Make It Gay You Cowards!
'Cause everything could stand to be a little gayer.
SPOILERS WARNING: There are spoilers for several shows and films below, so fair warning.
We live in a world of tropes such as "bury your gays" and queerbaiting in our current media. Whilst representation has undoubtedly improved over the years, we still have instances where creators and writers are holding back from giving that representation or claiming that they are giving that representation only for us to find out that it lasts two seconds. For example, I was super excited when the Russo's announced that Avengers: Endgame would feature Marvel's first ever gay character and was really hoping for a Captin America or Captain Marvel reveal. Instead I was disappointed with a nameless character who is dealing with the loss of his husband. This makes me mad for two reasons. Firstly a passing character in a passing moment hardly counts as representation in a film full of straight people. And two, they built it up like it was going to be this big amazing moment for it to last two seconds. That pisses me off. So in this article we'll discuss multiple movies, TV shows and characters that had a real chance to give us proper representation but instead fell into the trap of cheap tricks. Or alternatively are taking the tentative steps towards giving us the representation but are taking their damn time.
1. Killing Eve
Killing Eve is a show I really enjoy and one of the best shows out there at the moment. The two main characters, Villanelle (Jodie Comer) and Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh), an assassin and MI6 agent respectively, are both obsessed with one another. This was a great build-up in season one of the show ending with the two women admitting their attraction to each other, however we have just finished season two and we've yet to see any proper progress in their relationship. This is slightly frustrating because this isn't a will they/won't they relationship, it's pretty clear they both have feelings for one another, something more should have happened at this point. Make it gay you cowards!
2. Doctor Who
When they announced Jodie Whittaker as the new Doctor, I didn't see it coming. Three new companions in the form of Ryan Sinclair (Tosin Cole), Graham O'Brian (Bradley Walsh) and Yasmin Khan (Mandip Gill) was also unexpected. I found Whittaker to be very good in the role and also loved the dynamic between the companions. I expected Ryan and Yaz to be pushed together romantically, however after only a few episodes of the season, I found the Doctor and Yaz to be the more compelling couple. The Doctor has historically been romantically interested in women and this shouldn't change just because the Doctor regenerated into a woman. Furthermore, it's hinted in the fourth episode that Yaz may be bisexual as her mother asks if she's involved with the Doctor or Ryan. There are many moments throughout the season that suggest that there are romantic undertones to the Doctor's relationship with Yaz, including unnecessary hand-holding, touching and general dialogue that can be read as more than friendly. This is also a show that has given us multiple LGBTQ+ characters in the background this season, however, I really hope that the relationship between Yaz and the Doctor is explored further in the next season. Make it gay you cowards!
3. Captain Marvel
One of my favourite Marvel films, Captain Marvel, centers around Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) and her journey to regain her memories. When she is re-introduced to Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) and her daughter Monica (Akira Akbar), they remind her of who she was, causing her memories to resurface. Now let me ask you a question, if Captain Marvel was a man who lost his memories and was reunited with Maria and the kid that he had helped raise, would you question whether or not those two characters were romantically involved. No, you'd just assume they were. Carol and Maria were two women, living together in 80s and raising a child together; that's pretty gay if you ask me. Brie Larson has been pretty outspoken on the topic with the opinion that she would love to play Carol Danvers as queer. She also stated that she considered the relationship between Maria and Carol to be the main love story of the film. I'm aware of Carol's connection to Rhodes in the comics but sometimes you just gotta make it gay you cowards!
4. Captain America
You can't seriously tell me that they relationship between Steve Rodgers (Chris Evans) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) isn't at least a little bit romantic. "I'm with you until the end of the line" would be such a cliche line in a romantic comedy, however, in a Marvel film, it's completely fine and not gay at all? Steve and Bucky had each other's backs, they were each other's most important person. That's true love right there. I honestly felt a little robbed at the end of Avengers: Endgame when Steve decided to stay in the past with Peggy Carter instead of returning to Bucky. It's not that I don't love Peggy Carter, it's just that I found Steve's chemistry with Bucky 100% more convincing. Make it gay you cowards!
5. Ocean's 8
A sequal of sorts to the Ocean's 11 franchise, Ocean's 8 focuses on Danny Ocean's sister Debbie (Sandra Bullock) and her scheme to steal a diamond necklace from the Met Gala. Her relationship with Lou Miller (Cate Blanchett) is vague and certainly up for discussion. It's made clear that Debbie and Lou go way back and Lou is reluctant to help Debbie with the heist after her release from prison. Maybe it's Cate Blanchett's Big Dyke Energy or maybe it's the natural chemistry between Blanchett and Bullock, but i'm about 99% sure that these characters are gay for each other. Lou seems to be rather jealous that Debbie is targeting her ex who put her in prison. Longing looks, flirty natures and a particular scene where Debbie calls Lou 'baby' and then feeds her! That's gay! Make it gay you cowards!
Okay I'm going to be real with you, I've never seen Supernatural. However I have Tumblr and and have seen enough clips of the show to know that Dean and Castiel are really gay for each other and the creators should really just let them be together. Between compromising positions, what can be construed as romantic dialogue and a ton of natural chemistry, I'm pretty sure this is the most shipped couple in the fandom and it's not coming out of nowhere. Supernatural is on it's final season so I urge the creators to make it gay you cowards!
7. Pitch Perfect
Okay this one truly annoys me and I'll tell you why. Beca Mitchell (Anna Kendrick) as a character is clearly uninterested in Jesse Swanson (Skyler Astin), and as love interests, they had no chemistry together. Beca does, however, have chemistry with Chloe Beale (Brittney Snow), which is clear from their first meeting and the scene where they are literally singing naked together in the shower. They clearly should have been the main couple of the franchise. Instead, the creators decide to force both characters into relationships with male characters they have no chemistry with. What truly annoys me is that the creators of this franchise are aware that fans ship this couple and are aware of the chemistry and instead chose to queerbait rather than having them together. Both Kendrick and Snow have expressed interest in their characters being together and they even filmed a kiss between them for the third film that didn't make the cut. So evidently the creators know the characters should be together but they're too scared to make it gay, you cowards!
8. Star Wars
When Star Wars emerged with their third trilogy and I watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I was like "Finally, we're gonna get gays in space!" The characters of Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Issac) have insane chemistry together and I was hopeful that the director would see this and we would get a gay Star Wars couple. Poe spends the entire film trying to get back to Finn, a man he just met, and Finn wears Poe's jacket in honour of him. The way they look at each other, talk to each other and the fact that Finn is wearing Poe's jacket, well there's just no heterosexual explanation for that. Fast forward to the next film in the franchise, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and suddenly Finn is kissing some girl and Poe is being introduced to Rey (Daisy Ridley) with the clear intention they're going to be a thing. I'm done. Make it gay you cowards!
9. Disney (Beauty and the Beast, High School Musical and Frozen)
Once again we have an instance where Disney revealed that their upcoming live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast would feature their first gay character and we were all super excited. However, much like Avengers: Endgame, all we got was La Fou (Josh Gad) dancing with a man at the very end of the film. That's not representation! Furthermore years ago they had the opportunity to have their first gay character in the form of Ryan Evans (Lucas Grabeel) in High School Musical, and honestly until the third film I was sure he was gay, so when they pushed him towards Kelsi Nielsen (Olesya Rulin) in High School Musical 3: Senior Year, child me was very confused. Wasn't Ryan gay? He had no chemistry with Kelsi so why would they be together? Child me had a point. Disney has a real opportunity with Elsa (Idina Menzel) in Frozen to finally give us some proper representation. #giveelsaagirlfriend was rather popular on Twitter with many people hoping that Elsa would be the one to finally give us that representation. Make it gay you cowards!
Finally I want to talk positively about this representation and the path the creator's are taking with the character of Casey Gardener (Bridgette Lundy-Paine). In the first season I got major gay vibes from her character, and so when they introduced Evan Chapin (Graham Rodgers) as Casey's love interest, I wasn't entirely convinced. The characters admittedly do have some chemistry and so I accepted the relationship. However, the introduction of Izzie (Fivel Stewart) as Casey's enemy-turned-friend-turned-love interest was a really good decision. The creators recognised the chance for representation and they acknowledged the fact that Casey is at an age where sexuality is confusing. Whilst Izzie and Casey aren't officially together yet, I have no doubt that season 3 will explore their relationship more. Like most of the previous examples on this list, the creator's could have ignored their chemistry, they could have played the hand-holding and the forehead promise off as something that friends do, but they didn't. They made a storyline instead, and I can't wait to see what they're going to do with it.
So this is my campaign to make everything a little gayer. 'Cause 2020 is approaching and we still aren't getting the representation that we really need. However, there are a few shows that are worth a watch for good representation. The Good Place features Kristen Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop, a bisexual woman where her sexuality is never really discussed because it isn't a huge deal. Sense8, where none of the main characters are straight. One Day At A Time, where they feature a gay Latina woman and a non-binary character. Finally Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which features a bisexual Latina character and a gay black man. The sitcoms are really delivering on the representation.