Queer-Baiting and Representation

We’ve all been there, a “hit television show” brings in a queer character or reveals one of their characters is queer and we start binge watching the show solely for the LGBTQIA+ representation.

All too often the characters are either killed, written out of the show, or declare being queer a phase and “go back” to dating the opposite sex as if bisexuality isn’t a thing. Most recently the shows that have made headlines for doing this are The 100 and Supergirl. These are two examples of blatant queer-baiting, but many shows queer-bait in a less obvious way. They make two girls/guys have a flirty relationship that’s implied but not explicitly stated, then once the ratings go up from queer people flocking to the little representation we have, they kill one of them off. TV shows shouldn’t be using the LGBTQIA+ community for views only to get rid of the queer characters the first chance they get.

While we have way more representation now then we did even three or four years ago, a lot of it still has problems. I’d like to see LGBT people in healthy relationships just living life every once in a while. Maybe that isn’t “good TV” but it’d be nice to see. It seems like big problems arise in most characters situations or sexuality is the premise of their character. Why can’t they be gay without it being a big deal or being one big stereotype?

The killing of LGBT characters specifically queer women is what’s most alarming to me. It happens so often that it isn’t a coincidence at this point. I feel that it sends a very clear message that Hollywood does not value LGBT lives or at least sees them as expendable. Some people may think that conclusion is dramatic, but these repetitive actions seem very straightforward. LGBT lives are disposable and unworthy; They are deserving of physical harm, death, or to be cast aside when Hollywood is done using them. Sending these messages is incredibly dangerous to the community, specifically young people who are looking for guidance and an image of what their future may be like.

Most representation is good, but accurate and diverse representation in more important. I’m happy to see more LGBTQ+ characters on TV and in films, but I’d like to see more diverse stories. The tale of a cis-white-middle class gay person isn’t the narrative of many people in the Queer community or even most. There also isn’t a lot of representation for non-binary, intersex, or asexual people. What’s up with that?

I think we should be a little more picky about the TV shows we choose to support. We shouldn’t just accept any representation, but rather demand the diverse and accurate representation we deserve!

– Alyssa


6 thoughts on “Queer-Baiting and Representation

  1. Great post, I agree with what you are saying totally. It seems to me people bring in a LGBTQ individual to help ratings, I’ve seen it happen on a low profile show, when there was a LGBTQ reputation the shows ratings went up.

    Once they got what they needed, they killed it off. It’s not only kind of insulting, but it lets the viewers into a false mind set of that show.

    We need more shows like the L word, where it’s just normal lgbtq lifestyles (kinda!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Completely agree! I’d like to see shows where the main characters are LGBTQ, and not just the funny side kick or someone to help ratings. I think the L word did a good job of capturing normal LGBT lives while being able to poke fun at themselves.


  2. Great blog! I feel the LGBT community and Black Lives Community often pander for the same things. Representation, equality and to be a normal. Gay and Black culture are often adorned, the people at times- not so much. Look at much of America, quotes “bye Felicia,” from a black cult classic and have probably never seen the movie. Heterosexual men who like to quote, “Yessss,” or making saying, “hey girl hey,” heteronormative activity, while condemning homosexuality. You brought up great points!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m definitely weary of things like this. A character on Shadowhunters came out as asexual and I’m super excited but also afraid that Freeform will screw it up because on Pretty Little Liars their one trans character gets killed (and is also like the worst character one the show). Hopefully they know better this time.

    Liked by 1 person

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