06/30/2013 09:23 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

How Do We Solve A Problem Like 'Queerbaiting'?: On TV's Not-So-Subtle Gay Subtext

We're at an interesting moment in history for LGBTQ media representation. We're long past the days when queer characters and romances were limited to gay-oriented shows buried in the premium channel listings; now, there are plenty of mainstream shows, even those aimed at teenagers, that represent people like us and our love and sex lives. And as our political equality goes further and further, and it's clearer and clearer that the majority of Americans support marriage equality and other LGBTQ political issues, we're likely to see even more of us on our screens, big and small, as writers cue into the notion that their audiences are not necessarily threatened by characters of different sexual orientations or gender identities.

Which, of course, means that fans demand more accountability from writers that get us wrong -- or just don't give us enough. Hence, the debate that's been flaring across the queer and pro-queer Internet about the notion of "queerbaiting" -- when they give us just enough to keep us interested, but not enough to satisfy us and make us truly represented. But what does that mean exactly? What is "queerbaiting"?

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