Sexualized Saturdays: Alec Lightwood—Quietly Subverting Tropes

(image via eonline)

Shadowhunters may not be the best show out there, both in terms of writing and acting, but it does get a few things right in terms of diversity and representation. I talked about my love for Magnus Bane as a bisexual character before, and I just recently finished catching up with the second season, which had a lot of great moments between Magnus and Alec, his boyfriend. So, I thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at Alec Lightwood and how he is presented in the show as a gay man.

Some spoilers for the Shadowhunters TV show below.

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Lady Geek Girl Reviews: Rabbits

Pacific Northwest Stories, which has expanded to become Public Radio Alliance, the same group that creates shows like The Black Tapes and Tanis, has recently come out with a new podcast called Rabbits. The podcast is only four episodes in and it is definitely addictive and interesting, but it also already has several issues that really bug me.

Spoilers for Rabbits below.

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What I Hope to See in Alice Isn’t Dead Season 2

(image via nightvalepresents)

I may have mentioned before that Alice Isn’t Dead is one of my all time favorite podcasts, and it’s finally back! The second season of Alice Isn’t Dead will begin on April 4th, but until then we have been treated to three short four minute segments to build up to the Season 2 plot. Each segment introduces us to what our protagonist Keisha has been doing since the events of Season 1, and we finally meet the elusive Alice, letting us get a sense of who she is. These segments also start to allude to a new evil that might be even more dangerous than the Thistle Man.

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Oh, My Pop Culture Orthodoxy: Why a Russian Orthodox Viktuuri Wedding Would Make History

The figure skating anime Yuri!!! On Ice skated into all of our hearts last year, and I was not immune to its charms. The relationship between professional skater Yuuri and his coach Viktor (thus the ship name “Viktuuri”, alternately spelled “Victuuri” or “Victuri”) was inspirational, heart-warming, and so very, very gay. And as its opening song states, it “made history”: it managed to tell a story in which a relationship between two men was unremarkable, just another part of life for these characters, while eschewing the fetishization and stereotypes typical of yaoi, like the dominant, masculine seme and more feminine, submissive uke. Unlike the vast majority of sports anime, it did not queerbait while never canonizing any queer relationships, instead celebrating how a blossoming romance could become an integral part of Yuuri’s self-expression through his sport. In addition, it’s significant that Viktor, one half of this victorious couple, is from Russia, a country known for virulent homophobia which has even passed laws against “gay propaganda”. While we don’t know if the creators of the anime purposefully set out to show up Russia, the fact that their Russian character is openly queer is still a statement.

I’m here to propose another way Yuri!!! On Ice can make history. By the end of the first season (spoiler alert), Viktor and Yuuri are engaged and have moved to St. Petersburg to both continue their skating careers at Viktor’s home rink. A wedding in the next season (or an OVA) is obviously imminent. If that wedding takes place in a Russian Orthodox church, it would be another statement of protest, since the Orthodox Church currently does not allow same-sex marriage—not to mention that this would be one of the few instances of representation that Orthodox Christians (like me!) would get in media! Also, Orthodox weddings are beautiful and meaningful, and deserve more coverage in fictional media beyond just My Big Fat Greek Wedding. (Note that I am Greek Orthodox, not Russian Orthodox, so I’m not familiar with all the Russian Orthodox traditions and would be happy to hear more from any Russian readers in the comments!)

Let me tell you all about it below the jump!

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Our resident history-makers

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Sexualized Saturdays: Gambit Was Almost Bisexual & the Fear of Queer Characters

Gambit bisexualI always loved Gambit. The smooth talking Cajun, desperately in love with Rogue despite not being able to touch her, was certainly one of my favorite characters growing up. He was a little bit of an arrogant asshole, but he had a good heart. Gambit was also a big fanservice character. He was one of the few male characters drawn more for female comic readers, and furthermore, there was always the hint that Gambit’s sexuality might be more fluid than the comics led us to believe. However, despite everything that could be inferred from the comic, Gambit was never explicitly stated to be a queer character. That seems to be a big trend in comics right now. Despite the fact that Marvel in particular has been doing a lot better with having more diversity in their comics, there is still a significant lack of queer characters. 

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We Need More Queer Stories in Speculative Fiction

Pride flagRecently I have been embracing my queerness more and more. I’ve always been open and proud about my pansexuality, but circumstances have made it so that I couldn’t be as out and as proud as I wanted to be. For example, even now I can’t talk about or even mention my sexuality at my job, or I could be firedthe hazards of working for a Catholic church. I was nervous about going to my local Pridefest because if someone saw me I could have lost my job just for attending. This is an obstacle that is sadly still in my life, but other obstacles have since fallen away. Before this, I hadn’t come out to my father; however, I have now, with thankfully very few obstacles. I have also been engaging more with the queer community: something I was previously afraid to even attempt because of how prevalent I heard the bi and pan-phobia was in the community. But so far, to my delight, I haven’t personally encountered any such issues. Now I can be somewhat more open in my life, and the recent Pulse shooting prompted me to be even more open in defiance of all the hate. Together, this all has led me to want to engage more in the queer community and queer culture.

Of course, being a nerd, I naturally wanted to look into queer stories in sci-fi and fantasy. Sadly, as you can guess, there are very few.

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Alice Isn’t Dead: A Queer Disabled Character

Alice Isn't Dead logoRecently I started listening to the Night Vale Presents Podcast: Alice Isn’t Dead and I will say that it might be one of the greatest things I have listened to in a while. I found myself relating a lot to our nameless narrator. Not only is she a queer protagonist searching the strange and terrifying world for her wife, she is also a character struggling with an anxiety disorder, and that is something I certainly can identify with.

All transcripts of Alice Isn’t Dead are from Alice Scripts.

Spoilers up to Episode 8.

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