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"All The Characters Are Gay"

Posted on January 27, 2014 at 4:55 PM

A commenter on another site posted the following to a review of the first episode of HBO’s Looking:


“It was so nice to have a show again where all the characters are gay.”


My instant thought was this: what a quintessential example of the “old millennial gay experience.”


I assume the writer was referencing Queer As Folk when he referred to having a show “again” with only gay characters. I loved QAF, but it always bothered me that no meaningful straight characters – except for Debbie, an “honorary gay” – were to be seen. Despite the fact that 95% of our fellow citizens do not share our orientation, QAF established an alternate universe where straight people were the unseen menace, the mysterious “others” who lived “out there” somewhere. It reminded me a bit of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, where the residents kept at bay “Those We Don’t Speak Of.”


That world has never been my world, and I have never wanted it to be my world. I have no interest in living in a walled-off enclave with only gay people in it. That world developed in the past because most straight people could not be trusted to accept as an equal someone who came out to them as gay. Only among “our own kind” could we experience acceptance. But for many if not most of us – at least in the developed world – that is no longer the case.


The “new millennial gay experience” is that gay people and straight people are all just people. The “gay or straight” paradigm is increasingly a minor factor.

 

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3 Comments

Reply Dennis Stone
11:18 PM on March 6, 2014 
Actually, straight women (or at least a segment of them) love to watch gay male shows. QAF had a really sizable fan base among straight women, some of whom got their husbands or boyfriends to watch with them.

For me personally, shows like "Looking" or QAF don't represent my world at all since I've never had the "personal gay community" that so many guys "restrict" themselves to. As I always say, to each his own, but for me a social life dominated by gay people is not something that I want since for me it would be artificial and wouldn't reflect the world around me. 95% of my fellow citizens are something other than out LGBTs, that's just a fact of life. And so having a social network that excludes for the most part that 95% doesn't make sense to me. In that regard I'm not like most of my fellow gays of my age, though a lot of younger people look at it that way.

Ulysses Dietz says...
Lordy, I don't live in an all-gay world...but I do live in a world where most TV shows have no gay characters. So "Looking" is great for me...straight people do not want to see shows like "Looking," (don't kid yourself); so that is exceptional in that the straight people are support cast rather than the other way around. I need to be visible.
Reply Ulysses Dietz
8:06 PM on March 6, 2014 
Lordy, I don't live in an all-gay world...but I do live in a world where most TV shows have no gay characters. So "Looking" is great for me...straight people do not want to see shows like "Looking," (don't kid yourself); so that is exceptional in that the straight people are support cast rather than the other way around. I need to be visible.
Reply John
3:38 PM on January 29, 2014 
First, it's not true that QAF had no meaningful straight characters. Besides Debbie there was also Justin's mother Jennifer and his friend Daphne. Also the detective, Horvath, the boy Ben and Michael foster, Hunter, and the political candidate Brian works for but ultimately undoes.

Second, approximately 99% of what I deal with in life is straight people and their problems. 99% of all entertainment is about straight people and their problems. I get tired of straight people and their problems. Sometimes I like a respite from straight people and their problems. I know that's not properly post-millennial of me, but there it is.