Sunday, August 22, 2010

Royal Rant: Gay Characters Not Given The Same Treatment

Once upon a time back in the early days of this decade, a little show known as Queer As Folk(QAF) made it's debut. Gay guys everywhere rejoiced, while the show was sexually explicit and exaggerated drug use, it was the first time that we were treated to a show that took an honest look into our lives.

During the same time a then relatively new sitcom was making waves as a bold new sitcom, Will and Grace. While it was lauded as bold and groundbreaking as was QAF, the truth s while it was hilarious there was no true representation of our lives. Will, the main gay protagonists life usually revolved around Grace. While it is not uncommon for friends lives to intersect, it seemed that the producers were trying to keep "America" happy by showcasing Will as a sexless character. In fact it got so bad that at one point the character quipped "In Case you haven't noticed my life is no sex in the city."

Moving forward to the present, gay characters are much better represented, and yet there is no improvement in the way said characters are depicted. Brothers and Sisters, which I had considered to be the best at flushing out stories for their gay characters, jumped to the other side. The problem? I'm glad you asked: I don't get how Kevin and Scotty went from contemplating having some naughty fun with Kevin's ex closeted boyfriend Chad (Jason Lewis). Then a couple weeks later, the couple were talking babies.

Now don't get the wrong idea, I get that gay couples all over the world would love to have a baby, but why every gay couple? On Modern Family Cameron and Mtchell brought back little Lily in the premiere. This actually makes sense the way they are presented, they are a loving couple who have been together for years. Kevin and Scotty while a loving couple had not been presented that way. They were presented as a young, fun loving professional couple.

The baby craze has even hit Desperate Housewives. Lee and Bob had only been used to support others stories, until someone (I'm looking at you Marc Cherry) decided that the couple wanted a baby. Gasp! With Lynette pregnant, why would they introduce this subplot? There is no sane reason, other than to show that the guys have a life outside of the Housewives. There was another way to get around that, with the violence that hits Wisteria Lane, why not have one of them get hit by a stray bullet. There could be tons of drama with the fact that because their not married the uninjured one does not necessarily get to see his lover.

Another story that could have resonated with Kevin and Scotty fans: Since they weren't spending alot of time together with work and what not.Scotty could have started to become jealous of someone in the office or vice versa. Even if they went the route of Kevin being convinced to become a republican would have been more entertaining and believable than them wanting a child.

I urge all producers and writers before you saddle your gay characters with a child or a 'we want a kid' storyline, think twice.Why not create a viable triangle for these characters or explore another aspect of gay life. Treat them like you do their straight counterparts.
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