“Look, I’m not against gay characters, I just don’t like poorly written characters. If you can’t write gay characters well, you shouldn’t be writing them at all.”

– Someone complaining about the otherwise impeccable writing of a trashy teen drama

There’s a common “critique” of pop culture regarding LGBTQ+ characters being “forced” into stories, allegedly to the detriment of the story’s writing quality as a whole. Strange thing is, despite how prevalent this complaint is, I rarely ever hear specific examples of which stories have this flaw. My personal theory: poorly-written gay characters are typically just a subset of poorly-written stories, but for some reason the bad writing is only ever a problem when it comes to representing certain demographics. I have a feeling that a lot of these critics are aware that the examples they have in mind are actually just not well written in general, but they’re still certain that it “happens all the time!”

But ask for an example of how gay characters “should” be depicted (or don’t ask, they’ll tell you anyway) and you’ll see the hordes clamber over each other singing the praises of Captain Raymond Holt from Brooklyn 99.

– James