Erasure or Absence?

I have a bit of a dilemma.

I’ve touched on this before, but now I’m going to finally write a whole post on it, and hope that I didn’t write a whole post on it before and forget about it. If I have, you get another post on this topic, so, yay.

My dilemma is that I tend to get very attached to LGBT characters.

“So what?” I hear you say. “How is that a big deal?”

Well, it’s not, not really, but my problem is that I tend to get attached to them regardless of how they are actually portrayed in the work. I watched Spartacus: Blood and Sand and was all “OMFGS, Barca and Pietros!” while ignoring that by the end of the first season, both of them are dead and Pietros commits suicide after being abused by Gnaeus. Now, to be fair, Spartacus was worse than Game of Thrones when it comes to killing off characters, and that’s hardly the most problematic aspect of the show, like how Doctore is yet another “Angry Black Man”–and my favourite character–and why the fuck did I keep watching that show, anyways?

No, topless Lucy Lawless had nothing to do with it.

Okay, that was a bad example. My point is that I tend to latch on to LGBT characters like a remora on a shark because they’re either not there or relegated to subtext.

But, I have to wonder.

Is it really better to accept bad portrayals and express a desire for something more positive? Or is it ultimately better to just not include certain people in a work?

I don’t know. On the one hand, it would probably have to be on a case by case basis, and what one person might find problematic won’t be a problem for other people. There are a ton of people who go on about how Avatar as ableist. As a person with physical disabilities myself, I didn’t see why it was unreasonable that Sully would want the use of his legs back. Fuck, I want those legs, my CP makes it hard to keep up with people. But seriously, WTF is up with that old wheelchair? Where are the cool hoverchairs? It’s the fucking future, James Cameron! Seriously!

Then again, I have issues with my CP fucking CP won’t let me get health insurance so it’s entirely possible that I have internalized ableism and that’s why I don’t find Avatar nearly as problematic as others. (I do have some experience with a wheelchair, but I’m fortunate in that I’m quite mobile without it.)

Anyways, still doesn’t mean it isn’t Mighty Whitey….again….

I watched Avatar for the banshees, dragon birds are fucking awesome.

Anyways, I’m digressing.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’d rather take a problematic portrayal (and yell at the creators to do better next time!) than complete erasure in most cases.

Oh, but homophobes like Orson Scott Card can just stay the fuck away from any fandoms ever. There’s problematic, and then there’s reworking Hamlet so that Hamlet’s father is a pedophile. I’m still trying to figure out who had to lie to him to get him to give a blurb for Swordspoint (written by a lesbian, with m/m kissing and stuff).

Anyways, apparently there’s this show called Downton Abbey that I need to watch, so I should go do that. I was not influenced in any way by that clip I saw on YouTube of two men kissing (actually, I watched a segment on this other show about it, and was interested, then I forgot about it).

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