Reading articles’ comments section about TV shows featuring LGBT content can either be an affirming experience or, especially when a ‘conservative’ slant is involved—incredibly demoralizing and/or enraging. I can’t even look at an article about Duck Dynasty without wanting to gouge out my own eyeballs or spit fireballs.
A&E’s Duck Dynasty is a constructed reality TV series about a redneck clan of people, which bears as much resemblance to reality as any TV sitcom, scripted or not. Lauded for portraying ‘family values’ that many religious and conservative people lament are missing from TV representation, Duck Dynasty has been the burning talisman for Christian/conservatives who have yet to catch up with the 21st century and basic human decency.
I happened upon a brilliant thesis by Jasmine Ing at the University of Calgary titled, “Queervisions: Queer Women Speak About Their First Experiences of Queer Representations in Film and Television”. For a great read check out the full thesis here.
The line that caught my attention was this:
“In short, popular culture depictions can allow the isolated to view characters who have managed to successfully integrate their queer sexuality into their daily lives.”
This line right here advocates for the fact that we need TV characters whose sexuality isn’t an issue; where they are just living their regular lives like everyone else. In teen-centric shows, such as Pretty Little Liars or Glee, the coming out story is important because of the age of characters. But beyond that, beyond what is organic to the character’s story, TV shows need to move past the coming out phase of a character’s life.