The year 2014 had many stand out moments for LGBTQ+ geeks and we here at the Geekiary compiled a list of some of our favorites. We had beautifully crafted on screen romances, unapologetic displays of queer characters, and actors and actresses using their spotlight to take a stand. It was truly an amazing year and we hope 2015 brings more incredible moments.
Korra and Asami (The Legend of Korra)
Nominated by: Farid
For many, the romantic drama in “Book 1: Air” took away from the really enjoyable moments of The Legend of Korra, but who could’ve guessed that the annoying love triangle was laying the groundwork for exceptional bisexual representation on TV? Korra and Asami started out as friends and romantic rivals but by “Book 3: Change” they had moved on from Mako and started to strengthen their bond of friendship. However, it wasn’t until “Book 4: Balance” that the creators really went into the possibility of two POC women being romantic interests for each other. The finale showed Korra/Asami as a canon pairing and was even confirmed by the creators of the series. It probably became the best end of the year gift for queer kids around the world.
Over the course of four books, Korra and Asami became more fleshed out characters, grew mature, and showed the world that it’s okay to be who you are regardless of what other people might think (other people being viewers who thought the girls were straight just because they dated Mako). Bisexual people exist and it is their right to choose the partner they want to be with.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Nominated by: Rinienne and Farid
The previous games in the series had plenty of gay or bi characters, to the point where it seemed the entire world of DA simply didn’t care about sexual orientation. Playing the games, you could get an impression that it was a norm on which no-one ever commented. But the new game introduced Dorian Pravus, the most prominant gay character in the series thus far, which immediately got a lot of people talking. Not everyone took it positively (Dragon Age: Inquisition was banned in India), but it certainly got attention. Dorian’s personal arc showed him separating from his prestigious family and accepting his sexuality and magical aptitude. It also featured a quest where his father, who previously wanted to “fix” him through magic, eventually accepts his son in the end.
DA: Inquisition also featured other queer characters such as the lesbian elf Sera, the ambassador and chief diplomat of the Inquisition, Josephine Montilyet, and the Qunari Mercenary, Iron Bull. The creators of the game also introduced players to trans character named Cremisius “Krem” Aclassi.
For more information read: Dragon Age: Inquisition Review – Hours of RPG Fun
Kieren and Simon (In the Flesh)
Nominated by: Angel
This post-zombie apocalypse show focuses on “Partially Deceased Syndrome” sufferers as they reintegrate into society. In addition to addressing issues such as PTSD, depression, self harm, and using zombies as a general allegory for “the other,” it addresses non-heteronormative romantic themes elegantly and in heartbreakingly realistic way. Kieren Walker was shown to have feelings for his best friend, Rick, in the first season. Rick’s death in Afghanistan was one of the reasons Kieren took his own life before the start of the series. But the romantic interpretations of their feelings for one another weren’t as overt as the romance that blossomed between Kieren and Simon in the second season. The romance between them is so powerful that Simon, who was previously one of the most devoted members of a PDS fanatical sect, begins to make decisions that surprise even himself and brings his own priorities into question.
Kieren’s sexuality and role as the protagonist of the series are important, but the series has never been labeled “that gay zombie show” or pigeonholed as something that would only appeal to the queer community. It’s just a part of who the protagonist is. The show proves that you can have a non-heterosexual protagonist and still tell a story that appeals to a wider audience. With any luck, other shows will soon follow suit and we’ll have a much more diverse array of protagonists on TV.
Connor Walsh (How To Get Away With Murder)
Nominated by: Erin and Farid
How to Get Away With Murder served as groundbreaking TV with the debut of proudly gay first year law student Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee). Not only did the show give Connor a major role, but the writers didn’t shy away from showing him use his sexuality to collect information to help solve the cases he worked on. The show featured numerous gay kissing and graphic sex scenes without being apologetic about it. Though Connor might not be the best role model on TV for young gay kids out there with his somewhat narcissistic ways, he nevertheless teaches them to be who they really are and embrace their sexuality.
Jude and Zero (Hit the Floor)
Nominated by: Farid
Hit The Floor took viewers by surprise with the pairing of Jude and Zero. Both character’s romantic interest in each other was shown as normally as any heterosexual relationship depicted on TV. Jude and Zero were not advertised as the ‘gay’ characters in the show and that’s why they were presumed straight the moment they came on screen. Creator James LaRosa handled the relationship impressively and the second season showed the them starting to develop deeper feelings for each other and strengthen their trust. Is Zero (who even tells his real name to Jude in the finale) gay or bisexual? Who knows! It doesn’t matter because the pairing of Jude and Zero gave queer viewers some awesome representation and something to look forward to in Season 3.
For more information read: A Surprising Gay Gem in Hit The Floor
Arika and Uriel (Dominion)
Nominated by: Emily
Arika comes from Helena, a land that is depicted as being run completely by women. Uriel is the sister archangel caught between two constantly feuding brothers. The secret relationship and alliance between the two came as a surprise to many viewers, but was not exactly an unwelcome turn of events. They are shown to be playing their own game and playing it well. Despite the fact that they come off as antagonistic to our protagonists, viewers find themselves oddly rooting for these incredibly powerful women. They are just that awesome.
Furthermore, the intimate scenes between the pair lack the frequently overused “male gaze” that comes with the usual on screen depiction of women in sexual situations. Their scenes can be intimate and sensual, but not something that is being put on display exclusively for heterosexual male viewing pleasure. It’s a hard thing to get right, but Dominion manages to accomplish it.
Orange is the New Black
Nominated by: Angel
This female centric prison drama has been groundbreaking for its diverse depictions of female sexuality. The protagonist, Piper, is bisexual and faces backlash from both her lesbian and heterosexual partners for her orientation. Meanwhile the prison itself is filled with women who identify as gay, straight, and practically every point in between. The second season premieres in 2014 and delved further into the complex relationships between the cast of characters that we grew to love the year before.
The show also features Sophia, a transwoman housed at the prison. She’s notable not only for the incredibly honest portrayal, but because she’s actually played by a transgender actress, Laverne Cox (more on her in the next entry). It seems that roles for trans characters almost always seem to go to cisgender individuals, which makes this casting choice incredibly awesome and notable. The only downside is that we didn’t get enough Sophia this season, but hopefully we’ll get more next year.
For more information read: Orange is the New Black Season 2
Nominated by: Angel and Undie Girl
It’s been quite a phenomenal year for Laverne Cox. Fans fought hard to get her on the cover of Time Magazine and, when it seemed we’d failed, Time honored the outpouring of support with an article titled The Transgender Tipping Point.. She’s become the face of growing acceptance of transgender individuals, particularly transwomen and transwomen of color. She’s earned honors and mentions all year for her tireless advocacy and has made a huge impact of trans visibility in the public eye.
Nominated by: Farid and Angel
Penny Dreadful is full of characters that fall along the spectrum of queer identities. Some are depicted as having romantic feelings towards one or more genders, while others are much more explicitly shown displaying more obvious same sex encounters. The thing that makes this series stand out is that the default heterosexual assumptions that most people have about characters are more often than not false. Being exclusively heterosexual is more rare among the primary cast than having a fluid sexuality. It’s pretty much the polar opposite of almost every other show out there at the moment.
The creator of the show, Chris Logan, spent a good portion of the Penny Dreadful panel at San Diego Comic-Con discussing gender and sexuality on the show. He wanted to portray a variety of sexualities and responded to the decision to do so with “it’s 2014.” Indeed it is, Mr. Logan, and your show is part of what made it such a good year for LGBTQ+ geeks. Thank you, sir.
For more information read: Penny Dreadful: A Masterclass on Fluid Sexuality
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Nominated by: KM Zafari
Shocking as it seems, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is only the second, mainstream animated movie in history to feature a gay character, the first being Paranorman. It wasn’t a planned moment but an ad-libbed line by Craig Ferguson, who played Gobber the Belch, that made this film part of history. It happened during an argument between Hiccup’s parents, Valka and Stoick. Gobber was scripted to say, “This is why I never married,” to which, Ferguson added, “Well, this and one other reason.” Rather than being an overt statement, it was a solitary line laced with homosexual subtext that writer-director Dean DeBlois would later confirm. And while it is easy to initially dismiss what amounts to a one-off joke as being an important moment in LGBTQ+ history, the very notion that Gobber could be homosexual created a furor before it was released, and conservative sites bashed the movie as pushing a gay agenda.
2014 was a banner year for marriage equality. As of this post, it is now legal in 35 of the 50 US states and nationwide in 18 other countries. These numbers were significantly smaller in June, when How to Train Your Dragon 2 was released and even more so when the voice acting was recorded. While it would be an incredible stretch to suggest that the movie influenced domestic or international views on marriage equality, it helped initiate conversation on homosexuality in the media and was a small but important stepping stone on the path to make mainstream representation a reality.
For more information read: How to Train Your Dragon 2 Movie Review: A Sequel That Soars to New Heights
Nominated by: Angel
Orphan Black went above and beyond our expectations this season. We saw the return of fan favorite pairing Delphine and Cosima as they struggle with the complications of their star crossed romance. We also followed Felix and his various exploits in both love and lust. But what really stood out was the inclusion of Tony, our first transgender clone. While Tony only hung around for one episode, Tatiana Maslany expressed interest in playing him again in the future. Orphan Black continues to impress when it comes to diversity, particularly in regards to sexuality and gender. Here’s hoping they continue to bring it next year.
Nominated by: Undie Girl
In February 2014, at the Human Rights Campaign’s “Time to Thrive” conference, Ellen Page came out publicly as gay. Anyone that has never had to “come out” might try to say that this is no big deal, but for anyone that has dealt with this Ellen Page’s speech to the world was a big deal. After Page’s announcement, a number of authors from The Geekiary got together to explain why it’s important to see relatable public figures coming out. That’s why Ellen Page was included in the Advocate’s annual “40 Under 40” list and that’s why she makes this list. But her sexuality is not the only way that Ellen Page was awesome in 2014, she reprised her role as Kitty Pryde in X-Men: Days of Futyer Past and she played Han Solo in a live-reading of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Ellen Page was all around awesome in 2014.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.
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