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Twitter user hits out at lack of gay characters in popular media

Patrick Kelleher November 24, 2018
Twitter user hits out at lack of gay characters in popular media

Cheryl comes out to Toni as bisexual on Riverdale (Netflix)

A Twitter user has taken down homophobic tropes which lead to a lack of gay characters in popular media.

The man, who is called Alex, said: “The argument of ‘characters shouldn’t be gay for no reason’ is stupid because it implies that a gay person needs to justify themselves, while straight people are allowed to just exist.”

Twitter user hits out at lack of gay characters in popular media
@AlexTweeterMan

“Even if a character being gay doesn’t add anything to the plot it shouldn’t be a problem,” he added.

The tweet has been liked or retweeted over 80,000 times since he posted it on November 21.

Gay characters

Alex, who animates an online webseries, continued: “Not to give away a whole lot, but I do have gay characters, and there is a thematic reason for it.

He added: “Not every story with gay people has to be like that. Straight people get all kinds of media about them that isn’t about being straight, why can’t gay people have that too?”

He finished the Twitter thread by adding: “Not every gay character has to be an argument for the existence of gay characters.

“I sometimes see people say “characters should only be gay if they’re good characters” but I don’t necessarily agree, because straight characters aren’t held to that standard.

Twitter user hits out at lack of gay characters in popular media
@AlexTweeterMan

“When a straight character is bad, people can just say it was a bad character, but when a gay character is bad, suddenly it’s proof that you shouldn’t make characters gay without a reason, and that’s obviously kinda bulls**t.”

The Twitter thread has since gone viral and been shared and liked widely.

Representation

A recent GLAAD report found that there are now more LGBT+ characters on TV than ever before.

There were a total of 433 regular and recurring queer characters on broadcast, cable and streaming platforms over the past year, compared to previous record high of 329, which was set in 2017.

Shows like Supergirl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Pose – which has a record-breaking number of transgender characters – have launched LGBT+ representation to new heights.

Twitter user hits out at lack of gay characters in popular media
Desiree Akhavan directing on set of The Bisexual (Channel 4)

The percentage of queer characters on broadcast primetime has also reached an unprecedented level, with one in 11 characters — 8.8 percent — being openly LGBT+.

Queer men and women are equally represented in this figure. Partly thanks to Ryan Murphy’s Pose, there are also more queer people of colour than queer white folk on broadcast TV for the first time.

There has also been an increase in the number of transgender and bisexual characters over the past year. This has been helped by shows like The Bisexual and Supergirl, which has introduced trans character Nia Nal — played by activist and actress Nicole Maines — this season.

GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis said that high ratings of shows with queer characters showed that audiences crave LGBT+ representation.

More: Film Reviews, gay characters, lgbt representation, Television, Twitter

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