Lots of people cite the Marvel Comics character Deadpool as an example of a bisexual character. The creators of the character frequently claim that he is bisexual, but the kindest way you can describe those claims is that they are being very bad writers by telling us rather than showing. The more accurate description is that it is a queer-baiting lie. Oh, yes, Deadpool makes all sorts of sexual jokes toward other men, and he seems to be particularly obsessed with Spiderman, but that is all we ever see in the stories: jokes. Deadpool has never ever been shown actually in a relationship with another man. He has had a lot of romantic relationships with women in the comics; loves of his life that have died tragically and so forth, but not one single man.
That isn’t diversity, that’s queer-baiting.
fontfolly on un-representation.
Maybe it’s just a sign that I’m Fandom Old, but it suddenly feels like everyone in fandom has forgotten what queerbaiting is.
Sometimes I feel like it’s part of the whole culture wars thing; it’s not enough nowadays to simply like a piece of media. Instead, you have to justify why said piece of media is ideologically “pure” (or not). It’s not enough that something is your NoTP; it has to suddenly be ~problematic or ~harmful in some way. An OTP isn’t just an OTP; it’s some kind of Ultimate Expression of intersectional diversity.
Maybe it’s because, nowadays, there is more canon representation of diversity than there was in big media properties ten or twenty years ago. So people who feel that celebrating diversity in media is good (it is!) see people in other fandoms lauding Character X or Pairing Y and… feel they need to join in for their own favored fandom? Or something? I don’t know. I feel this is something someone more of an academic than me needs to look into.
Anyway. The ironic part is that I think that, while the frequency of discussions around diversity in fandom have increased, a lot of it has become… less useful, shall we say. Like, critical examinations of representation in popular media? Interesting! Fandom purity wars that invent apologetics as to why someone’s favourite character is part of Minority X? Maybe not so much, hey.