12 LGBTQIA+ tropes we don’t want to see in pop culture anymore

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Gay off-screen

Unless our favorite characters have been eloquently queer-coded by similarly LGBTQ creators, who have the best intentions for our faves just being unabashedly gay, most gay characters are obviously gay. Whether their sexuality or gender identity are explicitly said in their production, there’s a grand coming out arc, or writers use a relationship to explicitly explain their identifiers in the community, LGBTQ characters visibly exist on-screen.

However, some characters’ identities are invisible on-screen, despite what their creators and directors might claim. You’re probably already familiar with Dumbledore and Lando‘s post-production coming out moments.

Frankly, it’s little more than performative inclusion for a creator to say a character is in the LGBTQ community without actually showing it in the production. After all, if it’s worth noting in an interview or any relevant promotional material, then it’s also worth writing within the script.

Omitting an on-screen illustration of a character’s sexuality or gender identity implies that their sexuality is nonessential. However, the act of clarifying a character’s sexuality after the production is over and out in theaters makes it seem like the production only used that character’s identity for retroactive inclusion in their production.

We obviously love seeing LGBTQ characters flourish on-screen and in books; however, we can’t really celebrate a character who is only flourishing off the screen and after the fact.