Web Series World News: TV's Bisexual Boom (and LGBT+ representation in web)

(Stareable) #1

Welcome to Web Series World News, where we as a community discuss current events in the digital and TV worlds! Today’s topic:

LGBT+ Representation in TV (and web series)

Vulture recently noticed a positive upward trend in TV’s bisexual representation, and it’s no secret that web series are often miles ahead, representation-wise, of mainstream media. So the question is, what counts as positive LGBT+ representation in web series, and how can the indie community model good representation behavior for the rest of the media landscape? Web series have the quanity to prove they’re willing to write more sexually diverse characters, so now we as a community should be focusing on quality.

How can web series creators more positively represent LGBT+ stories and characters?

(Bri Castellini) #2

@hermdelica @SnobbyRobot @SecretLivesPS @FilmFaction @filmwritr4 @movieguyjon @Jessi_Almstead @whoisjonporter @JonSosis @ghettonerdgirl @OSTSG @mdec24 @kmd @floorthirteen @OddLantern @dj_tilney @Halen_Williamson @mkatiehunter @rjlackie @barbaramcthomas @Joseph_Brett @JustinHarris @RobbieRuviews @w-e-spear @spatulawilwheat

(Bri Castellini) #3

I think another question is… what is the responsibility of web series creators to help increase representation of LGBT+ stories?

(Bri Castellini) #4

For me, one thing that I’ve been trying to do is stop defaulting characters to straight, which is what I did for years because it never occurred to me. I also try to make the sexuality matter, though- I don’t want to just attach sexualities to fill a quota, I want to make a choice for each character and what feels truest for them. That also means that I have to make a choice to make a character straight as well.

I also think it’s worth educating yourself on harmful tropes that exist in media surrounding LGBT+ characters, so that even with the best intentions you don’t accidentally introduce a toxic trait.

(Ghetto Nerd Girl) #5

This one is TOUGH, but I definitely want to add my 2 cents.

So when writing GNG I didn’t think, “Oh I want to make it an LGBT show,” but I knew by including a gay character that I had a responsibility to portray him realistically and not 1 sided. At first it was a bit one sided, the character Chase, but we definitely showed more layers for him in Season 2 and I’m very excited to have our viewers see his arc.

(Bri Castellini) #6

So what made you decide to include Chase’s sexuality, and why do you say you only showed one side at first? Was that on purpose, or was there just not a lot of screen time for him that first season?

(Ghetto Nerd Girl) #7

Susan & Chase have grown together as friends because of their misfit-ness in life. Susan is a WOC, and Chase is gay. So including his sexuality and how he comes to terms with it is important. In the beginning Chase is comic relief and he has OCD of being clean and neat so I see how that could come off as 1 sided or a stereotype.

(Robbie Ru) #8

I am not an authority on this at all, but I’ll say what I think. I believe time will tell what’s best for LGBTQ characters. For now, casting the right people, asking the right questions and portraying the lifestyle correctly is critical. Essentially, there needs to be more films featuring LGBTQ characters so we can see what works and what doesn’t.

I don’t know if this helps, but I am a person trying to educate myself on what’s okay and what’s not for LGBTQ. I am absolutely open to having characters’ sexuality not just be straight, but I want to be well educated on how to do it correctly first.

(Kyla) #9

I think what matters is creators actively putting LGBTQ characters in the stories they tell, and being careful with how they represent these characters. sexuality is a big part of identity, and a straight man will not necessarily have the same general experiences in life as a gay man. this doesn’t mean that a LGBTQ character’s story should surround their sexuality entirely, it just means that there is a difference in the way people have experienced life. it’s also so easy for characters to fall victim to tropes based on lazy or uninformed writing. I know I’ve written tropes into my writing before unintentionally, but I’ve caught as many as I could find.

I also find that a lot of LIW are irresponsible with their portrayals. they want to tell a classic story, but it’s hard to find guys interested in acting/theatre when you have a very lowkey production, so a lot of lead characters end up as lesbians because they have to be. I love that there’s representation, but I’d rather have LGBTQ characters be there just because LGBTQ people exist. and representation needs to be shown. even in the show I’m working on, we had to gender-swap a lead character after casting troubles, but before she was gender-swapped there were already six LGBTQ characters in the cast (and the character’s love interests were both bisexual before the swap). does that make sense or did I explain that horribly?

(William E. Spear) #10

Coming at this from a slightly different perspective. I don’t write much sexuality into my characters (read: none) so it is not an active interest of mine. However, I am proactively looking for actors and crew from sectors that tend to be underrepresented. The point being, that in my domain, I can address inequities which exist elsewhere.