Teen Wolf’s Tyler Posey: ‘we emphasize the gay storyline’….Wait! What?

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I’m going to get right to the point. There’s a difference between shows wanting nothing to do with LGBT portrayal in their stories and then there are shows that think they are doing something amazing when it comes to queer representation without actually delivering. Teen Wolf was a show that started with amazing potential for gay representation but over the years, everything has been downhill.

In an exclusive clip from TVline, that’s available in the Season 3B DVD box set, the cast and Jeff Davis talked about their love for the fandom. Everything was sunshine and rainbows until Tyler Posey showed up. According to him: “We get a lot of fans who have touching stories. You know, they say Teen Wolf has almost saved their life. The fact that we emphasize the gay storyline on the show has made a lot of people come to terms with the fact that, you know, it’s OK to be gay.”

Wait! What is Posey talking about? Did I miss an episode or a whole season of Teen Wolf? In the three seasons of the show, I haven’t seen anything that “emphasize the gay storyline”. Maybe he’s talking about the gay ships the fans of the show have created, like Sterek. Because that’s an amazing fan-created gay storyline, right there!

I don’t know about you all but having a token gay 3character, Danny, on a show doesn’t qualify as LGBT representation on TV. Yes, we all know that Jeff wanted to create a world where homophobia didn’t exist and Beacon Hills gives us just that. It also gives us a story where gay characters exist, however the leads and central romantic pairings are hetero. What we are left with are numerous hetero leads and secondary characters that don’t have a problem with gay characters. Does this do anything for gay representation? No, it doesn’t. Some of you might say that Danny/Ethan was an incredible gay pairing. But take a moment and count all the screen time Danny has had with Ethan and with other characters, and then compare that to the scenes that hetero characters have had on the show. For me, in order for a show to be considered as LGBT representative, it needs to have a queer character that’s part of the main or the secondary cast and brings something to the story. We all know how much Danny and Ethan brought to the story.

In order for you to understand where I’m coming from, look at shows that includes gay characters that actually serve a purpose. Spartacus gave rise to the amazing story of Agron and Nasir, Shameless has Ian and Mickey, even Glee (ignoring the problems one might have with its story telling) has done tremendous work in bringing queer representation to our TV screens.

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What has Teen Wolf done? It gave us Danny who shows up one or twice each season, without adding anything to the plot. It gave us Caitlin in season 3A, who ended up being bisexual in 3B. It is going to give us another gay character in season 4. Looking at how things have been going, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if the new gay character appears only two or three times in the 12-episode season. I’m actually more worried about Danny’s fate now that a new gay kid has come to town. You might bring up Stiles’ hinted at bisexuality but I’m not going to believe it unless it’s clearly shown on my TV screen; and by clearly I mean Stiles actually being attracted to a male character and hitting on him, etc. Subtext shouldn’t count when it comes to making a list of LGBT inclusive shows. It just doesn’t work like that.

There might be a part of fandom that argues that other fans complain a lot when it comes to Teen Wolf not having a gay lead. I believe such fans should understand what gay representation means for viewers who identify as gay, bisexual, etc., and why they feel shows should have it. I also think fans wouldn’t complain as much about a lack of gay representation on Teen Wolf if the people involved would stop talking about it. I can deal with Teen Wolf not having a gay leading or secondary character. Fine, it happens. What I can’t understand is when the people involved, in this case Tyler Posey, talk about the show doing something great when it comes to LGBT representation.

Shows like Orange is the New Black, Orphan Black, Penny Dreadful (a wonderful new paranormal show that might have set the bar for fluid sexuality in just its fourth episode!), and even Warehouse 13 have actually given us fleshed out gay characters. This is something Teen Wolf hasn’t done, and I don’t think will do anytime soon. But will the show go on as if it’s doing something productive for queer representation? You can bet it will!

Do you think Teen Wolf has good LGBT representation? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.


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About the author

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

Comments

  1. I think that while it’s nowhere near perfect, it’s trying, and some is better than none. Could it do more? Sure, 99% of current media could be doing more. But I don’t think we should discount the things the show does do.

    There ARE people, LGBTQA+ people, who have said Teen Wolf having queer characters means a lot to them. We can’t discount that.

    And while Posey’s wording isn’t perfect, his heart is in the right place. And he’s not the one calling the shots, anyway.

    1. I cant say we can ”count the things the show does” when they are all frosting and no cake. Danny has always been a background character who at least in S1 and S2 got some plot relevance, but the more we get closer the less he is important, only to appear once to demostrate his gayness (with Ethan) and disappear. Mason, new guy in S4, is defined by his sexuality. He is presented as the ”gay black best friend”… and ogling on another guy. Thats it.

      But the point that REALLY drives the fact that TW is NOT ”LGTBA+ representative” is the fact that, yes we have Danny, but there are around 4-5 plot driver characters that were actually queer. Kali and Julia/Jennifer were in a romantic relationship…which was revelated after they died (and thus no important to the plot). Aparently Matt (from S2) was Bi… and we get this after he died. Deaton was supposed to be gay… which was scraped.

      Queerbaiting? Before S3B i could have said ”no, there isnt queerbaiting in the show (PR is another thing)”. But he moment they converted a previously named lesbian girl into bisexual only to bait Stiles’ bisexuality… and then Jeff having the face to LAUGH at the notion… well lets just say that’s high quality queerbaiting. Or the predictably never going to be mentioned again ”Derek is Stiles’ king” and Derek’s dream in the finale are just scenes there to bait the Sterek fandom.

      (Slightly Off-Topic) Sadly, Jeff has runned Teen Wolf into a superficial show with lots of ”shinny” things (random hetero romance and slow-mo action fights) and unfortunates implications which Jeff likes to ignore, like the issue of all the rape and dub/non-con scenes and themes, like Dennifer (seduction magic), Pydia (All of S2) and Stalia (Stiles being drugged with 2 differen drugs, paranoid, possesed, mentally exhausted…then sold to us as ”romantic”).

      Or Derek’s overused torture scenes, or Scott’s plot of romance and being sidelined until Jeff needs to make us remember he is actually the main lead, or Lydia’s negative growth from an independant, intelligent, strong-willed woman into a damnsel-in-distress that costantly clings to Stiles and ONLY Stiles? Or Jeff’s MANIA of trying to recreate Sterek chemistry in Stora and Stalia (or as someone put it ”shoving Stiles into badly written genderbent!Dereks”), or constant hyping of plotlines only to end in underwhelmingly and anticlimatic resolutions… And some mutilated mythologies too…

      1. ALL OF THAT what Ranulf said!

        but “Deaton was supposed to be gay”??? where?? at which point? because I didn’t see that on the show no matter how I tried. Matt being bi-also skipped my notice completely

          1. hmmm so it doesn’t count, because it’s not really in the show
            (the only what I thought was that Deaton been in love with Thalia more then him being gay)

            (beside in my opinion you shouldn’t explain your story on cons – just show this on the screen – if it’s a show, and Teen Wolf is tv-show)

    2. I’m a queer person and the lack of real queer characters on Teen Wolf is MADDENING. Danny & Ethan are glorified tokenism at it’s finest. Caitlin could have been a great take on the erasure of bisexuals (automatically counted as gay by virtue of a same sex partner, when no, that’s not how being bi works) if it weren’t for the fact that Jeff did it on a whim so she could kiss Stiles and prop up his heterosexuality.

      So, no, Teen Wolf is not doing okay. Not by a long shot. That it’s headed up by an out gay showrunner makes that even worse.

  2. I am in total agreement with your article. Teen Wolf isn’t doing any more for LGBT representation than any other show that has token gay characters.

    If they have emphasized that “you know, it’s OK to be gay”, then have done it in the context that it’s OK to be gay, you know, as long as you’re in the background, and as long as you’re not relevant to the storyline.

    1. This is pretty much what Supernatural did with Charlie. She shows up once or twice a season. I love Charlie. I think she’s great representation. But she’s still a secondary character that rarely shows up, just like Danny.

  3. If they really wanted to “emphasize the gay storyline” they would make Sterek canon instead of sticking them with random women with little to no relationship build up. Stiles and Derek have tons of chemistry and have grown to care about each other over the past three seasons (Derek even made Stiles his anchor; all previous human anchors have involved either romantic (Scott/Allison, Lydia/Jackson) or familial love (Isaac & his dad before he was abusive)). Tyler Hoechlin and Dylan O’Brien clearly don’t have a problem with the pairing, actually ship the pairing themselves, and pitch ideas to Jeff Davis for scenes of the characters being playful, serious, and growing closer together. Romantic Sterek has everything going for it except the show being brave enough to take that step forward.

    1. Except neither Derek or Stiles are gay or bisexual. I mean, they’ve hinted at bi!Stiles, but Dylan already confirmed that they were just throwaway lines for humor.

      And when did Stiles become Derek’s anchor? I missed that one.

      1. Derek has never mentioned his sexuality and until he does, that’s open to interpretation. Assuming the character is straight is assuming heterosexuality is the norm until explicitly stated otherwise.

        As for Stiles, his bisexuality is, as Davis himself stated in an interview, “spoiler territory”. It will come up eventually in the show. In that article, O’brien said Stiles wasn’t gay, which is not the same as bisexual. He chose his words very carefully (they have to, spoilers are a big thing in this industry). In fact, he even said Stiles ‘sees people as they are’, which could even infer pansexual or demisexual. That Davis has said repeatedly in interviews that the show has hinted Stiles is bi, why would they then do a scene raising the topic if it was only for laughs?

        1. What O’Brien said in that interview came across as bi-erasure tbh and with the new hetero romance being trumpeted for Stiles in S4 it would support that view of it.

          It’s like the article stated. If Stiles is bisexual it needs to be make explicit in canon. This hinting and circling the issue is not good.

          1. I have a bit of hope because I think O’brien had to say that due to Stiles’ bisexuality on the show being spoilerific. But if it turns out that Stiles bisexuality arc is going nowhere, then I absolutely agree that the article was bi-erasure and calling that scene “nothing” was not ok at all.

        2. Actually there was a whole episode dedicated to Derek’s love of a girl, (Paige) and how Peter manipulated him, leading to the reason why his eyes glow blue rather than yellow… He also (on screen) kissed Jennifer Blake and it’s implied he had sex with her. SO I don’t know what series you guys have been watching, but Derek is canonically straight, with the slight possibility of bisexuality.

          1. See this is the problem with heteronormativity.

            First of all, you shouldn’t be ruling out bisexuality, pansexuality, etc just because you’ve seen a character be with someone of the opposite sex. In the current state of society, heterosexuality is the default. Everyone is straight until stated otherwise. It’s like some big twist if a character is bi or gay. There has to be some huge lead up.

            But that’s not how it WORKS. People don’t leave you a trail of breadcrumbs to figure out their sexuality. People who aren’t as open, like say Derek Hale, aren’t going to be commenting on what they are or are not attracted to. Maybe for a character like Stiles, who had an entire story line in an episode of season one where he wanted to know if he was attractive to gay men for no reason that because he just WANTED TO KNOW.

            What people fighting against heteronormativity want you to do is STOP ASSUMING. Stop seeing a male character (in this case) with a woman and just thinking, “Oh they’re straight.” No. There is an entire spectrum of things they could be. Bisexual, pansexual, demisexual, heteroflexible, etc and etc. That’s not to say it is necessarily authorial intent for them to any of those things, but by assuming you are only furthering the problem.

            On top of all that, let’s talk about the fact that, were he to be gay, he would not be the first gay man to come out late in his life, to love women before coming to terms with his sexual identity, or to have sex with women. Do you honestly believe that no gay man has ever loved or had sex with a woman? What about men who get married, have children, and then one day say they’ve been lying to themselves and come out as homosexual? This is a real thing that happens all the time. Those men weren’t lying about loving they’re wife. They weren’t unable to maintain an erection with her, as evidenced by their offspring. Sexuality is just a confusing thing and some people take time to understand their own.

            So see when you say that this, bisexuality, pansexuality, and etc are impossible, you are ERASING the identity of people who ARE those things. As a bisexual person, it’s extremely scarring for me that people rarely assume bisexuality is even an option or when they display it as either a phase or confusion or experimentation.

            Also, note that Jeff Davis once told fans that one of Derek’s frequent spots to hang out when living in the city was a well known gay club in New York, and while straight men may visit a gay club on very rare occasion, it’s uncommon for them to FREQUENT a specific one in a city where there are plenty of straight bars.

            So maybe Derek is straight. Maybe Stiles is too. But until either of them state that as irrefutable fact, there is a possibility of them being a number of other things that include being attracted to men. You don’t have to ship Sterek. It’s fine not to. But you shouldn’t automatically assume anyone’s sexual identity, in media or without.

            1. Okay, for one, IT IS CANON THAT DEREK HAS A PREFERENCE FOR FEMALES. This is a canonic storyline. This is not erasing bisexuality/pansexuality/fluid sexual identities/homosexuality. That is ALL I WAS SAYING in reply to the comment from STARKILLER. Why are you attacking me? If I said something wrong, tell me what it was I said WRONG rather than instantly attacking what you think I said overall. Thankyou

              1. Nobody is attacking you. People are challenging your views that are rooting in a society that has a habit of bi-erasure. You made a comment that can be interpreted as biphobic. Those of us who are bisexual and feel like your mindset erases us (or are our allys) are informing you about the harm that your views promote.

                Derek has not shown a preference for girls. He has been shown dating girls. There’s a difference. You are operating under the assumption of “straight until proven gay.” Derek could like boys with the same intensity as he likes girls but 1) keeps those relationships hidden 2) doesn’t acknowledge it about himself or 3) simply hasn’t come across a man that he wants to date. Instead of acknowledging that these are possibilities you assume that he only likes women because he’s only been seen with women. This is the very defiition of bierasure.

                This is the type of behavior that makes us bisexuals feel like you are ignoring us, marginilizing us, and make us feel invisible. You need to recognize that you are participating in this type of behavior and correct it.

                Also, friendly reminder that I DON’T read Derek as bi. But I’m not going to declare that he’s straight. I acknowledge that bi readings of his character are valid. I DO interpret Stiles as bi. And I interpret Dean Winchester from Supernatural as bi. Many people view these characters are straight too, so I am defending bi interpretations of Derek even though it’s not my own interpretation of the character because I know how it feels to have my interpretation and my own sexuality erased by this type of mindset.

                If anyone DOES attack you, I will give them a warning and ban them on their second offense. So far nobody has attacked you. People are challenging you. That’s sort of what this website does. We challenge the ideas of cis het white male culture. Welcome to our website.

          2. I have, in my life (so far), only being with girls. I have kissed girls and had sex with girls. People have seen me with girls only. However, I am bisexual and panromantic. I have been in love with guys, nearly got married with one. Most of my friends didn’t know about this because it is not their business until I decide so myself.
            Some people assume I’m straight, some assume I am a lesbian. But unless I tell them myself, no one has the right to take those assumptions for granted. Now, the exact same goes for Derek. It has never been explicitly addressed by him, and unless it is done so, it’s up to no one to take for granted what his preferences are. Along those lines, even if it was stated, this article touches something called “fluid sexuality,” which is, liking something now, then changing those likes as you go along in life, because people change, people evolve, they learn new things about themselves everyday, and it is up to them, and no one else, to call the shots.

          3. Again, this is blatant heteronormity. You’re watching the show through a ‘straight until fanfares declare otherwise’ lense, which is incredibly narrow minded. And I’m not sure what show you’ve been watching, but even the actress who played Jennifer confirmed that relationship as a mind whammy (her exact words were ‘I thought that was obvious, but people still argue it was a real romance). In any case, it doesn’t matter how many female characters Derek kisses, the character can still be bisexual or indeed pansexual or demisexual. And the thing is, this is something Davis knows very well, has even commented on in an interview. So far, the only character whose sexuality we can say with any certainty is heterosexual is Scott, because he’s the only one to state “I like girls”, but even then it’s up to change/debate. Maybe Davis won’t go there with Derek, but that doesn’t change the fact that your way of thinking is problematic because it assumes everyone is straight until proven gay.

          4. Oh, also I just wanted to add that Davis said Derek’s dream sequence (the one with Stiles at the end of S3b) is based on An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. I don’t know if you’ve read the story before, but the reference is pretty blatant. It’s about a guy who, seconds before his death, hallucinates that he has escaped the hangman’s noose and searches out his wife and home. It’s obvious how that relates to the last sterek scene, but it’s very interesting that that places Stiles in the position of “wife/home/safety” from the story. That’s why most everyone has agreed Stiles is Derek’s anchor. I don’t think this is information Davis would have shared with us if it weren’t important, and considering even the actors said they can’t talk about Sterek next season it’s very interesting.

      2. Derek’s sexuality has not been addressed. As far as I know, all we got from Dylan O’Brien was that Stiles is “not gay” and “likes girls” which does nothing to eliminate the possibility of bisexuality. If he wanted to set the record straight, he should have said “he’s heterosexual.” Otherwise it comes off as vague and/or bi-erasing.

        1. Actually there was a whole episode dedicated to Derek’s love of a girl, (Paige) and how Peter manipulated him, leading to the reason why his eyes glow blue rather than yellow… He also (on screen) kissed Jennifer Blake and it’s implied he had sex with her. SO I don’t know what series you guys have been watching, but Derek is canonically straight, with the slight possibility of bisexuality.

          1. Implying that he has relationships with girls and likes girls means that he is “canonically straight” with a “SLIGHT” possiblity of bisexuality is very biphobic and perpetuates the ongoing issue of bierasure in media. I’m watching a show on TV that, just like the vast majority of media, has a “straight until proven gay” mentality and often ignores the possiblity of bisexuality entirely. As a bisexual, I find mindsets like yours and the habits of mainstream media to be a massive problem. It’s offensive, wrong, and harmful to the bisexual community. There is no “slight” about it. You are assuming that he is straight until he makes out with a man and you are perpetuating the biphobic themes that are deeply ingrained in our media. Please don’t erase my sexuality. Thank you.

            Edit: Full disclosure, I don’t even ship Sterek. I don’t even read Derek as bi. I do read Stiles as bi, though. But none of that matters because your comments and mindset erase my sexuality and you need to stop that.

            1. I’m sorry, I didn’t intend my comment to offend you, I would never, in any way, want to imply that your sexuality didn’t exist. I myself fully recognise Bisexuality as a sexual orientation, and now recognise that I phrased my comment wrong. I’m sorry. I was more trying to say that although these scenes have been shown, Derek hasn’t explicitly stated his sexuality on screen(not that it is necessary at all), and that the comment I was responding to wasn’t founded.

      3. I feel Starkiller, Mal, Angel K, and Mich have addressed the bisexual issue well enough, so let’s move on to Stiles being Derek’s anchor.

        Tyler Hochlin has said that Derek was changing his anchor and that Stiles and Scott would play a role. So far there is no evidence of Scott being used as Derek’s anchor (and I doubt he will be for various reasons), but we do have lots of evidence for Stiles being Derek’s anchor. Cupidsbower on Tumblr has an absolutely fantastic meta series on this topic if you want to check it out.

        The primary evidence for this is the final scene of 3×24 where Derek is traumatized enough by Kate’s return that he retreats into his subconscious where he has a discussion with Stiles. We see Derek grabbing Stiles’ hand and realizing that this is a dream, literally anchoring him back into reality.

        Jeff said that this scene was inspired by a short story where a dying man thinks he escaped being hanged and travels to see the love of his life one last time. It turns out he didn’t actually escape and it was a dream. That this was the inspiration and he chose to share it when there are clear romantic implications is pretty telling.

        Other evidence includes most of Derek’s scenes in 3B as they’re mostly about Stiles. How desperately he was searching for Stiles, trying to figure it out (the spark, the power station, the bat, knowing and analyzing Stiles’ scent), trying to save Stiles, how torn up he was at the thought of “putting Stiles down.” Taken altogether, this is a lot of emotional dedication Derek is putting into one person. It makes more sense after that final scene when you realize Derek made Stiles his anchor. As for exactly when Derek changed his anchor to Stiles, I suggest checking out cupidsbower’s meta on this http://cupidsbower.tumblr.com/post/86202796600/dereks-anchor http://cupidsbower.tumblr.com/post/87594013175/hi-let-me-tell-you-how-much-i-love-your-meta-on

        1. Jeff revealing what inspired the Derek/Stiles dream scene was quite surprising, and as you said, it clearly stated that the man was looking for his wife and children…but the again, casual viewers don’t really get into such things, and i don’t think it counts as LBGT representation, unless Derek’s in love with Stiles, romantically, and it’s stated in the show one way or another…maybe S4 will talk more about that, though i’m doubtful, but fingers crossed we get to know more about the anchor thing, and the interesting meta fans wrote about why Derek was king on the chessboard…like i said, subtext doesn’t do shows any favor when it comes to LBGT rep….if one looks at things, Jeff has laid some sort of foundation for there being a connection between Stiles and Derek, but unless he actually delivers with these characters…Stiles being bi, or Derek falling for Stiles in a one-sided relationship, etc…all we have is Danny, and the new gay kid, that seem to be there to just check the ‘show has gay characters?’ box

  4. TBH, my first thought was that TP probably said that in an attempt to undo his faux pas earlier this year regarding the fans who supposedly watch the show for the wrong reason – that being the “bizarre, weird, twisted” thing some of us affectionately call Sterek. He seemed uncomfortable in the TVline clip and doesn’t look up at the camera (or interviewer) for most of that segment. But I don’t know exactly when that snippet of interview was done, so maybe I’m being unnecessarily harsh. I still feel stung by his previous comments, but I try not to let them color everything I hear from him. Still, it seems odd to me that it’s him talking up the show’s gay relationship.

    I appreciate the fact that the show includes gay characters without treating them as tokens or plot points. Danny’s an interesting character on his own (he’s more mature and confident and makes an interesting contrast to Scott and Stiles in that respect), and I like Danny/Ethan and was sorry they didn’t get much screen time together. But no, they’re not an “incredible” pairing. There wasn’t a chance for them to be, in the thirty or so minutes of total screen time they had throughout the season. Was that storyline “emphasized”? No. Most of the time, it was background. I think the show can be proud of what it’s done. They’ve added to the baby steps of progress. But they’re not making leaps and bounds. I’m glad that they include gay characters who are just part of the canvas, like everyone else, and who occasionally get a romantic scene together like straight couples do. So yeah, they definitely get some points for that. If they end up backtracking on Stiles’ possible bisexuality they’ll lose a couple of points, but that’s still a wait-and-see. But if they think they’ve “emphasized the gay storyline”, then they’re giving themselves more credit than they’ve earned.

    1. Got to say, if they back track on Stiles’ bisexuality after the Caitlyn scene last season, I think the show will lose more than a couple of points. It would reduce that scene to comic relief (not to mention it we mean they brought back Caitlyn for some bisexual representation when she was previously described by Davis as lesbian), and that’s something no one wants.

  5. I think you hit the nail on the head, one of the biggest issues with TW is that the showrunners, cast, crew and PR repeatedly talk about it having this incredible representation for LGBT people. I do think Davis has done a good job in some ways (Ethan is a fair example), but in others it’s pretty run of the mill and doesn’t remotely live up to the all the representation hype. And for people who are desperately looking and hoping for this kind of representation, it’s incredibly patronizing to be told, “look! Look at what we’re giving you!” followed by lots of sterek and dethan PR, and when we watch the show we get Danny turning up maybe twice a season.

  6. I 100% agree with this article. However there’s one thing that bothered me, although it may just be me misinterpreting the comment; that is “It gave us Caitlin in season 3A, who ended up being bisexual in 3B”. You’re making it sound like because she ended up being bisexual the representation of her character no longer counted or something. And as wrong as i think it is that they brought in a character as a lesbian then changed her sexuality to fit the plot(especially for what was possibly a throw away line, although we’ll have to wait and see about that) bisexual representation matters too. But maybe this is just me misinterpreting the comment, i don’t know. Anyway like i said i 100% agree with your article. Teen wolf is better at representation than most shows but it’s still not doing anything special, and unless they step up their game and go through with Stiles being bi or something, they shouldn’t act like they are.

    1. Oh I agree, bisexual representation matters a great deal. But I think the issue people had with that scene is that the show appeared to have taken one minority with Caitlyn (who Davis initially described himself as lesbian), and had her return as bisexual, so many people saw it as swapping one minority for another. Personally I don’t have an issue with this because I believe the Caitlyn scene was important in setting up Stiles questioning his sexuality. After that scene, if Stiles’ bisexuality arc doesn’t play out at all, it will be a big black mark against the show.

  7. The article is fantastic, very on point but as a queer girl some of the comments are honestly making me think we watched (for me it’s a past and it stays that way) different episodes. Why do you keep trying to praise this show for things that are barely worth to be mentioned?
    Representation isn’t two random characters that no-one cares about, smashed together for the sake of the ‘progressive gay making out’ with no background, building-up, empathy. That is just called being pretentious and also, now, being cocky about it.
    “Danny is an interesting character” What? When? Danny is a disposable background character that only fandom notices and the actor himself, Keahu Kahuanui, has expressed his frustration with his role in the most diplomatic ways he could.
    “I like Danny/Ethan” you liked a pairing where one of the two is a *murderer* and the other one doesn’t know?
    What else did you like? The random girl that kissed her girlfriend, the girlfriend died, and she came back to make out with Stiles and serve as another round of ‘hinted bisexual Stiles just for giggles’? Because if you think, main character, fans’ favorite Stiles, played by a young star on the rise is going to be canonly bisexual, you’re not paying attention. And not just to Teen Wolf. You’re not paying attention to this world, in general.

    1. that is the biggest issue i have with the danny/ethan ship. literally the only reason ethan even looked at him was to get to scott and then decided he just didn’t want to break up with him. and even if danny DOES know about werewolves he still doesn’t know about who ethan is and WHY he even came to town and what he did *coughcoughBOYD AND ERICA ANYBODYcough*

  8. Is part of your comment aimed at me, Bitter? I realize you didn’t post it as a reply to my comment, but you’re quoting me and asking snide questions based on my comment.

    If you’re asking whether I in fact like Danny/Ethan in spite of Ethan being a murderer (no quotes needed; he definitely was), then the answer is yes. Ethan wouldn’t be the first bad guy I liked. But as I said, they’re not an incredible couple, because they weren’t given the screen time to be. Do I think Danny’s interesting? Again, yes. Wouldn’t have said it if it weren’t true. I think we DO see enough of him in three seasons for me to find him interesting. That doesn’t mean we see enough about him to write his biography – but enough for me to think he’s interesting based on what we do see. Sorry if you disagree, Bitter. But my opinion is as valid as yours.

  9. I find the attempts to recreate Sterek chemistry with the “acceptable” gender for Stiles particularly offensive. It’s like they writers think they can slap any snarky female Hale in there and voila instant chemistry. And why? Well, obviously, because they have the hetero-normative mix that “most of the audience” expects. The fact that the writers don’t even bother to give these girls much backstory or reason for being with Stiles is also insulting. Because it clearly says that what matters most is they are female. And don’t get me started on Lydia who has gone from sassy wondergirl to pale, clinging fairychild. In order to be worthy of Stiles, I suppose.

    What irks me is how unnecessary all of these awkward changes have been. Danny could have been our token gay guy and had his romance and the show could trumpet as it does. We slash shippers are used to being ignored in the main storyline. But there is a huge difference between deciding not to do a Sterek storyline and allowing no scenes between O’Brien and Hoechlin at all. Why do that? Is it because it would derail your manufactured romances? Yes, someone might notice Stiles and Derek are still hot together.

    And all of the avoidance, not filming the elephant in the room, tells us this show is the worst sort of “gay-friendly.” Because they are flat out saying we shouldn’t notice two characters would work well together, because they are both guys and leads on the show. Gay people, or people with complicated sexuality, belong on the sidelines. And, worst of all, they expect us to love the straight pairings, because, as they keep telling us being straight is “just as good or better.”

  10. Late to the party, but I think the fact that Danny isn’t portrayed as a stereotype (hysterical, clueless, The Sidekick etc.) seems pretty positive to me. He’s not on screen a lot but strictly speaking it’s not his story: The ‘other’ in Teen Wolf is supernatural rather than homosexual. That said, teen sexuality is fluid (see: BtVS) and we have a new batch of characters coming in for season 4 so for all we know that issue is being addressed soon. Malia could decide that her first encounter with Stiles was her last and one of the three new males could be gay– at which point if he made a beeline for Danny then I’d be annoyed. Nobody likes a token.

    1. You’re missing the point, though. He isn’t portrayed as a stereotype, but that’s because he’s hardly “portrayed” as anything at all. We know, literally, next to nothing about him. We know he is gay, and we know he likes lacrosse. That’s it. We know more about Greenburg than we do about Danny.

      It’s not about how many queer characters you have on the show. You could have seventy — but if all of them are simply wallpaper/periphery characters, it means nothing. None of them are allowed to develop, or are allowed to be full, complex characters like their presumably non-queer counterparts.

      We know that one of the new characters is gay. But there is nothing to suggest, so far, that he’ll be anything but more wallpaper. It would be so refreshing and remarkable if Mason (or, hell, Danny) became legitimately significant characters. It doesn’t matter that it’s “not their story” — really, whose story is it? Scott’s? Yet there are, at any given moment, up to six primary characters in this show. And you’re telling me that at no time did Jeff Davis ever consider that at least one of them could, I don’t know, be something besides heterosexual?

      If Teen Wolf isn’t going to make any strides for positive, legitimate queer representation, fine. It will be what it is, though it will be disappointing. But if that’s what it’s going to be, it cannot, at any point, pretend it is doing anything progressive for the queer community. It isn’t.

  11. it is what it is which isn’t great but I have hope. the potential is there if only they’d do something about it! what I’m really disappointed in is that the drag queens never came back again.

  12. you’re not doing representation right if your fans make things like #moredanny

  13. I live in Asia & all gay scenes between Ethan & Danny are cut out of the show on MTV. Unfortunate world we live in.

  14. Excellent article! I too was gobsmacked by Posey’s comment because the show does very little to fully represent anything other than tired, trite, “done a thousand times already” heteronormative romances.

    In reading the comments, I noticed a couple of themes:
    * People seem hopeful that Stiles will still be revealed to be bi.
    * Sterek might happen eventually.

    In my heart, I’m right there with you because that is what I want too– but I think that it’s wishful thinking to assume that they’ll ask Dylan to take a risk on a bisexual characterization right before The Maze Runner comes out and he is poised to be a big star in an action franchise. Who knows what would have happened had he not been in the movie– but now he’s too close to breaking out for Jeff Davis or anyone on Dylan’s team to let something as meaningful (but as risky) as a same sex romance on a cable TV show to derail the box office potential of the Maze Runner franchise or Dylan’s budding movie career.

    And Dylan’s interview, which some are reading as if it were a secret code simply because he didn’t say include ‘bisexual’ in his denial, was pretty clearly an attempt to put Sterek speculation to bed by quashing any thoughts that Stiles is anything but heterosexual. That interview angered me a lot, actually, because if what he said was true, it means that he personally engaged in a lot of joking and queerbaiting that deliberately whipped up the fandom but ultimately made us the butt of his jokes. I’d like to think that all actors are enlightened about LGBTQ issues, but it isn’t always the case. Maybe what Dylan said is true, that those lines “meant nothing” and were “for fun” in the way that gay jokes can seem funny to straight guys who have never given a thought to how such a thing might carry weight with viewers looking for any confirmation of their existence on the screen.

    I could be wrong. I hope I’m wrong. But given how much is at stake for Dylan right now, I’d be surprised if we got anything other than a few throw away scenes with Danny and New Gay Guy this season. That’s why I don’t plan to even watch this season– after 3B I’m done. I live entirely in fandom now because the show itself is just unfailingly cruel in regards to Sterek and LGBTQ representation.

    1. You know you are probably very correct on your assumptions, and I just wanted to express a bit of my distaste if it true that, because Dylan seems to be breaking into the movies playing a role which shows an interest in a person of the same sex (while ACTING) some how tarnishes him as an actor or should in anyway impact his chances of being cast in new movies.

      It’s up there with oh you played in a comedy, well sorry you can now never really be a lead in a romantic drama film.
      It’s senseless, and I think it shows just how far there still is to go with acceptance in Hollywood and that’s something quite despicable. (I’m not suggesting it’s prevalent everywhere, I know quite a few Danish Actors who’ve played gay parts who went on to do very well internationally)

      Not to mention that even if you’re an out gay person, it really shouldn’t impact any of your roles, for goodness sake these people are actors they pretend to be different people for a living.

      I think there is a lack of understanding for the fanbase of tv shows, they seem to think that they have to keep open everything. But that is not true, I think if they only gave it a little thought they would see that it is infinitely kinder to let the fanbase know if there is or is not a possibility of their ship to become canon.

      If it is not a remote possibility they can let the fanbase know and sure they might lose a small portion of viewers, but most fans would shrug and say oh well the ship will live on in fandom then. But then they also have to stop ALL intentional baiting, be it in show or in PR.
      if there is a possibility that’s fine, tease away, until the possibility disappears.

      If shows only exist because a segment of the fanbase are watching because of the teasing glimpses of their ship maybe coming true, the a show really deserves to die.

      Sorry I went off on a tangent.

  15. if the show really wants to take up gay rights issue then why dont they make it a gay show full of gays,how perfect gay sex would be,teach children the same,maybe even name the show TEEN GAY WOLF.If it is all about that

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