This Week In Gay TV: Bisexual Hunger Games on Gotham, Sexting Lesbians on Survivor’s Remorse

Hello, Autostraddlers! My name is Heather Hogan and I’m a new editor here at the greatest website of our generation! I’ve spent the last six years working as the senior editor at AfterEllen, writing about all the queer pop culture things under the sun. And now, finally, like the B-level superheroes who got the call to join The Avengers and The Justice League, I have arrived at your doorstep, ready to laugh and learn and knock out the occasional villain with you. You’ll see me around all over the place, I hope. Please say hi. I’m excited to know and love you.

It’s a pretty rad time to be alive and able to afford cable if you’re a lady who loves ladies and also TV. We’ve got lesbian doctors saving lives, bisexual private investigators playing politics, gay teenagers falling in love, a queer zombie hunter, a queer pirate, queer superheroes, and enough lesbian cops and lesbian moms to start an army. (With Stef Foster of The Fosters as commander, of course, because she’s both a lesbian mom and a lesbian cop. She’s the triple word score on your gay TV scrabble board!)

GLAAD counts 75 lesbian/bisexual female characters on TV these days, which, as Riese pointed out a couple of weeks ago, is maybe a little misleading since several of those characters haven’t participated in any queer shenanigans in years and others are guest characters who only pop up once or twice a season.

But there’s still a lot to love! And a lot more than we can fully recap! And, honestly, a lot more than you’d want us to fully recap because do you really care what kind of bollocky wankshite the 2.5 Men get up to while waiting for Amber Tamblyn‘s character to do a lesbian thing? No, of course not. Because you have a functioning brain.

With your needs and feelings in mind (all day every day), we’ve decided to roll out a weekly round-up of all the gay stuff that happened on TV that didn’t warrant a full recap. It’s like a weekend potluck. A buffet of delicious leftovers. A smorgasbord of sapphic delights. No really, we can’t think of what to title this feature (right now we’re going with “This Week In Gay TV”), so feel free to offer suggestions!

gotham-103-renee-babs

You ever scissor with the devil in the pale moonlight?

Gotham

Mondays on Fox at 9:00 p.m.

I’ll be recapping Gotham weekly starting next Wednesday, but let me bring you up to speed with what’s going on in that pre-Batman cesspool of corruption and greed. As you know, Gotham City Police Department is home to kickass lesbian Latina detective Renee Montoya, who we know had a Thing with Jim Gordon’s fiancé, Barbara Kean. Over the past two weeks, we’ve found out just how deep their Thing really went. (Ahem.)

Because Babs is either agoraphobic or under house arrest or something, she never leaves her loft, but that’s okay because Renee Montoya doesn’t mind a little mild breaking and entering every now and then. In episode 103, “The Balloonman,” Renee catches Barbara taking a bubble bath and smoking a joint in the middle of the day to ease the anxiety of knowing Jim Gordon is going to come home at some point and get his boringness all over everything. The ladies have a chat about how they were once addicted to drugs and alcohol and each other — like, standing toe-to-toe with their faces three inches apart, they have this conversation — and just when they’re about to get their homosexy smooch on, Babs pulls away and tells Renee to skedaddle.

Renee warns Barbara for the hundredth time that Jim is in bed with mob boss Carmine Falcone, which isn’t true, but Renee doesn’t know that because all signs point to it being a fact.

In this week’s episode, “Arkham,” Barbara finally confesses to Jim that she had a relationship “of only a year” with Detective Montoya, which pisses him off properly. He says it’s not because Barbara is bisexual, but because she lied to him, a thing that seems pretty true. They kind of break up and Barbara leaves the house for ten minutes, so really it’s a win-win.

Also, this week, Fish Mooney holds a Hunger Games-style contest to find a new crooner for her club. Requirements: She has to be able to sing, and convincingly seduce both men and women, and when faced with the possibility of unemployment must be willing to beat a potential co-worker to death with her fists. Fish finds her girl. She feels very happy/evil about it.


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I’m so hungry! I just want a Calzona!

Grey’s Anatomy

Thursdays on ABC at 8:00 p.m.

There was no Autostraddle recap of this week’s Grey’s Anatomy because there was no lesbian stuff at all on this week’s Grey’s Anatomy, presumably because the network’s entire season-long quotient of homosexuality was met in the 10:00 p.m. timeslot when How to Get Away with Murder‘s gay wannabe lawyer, Connor Walsh, had sex with every man on the show, and also the phrase “He did this thing to my ass that made my eyes water” was used.


goodwife-604-kalinda

I got nominated for a lot more Golden Globes and Emmys when I was making out with chicks. Just sayin’.

The Good Wife

Sundays on CBS at 9:00 p.m.

Archie Panjabi, who plays be-booted, leather jacketed bisexual PI Kalinda Sharma, is calling it quits with The Good Wife at the end of this season, probably because 20th Century Fox offered her a show of her own and she figured that she’d like that a lot more than the paltry screentime and crappy stories she’s endured these last few years on her own show.

To wit, this week, Kalinda spends her time reliving her affair with Peter. She promises Alicia she’ll keep quiet about it if Alicia decides to run for office. She also sits in the dark in a car with Bishop explaining that he lost his job because Alicia is running for office. That’s it. That’s all. Four minutes max. I don’t want to ignore Kalinda because she’s not in a relationship with another woman. I think that’s a dangerous, slippery slope that leads to bi erasure and the dismissal of a wide variety of queer experiences, but Kalinda’s story is so boring these days. Not because she’s not gaying it up around town, but because it’s bland and vanilla and beneath her.

Maybe they’ll bring back Lana for a Kalinda’s final hurrah.


arrow-302-sara

I’ll finally get to meet Xena, I guess.

Arrow

Wednesdays on the CW at 9:00 p.m.

Two weeks ago, during the third season premiere of Arrow, bisexual badass Sara Lance took a couple of arrows to the chest and died. The show’s bosses say Sara’s death was necessary to advance the plot of other characters, a thing known as “getting fridged” in the comic book world. (As in, “But we had to brutally murder Green Lantern’s girlfriend and stuff her mangled body into a refrigerator for him to reach his true crime-fighting potential!”) Anyway, this week, Oliver & Co. found Sara’s body and carried it around and cried over it and raged over it and promised to seek vengeance against her killer. Apparently Sara’s ex-girlfriend, Nyssa al Ghul, is going to show up next week to bring some assassin realness to the hunt for justice.


zombie-cat

BRAAAAAIIINNNZ.

The Walking Dead

Sundays on AMC at 10:00 p.m.

In terms of what you’ll find here in these weekly TV round-ups, none of it will be bloody. I’m a clumsy puppy, terrified of thunder, and even the sight of fake blood makes me queasy. I asked around and found out some good news about this week’s season five premiere of The Walking Dead: Tara the Lesbian is still alive! No, you can’t have a screencap of Tara. You’re just going to have to trust me. I tried to get a screencap and accidentally saw some cannibals and couldn’t eat lunch. But this photo is what happened when I searched “kitten zombie” on Shutterstock, so.


Survivor's Remorse 2014

The WNBA will be my Promised Land!

Survivor’s Remorse

Saturdays on Starz at 9:00 p.m.

There’s a very real chance you haven’t heard of Starz’s new show Survivor’s Remorse, so here’s the deal: It’s a six-episode series about a young basketball superstar named Cam Calloway who signs an enormous contract with a professional basketball team in Atlanta in his second year in the league. (The show didn’t buy the rights to actually use NBA lingo, so pretend I said he’s playing for the Hawks.) In the two episodes of the show that have aired so far, the main focus has been on the way Cam and his family deal with him suddenly becoming a multi-millionaire. The title alludes to the fact that Cam feels really guilty about making it out of the projects when so many of his friends didn’t have the chance.

One of the main characters is Cam’s older sister, M-Chuck, who is just super aggressively gay. It’s off-putting but also kind of refreshing, which confuses me a little bit. M-Chuck equates the number of smiley emoticons a girl sends her with the length of time the girl wants you to sit on her face. She spends her bathroom time looking for women to sext. She’s got a drawer full of vibrating dicks she offers to let her haters suck on.

I have mixed feelings about the show as a whole, which doesn’t always do justice to the weighty topics it tries to tackle, but I plan to keep watching. There are only four episodes left this season, but it’s already been renewed for a second.


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L to R: Melissa King, Joy Crump (for real!), a guy who nearly made Padma throw up, and a jerk who got kicked off.

Top Chef: Boston

Wednesdays on Bravo at 10:00 p.m.

Season 12 of Top Chef kicked off this week and even though lesbian contestant Melissa King didn’t have much screen time, I want to mention her. First of all because her Bravo.com bio is redundantly amazing: “A self-proclaimed ‘cookie monster,’ she loves cookies!” And also because I want to talk about the hardcore shade Padma Lakshmi threw down this week. “I would like it if you would not only clean up your act but also your station,” is a thing she actually said. And then she spit out a pork belly. Hopefully, Lesbian Melissa King will have more to do in the coming weeks.


Team TV Coverage You May Have Missed

Transparent 104 recap
Please gather three boxes of Kleenex before you click through to read this recap/watch this episode.

Jane the Virgin review
Despite its dicey premise, the CW’s new comedy-drama offers up lots of feminist elements and a lesbian gynecologist to boot.

Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word review
Higher Power Laverne Cox hosts the MTV documentary about the experience of seven transgender teenagers.

Faking It 204 recap
More Laverne Cox! And Amy processes her “drunken decision to take a baloney ride with Liam’s pony.”

A lesbian character and wild Julie Goldman appear on The Mindy Project
They’re girlfriends, it’s awesome, just watch it.

And that was your week in gay TV. Prayer circle for Imogen and Jack, who return for Degrassi‘s 14th season in ten days. And a human shield for The Walking Dead‘s Tara, who is probably doomed simply by nature of being a lesbian TV Tara.

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle managing editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 853 articles for us.

90 Comments

  1. Yay Heather! Great to see you here! Been waiting all week for your first piece. I was and still am sad to see you leave AE because it feels like the end of an era. But if you’re still writing amazing recaps each week and have more creative freedom then I’m also very happy. Mixed emotions. LOL

  2. A very warm welcome to you, Heather! I’m so happy and excited to have you here, because now two of my favorite queer things in the entire universe, Autostraddle and Heather Hogan, are together in the same place!

    Your recaps are a thing of beauty, a work of art themselves. I enjoy reading all of them, whether for a show I currently watch (Glee) or a show I haven’t started watching yet (PLL). The thing I love most about your recaps is that they aren’t just a summary of events. They’re an analysis of what works and what doesn’t work, why it succeeded or failed, and how the characters and the storylines connect with our lives and experiences (both yours personally and the readers collectively). Thank you for this gift, the way that you emotionally connect with your readers through our shared experience of stories.

    Which TV shows will you be recapping for Autostraddle? Will you still be using the same hashtags to tweet about these shows as you used at AE?

    • Hey, Lauren! Thanks so much! I haven’t nailed down my full recapping schedule yet, but it looks like Pretty Little Liars (same hashtag! #BRVC 4 Life!), Gotham, The Fosters, Lost Girl, Orphan Black, and trading off Glee recaps with Riese. So, it should be some good times, for sure!

      • Yes, you’ll still be recapping all of my favorites, plus some more shows too! Really looking forward to it! And thanks so much for your reply. I’m so glad you were able to read just how much your recaps mean to me (and everyone else).

        You and Riese are two of my favorite writers, so having both of your amazing Glee-caps in the same place is a dream come true! I have a suggestion for the Glee recaps, since it sounds like you and Riese will not both be writing them each week. It would be perfect if you could make combined Glee recaps together for the Brittana-centric episodes, along with a couple of the other big episodes like the season premiere and, of course, the series finale. I really like both of your opinions about Glee, and each of you offers something very different in your recaps that would perfectly complement what the other one brings.

  3. I would definitely vote to change the name of this column! “This Week In Gay TV” doesn’t include everyone who reads this feature, nor everyone who hangs out in the Autostraddle-verse. Actually, it leaves a lot of people out.

    May I simply suggest a switch to “This Week In Queer TV”? Or maybe if folks don’t identify as queer have other ideas? Let’s try to include us all, ’cause this column has oodles of potential!

    • oh, that’s not the element we’re looking for input on because finding a word for not-straight that’s gonna include or please everyone is impossible. 🙁 we’ve gotta use some kind of adjective in the title – gay is just the most unspecific one, i think, since it doesn’t always hold a specific application in female queer communities. a lot of people really hate the word queer and don’t ID that way, and lesbian doesn’t include everybody and LGBTQ is more of a formal/political term, which’s very out of place in contexts like this (and useless for SEO and totally zaps the life out of any clever headline phrasing). so our regulars all use different words in their titles, usually “queer.” none of which appeal to everyone but i think we’re all pals here and we get the jist. it’s really obnoxious that there is no true umbrella word (not an acronym but an actually word!), and sometimes it seems safest to make “gay” that term because it’s usually not even used to describe women [ETA: i personally describe myself as gay most of the time, actually, not trying to knock anything! i think what i meant to say here was that “gay” is used as an adjective in a really wide variety of contexts in popular media and doesn’t have the noun-y association “lesbian” does with LGBTQ women.] so maybe we can make it our own random non-specific word! there’s a whole bit on this in the comment policy, part H.

      that being said, “queer tv” actually sounds better because of the eee eee so maybe we’ll switch to that regardless! FYI, “Boob(s on your) Tube” was rejected already so don’t even go there

      • Huh? Gay is very frequently used to describe both men and woman. It is also absolutely NOT a neutral term for the LGBTQ+ community. I understand there is no perfect term, and I understand that there are business reasons for using “gay,” but the defensiveness of this reply really bothered me. Just because there isn’t a perfect solution to the problem doesn’t mean conversation about it should be shut down. I’m pretty sure cis gay and lesbian people would be displeased if society started using bisexual or transgender as un umbrella term for all LGBTQ+ people, so why dismiss concerns about using gay to represent all of us?

        I don’t mean for this comment to be highly critical – I love the fact that Autostraddle has so much high quality content dealing specifically with queer, bi, trans, and intersex issues. I think that this site does a better job than almost any other of being inclusive, and I’m extremely appreciative of that. That said, the use of gay as a neutral term is an issue and shouldn’t just be ignored.

        • i’m sorry it came off that way! we do truly value your input, in fact we plan our lives by it — but this particular conversation is one we’ve had so many times already over the last five years, like maybe a million times, and it truly doesn’t have a solution that pleases everybody and accomplishes what headlines are meant to accomplish, so it can be frustrating.

          that’s why we added a section to the comment area to address why we can’t have it anymore. we’d just be repeating ourselves, and we’d rather spend our time talking about new things! and other potential title ideas!

          that being said, i realize that maybe chrissie just wanted to open it up for y’all to talk about it amongst yourselves, rather than to talk about it with the editors (meaning me in this case ’cause I’m the Saturday Editor this month), and no, i’m not here to shut that down and i never would! go for it! my apologies for it seeming like that’s what i wanted to do, that was an irritatingly defensive move for me.

          (i meant ‘gay’ is a word often used to describe the cultural products of the LGBTQ community regardless of the specific orientations of the people involved — gay tv, gay music, gay shows, etc.)

        • I have to agree that gay is absolutely used so often with women that it reads as a synonym for lesbian, going back to Ellen’s ‘Yep, I’m gay’ Time magazine cover.
          I’m also earnestly curious: I know many people are offended by queer’s history as a slur, but are there more straddlers bothered by ‘queer’ than by an exclusive monosexual signifier like gay? That seems much more plausible over at AfterEllen (no offence HH).

        • @riese I see that you edited your initial comment to clarify what you meant by “gay” being a more gender-neutral qualifier in the media. Thanks for clearing that up because at first read it seemed SUPER weird and contradictory for you to claim that gay is not used for women (as an identity).

          Must be nice to be able to edit your comments thooooo…#CEOLuxuries

    • I’m thankful that @riese pointed out that “queer” is not something a whole bunch of people think is a good all-inclusive term, either, and that for a lot of people, it’s straight up offensive and they don’t like being forcibly labeled as such. If you’re going to complain about one example of an all-inclusive term, then don’t force another one on people, especially one that has HEAPS more baggage.
      Goodness gracious.
      My opinion is: I get forcibly labeled as queer all the time (on this website and elsewhere) and I deal, because that’s life. I think for once the other side of the coin (those that identify as queer but not gay) can fucking deal. Nothing will suit everybody, and I think AS does a good job of switching terms.

      • Christe L did ask if people who don’t identify as queer had other suggestions. Maybe this comment thread isn’t the ideal place to have the discussion, but I think it’s definitely an interesting and important one.

        I peronally like queer since all LGBTQ people at least have the option of identifying that way, though they can of course choose not to. Lately I’ve been mostly opting for “queer and trans”, since queer isn’t typically used by straight trans people. However, I recognize that many people, especially in older generations, don’t like the term queer because of its history as a slur. Using LGBT or varients thereof is also not great for a number of reasons. First, you either leave people out or end up with something unweildy like LGBTQAI. Second, I hate how the traditonal order of the letters basically ranks people by how much they are valued, with gay people at the top, trans people at the bottom, and others (asexuals, intersex people, etc.) often completly ignored.

        I’d rather use something that is more inclusive, and I’m interested in what thoughts other people have. The other two terms I’ve seen used are “Gender and sexual minorities”, sometimes abbreviated as “GSM” and “QUILTBAG” (Queer/Questioning, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Transgender/Transsexual, Bisexual, Allied/Asexual, Gay/Genderqueer). I’m curious as to what other terms people have seen that might have the potential to become a genuinely neutral identifying term for our community.

  4. I watched Jane the Virgin and actually really loved it. It’s got a very Ugly Betty feel to it. I find all of the characters really endearing except for the obvious villains on the show who seem very one-dimensional. Then again I said the same thing about UB’s villians at first. I originally tuned in just to get a glimpse of the two minor lesbian characters but I ended up especially enjoying main character Jane and her family so I’ll probably stick around no matter how big or small the lesbian characters’ screen time end up being. It’s also one of those shows that’s so good it doesn’t deserve to be on a shitty network like CW. I worry about it’s survival because of that and the fact that’s it on a Friday timeslot.

    • I think that’s actually a really great way to describe it: An Ugly Betty vibe. And actually, I really HATED the concept of Ugly Betty before I saw it, but then the show sold me on it so hard because it was so smart and so sweet (for a time). I think Jane the Virgin has the potential to do the same thing. Fingers crossed, because like you say, the CW doesn’t exactly have the best track record with subversively feminist shows.

    • I directly thought of Ugly Betty as well. I actually watched the original Ugly Betty (in Portuguese) and I enjoyed the US take on it. I’d never heard of Jane the Virgin though, but I have to say, the characters were all likeable, except for the villains of course and the Granma was by far my favourite because she cracked me up and reminded me so much of my aunts… I’ll be watching the show as well regardless of how big or small the lesbian character role is.

  5. As a girl who likes girls and has an addiction to tv series, I feel like it’s my duty to watch everything that has lesbians/bi girls/queer girls/etc in it, but some shows are just SO bad and I don’t have enough time for them. So thanks for this! It’s gonna be one of my favourite columns.

    Also, now that you’re here, AS has officially become my queer heaven.

  6. This really is just the most wonderful, welcome news. I have so many feelz about this but let it suffice to say that you moving over here gives me a very happy heart indeed. You the best. Welcome home.

  7. I’m excited to follow my favorite writer to her new home so I continue to be informed, enlightened, moved, & entertained by Heather Hogan’s articles an to explore all the rest that AutoStraddle has to offer.

  8. Y’know, I was just remarking to my girlfriend how great it was that there are finally enough queer lady characters on television* that you can’t physically watch every show they’re on**, and now I don’t have to try because I can keep up by reading this! Yay!

    *With the caveat that their still aren’t enough and they don’t have enough prominence, but: progress.
    **Unless it is your literal, actual job. Like it is for Heather. 🙂

    • Right? I never thought I’d see this day. When I started writing about gay ladies, there was one single lesbian character on broadcast network TV. I can’t even remember her name because she was on Cashmere Mafia. Remember Cashmere Mafia? That Sex and the City knock-off? Yeah, neither does anyone else. (Caitlin was her name. Caitlin Dowd. I looked it up.)

  9. I’ve been coming here for a couple of years now but never comment on anything – not just here, I never comment on ANYTHING online – but the excitement of seeing my favourite recapper (sorry Riese…it’s a close second) writing for my favourite community (yay for Riese and all the autostraddlers) has fried my brain a little. Don’t mind me if I retreat back into the woodwork but know that I’ll be squealing a little every time I see the HH byline.

  10. Heather Hogan!! I used to be a little closeted queer secretly reading your PLL liars recaps even though I had never seen the show and started reading part way into season two and thus was very confused about many many things. SO EXCITED to see you here in the Straddleverse!

    Also what about something like “scene on your screen”? “the homo promo”?

  11. So Glad to read Heather Hogan here on Autostraddle. Her recaps are simply brilliant.
    I have to say though about the title comments and terminology etc. no “umbrella term” This kind of comment section backseat driving is what bummed me out with autostraddle. I love the articles and i read lots. if i don’t agree or feel included with a post i just read another one. I do not ask the writer to change their point of view or discussion. There is plenty of room here so if you like the content please read and if its not one hundred percent your vision then apply to write for autostraddle and be the voice you seek. Cheers to Heather Hogan!

    • If you’re that bothered by a small amount of constructive criticism in the comments, why not just take your own advice and read something else?

      Being able to engage in these kind of discussions in a respectful way is part of what makes autostraddle great. I’ve been reading this site for years, and have seen it grow to be a much more inclusive and diverse space. Those positive changes were in large part the result of people speaking their minds when they didn’t feel included or represented. I know that I have personally learned a lot from those who spoke up and shared their perspectives, whether I ultimatly agreed or not. I respect the authors and editors here enough to believe that they can handle a few minor criticisms along with all of the well deserved praise.

  12. I like the way you call the black lesbian character aggressive because of course thats not a sterotype associated with black women in general. Its funny for a site that is so obessive about language and tolerance that it is so ignorant when it comes to race. But then its not really surprising is it when you consider the race discussions on this site. I used to avoid Hogan on afterellen after she launched a passionate defence of Lena ‘queen of bigoted white ladies’ Dunham and I will be ignoring her posts on here.

    • Really. Should. Resist. The Urge. Buuuut…

      That thing you just did? Where you got all flippantly mean and started spitting contempt without bothering to read what was actually written or caring to engage thoughtfully? Yeah. On behalf of Hogan’s Army I’d like to welcome you to our new little corner of the interwebs, and to let you know with all due respect that we here don’t stand for that shit. If you’d like to have a civil, open-minded discussion about privilege, or representation, or language, or anything else, please do come back and play sometime – we happen to like to talk about all of those things too. If not, please do feel free to ignore us.

      • Yeah I read what she wrote and I still think its racist. She used to write ignorant shit on AE and have her army of white fangirls jump into her defence because clearly as a grown woman shes too weak and fragile to explain herself. Spare me your tone argument which is the first go to point for white feminists. I don’t need to engage nicely to call out racism. If racism affected you or Riese or Heather on a daily basis you would be angry too. Apparently its okay to say ignorant things but to call them out is being contemptuous. And yes your hero had form on being deliberately obtuse on racist issues so its not shocking that her ‘army’ are exactly the same. Save your threats for someone who is actually scared if you like the 12 year olds you usually talk to.

        • Oh honey…

          I’m sorry you were offended, and you’re absolutely entitled to your righteous anger. I don’t know you, I don’t claim to know what it’s like to be you, but you don’t know what it’s like to be me either. If you did you’d know that there are far too many actual monsters in this broken world we live in, monsters who deserve your anger, and my anger, and then some. Heather isn’t perfect, neither is Riese, neither am I – that’s an unfortunate side effect of being human. But these are the good guys, man. They’re out there fighting the good fight, advocating for us. So tell them when their language is problematic, tell them when you think they’re wrong, tell them what you want them to change, but save your vitriol for the real monsters. These aren’t them.

        • @wordymcnerdy Yeah, you need to cut your bullshit, stat. The audacity you have telling someone who experiences racism who the “real” monsters are and where their justifiable rage should be directed. Honey, I think your visage is slipping. You’re kind of blending in with those racist monsters.

          http://groupthink.jezebel.com/on-tone-policing-why-its-bullshit-and-why-you-need-to-1148310719

        • “Army of Fangirls”, I really loved this comment because it’s true, those women are psycho-fans, just running with anything Hogan writes or says, without even thinking about it.

          Just like you, I’ve always thought that Heather Hogan writes insensitive articles about almost anything.

      • JV has a gold ring, so obviously this isn’t a newcomer to the website. How ironic then that you have to oh-so-condescendingly welcome someone to AS. Honestly, even if JV were somehow a newbie, what a shitty way to introduce them to AS. As awesome as Heather is, her “Army” is not the only representation of this website so it’s really not your place to impose YOUR salutations on her behalf.

        And if YOU are new to Autostraddle and are only here because of Heather’s new arrival, then I’ve got some news for you, kid. We don’t take kindly to dismissing QWOC’s voices here. I don’t know what standards you kept at AE, but this “new little corner” will do just fine without your attitude.

        • Thank you for the support and no I’m not a newcomer to this site at all. I subscribed in the hope that it would improve the race related discussions on this site and enable the site to hire more QWoC. I find that ‘welcome’comment hilarious as if this is the white girls for Heather Hogan fanclub and I’m an interloper who turned up to cause trouble. But its not surprising as most white gay women become super defensive when forced to think about racial issues. I made my point and I’m glad others saw it as I did as I don’t think its appropriate to use racial stereotypes on an article printed on a site that claims to be inclusive and against all forms of bigotry.

        • Directed firmly at Smells Apples. I’m sorry that was unclear; I probably just should’ve not said anything, because everyone else said insightful things but I’m just making annoyed sounds?
          Sorry for any confusion! You keep doin’ what you’re doing; I feel like I often don’t pick up on that more subtle (to me) racial stereotyping, so it’s really good to have that reminder!

    • I’m not sure what you’re talking about. Heather called M-Chuck “aggressively gay” not “aggressive”, which i took to mean (since I’ve never seen the show myself) that the writers tried too hard to make the character seem gay by having her do all sorts of stereotypically lesbian things. She most certainly did NOT call the character “aggressive”, as in violent or confrontational. If you have a different interoperation, by all means, please share with the class. But do the reading first.

      Man, I thought Heather would have an easier time of it over here at Autostraddle. Apparently not.

      • Yes I did manage to read o wise white lady. And I still think she was wrong for using aggressive because aggressive is usually how black women are deemed regardless of how they behave. I think white women writers and that includes Hogan should be more careful when writing about non white women and avoid utilising stereotypical language. Also I don’t need to be taught what is and isn’t racist by an ‘army’ of white fangirls. I encounter racism on a daily basis which if any of you had ever suffered would also make you annoyed at white women crying foul every time they get called out on their shitty behaviour. Its a lot worse to be racially abused and not be able to do anything about it, I can assure you, then it is to be called out for what you have written on a prominent website.

        • I read it the same way as how Allison stated above, that “aggressive” was in reference to the extent of the character’s gayness, so as a white reader, that racial connotation went way over my head. That being said, there is absolutely no reason that “aggressively” has to be the only adverb that can be used to get that point across, and it’s really unfortunate that the only response to JV’s concerns has been “DON’T YOU DARE CRITICIZE HEATHER”. Language is super important, and if Heather is going to be an excellent contributor to AS then she (along with every other writer) will have to understand that we have different standards as how we discuss racialized language.

          It’s really not fair for us white people to criticize JV for coming off harsh in her call-out, just as it isn’t fair for JV’s racial identity to be schluffed off when they are someone who obviously cares a lot about this website. We don’t have to invoke Heather’s Army or whatever to shut down someone else’s viewpoint, even if we don’t agree or like it.

      • For whatever it’s worth, I’m a black woman and I interpreted Heather describing M-Chuck as “aggressively gay” as well because M-Chuck actually is a bit much in terms of how describes and pursues women. Much the same way I would describe white gay guy Connor on How to Get Away with Murder the same way. They are both stereotypical portrayals.

        That said, I also see your point as well JV that Heather and all writers really should be careful about their use of the word “aggressive” to describe black women because it is a word attributed to use far too much regardless of whether it’s true or not.

        • Thats the point though – I never saw Shane in the L word being described as aggressive despite her wanting to hump every woman on sight. Why? Cos shes a thin white lady so she can’t possibly be aggressive. I haven’t seen a single review of Connor in HTGAWM that calls his pursuit of men ‘aggressive’. I have seen reviews and tumblr users call Abbie in Sleepy Hollow aggressive which if you have seen that show you would know is completely ridiculous. Its a stereotype primarily associated with black women and I think white writers (which includes Hogan) should be more careful with the language they use to describe black women. Otherwise next week we will see Hogan calling Viola Davis ‘sassy’ for that removal of make up and wig scene we saw at the end of the episode. And yeah I expected the defensive fangirls because it was the same on AE – I remembered when black women complained to dorothysnarker about her usage of articulate for Viola Davis and Hogan jumped into whitesplain and tried to say that an Asian woman couldn’t engage in anti-blackness. If that is the level of racial discourse to be expected on Hogan’s articles I will definitely be doing my own sanity some good and purposefully avoiding her articles.

    • Hey, guys. Hi. Listen, I’m really sorry what I wrote about M-Chuck came off as me perpetuating a damaging, racist stereotype. That was not my intention at all, but I totally get where you’re coming from, and I apologize. What I actually meant when I said M-Chuck is “aggressively gay” is that her sexuality is written in a way that’s kind of combative.

      Turkish mentioned Connor Walsh from How to Get Away With Murder, and I think that’s a great comparison, and exactly the one I used when I was taking to my girlfriend about M-Chuck. It’s like all the other characters on their shows are getting more and more fully realized, while Connor and M-Chuck are just GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY. And not just that it’s their main character trait, but also that in every episode they’re like daring people to have a problem with it.

      So that’s what I meant, which, like I said, is off-putting but also kind of refreshing, but I could have used less inciting language to discuss it. I promise to be more vigilant going forward.

      • Yam – they are so manical and deluded as demonstrated by weedyapples who has promptly disappeared after she didn’t receive the support she thought she would. Unlike on AE where any dissenting voices were quickly chased off.God forbid their hero be asked to think critically about their words. At least on AS theres no cult around specific writers.

        Jane – Apologies for the curt response but I thought you were defending weedyapples. Thank you for your support and its nice that you even bothered to speak up as I think a lot of white women avoid discussing racial issues on here to avoid being seen to be taking over race discussions.

  13. Regarding that GLAAD report, I’ve noticed they didn’t take into account the quality of representation. Probably most of those lesbian characters they counted actually fall under “lesbian sleeping with a man and enjoying it” trope, since they mentioned Margot from “Hannibal” as a lesbian character.

    I also wonder now how they counted Amy from Faking It – she was gaybaited as a lesbian and even her actress said she is, but now in the show she’s showing strong sexual attraction toward men (after sleeping with a man who dreamed about “conquering” a lesbian).

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