Equality in Television

04/06/2015 04:20 pm ET | Updated Jun 02, 2015

For every Brittana (Brittany and Santana's "ship" on Glee) there is a Clexa (Clarke and Lexa) from The 100. We continue to regress when it comes to what is seen as representation on television, and thus allowing it to perpetuate and be accepted because television holds us captive, we are at its mercy. LGBT audiences fall for the same tricks each time hoping that things will be different, but they never are. When a LGBT character is introduced or teased LGBT audiences get their hopes up that this time a happy ending will occur. LGBT happiness on television seems to be a myth with the ever popular queerbaiting that continues to be a plague. It's 2015 and with such little representation on television, it's hard to attach ourselves to queer characters knowing that they will be stripped away almost as fast as they are introduced.

Relationships on television are complicated, much like they are in real life. The difference in real life and television is that we don't have as tumultuous and severe consequences. We are not constantly put into harrowing circumstances. With television we set our standards high, and why shouldn't we? With all of the progress for inclusion we have made it hasn't been reflected in television programming. Why shouldn't television and real life merge and be more progressive? The definition of family has evolved over the years. It isn't just heteronormative, much to the chagrin of homophobes. Society moves one step forward seeing same sex character marriages like on Glee with Santana and Brittany (Naya Rivera and Heather Morris) and Blaine and Kurt (Darren Criss and Chris Colfer) and Stef (Teri Polo) and Lena (Sherri Saum) on The Fosters, but we also see ripping couples apart presumably for the good of a storyline arc and payoff. With Root (Amy Acker) and Shaw (Sarah Shahi) from the show Person of Interest they finally broke down in the thick of battle and kissed only for Shaw to be torn away and the character assumed to be dead by The Machine. Or Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Tara (Amber) from Buffy The Vampire Slayer finally returning to their happiness after Willow's abuse of magic, only to have Tara killed by a bullet after their reconciliation.

Even on social media there continues to be dissent against same sex couplings, cannon or not. Swan Queen fans (Emma Swan and Evil Queen) from Once Upon A Time are constantly bullied because of the same sex pairing and because the pairing isn't cannon. There is a heterosexual agenda both on television and on social media. If you are not shipping a heterosexual couple than you are looked down on, especially in the Once Upon A Time fandom. The show writers and cast do little to nothing to dispel any of this rampant hatred either. They do everything to say that they are allies, but nothing in action to squash the vicious cycle in all of the show fandoms that plague social media. And we allow this to be acceptable because it falls on deaf ears whenever we try to point out double standards. Television isn't ready for progress if we can't represent the real spectrum of viewers and broaden the definition of a family and love on screen. Femslash fandoms spend a great deal of time fighting on social media to be seen as equal, and yet there are still other femslash pairings that denigrate other pairings. For example, with the recent Zimbio March Madness poll, the Lost Girl social media account on Twitter tweeted a disparaging hashtag against Swan Queen fans in order to promote their fandom ship Doccubus in the poll.


They not so quickly tweeted an apology, saying that they were sorry and just trying to be funny.


OTPs are about love and fandoms should be as well. No one needs to, or should, put others down in order to lift themselves or their fandom up. If queer fandoms can't support and show acceptance of one another, how can they even expect others to do so?

When you point a finger at someone you are pointing one right back at yourself. Staying silent means that you're agreeing and accepting that these homophobic practices and this lack of progress is valid. You're giving permission and saying that you condone bullying regardless of who it is aimed at. In a society where we see so much anguish on a daily basis, we need to join together and realize that the world is a better place when we promote love over hate. We spend a good portion of our days camped out in front of the television watching characters that we wonder why people think that it's okay to idolize and imitate the misogyny that is being portrayed on television when we blindly accept these as our norm. We say that it gets better, but when will it actually? And who are we saying it actually gets better for?