I'm sure many of you know what I'm talking about. You like a show and there's a great character that seems to possibly be LGBT! You think there is about to be some queer representation! And then it is never realized. It is never acknowledged on camera and you are left wondering if you made it all up. I've been trying to decide if some recent comments from Jeff Davis, the creator of Teen Wolf, are likely queer baiting or not. And if it is, I don't even know if I can handle another show pulling a dick move like that.
I’ve included a really good description of queer baiting that I lifted from tumblr:
"Queer-baiting is what happens when a series wants to attract a queer audience without alienating their homophobic/transphobic audience. They introduce a character that queer people can relate to. They use the details and feelings common to queer people’s lives to make it very obvious to anyone who is queer, that the character is also queer. They know that because there is very little queer representation in media, queer people are going to latch onto this character, and therefore latch onto the series.
However, they never let the character actually come out. When the homophobic/transphobic part of the audience starts to realize that the character is queer, the writers add something to reassure them that no, of course the character is straight." Source.
We all ok on the issue now? So Davis said We've certainly made some hints to the possibility of Stiles being bisexual which ok, I really wish he hadn't admitted to. If you don't watch the show, Stiles is the human best friend of the main werewolf. Many fans think there is chemistry between Stiles and Derek, another werewolf on the show. I see Stiles as a character that seems to have the possibility of being sexually fluid. They've done a great job of creating characters that have no apparent issues with LGBT people. I prefer to think that any character, especially one on a show as LGBT friendly as Teen Wolf is, could be queer. If they decided in the future that Stiles would just be straight ally so to speak, it would not have been a problem for me, but now it is.
I have an issue with Davis admitting it right now because once you say yes, we've been making hints, if you don't go anywhere with it, it seems like you just did it to indulge the Stiles/Derek fans that dominate the internet. It’s fan service. The character went from someone that was arguably just a straight ally to someone that the creator has admitted is definitely likely other than straight. Why would you hint about something if you never go anywhere with it?
If you google "queer baiting" the third hit after "definition" is Supernatural. I laughed when I saw that because of course it is. I admittedly watch the show without my shipping glasses because I generally like to focus on the relationships that the show is writing for us. But this past season was queer baiting to a new degree. It seemed like they were truly working on making a character a bit more sexually fluid than he had been before and then the actor completely denied any possibility of that at all. It is possible that viewers and I were just seeing things but I don't buy that for a minute. If someone sees possible queer representation without even looking for it, it’s probably because it was intentional. It wasn't just bad gay jokes or fan service, it was queer baiting.
Once a crew member admits anything about a character's sexuality, you cannot later claim that a character is a straight ally or continue to make little maybe gay jokes because then it’s just asshole behavior. You aren't trying to set up a queer character, you are just making fun of even the idea that a character could be queer and that is not ok. It’s not just these two shows, plenty others do it that I won't touch on because I don't know enough about them. If anyone wants to tackle whether or not Sherlock (BBC) queer baits that would be particularly great. I am just very done with problematic treatment of the LGBT community in television. They want us to watch and give them our pink money and whatever but they also do not want to represent us at all. And that is just not acceptable, not anymore.