a brief reflection on tv sexuality

Pop culture often doesn't know how to deal with gays or lesbians in a normal, even-handed way. When you get to bisexuality or other similarly non-binary/normative identities (see also: asexuality; trans* identity being conflated with sexuality; sex work), you're just asking for trouble.

Part of why coming to terms with my sexuality was so difficult for me is that nobody else believed me. I didn't have a problem with having crushes on boys and girls until my friends started saying things like, "So, are you straight now that you're dating Boy?" or, "You haven't mentioned any girls in a while, is that not a thing anymore?" The gay community is just as guilty as the straight community of this - if you start dating someone, suddenly the other parts of your sexuality are null and void. You made a choice! Game over.

Suffice it to say, it is incredibly irritating.

It was actually a pretty big topic in therapy for me for about a year - I kept telling D that she needed to tell me what I was, and she kept being like, well, you know, I can't do that, and also, no. Apparently there is no quiz or diagnostic tool that will help you figure out what labels to use, and every time you start being interested in someone new, you start to question yourself to the point of not even really being able to do anything.

In any event, what I'm saying is that it's a real mess in the not-gay-not-straight place. And since gay men are comedic cannon fodder on a lot of shows, the idea of having a bisexual character on a TV show seems like an incredibly huge risk.

Well, hello there, Nolan Ross.

image from here
Revenge manages not only to pull off about fifteen intersecting intrigues near-flawlessly (here, I am pretending that Jack Porter and fauxManda don't exist because ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ), it also manages to be the only show I can think of with a bisexual man at the center of a racially diverse love triangle between a man and a woman, both of whom he has had actual relationships with, not just brief sexual dalliances. Nolan's out there, working hard for Team Male Bisexuality Visibility, still managing to maintain deep platonic friendships, still being basically my favorite character to exist on TV.

In conclusion, this entire post has just been Nolan Ross appreciation. Four for you, Nolan. Four for you.