HOMOPHOBIA: Homophobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). It has been defined as contempt, prejudice, aversion, hatred or antipathy, may be based on irrational fear, and is often related to religious beliefs. ~ Wikipedia
There were two MAJOR controversial issues in regard to episode 207, which otherwise might have been a pretty good episode. I’ll list both, and agree to some extent with one, and found the other deeply, personally offensive.
First, many people were concerned with issues of explicit, verbalized consent between Magnus and Alec in their final scene. When Magnus expressed some genuine, legitimate fears and concerns about jumping into the sack with Alec — someone he feels deeply about and doesn’t want to lose — Alec just blows him off with a WOW stereotypically guy-guy response. Basically, “Don’t worry about it baby, I’ll respect you in the morning.” And he says, flat out, “*I* want this.” Honey, when Izzy said to go for it, she didn’t mean utterly dismiss your partner’s hesitation and shove him into the bedroom. We never saw if Magnus wanted it in spite of his fear, because the writers couldn’t possibly show us any further conversation or even FIVE SECONDS in the bedroom. CERTAINLY no physical intimacy.
Now for me, the issue of consent wasn’t as big, simply because Magnus could portal Alec to a garbage dump, or turn him into something really icky if it came right down to it. His agency and safety were never really threatened. HOWEVER, I do understand that this is not enough for many people. I see their point. How hard would it have been to have Alec pause for one second and consider what Magnus was saying? Acknowledge it, say, “Okay. If you would FEEL LESS VULNERABLE WAITING…” Or ANYTHING even a little considerate… Eezy peezy.
The writers/directors/producers SERIOUSLY dropped the ball cutting that important scene to black. This was Malec’s FIRST TIME, and we got nothing. No indication of did they or didn’t they, no conversation, nothing. Just “Tee-hee, look at the gays, aren’t they sweet? Aw. But we don’t want to actually LOOK at them having sex. Ew.” They’d rather we watch Jace humping some random seelie chick, or flirting with a table full of girls, or teaching Simon to be a douchebag dickwad so HE could attract random women.
Which leads me to the issue that pushed me right over the edge. Malec is one of the driving forces behind this show’s popularity. You can tell this because of the way promos, commercials, sneak peaks, and every freaking kind of publicity from TV blurbs to interviews focus on them. Do you know part of why that is?
Yes, they are gorgeous, yes, they are sweet together, yes they have wonderful chemistry, yes they’re book!canon (barely), but that’s not everything. Most people love (or at least like) Malec.
But they represent a huge population of people, older and younger, who have little to no positive representation on television. ESPECIALLY bisexuals like me. Most bis on TV are evil, crazy, on drugs, portrayed as confused sluts, or otherwise damaged and unlikable in some way. Magnus Bane is practically our patron TV saint: he uses his powers for good (but not completely law abiding, when he thinks the law sucks — go back to 206 and pause when Clary is looking at his record. He has several Clave infractions for aiding and abetting wanted Downworlders. He was also a hairdresser in the 18th century, and sold “real estate” in the 80’s.) He uses his significant power and influence in the best possible way. He will do anything for the people/beings he cares about.
He’s not perfect by any stretch. He has darkness inside him. He has weaknesses. He has not always done the right thing. But he is wise, and an excellent ally to have. Considering his loyalty to Camille, who clearly didn’t deserve it, he is someone that you want to love you.
You don’t see many bisexual characters like that on TV. If someone could name me a few more, that would be great. Sadly, those who have fallen victim to “kill your gays” are no longer eligible. Love that TV homophobia!
Of course, Alec’s story is important too. He’s a young man coming out in a world that is deeply homophobic, and not only that, hates the race of the person he cares about. But all he wants is to be happy and free, there’s nothing wrong with that. The people who care about him were all “GO ALEC!” at the wedding, and both of his siblings support him 100%. I thought last season they both know Alec was gay, but apparently the new “creative team” decided to retcon that. (For those who aren’t familiar, “retcon” is short for “retroactive continuity,” a derogative term for writers/producers who can’t be bothered to follow their own canon, or they just decide to change it, so people get pissed/confused because they don’t know what to think.) Now apparently nobody knew Alec was gay or a virgin. Whatever.
Anyway, I’m spiraling off on a tangent.
Malec are an important couple on television and media in general, especially media for young people. LGBTQ+ kids need to see themselves on television (just like kids of every race, ethnicity, nationality, ability, etc.should) to emphasize that they are beautiful, wonderful, and okay just the way they are. I think the Shadowhunters audience probably skews young-ish, teens and 20s (although there are more of us old geezers than you think!), and this is the most important group of all. Watching these two men fall for each other, watching them build a healthy relationship, IS IMPORTANT. Seeing them struggle and fight to be together IS IMPORTANT. Seeing them get the same positive attention as regards their sexuality as all the hetero ships get IS IMPORTANT.
Earlier in 207, we got Jace humping that random seelie woman. Last season we had Simon/Maureen (and imaginary Clary) obviously post-coital, in bed. We had a sexy, sexy Izzy and Meliorn pretty much ripping each others’ clothes off and going at it. That’s okay by me (although the Jace stuff was kind of icky), I likes me some smexy times. But BAM: Alec decides to GO FOR IT! Ignore Magnus’ SLOW DOWN signs and finally GET HIM SOME D!
Cut to black.
CUT. TO. BLACK.
Did they do it? Did they not do it? Did they stop and have a conversation? Did Alec stomp out? Did they screw like bunnies? Did Alec stop because he was too embarrassed that he didn’t know what he was doing? Did Magnus stop him because he just didn’t think it felt right?
WE DON’T KNOW, BECAUSE THEY CUT TO BLACK. “TUNE IN NEXT WEEK, WHEN WE WILL TELL YOU WHETHER OR NOT THEY HAD ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT SEXUAL EXPERIENCES IN THE SHOW THUS FAR! MAYBE! BUT YOU BETTER WATCH IF YOU WANT TO FIND OUT FOR SURE! MAYBE!”
Tell, rather than show. Because…. we wouldn’t want to waste any funny funny scenes with Jace teaching Simon to be a douchebag! Dumb moments with Valentine that didn’t move the story forward at all! Or any other thirty seconds BESIDES THAT NEXT THIRTY that might have been cut.
IF THEY COULDN’T DO THIS IMPORTANT STORY RIGHT, THEY SHOULD HAVE LEFT OFF ON THE SWEET KISSING/SHOPPING/MAGNUS IN THE BAR. That final scene ruins all the rest of the Malec entirely, and very well could ruin them going forward. I get more LGBT sex from the freaking FOSTERS.
It. Is. Homophobic. Pretty much every straight character on the show has had sex that was NOT left to the imagination. Yet, the central canon couple right now, who the network leans on HARD for promotion and relies heavily on their shippers, get FADE TO BLACK?
We CAN’T blame this on the network. Freeform is the home of The Fosters, Pretty Little Liars, and more, all with out and proud LGBT relationships. Last season, we watched the realistic struggle of a proud, closed off young gay man finding himself through his feelings for another wonderful guy who shows him: IT’S OKAY TO BE GAY, DAMNIT.
What is this shit we’re getting now? Closed mouth kisses of ten seconds or less, no real intimate touching, and DEFINITELY NO BEDROOM SCENES.
What is a bisexual person like me, or a young gay man, or lesbian woman, or ANYONE, supposed to think about the withholding of what might be one of the two most important sexual scenes in the series? I’m not talking about the books, here. The books have ABYSMAL representation. They tokenize and fetishize LGBT characters, and Malec is an afterthought or a joke. The show had changed all of that. Until now.
I don’t need to put up with being marginalized or ignored on television. Hell, my SOAP OPERA gives more gay sensuality than this. I don’t need to be told that random stranger sex is better than any sex I have — as long as it’s het! Fucking some guy for information? MUCH better — as long as it’s het! Waking up in the morning not remembering the sex, then imagining you had the sex with someone else? Okeedokee! AS LONG AS ITS HET!
Healthy relationship moving toward something meaningful, hopefully the endgame of marriage & family someday, first time making love for a main character who really deserves a break, and another who badly deserves some true love and affection?
NOPE! TOO GAY!
I consider myself lucky that I am OLD and already solid in my sexuality. I went through all of the searching and uncertainty when I was in my 20s. A television show doing exactly what the vast majority of television shows have done all of my life is not going to dent my self esteem, or make me question whether or not I’m okay.
MY SEX IS OKAY. AND SO IS MALEC’S. AND SO IS ANY OF THEIR AUDIENCE.
I absolutely never saw this twisted dash of homophobia coming. I honestly believe what S1 showed me (THAT was my first mistake: SEASON 1 NEVER HAPPENED!) that Malec were going somewhere. That the creators took them seriously, and planned, as they all continue to assert, that they cared so much, and the respected how much the fans love them, and they wanted to do it justice…
I believe Harry and Matt believe that. I don’t believe anyone else involved does.
Now I’m staring down the barrel of more homophobia that I don’t need in my life. And I feel sorry for all the fans crying out on the internet because the lack of Magnus’ consent, or the COMPLETE LACK OF ANY PHYSICAL INTIMACY between their favorite men, upset them, disappointed them, broke their hearts? I’m not the only one proud to see these characters and their relationship onscreen. To see other people, maybe still growing into their identities, learning what is and isn’t okay for someone to do to you in the bedroom,get slapped in the face is offensive.
Of course, the creators HAD to address the consent issue. Rape is not funny, and there is a slippery slope from dubious or unclear consent to rape. And no, I won’t censor that word. I’m a survivor, and I call it like it is. I’m not pussyfooting around it. But oh! The showrunners came right out and said (the ignorance is OBSCENE) “We just assumed everybody would know that Magnus wanted it!” paraphrased, but that was the jist.)
However, have they answered the cries of HOMOPHOBIC DISCRIMINATION in the storyline/filming? Of course not! Only the gays care about that! They should just shut up and get over it, so we’ll ignore them.
Maybe I won’t shut up, but I will get over it, and get over you. If all the Malec shippers did that, your insensitive show would be in serious trouble. You might want to rethink your lack of statement on that particular issue.
Just my NEVER humble opinion. The up and down quality of this show is seriously getting on my nerves.