Film and television throughout the 20th century and part of the 21st have portrayed the world and the thousands of films and series that were made in the past reflect the reality of their time, but they also shape our vision of the world and in Sometimes we do not question whether what we see on the big or small screen really corresponds to reality or if it is distorted views of it.
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Surely the reader has seen the many complaints that are made that in recent times the film and entertainment industry is striving to give more space to non-heterosexual characters; These creative decisions are often accused of “forcing” LGBTQ characters, or that homosexuality is “forced.” But we rarely question whether heterosexuality is not forced in cases where everything pointed to gay relationships.
Non-heterosexual people have existed forever, in different times and cultures with different levels of tolerance or repression. In the Western world, where the Christian religion is the majority, homosexuality is condemned based on the Bible, but even among atheistic or non-religious individuals the prejudice against the LGBTQ community is still present, transmitted from generation to generation.
In Hollywood cinema the Hays Code, which determined what could and could not be seen on screen, caused LGBTQ stories to be silenced for decades. Beginning in the 1950s, the Code softened and new opportunities emerged, but representation remained low. In the 21st century the representation of marginalized groups is a priority for Hollywood and the LGBTQ community has made great strides in productions such as Yo Soy Simón – 92%, Euphoria – 76% and Sabrina’s Hidden World – 94%. However, the big blockbusters and the biggest TV shows still have a long way to go.
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On the other hand, heterosexual stories abound in the history of cinema, having more LGBTQ characters is not “forcing”, it is giving space to a group that has been under-represented and that is also part of society. Unfortunately in most cases the public does not question forced heterosexuality; when a fictional character has indications of a non-heteronormative sexuality and in the end everything is thrown away.
To do justice to some of those cases where a character pointed to being LGBTQ and that possibility was nullified or hidden to please the more conservative public, we have made this article. Most of those on the list would have benefited the plot from being portrayed as non-heterosexual, but for reasons we do not know (but may suspect) they were forced to adhere to the heteronorm.
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams ), de Game of Thrones – 59%, it was very interesting from the beginning, because unlike her sister Sansa (Sophie Turner), she was a girl who enjoyed doing activities related to men, such as fencing and archery; then the girl went through difficult times and disguised as a child tried to hide her lineage so as not to be captured by the Lannisters. However, in the last season they decided that Arya should be straight and lost the opportunity to turn one of the most beloved characters into an LGBTQ icon.
In the movie Troy – 54%, of 2004, the Greek warrior Achilles (Brad Pitt) was portrayed as a heterosexual man, although it is well known that his relationship with Patroclus was more than just friendship. In the early 21st century it was still frowned upon in Hollywood for homosexual relationships to be portrayed openly and perhaps the director and studio behind it. Troy they decided it was best to suggest nothing more than a friendship between the two characters.
Captain America and Bucky Barnes
Beyond the jokes about the homoerotic love of Steve Rogers / Captain America (Chris Evans) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), everything indicated that these two would end up together. The patriotic superhero was able to fight with half of his Avengers friends to save his friend from youth, but Disney would not have dared to give a homosexual relationship to the character who portrays the idealized version that the United States had of itself in the past.
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Capitán Li Shang
Although Disney did not dare to turn Li Shang into a gay character in Mulan – 86%, the LGBTQ community adopted him on the grounds that he was a bisexual man who was attracted to Mulan even before he knew she was a woman. When trying to sell its products in the Chinese market, the company could not include LGBTQ characters as the government would not allow it to screen its films.
The protagonist of Frozen: A Frozen Adventure – 89% gave a lot to talk about in 2013, some interpreted their song “Let it go” (I am free) as a coming out of the closet with which non-heterosexual people could relate. In Frozen 2 – 80% there was a similar phenomenon thanks to the song “Show Yourself” (Show yourself), which talks about showing yourself with sincerity to the world. Unfortunately Disney did not want to take the risk of making Elsa a member of the LGBTQ community.
Frodo y Sam
There were not a few people who saw in the relationship between Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) a possible homosexual love, especially those who came to The Lord of the rings thanks to Peter Jackson’s movies and not to JRR Tolkien’s books, where the relationship between the two is different. Film adaptations have subtle moments that point in the direction of gay love, but fans of the books would have hated if the story was altered in that sense.
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There is no reason why Bond can’t be either gay or bisexual. This idea was more or less understood by Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem and Sam Mendes when a scene between 007 and its antagonist in 007 Operation Skyfall – 93% reveal that the latest version of the spy is not limited to women and they have a brief flirtation. Why is he then predominantly depicted as a heterosexual man if not to appeal to the public of that sexual orientation? If he is such a gallant and uses that advantage to his advantage during his missions, it is only logical that he can also be just as flirtatious with other men. Let’s stop forcing the heterosexuality of such a character.
The DC Comics superhero has been described as bisexual, but the movies in which she appears (Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice – 27%, Wonder Woman – 92%, Justice League – 41%) show nothing but their love for pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) and perhaps some attraction to Bruce Wayne / Batman (Ben Affleck). For a princess who was raised among pure women and with the idea that men are only useful for reproduction but are unnecessary to give sexual pleasure, it is quite rare that her attraction is only shown for men and never for those of the same sex.
Marvel fans expected Black Panther – 90% will show the lesbian relationship between Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Ayo (Florence Kasumba), same that appeared in the comic World of Wakanda. Both are part of the royal guard of the King of Wakanda. Unfortunately for fans of the franchise, Okoye was portrayed as straight, having a complicated relationship with W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya).
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Poe and Finn
How to forget the bromance that Star Wars fans predicted from the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens – 92%. Even the actors charged with portraying Finn and Poe Dameron, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac, agreed that the relationship would end in romance, but Disney still doesn’t dare to make really dramatic decisions in favor of LGBTQ representation. Instead they put a kiss between two women whose importance in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – 61% was null.
Sherlock Holmes and Watson
On several occasions the BBC series Sherlock has been accused – 97% do queerbaitingWell, Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and John Watson (Martin Freeman) have a lot of chemistry on screen and there are moments that suggest a sexual attraction. However, the character played by Freeman marries a woman and the potential gay romance never comes.
Xena y Gabrielle
Although actress Lucy Lawless, in charge of playing Xena, stated in an interview that after the end of the series she considers that the protagonist has a love relationship with Gabrielle (Renée O’Connor), in the show lesbian love is pushed aside and Xena’s romances with men are prioritized. It is possible that if the remake of Xena that was canceled long ago is retaken, it will give more space to the love between the two women.
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