Thursday, 13 February 2014

TV: Whatever Happened To The Likely Queens?

A couple of years ago I sat in the audience for a panel discussion on queer representation in entertainment; the presentation included a breezy tour through the gay history of the media, complete with Powerpoint slides of Rosie, Ellen and old People magazines from when you needed to be on the cover of something to come out. The overview was greeted warmly, until we got to Will and Grace, where one of the show's characters, Jack McFarland, proved a sticking point. Jack, a sassy sidekick whose flamboyance towed the line between camp and parody, has long been a lightning rod of discussion in the community. You could feel that discomfort in the room.

Our tour guide diffused the tension by reminding the mostly-male audience that Jack might be a stereotype, but many of us know a Jack in real life. The audience laughed with delight and recognition. They nodded to friends as if to say, "Oh, yes. That's true." What he didn't say is that many of us are Jacks, but I wondered how many people would laugh at that statement...


Whatever Happened To TV's Flamboyant Gay Men? - an excellent article by Nico Lang for PolicyMic.

Arguing; "The recent television movement has been a push toward post-gay representation, creating male characters who just happen to be gay."

And that's called sad.

I'm wondering how true this is of British TV.

Seems to be a split between the real queens (eg anyone with their own chat show), and the straight-acting acted gay men (eg the distinct lack of gay nelliness in EastEnders).

Can I get back to you on this?

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