If you watched the episode of “The Flash” last December with Arrow, you were among the four million others to do so.
In the episode, two of the characters were talking to the police chief when he said, “My boyfriend has decided we need to eat healthy at home, so work is now the only place I can eat what I like.” My friend and I who were watching both thought, “OK, good to know.” Many shows now are including gay characters and I believe “The Flash” does a great job at representing these characters.
“Key and Peele” had a skit with two gay characters, one being overly flamboyant and the other being more reserved. This shows audiences a traditional view of homosexuals and the other, a new take. Many think someone who’s gay needs to be flamboyant. This stereotypical view of gay men doesn’t help those who are opposed to the idea of portraying homosexuals on TV.
“Good Luck Charlie” is a show that portrayed a character with two mothers. The reviews were either high praise or hatred. One Million Moms, a conservative group of mothers against homosexuality, criticized the show for including characters that were gay. However, if a show that was created for families and children teaches people to hate others just for being who they are people won’t be able to move forward.
Cartoon Network has also had shows with gay characters. “Clarence” features a main character with two mothers while there has been a lot of speculation and controversy about two female characters from “Adventure Time.” This is great for children. It helps them understand the idea that relationship guidelines aren’t set in stone and anyone can be a parent. The relationship between the characters on “Adventure Time” isn’t seen on the show. However, it was something one of the creators implied about the characters after an episode with a song that hinted at the fact, but nothing has ever been confirmed.
Meanwhile, the Nickelodeon show “Legend of Korra” portrayed a relationship between two of the main female characters, yet all they were allowed to show were the two of them holding hands and making deep eye contact.
We need more shows like “The Flash” to allow people to truly see good representations of what gay characters can be. There have been two episodes with a man named Pied Pieper and after revealing he was gay, the other characters talked about how his parents were against his “lifestyle.” It showed viewers the terrible consequences that come with treating gay people as if they’re doing something wrong.
Recently, the way characters have been presented on TV has improved. Still, this improvement may help lead the way to a better understanding and treatment of the gay community.