How to get away with gay sex on TV

So recently, I’ve been getting into this new show called How To Get Away With Murder (which is often shortened to HTGAWM). Now, I wanted to watch it because A) I heard it was really good, B) Viola Davis is flawless and C) because representation is important to me. I decided to continue watching it because she show is campy as hell, and I’ve been needing a good dose of camp to fill the void that Merlin left behind when it ended. But for now, I’m not gonna talk about the show’s camp factor; I’m instead going to talk about its gay character, Connor. He gets laid a lot, and evidently some people have a problem with that.

There is a fair bit of sex on the show. We see Annalise (Viola Davis’s character) having sex, we see one of her students having sex, but the character who has the most sex is Connor. Connor is openly and unapologetically gay. Not only do we see him having sex a lot, but he also talks frankly about his sex life, and it’s also made clear that he’s comfortable being non-monogamous. Of course, it’s inevitable that when this happens, there will be some homophobes whinging about gay people existing on TV, and while I do enjoy making fun of the raging bigots out there, I actually think this whole issue is a bit more complex than most people make it out to be. One thing you’ll notice is that even some people who claim to be accepting of gay people tend to feel squeamish about this sort of thing. ‘Look, I’ve got nothing against gay people, but why do they have to shove it in my face?’ Why is this? I think the short answer is this; because they’re not used to it.

It’s true that there are shows with gay and lesbian characters which have explicit sex, but these tend to be shows that are aimed specifically at a gay audience. The L Word, Lip Service, Queer as Folk. I never watched those shows growing up, but I did watch mainstream shows with gay characters, and one thing I noticed was that even some of the most progressive ones were kind of weird about gay kisses, and of course, gay sex. A lot has been said about Glee, where the straight characters would kiss all the time, but the fans of the show had to beg for Brittany and Santana to kiss, or Kurt and Blaine. And usually, if they did kiss, it was for an Extra Special Episode. And, as much as it pains me to say it, I do think Orphan Black is also kind of weird about queer sex. I absolutely love that show, and while we do see Cosima and Delphine kiss a lot, they haven’t had a sex scene. The straight characters have, but not them. They’ve had a scene where they were talking in bed just after sex, and when they did, I found it really strange that they were in underwear.

The overall point I’m making is that as a culture, we are so used to seeing straight sex in all its forms, to the point that it’s considered the only acceptable norm. That right there, is the bulk of heteronormativity. When we watch a Nicholas Sparks movie, we don’t think, ‘This is a movie about straight people.’ We just think, ‘This is a movie.’ And the fact is, straight audiences are so used to seeing gay sex either omitted or downplayed, so when they see a show like How To Get Away With Murder, it shocks them. On that show, Connor’s sex life is basically treated in the same way that straight male characters have been treated for ages, and right now, I’d say that’s a pretty big deal.

cedricdigory:

Taylor Swift, another victim of TFIOS (x) (cc. taylorswift fishingboatproceeds)

(via fishingboatproceeds)

Me: Robert, you have no right to get shitty here when you cheated on Cora during WWI! You hypocrite!

(Source: herewestand, via miss-levinson)

theflailingfangirl:

theluckyouvegot:

Took off her wig on national tv, and I’m in tears.

Like, I realize that if you’re not African American, that’s not gonna make any sense to you,

But Viola Davis took off her wig, and her eyelashes, and her makeup, on national television.

And, as dumb as it sounds, she did it for me. She did…

I’m the whitest white girl you’ve ever met and sadly, I don’t understand.
Is anyone ok with educating me as to why this is so significant and important? I have a few hypotheses, but I wouldn’t want to make assumptions.

This is actually a really complex issue, so just remember that I’m barely scratching the surface here.

Long story short, America is actually a very racially diverse nation, but despite that, the standards of beauty are still Eurocentric, and it’s been that way for centuries. Of course, there are huge stigmas that come with having dark skin in America, but right now, I’m only going to focus on hair. In the US, there’s this idea that afro-textured hair is somehow dirty and ugly, and for centuries, black people were basically taught by the media and society at large to hate their natural hair, and to either cover it up or change it. Black hair was associated with poverty and uncleanliness, while European hair was associated with aspiration, success and classic beauty. In the 60s and 70s, black activists responded to this with the Black is Beautiful movement. It was their way of saying, ‘We’ve been taught to hate ourselves for ages, but in reality, we should be proud of our natural hair.’ This is why you see so many black women in the 70s wearing afros. It was a symbol of pride and resistance against white supremacy. However, those Eurocentric standards of beauty still exist, and they’re still oppressive. Because of this, there are plenty of black women – particularly celebrities – who are under pressure to chemically straighten their hair, or wear hair weaves. Half of the black celebrities you see on TV don’t actually wear their natural hair, to give you an idea. There’s also an incredibly racist idea that dreadlocks and cornrows are inappropriate for the workplace, so some black women feel the need to change their hair in order to get a good job.

Viola Davis’s character in How To Get Away With Murder is a lawyer, so of course American society is going to expect her to look ‘professional’, even if that means wearing a wig, thus, covering up her natural hair. When she takes her wig off, it’s like we’re seeing the real her. She’s taken off the mask that society wants her to wear. Like I said, the vast majority of black actresses on TV either wear hair weaves or relaxers, so when we see Viola with her natural hair, it is a pretty big deal.

theluckyouvegot:

Took off her wig on national tv, and I’m in tears.

Like, I realize that if you’re not African American, that’s not gonna make any sense to you,

But Viola Davis took off her wig, and her eyelashes, and her makeup, on national television.

And, as dumb as it sounds, she did it for me. She did…

agameofclothes:

Season 5 costumes!

Ellaria! I love you!

nixxie-fic:

2/5 - ‘A Room with a View’ Black & White Stills - Rupert Graves, Helena Bonham Carter, Simon Callow & Daniel Day-Lewis and guest-starring Freddy’s marvelous fringe! - (x)

Comb your hair, Freddy!

(via tranquil23)

Tags: freddy hair

divinginalake:

'Signorina!' echoed Persephone in her glorious contralto. She pointed at the other carriage. Why?

For a moment the two girls looked at each other, then Persephone got down from the box.

'Victory at last!' said Mr Eager, smiting his hands together as the carriages started again.

'It is not victory' said Mr Emerson. 'It is defeat. You have parted two people who were happy.'

E.M. Forster, A Room With a View

(via ignite0me)

gifthetv:

I love the positive and honest reactions to the last scene where Viola Davis strips herself from her wig, eyelashes, and makeup. So raw, so real.

(via chescaleigh)