4.22.2012

Gays of TVD, a guest post

Neo-Prodigy and I agree Season 3 should be the last for TVD.  This week's ep didn't even include/mention Bonnie, and had no other Negroes to speak of.  In fact, it sucked so much I wondered why they even bothered.
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So let’s talk about The Vampire Diaries and another reason why it fails.

Now our beloved bartender took one for the team when she did a most thorough analysis on the RACIST FUCKERY treatment of the characters of color on the show.  Inspired by her example, I offered to do an analysis on the treatment of the gays who have been featured on the show. Yes all two of them.

The verdict: the homophobia just might be able to give the epic racefail a run for its money.

In hindsight, I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked at how poorly handled the LGBTQs are in this show.

After all, in the pilot episode Caroline casually uses a transphobic slur. What’s interesting is that while Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl got taken to task (and rightfully so) for doing the same thing, white social justice blowhards were conveniently silent when the Vampire Diaries engaged in the very same fail.

Hypocrisy much?

Now I know what some of you are thinking: there have only been two gay characters on the show. And one of them was a minor character at that. Just how bad could the homophobia possibly be on the show?

Once again, I’m about to go Trent Hirosawa on this motherfucking post.

Frank



Played by the very sexy Michael Roark, Frank is introduced in season one as one of Isobel’s compelled human minions (the latter played by the devilishly delightful Mia Kirshner).  You see Frank is a cowboy that Isobel found at a gay rodeo. Isobel regularly rapes him, degrades him and uses him as a fuck puppet along with fellow compelled minion Cherie.



Hmmmm gay men being used as a straight white woman’s fuck puppet/fashion accessory/rape target. We’ve never seen that before.

OH WAIT!

My reaction to TVD writers at that point:





Frank was last seen carrying Isobel’s luggage (like a good housebroken queer) in season 2. Hopefully with Isobel dead, Frank’s free and has forgotten about that fuckery of a plot the writers penned.

As bad as Frank’s portrayal was, it may just fail in comparison to what was done to Bill Forbes.

Bill Forbes




Bill Forbes was played by the adorkable Jack Coleman who many of you may remember as Noah Bennett from Heroes.

The father of Caroline, Forbes was married to Sheriff Elizabeth Forbes and left her after confessing that he was gay. In season 3 he returns to Mystic Falls to take the Council to task on their failure to keep vampires out of town. He’s also more than nonplussed after discovering that Caroline is a vampire herself.

Even though Caroline can’t help being who she is, Bill doesn’t agree with her lifestyle. So like any loving father, Forbes kidnaps his daughter and tortures her with reparative therapy. Yes the gay man puts his straight daughter through reparative therapy. Because the gayz putting straight peepul through reparative therapy and trying to force their agenda on the breeders, that’s just cute and clever and ironic, amirite?

I don’t know who in the blue hell thought that shit was cute but at this point, this pretty much captures my feelings at that point:




Bill Forbes the important lesson of accepting people for who they are and even comes to approve of his daughter’s “lifestyle.”

Yes the same man who has mastered the art of self-discipline and denying one’s impulses is the same man who couldn’t fake his way through a marriage and deny his orientation is going to train others to go against who they are.

*Urge to beat someone’s ass is rising exponentially*

In fact Forbes even decides to use his powers for good and for a short time teaches Tyler the art of not being Klaus’s bitch. Yes the gay guy is giving advice to another man on how to resist the urges and the pull of other men.

You would think between Bill Forbes and a shirtless Tyler in a dungeon would make for great slash material (God knows I used to have many fantasies about being “captured” and interrogated by Noah Bennett as he mercilessly “pumped” me for intel) but somehow the writers managed to fuck that up.

Which brings us to the dead gay portion of the rant. Forbes gets shanked in the hospital by Alaric (don’t ask) and even though Caroline offers to turn him into a vampire, that lifestyle goes against his beliefs and being one of those people is a fate worse than death. So he decides to die instead.

Get the fuck out of here with that bullshit.

Around season 2 there was a lot of speculation about a gay character being introduced on The Vampire Diaries. Executive producer Kevin Williamson went on and on about how he wants diversity on the show. Couple that with the fact that the gay character Theo has been a huge hit on fellow CW series 90210 and Williamson was executive producer on Dawson’s Creek which featured Jack who came out on the show. And of course the new gay character was never introduced in season 2 because according to Williamson, it just wasn’t the right time. Nevermind all of the characters they constantly introduced, particularly that boring ass Original family: The BORiginals. You mean to tell me none of those siblings could’ve been queer. Elijah? What about Jamie, or Sage? While we did get that gay character in season 3, Bill Forbes, we see how well that ended.

Let me stress that I frikkin hated Dawson’s Creek with the energy of 1000 suns. It was one of the most horrific shows ever produced and I hated virtually every character on the show with the exception of Grams and Jack. For all the fails on that show, and trust me there are too many to list, the one thing that show got right was Jack. He was a three-dimensional character and his storyline was ACTUALLY handled with respect. Many a stereotypes were broken and I sat through a lot of seasons of Dawson’s Creek just to see Jack’s story because he was defied virtually every gay trope out there and was more than his orientation. Sometimes I was wondering if I was watching the same show.

So to remember how Jack was done on a show which should rot in Hollywood hell and to see how Forbes and Frank are treated on a show that is far better than Dawson’s Creek, I’m not understanding how the fail could be so epic.

But then shit like this reminds me why:


It’s fucked up that in the 21st century, we can’t even get decent portrayals of POCs and LGBTQs as minor supporting characters. That’s apparently asking for too much. Let alone, having stories that feature POCs and LGBTQs as the lead protagonists in compelling and respectful roles.

RIP: Bill Forbes and possibly Frank?

4 comments:

  1. Neo, anytime you feel the need to go Trent Hirosawa, go right ahead. Usually, it's justified.

    *scratches head and rubs temples* I have not and will never watch TVD. Being repeatedly shanked with a rusty butterknife sounds more appealing. I wish I could say I can't believe that shit (especially about the character Frank), but sadly I can. Doesn't make it right, however. A gay man being used as a straight woman's accessory...I mean, really? Really?

    Don't even get me started on the second description.

    You mean to tell me, out of all the writers and people involved in a show like TVD, that none of them know any LGBTQs? Perhaps this is the wrong assumption to make. Maybe it's not about simply knowing any, but about knowing and RESPECTING them...which is why respect of LGBTQ characters doesn't parlay into the scripts. Integrity is easily bought and sold these days.

    I'm wondering how many seasons this turd of a show will continue to run.

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  2. These eps were trifling. Bill Forbes's character was a written slap to gays everywhere. It's like the writers were saying, "See? You're just as bigoted and narrow-minded as heteros."

    This was an excuse to hit gay folks twice by 1) portraying them as the assholes, and 2) fulfilling the "Bury Your Gays" tv trope.

    I really hope this is the last season.

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  3. What's even worse about these portayals is that the creator of this damn show, Kevin Williamson, is gay himself. There are no words.

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  4. The treatment of Bill Forbes on TVD was absolutely horrendous. I remember how offended I was when he decided to perform aversion therapy on Caroline, who stopped just short of singing born this way. That this was considered inclusion, shows just how far the writers of TVD have to go in terms of understanding the dynamics which they chose to play with so cavalierly with.

    i don't think this show is going to get any better to be honest. They are far to focused on making sure they continually ramp up the angst to produce something worthwhile.

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