Gay Relationships on Television Shows

By: Savannah

Okay, so as you probably know from just looking at this site that I am a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. Huge. Anything Joss Whedon actually. But I grew up with Buffy. Literally. When it was house cleaning day my mother would put on the Once More With Feeling soundtrack and we would go wild. So Willow and Tara's relationship wasn't ever weird to me. It was very natural and altogether beautiful. So I may be biased when I say that showing gay or lesbian relationships on television is just as okay as showing straight relationships. If the characters have chemistry then it shouldn't matter one bit. But it does to some people, and I'm all about live and let live but this just bothers me. It happens in real life, it's a real live concept that happens every day. Gay people aren't some sort of magical beings that need to be hidden from the children. No. They're just people who love and date just like any other person. I just don't understand why gay relationships on TV are just so dang taboo when straight couples are making out (among other things) all over the place and no one bats an eye.

I decided to rant about this after watching "The Sky Witch" episode of Adventure Time and reading stuff about it. I absolutely love the idea of Marceline and Bubblegum getting together, but I hate the idea of Pendleton Ward having to only support the relationship through subtext. I know he hasn't come out and said that they're actually attracted to each other, but I think it would be a huge step up for children's cartoons if they were to actually have an open relationship, not one that's only through songs and subtext. I feel like children watch a lot of TV, so why not make it useful and teach them open-mindedness while they're watching? It's awesome that more and more teen and adult shows are showing coming out stories for gay characters, but why not children's shows? All these shows are doing is showing that they're just people. Just people who usually have to deal with a lot more hate than straight people do. And as sad as that is, it could change if we just get people used to the idea of the normality of gay or lesbian relationships. Because although we still have homophobic people in this generation their children could be taught to be more open-minded with the right outside influences, such as being shown that gay relationships are normal on children's shows.

I remember watching Sailor Moon as a child and Michiru and Haruka (I think they were called Michelle and Amara in the English version if I remember correctly) were my favorite characters (along with Sailor Venus, but that's besides the point) and I always thought they were a couple. (It doesn't matter that I was like 5, even I could see the love between them.) So when I was watching the English dub and it was mentioned that they were cousins I was absolutely and utterly shocked. A little creeped out, too. Because in my mind these two were a couple and the fact that the English version had lied to the audience and passed them off for cousins just confused my 5 year old brain way more than a same sex couple ever would have. Of course it was much later when I realized that in the Japanese version they're actually lesbians, and it hurts my heart so much that most of the other dubs (I don't know how many dubs changed them to being friends or cousins, but I know a ton did.) changed their beautiful and dedicated relationship to be a simple friendship or family bond. Because they did have a beautiful relationship. They were both strong girls that would have died for each other, and that's amazing.

I just noticed that all of my examples on this rants are girl pairings. I just wanted to point out that I love some of the boy couples on TV as well, there are just less of them that I've seen. I do love Kurt and Blaine on Glee. I don't watch Glee much anymore, but I started watching it for Darren Criss (he plays Blaine) and I just absolutely loved their relationship. And I love them both as individual characters as well. How Kurt has to go through crushes on straight men and the uncomfortableness of just trying to figure out who he is and how Blaine is just completely opposite from him and comfortable with himself. Actually, Glee does a great job of showing same sex couples in a very positive light. I loved Brittany and Santana together, and now that I think about it Klaine and them were probably my favorite couples. I pretty much watched Glee for Klaine and Britana duets, and that is a definite fact.

So anyway, I do happen to be a straight individual, but I think I am so very pro-gay marriage because I've just grown up watching things like Buffy and Glee that show it in such a positive way. (That's definitely not the only reason, but I do think it reinforced my sense that everyone has the same rights as a child.) This is why I think it is so important to have these positive role models on TV for everyone. Not just gay children or straight children, but just children. Equality is a right for all people to have, and we should be teaching this to our children, television just happens to be a fantastic way to do that. So why not use it? I hope you liked my rant and I just hope that you can help me spread the love and kindness of equality around to others. Thanks.