I’m trying to create a world where there’s no racism, there’s no sexism, there’s no homophobia. And I know it’s not real life, but I kind of don’t care. I’d like to create a world where none of that matters: you have the supernatural creatures for that to work as an analogy. In my mind, if you can create a world like that on TV, maybe life starts to imitate it.
—creator Jeff Davis, about Teen Wolf (x)
Welcome to the non-homophobic utopia, everyone. I don’t necessarily mean a utopian society; moreso, I mean a society where there are absolutely no built-in social mores about same-sex relations, to the point where discrimination based on such is unheard of and even confusing when outsiders bring it up. If this society is an alien race in a science fictional work, that race may not even have a concept of sexual orientation and instead be universally pansexual.
What I want to talk about is this: in terms of fictional queer representation, is it better to show a society where there is literally no discrimination against characters who experience same-sex attraction, or is it better to show characters dealing with the same prejudice a young reader might also be facing? Let’s consider the pros and cons of each.