Media Portrayal of Gay Characters

Sebastian Ferguson

Normally I go and write a funny or insightful review about a B-list animated movie, but I just got back from an LGBT Conference at Rochester and I feel that I need to talk about it. In all forms of media, people with a sexuality are always forced to use their sexuality as a major form of their identity. And while yes, being gay is probably a big identity for most gay people, I seriously doubt that being gay is the only interesting thing about them.

This is why I was really glad that Glee introduced Sebastian during the third season. Not only was there now another badass character in fiction with my name, but this character was one of the most complex characters in Glee. He was first introduced as a Potential Love rival for Blaine’s affections, but when they dropped that plot, they didn’t just ditch Sebastian and leave Sue to be the main antagonist again, or leave it to a new love rival, they kept him and made him even more of a villain.

The point I make about Sebastian is that even though he started off with gay being his central character trait, he didn’t stay that way. In fact, by the end of the show, his gayness was an afterthought. He was no longer a gay character. He was a character who happened to be gay. And that was what I loved about his character.

Now, I am not gay, I have my own sexuality that is not important here, but I do understand that whenever writers in fiction feel that they want to be “politically correct” by allowing gay characters into their story, they often use the fact that they are gay as their ONLY trait. Either they are promiscuous or they are persecuted, but it all revolves around their sexuality.

I heard reviews on the internet that ParaNorman was one of the few movies to depict a gay character accurately. And while I can’t actually call him gay, Neil certain could pass for one in the real world. He talks like he thinks he likes Norman, but his character isn’t a romantically focused character. He’s more of a friend, a guy who likes another guy, who probably wouldn’t mind the idea of dating him, but he’s respectful of boundaries. Frankly, he’s better than most female characters who are made to fall in love with the main character.

All I’m saying is that, I’m sick and tired of gay characters being presented in films and on TV in such a stereotypical way.

Next time, I’m going to write a review on what I was planning to before I went to the conference: Cool World, and why it sucks.


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