I have been a loyal viewer of The Walking Dead for four seasons, but as we approach the season finale this Sunday, I'm beginning to wonder, given their conspicuous absence among all the different walks of life that we have encountered, whether gay men simply did not survive this zombie apocalypse.
Now, to be fair, this past season we did stumble upon a couple of lesbians, and in previous seasons the Michonne/Andrea thing was somewhat interesting. However, for the purposes of this post, I am talking about gay men.
I have tried to rationalize this in many ways, and for the record, I don't believe the writers are homophobic in any way, but come on! I know this takes place in Georgia, but I have lived in Atlanta and have gay friends there, so I know Georgia has gay men.
What are we supposed to believe? That all the gays died because they were not tough enough to survive? That they all died first because they were all out dancing at a circuit party and were turned instantly?
I cannot buy any of these scenarios. I keep hoping that in this finale Terminus is a post-apocalyptic gay utopia filled with tasteful, midcentury-modern décor and gentrified houses. Maybe Rick will come out of the closet after realizing that this new life is too short. (OK, maybe this is just my own fantasy.) Clearly there aren't any viable characters that I can see as gay now, or would want to see as gay.
Rick and Shane could have had a good run had Rick not killed Shane in season 2 (oops, fantasy again). So far we have encountered battered wives, alcoholics, rednecks, preacher-farmers, scientists, lesbians, whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, children, babies, cancer patients, prisoners, the elderly, etc. Can I get one nice gay couple? Is that too much to ask?
Obviously, I have sort of become obsessed with this. How obsessed? I am now actively looking for self-defense courses to hone my skills just in case I walk outside one day and somebody tries to bite me. (That could happen any day in New York City.)
So on Sunday night I will watch with a glimmer of hope that Terminus will have a nice bistro run by Lance and Brett, but I am not holding my breath.
I do have a message to the writers of The Walking Dead just in case they think that we gays could not survive and fight in a zombie apocalypse: We can, and we have survived much worse. The generations that came before survived disease, hate, discrimination and even alienation by their own families and government and not only survived but actually thrived to make the world a better and more beautiful place for everyone. We even survived the grunge fashion of the early '90s! So when you write the next season, I expect to see some nice gays join Rick, Glenn, Darryl, Carol, Maggie and Michonne, and they'd better survive until the end.