The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Of LGBTQ Representation In Television

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Of LGBTQ Representation In Television

Just because you've seen an LGBTQ character in a show recently doesn't mean they're a good example.
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TV is one of the main places we get our entertainment these days, and it should be no surprise that people are looking for themselves in their television shows. But there is one group that is severely underrepresented in all forms of media, television included, and that’s LGBTQ people. And when they are represented, it isn’t always in the best light. So let’s get into the good, the bad, and the ugly of LGBTQ representation in television. (Disclaimer: All examples are from shows I personally watch, so while there might be much better or worse examples, I don’t know them.)

The Good

There’s more to me than the fact that I’m gay, but I’m still gay.

Too often we see characters that are only their sexuality. Their stories revolve around coming out, around accepting themselves, around discovering themselves.

While there is nothing wrong with these stories, they should not be the only stories to exist. On the other ends, sometimes writers trying to avoid this find characters who are mentioned to be LGBTQ once and then it never comes up again.

Captain Raymond Holt from Brooklyn Nine-Nine finds the perfect middle ground between these two extremes. Holt is the new captain of the precinct when the show starts, and within the first episode we know he’s gay.

But Holt still has an active role in the show outside of the fact that he is gay. It is never forgotten, we see his husband many times, but it doesn’t completely take over his story. Holt goes through many different stories that have nothing to do with his sexuality and it’s refreshing.

We’re a normal couple that fights sometimes, but not about our sexualities.

We all know the stereotypical LGBTQ couples whose fights are always somewhat about their sexualities. They fight about how one character isn’t out, how parents don’t like their significant other, about how one character is bi and the other is afraid they’ll leave them for the opposite sex, and so on and so on.

It’s rare to see a couple who doesn’t fight about their sexaulity but isn’t held up as a completely perfect couple who never fights. Magnus and Alec from Shadowhunters break that mold. Magnus never pushes Alec to come out before he’s ready to, Alec never gets upset over the fact that Magnus has been with men and women (even though the source material fell into this trap).

But they do fight, like when Alec has to hide that the Clave still has the sword that can wipe out downworlders, which Magnus is (I know, it’s confusing), it isn’t just glossed over as something small. It’s a big deal, and they treat it like a big deal.

The Bad

The “It’s complicated” bunch, or labelless characters.

So many times characters are shown to be into the opposite sex, and then the same sex, and TV shows expect us to take that as the end of representation. That is all it ever is.

But by not addressing it, we’re left with more questions than answers. Are they bi? Did they think they were straight and now they have realized they’re gay? I want to know, but you’re never going to address it again.

A prime example of this is Annalise Keating from How To Get Away With Murder. She had a husband and was cheating on him with a man in the first season, and then someone else comes into the picture in the second season, Eve, a woman who she had something with back in law school.

There even is a scene where it would be easy for them to reveal her sexaulity, where the two women are out for a drink and get hit on by a couple of dudes. Eve tells them she is a lesbian and when they ask Annalise, she says it’s complicated. Your representation is half-assed if you won’t give it a label.

I’m here to date a dude and make stereotypical comments, see you next time my gayness is relevant.

Nothing is more frustrating than characters who are just here to be your stereotype, especially when they have the potential to be more than that. Like Kevin Keller in the first season of Riverdale (I haven’t seen the second yet).

He’s only there when Betty needs a friend that isn’t Archie or Veronica because she’s upset with both of them and Kevin shows up as a typical GBF, when they need someone to take a closeted boy to the river to make out and find a body, or when the serpents need someone they can have Joaquin date and take advantage of.

Even though Kevin is the son of the sheriff and could have been really helpful with the fact that the main characters were trying to solve a murder, he never exists outside of his sexuality.

The Ugly

We might be queer, we’re never going to say we are, but we might be.

Queerbaiting is a thing that you’ve probably heard of, but let’s go over it again. It’s when shows continually hint at the possibility of making their characters LGBTQ to get people to watch, but never follow through.

A prime example is, on the list again, Riverdale and its treatment of Betty and Veronica.

Those two kiss once in one episode, for reasons that really aren’t very clear. I guess Veronica is trying to prove something to Cheryl and kissing Betty does that, but it doesn’t make much sense. But that scene had a major spot in every single trailer, and people were wondering if this reboot would spin the traditional Archie-Betty-Veronica triangle by making the girls have feelings for each other, or at least one of them.

But nothing ever came from that, it was just an attempt to seem more progressive than the show is.

I’m finally happy! And I’m dead.

The tortured lesbian happens more often than not, and what tends to happen is that the two female characters that are in love will spend forever going through whatever is in their way, finally get together, and then one of them will be killed. In one of the most current examples, The 100 did this with their bisexual female lead, Clarke, and her lesbian girlfriend, Lexa.

They were starting something at the end of the second season, but as the leader of her people, Lexa made a decision that was good for her people but bad for Clarke and her friends. A few episodes after the third season started, the two ended up together again, working through their issues after what happened and trying to get their people to be able to get along.

The couple is about to be separated again, and have a heartfelt goodbye scene where the two end up having sex for the first time. The next scene has Clarke getting ready to leave when someone comes in and points a gun at her, ready to kill her. Lexa shows up at the last moment and gets hit by a stray bullet.

Lexa then dies in Clarke’s arms, just minutes after they got together for the viewer. Lesbians never get to be happy for more than a scene or two in most of today’s television shows.

Where am I? Certainly not here.

Of course, the worst is when LGBTQ characters are nonexistent. LGBTQ people deserve to see themselves on screen, to have someone to relate to. And before anyone says that sometimes sexuality is not relevant to the story the show is telling, if it’s relevant enough that we see straight people making out and finding love, there is no reason LGBTQ people can’t.

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia

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50 Quotes from the Best Vines

If you're picturing the vines in your head, you're doing it right
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In 2017 we had to say goodbye to one of the best websites to ever roam the internet: Vine. In case you have been living under a rock since 2013, Vine was -(sad face)- a website and app that took the internet and the app store by storm in Winter 2013. It contained 6-second videos that were mostly comedy- but there were other genres including music, sports, cool tricks and different trends. Vine stars would get together and plan out a vine and film it till they got it right.

It was owned by Twitter and it was shut down because of so many reasons; the viners were leaving and making money from Youtube, there was simply no money in it and Twitter wanted us to suffer.

There's been a ton of threads on Twitter of everyone's favorite vines so I thought I'd jump in and share some of my favorites. So without further ado, here are some quotes of vines that most vine fanatics would know.

1. "AHH...Stahhp. I coulda dropped mah croissant"

2. "Nate how are those chicken strips?" "F%#K YA CHICKEN STRIPS.....F%#K ya chicken strips!"

3. "Road work ahead? Uh Yea, I sure hope it does"

4. "Happy Crimus...." "It's crismun..." "Merry crisis" "Merry chrysler"

5. "...Hi Welcome to Chili's"

6. "HoW dO yOu kNoW wHaT's gOoD fOr mE?" "THAT'S MY OPINIONNN!!!.."

7."Welcome to Bible Study. We're all children of Jesus... Kumbaya my looordd"

8. Hi my name's Trey, I have a basketball game tomorrow. Well I'm a point guard, I got shoe game..."

9. "It's a avocadooo...thanks"

10. "Yo how much money do you have?" "69 cents" "AYE you know what that means?" "I don't have enough money for chicken nuggets"

11. "Hurricane Katrina? More like Hurricane Tortilla."

12. "Hey Tara you want some?" "This b*%th empty. YEET!"

13. "Get to Del Taco. They got a new thing called Freesha-- Free-- Freeshavaca do"

14. "Mothertrucker dude that hurt like a buttcheek on a stick"

15. "Two brooss chillin in a hot tub 5 feet apart cuz they're not gay"

16. "Jared can you read number 23 for the class?" "No I cannot.... What up I'm Jared, I'm 19 and I never f#@%in learned how to read."

17. "Not to be racist or anything but Asian people SSUUGHHH"

18. 18. "I wanna be a cowboy baby... I wanna be a cowboy baby"

19. "Hey, I'm lesbian" "I thought you were American"

20. "I spilled lipstick in your Valentino bag" "you spilled- whaghwhha- lipstick in my Valentino White bag?"

21. "What's better than this? Guys bein dudes"

22. "How'd you get these bumps? ya got eggzma?" "I got what?" "You got eggzma?"

23. "WHAT ARE THOSEEEEE?" "THEY are my crocs!"

24. "Can I get a waffle? Can I please get a waffle?"

25. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAVEN!" "I can't sweem"

26. "Say Coloradoo" "I'M A GIRAFFE!!"

27. "How much did you pay for that taco?" Aight yo you know this boys got his free tacoo"

28. *Birds chirping* "Tweekle Tweekle"

29. "Girl, you're thicker than a bowl of oatmeal"

30. "I brought you Frankincense" "Thank you" "I brought you Myrrh" "Thank you" "Mur-dur" "huh...Judas..no"

31. "Sleep? I don't know about sleep...it's summertime" "You ain't go to bed?" "Oh she caught me"

32. "All I wanna tell you is school's not important... Be whatever you wanna be. If you wanna be a dog...RUFF. You know?"33. "Oh I like ya accent where you from?" "I'm Liberian" "Oh, my bad *whispering* I like your accent..."

34. "Next Please" "Hello" "Sir, this is a mug shot" "A mug shot? I don't even drink coffee"


35. "Hey did you happen to go to class last week?" "I have never missed a class"

36. "Go ahead and introduce yourselves" "My name is Michael with a B and I've been afraid of insects my entire-" "Stop, stop, stop. Where?" "Hmm?" "Where's the B?" "There's a bee?"

37. "There's only one thing worse than a rapist...Boom" "A child" "No"

38. "Later mom. What's up me and my boys are going to see Uncle Kracker...GIVE ME MY HAT BACK JORDAN! DO YOU WANNA SEE UNCLE KRACKER OR NO?


39. "Dad look, it's the good kush." This is the dollar store, how good can it be?"

40. "Zach stop...Zach stop...You're gonna get in trouble. Zach"

41. "CHRIS! Is that a weed? "No this is a crayon-" I'm calling the police" *puts 911 into microwave* "911 what's your emergency"

42. "WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? "

43. *Blowing vape on table* * cameraman blows it away* "ADAM"

44. "Would you like the spider in your hand?" "Yea" "Say please" "Please" *puts spider in hand* *screams*

45. "Oh hi, thanks for checking in I'm still a piece of garrbaagge"

46. *girl blows vape* "...WoW"

47. *running* "...Daddy?" "Do I look like-?"

48. *Pours water onto girl's face" "Hello?"

49. "Wait oh yes wait a minute Mr. Postman" "HaaaAHH"

50. "...And they were roommates" "Mah God they were roommates"


I could literally go on forever because I just reference vines on a daily basis. Rest in peace Vine

Cover Image Credit: Vine

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This Is What You Can Learn About Blame From An Inmate On Death Row

Go out, accept your responsibility, and make your lot better than you found it. And stop whining.

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While the number of murder series available on Netflix may seem mildly worrisome at first glance, such shows have captivated a range of audiences worldwide. I for one have also been a big proponent of crime/mystery/murder docuseries and docudramas, so I was immediately drawn in by Netflix's recent addition I AM A KILLER. Yes, it is in all caps.

The drama of an all-caps-title is rightfully given as it tells the stories of inmates on death row—both from the perspective of the inmate and others involved with their life and/or trial.

While many inmates interviewed attempt to dismiss the accusations afforded them with "It's a blur" or "You have to understand, it wasn't my idea," even more surprising is the degree of accountability many maintain.

The first episode opens on James Robertson, an inmate who after decades in prison purposefully murdered his cellmate (who he claims was a pedophile) in order to be put on death row. As this premeditated murder proved futile in his attempt for the death sentence, he took it to court where he eventually was given capital punishment.

After growing up in a broken home with drug abusing parents, Robertson found himself in and out of state penitentiaries from a very young age. After decades of prison it appeared he would never find himself free again.

Chilling as his interviews were, the viewer can't help but sympathize with Robertson to a certain extent as he appears calm, charismatic, and all-accepting.

Toward the end of the episode, Robertson muses on how he's come to accept his fate. The simple answer? Blame. He no longer blames anyone but himself:

"I was bitter when I was always blaming everybody else for... the way my life turned out and stuff. But I stopped doing that. And as a matter of principle, I gotta—I got to face the music.

I got to man up. I don't like hearing other people whine or talk about blaming the world and everything for all their problems. Life ain't always fair. People always saying, talking about how unfair the world is and stuff, ain't nobody ever said life was meant to be fair, ain't nobody up, up on a cloud wearing a robe and cane...saying 'I'm gonna make everything fair.' They, they ain't like that, man. You know? People just gotta accept that, man. You know? You're always trying to make the world...a better place, you know...ain't nothing perfect."

Although perhaps poorly worded, I found it pretty incredible to hear someone charged with capital murder, awaiting their turn to be executed, so calmly elucidate on blame. Regardless of how you feel about the death penalty, there's something refreshing about hearing a murderer admit his responsibility, rather than find a scapegoat for his past decisions.

Today it appears no one wants to assume onus for anything. There's is a constant game of "he said," "she did," "I don't know," etc… There has become a lack of responsibility in our society that needs to be addressed, whether it be big or small.

I think back on the times I've attempted to place the blame elsewhere, and the times I've owned up to my actions. The latter has always left me feeling better about myself than the prior.

Rightfully accepting one's share in the blame has become an attribute so few adults, young and old, posses in today's society. This bleeds into other necessary aspects such as the ability to apologize and sympathize. So many people complain about life being unfair, blaming everyone and everything but themselves. The fact of the matter is, whining won't change a damn thing, action will.

If someone who committed a heinous crime can accept the blame, why can't you accept your own? As Robertson points out, life isn't always fair, so who are you to curse the world? Go out, accept your responsibility, and make your lot better than you found it.

Pride and respect can be found in one's own acceptance, regardless the magnitude.

As for James Robertson, when asked "How do you want to be remembered?" he replied "Somebody that always speaks the truth."

It would appear we can all learn a little bit about responsibility from this man sentenced to death.

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