Vagueness in Including Queer Characters

I posted this discussion regarding queer characters in some popular shows. My point is that there is a certain kind of vagueness in the inclusion of queer characters in shows. I obviously don’t mean to use queer as a derogatory term. As an aro ace person, I identify as queer. It is a term I feel comfortable using. Let’s begin the discussion.

Projecting, but Never Canon

This is a common implied message I have noticed in many statements made by content creators. For instance, take a look at Andrew Scott responding to questions regarding Moriarty’s sexuality.

His reply is double sided. On the one hand, it is okay for people to project whichever identifiers they may have onto the character. However, and this is kind of implied, it will never be canon.

My frustration with this sentiment is in its favoring of “traditional” sexuality (“heterosexual.”). For example, in Sherlock, Sherlock/Irene and John/Mary are presented as canon. The rest is simply hinted at. The question is, why not include queer characters if you are going to claim to be inclusive?

Condescending and Mocking

I have noticed a lot of mocking from actors when faced with questions regarding their characters’ sexuality. For example, take a look at the Supernatural cast discussing Dean/Castiel’s relationship.  One actor says, “That is some weird sh**.”    And, “You don’t want any part of that.” Here is another video where another actor talks about the supposed growth in slash fanvideo and fanfiction in which he calls it, “fuc*ed up but it is nice.” 

It’s like shipping queer relationships is trouble or an inconvenience. I am not a fan of the show, but I can tell that it’s about angels and demons. If you are dealing with the supernatural, how on earth is it trouble to include queer characters? Is it really a stretch of the imagination for a main character to identify as queer?


It boils down to inherent phobic responses to queer relationships due to ignorance. For instance, the actors in the show Merlin tend to avoid the most common ship for the show, Merlin/Arthur.

In response to this ship, Katie McGrath calls it “genius,” and then drops a comment, “I am not sure Bradley and Colin feel the same way.” She continues to dismiss the romance. Again, it is like a homosexual relationship is an insult to the actors and characters.

Why It Matters

This ignorance and negative attitude towards playing queer characters makes it hard to find queer representation in the media. The vagueness in the inclusion of queer characters makes it harder to: 1) Identify as such in real life, 2) Create dialogue regarding prejudice in the LGBT+ community.



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4 thoughts on “Vagueness in Including Queer Characters

  1. *coughs* #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend (instead of shoe-horning a nonsense relationship with Generic Blonde #1 so that you can prove he’s not gay) *coughs*

  2. You mentioned two of my fave ships in this post! It really does annoy me and irritate me when these actors are so uncomfortable with the thought of people shipping them in a queer relationship. Like, the main reason I love Merlin SO much is because of the beautiful relationship between Merlin and Arthur. And so when I see actors in the show, and the actors OF the character either dismissing the ship altogether or calling it ‘weird’ or something, it really disheartens me. Because I find it very hard to believe that these actors don’t know what they’re projecting onto their characters. Sure, people can ship things out of practically nothing, but both Destiel and Merthur are not built on the foundation of nothing.

    I really like what you said about a show with supernatural creatures featuring in every episode finds it so shocking that someone could be queer. In a recent episode I watched, two male side characters were in a relationship together and that was HUGE. I’d never seen any LGBTQIA+ characters in Supernatural before so it was a small step taken. But if they made Destiel canon it would be so incredible. But I know it won’t happen. And I know a lot of people have stopped watching it because of the queer-baiting regarding Destiel and the way the show keeps forcing heterosexuality on Dean like there’s no tomorrow.

    I really wish that queer relationships were canon in more shows like these but the sad thing is I don’t think the industry is ready for change just yet. 🙁

  3. If you are dealing with the supernatural, how on earth is it trouble to include queer characters? <- So much this. It is very annoying to see. And like someone else has already said in the comment, it isn't like it is based on nothing. Especially Merlin and Arthur. Good discussion post.

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