorities and sexuality, etc, I will do better if the writing allows for that." And be done with it, to be honest. I think it is all an ill conceived attempt to placate people AND to force creators/writers to write for, "us," and not for themselves - both of which are bad. 

Edited by Krista
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On 12/14/2019 at 10:28 PM, BigBen said:

 

Well, I'm really glad to hear that.  It's nice to know that some things really do change for the better.  The American media are so insular, that news like this never makes it across the ocean.

I do agree on that point, American media don't focus on LGBT issues unless it's a some scandal, bigotry, or some hate crime. It is nice to know people no longer care elsewhere about who you take into bed, rather who you are working with/for :P

On 12/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Krista said:

Some queerbating is reactionary in nature. As the audience we may have perceived the, "breadcrumbs to nowhere," ourselves and instead of the creators clarifying, they bend to the fans and state, "well yeah, they were," or, "yeah they could be," which I think is on us. We've baited ourselves, especially with the examples listed in the Wiki. I never thought many of those shows were queerbaiting.. in the sense.

If anything Glee did it though, because Santana and Brittany's relationship was platonic forever and then they just decided to begin making out with one another. But neither of them had said anything about having same-sex relationships. They were both kind of boycrazy beforehand. 

Merlin/Arthur I felt was just more of the fandom running wild with two straight guys being as close as they were... and that happens a lot. 

I actually despise what Authors like J.K Rowling are doing. There aren't that many subjective things in the books about the sexuality of Dumbledore until the later movies started being made. She "confirmed," his sexuality, but there wasn't anything for readers to go on within the written text. She has later said that Hermoine could have been black - which no, it plainly states she has fly away hair and 'pale' skin. It is annoying for authors and producers/writers to not stand behind their work and there characters and say, "No, they are not gay," I would respect that more than someone attempting to bend their own established writing/characters to be more inclusive. But there are people out there that hate that they are being left out of the mainstream and would boycott, so really we are our own worst enemies as fans. We're angry when we're not included and we're angry if we're not sure of the motives when we are. 

I would be like, "I'm sorry I didn't include more minorities and sexuality, etc, I will do better if the writing allows for that." And be done with it, to be honest. I think it is all an ill conceived attempt to placate people AND to force creators/writers to write for, "us," and not for themselves - both of which are bad. 

Krista, yeah, I do agree there is an element of fans baiting ourselves with beloved characters, hoping for a relationship (the proliferation of fanfiction hasn't helped, but some of it is really good).

As for modern writers and producers, it's true that sometimes people just force story lines and backgrounds to appeal to audiences rather than organically create them. Immersive story writing is not meant to be completely inclusive, nor is it going to appeal to everyone. I love Harry Potter series for what it is, whether Dumbledore has a boyfriend or not. On he other hand, if Albus and Scorpius were outed by JK Rowling, now that would be worth something, since those characters are somewhat active and have current literature that would flesh out the intent to form a queer relationship.

Since we're on the subject of fantasy plots, another example of Queerbaiting that raised eyebrows and led to nothing, came from just 1 scene of Game of Thrones: Yara is an out Lesbian warrior in this world of swords and dragons, while Daenarys is a forceful queer Queen. So when fans saw this in 2017, we all thought, there's something between them, 2 years later: 1 is dead and 1 is ruling an island.

 

Edited by W_L
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On 12/14/2019 at 11:38 PM, Krista said:

I actually despise what Authors like J.K Rowling are doing. There aren't that many subjective things in the books about the sexuality of Dumbledore until the later movies started being made. She "confirmed," his sexuality, but there wasn't anything for readers to go on within the written text.

There's a video where she and Daniel Radcliffe are having a conversation about the Harry Potter series while they were filming the last movie. Daniel brings up Dumbledore being Gay, and why it wasn't in the books. Paraphrasing, she knew he was Gay from the start, and his sexuality had no baring on Harry's story, so why flaunt it. She mentions that in Half-blood Prince the Movie, she had to nix a line that Dumbeldore says in the beginning about being attracted to a young lady. Paraphrase qutoe, "I wrote on the script, and handed it back, No... Dumbledore is gay, he wouldn't say this."

She also admits she told, Alan Rickman that Snape loved Lilly, and it would eventually come out.

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23 minutes ago, Brayon said:

There's a video where she and Daniel Radcliffe are having a conversation about the Harry Potter series while they were filming the last movie. Daniel brings up Dumbledore being Gay, and why it wasn't in the books. Paraphrasing, she knew he was Gay from the start, and his sexuality had no baring on Harry's story, so why flaunt it. She mentions that in Half-blood Prince the Movie, she had to nix a line that Dumbeldore says in the beginning about being attracted to a young lady. Paraphrase qutoe, "I wrote on the script, and handed it back, No... Dumbledore is gay, he wouldn't say this."

She also admits she told, Alan Rickman that Snape loved Lilly, and it would eventually come out.

YA authors are "queerbaiting," with their older works. There wasn't much/if any evidence of anyone's sexuality in Harry Potter unless they ended up dating/married. They 'were' likely pressured by their publishers not to be so 'out' with that sort of thing. Now though we see it in YA writing a lot more (or at least what I've picked up to read lately), but I would rather J.K Rowling say, "Sorry, there just isn't any gay, trans, queer representation in my books," instead of 'creating,' narratives that are so obscure that she has to explain them to us years down the road when there is a film adaptation, a new play coming out, and/or a series. It was a different time when she was writing Harry Potter than it is today. She can say that Dumbledore is 'gay' all she wants but the writing just isn't there to support it. 

To edit - I don't think less of her work within the Harry Potter series and her entire world. She is a gifted author. I'm not going to boycott her just because I think she is guilty of queerbaiting either. I would have rather she stood up for her work for what it was originally. Being reactionary like she has been is why I take offense to her in general. I honestly don't find it all that offensive or an issue overall - I think it is a dying trend. No one is going to be truly happy with the quality and quantity of how they are represented in mass media regardless. 

Edited by Krista
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This discussion reminds me of an author interview I heard a while ago - forget who - but they said their planning process included writing a full backstory and profile for key characters containing masses of detail, much of which never featured in the final text.  Just wondering if this is something any writers here do and, if so, whether they had left significant character elements “on the cutting room floor” because, well, those elements simply contributed nothing to the finished story.

 

 

Edited by Zombie
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14 minutes ago, Zombie said:

This discussion reminds me of an author interview I heard a while ago - forget who - but they said their planning process included writing a full backstory and profile for key characters containing masses of detail, much of which never featured in the final text.  Just wondering if this is something any writers here do and, if so, whether they had left significant character elements “on the cutting room floor” because, well, those elements simply contributed nothing to the finished story.

Yes. I typically have more research material on my characters/story than what I use. In my current project, I did a lot of research on Indian Heaven Wilderness and the surrounding towns but about 3% of what I wrote down is being used. Also, ended up adding a fictional eatery because there wasn't a real one that fit with what I wanted.

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11 hours ago, Zombie said:

This discussion reminds me of an author interview I heard a while ago - forget who - but they said their planning process included writing a full backstory and profile for key characters containing masses of detail, much of which never featured in the final text.  Just wondering if this is something any writers here do and, if so, whether they had left significant character elements “on the cutting room floor” because, well, those elements simply contributed nothing to the finished story.

 

 

 

11 hours ago, Brayon said:

Yes. I typically have more research material on my characters/story than what I use. In my current project, I did a lot of research on Indian Heaven Wilderness and the surrounding towns but about 3% of what I wrote down is being used. Also, ended up adding a fictional eatery because there wasn't a real one that fit with what I wanted.

Aye, me as well, when I write Science/Speculative fiction, there's a lot of backstory that the main plot cannot cover. You give glimpses of a character's past, their emotional spectrum, and their beliefs.

One of the things I like from authors, specifically fantasy authors, there's a few novels and compendiums of additional material that exists within their universe that never made it into the main plot. Here's a few examples:

Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner Series focuses on two queer spies/lovers, but the main plots only hint at their history. She wrote a collection of short stories called "Glimpses" which expanded the universe with stories hinted at, but never revealed.

J.R.R Tolkien own unpublished background stories and epilogue stories formed, "Silmarillion", which gives us background stories of the universe and even stories like the origin of Sauron. He also wrote appendices, which few authors do now, greatly expanding the universe histories of his characters in even greater detail.

PS: @Krista Not sure if you ever read the Lord of the Ring series or its compendium, but if you have, do you think the relationships depicted in his work are part of our spectrum? Tolkien never calls the relationships of men fighting together in war and being tied forever afterward homosexual in name, but he does note that the relationship is by its nature stronger than bonds of (heterosexual) marriage.

What we consider to be part of the spectrum today was radically different in the 1940's, though. The concept of Queerness, Gay, Bi, or Straight were just beginning to form. However, since we are all modern readers and the reality is he knew some of his subtext/words could be considered as referring to "gay" materials even among his contemporaries, I do think he was a prime example of Queerbaiting, in the most benign fashion of course.

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