Raised by the Internet. Published author of "A Boy Fell From the Sky" on Amazon.
Junior Contributor III
Hail Hydra: Steve Rogers Retcon Horror
Analyze the changes made to the character of Steve Rogers in comic book history, and the recent story line presented in "Captain America: Steve Rogers" issue #1, that Steve Rogers has been a secret Hydra agent all along. Analyze the character’s past actions in comic book history, whether or not this story line gives us whiplash by attempting to create a shocking conundrum, and what it means for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Millennials And Art: What Types of Art Can We Hope to See?
Millennials are typically regarded by the older generations as entitled and cynical. Personally, I come from the millennial generation, and resent the idea that we are entitled and cynical without reason or cause. I just completed a class discussing changes and experimentation in literature during the Modernist era from 1900-1945 in America specifically. What I would hope to inspire from this topic is to circumvent the allegations that Millennials are entitled, perhaps showcase some artwork from Millennial artists or authors, and perhaps even speculate on what a historian might dub the period of artistry created by Millennials
Thanks you for your kind words on the topic, and thank you for in your own words saying just how important representation was to you when you were coming to terms with being queer. Most people think that when queer people come to terms, one day they’re just fine, but being able to see characters like us live happy and healthy lives makes all the difference in our world.
Representation matters, and when producers and show runners are killing off the one LGBTQ+/queer character on their show they are alienating an entire group of people, and showing them that all they deserve in that universe is death.
I’m not sure how it benefits them in the long run except by possibly securing the viewership of homophobic people who would prefer not to see queer character in their media. As for their reason of doing it? As you said, it could be for the attempted shock factor, and that like many people in the public eye, producers and show runners see queer people and the queer characters they create as being less-than the cisgender and heterosexual people/characters that are the majority. I am of the opinion that unless we hold producers and show runners responsible, our television screens will never accurately reflect what it means to be queer.
You are most certainly welcome! I hope that I was able to answer any questions you might have had about it.
As outlined in the piece, there’s a system of oppression present in the world, and the death of queer characters in fictional media helps reinforce this system. Queer people live in a world where majority of religions, world leaders and politicians, and the everyday person is vocalizing that queer relationships and feelings are less than those of heterosexual cisgender people.
So how does queer death in media fit into this? Stick with me here, I’m going to try and answer your questions as best I can. As a straight man, most of everything Hollywood produces is catered to you, because in their minds, straight white men are the majority of consumers. I’m not assuming you are white, I’m just trying to outline Hollywood’s line of thinking here.
So Hollywood feels that to make the most money, they need to focus what they produce to their largest audience i.e. the straight white male. It’s why when a white man is cast in a role in an autobiographical or “based on a true story” films for a person of color, that people of color come together in outcry. It’s like if Nelson Mandela had been played by Brad Pitt. These types of casting alienate people of color, but hey, Hollywood doesn’t care, they’re going to make the best buck either way because they’re focused on the majority. Except that production company might have made more money catering to the marginalized group, so that the representation was accurate and had been done correctly, straight white men might’ve still gone to the film and been like “Wow! Even though a pasty white man didn’t play Michael Jackson, it was still a great film!”
There are white people who argue when the reverse happens. For example, the 1997 version of Cinderella starring Brandy. There are people who will say “but Cinderella was white!!!” well, for one, she’s a fictional character, and two there aren’t nearly as many roles for PoC characters as there for white people. There are probably a million white roles to every one role for a person of color, and even that role will probably be snatched by a white person.
So that’s the race issue with Hollywood, and you asked about how it fits in to queer people. It’s really more of the same, except there’s even less representation for queer people. What’s worse is that we’re seeing all of our representation being killed off or subverted for the sake of the main heterosexual storyline. Just the same as you, we want to be able to see ourselves on television and on film screens. By watching our representation be killed on television, it reinforces the rhetoric that already exists that queer people are less than. That queer people aren’t even deserving of life, much less of fulfilling relationships.
The issue with casting straight and cisgender actors to play queer people comes up all the time in media as well. The actor who plays Cam on Modern Family is a straight man, and in my opinion he so often is playing a stereotype, but that’s a separate discussion.
I understand that all Hollywood sees is money. But catering to the majority is not going to earn them the most money when the queer and PoC communities are boycotting their films for casting straight white men in roles that could go to them. As I stated before, Hollywood production companies actually might earn more money if they were willing to cast their roles in the correct way (i.e. PoC roles going to PoC actors, etc.) because representation matters.
Also, while queer people may have some issues that overlap with straight people’s issues (i.e. relationships, jobs, quality of life, familial issues, etc.) a majority of it is amplified by being queer. There will never be a straight character who is ejected from their home for being straight, or losing their job for being straight. It’s not the same comparison. While queer people want so badly to be seen as just like everyone else, and not as stereotypes that people may have used to fill in the blanks, many of our issues are not the same as everyone else’s.
In the wake of the recent shooting in Orlando that left 50 LGBTQ+ people dead and at least 53 injured, which is statistically the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, I feel as if I must remind everyone what I was trying to point out when I wrote this article to begin with.
Queer people are dying on television screens everyday. It is not coincidental, as now over a hundred people injured or dead simply for being who they were and being in a safe space created for them.
Please keep this in mind when (for U.S. readers) voting in politics and for candidates invested in affording protections for queer individuals. It would mean a lot if this would be kept in mind. Thank you.
Exactly right. I think that’s something that a lot of people miss as well in thinking about this article, is that despite a character’s strengths or usefulness to the cast, as queer characters there’s always that risk of being expendable in relation to a toxic trope.
You are right, it was unfair of me to automatically assume, and I apologize. As someone who is queer, and the area I live in I receive a lot of opposition to my “lifestyle” and I admit that it got to me when I read your comment, and it is no excuse and I am really sorry for my assumption.
It is definitely a shame to outlaw being queer in other countries. I wholeheartedly believe that it is difficult being gay in the United States, but I don’t think I would be able to handle living in fear of my life and safety in a country such as Russia. It is more than a shame, I just don’t have the words necessary to describe it or how I feel about it.
There is always the hope that ideology and assumptions about people will change for the better, sooner the better.
Are you implying that television producers and companies should avoid portraying homosexual characters on television because country’s have made being gay illegal? Just because being gay is illegal in those places doesn’t mean gay people don’t exist in those places. If anything, by that logic it just alienates them even more. In a perfect world, I know all gay people would live in countries and states accepting of them, but some people don’t have the means to move somewhere else. When we advocate for change, even on television, it affects world policies, because people are watching and seeing it every day. Shame on you for saying that gay people should just disappear from television screens in countries where being gay is illegal.