I’m not super involved in the LGBT community. To be fair I’m not involved in any community other than the internet and even then my participation is minimal. I do however have fuck tons of respect and support for them. Some of my favourite people in the world are gay men and I live with a lesbian so I fancy myself pretty open minded when it comes to someones sexual orientation. Sexuality is one small part of who a person is and shouldn’t be any kind of basis to judge, ostracize, or hurt somebody. I think everyone is a little gay sometimes or at the very least can see the appeal of both genders. Some people are just universally bang-able, like Ryan Gosling or Rosario Dawson.
I was looking up some statistics today and I have to say I’m pretty surprised by the U.S.’s severe lag in progress. Only 12 states have legalized same sex marriage? What the fuck America? Not to toot my own patriotic horn, but Canada’s been nationally celebrating the union of any couple gender aside for 14 years. I don’t even know why this is a voting issue? Shouldn’t the government step in and just be like “Hey, fuck you. These people love each other. Stop being a dick.” I mean sure it would be great if people just came to their senses and realized how bigoted they were but sometimes people just need to have a the bigot slapped out of them and there’s no way around it.
Personally I don’t see why anyone would want to be married. In the general scheme of things a few signatures on a piece of paper don’t really have much of an impact on the relationship and weddings are expensive as FUCK. I wouldn’t think of denying someone else the right to be legally bound to a another person though.
Ok, there’s my little preachy intro now we can get to the topic at hand. It’s pretty glaringly obvious that there is an absence of LGBT characters on television and in movies. Often when we do actually get to see them represented in the media they’re watered down caricatures about as well developed as the population of Mississippi. I kid Mississippi.
That’s not to say there aren’t ANY good LGBT characters out there in the mainstream media. Here are four of my favourites in celebration of Pride Week.
Sophia Burset – Orange Is The New Black
I’ve mentioned on a few occasions that if you haven’t you need to watch Orange Is The New Black because it’s just fucking amazing. On a show as good as this that has as many characters too choose from for this list as Orange does, you know you have to be good to stand out. One of the highlights of the show is Sophia. Formally firefighter Marcus Burset, Sophia is an inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary where she’s serving time for credit card theft/fraud, an act she committed to pay for her gender reassignment surgeries. Laverne Cox who portrays her is now Emmy nominated for the roll making her the first trans nominee in history, and damn it she deserves to win.
Sophia’s backstory episode in the first season is both touching and heartbreaking. You see what it was like for her struggling to be herself, her wife Crystal’s understanding and enduring love and her son’s resistance and frustration. I have never before been able to relate to a Transexual character as well as I did with Sophia and that’s because she isn’t just a transexual character but a realistic person.
Lafayette Reynolds – True Blood
I don’t care how many ladies out there are holding a torch for Eric Northman, my True Blood crush would have to be Lafayette. Early on it was pretty obvious that Lafayette wasn’t like most of the gay men you see on television. Yes, he is fabulous as hell, sassy, and gives no fucks but he’s also a total badass by any standards. He doesn’t give a shit what you think about him. If you owe him money for V he’s not afraid to lay the beat down and he has his own way of dealing with homophobes.
He may be reluctant to put himself in danger but that’s because he’s surrounded by crazy bitches who make stupid life threatening decisions and, shit, if he isn’t gonna tell them just that. The writers of True Blood have put La-La through a lot of shit over the course of 6 and a half seasons but he alway makes it through a little stronger and a little wiser. He’s a survivor. Shout out to Lafayette’s brujo boyfriend Jesus from seasons 3 – 4 for help form what was one of the sweetest and definitely the most honest and healthiest relationship in the history of the show.
Gay Perry – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
This might seem a little unconventional but hear me out. Kiss Kiss Bang Gang is a black comedy that has become something of a cult film over the years. Harry Lockhart is a thief and actor who shadows a Private Detective, Perry, to study for a roll but things get messy when the two find themselves investigating a murder. Perry is smart, capable, and an unflinching badass. He’s also gay as his nickname “Gay Perry” would suggest. A private detective capable of matching wits with Robert Downy Jr., Perry is the level head between the two who keeps everything together repeatedly saving Harry’s ass. He takes down thugs and delivers lines that would make a hardened criminal or two blush, all the while not giving a fuck.
Far from flamboyant and totally comfortable with himself Perry cracks dead panned jokes at his own expense in a way that never feels disrespectful on Director/writer Shane Black’s part. By far the best thing about Gay Perry is that his sexuality is irrelevant to the plot. The character isn’t gay because it serves any specific purpose to the story. He’s a private detective that just happens to be gay the same way lots of character’s just happen to be straight. It’s a resistance to this straight default that hollywood seems to have set for all it’s characters.
Willow Rosenburg – Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Willow was the best. She was crazy smart, kinda shy, but brave in her own way. Being something of an awkward nerd I always related to Willow and even after she came out as a lesbian nothing ever changed that for me. Over the course of 7 seasons we got to see Willow grow into her own from a shy, mousey, bookworm to a strong capable, and very powerful, (occasionally evil) witch. A big part of Willow’s journey was realizing she was into girls. Despite a long term relationship with Oz, Willow didn’t meet her full potential until she fell in love with Tara.
Willow had always been a genius with a great heart but after coming out she had the confidence and determination to go after what she wanted and become what she wanted. She left her days as the timid sidekick behind to become a force to be reckoned with. Every bit as much the role model and heroine as protagonist and slayer Buffy. Willow was probably the first lesbian I can remember seeing on TV.
Let me know some of your favourite LGBT characters in the comments.